In this post, I am going to explain why I didn’t defend myself or respond to my attackers on MetaFilter last Friday. If you don’t know what happened, read Tales From the Glitter Gym – The End. There is a book that I often refer to for moral guidance. It is not the Bible. It is The 48 Laws of Power.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is wisdom from 3,000 years of history condensed into 48 laws. Some people believe this book is evil and ruthless, but I see it more as a set of guidelines for human behavior. I’d like to think I use it for good. Not every law will apply to every person.
The primary reason I didn’t try to defend myself is that I didn’t want my attackers to define the debate. By responding directly to them, I would have allowed them to frame the debate. No thank you.
Law #4 – Always say less than necessary.
Saying nothing to the MetaFilter forum was my response. A younger me would have been drawn into the battle. Not now.
Law #9 – Win through your actions, never through arguments.
I can’t argue that I’m a good guy who is concerned with issues of fitness and nutrition. All I can do is keep posting on the topics in a positive and empowering voice. If a few of the MetaFilter crowd click around this site they will find those entries. One of my attackers even gave me 2 great ideas for future posts (Cardiovascular Training and Persistence Hunting).
Law #22 – Use the surrender tactic: Transform weakness into power.
This law needs a little explaining. Basically, it means that when you are severely outnumbered, never fight for honor’s sake. Instead, you should surrender. This tactic also infuriates those who wish to draw you into battle. On Friday this site got almost 10,000 more page views than normal. I was outnumbered. Since I was planning on ending Tales From the Glitter Gym anyway, this was a perfect opportunity to end the series and promote posts that are both “constructive and helpful”.
Jan 24, 2011 — 9:41 am
good lessons to learn… I personally am working on #4. Saying less, but also listening more.
the thing with being drawn into battle is that it distracts you from winning by your actions. I see this a lot with creative types. We can get caught up with the Crazy Makers, defending our art or aesthetic choices, or fighting over scraps (rather than working together to make more for everyone) and then neglect DOING the art… hence the crazy makers win!
There is tremendous power in surrender: it is the tree that bends that withstands the storm (or something like that)
I look forward to reading your constructive and helpful posts.