How The Expert And Student Feed Off Each Other Like A Drug Until They Both Tumble Down A Hole Of Delusion And Bullshit
The first question is why would you want to be more controversial.
I think the answer is that attention is a critical currency, and provoking conversation can be extremely important.
But there can be a cost to that attention and you don’t want to be polarizing for the sake of being polarizing unless you are a polarizing person by default.
The first rule of controversy club: Be careful posting controversial stuff if you aren’t a controversial type person. If you do, you won’t be able to back yourself up in the ensuing comment section and you end up doing more damage then if you had not posted it in the first place.
How to do it
(Note, I provide a massive warning later in this post on how doing this can seriously damage your reputation).
Controversy is easier than you think because most people are reactionary basket cases who jump at any chance to emotionally respond and get swept away before their logical calm sensibilities kick in (if they have any).
All you have to do is say an opinion that is true within the the context you mean it to be in, but do not specify the context. Leave it open for all of the possible perspectives it can be received in.
Like throwing out a piece of bait. Incomplete bait.
You’ll then have the various responses:
1. The agree with anything you say guy
2. The guy who agrees but plays Devils Advocate
3. The one who disagrees but refuses to explain why yet for some strange reason made the comment in the first place
4. The person who defends themselves on a moral basis
5. The person who defends themselves on an emotional basis
6. The person who defends themselves on a logical basis
7. The person who says it’s ok cuz others do it (baaaaaa)
8. The person who has a nuanced, and intelligent conversation about the complexities of the topic
9. The bat shit crazy lady who uses 400 emojis to get across her point
10. The savage who has the mic dropping reply you wish you thought of first
11. The clueless type who is desperately trying to belong to the conversation yet their comment is just a fart in the wind
12. The diffuser who tries to stop the conversation from escalating
When you make a polarizing statement, the context you are actually operating in which this is “true”, is a small one.
This is because everything is only partially true depending on the circumstances.
What you want to do is not get into the nuance debate of your statement until the comment section but you gotta do it right and be a real human here – this is where people mess it all up.
The type of person you want to be aware of in this situation is the hidden ones…. the people who are not commenting.
There are people you want the respect of who will be watching closely, so it matters very much how you handle the comment section if you care about relationships with people above you who are watching.
If you hold to your extreme view even in the face of logical cross-contextual discourse, and refuse to acknowledge the truth in other contexts, it’s easy to appear, how do I say this respectfully:
“dumb as fuck”.
Rabbit hole time.
People who are coming at business or acquiring a skill through desperation, don’t generally want to hear nuance thought.
They need that black and white to feel secure to take action.
There IS a black and white that is perfect for them but that actually requires an in-depth conversation with the teacher.
The black and white statements are by definition wrong, because any ideological extreme idea is only half true, holes can be poked in a million different ways, context and personal circumstance/valid set of current options, shifts the validity, sometimes dramatically.
You notice this in the expert space for example.
Teacher comes on the scene, doesn’t know too much yet. Is open to hearing perspectives, getting their footing. Open and sharing.
As they start to gain more traction, and different ideas they like begin to take hold, they begin to crystallize. They get a strong confidence about being sure about something, there’s a sureness there they feel good about.
As they get more sure, less sure students gravitate to their sureness. Students get something out of the teacher’s confidence, which further reinforces the overly confident extreme behavior of the expert “I’m on the right track, I’m so awesome”.
It feeds into this never ending positive feedback loop creating an echo chamber of distorted truth the teacher begins to forma guru complex they need to uphold, and their followers do not even notice. This is why cults look so whacky from the outside yet seem normal on the inside.
This whole process can easily slip into delusion, not even knowing they are speaking too many untrue statements, not even recognizing nuance and context anymore but it doesn’t matter because the polarity is rewarded within the bubble created.
Eventually a big problem arises where people on the upper echelon of the field can’t take this person seriously and do not want anything to do with them.
My point being that polarization is fine for attention and provoking conversation and thought, but believing your own BS fully and living there, you begin to look real dumb to the people you don’t want to look dumb to.
You will notice that the more of a true expert someone is, the more careful they are with their words, the more they are able to speak in tangents and nuance, always switching contexts and loving the talk of paradox and the complexities.
No idea is a one size fits all. People who are not living in desperation don’t need to cling to the confidence of strong ideas to prop them up and make them feel good. They can hold two ideas that can be conflicting.
You will see this. The longer you get into a body of knowledge, the more humble you should become, but many times you’ll see the opposite.
This is why it’s easy to see who is just shouting to find their footing and hold on to the few good ideas they’ve learned and see who the true teachers are.
The person approaching true mastery, paints his skill on many canvases with many colors and shapes. Each portrait needs to be different and is hyper aware of these situational complexities.
The new student or guru generally can’t handle hearing the counter points and complexity of ideas and so they feed off each other’s ignorance and chest beating like a drug.
It’s also misleading. The expert and student are misleading each other. Delusion and illusion because the answer is always an individual one. Any idea in writing is incomplete and not to be taken fully as truth.
The paradox to what I just said is that sometimes to get to that next stage, this blind chest beating may MAY be necessary, though I believe it is a shortcut that can backfire and is a slippery slope to delusion and not thinking properly.
By all means use polarity and controversy to begin conversations, but please think twice before this is your “gimmick” and you believe your own bullshit too much.
If you read this far, you are truly a deep thinker. Let me know it’s you in the comments, I wanna know who actually thinks around here.