Author Topic: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice  (Read 4669 times)

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Offline R. U. Sirius

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Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:29:50 am »
Inspired by a recent Cracked article, I thought it might be fun to start a thread where we post common bits of advice and comforting platitudes that have little to no basis in reality. I'll start off.

"It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you."

Um, yeah, it does. While you shouldn't allow others to determine your self-worth, how other people (particularly ones in authority) think of you will have an enormous impact on your life. You won't get a promotion unless your boss thinks you'll do a good job. You won't get the romantic partner you want unless they think you're worth their time. You won't be found innocent unless you can convince at least twelve complete strangers that you have no idea where the meth came from or why there's a severed human head in your refrigerator.

Every single powerful, influential person in the world has power and influence for a single reason: They've convinced other people that they're worth listening to. Whether they dispense sage advice like Gandhi, injure or kill anyone who opposes them like Kim Jong Il or speak entirely in "aw, shucks" folksiness and appeals to an invisible man in the sky like George W. Bush, the fact remains that their ability to affect the world rests entirely on what OTHER PEOPLE think of them. If everyone in the world decided that they were full of shit, didn't have anything worth saying and were completely unable to carry out a threat, their power and influence would instantly evaporate.

You know the clinical term for someone who doesn't give two shits about what anyone else thinks of them? Sociopath.
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Offline I am lizard

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 01:33:53 am »
Quote
"Money can't by happiness."
           -Rich white people who don't know how the real world operates 

Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 01:37:29 am »
Not wearing a jacket in cold weather will give you the sniffles. Also, greasy food gives you acne.

It's amazing how many people actually believe these two.

Offline I am lizard

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 01:47:12 am »
Not wearing a jacket in cold weather will give you the sniffles. Also, greasy food gives you acne.

It's amazing how many people actually believe these two.
The jacket ones true in the sense that the dryness can cause irritable sinuses and thus lead to excessive production of mucus.

Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 11:23:59 am »
Not wearing a jacket in cold weather will give you the sniffles. Also, greasy food gives you acne.

It's amazing how many people actually believe these two.
The jacket ones true in the sense that the dryness can cause irritable sinuses and thus lead to excessive production of mucus.
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 11:35:24 am »
Quote
"Money can't by happiness."
           -Rich white people who don't know how the real world operates 

Last I heard, there's pretty clear evidence money makes you happier up to a point, and then ambiguous evidence on whether more money helps after that.

On subject: pretty much every bit of dietary advice you've ever heard has at some point been refuted by a study, and then had another study come out in favour, and then another against, and so on and so forth. It not so much "false" as "nobody knows what's true anymore".
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Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 11:52:11 am »
Quote
"Money can't by happiness."
           -Rich white people who don't know how the real world operates 

Last I heard, there's pretty clear evidence money makes you happier up to a point, and then ambiguous evidence on whether more money helps after that.

On subject: pretty much every bit of dietary advice you've ever heard has at some point been refuted by a study, and then had another study come out in favour, and then another against, and so on and so forth. It not so much "false" as "nobody knows what's true anymore".

Its probably a case of "it really does depend on the person in question."
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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 11:55:32 am »
Quote
"Money can't by happiness."
           -Rich white people who don't know how the real world operates 

Last I heard, there's pretty clear evidence money makes you happier up to a point, and then ambiguous evidence on whether more money helps after that.

On subject: pretty much every bit of dietary advice you've ever heard has at some point been refuted by a study, and then had another study come out in favour, and then another against, and so on and so forth. It not so much "false" as "nobody knows what's true anymore".

Its probably a case of "it really does depend on the person in question."
It doesn't help that humans tend to look at things in relative terms, rather than absolute.  This means that somebody can make more money than I'll see in my lifetime, and yet be unsatisfied because he'll be comparing himself to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Offline Sleepy

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 12:30:12 pm »
This isn't a specific quote or anything, but some people insist that a positive attitude can fix all your problems and make life peachy. No. A positive attitude won't bring back lost loved ones, change your financial situation, or suddenly make you into a happy go-lucky problem solver. Sure, it may work for some people, but there are plenty of people that it fails for and even leads to worsening depressing or other mental disorders.

It's something that's always irked me, especially with all the recent "Strong" movements like "Boston Strong" and "Stronger than the Storm" (after the hurricane in New Jersey). People are admired for staying strong after losing something dear to them, whether it's a limb, a family member, or their home. People who grieve are not, despite their actions being incredibly understandable. If I lose my legs, I'm not going to embrace the new me. I'm going to be depressed as fuck because I'm, you know, missing my fucking limbs. And yet I see people looked down upon for such a thing. I dunno, the general concept has always bothered me.
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Offline I am lizard

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 01:35:18 pm »
Quote
"Money can't by happiness."
           -Rich white people who don't know how the real world operates 

Last I heard, there's pretty clear evidence money makes you happier up to a point, and then ambiguous evidence on whether more money helps after that.

More money will definitely help if you're trying to pay of your college loans.

Offline Random Dinosaur

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 02:00:16 pm »
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Should be self-explanatory. Psychological abuse exists.
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Offline solar.

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2014, 04:35:31 pm »
"Ignoring a bully always works" and "Fighting back against a bully makes you a bully." NOPE. Fighting back shows that you are not afraid.
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Offline Old Viking

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2014, 04:59:58 pm »
The version I like is, "Money can't buy happiness, but it makes your unhappiness a lot easier to bear."
I am an old man, and I've seen many problems, most of which never happened.

Offline Random Dinosaur

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 05:17:33 pm »
"Ignoring a bully always works" and "Fighting back against a bully makes you a bully." NOPE. Fighting back shows that you are not afraid.
Standard practice when I was in elementary-middle school was for the bullies to verbally harass a victim until he physically fought back. Then they would hit him even harder and run off to tell the nearest authority figure what happened. Said authority figure would then let the bullies off the hook because the victim threw the first punch and was therefore at fault.
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Offline solar.

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Re: Popular (But False) Pieces of Advice
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2014, 05:22:17 pm »
"Ignoring a bully always works" and "Fighting back against a bully makes you a bully." NOPE. Fighting back shows that you are not afraid.
Standard practice when I was in elementary-middle school was for the bullies to verbally harass a victim until he physically fought back. Then they would hit him even harder and run off to tell the nearest authority figure what happened. Said authority figure would then let the bullies off the hook because the victim threw the first punch and was therefore at fault.
Unfortunately, that's the American school system for you. They don't look into it as they should. If I were in charge, each case of bullying would be analyzed with the same thoroughness of a murder case.
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