Sunday, May 7, 2017

Schoolhouse: Lesson One

Common sense...isn't.

And here's proof, in living color:

"I’m throwing the BULLSHIT flag on you Aesop. No one has to train initially in “ideal conditions”… that just isn’t so nor does it produce a better warrior or whatever you are training for. You train initially and advanced in whatever conditions are present and in fact, in advanced training you intentionally make it increasingly more difficult.
For all this initial training under ideal conditions pablum… you get the participation trophy for last place.
There is always a good reason to train in difficult conditions even initial training, because when presented with the real situation you’ll fall back on your level of training and ultimately that was [the] point.
[Sumdood] is exactly right… and I’ll add “your not doing it right” if you aren’t cold, tired, wet, hungry and under pressure. And the “under pressure” is the most important part."
Well played.
I recant.
No one should ever initially learn how to do something under ideal conditions.
Everything should initially and always be done in the rain, at night, during winter, while cold, wet, hungry, tired, and in mud.

This is why all those artillery simulators are used to teach kids the alphabet. It's hard to sing your ABCs with the constant explosions, but the stress, plus having 5-year olds pissing themselves is how you gotta train them if they're ever going to write paragraphs. Nothing less works.
It's why they only teach driving in traffic circles in Tijuana, during cartel gunfights.
And why medical students learn anatomy during live IED explosions.
And why basic recruits are taught primary weapons disassembly on their faces in the mud, at night, with live machinegun tracers snapping over their heads. After undergoing BUDS Hell Week, to weed out the pussies.
And why EOD techs train on live, ticking bombs on Day One. In shopping malls, at Christmas.
And why fighter pilots are initially trained in current-generation front-line combat aircraft with instructors shooting live bullets at them during high-speed 1 vs. Multiple-enemy high-G engagements, just like always.
Only total candy-ass losers do it differently.
It must be true, I read it on the Internet.

Oh, wait,...none of that happens.

In fact, exactly as I stated not once, but twice, on the offending thread, you, me, and everyone you've ever known, read about, or heard of, was trained under the most ideal conditions initially, while well-rested, fed, and in bright, well-lit classrooms and lecture halls, SO THEY'LL HAVE SOME IDEA WTF THEY'RE DOING LATER when they increase stress and realism, let alone under actual real-world conditions.

Like has been done for thousands of years of recorded history, for everything from learning your letters to defusing bombs to flying jets.

Anyone who carps about that being soft is a functional moron when it comes to instruction, and a Wannabee Hardass with an insecurity complex about their own bona fides, whether in teaching, training, or anything involving the more martial arts.

Observe a brief lesson:

So, class, did a modicum of stress make the pupil above perform better, or worse?

No screaming eagle shit, Cochise. It made him far worse, in fact, barely functional at all.
And why?
Because he wasn't trained properly in the first place, under no-stress conditions.

Hence the admonition in the film "Train them properly, Major."

And the hoary but balls-on-accurate mantra: "Crawl, Walk, Run."
Long before you ever run under really shitty conditions with simulated (let alone life-and-death real) stress levels introduced.

Anyone who can't grasp this without a map and being led by the nose is too stupid to be teaching anyone anything (and probably not bright enough to learn the initial lesson themselves). It doubtless goes without saying that the number of people they've actually taught to do anything is probably a whole number less than 1, including themselves. If somehow anyone near them learned anything more complicated than shoe-tying, it will invariably be due to the innate intelligence of people to overcome the failings of their instructors, in much the same way that some public school graduates in this country can nonetheless read, write, and do sums. That's not a model to emulate.

