Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Providing fodder for Godwin's law

zenhabits is a productivity website that provides advice on how to simplify and organize your life. I check in every once in a while. I figure if I pick up one or two things a week, I'm making progress. I'm a packrat with wide interests, so a "simple life" is out of the question. Being able to organize my stuff in a way that helps me find it again is my goal.

Leo Babauta is the main author at zenhabits and he's just won an award for his very popular website. He certainly does deliver what his audience wants in a consistent and user-friendly format. And he's very good at giving guest spots to other bloggers as well. Yesterday, he turned the day's content over to Daniel Scocco of Daily Blog Tips. The minute I saw the title, I knew it would take off:

"One Simple Principle to Live by: Purity"

Here's the first couple of sentences:

Today I was having an argument with my girlfriend about her watching Big Brother. Basically I was trying to discourage her from watching it.

OK, to give Scocco, his due, he was proposing a method by which an individual can decide for herself which of two activities to do next. If one seems more "pure", you've got your answer.

But, of course, it wasn't long before he got called out on any number of areas and, yup, Hitler got mentioned within a few hours, thus proving Godwin's law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

It was interesting watching a blog debate on a subject that doesn't interest me at all at the same time I've been reading about a recent kerfluffle in the feminist blogosphere on a different subject.

This started when the lovely Kactus from Super Babymama was guest-posting at Feministe and mentioned her joy at receiving medication for depression. Discussion ensued. Kactus posted again. Elaine Vigneault posted an angry response at her blog claiming she was misunderstood and that everybody else didn't like being criticized.

I finally blundered into the subject from this fabulous post by Daisy and added my own thoughts.

It is really dangerous for me to post this for a couple of reasons. I haven't read even half of the threads I linked. I could be posting to all kinds of stuff I find personally abhorrent.

But via a quick scan, I found something that really impressed me from the zenhabits thread. Rebecca commented:

I work really hard and am a pretty pure and productive person 95% of my life - can I please watch my one hour a week of Project Runway?

I resemble that comment! Love the show. Happily "waste" my time watching it and commenting about it with co-workers and web friends.

So here's my zen suggestions:

Stop attacking people for making lifestyle decisions different from your own.

Stop assuming everyone else is a tool of big pharma or mainstream media or some other magical force that only you have the brilliance and wisdom to identify.

But most of all, stop assuming that people on anti-depressants aren't out smashing capitalism side by side with people who choose to not medicate!


belledame222 said...

"purity" is such a fucked concept. for humans, anyway.