Perfectionism - Transcript

Perfectionism hinders creativity and fuels anxiety, while embracing imperfections fosters growth and happiness. Learn from mistakes and prioritize self-expression over perfection for progress.

Chapters


0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:21 Examining Perfectionism
0:01:36 Learning from Shakespeare and Dickens
0:02:40 Success Rate of Perfection in Writing
0:04:23 Success Rate of Perfection in Writing, Continued
0:06:16 The Pursuit of Perfection in Science
0:06:52 Success Rate of Perfection in Physics
0:07:07 Success Rate of Perfection in Science, Continued
0:08:42 Standards of Perfection
0:11:36 Perfection as a Standard for Criticism
0:13:10 Standards of Perfection, Empirical vs. Invented
0:14:10 Perfectionism in Business
0:14:32 Balancing Excellence and Happiness
0:15:43 The Stress of Perfection
0:17:37 Overcoming Childhood Perfectionism
0:18:25 Managing Anxiety Through Perfectionism
0:19:43 Reinforcing Anxiety Through Perfectionism
0:21:29 The Law of Diminishing Returns in Perfectionism
0:22:55 The Goal of Happiness in Perfectionism
0:24:15 Balancing Perfectionism in Book Writing
0:25:36 Perfectionism as Cowardice
0:27:20 Communication Effectiveness vs. Perfection
0:28:51 Rejecting Perfectionism
0:29:35 The Power of Conviction and Passion

Long Summary

In this lecture, we delve into the concept of perfectionism. Perfectionism is described as the anxiety that arises from the fear of criticism due to the perceived gap between the current quality of work and the ideal level of perfection. The speaker highlights that striving for 100% perfection is unrealistic and can lead to increased stress and anxiety.

Using examples from renowned figures like Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Einstein, and Newton, the speaker demonstrates that even the most successful individuals have a relatively low success rate when it comes to producing works that stand the test of time. Perfectionism, in essence, is seen as an unattainable standard that is often used as a tool for others to criticize and attack individuals.

The speaker argues that perfectionism can be a form of cowardice, as it can hinder creativity, spontaneity, and effectiveness in communication. By obsessing over perfection, individuals may limit themselves and prevent meaningful progress. Instead, the focus should be on happiness, rationality, and communication of ideas.

Rather than striving for unattainable perfection, the speaker encourages embracing imperfections, making mistakes, and learning from them. The emphasis is placed on passion, conviction, and effective communication over rigid perfectionism. The goal is to liberate oneself from the constraints of perfectionism and focus on growth, self-expression, and the pursuit of genuine happiness.

Transcript

Introduction

[0:00] Hi everybody, it's Stefan Molyneux from Free Domain Radio. I hope that you're doing very well.
This is time for part the two of the triple P's, which is public speaking, perfectionism and procrastination.
I have put off procrastination until the next video, so we're going to deal with perfectionism here, which is a very, very interesting concept, I find.

Examining Perfectionism

[0:21] And I'm going to lay out a couple of ideas about looking at perfectionism.
But perfectionism to me is the anxiety that comes from putting out something that could conceivably in any way, shape or form be criticized for the gap between where it is and where it could be is where you can be criticized for what you can be criticized for.
And also not feeling that you have any valid defense for want of a better word or response.

[0:51] To the question of the gap between where the quality of something is let's say that you can get something to 80 quality and there's 100 quality the gap between those two where you can get criticized is where you feel that that anxiety that you're open for to be attacked or open to be put down or criticized in a way that is going to make you feel anxious and so the way that most Most people try to deal with that anxiety if the 80 to 100% gap is they attempt to continue to try and raise the quality of what it is that they're doing.
And they feel that if they can get it to the 100% closure, then they will have succeeded and will be not open to criticism. They feel a reduced level of anxiety.

