Dear Josh Glancy

Dear Josh Glancy,

We have to take issue with you over something you wrote in your article for the Sunday Times Magazine of June 11th. In the article you wrote that “… technology makes physical strength ever more obsolete…” and we have to say that we find that a very dangerous statement.


Of course, most people, including you within the context of this article, only ever mean “excess strength” when they talk about strength - the jocks, the body builders etc. But the truth is that a functional level of physical strength is an absolute necessity for human beings, who are after all living organisms who need to function in the real (analogue) world.


Physical strength is based on muscle mass and muscle mass is an essential component of good health in so many ways. Muscle is the body’s reservoir of Glycogen, the body’s energy source; of proteins and amino acids, which are necessary for the functioning of all one’s internal organs and essential tissue etc etc. You can read about that here or here.


Not only all that, but the activities that one has to partake in in order to keep muscle mass also lead to higher bone density, so less fractures, and strength training has been shown to lead to fewer injuries. And as for your statement that the “only muscle worth training is the one in our skull”, guess what? Strenuous exercise is shown over and over to be good for the brain, and you can read more about that here.


Any one who has been to before will know that we are continually emphasising the importance of maintaining physical strength in order to maintain a quality of life into as late an age as possible. One of the most damaging symptoms of age is physical frailty, and maintaining muscle mass is the best way of avoiding it and having it also allows one to continue with independent living. And all the benefits of maintaining strength mentioned above all apply in spades when it comes to living longer and longer lives, as people are now doing.  


More and more the world is being swept up into the digital domain(, and one could make endless arguments about who benefits). But the important point is that digital exists within the analogue realm, could not even exist without analogue and is entirely powered by electricity, the most analogue of powers.


Human beings are analogue creatures and we dismiss the needs of the analogue aspect of our existence at our peril.