22 votes

What common wisdom/advice do you disagree with?

The advice can be something idiomatic ("there are more fish in the sea!"), commonplace ("be yourself"), or just a sort of widely held cultural norm ("respect your elders").

Explain what the advice is, why you disagree with it, and how you would edit/tweak the advice to improve it from your perspective.

64 comments

  1. [13]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    “Just be yourself” is not only commonplace, it is just plain wrong and will hurt you if you follow it. You shouldn’t simply be “yourself”, but rather the version of yourself that is most suitable...

    “Just be yourself” is not only commonplace, it is just plain wrong and will hurt you if you follow it.

    You shouldn’t simply be “yourself”, but rather the version of yourself that is most suitable for your goals and for the situation. You must do so while remaining ethical and without contradicting your core values. But, in social interactions, we must constantly negotiate between the demands of others and our own.

    edit: as an alternative, “be your best self” seems harmless enough.

    31 votes
    1. [6]
      post_below
      Link Parent
      So true. And, I think, a big part of a reason for the original cliche. I take all of the cliche versions of "be yourself" to mean something closer to "value your authentic self over your (likely...
      • Exemplary

      in social interactions, we must constantly negotiate between the demands of others and our own.

      So true. And, I think, a big part of a reason for the original cliche.

      I take all of the cliche versions of "be yourself" to mean something closer to "value your authentic self over your (likely flawed) perception of what other people want you to be".

      From which follows a host of ideas and concepts that most of us are familair with.

      But no matter how you put it, it's too nuanced a sentiment for a pithy quote. As with all persistent cliches, it's based on a valuable truth but the words fail to convey the underlying wisdom.

      Starting out (as a teenager let's say) I was annoyed by a lot of cliches. Most cliches. Over time as I've arrived at different thresholds of real life experience, more and more of them have annoyingly turned out to be profoundly true.

      Turns out most of them are distilled wisdom that have had their relevance and impact stolen by careless repetition.

      26 votes
      1. [4]
        MonkeyPants
        Link Parent
        There is a subtle difference between wisdom and knowledge. You can know that fire will burn, but you need to be burned before you become wiser about fire safety. Aphorisms don't teach wisdom, they...

        Turns out most of them are distilled wisdom that have had their relevance and impact stolen by careless repetition.

        There is a subtle difference between wisdom and knowledge.

        You can know that fire will burn, but you need to be burned before you become wiser about fire safety.

        Aphorisms don't teach wisdom, they simply let you learn faster.

        It's the difference between being burned once and thinking "oh, that is what my parents were telling me" versus getting burned multiple times and figuring it out on your own.

        Aphorisms work best when they are kept incredibly simple and constantly repeated.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          PahoojyMan
          Link Parent
          Not necessarily, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

          You can know that fire will burn, but you need to be burned before you become wiser about fire safety.

          Not necessarily, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Eylrid
            Link Parent
            A saying I heard once that I like: "Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself."

            A saying I heard once that I like: "Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself."

            7 votes
            1. PahoojyMan
              Link Parent
              Similarly, there are some mistakes you simply can't learn from - because you'll be too dead.

              Similarly, there are some mistakes you simply can't learn from - because you'll be too dead.

              3 votes
      2. skanderbeg
        Link Parent
        Cool I think this zettel is going right into my kasten.

        Cool

        Turns out most of them are distilled wisdom that have had their relevance and impact stolen by careless repetition.

        I think this zettel is going right into my kasten.

        5 votes
    2. [6]
      vord
      Link Parent
      I dunno, I've been much happier since dropping all the facades except for 'tow the line at work'. My social circle is smaller, but the mental load is lower.

      the version of yourself that is most suitable for your goals and for the situation.

      I dunno, I've been much happier since dropping all the facades except for 'tow the line at work'. My social circle is smaller, but the mental load is lower.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It is possible that your personality is naturally acceptable in many situations. That is not the case for everyone, maybe not even the majority. A lot of us will be seriously hurt if we follow the...

        It is possible that your personality is naturally acceptable in many situations. That is not the case for everyone, maybe not even the majority. A lot of us will be seriously hurt if we follow the “just be yourself” motto.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          vord
          Link Parent
          Oh trust me, that's not the case for me at all. But it means the interactions I have with people who do find me agreeable feel more genuine. If it's because of external bigotry...that's a huge...

          Oh trust me, that's not the case for me at all. But it means the interactions I have with people who do find me agreeable feel more genuine.

          If it's because of external bigotry...that's a huge problem. One I would say is exacerbated by a lack of familiarity, but there is a bit of a catch-22 when providing that familiarity could be hurtful.

          I wanna preface this next part with: I don't know you, this is a commentary on some people I don't interact with anymore.

