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The skeptical foundation: why I always distrust gurus' teachings

Gurus and marketers of all kinds, and especially in self-help, (seek to) gain authority by explaining.

Often, they start their explanation from the foundations of how things work.

For example:

  • The X foundational human needs/drives (and what you need to be happy, convince others, etc. Buy their products for more)
  • How the body works (to prevent X, live strong and healthy, etc. Buy their programs and supplements for more)
  • The X traits of successful men (buy the programs for more on acquiring those traits)

Generally speaking, I trust them little.

The logic of it is very simple:

  1. I'm not sure about their expertise in what they're teaching, so this is a question mark at best. However...
  2. I'm very sure there's a major conflict of interest between their teacher and seller role, a conflict of interest that makes them biased to explain and teach in a way that sells for sure. Is that also in a way that helps and instructs? Maybe... But maybe not. cooking up half-truths, good-sounding BS, or even complete falsehoods may sell even better../

In doubt, I prefer going to less biased sources of information.

For example, scientists, personal experience, or people with some products out, but not necessarily a major upsell.

Funny enough, this makes me and TPM a potentially biased source.

As for everything, exceptions apply.
So as you gain more expertise, one may be able to tell apart those who sell something, but also deliver top value, from those who instead prioritize selling (even if that means spreading BS).

but when in doubt, a skeptics' approach and high filter may be more effective than a learner's approach who is totally open to everything and everyone.

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