Learning from Shakespeare and Dickens

[1:36] Now, there's lots to talk about in the realm of perfectionism, but let me start with something that helps me when it comes to the question of perfectionism. Perhaps it will help you as well.
Two of the greatest writers in the English language and perhaps throughout the world, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, they are considered the very top of the top.
So let's just say that that is your standard of perfection is to write as well as Shakespeare or Dickens.
Now, Shakespeare wrote, I think, 54 or 52 plays.
And basically, the ones that are the most commonly produced, the ones, unless you're You're doing a whole sort of history of the Tudors kind of a revival.
Basically, it's around five to ten of his plays that are most commonly reproduced.
You know, your Hamlets, your Macbeths, your Othellos, your Muchadoos, and so on.
So here, we have a writer, the best playwright, as he is considered in the English language.
The very best playwright, the one who is the standard of perfection.

Success Rate of Perfection in Writing

[2:40] I mean, if we'd gotten him to write the Bible, it would be a whole lot better than it is, right?

[2:45] So, the very highest standard of perfection that is possible within the human language in terms of writing, and we'll just focus on his plays, we talk about the sonnets and the Lucretia poems and so on, but if we just talk about his plays, we can see that of the 54 plays that he wrote, about 5 or 10 of them are regularly produced, and the other ones are more sort of curiosities, or if you're doing a full cycle, then you will include those.
His most famous plays the king lear uh macbeth othello um hamlet and maybe one or two of the i mean they sort of jostle up there is it is less than a 10 success rate in terms of what are considered to be brilliant works of art i mean they're all brilliant in their own ways and they all have aspects of brilliance but the ones that resonate down through the ages in in terms of shakespeare are just a few plays and even if we expand it to include the comedies i mean some on my stream and so on, we get about 10 plays.

[3:44] So if you look at the greatest genius in the English language, the plays that resonate down through the ages that are still produced on a regular basis today, number a little less than 20% of his total output of plays.
The very, very highest standard of a possible success for a writer would be Shakespeare and his plays, the plays that are regularly produced of his that stand the test of time and so on, that are produced in and of themselves, not just because they're part of Shakespeare's canon.

[4:15] He has about a 20% success rate in terms of producing plays that last the test of time, so to speak.

Success Rate of Perfection in Writing, Continued

[4:23] If we look at Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens wrote upwards, again, of 50 novels.
And I would argue that in terms of Charles Dickens, it may be even slightly lower.
And there are about five of his novels that are still resonant and relevant and read for pleasure today. Those are great expectations.
Maybe David Copperfield, a couple of other ones that are out there, Bleak House, A Little Dorrit, that are still read.
And there are not that many people who read Charles Dickens anymore outside of, I mean, Christmas Carol is regularly reproduced, but there's not that many people who read Charles Dickens now outside of an English course. I don't know too many.
I mean, Great Expectations is one of my favorite books, but it's not that common for people to read him.
But even if we say he wrote upwards of 50 novels and tons of stuff, which of course is out there, newspaper articles and so on, actually ghost stories that he learned from his terrifying nanny.

[5:15] But here, again, we have maybe five novels that are continually read today.
So he has, you know, one of the greatest writers, and you could argue the greatest novel writer in history, has a success rate in terms of longevity of about 10%, maybe 15%. And this is all arguable, but it's certainly not all of theirs, right?
So what I'm trying to sort of say is that a standard of perfection, which holds Dickens or Shakespeare as the very top capacity capacity, you could argue very strongly that if you are reaching the very pinnacle of human communication, you can have a success rate of about 10% to 20% of what it is that you're doing.
In terms of grading the papers over time, so to speak, you get about 10% to 20%. And that's about as good as you can hope for.
And that is the very, you can't get any better than that, at least nobody has throughout history as yet. Although my novel is coming out soon, so we'll see about that.
It's called The Guide of Atheists. It will be available at freedomainradio.com.

The Pursuit of Perfection in Science

[6:16] So we could look at lots of different things. We could look at Einstein, who, I guess it was 1915 or whatever, the theory of relativity came out, the general theory, and then he spent the next 40 years working on a unified field theory and failing consistently to achieve that. that.
So here, we have somebody who has created a fantastic theory of physics, revolutionized the field, and then spends 40 years not doing that.
So if you look at all of Einstein's papers, the ones that are truly revolutionary, half a percent, you know, a tenth of a percent or whatever.

