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It's funny.  Laugh.

Chase the Rabbits 376

So, it's Friday night, and as usual, we need some sort of entertainment. Tonight's theme: fitness. Here's what happens when a computer geek meets a Navy SEAL for PT. It's not pretty. But does he learn? Oh no.
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Chase the Rabbits

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  • There's no need to keep in shape. By the time the effects are going to be noticeable (read life-threatining) medical breakthroughs will have it all taken care of... I hope....

    Actually, I DO run crosscountry...
    • by Caractacus Potts ( 74726 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @01:20AM (#3211639)

      Boy, are you in for a surprise. Wait until you hit your late thirties. If you aren't in shape then, you can kiss those all-night programming sessions good-bye. I could sure use one of those medical breakthroughs right about now.

    • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:11AM (#3211791)
      A high school bio teacher once told me that a friend of his in his youth (he was probably about 60) said the same thing to him when told he should quit smoking. "By the time I'm old enough, they'll have a cure for cancer." Oops.
      • On the other hand, ever notice how almost all of the world's oldest people always say they smoked like chimneys and drank like fish and lived to a ripe old age anyway? ;-) The current oldest living person is that Japanese woman who thanked rice-wine for her longevity. The guy who runs the cigar shop down the street from me is a Cuban expatriate who's 78, looks and acts like a healthy 50, and smoked cigars all day every day from the time he was 11 until his 60s when he gave it up because it was affecting his ability to breathe easily, and so he switched to snuff.

        Yeah, I know, on the average people who "live healthy" will live longer. My philosophy is--ah, so what. Why do I want to be 90 anyway? I'll take 55 really good years of wine, women and song over 80 of running and bottled water. Give me pastries! Give me fine cuisine loaded with heavy creams and cheeses and red meats! Give me hand-rolled cigars! Give me Chateau d'Yquem when I can afford it and a cheap 5-liter box when I can't! And being a bit soft and pale may not look so great to the contemporary eye, but it's pleasing when touched nonetheless. I personally love the feeling when my big Homer Simpson tummy starts jiggling as a hot young lady pounds into me like a jackhammer. And when I can't find a hot young woman who wants to sleep with me, well, that's where http://www.bigdoggie.net comes in. :-o Most of us have or will have great jobs that pay well--what's the use of that, if we aren't going to use it to enjoy all of life's pleasures?

        I've got a full humidor, a few bottles of last fall's Beaujolais Nouveau in the fridge, and I'm still practically glowing from my appointment yesterday with a former runway model the likes of whom most thin athletic people will never get to enjoy in the sack--and she does things most girlfriends and wives won't do! So, if lots of exercise and healthy living turns you on, great, enjoy it. But it certainly isn't the only way to enjoy life to its fullest, thank you. I have exactly the life I want, and I'd take it over 20 extra years of a less indulgent one. :-)
  • by Raptor_316 ( 410730 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @01:15AM (#3211625)
    Keeping in shape is easy, just become a Systems Administrator. All these long hours here working on systems provides no time for bad habbits such as eating. Oh, that is unless you run all UNIX, this fitness programs requires Microsoft Windows NT4 Server or better or Netware of any version.
  • ...I got all my PT for free. And free food and clothing, too.

    Jeesh, all the guy would've had to do was join the military and save $495.

    Heck, I got p a i d a whole $600 bucks a month and they didn't charge me a dime for getting shouted at.

  • Well, cool (Score:2, Interesting)

    Its an odd article for /. but its neat. I think that computer geeks (myself included) need to get out and exercise, its good for the mind, the most used geek muscle (we know its not a muscle though). I rock climb a lot, and it has helped me. Boot camp in this style is not as hard as the "real thing". At least they can't pull you out of bed at 1, after you just went to sleep.

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!! from the delta to the DMZ............
    • Definitely neat, but I have to wonder: the guy rarely mentions his work. I don't know about you, but my workplace would not be too happy with me if I were collapsing at the office, or were unable to do the physical things my job requires, like lifting servers into racks. Pushing yourself like that sounds great, but it sounds mostly feasible for people who either don't have "work" to go to (like the writer he mentions) or whose work doesn't much care if they just flop in a chair wasted for the whole day. Then again, maybe I'm just making excuses instead of giving 100%...
  • by Talisman ( 39902 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @01:22AM (#3211643) Homepage
    This is me [remail.org] at a convention in San Diego a few years ago. Before making any smartass comments, yes, I'm the one in the middle.

    I am a former Marine, 225 lbs. @ 7% BF, who works as a real network engineer (not a lame-dick MCSE) who runs Linux and FreeBSD at home.

    There are two points to this post.

    1) I am the meanest geek, ever.
    2) Just because you're smart, doesn't mean you have to play the role of the skinny, unathletic nerd.
    • Isn't that the governor of Texas, Jesse Ventura?

    • I worked for an ex-SEAL who'd give you a run for your money, but you've got me beat.
    • You're a little on the small side, but I guess in decent shape...
    • Do you ever beat yourself up for lunch money?
    • I got your body fat % beat. under 4%.
      Of course, I only way 125lbs.>:)
      I'm not scrawny thought, I've got the bruce lee ripped-all-over-from-doing-a-ton-of-aerobics physique. I'm also a hardcore Martial Artist and light gymnast.
      And one of my good friends who moved to calif is one of those guys that is just incredibly strong, he benches 315lbs 5 times as his workout. He's a truck.... Hehehe. Of course, this entire post is off topic and sill if I really think about it, but it's 2am and I really don't care. I have karma to burn.>:)

      More power to the fitness inclined Geeks of the world!!

