Replying to Ryan – Lose-Lose

Monday, December 7, 2009


Another reply to Ryan Holiday that I kind of like -

it's very easy to lump yourself into the intellectual elite, or the moral elite. Or any other kind of elite really.

Finding flaws in the way that others behave is at it's core - a really easy thing to do. Declaring your way of doing things 'better' is equally easy.

What you're viewing as an oblivious asshole acting without thought to annoy you needlessly is in all probability a guy who can't afford another speeding fine or he'll lose his licence and his job. What you see as geezers stopping whippersnappers from speeding because they're old and shit, they see as stopping another moron from killing themselves or innocents - a part of their civic duty with an infinite reward of good karma.

I think it's probably solid advice to look around you when either you, or other people are upset - and figure out if you're the source of the problem and then figure out if what you're doing is worth the goddamn problem.

I've recently said some things in a public venue that have made life difficult, awkward and uncomfortable for a number of people. Several people who I would have described as friends prior to the incident would now probably spit on me for calling attention to their flaws and raising issues that they didn't want discussed.

I could have much more easily shut up and stood out of the way. I could have looked at the conflict and stopped being it's source - but I felt (and still feel) that they were doing something dangerous and fundamentally wrong - so I took the action available to me to reduce some of that harm.

I also routinely drive at the speed limit even though people are honking and trying to go past me. Even when there's no lane available for them to go around. Fuck them. I'm one ticket away from a suspended licence that will cost me a hefty chunk of income. I don't care how unlikely it is that I'll get caught. Them getting home 6 minutes faster isn't worth the risk.