Success Rate of Perfection in Physics

[6:52] And again, he would be considered one of the greatest physicists who ever lived.
If you look at Newton, of course, he came up with some fabulous stuff in Principia, I think it was, us, but then he spent an enormous amount of time mucking about with things like alchemy and astrology and so on.

Success Rate of Perfection in Science, Continued

[7:08] So again, of his total intellectual output, it's a very, very small amount that has made it through to the present day.
You can look at Galileo, you can look at even people like Aristotle and Plato.
The stuff that is still read today is a very, very small percentage of their total output.
So I think you sort of get the general idea, even if we look at the very peaks of human achievement intellectually, there is far more failure than there is success.
And again, I use the word failure in a relatively loose context because the goal of perfectionism is 100% success.

[7:42] Everything must be perfect. And again, I'm talking about a more extreme, perhaps even OCD form of perfectionism.
But what I'm saying is that if you look at the actual hits and misses of the greatest minds in history, far more misses is than hits.
So what I'm sort of trying to argue for is that the standard of 100% perfectionism is not realistic.
It's like saying that the standard of health is living for 500 years, and then you feel sickly if you happen to die at 90, right? Of course, if we'd all be happy to live to 90, right?
Or 91, when we're 90, 92, when we're 91, I think you get the idea.

[8:15] So if you have a standard of perfectionism of 100%, then you're aiming to be 10 times better than Dickens and five times better than Shakespeare and maybe 500 to 1,000 times better than Einstein and so on.
So I would just say that it is not a particularly realistic standard to look at 100% success or 100% accuracy or 100% perfection.
So then the question is, why is this?

Standards of Perfection

[8:43] Why is this created as an idea? Why is this something that we believe and hold ourselves to as a standard? Well, I would argue that there are standards which are developed empirically, And then there are standards which are invented out of supposedly thin air, and we'll get into the motivations.
And I do talk about this in my book, sorry to be a mr. plug, On Truth, The Tyranny of Illusion, also available at freedomandradio.com.

[9:07] PDF, 1195. Download, 1495. Book, 1849.
So the standards which are developed empirically are things, you know, the scientific method, you know, the sun rises and sets, the gravity exists and so on.
So we work from those. We develop abstract principles to explain those. us.
And then there are standards which are invented, which are things like God and the ideal perfection of government leaders and so on. There are standards which are invented.
So, for instance, we have good thoughts and bad thoughts, good actions and bad actions in our life the same way that we don't always eat the healthiest of food.
There's a thing called ethics which can absorb the blows of some corruptions or bad deeds that we do as long long as we take ownership and own up to them and make restitution where possible.
And in the same way, we can be healthy even if we eat a candy bar a week or a month.
So there are standards which are built empirically, right? But we say, how long do human beings live on average?
Well, you know, depending on the location, sort of 50 to 90 years.
So that's our standard, right? Our standard is 50 to 90 years, depending on location, is where we can aim for.
And, you know, we have average life expectancies in the 70 to 80 range between men and women in North America.
So that would be a reasonable standard then. But if we just make up a standard, or if we look at Methuselah in the Bible and say, well, he lived for, you know, 800 years and that is our standard, then of course we would view anyone who died at 80 relative to Methuselah to be somebody who died at eight relative to the standard life expectancy for a woman in North America.

[10:35] So the question is, do we create standards empirically, or do we just invent standards of perfection?
Now, if we make up standards empirically, we end up with reasonable standards that allow for imperfection as part of the human condition.
But if we make up standards, like if we have a standard called never think a bad thought, you know, the Christian standard in certain spheres of Christian theology, there is a standard of perfection, which cannot at all, ever, potentially, possibly, even remotely be achieved by human beings.
It's his original sin. We're all born sinful.
We all have bad thoughts, and those are stains upon our ethics, and so on.

