Issue № 43

Physical literacy

I’ve been creating and capturing conversations for the Movers Mindset podcast for over 5 years. In the beginning the people and the content were directly related to Parkour. But it soon became apparent that there was something more. (Actually, it became apparently that there are two somethings. My general love for the art of conversation is one something. But here, I’m just talking about the other something.) Over the years, the podcast name and descriptions shifted to center on the word “movement” as I tried to point at the something more that I couldn’t identify.

Physical literacy is often described as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding that provides human beings with the movement foundation for lifelong participation in physical activity. Importantly, it incorporates elements that are beyond mere physical development, such as motivation and confidence to move, and ranks them just as highly as attributes like strength and speed. Anyone who trains in parkour for even a single session soon understands just how fundamental these non-physical elements are to our natural movement capabilities, and our potential.

~ Dan Edwardes from,

I’ve been saying for years that in the Movers Mindset podcast, “I talk with movement enthusiasts to learn who they are, what they do, and why they do it.” People often ask me, “what’s the podcast about?” and I’ve always felt that my description doesn’t quite explain it.

But now I know what it’s about.

This article has given me a new phrase: Physical literacy. Thanks, Dan. This isn’t the first thing you’ve given me. (Dan joined me on the podcast back in 2019 for a wonderful in-person conversation titled, Dan Edwardes: Motivation, efficacy, and storytelling.)


The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

~ Alvin Toffler


I don’t collect many souvenirs. Sometimes I buy postcards when I visit places… and then I tape those into my journals. But in a very real sense a lot of what I write in my journals is meant to be a souvenir. Either way, the physical or the notational souvenir, is meant to trigger some memory.

Even institutions built for the express purpose of information preservation have succumbed to the ravages of time, natural disaster or human conquest. The famous library of Alexandria, one of the most important repositories of knowledge in the ancient world, eventually faded into obscurity. Built in the fourth century B.C., the library flourished for some six centuries, an unparalleled center of intellectual pursuit. Alexandria’s archive was said to contain half a million papyrus scrolls — the largest collection of manuscripts in the ancient world — including works by Plato, Aristotle, Homer and Herodotus. By the fifth century A.D., however, the majority of its collections had been stolen or destroyed, and the library fell into disrepair.

~ Adrienne Bernhard from,

Always I’m thinking: Do I really want to add this thing to my pile? There’s a timeframe of only a few decades where any thing, or notation, has the chance to jog my memory. Sometimes I think of taking a photo… and then I think, why? Why this image right here? Maybe it would be better (I continue thinking) to just relax and enjoy the moment. Even the Library at Alexandria’s enormous collection was surely only a minuscule fraction of what humanity had created to that point. Why take a photo? Why make a notation? Why build a web site? 🙂

The eternal war

There is the eternal war between those who are in the world for what they can get out of it and those who are in the world to make it a better place for everybody to live in.

~ George Bernard Shaw


What if I don’t know how to take something apart? One option is to apply excessive force and break the thing open. That works, but obviously sacrifices the thing; this is particularly useless if I wanted to take something apart because I need to fix it, or understand it. Generally, the smash method always works, but is almost never useful.

Yet thought also goes wrong somehow, and produces destruction. This arises from a certain way of thinking, i.e., fragmentation. This is to break things up into bits, as if they were independent. It’s not merely making divisions, but it is breaking things up which are not really spearate. It’s like taking a watch and smashing it into fragments, rather than taking it apart and finding its parts. The parts are parts of a whole, but the fragments are just arbitrarily broken off from each other. Things which really fit, and belong together, are treated as if they do not. That’s one of the features of thought that’s going wrong.

~ David Bohm from, On Dialogue p56

I’m perpetually on a journey of self-awareness. I’m quite often applying my mind to understand things. This idea from Bohm about fragmentation, and in particular fragmentation being bad because it misses out on the relationships and inherent properties of the natural parts (in the sense of disassembled-watch parts versus smashed-watch bits). This idea of fragmentation is a warning against my running with the first way I manage to understand something; just because I’ve found one way to understand (smash) something into understandable pieces, doesn’t mean that’s the best way.

Powerful questions

[P]owerful questions are the ones that cause you to become an actor as soon as you answer them or even reflect on them. You no longer have the luxury of being a spectator of whatever it is you are concerned about. Regardless of how you answer these questions, you are guilty Guilty of being an actor and participant in this world. Not a pleasant thought, but the moment we accept the idea that we have created the world, we have the power to change it.

~ Peter Block

Can I flip this?

I expend a lot of time and energy thinking about technology. I’m often trying to share some idea with others, or trying to make a change in the world. But year by year I’m shifting to spending more of that time and energy simply deciding what technology I want to adopt. Mastodon and the corresponding ActivityPub technology which creates the Fediverse is a great example. Should I join in on that new technology and create a presence there?

Grasping the value of new technology requires imagination. But unless you have skin in the game that doesn’t seem worth the effort because technology is supposed to make things easier and simpler, not wrack your brain.

~ Morgan Housel from,

Housel’s covers that, and three other intriguing points about why new technology is a hard sell. I’m left wondering could I use the points raised in the article to help me make decisions about technology? If I flip the article’s thinking over (from an others-directed “why doesn’t technology get adopted” direction to a self-directed “why I might not adopt technology” direction) then I can ask myself corresponding questions. For example, for the quoted point above, I can ask: Am I engaging my imagination at all when considering some piece of technology? (Aside: I decided, yes, and you can search for wherever you are in the Fediverse.)

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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