Lazy thinking, lazy definitions and just plain laziness

I wonder if there’s any philosophy I have more contempt for than lazy relativism.

“Sure, some governments commit genocide, erode democracy and launch attacks against civilians with no provocation… but Western Democracies aren’t perfect either, you know!”

Ah yes, silly me with my black and white thinking. That’s far too simplistic a worldview, so let’s replace it with a model that’s even simpler. Everyone is equally good and bad! Everything is the same shade of grey!

It’s the sign of an idiot to paint one side as Good and the other as Evil. This is yet another example where the wisdom of the tai chi symbol (the yin and yang circle) shines through. Even the best Good as some Evil in it. Even the worst Evil houses some good.

Writing off someone as pure and irredeemably evil, stupid or weak is lazy thinking.

Writing off every side because no side is perfect is even lazier. It at least requires some effort to defend your Truth and critique their Lies.

This is at least three-quarters of the culture wars, right here. It’s mostly folks arguing as if they were arguing with Satan, with some fence-sitters rubbing their hands and muttering, “who can say what’s right?”

You can, that’s who – so long as you use a better metric than the-Other-sucks.

For a long time, I’ve been obsessed with wisdom, intuition and that ineffable intelligence – the part of you that uses rationality and calculation, while at the same time transcending it.

When talking about it, lots of people gave me lazy definitions.

“Following your gut” is nothing more than shifting the buck. Okay, so then how does your gut answer these questions?

“It’s guidance from the universe.” Again, buck passing. Also, it doesn’t explain how some folks tune into that better or how you can too.

“It’s about saying vague stuff that sounds mystical.” That’s fake wisdom and there’s plenty of that. But, no. Come on – you’ve seen this in action. The masters of their fields demonstrate instinct as a matter of routine. You’ve had moments where your instincts pulled the right answer out of nowhere. That’s what I’m talking about, not fortune cookies.

“It’s impossible to define because it’s too subjective/divine/whatever.” Wrong. You know it when you see it, so how do you know to recognise it?

Wisdom isn’t subjective. Someone how considers all perspectives without embracing them is wiser than someone who clings to their narrow view. A practising Stoic is wiser than a whinging perma-victim.

This stuff is real.

It’s tangible.

More than that, you can learn it.

I’m not claiming to be some guru on the top of a mountain here. There’s still a lot I don’t know.

Even so, I know a lot about the inner workings of the human mind.

I know about high performance states, flow, intuition and your unconscious.

I know how to teach you to use them better.


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