I’ll keep this as short as possible, in an effort to be succinct rather than the usual verbose nature of my words. It’s all chronological.

My fingers hurt a lot after the BBC’s. I needed to rest. I trained twice. My fingers hurt more. I did the world cup. I did very badly, but it was still good and certainly motivating. My fingers hurt much more. I iced them lots. I rested for 1 week. I went to Anstey’s Cove on Monday. I had high hopes for my fingers. They hurt. I flashed Empire of the Sun. It is pretty cool. Certainly one of the better routes I’ve done in the UK. Perhaps I think it looks better than it climbs. Then I fell off Just Revenge. My fingers hurt too much. My phone was stolen. I attempted to go after the thief. I discovered what had happened from some witnesses. I ran into town after the guy, still wearing my harness and lacking a t-shirt. I would like to apologise to anyone who was shocked by my bulk running at them only to stop and say “I’m sorry to bother you, but have you seen someone matching this description…”. I didn’t find the guy. I did know he had spent the night on the beach in a tent. I went down there. There was lots of alcohol, some still unopened. I approached the tent with a rock in hand. I opened the tent and inside there was a midget! Just kidding. I wish I was R. Kelly. The tent was empty, apart from a sleeping bag, pillow, and large machete. I suddenly became a little worried and backed away trying to appear as if I wasn’t at all scared. That was my day out. Then my fingers hurt some more.

Now that the boring bit is out of the window I can write about something far more interesting. For a long time this blog has been exclusively climbing, which is what it started as and it’s what I intended it to continue. However, I do a lot of other things which are way more interesting than climbing. I don’t visit climbing websites any more, as I’m a bit bored of them. I like climbing, that’s certain, but I just want to enjoy it by going climbing, not to be saturated in it. I like reading about other things, things which inspire me, expand my mind, and increase my sphere of knowledge. I recently read something which I thought was worth sharing. It made me step outside of the box. This example is not mine, it’s Nassim Taleb’s (although perhaps he took it from someone else – I don’t know). I think he’s a smart guy.

You have Tim. He’s a statistician, who works for a giant financial powerhouse, and works with complex mathematics and statistics every single day. He’s done this for over 30 years. Then you have Tony. He’s a wheeler/dealer. He doesn’t work in an office, but he is very well off, making money here and there without being particularly technical in any field at all. You invite Tim and Tony to play a very simple game. You tell them that you have tossed a coin 99 times and that it has come up heads every single time. You tell them it’s a fair coin. Then you ask both of them the probability of the coin coming up heads on the 100th time. Tim smirks, as he knows the answer. Tony laughs, as he knows what’s probably going on here. Tim replies with a half. This is basic probability after all. It’s a fair coin, the past tosses have nothing to do with the 100th as they are all independent events. Tony is shocked by this answer. He knows some basic probability theory, enough to know that a coin can only be heads or tails. However, he doesn’t give you the same answer. He tells you that the game can’t be fair, that you are having them on. If the coin really has landed heads for 99 times in a row then it’s far more likely that you are cheating (ie. using an unfair coin or lying about the coin landing 99 times heads up). To me, this is such a clear example of thinking outside the box. Tim is right ofcourse, IF the underlying assumptions of the game are correct, but why has he assumed that rather than thinking there might be something dodgy in the game itself? [If I have presented this badly or incorrectly then it's due to my haste, so forgive me. It's worth reading more about such things and a good starting point would be to Google Nassim Taleb]

Personally, it’s always worth questioning your assumption, and trying to view everything from an angle slightly further back than where you think you are. Never be afraid to take another step back. After all, you can always take a step closer again if you want.

addendum. The reason I was reminded of this little anecdote was because of a track I was just listening to, in particular the lines; “If you’re not sure who not to believe, Who has better reasons to deceive”.