So let's try that opening salvo again, this time with the brightness knob turned up to an IQ of 100, which is textbook average, instead of a Neanderthal level of 60:

"Well said, Aesop. Everyone has to train initially in “ideal conditions”, so you can produce a better warrior or whatever you are training for. You train initially slowly, simply, and with minimal interference, then in advanced training you intentionally make it increasingly more difficult by steady progression.For all this initial training under ideal conditions is what produces the repetition, muscle memory, and what have you so that when shit gets real, you don't get the participation trophy for last place.
There is no good reason to train in difficult conditions in initial training, because when presented with the real situation you’ll have been taught under increasingly realistic conditions such that falling back on your level of training means you'll still succeed, and ultimately the point is to be able to do it in real-world worst conditions.
You're exactly right… and I’ll add “you're not doing it right” if you're trying to do it from the get-go while cold, tired, wet, hungry and under pressure. That's max stupid. And the “under pressure” training is the last part you add, and only when you can do things right every way short of that. The way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice. No one plays Mozart and Beethoven until looooong after they mastered Chopsticks."

Class dismissed.

(And you, Stinky: pick up your bullshit flag, and use it to cork your piehole until you can flag down a clue. Real life grades much harder than I do. Just saying.) 


LSWCHP said...

I used to run a rifle platoon back in the day. The first..I dunno...20 or so platoon attacks I put in were done at walking speed over clear ground with a known enemy in a known location.

Gradually things got more difficult until eventually we could deploy on contact in thick jungle, locate the enemy, establish fire dominance and manoeuvre to a flank for the assault on autopilot.

But first we crawled, under ideal conditions, then we walked, then we ran.

Doing it any other way is dumb.

Aesop said...

Yeah, well. Some people are smarter than all of human history.
Dunning-Kruger for the win.

lineman said...

Sad isn't it that we as a group are still bickering over shit that should be common sense...

Anonymous said...

No no he's right Aesop. Every recruit fresh off the bus at Parris Island is immediately marched to the Crucible after not eating for 48 hours beforehand, and not only that, through the entire ordeal the entire history of the Corps is shouted at the recruits though loudspeakers. Along with the way there are stations where, on their feet, the recruits must pick up a fully loaded rifle and disassemble and clean it, in the rain, while having people periodically spray them with tear gas to blind and choke them, this being the recruit's first experience with weapons. The loudspeakers will also shout tactics at them every few minutes as well, at decibel levels to rival that of a Galaxy taking off 5 feet above them. I thought everyone knew that. Duh.

SaulsAR15 said...


Aesop, you are a magnificent bastard.

Paul Campbell said...

Good stuff - I'm still laughing about the "Butthurt"!

Jim Scrummy said...

Classic! Everything you learn from the moment you leave your mama's womb is in the CRAWL, WALK, RUN SOP. Some may do it faster and smarter, initially, but you always follow that SOP. Always.

I still can't fix stupid, and I will not waste my precious time and oxygen to try and fix stupid.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, as usual. Should we EVENTUALLY amp things up? Yeah. AFTER the fundamentals are well absorbed. Amp them up as much as can be absorbed. Making things suck is easy and nothing will ever suck as much as the real thing.
Good use of the "Glory" clip (which in itself is a great illustration of the "Soft Bigotry")
Boat Guy

Mike_C said...

>why medical students learn anatomy during live IED explosions
You (as a clinician) would not be surprised to hear this, but that's a real attitude amongst some medical types. Back during medical residency I used to place elective internal jugular central venous catheters under ultrasound guidance (this was when woolly mammoths ruled the Earth, and ultrasound guidance was considered exotic), and taught my students to do the same. There were actually little f*cks (MDs) who took me to task for this: "That makes you weak. You have to go by anatomic landmarks* only. Always. You'll never learn to do IJs if you use ultrasound."

And 4 times out of 5 it wasn't even for the ostensible reason the little f*ck claimed. It was just an ego thing to say he (and it was always a "he" and usually a short he at that, hence little f*ck) did it that way. Good to know that your doctor is doing something in a less-safe-than-necessary way for laziness (can't be arsed to go fetch the ultrasound machine) and ego purposes, eh?