          The people I know with the most personality masks are the ones who care more about their outward appearances and are least likely to self-reflect on their own ills. In particular, I'm thinking of narcissists and others that could use therapy but refuse to seek it for various reasons.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Well, as I said, it is important to take the needs of others into consideration and present the best and most suitable version of yourself, but we must do so while remaining ethical and faithful...

            Well, as I said, it is important to take the needs of others into consideration and present the best and most suitable version of yourself, but we must do so while remaining ethical and faithful to our core values. So I don’t think we disagree at all.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              vord
              Link Parent
              Likely not by much philosophically, just we have different visions of what that looks like in reality in hard-to-communicate ways.

              Likely not by much philosophically, just we have different visions of what that looks like in reality in hard-to-communicate ways.

              4 votes
              1. mrbig
                Link Parent
                Oh I really think we agree both logically and practically! We used different words that’s all. I’d be happy to be corrected!

                Oh I really think we agree both logically and practically! We used different words that’s all.

                I’d be happy to be corrected!

                4 votes
  2. [3]
    Pistos
    Link
    "Change is good." Rather: "Improvement is good."

    "Change is good."

    Rather: "Improvement is good."

    17 votes
    1. Apos
      Link Parent
      Off-topic, but I participated in a gamejam a few years ago where that was the theme. https://apos.itch.io/projectcore Ended up making a tower defense where you constantly have to move your towers...

      Off-topic, but I participated in a gamejam a few years ago where that was the theme. https://apos.itch.io/projectcore

      Ended up making a tower defense where you constantly have to move your towers and the paths also move around. Made for a pretty dynamic tower defense game.

      6 votes
    2. FishFingus
      Link Parent
      Change is good, yes. But, notes are better and card is best. Like my antisocial neighbourhood shopkeeper says, "Go contactless. Then just go."

      Change is good, yes.

      But, notes are better and card is best.

      Like my antisocial neighbourhood shopkeeper says, "Go contactless. Then just go."

      5 votes
  3. [8]
    vord
    Link
    "Money can't buy happiness" is abused like hell. I'd rather it be "After a certain point, more money is pointless."

    "Money can't buy happiness" is abused like hell.

    I'd rather it be "After a certain point, more money is pointless."

    15 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, multiple major studies have shown that money can indeed essentially "buy" "happiness" (i.e. there is a definitive correlation between higher income and higher emotional well-being). However,...

      Yeah, multiple major studies have shown that money can indeed essentially "buy" "happiness" (i.e. there is a definitive correlation between higher income and higher emotional well-being). However, one of the latest studies suggests that there may not even be a plateau, so the "after a certain point" addition may not actually be entirely accurate either. See: https://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=78079

      7 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        I'm, frankly, unconvinced, by that study. I don't have the will to dig too deep into it, but that study link is in my opinion insufficient to debunk previous evidence. For whatever reason, they're...
        • Exemplary

        I'm, frankly, unconvinced, by that study. I don't have the will to dig too deep into it, but that study link is in my opinion insufficient to debunk previous evidence.

        For whatever reason, they're working with quintiles. I would present their data drastically differently and more transparently, but ok. Let's figure out what those quintiles actually are: Link. I'll just take the percentile from that table that is closest to 10, 30, 50, etc. As a consequence, we're talking households, not persons now.

        Quantile 1 2 3 4 5
        Income 17338$ 32058$ 57065$ 87101$ 162019$
        Happiness 2.02 2.17 2.25 2.32 2.39

        Now for the interesting part: Happiness gained per dollar. We'll get 4 values for this, for the spaces between the quantiles.

        1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5
        0.01 happiness / 1000$ 0.0032 happiness / 1000$ 0.0023 happiness / 1000$ 0.00093 happiness / 1000$

        Now, I don't know about you, but that looks like a damn plateau to me.

        How did they do it? By hiding behind quantiles, as far as I can tell. The fact that the fifth quantiles makes twice that of the fourth makes it hard to appreciate just how much money the upper class seems to be throwing at the problem of becoming a little bit happier. Why did they do it? I do not know.

        How could this have been prevented? By just putting some illustrating figures in there and actually looking at the data that you use to prove your thesis. (No shade at you, /u/cfabbro, but at the study authors). Income percentiles don't mean shit. Just do a scatter plot of happiness vs. income of the raw data. Add a regression line. Done. Wanna be fancy, do some p value bullshit, no one cares anyway if you have 100000 data points. Now everyone can see what you did and whether you did it right.

        Sorry. Got a bit taken away once I realised how they came to their conclusion.

        9 votes
      2. vord
        Link Parent
        I guess that makes sense. I'm relatively content, but it'd be nice to fully renovate my house with no debt and start jetting around the world instead of working. It explains the motivation of the...

        I guess that makes sense. I'm relatively content, but it'd be nice to fully renovate my house with no debt and start jetting around the world instead of working.

