Up@dawn 2.0

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Misinterprited Motion? H03

Is the value of walking only misinterpreting motion?  There is a term, spurious correlation, which describes the effect of two things apparently correlating in motion, when in reality they are not actually connected and the apparent correlation is only chance.  So is walking only a case of spurious correlation?  In Gymnasium for the Mind, Christopher Orlet puts forward the idea that there is a connection between great minds and walking.  For examples he points out that Charles Darwin had a walking path along the boundaries of his property which he traversed daily, and that Henry David Thoreau, a noted poet and philosopher, walked an estimated 250,000 miles in his life time, a feat that is less impressive when you consider that he was born in 1817.  He the points to the early twentieth century and gives a long list of names such as Einstein and Fraud, who were great thinkers, and apparently walkers, of their day.  It is interesting to note that these many men were, in fact, thinkers of the early twentieth century.  This was an age of political, ideological, social, and scientific revolution unparalleled in human history.  This is the age that saw the creation and discovery of atomic energy, jet aircraft, radar technologies, and many others.  It also saw the blossoming of socialism with the birth of Soviet Russia, wide spread proliferation of women’s suffrage, two world wars and the creation of a new world order that would remain in place until the fall of the Soviet Union. These were turbulent times, innovative times, revolutionary times.  Humankind, however, had been walking since it’s dawn, yet such as happened in the first half of the twentieth century has not been happening for all of human history.  Many great minds have been produced over the eons that is true, but were the great because they walked, or did they walk because they were great?  Did walking even play a roll, or was it simple a spurious correlation.


  1. Possibly, the people that obtain these great minds walk because they are great. They simply understand the positive consequences of walking.

  2. H3
    Walking as a for of philosophy being just of a mis-interpretation of motion is very plausible because i believe that just by moving our bodies, we are putting our minds into motion just as walking is. The reason i believe this is that I find that in just everyday life, not just in walking, I find myself thinking internally as I move through the motions. Also, driving seems to provoke the same kind of thoughts from me as walking, except i' not moving. All in all, I believe that in some way a philosophy of walking may be just a mis-interpretation of motion, but there is also one other thing to consider. Unlike most other motions, walking is repetative and many people find calm or peace in repetition, invoking philosophical and inward thinking.

    1. You do have a good point. Humans are creatures of habit. We enjoy and appreciate consistency and the consistency and the familiarity of something as natural as walking almost certainly does help our psyche relax and find calm. This can doubtlessly be therapeutic. I wonder if walking in it's self is therapeutic for that reason. Because to simply think and ponder is an intellectual exercise and from my own experience, engaging in such a one sided intellectual exercise is no more facilitated by walking as sitting down.