Right, Wrong, or Left?

How much of what we “know” about the capacity to develop skills is based on years of tribal knowledge that is, in fact, groundless?  Is there some point as which perception/tradition becomes reality?  This story was in the sports section, but I thought it was deliciously interesting from at least one other perspective.

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  • 6 Thoughts on “Right, Wrong, or Left?

    1. You are so right? What perspective are you thinking of?

    2. Turff on June 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm said:

      My interest lies in at least 2 areas:

      1. What if “handedness” is really a sociological myth? Can we really perform meaningful tests to evaluate this theory, once kids have watched parents operate in a “hand concious” manner? Are left handed kids really seeking to differentiate themselves?

      2. I’ve always been fascinated by the notion (near and dear to the hearts of science fiction fans everywhere) that the mind (and body too, for that manner) are falsely limited in much the same ways as the fleas in the flea circus. What if we really could bend spoons with our brains? 🙂

    3. jeff on June 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm said:

      I can bend spoons with my left hand. Does that count?


    4. marc on June 24, 2008 at 8:18 am said:

      It was interesting to me that the pitcher’s father seemed to have conducted his own little experiment with his child. Made me think of the woman who decided not to teach her child multiplication tables. I’m intrigued by stories of parents taking up little research projects with their youngsters. Ethically out of bounds for institutional science, but the parents can get away with it (if it leads to promising results). And is the action of the parents a way of overcoming our “falsely limited” condition?

      The image of the pitcher and batter continually switching hands was comedy at its best.

    5. marc on June 24, 2008 at 8:33 am said:

      Reckless claim: All activities that require some expression of “handedness” are products of relatively “high” culture, involving cultural artifacts and processes, like sports, music, writing, etc. There’s no such thing as a left-handed shovel or a left-handed weapon (“sports bows” are an exception that still fits in my reckless claim).

    6. Turff on June 25, 2008 at 11:49 am said:

      Yeah, launching off into what constitutes “innappropriate parenting” versus creative parenting would make for a lovely little rant thread. I’d say if he beat or browbeat his kid to insure ambidexterity, that would definately cross a moral/ethical line. On the other hand, if the basic approach was to simply never let his kid in on the little fact of handedness, or show him it was a neat trick to ignore it, I’d be pressed to find an error in that.

      On a personal front, I hate it when people make presumptive claims about vegetables and skill sets around my kids. “Oh, here let me get you some french fries, because I know you don’t want those mushrooms.”

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