[11:13] So, of course, the reason that you would invent a standard of perfection which was unattainable, right?
Now, again, if the greatest geniuses have a 10% to 20% success rate, we can be sure that a 100% success rate is not empirical.
It's not an empirically derived or informed through facts standard.
It's a made-up standard of sheer perfection, and why would you do that?

Perfection as a Standard for Criticism

[11:36] Well, of course, the reason that you create standards of perfection that nobody can attain is so that you can attack them for not attaining those standards.
I mean, that's fairly clear. If I create a standard of perfection that you can't conceivably attain, the reason that I do that is so that I can attack you, so that I can discharge my bad temper, my negativity, my hostility, my rage.
I can discharge that upon you. And we create these standards all the time, right?
So there's a phase in childhood where you want to carry your glass of juice and you are very likely going to drop it.
That's just a phase, right? You can't learn to carry your glass of juice or as it's colloquially known, juju.
You can't carry your glass of juice without, you want to carry it because you want to learn how to do it.
But of course, there's going to be a time where you're going to drop it most likely, right? Right.

[12:34] So if the parent creates a standard called don't drop the juice, don't drop the juice, then, of course, that's going to make the child even more nervous. And it's going to be like really, really scary. Right.

[12:45] And of course, the child is going to fail that test. Right. So empirically, we know that the child is going to drop the juice.
It's just a fact of life. It's like getting mad at a baby for peeing in your eyebrow.
So if we create a standard that can't be achieved, it's because we want to unleash our anger on on our children.
And this, of course, is continually the case. You can't, like for instance, if there's that old thing, never assume it makes an ass out of you and me.

Standards of Perfection, Empirical vs. Invented

[13:11] Well, you can't go through life without making assumptions, without thinking, without trying to reason things through.

[13:15] So if you make a mistake relative to somebody else's expectations, and they say, why the hell did you do that?
And you say, well, I thought that. And they're like, don't think, don't assume. It's like, well, that's impossible. You have to make assumptions in order to get through life.
So there are all of these kinds of standards that are invented at an abstract level.
It's almost like mathematical purity in a world of chaos and fog.
But to create these standards, it's not because people are interested in you pursuing excellence.
And I have real trouble with this phrase excellence in general.
To me, the phrase excellence generally just means exploitation.

[13:54] So for instance, in the business world where I spent quite a long time, And the word excellence generally translates to unpaid overtime.
I always would counter, well, do you have excellence in salary to match my excellence in what it is that I'm doing?

Perfectionism in Business

[14:10] This was later on in my career. At the beginning, I just worked 80 hours a week, and that was my devotion to excellence.
But there are all these things about excellence in organizations, but it all just means unpaid overtime. And it usually means excellence for the grants, followed by other people claiming their success as their own.
So anyway, that's sort of another story.

Balancing Excellence and Happiness

[14:33] So the challenge then becomes, how is it that we deal with this question of excellence in a way that is rationally contenting to us, or a way that we feel that we have achieved a kind of good enough status that we're happy?
Well, of course, the fundamental criteria in life, the fundamental excellence in life, the fundamental perfection in life is happiness, right?
And that's got to be the North Star that we all guide our principles by to some degree.
I mean, we have to look at long-term gains and work things out rationally, but the problem, major problem that I have with the question of excellence is that it is an other-driven standard and also that it interferes significantly with happiness.
And that really would be the major concern that I have with this question of excellence.

[15:21] So the standard of perfection is a highly stressful environment.
It's a highly stressful environment. I don't know if you, I remember my mom when I was growing up, if she'd be in a bad mood, she'd come home and she'd sort of prowl through the apartment like a shark, like a gliding shark.
And then if she'd find something that was wrong, she'd get mad, right?
And it was clear that she'd just be looking around for something that she could get mad about. out.

The Stress of Perfection

[15:44] That, to me, is the way that the standard of perfection, quote, is created.
And the reason that it's created is so that you'll always fall short, so you could be attacked.

