Theoretical Man: Who Is This Poor Guy and When Can I Meet Him?

There’s no shortage of Facebook Warriors patrolling the web for things to dismiss.  Ironic, yes.  If it’s worthy of dismissal, why take the time to seek it out and publicly dismiss it?  Everyone has different emotional needs.

The most common dismissal tactic is appeal to Theoretical Man.  No one’s ever met him, but TM is the most amazing person imaginable.  His circumstances are so extenuating and full of nuance that nothing applies to him.  Ever.  Not gravity.  Not time.  Above all, not happiness or success or anything good.

You can find him if you post something simple like, “If you work harder, you can get more of what you want.”

Someone will come to the defense of TM in no time.  It will probably go something like, “This might not work for everyone.  Some people have real struggles.” (But it will probably be longer and accuse you of callousness toward TM).

TM is powerful in this way.  Anything that wouldn’t work for TM – which is everything – can be dismissed.  Very useful.

You and I have never personally known a single soul for whom the above aphorism wouldn’t apply, if charitably and commonsensically interpreted.  In your own life, you can think of several ways that working harder could result in you getting more of something you want.  You can think of zero real-life acquaintances for whom this is not true.

Not good enough.  The standard of evidence you should use (and you’d know this if you spent more time commenting on Facebook) is whether you can imagine any way in which the infinitely oppressed TM could possibly not turn into Warren Buffet tomorrow if he heeded the advice.

Spoiler: it won’t work for him.  Theoretical Man is tricky.

The point of the internet is to protect TM from any ideas that may benefit others.  It’s not fair to him, because he’s not capable of benefiting from anything himself.

Remember, if it won’t work for TM, it’s irresponsible for you to say it to anybody or try it yourself.

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