      Kintanon
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @01:39AM (#3211691) Journal

    That we have a Slashdot reader here:

    Karma and NASA, my two cats...
  • by rufusdufus ( 450462 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @01:56AM (#3211732)
    This guys pays another guy to order him to run and hop about until he is exhausted. Apparently doesn't know there are S&M clubs that do this sort of thing for free.

    At the end he talks about his "shitty self image"..no wonder! Notice all his references to fictional movie characters--he's actually trying to meet up with an ideal made in Hollywood!

    Its sad. So sad. But whatever turns your crank I guess.
  • nerd? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wakkow ( 52585 )
    This is an interesting read... but c'mon, he's not a true nerd.. he's a PR guy..

    "I'm in Public Relations. My job is to get the media to cover stories that I think interesting."
  • In 1978, I had the *cough* *cough* pleasure of spending my mornings with Heinz Lenz [annapolismag.com]. Here was a guy in his early 50's, and the rumor was he swam a couple miles before he led our little workouts. He put most of us 18-year-olds to shame. I'll never forget: "Good morning trrroops! Side strrraddle hop, begin!"
  • I can't remember not working out. I think I've tried pretty much every type of regimen but really there isn't a better exercise than walking, especially if you're starting out of condition. For those of us who have always been in condition the question isn't how can anyone workout plus 90 minutes a day but rather how can anyone not workout 90 minutes plus a day. Bulking up and being buff at the top of your game is fun and really punches up self confidence but I'd rather go for streaching and breathing and staying as light as possible. I don't know what it's like to never have been in shape, especially when growing up, and then struggle to get in shape as a young adult, but I do know, like riding bikes and so much else, once you've been there it's just that much easier to find your back. Eat the Pain.
  • by AlaskanUnderachiever ( 561294 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:10AM (#3211786) Homepage
    It's called "living in rural Alaska" and for anyone that's bored of the SEAL training, they should try cross country running. . . on tundra. . .at -50 below. . . while being chased by bison. . . in a blizzard. .

    all to get the sunday paper. . .
  • This crazy mo-fo just enouraged my ass to go get my EFX on for today.

  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:14AM (#3211803) Homepage
    32 comments by the time I post this one...I'd be willing to bet 25 of them didn't read the article, as that was *damn* long, and very insightful.

    Some specifics would have been a little nice. I'm sure the vast majority of the Slashdot readerbase is sitting above the ideal weight zone, after all, and I'm kinda curious what Pete's before/after weights were.

    And now I know I've *gotta* get a SportBrain. :D
  • This article lacks several elements, to make it a good post:

    1) no images to mirror. KW feel left out.
    2) no cranky webserver. It has been an hour, and not sign of slashdotting.
    3) putting "navy seal" and "geek" is just cruel and merciles.
    4) "chase the rabbit". that sounds a lot like "punch the monkey".
    5) it is posted by michael. You really can't complain about michael. He is not taco or katz,
    and he is not a recurring item in the polls. Michael needs an scandal to make it in this business.
    For now he is way too clean cut, and perfect. I suggest he starts with a good handle.

    --
    • 4) "chase the rabbit". that sounds a lot like "punch the monkey".

      Not only that, but they are just as annoying. I tried a couple "chasing the rabbits" after my run this morning and from the soreness I'm feeling now I found a couple muscle groups I didn't know I had...

  • Sure, I'll sign up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Flounder ( 42112 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:20AM (#3211822)
    Read the article. Took a look at the website for the training. They have a class for people like me. I'd even sign up, but the classes are only in Houston and NYC.

    And, who are people like me? Remember, not all geeks are 90 lbs soaking wet. 6'2", 375lbs. Yes, you read that right. I sit in front of a computer all day drinking Mt Dew Code Red, my ass has no where to go but out.

    Buying a treadmill, building a switch to turn off the TV unless I'm on and walking. At a regular stride, I can walk all day (and have). If this don't at least get me down to the point where I can take a PT class like this one, I'll die fat.
    • by jso888 ( 114340 )
      Oh, c'mon. Having no equipment or not being in Houston / NYC is no excuse for not working out.

      I used to be in decent shape back in the day; I could run a four and a half minute mile. I had a 32 inch waist.

      Then I started a Web development company and ran it for five years [sympatico.ca]. A lot of time was spent sitting behind a computer, eating badly and drinking obscene amounts of Coca Cola, or in airports, eating crappy airport food. At the end of my five year run, most my muscle mass had turned to flab. I could barely run a mile in any amount of time, and had a 38" waist.

      I finally left the company last spring. I got off my ass, started doing 20 to 30 minutes of calisthetics every other day, ate healthier, and was back down to a 32" waist in about 6 months. The only thing left to do is work on my cardiovascular conditioning, which should take about an hour of jogging or swimming three days a week, and to quit smoking.

      If you can't find the motivation to do a sum total of five hours of exercise a week, you've got bigger problems. Like dying prematurely from heart disease.

      You don't need to be able to take that class, or build your treadmill torture machine. You already have all you need to get into reasonable shape.
  • from the article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld@gma ... m minus language> on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:22AM (#3211830) Homepage
    Interesting thing of note - Instructor Walston has done an Ironman Triathlon - Without the bike. He RAN 141 miles in one day. Can you imagine that?

    To be honest, no, I can't imagine that. It's highly improbable.

    The New York City marathon is 26 miles, and the winner usually does it in about 2 hours; and is completely wiped out. I believe it's quite impossible to run 141 miles in a single day, even for a world class runner.

