Thursday, June 5, 2014

Best Platitudes

Part of the reason why I've become wary of pithy sayings is that they can easily descend into faux-enlightening platitudes, which claim to distill wisdom down to its constituent parts. But often, the real effect is that people nod along with them, congratulating themselves on their own wisdom and uprightness at the expense of others who made a rational choice to do things differently.

Just because one has come a long way, this does not, in and of itself, make finishing the journey a worthwhile endeavor. Sometimes, walking away from the sunk costs is exactly the best option.
Sunk Costs are costs that have already been spent on a project. Do not consider these costs when making future project decisions.
What they teach you in Project Management class. (Emphasis in original.)
If you think of your life, and the goals you are attempting to achieve in it, as a series of projects; and someone comes along with advice that's the exact opposite of the best practices for managing a project, it's time to ask some questions.

And that's the problem with pithy sayings. Sure they're clever, and they get the point across, but they're difficult to question. Someone who posts life advice in less than 30 words because it resonates with them, or it boosts their ego - unless they themselves are the author - are going to be unlikely to be able to answer any questions that are raised.

Of course, I understand that I'm also arguing in favor of my own tendency for wordiness, even as I've been attempting to get away from being word. I am not a particularly good source of wisdom myself.

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