First off, I enjoy reading Steve Pavlina’s blog. For the most part, it’s great stuff.
But this latest post is anti-hierarchy, relativist postmodern sludge. He’s concluding that all discerning thought is nothing more than social conditioning and fear-based attachments. Take a look at his simplistic syllogisms.
Death of a loved one = tragedy. Death of a stranger = news.
Killing a dog = cruelty. Killing a pig = dinner.
Americans killed = terrorism. Americans killing = heroism.
There’s an agenda to his comparisons. But he can’t admit it because that would admit an individual perspective. And he argues that everything is culturally constructed. More socially-constructed reductionist statements:
Our social conditioning frames our lives within a context whereby certain events are labeled as tragic. But there’s nothing inherently tragic about those events.
Oh really? All tragedy is socially conditioned? Again, there’s no individual interior perspective to his argument. All value is defined by a single perspective: culture. It’s quadrant reductionism. I agree that we get many of our values from our culture, but if we got all our values from our culture, then everyone would have the same values. And that’s obviously not the case. There are hierarchical levels to values. The values of Mother Theresa are better or higher than the values of Hitler. An introduction to Spiral Dynamics can go into even more depth.
What is your choice? Do you choose to be the conscious creator of your life or the unconscious victim of it? There is no right or wrong answer.
Oh really? Clearly he values being a conscious creator over being an unconscious victim. So he tries to dodge the right/wrong bullet by ignoring his own value hierarchy. It’s classic boomeritis; pluralism infected with narcissism. There is no right or wrong except for what I say is right. So as long as you agree with me, we can just ignore the relativism.
And if Steve Pavlina was forced to choose between killing Hitler and Mother Theresa, he couldn’t.
I agree with your assessment, Graham.
Steve has gone over the edge for the last few weeks to the point where I removed him from my blog reader (I’m sure he’s crushed). For someone who’s claimed market is “Smart People,” he is missing some obvious patterns.
Graham English says
It’s a shame really. He has such a large readership and I’m sure that many of them are smart. And I know for a fact that he’s received an ILP kit. He obviously hasn’t looked deeply into it. But it would benefit all of those wonderful readers immensely if he did.