Arguing with Reality

Right after my girlfriend and I started dating, I got sick and she drove me to the hospital in my car. It was out of gas and when we stopped to fill up, she couldn’t figure out how to open the tank. I don’t know how it happened exactly, but the next thing I knew, we were arguing about whether the lever was on the door or not. Through the fever I remember thinking, how are we even having this discussion? Just because they’re normally on the floor doesn’t mean anything, it happens to be on the door.

John August wrote something in January about a new unlimited DVR service in Canada that might disrupt re-run and syndication rights. Buried in the middle is the same comical kind of thinking: I’d love to use the service they’re making but I don’t think they should be able to. Here is what I’m willing allow.

His readers chime in “yeah my vote is for John’s plan” or whatever. No one stops to point out that this whole issue is happening in another country, is left up to the courts, has no consideration for what individual writers may like or dislike about it, and lastly is part of an inevitable technological trend. They’re much too busy attaching riders like it’s a bill through congress. And that is the perfect metaphor too because what they’re doing is trying to vote on reality. They’re voting on reality

We’ve become so used to preposterous internet speak that we don’t even notice anymore. You have to remind yourself: don’t have time for these meaningless discussion about what should or shouldn’t be. Abolish a word? Are you serious?

Our energy would be so much better spent accepting it and finding a way to change it. Looking for cracks to apply leverage and force, not rhetoric. But it feels better to voice your disapproval like some papal proclamation. Ryan does not agree, the facts are on notice!

Enough. Admit to yourself that this is hollow. It is self-absorbed helplessness. And promise that you’ll try to waste less time arguing about reality, pointing out what the weather was supposed to be like today, and take the world as is, for what it is.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.