I was bored, so I took an online
IQ test that I stumbled on. I enjoy the sorts of puzzles that are
often on IQ tests, but this test had some of the sort I hate, like
2. Which one of these five is least like the other four?
Well, a mule is the one that can't reproduce and whose parents are
not mules; a kangaroo is the one that doesn't walk on all fours,
a deer is the one that has not been domesticated somewhere
in the world, and the cow is the most different looking of all of
them. I guess the true genius can connect with the test
author and nail these sorts of questions. (Actually, in psychology
there is something called the "basic level" in object classification,
and the kangaroo's difference is at the basic level, so I guess
that's what they were driving at, but who knows, as the cow's distinctive
look is also at the basic level (tho I'm visualizing the sort of big
black and white cow, not a smaller brown heifer). I also think my
experience around kangaroos has biased my mind over what the test
author had pre-supposed was a common preception of kangaroos with
American test subjects).
I don't think I boomed any of the questions -- I thought they were
rather easy outside of this sort of thing -- but it makes me wonder
how fair and culturally biased these sorts of tests are. It was
still fun, tho they want you to pay $15 for the answers, so I'll never
know which one they think is the most different.
Visualization is the technique of imagining yourself excelling at
sports, and having this imagination translate into success on
the field. I learned about visualization when I was scuba diving,
and I was taught that many great athletes practice this technique,
such as visualizing themselves hitting home runs or winning
medals, and that it works for them.
I do this with O all the time. I visualize myself spiking controls
and running really fast thru the woods. I visualize terrain. I
visualize past races where I've done well. When I trail run, I
visualize how the features I see would be mapped. I have no idea
if this has help me as an orienteer, but its interesting.
Its interesting because I was doing my cross-country training
run the other day, a run I've been doing for about 3 years, so
I know it cold, and I lost contact with the terrain. What
happened was I was visualizing my run at the relay champs, at
a point in the training run where I have to take a ride thru some
thicket, and I had no idea where I was. I couldn't find the
ride -- I had no idea if I passed it or not. It was only for a
second or two, a classic case of space out, but the interesting
thing is how strong my visualization of the relay champs was at
the time. It completely took over my visual cortex to the point
my mind didn't have vision of the actual terrain I was running in.
I'm hoping this sort of thing can explain why I sometimes space
out in terrain in a race, and if I can do something about it.
I see myself as a reactive orienteer. I see terrain during a race
and look for it on the map. I wonder if most people are like this,
or are they proactive -- looking for terrain that they see on the
map. I wonder if its better to be proactive. My sense is that
it is, because as I've gotten better, I've gotten more proactive.
But my technique is a mix, and probably a mix is the right answer,
but I'd still say my mix is primarily reactive.