        It explains the motivation of the wealthy, but definitely makes it hurt that much more when the "can't buy happiness" gets directed down instead of up.

        6 votes
    2. mrbig
      Link Parent
      Those who believe money cannot buy happiness are always the ones that already have more than enough for their needs. If they became suddenly poor, they’d adopt a different worldview.

      Those who believe money cannot buy happiness are always the ones that already have more than enough for their needs.

      If they became suddenly poor, they’d adopt a different worldview.

      5 votes
    3. [3]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I'm surprised to see so many here misunderstanding/misrepresenting this. No one disputes that money can buy comfort, remove survival stress, etc., but the implicit point is that that doesn't...

      I'm surprised to see so many here misunderstanding/misrepresenting this. No one disputes that money can buy comfort, remove survival stress, etc., but the implicit point is that that doesn't equate to happiness.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        vord
        Link Parent
        You'd be surprised. But also @cfabbro provided some sources that demonstrate that interpretation might not even be true. More money, less problems.

        No one disputes that money can buy comfort, remove survival stress, etc., but the implicit point is that that doesn't equate to happiness.

        You'd be surprised. But also @cfabbro provided some sources that demonstrate that interpretation might not even be true.

        More money, less problems.

        4 votes
        1. Good_Apollo
          Link Parent
          It’s just applicable to certain forms of happiness. It can buy the happiness of security, comfort, material needs, ect. But it can’t buy the happiness you could get from family, love, good health...

          It’s just applicable to certain forms of happiness. It can buy the happiness of security, comfort, material needs, ect. But it can’t buy the happiness you could get from family, love, good health (debatable but even the rich get sick and die...they just have more mitigating options) ect.

          4 votes
  4. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    "Don't talk to strangers" is simplified, and likely harmful, given talking to strangers is kinda what being social is and is usually a requirement to making friends. "Don't talk to strangers if...

    "Don't talk to strangers" is simplified, and likely harmful, given talking to strangers is kinda what being social is and is usually a requirement to making friends. "Don't talk to strangers if they're offering you something suspicious or are busy with their own lives" seems better. Maybe just simplify to "people older than you" or "adults" given this is largely aimed at children.

    Edit: I basically realized this thanks to one of these showerthoughts.

    Edit 2: On a related (and personal) note, my mom said that when I was younger (preschool?), (IIRC) she said I ignored a lot of people that came up to me apparently.

    14 votes
    1. Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      Specifically, teaching children to not talk to strangers when they get lost (and instead, look for a cop) is an explicitly bad and dangerous idea. If a child is lost in public, the odds are...

      Specifically, teaching children to not talk to strangers when they get lost (and instead, look for a cop) is an explicitly bad and dangerous idea. If a child is lost in public, the odds are infinitesimal that the first adult he turns to for help will want to harm him ... while a child standing alone in public for any length of time, nervously looking for a cop, is the kind of sight that just might attract the wrong kind of attention.

      13 votes
  5. [6]
    Grendel
    Link
    "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". I hate that quote. People seem to misuse it frequently, on top of the fact that its not true. If you...

    "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

    I hate that quote. People seem to misuse it frequently, on top of the fact that its not true. If you practice piano every day (doing the same thing over and over again) you will eventually get better (different results).

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      UniquelyGeneric
      Link Parent
      I’ve been learning guitar through quarantine and the online instructor (justinguitar.com) has a saying that has stuck with me: “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.” Having...

      If you practice piano every day (doing the same thing over and over again) you will eventually get better

      I’ve been learning guitar through quarantine and the online instructor (justinguitar.com) has a saying that has stuck with me: “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.”

      Having developed a few bad habits with piano playing, I can appreciate the advice he was giving to a novice trying to learn. It’s far easier to train out of bad habits before they become instilled through repetition.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        natmaka
        Link Parent
        Exactly! "Practice makes perfection" is only true if the practice is "refining", if it progressively enforces good ways and eliminates mistakes. Practicing (repeating) bad forms doesn't make...

        Exactly! "Practice makes perfection" is only true if the practice is "refining", if it progressively enforces good ways and eliminates mistakes. Practicing (repeating) bad forms doesn't make perfection.

        Therefore in reality "Corrected practice makes perfection".

        5 votes
        1. Sand
          Link Parent
          That's already implied, isn't it?

          That's already implied, isn't it?

          3 votes
    2. vord
      Link Parent
      I'll agree it's misused like hell. But there's also something to be said about knowing when to quit. I'll link a news article, and be told it's 'fake news' because person doesn't bother clicking...

      I'll agree it's misused like hell. But there's also something to be said about knowing when to quit.

      I'll link a news article, and be told it's 'fake news' because person doesn't bother clicking through to the underlying sources when they doubt a claim. From a proclaimed Democrat.