    Coincidentally, the Marathon des Sables in Morocco is 141 miles as well, and that takes 7 days to run.
    • Re:from the article (Score:3, Informative)

      by Raindeer ( 104129 )
      he New York City marathon is 26 miles, and the winner usually does it in about 2 hours; and is completely wiped out. I believe it's quite impossible to run 141 miles in a single day, even for a world class runner.

      sorry, but you're wrong 141 miles equals 226,91694 kilometers. Below here I paste the overall best distance of The Netherlands' best Ultrarunners in the 24 hour category:

      01 Ron Teunisse 251.949 Apeldoorn-'90

      02 Wim Epskamp 249.694 Uden-'00

      03 Wim bart Knol 225.636 Apeldoorn-'95
      I found this at: http://www.ultraned.org/uitslagen/ranglijst.php?it em=8 [ultraned.org]

      I do however belief that this drill sergeant is probably bragging.

    • Actually, I believe it easily. I live in an apartment complex that frequently houses SEALs and Marines, and believe me, some of these guys are in inhuman shape. One of my former neighbors, a Marine hand-to-hand combat instructor at a nearby base, would go out and run 20+ miles on his own (outside of the USMC-mandated routines) on an extremely frequent basis. With 75+ lbs in his pack. Up and down the local mountains (acutally driving to said mountains would be beneath him, so he ran to them). This guy has a physique that would reduce a professional body-builder to tears.

      It brings to mind one of my own experiences, which involved an extremely ugly data recovery project (gee... the person in charge of backups never bothered to make sure that the tapes actually fucking worked). I was leading the team in charge of rebuilding (by hand) several corrupted databases full of transactions, and merging them back into the live data set. I literally worked slightly over 100 hours straight, slept 8 hours, and then worked 20 more before taking a week off. It's a funny thing - once you learn to ignore parts of your brain telling you that you can't possibly go on, it's really amazing what you can do. To this day I tell this story, and people are always saying "no fucking way; that's impossible!" It's hard to describe, but when you're doing something like that, you just ... do it. Ever since then I've really known that all of that crap they tell you about your limitations being in your head is entirely 100% true. Basically, you can force yourself to do pretty much anything, several orders of magnitude beyond what you believe your physical and / or mental limits are. Oh, and yes, I got an extremely fat bonus for that project.
      • I live in an apartment complex that frequently houses SEALs and Marines, and believe me, some of these guys are in inhuman shape.

        There's a different between being in great shape and being a world class runner. At that level you need more than just mental or physical toughness, you also need superb natural ability and years upon years of training.

        It doesn't matter how much willpower you have, or how physically tough you are; while marine instructors tend to be in superb shape, there's a big difference between that and a professional athlete. You're not going to outrun Haile Sebrassie on willpower alone, or lift more than Hossein Rezazadeh just because you push yourself.
        • Oh, I'm not saying they are necessarily world-class atheletes, just that I wouldn't put such feats past them; I would lend far more credence to any such claims (despite their occasional tendency towards, shall we say, hyperbole) than I would to those coming from other people. Any while willpower alone can only do so much for speed and strength, it can do exceptional things for endurance.
        • There's a different between being in great shape and being a world class runner.

          There's also a difference between running for sport and running because someone behind you is going to kill you.

    • Well, a guy I know (and trust, he wasn't joking) once told me about a friend of his. Former Marine. His girlfriend lived ~50 miles away, and on the weekends he'd run there in the morning and back at night. Or if he wanted to do some *training* he'd pick a direction and run until he got tired, then turn around and run back. I think that SEALs are more physically fit then Marines (at least in the water, don't know about land) so I think it *might* be possible, though I think he probably exxagerated his time.

      "Coincidentally, the Marathon des Sables in Morocco is 141 miles as well, and that takes 7 days to run."
      Ah, but that's only 20.2 miles a day. Easily doable if you pace yourself. I believe armies used to travel around that distance everyday (marching), so a competitor could probably do about 40 a day pushing it.
  • why don't you buy yourself one asskicking [rr.com]!?

    PAIN IS PLEASURE!
    gogogo!
  • Odd overtones (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lkaos ( 187507 )
    There are really two types of geeks:

    The first is the simpsons watching, game playing, cube farm dwelling geek who likes lots of remote controls and whose programming is limited to the stuff at work.

    The second type are the ones who do devote 110% of themselves to something they love.

    Four day straight coding binges, countless hours of research and self-education IMHO far exceed the effort put forth by soldiers for one simply reason. There is no instructor screaming at this person to force them to give so much.

    Don't get me wrong, I do have a great deal of respect for people who can go through this, but I am a little disturbed at the suggestion that this being a geek simply means that one gives "50%" of themselves and sits around playing with their cats all day.

    That instructor may seem like a tough guy, but in reality, how does his efforts make the world a better place? Sure, the military is important, but militaries are only relavant to the present. Colin Powell may be remember as a great leader, perhaps for a few decades, but I truely believe that Richard Stallman will have a place in history as a revolutionary (atleast, for a century or so).
    • Re:Odd overtones (Score:3, Insightful)

      by miracle69 ( 34841 )
      The second type are the ones who do devote 110% of themselves to something they love.

      It should be noted that to become a Navy Seal, or a member of any other branch of the U.S. Armed forces, one must volunteer .
    • That instructor may seem like a tough guy, but in reality, how does his efforts make the world a better place?