[15:55] And of course, the way that even as a teenager, I would try to respond to that is to say, well, mom, if having one thing wrong in the apartment or two or five or 10 things wrong is enough for you to get angry because it is not perfect, then would you not also say that attacking someone for inevitable imperfection is not itself a perfect response, is not a wonderfully optimized and magnificently perfect response to just blow up the people who are not meeting a standard that they can never meet?
That clearly is not excellence. That is not perfectionism in any way, shape, or form.
So people who are attacking you for the gap between 80 and 100 are themselves not even been getting to five in terms of it's not just to attack someone for that.
I mean, it's never just to attack someone, to initiate an attack against anyone emotionally. It's just called abuse.
But people who are cowards and bullies will create a standard, say that you're falling short of it, and then they will attack you and humiliate you.
And then they will, in the most heinous manner, claim that they're only doing it to help you, you see, because they're only interested in your perfection and in you getting better and in you achieving more.
But it's entirely hypocritical, of course, because anybody who attacks someone is scarcely acting from a standpoint of ideal perfectionism.

[17:12] So the other problem that I have with the question of perfectionism is that it is a self-reinforcing concept.
When you are bullied, I mean, as a child, you just have to suck it up and you have to find your way through the minefield of your parents' aggression and you just have to find a way through to adulthood.
But once you sail out of those clouds into adulthood, then you have choices available to you that you didn't have as a child, right?

Overcoming Childhood Perfectionism

[17:37] And that's really, really important. important. You have to change your habits when you reach adulthood.
Otherwise, you're just over and over again, recreating the childhood experience you had.
If you had sort of bullying or negative parents or teachers or authority figures or coaches or whatever in this way, when you're free of their influence, you need to kind of stretch yourself out and let your wings fly a little bit more free or a whole lot more free.
So my concern is that if not reaching a state of perfection provokes anxiety within you.
And the way that you manage that anxiety is to strive for perfection.
What you're actually trying to do is to manage your own feelings by obeying, the unjust standards of other people.

[18:22] I'm sorry, that's a bit complicated, but I'm sure you can get it.
I'll just repeat it once more.

Managing Anxiety Through Perfectionism

[18:26] If I feel that this podcast, this video has to be perfect beyond words and it could be analyzed six ways from sunday using n-dimensional logic trees and it will be the perfect standard of how to communicate things across all humanity all time forevermore in all lands and so on then obviously i'm just going to go and not really get much done because that's an impossible goal to have but if that were my standard and i just kept you know in the sort of Adrian Monk manner, repeating, repeating, repeating the podcast until I got it perfect, then what would be happening is I would feel anxiety because I may not be perfect in my presentation.

[19:07] And in order to manage that anxiety, and that anxiety would be fear of attack from other people, right?
Fear of attack, because it's not a rational standard to want perfection, as we've talked about with relation to Shakespeare and Dickens.
I would be fearing attack from other people for any possible imperfections in what it is that I'm doing in this particular video podcast.
I'd be fearing attack from other people, and that would create anxiety, right? Right.
So by trying to control my anxiety, by attempting to avoid attacks from other people, I am simply reinforcing my fear of other people.

Reinforcing Anxiety Through Perfectionism

[19:44] So if every time I go to school, some big kid takes my lunch money and I keep giving him my lunch money, then of course, I'm reinforcing his bullying, right?
That's the passive aggressive slave response, which I've I've talked about in some podcasts.
It's all we can do when we have no power is to mess up those who have power in passive aggressive ways.
So if I'm afraid of being criticized and I just adjust my behavior in order to reduce that fear, I'm actually reinforcing that the criticism is just.

[20:12] I'm actually reinforcing the standard of perfection that is making me feel anxious.
Avoiding anxiety reinforces the same principles that provoke the anxiety to begin with.
It's like if I have an infected tooth and I avoid going to the dentist, it just makes my tooth toothless.
Maybe I'll take heroin to deal with my toothache, but it's not dealing with the cause.
It's just dealing with a symptom, which makes the cause worse.
And that's what happens when you adjust your behavior to manage your own anxiety rather than just sitting down and facing your own anxiety.

