Climbing gyms (and everything else) have just reopened (for the vaccinated) in Sydney, following a ~3.5 month lockdown. Now that climbing is frequent and regular again, I've been reconsidering climbing goals.
Before lockdown, my goal was to send every new grade 31 (out of 6) problem, every week, for 6 weeks (I'd done 5 weeks when lockdown started). 6 weeks is a full rotation, so achieving this means that I would have consistently been able to project any purple in 2-3 sessions. The purpose of this goal was to emphasise consistency over results (better to do be capable of any grade 3 problem than some grade 3 and some grade 4).
The current goal I've settled on is to send every grade 3 climb (in the gym) in a week -- there's about 24 or so (give or take depending on what gets set). I sent 10 this morning (over about 2hrs). I don't think I'd have been able to do that if I hadn't done some outdoor climbing during lockdown, tho. So far, so good. I have been going through them methodically, with a few exceptions (picking ones I thought I could do towards the end of the session, for example). So far no grade 3 has been particularly challenging, though crowd-beta has helped a bit. Major bottleneck atm (session-to-session) is probably endurance -- going to monitor that and take corrective action if it doesn't improve this week.
the problems are color-graded, so grade 3 of 6 is purple, and 4 of 6 is black. there's no precise conversion to V-grades, but I guess purple is V2-5 and black is V4-? (6 or 7, maybe). ↩
I sent just 1 of the remaining 3 purples on Friday.
WRT this goal, I could go again this weekend, but I think it'd be better to rest. That means I'll fail the goal. What happens wrt the goal then?
The purpose of the goal was to build consistency and mastery of a particular grade. Or maybe, that's what the goal aligned with -- it wasn't, in and of itself, to master the grade. Rather, it was a breakpoint that I chose which aligned with master. If I didn't meet it, then it's a criticism of the idea that I've mastered that grade. Mastering a grade isn't a quality I'd lose unless I stopped climbing, though (or had some injury or something). So what does failing this goal really mean?
Well, I'm not yet inconsistent when it comes to purples (since I had been sending them all prior to lockdown) -- so more time's needed to determine that. It is a criticism of mastery though; it means there are still bottlenecks at this grade.
The reason I chose the original parameters that I did -- 1 week to send every new purple for a full cycle -- was that 1 week allowed for reasonable buffer, and a full cycle meant ~25 new climbs. New routes are set Tuesday-Thursday, so 4 days of the week were the period of stability before the next wave. Once those new climbs were set, a failure to send one that was taken down is a decisive criticism of both consistency and mastery. Also, sending all the new routes (before the next wave was set) meant that I'd have excess capacity to try new climbs, or work on bottlenecks.
Even without sending every purple, I still have excess capacity -- different climbs use different resources. And since I shouldn't lose the ability to send-every-purple if I keep improving, why would I ever stop?
I think mb goals like this are sometimes motivating (they have been to me) but there's a problem if you get invested in them. That's because failing a goal is, like, something to take personally. But that isn't what these sort of goals are really about. A goal like this is a regular opportunity to take a benchmark -- and mb find a weakness in your abilities that you didn't know was there. Knowing about that is a good thing! If you don't know it's there (or if you know and ignore it) then it becomes a thing you can't rely on. That's a problem if it ever needs to be foundational to other, more advanced knowledge. (Like, it's a dependency.)
This is consistent (and I think related) with a different idea: achievement of goals is pointless if you're not challenged. There's no point in me setting a goal if I know it's already too easy. The achievement is hollow.
Moreover, if there are always meaningful goals to choose -- meaningful problems to solve -- then choosing goals that are foregone conclusions must be meaningless. My guess is that -- for some projects -- it is moral to choose meaningful goals, and immoral to deliberately choose meaningless goals when meaningful ones could be chosen instead. (Sometimes those projects/decisions only impact a single person, in which case they're probably amoral -- that's okay. Morality is about interpersonal harm, and people are free to live their own lives (wrt themselves) how they wish. People are also under no obligation to maximize morality -- just to not act immorally -- so provided there's no malice, most goals are okay.)
Getting back to purples: I think new climbs is an important breakpoint, so I'm going to monitor that going forward. I'm also thinking I'll adopt the send-every-purple-every-week goal again, indefinitely -- it's a useful warning sign of bottlenecks, and means there's some variance in my excess capacity (which I can use to my advantage). Maybe a good breakpoint to re-evaluate at is some level of consistency with blacks, like sending >50% each week. That seems reasonable atm.
There is a discussion about the morality stuff at the end of this post on the CF forum: https://discuss.criticalfallibilism.com/t/whether-morality-is-primarily-about-social-interpersonal-stuff-or-about-dealing-with-reality-effectively/372
I've read Galt's speech.
In n/10017 (the parent of this post) I said:
I was so very wrong about this. Morality does concern one's actions, since some actions are right and some are wrong. But morality is not about harm (interpersonal or otherwise), at least, no more so than it is about rocks.
I am starting to understand.
I'm not sure enough, yet, to say what morality is about -- I could try, but I don't want to rush it. I want know it before I claim to know it. Soon, I will be sure enough.
I'm grateful that JustinCEO (on the CF forum) noticed this part of n/10017 and challenged me on it, and I'm grateful that he and ingracke found it worth their time to discuss it with me.
I am grateful for Ayn Rand -- her life, her works, and most of all: her mind. Right now, I'm grateful particularly for Atlas Shrugged.
I have a special gratitude for Elliot, not only for his participation in the above-linked thread (among many other things, too many to list here), but also -- and, right now, primarily -- for his labor, dedication and ideas that safeguard the closest thing I've ever known to a sanctuary.
Why do I express my gratitude? I admire their virtues. Why am I grateful? Their virtues have allowed me to profit, and I will continue to. And I know that they have and will, too.