      I'd say even just the one two week course that may improve the fitness level (or even just attitude) of 20 or so people is more important than any LIMS I may code.

      What's the point of doing our "improve the standards of living" geeky shit if we are just watching the counry slip further and futher into the abyss of obesety that it surely is heading to?

      In any case, doing hard things that you like, is easy. It really is, precisely because you are so dedicated to it, is it possible to stay up for 3 days coding and not think of it as "hard." It's doing things that you don't like, and which are hard, that's difficult.

      • I'd say even just the one two week course that may improve the fitness level (or even just attitude) of 20 or so people is more important than any LIMS I may code.

        If the code you are referring to is a new version of Duke Nukem or some silly number game then I may agree. If the code you are referring to is software to help poor schools use the internet or to allow individuals to collabrate throughout the world to improve technology, then I have to disagree with you.

        This guy surely didn't sound obese to me when he started this thing. He was looking for vanity weight loss. Such weight loss is highly overrated by society today. Most people don't realize that a guy with 7% body fat is not neccessarily healther than a guy with 10% fat. In fact, body fat does provide a useful function and having such a low amount of it is taking a gamble with one's health.

        In any case, doing hard things that you like, is easy. It really is, precisely because you are so dedicated to it, is it possible to stay up for 3 days coding and not think of it as "hard." It's doing things that you don't like, and which are hard, that's difficult.

        The love that I'm referring to is the sharing of ideas. The 3 day coding binges are not anymore enjoyable than the pushups this guy was doing. Its typing, its monatous, but its neccessary.

        I think most people have trouble understanding what I say because while they have truely worked out there body at least once in their life, they have not truely worked out their mind. To me, that is much more depressing of the two. The human mind is the only thing that man was given over the animals. To neglect and abuse it perhaps the greatest sin man can commit.
        • If the code you are referring to is a new version of Duke Nukem or some silly number game then I may agree.

          That's why I specified a LIMS (or, a Laboratory Information Management System), mainly because it's kind of what I do, and also because I see it as something having use (the exact opposite of a Duke Nukem game) - it helps research, it helps find new cures for diseases, is eventually helps save lives (hypothetically).

          I wasn't actually just talking about weight loss (and if think if you read the thing you know that's not what it was about, either), whatever a person can lose in two weeks, they can gain back in two days. I was talking more about attitude, about realizing that staying in good shape (however subjective that may be, I am not talking 5% bodyfat here) is not only necessary but is also enjoyable. And it sounds to me, at least, that the two weeks that guy described, is just the kind of kick in the pants that would get a lot of people on their way.

          The coding binges must be a subjective thing - I, for one, enjoy them; I do what I like, and I see immediate results from doing it. Certainly it's mentaly and sometimes even physically tiring, but I have a definite goal in front of me, that I am good at accomplishing. If I didn't like it, I very much doubt I'd be doing it.

          To neglect and abuse it perhaps the greatest sin man can commit.

          Talk of "sin" and "given" and such nonsense aside - I would've agreed with you before, but recently I am finding more and more that neglecting and abusing your body is really not any less depressing of the two.

    • My longest rant ever...

      First off, you really shouldn't classify things into two categories. That makes you ignorant.

      The only reason it is now "cool" to be a geek is because the everyday person uses it, and you get paid well to be one. That doesn't mean that geeks should be put on a throne and admired. Your comments lead me to believe that you are some kind of self-worshipping, elitest A-hole. In reality, that is what a lot of tech people are, so you shouldn't feel special. Don't worry, there are a lot of other types of people who act the same way too.

      And stop with the 110% garbage. Cliche. If you are all geek, all the time, good for you. But don't expect people to automatically respect you for that. What dangers do you face in your life? What are YOU doing to make the world a better place? Do you think that in the end, technology is the answer? If you do, then you had better WAKE THE FUCK UP! You ask the question about the instructor "...how does his efforts make the world a better place?" That makes you seem uneducated and elitest. The fact that you may not remember those who gave their lives for YOUR FREEDOM doesn't mean that they aren't important. They are the unsung heros who lazy bastards like you take advantage of every day as you give your "110%" to a luxury like technology. Revolutionary! Bah. RMS may be a revolutionary, but you have to have something to revolt against, that that something was possible because of people in the military, government, artists, musicians, etc. You think technology built this country? It was the comman person, who busted their ass farming, working in factories, fixing your car, cooking your food, teaching you, RAISING YOUR ASS from a snotty nosed kid to a snotty nosed adult. Why don't you give credit where credit is due, instead of going through life with tunnel-vision?

      Damn. Maybe I am reading too much into your weak comments, but you touched on something. For the most part, most of the tech people I know are physically lazy. Sure, they can code for 6 hours straight, and they can focus all their attention on one problem, but they usually can only function around other people like them. Why be ignorant of everything else? I know that there are specialists in every field, and there are tech specialists too who are the best at what they do. But that isn't everyone. If you aren't one of these people (and chances are you aren't) then you should expand yourself. Learn about other things. Get off your ass and go to a museum (of real art, not anime!). Read a book that doesn't have to do with cryptography or a programming language. Go in the kitchen and cook, instead of dialing the phone or having your mommy cook something for you. DO SOMETHING ELSE!!! Why are you sitting in front of that PS2 or Xbox for 5 hours straight? Yeah, it's fun. Why do you do it every day? What, may I ask, is that going to do to make the world a better place?

