As much as I find the physiology and the psychology of peak performance fascinating, the physiological and psychological symmetry that we find across all aspects of life – symmetry which we cause/create absolutely unconsciously – is of equal interest to me.
Let me use this weeks discovery of the “Worst Flaw” in Intel history as an example…
This week, a post-doctoral fellow at Austria’s Graz Technical Univeristy, who is also an information security researcher and a part-time hacker discovered two architectural flaws in all – as in every single chip – produced by Intel since 1995. These flaws have been named Meltdown and Spectre. Work has already begun on ‘patches’ for these flaws, but the reality is that the vulnerability will not be eradicated until all – again, ALL – devices with these flawed chips are replaced… something that will take well over a decade (between the development of a new line of chips, and a complete turnover of hardware by all – again, ALL – corporations globally).
The flaw is found not only on chips made by Intel, but also by Advanced Micro Devices and ARM Holdings, making all Apple devices just as flawed as devices running Microsoft OS.
Think about that for a second… the building block of personal computers, of corporate networks, of the entire internet is flawed, and it took over a decade to identify it?
So why did Intel, AMD and ARM develop chips with such flaws? Because “for the past decade, processors were designed to gain every performance advantage and in the process, chipmakers failed to ask the basic question whether their design was secure.” (Zerohedge, Tyler Durden Jan04, 2018 – link here).
Now, here’s the part that I find fascinating: the symmetry between the computer industry’s willingness to compromise on security in blind pursuit of performance and… the general willingness of society to compromise in blind ambition of their own performance. For example:
- the financial industry willingness to provide NINJA loans in blind pursuit of corporate profits,
- teachers willing to “adjust” student grades in blind pursuit of career advancement,
- students willingness to demand teachers to “adjust” grades in blind pursuit of entry to higher education programs (for which they are clearly unprepared to pursue),
- students piling on debt in blind pursuit of university degrees for which there is no demand,
- new grads expecting consistent and consecutive promotions taking them swiftly to Director and C-level positions,
- consumer piling on credit lines, credit card, and mortgage debt in pursuit of a cosmetically superior lifestyle,
- corporations cutting ever conceivable corner in blind pursuit of corporate profits,
and in sport…
- endless doping in sport in blind pursuit of the podium and the appearance of peak performance,
- new levels of doping (i.e. mechanical) in sport in even blinder pursuit of the podium,
- doping by age group/masters athletes in blind pursuit of appearing as peak performers,
- athletes resorting to hi intensity interval training (HiiT) while seeking shorter and shorter short cuts all in the name of performance,
- coaches wilingness to drive athletes to the point of doping, cheating, even suicide in blind pursuit of performance and the podium by promoting HiiT and all its derivatives as the go-to in training.
Think about it…
“To gain every performance advantage”… chipmakers turned a blind eye to side effects, to unintended consequences, to architectural flaws in the foundation of all computing devices.
That sounds like life today. Everyone willing to turn a blind eye to the side effects, to the unintended consequences, to the long term undesirable byproducts, to the flaws in pursuing more, more, more, MOAR!!!
More… house, more… car, more… devices, more and more… consumerism to the point that we have saturated ourselves in debt, chained ourselves to careers that we stick with while they suck every bit of life out of us just to have more money to have even more more… a fully renovated, upgraded house, the newest car on the lot, closets full of the designer brands, the most recently released smartphone… more, more, more. We have so much that we rent storage space in order to store our more. We will work a job to pay rent for inanimate objects, for stuff we don’t use, don’t want, but because we want more… we refuse to part with it, so we rent it an apartment and pay its rent. We are sugar daddies and sugar mommies to stuff! Yet we will complain that we have no money, no time for ourselves, our kids.
No different then Intel, AMD or ARM… no different across society… no one has asked, no one is asking… all of this at what cost, with what being compromised? Our health? The physical health of our children? The mental and emotional health of our children?
In the coming years, I believe we will look back upon our pursuit of MOAR and realize the fatal flaws that we overlooked and that we now have to deal with… namely, the fatal flaw that we paid for the pursuit of MOAR with our health, and with the health of our children.
But unlike the chip industry there will be no short term ‘patch’ to solve our health issues. It will be a very unpleasant time for many… because it will be realized that the illnesses, the syndromes, the preventable obesity and lifestyle diseases were all self inflicted, and that there is no pill, no magic instant microwave cure available making it all go away.
We lived “no pain, no gain” at the gym… and we lived it everywhere else in life: at work, at home, and then we tried to explain and teach our kids that they too must suffer, bear down against the pain and develop tolerance. The hi-speed lifestyles fueled by processed factory foods, by meals that were predominantly eaten outside of the home, by larger and larger volumes of beverages… coffee, tea, water, sports drinks and flavoured waters, by workout routines of greater and greater and even greater intensity will be uncovered as a fatal flaw: a fatal flaw no different than the architectural fatal flaw in the microprocessors of all computers in existence today.
When you realize your state of well-being and health, and that of your children is the unintended consequence of blind pursuit of performance… then what?
Don’t wait. Stop the mindless blind pursuit of MOAR today, and start on the road to regaining your health, your life, which in the end will permit you to pursue your true purpose, your true reason for being put on this planet.