After some delay, my book on human evolution and the hand is in production at MIT, title Prehension: A Philosophical Anthropology. I expect it to be published in fall 2015. As it happens, the left hand has been on my mind a lot recently, mainly for musical reasons. For both guitar and drums you need a good left hand: you have to cultivate dexterity in the non-dominant hand, which takes time and effort. What this does is enhance bilateral symmetry, so that you are not so manually lopsided. This changes proprioception, among other things–you feel your left hand more, becoming more aware of it. Since I play a lot of racquet games, and so have a very developed right hand and arm, the change in my left hand restores a sense of balance. Recently I was watching Buddy Rich playing drum solos and was very struck by his left hand technique, which seems physically impossible (but there are techniques to develop it)–just amazingly fast, controlled, and musical. Then there are guitar shredders whose left hand achieves remarkable feats–like the guy who can play 27 notes in one second. I’d like to know how many drum rebounds per second Buddy got with his left hand–including bounces it could be as much as a hundred. I’m designating October Left Hand Month (or Right Hand Month if you are left handed). Let’s celebrate our non-dominant side, with all its locked-up potential. (This is part of the Cult.)
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