      You may be asking yourself "who is this prick? He is probably a hypocrite." Some may think that. I certainly don't claim to be the most well-rounded person, but I realize that every day and try to fix it. I don't have delusions of grandeur, I don't try to be great. I try not to be an arrogant prick when I am right. I love to learn new things. I try to get stuck in one thing. It is boring!!!!! Don't be a boring person. Make this a better world by improving yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, philosophically, technologically.... The list goes on. If you can speak out of some kind of experience, then I may be more apt to listen to you, but don't try and put other people down without having some kind of knowledge of what you are talking about. It is OK to not say anything. Just shut up and listen, you may learn something.

      OK, I am getting tired of typing. If you ever met me, you would never guess that this rant is coming out of me, because I am the quiet guy. But by being quiet I listen and learn. Maybe I have just been trapped in SUVland suburbian hell for too long. Maybe I am just tired of all the cliches that I see cycling through this world. Maybe I am just sick and tired of ignorance.

      • First off, you really shouldn't classify things into two categories. That makes you ignorant.

        The classification was only to help better explain my point. I did not intend to define the geek world in three lines of text. It was not terribly relavent to my main idea so I did not spend much time on it. If we thoroughly explained every single aspect of what we were trying to convey, then communications would be all but impossible.

        The only reason it is now "cool" to be a geek is because the everyday person uses it, and you get paid well to be one. That doesn't mean that geeks should be put on a throne and admired.

        That was really the point I was trying to make. There are those that are geeks because it is the "cool" thing, and then those who have this unbelievable drive and devotion. I used Stallman as an example as he is the most obvious in this forum. If you take the time to really read what Stallman says, one cannot deny that he truely is devoted to his beliefs.

        Your comments lead me to believe that you are some kind of self-worshipping, elitest A-hole. In reality, that is what a lot of tech people are, so you shouldn't feel special. Don't worry, there are a lot of other types of people who act the same way too.

        Well, if you reexamine my post, I did not attack anyone on a personal level and went to great lengths to make sure I established that I respected the people in the story. Instead of just proclaiming that I'm 'self-worshipping' and an 'elitist', perhaps you should take the time to try and understand what I'm saying.

        And stop with the 110% garbage. Cliche. If you are all geek, all the time, good for you. But don't expect people to automatically respect you for that.

        Yes, 110% is cliche, but all cliche's are based on fact. Sometimes, the most efficent way to portray an idea to the masses is through cliche. I am not sure who, and I believe it was a chemist, but someone once said that, "The common man spends 90% of their time thinking about sex, great men spend 70%." I think it is undoubted that there are individuals who devote themselves more to what they believe in than others. I do believe that such devotion is something that deserves respect. That is why I said I respected the Navy Seal.

        What dangers do you face in your life? What are YOU doing to make the world a better place? Do you think that in the end, technology is the answer? If you do, then you had better WAKE THE FUCK UP! You ask the question about the instructor "...how does his efforts make the world a better place?" That makes you seem uneducated and elitest. The fact that you may not remember those who gave their lives for YOUR FREEDOM doesn't mean that they aren't important.

        I do believe that it is every man's duty to try and improve the world around him. In fact, I believe that that is the only important thing in life. Knowledge and understand are the only ways that humanity is every improved. War has existed since the dawn of time, and long periods of war never improve humanity. Humanity improves when intellectual revolutions occur. Things like the Italian Renessiance, the invention of the printing press, the Industrial Revolution, the growth of the internet, etc., are the things that have improved humanity.

        And I ask you, what does it mean to give one's life for freedom? I would say that it is more honorable to devote one's life to freedom. Surely, if former was the most honorable cause, then the solidiers who raped and devistated villages in Vietnam are more honorable than George Washington, since he died of natural causes and they may have died in battle? And of course, those who choose to fight in unjust wars (such as the Mexican-American war) are more honorable than those who refuse to support it (such as Henry David Thoreau)? Our society likes to idealize those who fight wars. Perhaps it is because people can related best to those individuals and feel that is the easiest way for them to obtain such status, but let me assure you, humanity has never once been improved by war (although one could argue that humanity is maintained by war).

        They are the unsung heros who lazy bastards like you take advantage of every day as you give your "110%" to a luxury like technology.

        Bit ironic to refute my argument with a cliche while also critizing my use of cliche ;-)

        Revolutionary! Bah. RMS may be a revolutionary, but you have to have something to revolt against, that that something was possible because of people in the military, government, artists, musicians, etc. You think technology built this country? It was the comman person, who busted their ass farming, working in factories, fixing your car, cooking your food, teaching you, RAISING YOUR ASS
        from a snotty nosed kid to a snotty nosed adult. Why don't you give credit where credit is due, instead of going through life with tunnel-vision?


        I choose RMS as an example because he is the most notoriable figure in such a forum. I do believe RMS respects someone who has devoted themselves entirely to a cause (and at great loss) that he believes in strongly. I agree with his views for the most part, but I disagree with some. Either way, it is undeniable that he will secure at least a similiar place in history as Henry Ford although I doubt he will achieve the same kind of pristage as say, Gutenberg.

        Damn. Maybe I am reading too much into your weak comments, but you touched on something. For the most part, most of the tech people I know are physically lazy. Sure, they can code for 6 hours straight, and they can focus all their attention on one problem, but they usually can only function around other people like them. Why be ignorant of everything else?

        I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume something I wrote sparked some deep emotions in you.

        I know that there are specialists in every field, and there are tech specialists too who are the best at what they do. But that isn't everyone. If you aren't one of these people (and chances are you aren't) then you should expand yourself. Learn about other things.

