Saturday, 22 March 2014

Arches: a new conceptual model for running

I don't like pyramid models. Although a well-built pyramid certainly looks nice, they rarely provide a good model for a healthy system. Think Ponzi schemes: a strict hierarchy where only the topmost members benefit. Pyramids are a great analogy for dictatorships, kingdoms, or the catholic church. None of these things are something you'd aspire to mimic for a system that benefits most through cooperation.

Before I get to running, consider one other bad pyramid model: food. For some reason pyramids are used in nutrition. The food pyramid clearly makes no sense. How is it that vegetables are supporting fish and oils, and not the other way around? Why are eggs and sweets near the top? What if you are vegetarian? Do you want to place the most important food items on top, or the least? Why are calorie-rich foods scattered so randomly? For any practical purposes the food pyramid is confusing. More to the point it's just a bad model for something so intricate.