Reflexes

31 10 2011

I was at the gym earlier today. When I got out of the shower and was opening my locker, a book (“Crack Climbing”) fell out. I marveled over the sequence of my reaction. Earth’s gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces, but it still makes stuff fall impressively fast.

I didn’t move my foot when the book fell, and after I had picked it up I thought about what must have happened in the < 1 second that it took for the book to fall:

  1. Hey! Something’s falling.
  2. It might hit me.
  3. Identification of falling object: It’s a book.
  4. Is it going to hit me? Maybe.
  5. Okay, it’s not too hefty.
  6. What have my past experiences been with things like this? Not too bad.
  7. Conclusion: No need to quickly move my foot out of the way.
Go brain! And if you’re looking for a good book on crack climbing technique, the Falcon Guide by Gnade and Petro is the place to look. And if it falls out of your gym locker, no need to move out of the way.
posted by yair
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