Pyramid Philosophical

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Life Challenges

Success in life involves not just taking what's given, but going out to get what you want. The difference between being proactive or reactive. The glass of life is half-full. It must have its contents increased to fill it and not be complete then lose what it possesses.
   Never can cheating to achieve a goal even be considered. An ability to honestly acquire desires enhances this ability. The individual who lands in any place using deceit will always be discovered. Eventually. A competent player smoothly goes forward.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Human Inequalities

Nearly every time that some mysterious quality of the human anatomy is explained (rightly or wrongly), the species is regarded as amazing. It seems to make (ass U Me) the human the top of the evolutionary tree. This also implies that because the human can speak (make complex noises) it has every right to be there.
   All animals reason. Not so sophisticated, perhaps, but they do reason. At least they seem to be 'on the same page' and work together - a common goal. Humans often disagree and this appears to be a human 'quality'. There is little else that makes the human so special. Animals have different skills many of which outclass any human feature. Running, jumping, swimming, flying, hunting... Not fighting each other except to become 'top dog'. Humans will also do that - very poorly - usually for selfish reasons.
   Of the many skills that a human has, some of the species are much more able ('natural' or acquired). Many animals could easily defeat a human, but his cleverness enables him to cheat - use a gun or something. In fair combat the human would lose. It's the same for the cheating human to kill and eat a 'defenseless' animal. As though the living creature is not amazing.
   All life is amazing, except the human. Quite ineffective without the ability to unbalance the level playing field. Many humans (not all), by virtue of the desire to kill, rise to the top. Or at least think so. What makes any living creature so apparently worthless, except for killing and eating?

Eat to live or live to eat


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Don't Give Up

My worst fear is that he will “give up”.
I worry that he is in danger of reaching
breaking point.

Mental toughness has its limits

Don't Give Up

(Peter Gabriel feat. Paula Cole)

It does not matter how slowly you go

As long as you do not stop


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit -
Rest if you want, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit, -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Author unknown



Giving up is not in the genes!

Louis Brothnias and Percy "Biffo" Veir

No Title

This is deliberately left blank

Sunday, June 26, 2016


The Journey of a shunter

The following is personal experience only.
It may help someone

If it does help to deal with any difficulties
and it gives support, encouragement
and hope then all will be worthwhile.

Take care and keep going

  • a long way has been travelled on this journey. There is still a long way to go
  • on this journey, I met a man with no shoes. Then I met a man with no feet
  • my journey (since 15th August 2015) has provided me with an opportunity to think about ALL this. The more I feel I understand, the less I seem to know. I do know now, however, that the brain is much more complex than it once seemed to be
  • the physical and mental parts are somehow connected though how... ???
  • So very, very subtle - even the subtlety is subtle. Nails (finger and toe) grow faster than any change, but upwards, forwards and onward is still progress. However slow, progress is still... progress.

It does not matter how slowly you go

As long as you do not stop


  • the brain remains 'aware'. Even when 'neutralised' for surgery. Only a part can be rendered 'unconscious', but the brain still... knows.
  • 'routine' (though very careful) neurosurgery is for the skilled surgeon, but for the first-time patient it is a new experience. It appears that receiving may not be quite the same as giving
  • still (November - 2016) puzzle over how the 'shunt' was/is done. It is a simple idea, but very clever and skilful. Think of a beaver re-routing river flow: something blocks the free flow, so re-route around it to allow the continuance of movement.  
  • can make out the probable course of tubing under the skin. Over clavicle and through centre chest. Disappears. No pain. Clever... how?
  • unsupported walking is currently not possible, but in the future...? Walking backwards - longer less controlled steps - can cause problems. It's educational to take a staircase descent backwards! This encourages smaller (careful) steps. Also, it is beneficial to attempt sideways (crab-like) walking, too.
  • calf/ankle attention demonstrates the importance to walking. The 'bounce' from proper heel-lift takes pressure off the knees and helps stop the 'clunk/click' dynamic.
  • practice, practice and then more practice are key. Repeat your best form and always 'raise the bar' - just like any training.
  • the 'core' seems to be critical. Strengthen and use - effectively.
  • QI: the leg (limb) is farthest from the brain, but is quickest to respond to heat (hot water/topical = skin deep). Right leg was immediate. Left arm/hand slowest to respond, but never cold (blood temp?). Reynauld issues (left middle left ring-finger) - seems to have gone. Micro-tremor in right arm - gone. Immediate! Associate discomfort with returning sensation - left arm/hand last to (gradually) respond. Discomfort on usage - middle finger and thumb appear physically connected (both to forearm). Issues are right-sided, but any returned sensitivity is at least a 100% improvement
  • aching (left side) may have a spinal origin and this suggests a nerve-based issue. It's similar with left arm/hand (neck region). It's interesting to speculate whether a lower back pain is caused by compromised walking or poor walking is the result of one or more (sciatic?) nerves being affected
  • it's all about repetition and making neural (re-)connections. The concept of the 'mind muscle' is better described as learning again. The brain 'remembering' how to control a muscle. This also incorporates familiarity and the repetition of 'good form'
  • feedback is crucial (patient - therapist - patient) and psychology seems heavily implicated.
Added: 24.01.2018