      So yea, the quote definitely resonates with me within that context. I just gave up sending that person links and my mental health goes up.

      2 votes
    3. Wolpertinger
      Link Parent
      Your piano example isn't good. Sure, you're practicing every day, but you're physically doing different things in each practice session. You'll play slightly differently based on what you learned...

      Your piano example isn't good. Sure, you're practicing every day, but you're physically doing different things in each practice session. You'll play slightly differently based on what you learned the day before. You're not hitting the same keys in the exact same way - the situation changed.

      This saying seems to apply to situations that don't change between attempts.

      2 votes
  6. [11]
    Adys
    Link
    Most idioms annoy me to death because people tend to repeat them too easily as useless platitudes. With that said: "calories in, calories out". I'll justify this if someone asks, but I think a lot...

    Most idioms annoy me to death because people tend to repeat them too easily as useless platitudes.

    With that said: "calories in, calories out". I'll justify this if someone asks, but I think a lot of people are now starting to realize that the human body is NOT in fact a car engine that burns fuel at consistent rates based on what you put in it. Metabolism comes into play a lot.

    I mean fuck, that's not even a correct thing to say of car engines. But that particular saying encourages unhealthy eating habits. If you're too weak to work out because you've been eating 1500 shitty calories, you won't work out. But hey, calories in calories out, right?

    9 votes
    1. [9]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I don't think CICO works well if your calories out are much more than your basal metabolic rate. But the formula has worked out to be very accurate for me in the past. I can dial in a caloric...

      I don't think CICO works well if your calories out are much more than your basal metabolic rate. But the formula has worked out to be very accurate for me in the past. I can dial in a caloric deficit and measure damn near exactly the projected weight loss.

      12 votes
      1. [3]
        kfwyre
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        To me, it's not that CICO doesn't work (I've personally had good success with calorie counting), it's more that it often gets used in a way that deliberately overlooks other highly relevant...

        To me, it's not that CICO doesn't work (I've personally had good success with calorie counting), it's more that it often gets used in a way that deliberately overlooks other highly relevant things.

        It's similar to the fact that, right now, I keep getting newsletters in my work inbox about "self-care for teachers". Self-care is ostensibly a good thing, but it's a limited solution in light of the outcome that self-care is aimed at: alleviating the stresses of being completely ill-equipped and powerless to deal with an ongoing, escalating pandemic that is finding its way into our classrooms, disrupting everything we do, and threatening our personal health and safety.

        In many ways these "self-care" recommendations are passively malicious, because they accept the systemic problems and push the solutions for those to the individual level. They point to my stress being a personal failing ("you just need to self-care more!") rather than an institutional one ("maybe districts could reduce teacher stress by providing adequate ventilation and filtration to classrooms").

        CICO often gets used in the same way -- a way of deliberately ignoring all the other factors that go into diet, nutrition, and exercise and individualizing responsibility to an extreme degree. It's not that CICO is itself bad -- just like self-care isn't fundamentally bad -- it's that it often pulls far more focus than it should. I see it most often used to override psychological aspects of nutritional health, as if the precision of CICO can magically overcome depression or binge eating or chronic fatigue, for example.

        14 votes
        1. rogue_cricket
          Link Parent
          Agreed, and very well put. I have thought this for a long time. "If you want to lose weight, CICO!" is about the equivalent of "if you want to win at baseball, simply score more points than the...

          Agreed, and very well put. I have thought this for a long time.

          "If you want to lose weight, CICO!" is about the equivalent of "if you want to win at baseball, simply score more points than the other team." It's true, but it's not really that useful.

          Often people gain weight due to eating disorders or as side effects of other mental illnesses, that's clear as well. But often it's seen as a personal willpower failure - whereas if I said that a person suffering from depression is only depressed because they're not trying hard enough to get out of bed and be happy and functional, I'd get rightfully chastised.

          I think the core of it is really just that people react very emotionally to fat people. They often don't extend them the same courtesies and sympathies that they have for people who suffer from other symptoms of mental illness. There's less "it's OK to seek help", "message me if you need anything" type stuff and more "well, stop eating so much, CICO".

          7 votes
        2. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          Oh, I agree that you can’t just yell CICO at people and expect them to lose weight. It’s the difference between “how do I lose weight” and “how does a person lose weight”.

          as if the precision of CICO can magically overcome depression or binge eating or chronic fatigue, for example.

          Oh, I agree that you can’t just yell CICO at people and expect them to lose weight. It’s the difference between “how do I lose weight” and “how does a person lose weight”.

          4 votes
      2. [5]
        crdpa
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Same. Because it works. If 1500 cal is really what you need to lose weight and you can't train because of this, pick your priority. Can't recommend Mythical texts enough: no sympathy the nutrition...

        Same. Because it works.

