Monday, November 22, 2010

Plateau Busting

This is interesting on Plateaus, check out the full post on Getting Stronger HERE:

Individual adaptation is of course not the same thing as species adaptation. But there is at least this much similarity: if the adaptation is large enough, and if there arise new forces which act to stabilize the adaptation, then a stable change is possible. If the stability persists long enough for the balance of forces to change, the adaptation will be “permanent”, with no easy reversion to the original state. However, some sort of “separation”, analagous to geographic isolation, is needed to prevent reversion or “backsliding” to the original state. Just as a river or ocean separating two islands can keep two sub-species from rejoining, there needs to be some type of “habit separation” between new and old patterns to prevent us from going back to where we started.

A good mental model for this is crossing a stream which is broken up by a series of large boulders. Getting from one side to the other may seem like an impossible task. It certainly cannot be done with a single bounding leap. But if the task is broken down into a series of small steps, each of which is a stable “boulder”, then it can be done. If the boulders are far apart, you may hang out for quite a while on each boulder, getting your footing and balance. But then at the right time, with enough confidence, you decide to make your move to the next boulder. Each step is still a challenge and takes some preparation, but with preparation and sufficient strength, it is within your reach. By the time you are to the other side, it is equally hard to return to where you started. Just as biological evolution proceeds stepwise, and generally without reversion, to a new space, so can individual adaptation evolve to a new stable state through a series of intermediate “resting points”, each stable in their own right. And if these resting points are far enough apart, it will be hard to return to the original place you started. But, applying this to “plateau evolution”, a stream with well spaced boulders is preferable to a stream crossed by a continuous foot bridge, because the bridge makes it too easy to re-cross the river back to where you started.

1 comment:

  1. jcrestmont@gmail.comNovember 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    That's so true, Jenna! I've been stuck on a plateau for months. Gotta try some of these tips to break loose. Thanks!



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