Scientific minds try to think in absolutes whenever possible. If I do X, the result will very likely be Y. I experimented with A and the results were very most definitely B, C and D.
Cause and effect is a core, and utterly important principle.
Where humans are involved, though, I find I tend to overstep with absolutes.
Take attempted weight loss. Weight loss is simple, to loose weight the body must be at a caloric deficit. Without that deficit, you are lost. You can create a deficit in one of two ways (generally speaking):
- Reduce your caloric intake
- Increase your physical output
The required level of physical output required to tip the body into caloric deficit is generally very high (much higher than almost anyone realises) and is required on a consistent long term basis (something humans aren’t good at).
Reducing your intake is a smarter play. A little of number 2 is fine, but you’ll win or loose based on number 1 most of the time.
Someone was trying to loose weight, and doing a good job apparently, but they had hit a plateau.
They had a personal trainer, a gym membership, and were using both regularly.
Naturally I said to myself: “They just need to eat less. Less food, caloric deficit. Result.”
In a world of absolutes, that is true, but our world isn’t really like that when humans are part of the equation.
“No one needs to go to the gym to loose weight” I thought. “No one needs a personal trainer – what an absolute waste of money” I thought. True in absolute world, not true in this world.
A few hours later I realised I was being a twat. I’m quite familiar with this feeling.
Some people need gyms. No gym, then for them no result.
Some people need that personal trainer. No personal trainer, no result for them.
Not every human being is a calorie counting, obsessive compulsive, data driven fruit loop like myself.
My absolutes aren’t worth shit to other people. Folks figure out something that clearly works for them, and then they have minimalist douche bags telling them they don’t actually “need” whatever it is they’ve found to work for them, and that they are clearly “doing it wrong”.
A human being in a lab may be one thing, but a real person in the real world is quite another.
Speaking and thinking in absolutes just makes you (me) look like an asshole.