        If 1500 cal is really what you need to lose weight and you can't train because of this, pick your priority.

        Can't recommend Mythical texts enough:

        PS: he doesn't do CICO.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          That is not what I said. What I said is that CICO, aside from being incorrect, promotes unhealthy eating habits. 1500 calories of cake and crisps isn't the same thing as 1500 calories of a rich &...

          If 1500 cal is really what you need to lose weight and you can't train because of this, pick your priority.

          That is not what I said.

          What I said is that CICO, aside from being incorrect, promotes unhealthy eating habits. 1500 calories of cake and crisps isn't the same thing as 1500 calories of a rich & balanced meal. Yes it sounds obvious, but it's also obviously not what "CICO" means.

          Poor eating habits leads to muscle loss, fatigue, depression, and a bunch of shitty other things that will 1. fuck with your metabolism and 2. fuck with your ability to work out.

          In other words, when you lazily tell someone "CICO", you might be leading them down a very poor and potentially harmful path for losing weight.

          10 votes
          1. crdpa
            Link Parent
            Oh now I get it. I agree. With the alcohol problem I have, this definitely happens with me. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm going to leave the post unchanged because I think the blog is valuable.

            Oh now I get it. I agree.

            With the alcohol problem I have, this definitely happens with me.

            Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm going to leave the post unchanged because I think the blog is valuable.

            6 votes
        2. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. crdpa
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            And how do you know if it is genetics that it's holding you back? The Def Leppard drummer has just one hand He is aware of class discrepancies and access, he says that if it really is the case,...

            And how do you know if it is genetics that it's holding you back?

            The Def Leppard drummer has just one hand

            He is aware of class discrepancies and access, he says that if it really is the case, you should prioritize other things.

            "Am I going to pretend like some people DON’T have it rough? No: of course not. But those people ALSO don’t have the time to go online and complain about it, primarily because they’re too busy DOING those things that make life rough."

            2 votes
        3. teaearlgraycold
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I think I’d prioritize sympathy over self righteousness more so than that blogger. I agree with the “No Sympathy” post to a degree, but I think the idea that compassion is worthless for your...

          I think I’d prioritize sympathy over self righteousness more so than that blogger. I agree with the “No Sympathy” post to a degree, but I think the idea that compassion is worthless for your success is bogus.

          6 votes
    2. vord
      Link Parent
      I think CICO is perfectly valid, although I much prefer: You can't outrun your fork. No matter how healthy or unhealthy the foods you eat, you will not lose weight if you're consuming more than...

      I think CICO is perfectly valid, although I much prefer: You can't outrun your fork.

      No matter how healthy or unhealthy the foods you eat, you will not lose weight if you're consuming more than you're expending. It's far easier to consume 200 calories than it is to burn those 200 calories. While exercise is important to insure no loss of muscle mass while dieting, it's going to be counter-productive if every time you work out you go over your target intake by 300 calories. If you're not running a caloric deficit, you are not going to lose weight.

      6 votes
  7. clem
    Link
    "Whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." I'm sure this is true for some things and for some people, but my heart has been hurt in ways that really have not made me stronger. Losing...

    "Whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." I'm sure this is true for some things and for some people, but my heart has been hurt in ways that really have not made me stronger. Losing my dad has never fully healed, and it never will. It's a hole in my heart that has diminished but that will remain until I die. Other people come along and fill my heart, making the hole smaller, but that place where my dad once was will always have a presence.

    I was also hurt by someone I loved. I'd been hurt before and healed, but this time, she wasn't willing to be a friend to me and help me heal. Other women had been friends and helped me through it. But this one just said no and left it at that.

    I was never one of those "incel" types (though technically I was, I suppose): I never felt like she owed me anything just because of the feelings I had for her. But this hurt, from roughly ten years ago, seems to have hurt me in lasting ways. I was very open with my feelings before that, and now, I am absolutely not, even with my wife. The hurt is gone, but some of the damage remains.

    I should note that this comment makes it sound worse than it is. But for me, this hurt did not make me stronger. Maybe it will someday. Maybe I simply haven't worked at it and should listen to that advice. But that experience made me worse, not better.

    8 votes
  8. [11]
    MonkeyPants
    Link
    I am suspicious of conventional wisdom when applied to investing. Currently I am suspicious of "don't time the market," and "don't buy individual stocks."

    I am suspicious of conventional wisdom when applied to investing. Currently I am suspicious of "don't time the market," and "don't buy individual stocks."

    5 votes
    1. [9]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Stock market is a "rich person feelings chart" at best, and "arbitrary casino" at worst. The fact that so many people's retirements are dependent on it is horrifying. I'm being a bit hyperbolic...

      Stock market is a "rich person feelings chart" at best, and "arbitrary casino" at worst. The fact that so many people's retirements are dependent on it is horrifying.