[20:45] So there was a guy who came up. We had the Freedom Aid Radio barbecue a couple of weeks ago, and maybe more. Time has no meaning when you work from home.
And he came up and we We did this video, Vanity is Not Bad, where a couple of people were sort of in the background here.
We were sort of making a joke of some of the comments that I had about the lengthy videos of which this is.

[21:07] I guess somewhat one. But, and he said, we just did it in one take.
I just gave everyone the idea. We came up and just did it, right?
And he was like, well, how come you only did one take? You know, I feel like let's do another take to make it, oh, it's a little dark.
Sorry. Is that a little better? Sorry.
It's fall in Canada, which means it sort of looks like we're living on the inside of a ping pong ball.

The Law of Diminishing Returns in Perfectionism

[21:30] So he said, how can you only do it? And why don't you do more takes and more takes, you know, until you got it perfect? And of course, there is the law of diminishing returns when it comes to repeating things.
That's not always the case. I mean, there have been times when I've lost writing or videos or audio because of computer problems.
And sometimes when I've done it again, it's been better.
But with something like that, there is the question of good enough, right? For me, at least, right?
And the problem is, there was a sort of spontaneity to that video that was kind of fun.
And I thought everyone did a great job. And of course, it's not something that's going to go on to win an Oscar. her.

[22:01] So if we had done it again, then I would have implicitly said to the people in the video, what you did was not good enough, which would have taken down their happiness and spontaneity in doing what they were doing.
We also, there would be slightly more mechanical responses within the video.
People would start to overthink and they'd say, well, what I did spontaneously wasn't good enough, so maybe I should try it this way.
And it would no longer have the kind of vitality and spontaneity that it had as sort of a first take.
And also, of course, I mean, I wanted people to enjoy themselves because they were there as my guests as a way of thanking them for the abilities that I have to be able to do this full time.
So the goal there was not to create a perfect video, but for people to have fun, both ourselves here in making the video and you out there watching the video.
And so relative to the goal, the first take, which was a great deal of of fun was absolutely perfect relative to the goal, right?

The Goal of Happiness in Perfectionism

[22:56] So the goal is relative to happiness, right? And there are times where you have to do things which you don't like to get to happiness, right?
Like do your taxes because you don't want to get dragged off to jail.
And we'll get to that in the next video.
But everything should be measured relative to happiness.

[23:11] And, you know, rationality, and again, I'm not sort of trying pure hedonism, you know, and if it feels good to do it, do it.
But in the long run, everything has to be measured relative to happiness.
Doing that video made us happy. It made me happy. Doing it again would be less fun and then it would be less fun.
And we'd actually not achieve what it is that we wanted to achieve because we keep doing things that were less fun each time, less spontaneous.

[23:31] And I also liked the idea of the very first take going out because there's kind of confidence in that.
If I become obsessive about the quality of what I'm doing, then what happens is I don't liberate anybody who's out there.
I don't help to liberate anybody who's out there who suffers under this kind of perfectionism, this false standard of perfectionism, which is simply a form of abuse.
It's a form of external abuse because it's manufactured outside yourself because it's not empirical. When you leave and you have internalized that standard, it just becomes a form of self-abuse.
And of course, the good news about self-abuse is you can undo it relatively easily simply by referring back to empirical facts and logic.
So there's an example, and I get a lot of this, right? So I also have some concern.

Balancing Perfectionism in Book Writing

[24:15] I'm just working on this book on university preferable behavior, a rational proof of secular ethics, also available at freedomainradio.com in about a week or so, I hope. and I could of course continually make this better.
I could turn it into a 20-volume set where I define every single word and it becomes an ironclad logical case and there would be some people who would be more comfortable with that but I on the other hand would not be, more comfortable with that because if I make the book perfect, the book proving secular morality.

[24:44] Then it's 20 volumes which means nobody's going to read it, right?
So maybe a grad student 100 hundred years from now as a curiosity is going to read it.
So perfection in definition and perfection in every logical step being delineated both syllogistically and in prose and with all the perfect metaphors and so on, that kind of perfection would no longer be perfection because nobody would read it.

