Stop theorizing, go test it yourself!

I’m find it almost always amusing when someone comments on some video or article that this or that wouldn’t work. “Try this in my home town and you’d get your teeth knocked out” or “You wouldn’t get away with this in XYZ city”, they say.

For example, when I wrote an article about overcoming fear in street photography, some individuals got triggered and commented that one should be afraid of taking photos candidly as there’s a very high chance of the camera being broken or being physically assaulted.

These people are doing a lot of thinking and too little doing. They are thinking of what would work and what wouldn’t. In their head it probably sounds logical. It truly does.

Until you go out and do it in real life. You’d be amazed how different reality can be compared to what’s going on in your head. Our brains like to construct these possible future scenarios and probable outcomes.

Only that our brains are very bad at this.

Another part these guys don’t understand is social intelligence. Understanding subtle social cues, goes a long way.

If you’re a street photographer who likes to do candid photos up close then doing that in a ghetto at night in a provocative manner is probably a stupid idea. You’d probably would get attacked. Then again, I don’t know, I haven’t tried it.

Bruce Gilden was photographing Yakuza members in Japan with a flash. He’s still alive. But I also have no doubt he’s socially (and otherwise) very intelligent.

This concept applies to everything. We theorize too much without actually testing. Opinions are absolutely useless if they don’t rest on at least some practical experience.

Dating is another huge area where a lot of people are doing too much thinking and not much testing. There are countless articles of what men like and what women want and what to do on a date and so on. Most of it, if not just terrible advice, is plain wrong.

Social conditioning does its job as well here. We hear what’s said in the songs and see how things work in the movies. How do we know it’s true? Are the screenwriters really experienced, or do they simply think they know how things work? (E.g., the screenwriter of “Hitch” had no idea of real life; but the screenwriter of “Swingers” did).

Be critical!