      I'm being a bit hyperbolic here, but it likely will remain in that vein until there's a broader participation in the market outside of the wealthy and 401k accounts.

      9 votes
      1. [8]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        That seems inconsistent. If you think it's horrifying that people's retirements are invested in the stock market, why would you want broader participation?

        That seems inconsistent. If you think it's horrifying that people's retirements are invested in the stock market, why would you want broader participation?

        5 votes
        1. [7]
          vord
          Link Parent
          I think the core concept of a stock market is a good one: shared ownership of companies, with shareholders getting to vote on things, and share dividends. However, in it's current state, with most...

          I think the core concept of a stock market is a good one: shared ownership of companies, with shareholders getting to vote on things, and share dividends.

          However, in it's current state, with most of the shares distributed at the top, it hinders the "rule of the masses" intent behind democracy.

          If stock shares were more evenly distributed (The Marxist in me reads that as evenly distributed across employees), it would result in a more stable market that reflects the feelings of society more broadly than just the wealthiest.

          4 votes
          1. Akir
            Link Parent
            I just wanted to bring up some real-world anecdotes about this. The company I work for works with a half a dozen different manufacturers, and with the exception with the one owned by a giant...

            I just wanted to bring up some real-world anecdotes about this. The company I work for works with a half a dozen different manufacturers, and with the exception with the one owned by a giant holding company, each and every one of them have essentially been crushed by COVID restrictions. One of the privately-owned companies has actually told us that we just plain do not have any kind of ETA on anything we ordered in spite of telling everyone that they can have new product in 6 months.

            Literally the only company that is actually on top of everything and is delivering product when they promised is the one that is 100% employee-owned.

            So I am 100% behind the concept of giving the governing power to stakeholders instead of shareholders.

            12 votes
          2. [5]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            A problem with this sort of governance is that typically you want to diversify by owning lots of different stocks. It’s not practical to have an opinion on who should be on the board of directors...

            A problem with this sort of governance is that typically you want to diversify by owning lots of different stocks. It’s not practical to have an opinion on who should be on the board of directors for every company in the S&P 500, let alone a total stock market index.

            The idea behind passive funds is that you let the professionals make the decisions about what the price should be and essentially copy their answers, and governance is similar. It’s worthwhile for large stockholders like the managers of a big pension fund to participate in corporate governance. For most of us, voting in stockholder elections is a waste of time, since we don’t know any of the people we’re voting for and our vote only makes a tiny difference anyway. Spreading stock ownership would make that problem worse.

            Having outside members on a board of directors is useful, but there are good reasons why boards are small. Getting good leadership on a company’s board is a hard problem and having the masses vote isn’t going to automatically fix it.

            I do think a case could be made for the government to passively own a large chunk of the stock market and use that to fund UBI. But even if the government got a seat on each board, this wouldn’t mean that ordinary people get meaningful participation in decision-making, any more than we have a meaningful say in what the Federal Reserve does or what the FCC does.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              stu2b50
              Link Parent
              To be a little pedantic, but passive funds don't really have professionals making decisions, that would be an active fund. They're typically fully algorithmic, just designed to track as best as...

              The idea behind passive funds is that you let the professionals make the decisions about what the price should be and essentially copy their answers

              To be a little pedantic, but passive funds don't really have professionals making decisions, that would be an active fund. They're typically fully algorithmic, just designed to track as best as they can an index. Those indexes can have expert opinion, but it is third party and public (i.e everyone knows the makeup the S&P 500).

              2 votes
              1. skybrian
                Link Parent
                Yeah, I meant that the index funds use prices that are determined by the rest of the market, which includes professionals doing things like arbitrage. An algorithm like weighting by market cap...

                Yeah, I meant that the index funds use prices that are determined by the rest of the market, which includes professionals doing things like arbitrage. An algorithm like weighting by market cap gets its input from the market. The algorithm doesn’t know anything but it copies from hopefully smarter people who do know things.

                With corporate governance there isn’t a nice algorithm, but it’s still relying on others to make intelligent decisions.

                3 votes
            2. [2]
              vord
              Link Parent
              The counterpoint that inspires my stance: Wisdom of the Crowds The more diverse and independent the decision-makers, the more likely that they'll arrive at good conclusions.

              The counterpoint that inspires my stance: Wisdom of the Crowds

              The more diverse and independent the decision-makers, the more likely that they'll arrive at good conclusions.

              1 vote
              1. skybrian
                Link Parent
                Well, the wisdom of crowds can work if we make it work, with a properly designed algorithm. But it doesn't work if the necessary conditions aren't met. A simple example is counting jelly beans in...

                Well, the wisdom of crowds can work if we make it work, with a properly designed algorithm. But it doesn't work if the necessary conditions aren't met.