[25:05] Similarly, and this may blow your mind a little bit, so I'll just touch on it briefly.
There's a premium podcast which goes into this in more detail.
But perfectionism is a form of, and I say this lightly because I know how people suffer under perfectionism.
So I say this lightly, and please just take it with a grain of salt until I finish discussing it, if you don't mind.

[25:28] But perfectionism is a form of cowardice. because if we look at the systems that have succeeded in the world, and they're almost all bad, right?

Perfectionism as Cowardice

[25:36] I mean, the systems that have succeeded, things like communism, fascism, Nazism, religion of any kind, the cult of the family, and so on, well, these things have no rational basis.
I mean, if you're interested in perfectionism and rational rigor, how can you conceivably explain the success of the Bible, which is wildly inconsistent, madly imperfect, perfect, crazy as a bag full of ferrets on double espressos, just rabidly mad.
And it's, of course, one of the most successful ideologies or thought systems, for want of a better word, in history.
So the imperfection, imprecision, random madness of the Bible has done virtually nothing to stop its spread as a successful system of thought.
The massive illogic and inconsistencies in communism did almost nothing to stop its virulent spread in the 20th century.
So, clearly, if you want to communicate something to someone, there's some factor that is not present called X.
And it's not about rational consistency. It's not about logic.

[26:41] Since the time of Adam Smith, it was over 300 years ago, since the publication of The Wealth of Nations in 1776, I think it was, the case for free trade has been absolutely ironclad.
It is one of the least controversial doctrines in the entire field of economics, and we have less free trade now than we did 300 years ago.
So there's some other factor which is not anything to do with perfectionism, not anything to do with truth or rigor or logic, which is what communicates things to people effectively.
Effectively, I have some theories about it, which we could go into another time, which I'm trying to apply in my new book and also in some of these communications.
But perfectionism has nothing to do with logical rigor.

Communication Effectiveness vs. Perfection

[27:21] I mean, don't get me wrong. I think logical rigor is important and essential for establishing truth. But the effect of communication of truth doesn't have anything to do with logical rigor or being right or being consistent or having all your ducks in a row or being perfect in any way, shape, or form.
Because the stuff that gets spread around the world, the most nonsensical, cultish, mad, virulent, violent, militaristic, hedonistic nonsense is completely and totally logically awry.
So the standard of perfection around getting things just right is clearly not at all relevant to effective communication. communication.
By be effective, I simply mean the transmission of ideas.
So when it comes to working on this proof, I've tried to keep the book under 200 pages, which is quite a feat.

[28:04] And I've tried to keep it, you know, peppy and energetic and use metaphors as well as syllogistical reasoning.
And it's not a perfect book because the more that I try to make it perfect, the more I try and make it absolutely ironclad, the less effective it becomes.
It's a kind of cowardice on my part, right? Because I'm saying, well, every conceivable possible possible objection out there.
I must address and answer this book ahead of time because otherwise terrible things are going to... I mean, that just means I'm scared of the world, right?
That just means that I'm scared of the world.

[28:33] And I can't do what I want to do in life, which is to try to make the world a more rational and better place, which is a multi-generational project.
I will not live and you will not live to see a free society.
But if I approach the world as if I'm scared of it, I invite the very criticism that I'm afraid of.

Rejecting Perfectionism

[28:52] Fuck perfectionism. Honestly, completely and totally go out there, smack up against walls, make mistakes, get upset, get frustrated, get mad, get happy, get loving. it and forget about the standard of perfectionism.
It is a kind of straight jacket, but it's not the kind of self-love metaphorically that a straight jacket implies.

[29:10] People have been incredibly effective in speaking and spouting the most errant nonsense in the world, and the world is largely run by errant nonsense, whether it's statism, the cult of the family, or religion.
The world is run by the most errant nonsense. All the perfectionism in the world has done nothing to chip away way at that.
So we need to take a different approach. Yes, it's important that we be right.
But what's more important is that we have conviction and be passionate.

The Power of Conviction and Passion

[29:35] And that, along with being right, is what will really finally set mankind free from these illusions.
Thank you so much for watching. I will talk to you soon.

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