One hopes that is not generally true, and it is hardly reason to celebrate when some example proves true. But for mice, and quite possibly for biologically similar enough human beings, pushing yourself on aerobic exercise make may you a better philosopher.
Or so one could read the results reported in today’s NY Times:
Allow a laboratory mouse to run as much as it likes, and its brainpower improves. Force it to run harder than it otherwise might, and its thinking improves even more. This is the finding of an experiment led by researchers at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and placed online in May.
4 thoughts on “If it’s harder, it’s probably better for you”
“One hopes that is not generally true, and it is hardly reason to celebrate when some example proves true.”
What does this mean? That it would be better if (more) strenuous exercise *didn’t* yield (more) mental benefits?
Kac, thanks for asking. The “that” refers to the general dictum, harder is better. So I mean to say that one hopes in general it’s not the case that harder is better, and that simply finding that in a particular case the harder is better is not reason to celebrate.
I think I thought I was being a bit funny. O dear. My 1,439th failed joke on the internet.
I think maybe “harder is better” is true with some generality: ‘harder’ takes more effort, and I do think putting lots of effort into things improves us in some way. And that doesn’t seem like a bad thing.
(Apologies for only having a sound-bite version to state.)
That happens to me all the time, although I did appreciate the joke. Personally, I’d be happiest if cognitive powers and aerobic exercise were completely unrelated.
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