Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clip: Through the Eyes of a skateboarding Rabbi.29.10.2013

Dovid Tsap, "The Skateboarding Rabbi" weaves together footage of his experiences at skateparks as part of his spiritual journey of self-discovery and transformation through skateboarding. Many more episodes are available. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Face to Face' skateboarding II

  ...In essence, to come 'face to face' with a skatepark - or anything/anyone for that matter - is to identify the 'truth' of the thing and to adapt to it. Otherwise one may end up 'back to back': injured, unable to land tricks, or failing to optimise skatepark obstacles. But what is 'truth'? Or, at any rate, how is it usually defined?
One definition of 'truth' is articulated by Correspondence Theory where a  statement is deemed true when it matches reality: I.e. If one points to a green patch of grass and says ‘the grass is green’ the statement is considered true; but if one says ‘the grass is blue’ or ‘the wheat is green’, it is false.[1]

Coherence Theory considers a statement true when it gels with the network of current knowledge about existence.[2] Thus, the statement 'Alexander the Great existed' is deemed true not because he actually existed – as in correspondence theory – but because it coheres with the claims of the vast majority of historians. 

Pragmatic Theory deems something true if it's of benefit to do so. A clock (or the belief that clocks exist) is true because it helps people catch trains on time. Truth is created when value is demonstrated.[4] 
              A tweaked pragmatic theory, Instrumentalism, sees 'a truth' as anything that helps one deal with an ever-changing world. A new condition such as puberty, adolescence,  job, marriage, children, relocation, illness, death, etc - bring challenges. Through effort and the required skills and resources, however, one commonly finds ways to manage - or even thrive - in the new condition. This is the instrumentalist's 'truth'. Truth isn't a static thing hiding in the cosmos until found, like a fact before it's proven; it's dynamic; a private or public dance with the vicissitudes of life.

Of course, an instrumentalist may use other definitions of truth as instruments to deal with life. One might make a statement (I.e. a hypothesis) about a park or one of its obstacles and then validate or falsify the statement through experimentation. Alternatively/additionally, one may research up to date books or watch trick tips to find an approach which is supported by current knowledge or widespread belief among the skateboarding community or other relevant pools of knowledge. Either strategy - and better both in conjunction - can help one find the 'instrument'  -  the truth - that allows one to skate 'face to face'...       

[1] Richards, T.J., The Language of Reason, Pergamon Press, 1978, pp.142-143; see also Nyberg, David, The Varnished Truth, University of Chicagi Press, USA, 1992, pp.35- 37
[2] Ibid pp.139-142; The Varnished Truth, 33-35
[4] Stumf, Samuel Enoch, Socrates to Sartre, McGraw-Hill, 1999, pp.360 - 362
[5] Ibid. pp.366-368