It's been a while since I began my journey. Still making (slow) progress, but onwards and forwards. And upwards. Tried swimming recently: partial success in that I still can and have reasonable speed though reality didn't match the experience! Visualising is quite different to the actual physical movement. Response not as expected. Daft really. Sort of delusion by unfamiliarity. Leg-work too aggressive. Upward/downward motion places considerable pressure on knees - water resistance. Never considered that. Ouch!! Will use the water as supportive and overall more gently to encourage improved muscle control. Sensation and other long-term issues gradually improving. Hot water recognition just about normal - everywhere.
   Strength/flexibility working well. Supported walking progressing. Up/down inclines vs level very different. Vertical alignment change. Working on this. Very aware of imbalance of effort (left/right) in walking. It's all about relearning as an adult toddler. Makes me realise how complicated simple (!) walking actually is.
   A couple of years ago (that all!) I heard someone say Life's Good. I couldn't understand that comment then. I really do now.


   It really is.

Added: 08.08.2018

A comment on the mechanics of walking. The heel-spring. This is critical for smooth walking (not there yet. I may have travelled a long way on my three-year journey, but I still have some way to go -Keep Calm and Carry On).

   Equal thrust: I used to think that balancing the push off with a foot/leg was key. It isn't. The heel-raise/spring is the action. This shifts the body left/right placing weight over the standing leg, altering balance.This allows the following leg to move forwards without scuffing the floor with the foot. The Trendelenberg sign ("hip drop") is the answer. Maintaining a level pelvis.

   Climbing stairs. It is important to place the toes and ball of foot on the stair (running or walking) and raise the heel that remains in the air. This prevents the knee locking with a 'clunk-click'.

   It is easy to imagine that walking is not particularly taxing. Actually it is very complex, but it is done without the need to think about it. Even walking up/down a slope is complex. Either direction involves altering the angle of the foot/leg. Up and this angle becomes smaller. Down and the angle increases, all of the time still maintaining a vertical alignment.

Good luck (and you can only make your own)

       but above all

Keep calm and carry on

Louis Brothnias


Percy "Biffo" Veir

Note: "BIF" = bloody independent ****er and "BIFFO" is a tad more expressive. Suits me well. Apparently.

Friday, May 29, 2015


There is absolutely nothing that the brain is not involved with. Very often (nearly always - DA), the IQ is cited as THE measure of intelligence. It is only a small part of the whole picture. How is it that an academically challenged individual can still be an extraordinary and efficient athlete? Clearly, the IQ has many facets.

Intelligence should not be assessed simply in terms of how 'intelligent' the individual (a hero of mine - DA) appears to be, but more an overall ability. Consider the remarkable Dr. Stephen Hawking. Hard to describe as an athlete yet a highly active/amazing intellect. How does he manage and reconcile this?


It's still a sad day even though this constitutes a celebration of life. The 1996 Summer Olympics (Atlanta) torch lighting is an unforgettable moment [use back arrow when done]. An inspired choice. An inspiration (I remember it well - DA). Ali may have had a Parkinsonism issue, yet this is unlikely to have been a result of boxing. He rarely got hit (Sir Henry Cooper).

Future, present (now) and past - "time and tide wait for no man"

Passing from the now can still be a sad time, but Ali's legendary existence will remain forever.

My friend.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


Throughout life, experience provides the learning to go onwards, forwards and upwards. Without any learning a previous 'mistake' will probably be made again. There has to be a conscious effort to acknowledge any learning as without this, it can never be consolidated into memory.

  • Stagnation occurs.
Everything moves away, but leaves the individual stuck in the past. It can certainly seem like that. Like it or not time goes onwards. The future happens physically though psychologically the present is continuous and never changes. All else changes.

  • Everyone and everything moves on.
  • Isolation ensues. That feeling of being alone must increase.
The ability to learn or not can be assessed as denial or, perhaps, some faulty brain chemistry. The cause is debatable though the effect is real.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Several tasks can be accomplished simultaneously. Driving a car and talking, listening to music. A commonly described example is a mother holding and feeding a baby while having a conversation with another person entirely. But only one thing can have complete concentration at any one time. Fast switching between tasks can give the impression of multi-tasking with full concentration.

It is possible to walk from one place to another, thinking about something and later reach a point on the journey and not remember anything between the start and where you end up. The brain can easily deal with more than two things at once, but it is not possible to be conscious of all at the same time. Only one of them.

It is possible to play a song (in the mind) though not possible to mentally concentrate on two 'mind songs' at the same time. One at a time only.

The Necker cube illustrates the issue. The 3D cube drawn on a flat surface (2D) can be imagined in two ways. From the top (right-front) looking down or bottom (left-front) and looking up. Switching between the two viewpoints can be mentally very fast, but it is not possible to 'see' both at the same time.

Computers multi-task in a similar way. Running one application alongside another and switching quickly between them as they both run. It appears that they are running independently, though only one is being processed at any one time.