For argument’s sake…

I don’t know about you but I must have heard it before. Like a thousand times or more! And the moment it comes up these days, my mind just goes berserk! Here’s why:

  1. Most arguments are essentially strong opinions, weakly held. There’s not much evidence to back anything up, just experience and anecdotal evidence, which don’t hold up well in any argument. Showing off your knowledge doesn’t achieve much except that you’ve googled this topic before and have spent a whole 90 seconds on Wikipedia!
  2. You’re wasting a whole lot of time with someone you don’t even know! It all starts with them saying, “I disagree.” The funny thing is that this conversation stop when they decide it’s time to go! Precisely why I believe it’s a waste of time, the argument stands incomplete. And nobody in their right minds would have one with someone who knows better than them? (In other words, have gone beyond Google and Wikipedia pages.)
  3. Based on people’s activity levels, I classify them in five broad categories: athletic, amateurs, enthusiasts, passive, and indifferent. Of course, I’m not just talking about sports or physical activity here but human nature 101. There’s a lot common in the mindset. For example: a track and field athlete vs someone who’s a top performer at the workplace operate from the same mindset. Same can be said about the passive gym member and the passive employee sitting next to you! The most dangerous among the five categories are the enthusiasts and passive. They think they know it all but don’t and won’t ever admit it. No matter what you tell them (not a joke but a solid advice based on facts and data), they’re convinced that you’re an asshole and they know better.
  4. Some people love to have an argument simply because they believe it’s intellectually stimulating. I have no freaking clue where did they get this idea but am convinced that whoever told them didn’t have anything better to do. That said, I’ve also realised that these people love to speak for the sole pleasure of listening to themselves so that they show off their supposed intellectual and linguistic capacities. (By the way, that’s the definition of intellectual masturbation. I literally copied and pasted it here.) If you know this kind, don’t walk away from them. Run. For your life! They’re a massive time suck and you will regret it.

Our time is way too precious for us to waste on arguments. If you’re an “athlete” or an “amateur,” an important question to ask is who can benefit from the knowledge and experience you have. That’s the target audience that deserves your attention. You will be rightly served if you focus there.

For the others, I know you’re wondering what you gained from reading this and/or are tempted to give me a piece of your mind because you think differently, you should read this again. And then ask yourself, if you’re an athlete, amateur, enthusiast, passive, or indifferent. Regardless of your response, note that there’s a reason why I’ve turned off comments for my posts — our time is limited and I don’t want to waste it stimulating someone else’s intellect.

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