Sunday, March 2, 2014


When confronted with a viewpoint that clashes with our own perception of reality, we feel compelled to “correct” said viewpoint.  This can come from debate, idea exchanges, argument, screaming matches, internet flamewars, dueling pistols at dawn, professional wrestling grudge matches, etc, the possibilities are truly limitless.

Feb 17, 1786: It was officially determined that peanut butter goes on top, jelly on bottom

The goal however remains the same: we have to prove that we are right and the other person is wrong.

There is no benefit to this at all.  It is purely for the preservation of ego that we even engage, and a sign of insecurity of our own methods that we feel threatened at the presence of a dissenting view.  This is lifting, and results are obvious.  If you feel the need to defend your viewpoint, it may be time to reflect internally, because it is evidence that what you are doing clearly is not working.

Do people like Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, Louie Simmons, Matt Kroczaleski, Dan Green, Branon Lilly, and Mariusz Pudzianowski have to defend their methods?  Does anyone feel they have the authority to question these individuals, or do they instead ask questions TO these individuals?  Note the subtle difference, wherein in the case of the former one is unconvinced of the validity of the knowledge, whereas in the latter the validity is assumed and it is now the fault of the learner for not understanding, not the fault of the teacher for having incorrect information.

There are better ways to prove your sumo knowledge, but this is more fun

Those that are successful have defended their beliefs and principles through their success.  Those who are unsuccessful have to cling to science, anecdote, myths and in some cases plain old lies in order to defend themselves.  The guy walking around at 220lbs and 8% bodyfat clearly knows what works, the guy who is 145lbs and benches 135 can quote the greats all they want, they still don’t know anything.

Which of course leads me to my next point, in that the unsuccessful cling to the logical fallacy of appeal to authority constantly to validate their adopted and in many cases plagiarized beliefs.  They will spout something off among the more experienced, be called out on it and retort “Tell that to Ronnie Coleman/Paul Anderson/Brian Shaw/youtubestar flavor of the month”.  How about THEY tell those people, because usually, when these great lifters talk, they are the first to say “this works for ME, your mileage may vary”.

We fear being wrong so much that we refuse to have an original thought.  It is much safer to cling to the words and works of those much greater than us with the security blanket of knowing that they were successful and our time will come soon enough rather than to venture out into the darkness, make mistakes, and grow from them.  However, the truth is that, without failure, we cannot hope to find success.  No truly great person managed to achieve what they did without making mistakes, and many deviated from the established “way” in order to find what worked for them.  These same people let their results speak for them, and in doing so silenced the doubters without any need for debate.

The only negative part about being the telephone inventor was Bell's inability to call up all the people who said he couldn't do it and mock them

The reality is, you will never convince anyone to believe what you believe through word alone.  Not in an interpersonal discussion.  I realize how callous and cynical this may make me sound in regards to my view on humanity, but it’s my view.  People do not engage in an argument with the hopes of having THEIR perspective changed, but instead purely for the sake of defending their beliefs and changing those of the OTHER person.  This is why we even use terminology like “defend your view”, indicating that this is some sort of war and that you are being attacked, rather than approach the topic in an intellectual pursuit, with the goal of learning and growing being achieved.  As such, understand that attempting to defend your view is simply time wasted, as you will be unable to persuade the other side due to their unrelenting nature, and additionally your own perspective will most likely not be altered.  The entire exercise is of no benefit to anyone, and if you find yourself in a position where you need to defend your view, maybe your view is wrong.  If people are questioning what you know rather than wanting to know what you know, maybe your method isn’t working.

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