Socrates Was Wrong

Knowledge is power.

How many times have we heard this one? It is one of the battle cries of our society. It’s an idea so obvious, so undeniable that few ever give it a second thought. We don’t just seek knowledge; we worship it. Even Socrates, a wise man if there ever was one, said, “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

If only it were that simple. The truth is, Socrates was wrong. Here’s why:

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When the Obvious Isn’t So Obvious

I am suspicious of anything that is overly complicated. Whether it is a book, a theory, a religion or just about anything else, I prefer the simple over the complex and the obvious over the esoteric. This is not because I am lazy. It’s because, more often than not, the complicated things in life aren’t complicated because they’re important; they’re complicated to make us think they’re important.

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I hate it when people…

I hate it when people don’t use their turn signals. I hate it when people don’t return their phone calls. I hate it when people waste my time. I hate it when (you fill in the blank).

Ever hear people use the “I hate it when people…” line? Well, if your experience is anything like mine, you hear it all the time.

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Kubrick, Context and Persuasion

One of the lessons in The Forbidden Keys to Persuasion focuses on the power of context. The reason is simple: context is one of the most overlooked aspects of communication. Especially persuasive communication.

People often spend far more time and money honing the specifics of their message than they do contemplating the “frame” around their message. In other words, context gets lost in our effort to “polish” and “perfect” our messages. Yet, if the context itself is weak or confusing, all the detail work in the world will be for naught.

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Why is it so hard to bite our tungs?

Why do people – yes, including myself – feel so compelled to correct other people about things which make absolutely no difference?

In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard people correct others about the most insignificant things imaginable.

I’m sure there are times when we need to correct and be corrected. But not nearly as often as we may think.

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People. You Gotta Love ’em.

On a recent trip to the post office I witnessed the following exchange take place between a clerk and a customer. I’ve recreated the dialogue to the best of my memory, but the nature of the exchange is accurate.

A lady walks up to the counter and says, “I’m trying to locate a lost package.”

“Do you have a tracking number?” the clerk asks.

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