I’ve been reading James Altucher’s Choose Yourself! lately because I could really get behind his “Idea Machine” philosophy that lately I’m seeing all over the place. On the one hand it’s really just another self-help guide, but maybe because the guy is a computer science geek, I can relate.
Anyway, I’m into the chapter about why you shouldn’t have an opinion (I think this one comes straight out of Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People), because you’re never going to change anybody else’s so why bother. You’ll only get into an argument.
He cites examples:
“I may say something like “kids shouldn’t go to college,” and everyone either already agrees with me or disagrees with me.“Fine,” I think, “I understand this position, and that people have different opinions. Personally I wish there were more viable options than the ridiculously expensive traditional four year route.”
“Buying a home is ALWAYS bad.”“Wellllll, I get where you’re coming from I guess but I don’t know if I’d use the word ‘always’…”
“Voting is stupid.”“I think most people agree with you on this one, actually. It’s always just voting for the guy you hate the least, and regardless of who you put in there you’ll hate him and want him out by the time the next term rolls around. The Freakonomics guys kind of back you up on this one.”
“Shakespeare is boring.”“Oh go to hell right now you asshole.”
Damnit! Point to Mr. Altucher. I freely admit, that is exactly the kind of visceral reaction his “opinion” evoked in me as soon as I read it. Couldn’t help myself.