        My belief in life is pretty simple. I believe it is every man's duty to try and improve the world around him. I believe the advancement of knowledge is the only way to improve that world. To me, a man should spend a great portion of his time studying to learn what others have contributed, and also should try and share his views with the world. I post frequently to /. because I believe it is important to speak one's mind.

        Get off your ass and go to a museum (of real art, not anime!). Read a book that doesn't have to do with cryptography or a programming language. Go in the kitchen and cook, instead of dialing the phone or having your mommy cook something for you. DO SOMETHING ELSE!!! Why are you sitting in front of that PS2 or Xbox for 5 hours straight? Yeah, it's fun. Why do you do it every day? What, may I ask, is that going to do to make the world a better place?

        Well, again, I believe your post was seeded mostly with emotion, but I do agree with what you say here. I despise video games and do also believe it is important to have a varied education. Of course, I would not put much value in an art museum, but that is an entirely different discussion :)

        You may be asking yourself "who is this prick? He is probably a hypocrite." Some may think that. I certainly don't claim to be the most well-rounded person, but I realize that every day and try to fix it. I don't have delusions of grandeur, I don't try to be great.

        It saddens me that you would say such a thing. If you do not live your life trying to be the best you possible can be, then why live at all? Thoreau once said,

        When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left. But alert and healthy natures remember that the sun rose clear. It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in sliences passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields.


        I try not to be an arrogant prick when I am right. I love to learn new things. I try to get stuck in one thing. It is boring!!!!! Don't be a boring person. Make this a better world by improving yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, philosophically, technologically.... The list goes on. If you can speak out of some kind of experience, then I may be more apt to listen to you, but don't try and put other people down without having some kind of knowledge of what you are talking about. It is OK to not say anything. Just shut up and listen, you may learn something.

        Perhaps you should consider your own words. I wouldn't put too much value on experience though. I won't go into here, but you should read "The Transcendentalist," by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

        OK, I am getting tired of typing. If you ever met me, you would never guess that this rant is coming out of me, because I am the quiet guy. But by being quiet I listen and learn.

        The greatest sin a man can commit is to keep his ideas to himself. Sometimes my greatest sadness comes when considering how much greatest was lost in the world from those who simply hestitated to share their ideas. Actually, as much as I regret posting something that would cause you to react with such emotion, I do feel somewhat justified in knowing that it at least provoked you to enter into the discussion.

        Maybe I have just been trapped in SUVland suburbian hell for too long.

        If you feel like reading something good, I suggest picking up "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. If you have read it, reread it. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is an account of his time spent in solitude by Walden pond. It is one of the best pieces of literature I have yet read.
        • All I can say is .... Damn man, why didn't you say so in the first place? :-) Excellent response to my admittedly emotionally charged thought-flow. I know I wasn't all that concise, but it really was just what I was feeling at that time. If I read what you wrote in a different forum, I might not have gone off like I did. Being that it was posted to Slashdot, I read it on the surface, but in my own defense, the comments were pretty superficial. But you expanded on them well in your followup post. I agree with pretty much everything you said here. But to address a couple of things in particular....

          War has existed since the dawn of time, and long periods of war never improve humanity. Humanity improves when intellectual revolutions occur.

          I don't know about this - to say war has never improved humanity? That might be a stretch. Maybe war didn't improve it directly, but it certainly prompted rapid change. It is hard to imagine what the world would be like without the US Revolutionary War or the US Civil War. I am sure there are others that you can agree that had a great impact on the world. I think humanity can certainly improve as a result of war. Many technologies are produced for/by the military, so without wars, perhaps technology may not progress as rapidly. (but that begs the question, does technology improve humanity)

          I don't have delusions of grandeur, I don't try to be great. It saddens me that you would say such a thing. If you do not live your life trying to be the best you possible can be, then why live at all?

          That is different than what I meant by "great". I was referring to "great" in the common sense, as in the eyes of others. I don't try to be a great man. I just do what I do, to the best of my ability. I don't want to be rich and powerful. I just want to be happy. I could certainly be happy with money, but that is not my goal. I know people who are like that, they want to be great (in the selfish sense). It makes me sick. Some people thrive on the admiration of others and on having "power". Not me. It follows a more Zen philosophy, of just being. Just live in the moment, and appreciate everything you have. The desire to be great will cloud your judgement.

          OK, we had better end this right now, or we will get modded down for having a reasonable discussion. This isn't the place for that. :-)

          • but in my own defense, the comments were pretty superficial.

            I'll give you that I guess.

            It is hard to imagine what the world would be like without the US Revolutionary War or the US Civil War.

            It's hard to imagine what our life would have been like without these things, but after our society fails (and all societies due), both events will have little meaning. The Punic wars of Rome, or the Trojan war has very little meaning on our lives today. While they may shaped shaped history, they surely didn't improve mankind.

            I am not anti-war, it is necessary in some circumstances, but I do not respect it and do not believe it benefits society.

            Many technologies are produced for/by the military, so without wars, perhaps technology may not progress as rapidly. (but that begs the question, does technology improve humanity)

            While war improves technology, does it really improve science? War may create a faster computer, but the science of Einstein and Turing are what has improved humanity with the computer. I kind of see the military's work with technology as it's justification for the tremendous amount of money we spend on it. It's kind of the same way NASA justifies itself. Now, working in the military sector, I can definitely say that while an aweful lot is accomplished, even more is wasted.