*anatomic landmark: fancy way of saying what you can identify with Mark I eyeball of surface features that indicate what lies beneath. Never mind potential aberrant anatomy unique to that particular patient, not to mention the much more prevalent problem of "fat dude with 19-inch neck" where you have no landmarks, just bulgy fat.

Aesop said...

plus ca change Mike...

It's also tough to find anatomical landmarks after they've been relocated via IED/GSW/MVC &c.

"Momma always said stupid is as stupid does."

OT, I presume you'll be in attendance on June 11th...?

Anonymous said...

I have determined that I don't ever want Mike's MD teachers. Ever. Please. Hopefully they're all retired now. Then again I still meet enough of the bastards with severe complexes that I've just about decided I'm gonna die happily on my patio with a whiskey in hand (I don't drink usually, so that will be a good send-off, I think), because screw 'em. 47 years of dealing with various "God Complex" physicians will shove that attitude into a brain indeed. In fact a lot of them make me pray for a nice aneurysm in my sleep.

Mike_C said...

@Anon 11:34. I can see where you're coming from given all my bitching, but actually most of my MD teachers were good to great. The "ultrasound makes you weak" crew were mostly co-trainees (as in had the MD degree so a "real doctor", but still a resident or fellow) who had ego/insecurity issues, IMNSHO. As to actual-by-God medical school faculty, lots of them were good or better clinicians who loved to teach, so they were awesome (I just don't complain about them!) A minority were miserable, crabby bastards personally, but so good at their jobs (and often wonderful with patients while shit to the nurses, techs, and students) that it was a privilege (albeit a sometimes painful one) to observe and learn. The truly shitty, ego-driven yet not enough clinical smarts (or academic research ability) to justify their existence types tended to get driven out of Major Midwestern Medical Center where I did med school and residency. That said, I gotta agree that a nice aneurysm while asleep is probably not a bad way to go.

>It's also tough to find anatomical landmarks after they've been relocated via IED/GSW/MVC &c.
Yeah, Awesome real world point. Even in the "civilian" world Emergency folks see all kinds of stuff that a) I (and most medical types) never see, b) would have me standing there internally babbling "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, whadda I do now?" while trying to look like I knew what I was about.

Yes, I'll be there June 11th. You?

Aesop said...

Pretty sure I'll be able to pull it off.
Left-handedly looking forward to it - just wish it wasn't for another twenty years.

Anonymous said...

Anon - There's a difference between the purpose of the environment you describe at Parris Island and the training scenarios being discussed. I bet marine recruits are not handed live grenades and loaded M4s as they get off the bus in SC.

Anonymous said...

Anon @4:29 am

Sarcasm. I went with the hilarity flowing through my head as I considered what was written:

"You train initially and advanced in whatever conditions are present..."

The scenario I laid out would be advanced indeed. So advanced, in fact, that nobody would ever become a Marine. And THAT was the point of my sarcasm. If they train stating with the basics on Parris Island and lead UP to The Crucible, and they keep producing Marines, they MIGHT have researched training methods properly so maybe Aesop was... ta-da.. CORRECT!

The internet needs a sarcasm font... and I need coffee.

LSWCHP said...

Gentlemen...I won't be there in person on June 11th, so I'd appreciate it if you'd raise a glass or three for me.

I'll be going to the range on the day to fire off a hundred rounds thru my Czech CZ-452, then heading home to crack a bottle of 20 year old malt and read some WeaponsMan.

I'd like Kevin's family to know that he will be remembered and honoured around the world that day...

Aesop said...

Absolutely, Geoff. Consider it done.

Nodaker said...

Bravo Aesop. Bravo. I always enjoy a right proper dressing down.

LSWCHP said...

Thank you, Sir. I appreciate it.

And I have to say, it's nice to visit here and see posts from Mike_C, Matt Bracken and other familiar names. I feel like I'm still among friends and like minded souls.

Aesop said...

I have my days...