Don't delegate understanding

· 2 minute read

There is a parasite, I see it everywhere. It consumes your health and wealth. It preys on ignorance and is easy to catch. It’s so common you may not even notice you have it.

The parasite has a simple and attractive proposition: let me take care of this hard thing for you. Trust me, I know better.

Instead of understanding it yourself, you choose to give the parasite control over your health, education, money, housing, business, identity, data, infrastructure, climate, justice. Even your beliefs.

The parasite has three stages: acceptance, extraction, intervention.

First is acceptance. Everyone else seems to have the parasite already. You are expected, even encouraged, to accept the parasite into your life. You are invited to follow the norm, outsource, consume. It’s okay! Use all the services and amenities. Satisfy your desires. Eat the cheap food, watch the cheap media. Your money and time are meant to be spent. Show off what you got in exchange. Please do not try to understand how it works, it’s too complicated for you. The parasite wants you fattened. Literally and figuratively. You are paying the parasite for the privilege of being ripened.

Second is extraction. Under the influence of the parasite, you have developed unhealthy habits and you are suffering the consequences. Stress, anxiety, obesity, disease, fear, lethargy, decay. To dampen these problems you pay the parasite for help — support, medicine, loans, fines, rent, taxes. Enforcement of some homeostasis. You try to abate the issues, but you don’t have a stable foundation to build on. You have ignored the root causes. The parasite thrives. You are paying the parasite to be harvested, milked, sucked dry.

Third is intervention. The side effects of the parasite’s extraction have reached a critical level. The parasite tells you it’s an emergency. You need doctors, lawyers, firefighters, a military effort. You’re in a surgery room, a court room, a psychiatric ward, a jail cell. The disease can no longer be controlled, it has festered. The flame has turned into a raging fire that needs to be put out. You are paying the parasite to go back to square one.

The three stages of the parasite are interdependent. Every stage benefits someone who is not you. Everyone tells you this is just the way it is. Never mind that the parasite is living large.

Why? Extraction and intervention pay well. Education and prevention do not. The incentives are aligned to make the parasite persuasive. You are alone against a coordinated system that is exceedingly effective at packaging problems you should never have with solutions you should never need. A symbiotic loop.

You must recognize the parasite in its earliest form.

To inoculate yourself don’t delegate understanding. If you build your own understanding you will be the one who earns the dividends.