            I recently visited the Princeton Plasma Physics lab and was told by one of the chief scientists there that there budget was only a few million dollars and if they were only guarenteed that some, they would be years ahead in their search for useful fusion energy. I recently worked on a project that had a budget of a few million dollars and IMVHO, had the money for that project been diverted to this lab, humanity would be much better off. Unfortunately, I don't make those decisions.

            It follows a more Zen philosophy, of just being.

            I had taken what you wrote as saying that you didn't try to be great, just good. To settle for just being good. To me, one can be great, or one can not be great. There is no middle ground.

            OK, we had better end this right now, or we will get modded down for having a reasonable discussion. This isn't the place for that. :-)

            What's the point of hitting the cap if you can't burn karma a bit every once in a while :) What I still can't figure out, is how I had 50 prior to the above post, and then it got mod'd Troll=2, Insightful=3, Interesting=1, Overrated=2, and all the sudden, I'm at 48. Last time I checked -2 + 3 + 1 - 2 == 0. Guess Taco does math as good as he spells :)
  • Very interesting read. What that guy did would waste me. Would waste most of us, I would guess.


    But I digress... back in ancient times when I was in high school and the USA was still sending folks to the moon, one of my track team buddies, a distance man, would train by literally chasing rabbits. Until they dropped. Dead. From heat exhaustion. He would simply go out to a back pasture in the farm, scare up a fluffy bunny, and chase him. He claimed it made training runs less boring. Turns out rabbits are quick but can't take long runs because they overheat. So anyway I took the headline a little too literally.


    Animal lovers will probably now start a flame war on this thread. But I'm just a reporter here. I don't endorse it. Gramps is going back to his rocking chair now.

    • Eyup. Humans are one of a very few creatures that are good at travelling very long distances. Lots of creatures can go faster than us over short distances, but very few can beat us in the long run. There were actually South American natives who'd hunt deer by walking after them. They'd find a trail and follow it. When they got close to the deer, it would run, and put some distance between itself and the hunters. They'd just keep following it, and it would have to run again. Eventually it would tire and be unable to run any more...and they'd be able to just walk right up to it.
  • by zapfie ( 560589 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:49AM (#3211888)
    This reminds me a lot of my time on our schools crew team.. We haven't gone through what this guy did, but we go through hell and go through it together. When I started, I joined because I wanted to get in shape. However, what I have gotten out of it is the ability and willingness to push myself to new levels, and the chance to be able to be part of a true team. Yes, it sucks, but it is extremely rewarding. To anyone out there who has never really done something like crew or PT training, I would highly recommend it. The first few weeks will be hell (so will the rest of it, but you'll be used to it by then), but it will end up being one of the most rewarding things you have ever done for yourself.
    • Reading this brought back memories... Peter Shankman is right that the most impressive thing about this sort of activity is learning that your real limits are FAR, FAR beyond where you think they are, even after you've passed the point of "can't go another step..." That's an important lesson, and one that sadly, most people never learn.

      In my case, it wasn't SEAL training, but rather PT in the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets, where "crap-outs" were a regular part of one's existence, especially in the freshman "fish" year. I didn't start out as a terribly motivated student, and I can honestly say that it was the Corps that kept me in college - I was already capable of making a pretty decent living in computers or experimental stress analysis before I got there, so the money/success angle of college wasn't really a motivator for me, but the comaraderie was.

      This sort of PT is **invaluable**, but is all too often categorized as "hazing" in today's ridiculously whiny PC culture. (I somehow doubt that today's cadets have to snake-crawl through pig crap, but they should. It builds character - and I'm completely serious.) There really is quite a lot to the old-fashioned military training idea of tearing down the old man in order to build up the new - the experience is invaluable. Despite what the whiners say about never letting someone "abuse" them like that, it is paradoxically exactly that sort of humility and dedication to teamwork with one's classmates that builds the character required to truly act as an individual.

      Interestingly, it's quite possible that the sort of "crap-out for hire" service described by Shankman may be the only thing short of real BUD/S training that will push you that far anymore. (I'm *sure* there are bulletproof waivers required in which participants give up rights to legal action for any and all abuse, physical or mental.)

      Anywhow, if anyone is looking for a good, well-rounded educational experience, I highly recommend Texas A&M (damn good engineering/technical school anyway) and membership in the Corps of Cadets. The great General George S. Patton may have said it best: "Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies, and I'll win a war!"
  • no way (Score:3, Funny)

    by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @04:05AM (#3211995) Homepage
    I wouldn't do this. it might get me in better shape, but all that's good for is getting you laid - if you have the personality to back up the looks.

    I have a horrible personality to most women. So being in shape won't give me any advantage in life that isn't immediately nullified by my basic nature.

    Hence, exercising is useless to me.

    At least I quit smoking, but only because I hated the smell and it made my eyes burn.
    • I think you'll find that excercising is a feedback loop toward your personality. Once you get to a point where you see improvement, there is a greater motivation to do more excerise and that drive reflects upon the rest of your life. Moral of the story: Get yourself a buddy and give it a shot. There are only positive effects (unless you cheat and use 'roids)
  • In case you want to get in shape (and/or prepare for BUD/S or Ranger School).

    Google Cache: www.sealchallenge.navy.mil/workout.htm [google.com]
    Google Cache: www-benning.army.mil/rtb/ranger/physicaltraining.h tm [google.com]

    w00t!
  • So what happened to this guy? Did 9-11 take him out, or something before that? His web page hasn't been updated since late 2000. First he's talking about taking the course a third time in October and then nothing for almost a year and a half. Kinda spooky.
  • by neonstz ( 79215 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @07:43AM (#3212287) Homepage

    Got up at 1130 Saturday morning, checked my email and Slashdot. Reading this story (yes, the entire story) about a guy working out didn't actually make me feel good about myself. :)

  • Ok, the following bit is the funniest thing I have seen in quite a while.