                A simple example is counting jelly beans in a jar. This works because people have experience with jelly beans and jars, and they can all look at the jar and make their own guess. Asking people to estimate the jelly beans in a jar without looking at the jar wouldn't work very well.

                Similarly, Yelp ratings aren't going to be accurate if people review restaurants they never went to. Fortunately, most people don't do that. Having more people review a restaurant without going to the restaurant wouldn't help, and it doesn't matter how diverse they are. (Fake reviews are already a big problem.)

                To the extent that the stock market works at all, confident experts (or people who think they are) have more influence than the rest of us, because it's their own money on the line or someone trusts them with money, and therefore they study what the company does, or they previously had experiences giving them knowledge of the industry. It might help if some of those experts were more diverse, but it wouldn't work better if ordinary people made guesses about companies they don't bother to learn anything about, no matter how diverse they are. (This is causing plenty of problems in the stock market already.)

                So it seems like the question is, if you want to tap into the wisdom of crowds to make better decisions, how do you get people to study or have the sort of experiences that would help them make good decisions?

                Giving employees a bigger say isn't a bad idea because they do know things. But they're also a biased special interest and an organization is likely to do badly if it prioritizes employees over customers too much.

                I think people's tolerance for studying is very limited and we are already asking voters to do too much, especially in California where we have propositions to vote on. Lots of other places have down-ballot races too, where essentially no unbiased information easily available. We obsess over some decisions (national politics) and neglect others.

                We have so many areas where bad algorithms bring out the worst in people. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it would probably require some new ideas and careful design. It's news when crowd-sourcing works well in a new area, because it so often fails.

                4 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Although I do have a few individual stocks, the thing I'd be especially wary of is buying individual stocks and forgetting about them, which I've seen a few times. Most people have better things...

      Although I do have a few individual stocks, the thing I'd be especially wary of is buying individual stocks and forgetting about them, which I've seen a few times. Most people have better things to do than pay attention to the stock market. Real life is more important and will distract you from it. And then, years later, after a few mergers, they don't recognize the name or remember why they even bought it. Solar energy was hot at the time, I guess?

      So, I try to only own investments where forgetting about them for a few years would be perfectly fine; nothing too crazy is going to happen. Something like Berkshire Hathaway is probably fine, they're diversified already.

      The thing that index funds give you is that some stock is going to take off and you are unlikely to know what it is in advance, unless you buy some of everything.

      Regarding timing the market, I do try to get a good deal when I buy, but the danger is that while waiting for a good deal you don't buy at all. (Or don't buy enough.)

      4 votes
  9. [2]
    reifyresonance
    Link
    Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. That's just not how a lot of people's rhythms work, and trying to shove everyone (especially kids and teenagers) into that...

    Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

    That's just not how a lot of people's rhythms work, and trying to shove everyone (especially kids and teenagers) into that mold does the world a great disservice.

    5 votes
    1. PhantomBand
      Link Parent
      I'm actually trying to correct my sleep schedule in that way, isn't your sleep schedule a flexible thing? Like, as long as you keep a certain rhythm going, the times themselves don't really...

      I'm actually trying to correct my sleep schedule in that way, isn't your sleep schedule a flexible thing? Like, as long as you keep a certain rhythm going, the times themselves don't really matter, you eventually get used to it and it becomes your new sleep schedule?

  10. post_below
    (edited )
    Link
    The whole genre of common wisdom based on the idea that learning to project a palatable image is a viable strategy for happiness. We know from research in a variety of fields that this just isn't...

    The whole genre of common wisdom based on the idea that learning to project a palatable image is a viable strategy for happiness.

    We know from research in a variety of fields that this just isn't true, that authentic connection (which you can only foster by matching your projected self with your genuine self as closely as possible) is a key part of long term health, happiness and life satisfaction.

    And yet it remains a cornerstone of modern culture to indirectly encourage one another to behave otherwise.

    4 votes
  11. WMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWM
    Link
    The general idea that you can pre-calculate the correct response for a situation based on some limited criteria and it will be the correct response for the unique circumstances that match those...

    The general idea that you can pre-calculate the correct response for a situation based on some limited criteria and it will be the correct response for the unique circumstances that match those limited criteria despite all the other unique circumstances which you could not have anticipated or pre-calculated for.

    4 votes
  12. [4]
    aethicglass
    Link
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's not that I fully disagree with this. It requires a closer examination than people generally account for. Things can seemingly function fine, but some aspect...

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    It's not that I fully disagree with this. It requires a closer examination than people generally account for. Things can seemingly function fine, but some aspect of their function may not be optimal or desirable. This would then render its categorization as "broken," even though by most accounts it would seem to be functioning just fine. So just because something seems to be working fine, doesn't mean it ain't broke, and that don't mean it ain't needa fixin.

    If you wash your car, it's gonna rain.

