Advice For Survival In A World That Tends to Only Perceive Intellectualism
I had one friend tell me once that I might be the most misunderstood person that he knows. This individual has been around me for a decade or so and through some personal advice I think he might be the only one that got the gist of what I am trying to say most of the time that I seem to argue.
Topics for discussion come and go. Most people can't help it but perceive the subject discussed as a source of intellectual knowledge instead of perceiving a situation in means to develop a strategy. For example, I might appear to scorn social sciences (and particularly psychology) but I am not concerned about the intellectual merit of my position. Psychology after all is a tool that might help people. Same applies to homeopathy or any other elusive medium that appears useful but on the long run is just a waste of time. The key word here is "time". The most valuable asset that we have is time and my analysis only aims to maximize people's time.
Let's assume for the sake of the argument that an individual is going through some hard time in their lives. They choose to see a psychotherapist that puts them in a regimen of visitations and medication. Since Psychology is not exactly par with scientific rigor of repetition and replicability, the whole thing might take from a month to a decade. This abstract window of success works much the same as the childish "As long as you believe in it, you will make it". Sure, you will eventually make it (and change your mind along the way) but since time is limited, you might have sacrificed a whole lot in the process. The Iliad might have taught us that it is all about the journey rather than the destination but ask anyone and they would instead have saved the time and get on with it. This is after all why the book became famous. It appeals to the romantic side of human nature in regards to how we lock our selves into a path of existence without being able to escape from it.
If we want to understand the idea of how much precious time is and how pointless things like psychotherapy steal it from us, consider how getting a dog or simply being open to friends work. Heck, there is no statistical significance that therapy is any better. Now think about all the money you could have save, the extra hours at work, the side hustle to pay for medication, the extra health problems you might have created and all the time lost in between the process. Consider as well how the entirety of the market, from technology to health is striving to extent life and make it easier in order to have more time. We have come to believe that our careers are our passion and nothing else really matters other than the exploration but this is a lie. It is a comfortable lie that we all agreed to believe into because it is very hard for an individual in our days to have multiple interests and at the same time be successful. We are defined by what we studied in college and most people hold on that bag until they die (even if its unprofitable and costs them time).
If social sciences are not sciences then you are wasting time. I couldn't care less about the social, economic or scientific implications. What matters is that you can test this theory by applying a strategy for your own life. If it works then that's a piece of truth that will apply in your case. And this is the key point here. Advice for survival works for the individual, not the masses. If you have understood basic economic principles you ought to be contrarian if you are to survive. The Swedish have a saying for this "Only the dead fish follow the stream". If in 100 years the scientific consensus laughs at our current findings you won't be here to feel the judgment. And ironically, if we were to live another 100 years it wouldn't matter since we all find the same excuse as Nazis did "We didn't know any better, we were following orders". So, If I judge a situation like social sciences or politics I am not appealing to the intellectual part but rather the survivor part.
Perceiving the world through a survivor's lens reveals much greater truths than any journal ever did. Because remember. All that research is catered for specific time, specific space and specific metrics. It reveals truths that hold as much as your last fart. Systematic truths and laws of nature are very hard to come by (but they do). When it comes to humans and our behavior there are no absolute truths. There are multiple ways to pull a snake from its hole and they are all true. This is were survival beats intellectualism. An intellectual will likely theorize one way for the snake that should exit the hole and then preach it in a closed environment as the only way. Although his way might be true, the snake will learn the trick and bite the next ones attempting the deed.
And many have been bitten. And they will still defend that the academic/intellectual way for getting the snake out is the only sound one with evidence because this is the only way they know. It is scary to assume the alternatives. It is terrifying to think outside of the consensus. Remember, nature produces genetic variation for the sake of the survival of the species. It doesn't care what the majority or what the minority does. It doesn't care whether something is fair or not. And humans often get fooled because of that. We try to cater nature based on our own recipes even if we are proven wrong time after time.
The next time you see someone argue about a topic try to understand that not everybody sees a subject from your own lens. Maybe they are not trying to attack you or your field. Maybe they are just trying to compose a strategy that implicates the field you are supporting. And that my friends opens an entire new can of worms.