    He was describing how he was so tired he couldn't even lift his arm to put deoderant on, and wrote, "I couldn't believe it, until I realized that I didn't believe the guy who said that after his first day, he had to wash his hair by spraying the Shampoo on the wall and rubbing his hair against the wall, into the shampoo. I believe him now."

    That is one hilarious visual.
  • Um, thanks! :-) (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekfactory ( 568474 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @12:51PM (#3213019)
    So I'm sitting in a hotel in South Beach, down here for a client at the Winter Music Festival, and I log on to my email through the hotel's (UGH) Dial-up connection.

    Over 200 emails. "Damn," I thought - "The WWWAC list, or the other listservs I'm on must have been damn busy last night."

    First one: a compliment on my Navy Seal training. Second one: same thing. Third one: same thing.

    "WTF," I think - Then finally, I figure it out - I've been Slashdotted! Holy Crap!!

    First of all, to Michael, thank you for the honor! It's the first time in my online history that spans around 16 years or so that I've ever been Slashdotted. I'm beyond honored.

    Now then - to answer the most pressing (and repeated questions...)

    Yes, I've continued taking the class. I've taken four classes so far, three full, plus the one that I destroyed my back in, missing 2 days.

    Yes, I'm still alive, and shankman.com is badly in need of an update. No question - The main page has been updated relatively recently, although most of those updates have just been new photos, etc... The makeover is coming, as soon as I get a moment...

    Now, to the most pressing question - I am in fact, a Geek, however, I'd NEVER put myself in the same category as many of you - I'm not that good. I've been working on computers since the age of the TRaSh-80, and have fond memories of teaching my teacher how to use the VIC-20... However, I deviated a bit from the true Geek lifestyle, finding out that my biggest talent lie in the ability to talk, the ability to bullshit, and the ability to make people believe what I wanted them to. After a brief stint at AOL as an editor, I turned to the dark side, to the world of Marketing and PR. So while I consider myself a Geek in the classic sense, I'd never have the balls to call myself a true Geek in the capacity of some of you. I bow to your level of true computer Geekness.

    I started a PR Agency, named, most appropriately, "The Geek Factory." I built it up to around 15 people, and sold it this past June. We represented all sorts of clients, from Juno to Napster...

    Since I sold it, I've been consulting for various companies around the Globe, and travel quite a bit on business... I'm always online, carry enough gadgets to land a 747 Heavy on 5th Avenue, and in general, try to have fun. (And for the user who asked if I got wiped out on 9/11, I can respond with "close...." I was on a United flight to the West on 9/11, 3rd for takeoff when the first plane hit. I found out what was going on through my wireless palm and Motorola 2-way.

    I did the Navy SEAL thing to kickstart my ass into shape, which has somewhat worked - I've ran four marathons since the first class, around a year ago, with my best time coming this past November in Philly, at 4:13:02. Not bad for a kid who used to smoke 2 packs a day and use the term "run" only in conjunction with "to the store for cigarettes."

    Someone asked for before and after pictures... Here you go:

    Before [shankman.com]

    After [shankman.com]

    So that's my story. Thanks again for Slashdotting me! I'm glad most of you enjoyed my tales of hell... The next clas in NYC is April 29-May 15... I'll be there. Killing myself. Again. :-)

    Cheers, all...

    Peter Shankman
    http://ww.shankman.com

  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Saturday March 23, 2002 @02:07PM (#3213287)
    On a related note, there's some damn interesting and important information that your gym teacher never told you.

    For instance, let's say you're tall (6' or more) and have put on a few pounds after working endless hours and eating junk food during the bubble. You're up to 225# (which several of my friends would kill to get back down to). Yet you can't even do a single pushup. Are you a pathetic loser (like your gym teacher said), or what?

    What if you were ridiculed for being unable to bench press 150#. (According to a recent Men's Fitness(?) article, the average adult male can only bench press 140#.) It's the same thing - a pushup in good form is equivalent to bench pressing 2/3 of your weight. (It's not 50% since your mass isn't distributed evenly.) A pushup pivoting on your knees, not your toes, is equivalent to bench pressing 1/2 of your weight.

    Now try comparing that to the strength you must use in the course of a day. No wonder we get out of shape unless we explicitly exercise to maintain it! Someone who works in an office will rarely need to use the strength required for a single pushup, much less 50 in 2 minutes.

    There's a similiar issue with running. Like many people, I can easily resume running if I'm intelligent about it. But I can't sustain it - the extra weight means that there's too much damage to joints etc. So even though I would prefer to be running, I have to stick with other exercises because otherwise I'm quickly injured.
  • What a read! It's rare I find something online that makes me sit for two hours to read it all the way through, but this was one (another was the BikeBrats [bikebrats.com] site a few years ago or WalkingTom [walkingtom.com]).

    This guy is certainly an inspiration. I've been quite depressed for the past few years, and I've realised the only time I was charged and excited was when I was running every morning in the mid 90s. It's time to get in shape again. Unfortunately there's no SEAL training or even running clubs around here.. just 50 miles of flat nothingness, still, I guess you can run on that, and who needs teammates when you have the voices inside your head? Ah well, I guess it's worth a try.

    It's worth checking out his 'Personal' page too, his stunt with the foam board might be a good idea in today's corporate climate ;-)

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