    This is specific to Los Angeles. It's a general rule. However, I can verify that I have attempted this car wash rain dance numerous times this year and it has failed at least 50% of the time. I think a better rule is If it's gonna rain, someone's gonna put a nice piece of furniture out on the curb. Because without fail, every single time I see some actually decent furniture getting tossed to the curb, it's already soaked in gutter sludge. They never toss the nice stuff when it's dry, and it's dry most of the year here. They wait for the one day of rain and everybody covers the curbs with glorious solid wood furniture and nicely upholstered couches. Rest of the year it's just ikea, the couch someone must have died on, and gross mattresses.

    Don't wash chicken before using it.

    The conventional wisdom goes something along the lines of, "If you wash the chicken in the sink before preparing it, it can aerosolize the bacteria and spread it to other surfaces. You're better off just prepping as is and throwing it in the pan where the heat kills the bacteria."

    That's all fine and good. So... do I also not wash the cutting board? Or the knife? What about the packaging the chicken came in? Should I not rinse that off because I don't want my trash can to wreak within a few hours? No. No one's advocating for any of that. Why? Because it's a garbage concern than salmonella would be aerosolized and somehow contaminate every surface of the kitchen if and only if tap water comes into contact with a piece of raw chicken.

    I think my chicken tastes better if I wash the slime off of it before cooking it, so I'mma wash the dang slime off.

    I could understand the concern if you had a pile of lettuce you were going to make a salad with right next to the sink while you're spraying down raw chicken with a pressure washer. But that's more of a tale of why not to prep raw veggies and leave them laying around while you prep raw meat. Meat first. Veggies later. Clean between. Easy peasy. Enjoy your chicken sludge. Ugh.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Eylrid
      Link Parent
      It's probably not that they don't toss the nice stuff when it's dry, but that it gets snatched up too quick for you to see it. When it's wet it stays there. Similar for the terrible furniture: if...

      I think a better rule is If it's gonna rain, someone's gonna put a nice piece of furniture out on the curb. Because without fail, every single time I see some actually decent furniture getting tossed to the curb, it's already soaked in gutter sludge. They never toss the nice stuff when it's dry, and it's dry most of the year here. They wait for the one day of rain and everybody covers the curbs with glorious solid wood furniture and nicely upholstered couches. Rest of the year it's just ikea, the couch someone must have died on, and gross mattresses.

      It's probably not that they don't toss the nice stuff when it's dry, but that it gets snatched up too quick for you to see it. When it's wet it stays there. Similar for the terrible furniture: if nobody wants it then it stays on the curb.

      It's Survivorship bias

      7 votes
      1. aethicglass
        Link Parent
        That's likely the case responsible for the overall effect. And I'm sure there are or biases at play with how I observe it. But I have marked quite a few occasions of seeing neighbors put a bunch...

        That's likely the case responsible for the overall effect. And I'm sure there are or biases at play with how I observe it. But I have marked quite a few occasions of seeing neighbors put a bunch of large pieces of furniture out on the street just as storms are rolling in. These few occasions stick in my mind more than others because to me it seems ridiculous. There's more rain coming in the next few hours than we've seen in six months. Someone would be able to use that furniture, but instead they're just gonna let it get wrecked. However, to them, they're just throwing some stuff out. Doesn't really matter what happens with the stuff when they're done with it. They're throwing it out.

        Anyways, it's all kinda tongue-in-cheek. Just a thing I muse about from time to time, so I thought it might be worth passing along for others' amusement.

        (edit: also it's worth nothing that with the current state of homelessness here, pretty much nothing stays on the curb long. Even the stuff that gets rained on gets snatched up pretty quickly.)

        2 votes
    2. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I believe we use vinagre for washing chicken here. The reason is culinary instead of sanitary. We don’t wash any other meat. I personally never heard of not washing chicken, but that sounds gross...

      I believe we use vinagre for washing chicken here. The reason is culinary instead of sanitary.

      We don’t wash any other meat.

      I personally never heard of not washing chicken, but that sounds gross and unappetizing.

      The CDC says we shouldn’t wash, though. I suppose they know better than me.

      4 votes
  13. Kuromantis
    Link
    I don't know how common this is now, but I've heard the saying "Opposites attract" has been used as relationship advice which sounds absurd and goes in the face of the Overton window,...

    I don't know how common this is now, but I've heard the saying "Opposites attract" has been used as relationship advice which sounds absurd and goes in the face of the Overton window, social/societal pressure as something people believe in, echo chambers, social conservatism and "normal" as a useful social construct.

    If anything, relationships seems to work best when those in the relationship have little to no meaningful differences to eachother, with the exceptions being when:

    • Those differences compliment the people in a relationship

    • Don't affect the relationship

    • Are interesting to those in the relationship

    • Are desired by those in the relationship.

    1 vote