Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bad Argument: "You can't live a positive life with a negative mind"

Recently, I ran into some MLM promoters, who, when confronted with problems about their particular scheme(s), tossed back this particular reply:
"You can't live a positive life with a negative mind."
Frankly, this is just sloganeering. And it's often used with a favorite: "Analysis paralysis."

Care to guess who was this quote attributed to? Miley Cyrus. Yes, *that* Miley Cyrus. Though this is apparently from her pre-Twerk days, as part of her song lyric. 

Of course, nowadays, when we think of a Miley Cyrus quote it'd be like this:

Obviously Miley Cyrus didn't invent the quote, but she sure made it popular in recent years. 

Of course, I'd tell you first that who said it wasn't important. If it's true, it's true no matter who said it. So, is the quote "you can't live a positive life with a negative mind" true or false. 

The answer is: it is true for life in general, but false in the context in which it was used. 

Now you're probably thinking: did you just give a weasel answer? 

No, I'll explain that in detail. 

On BehindMLM, a supporter of TelexFree posted the following, and I replied:

And here's it in text form, just so the search engines can find it easier or if you're using a screen reader:
Javen: I’m done researching for 2 month whether Telexfree is ponzi or not because it is NOT Ponzi,it is time i join Telexfree and make money.It seems to be a good business.A negative mind will never give you a positive life 
K. Chang: you cannot get blood from a stone, no matter how much positive thought you have.
There is no doubt that TelexFree is a scam. Brazilian authorities froze it since early 2013, and TelexFree have lost every appeal in court (over 20 at last count) at almost every level of Brazilian justice system. And they refused mediation, or offered some ridiculous concessions like "let us put our name up as collateral and let us restart that allegedly illegal part that you say we can't do". 

That implies that Javen is in a neighboring country to Brazil, where the Brazilian shutdown does not affect them, as TelexFree also runs itself from the US through two virtual offices. Indeed, TelexFree was already outlawed in Peru. This suggests Javen is in one of the other South American countries such as Chile, Argentina, or Bolivia. It's probably not Colombia, as Colombia is very quick to kill such scams, only took them 2 weeks to outlaw WCM777. 

But back to my conclusion... "true in general, but false in this specific context". 

If you look at the BehindMLM link I gave above in which the comment appeared, you'll see that it's a news item about TelexFree being fined for "dealing in bad faith", basically a type of "contempt" charge for wasting the court's time or "filing frivolous lawsuit". Nothing has changed in Brazil... Or in the US. TelexFree is outlawed in Brazil, and TelexFree US works the same way. In fact, there are reports out of Brazil that some local TelexFree promotors are STILL signing people up, and telling them to use Proxy servers to make them look as if they are NOT coming from Brazil, and going to the TelexFree US website and sign up there. 

Would a proper company allow its minions to bypass the law? Would a company lost 20 times in court and offer ridiculous concessions? Would a company promise you hefty profit... If you pay them a lump sum first, and all you need to do is post one ad a day somewhere on the Internet? 

It's clear we are NOT dealing with a truthful and truly profitable company here. 

So when Javen talked about "negative thought", he was referring to all these unscrupulous behavior that lead to the Brazilian authorities shutting them down as a Ponzi scheme

That's a lot more than "negative thought". It's EVIDENCE OF GUILT. 

And minimizing evidence of guilt as "negative thought" shows some serious problem in dealing with reality, or complete misunderstanding of the risks involved. Or both. 

Or the guy's just out to troll us all. 

"Negative thought" in the original quote was referring to general feeling of pessimism, but not just any pessimism, but irrational and unfounded pessimism that is not based on any evidence.  it would indeed be stupid to be held back by irrational fears and baseless pessimism. 

"Negative thought" in the quote was NOT referring to evidence of guilt, suspicious behavior, losses in court of law, and outright illogical behavior.

Let us use an analogy in an area we are often foolish about... love.

To not ask her out, just because you are insecure, you heard some things that may be about her that's not nice, that you thought you smell bad, or sweat on your palm, or you worry about you may fart in her presence... etc. etc. THAT is irrational fear. THAT is "negative thoughts".

To not ask her out because she's a known cheater, juggles three boyfriends at a time (from 3 different schools), reputation of not showing up on dates and made up various stupid excuses... That is NOT 'negative thought'. That's just... stupid... that you've been treated like dirt, and you STILL want to date her.

HUGE difference.

No amount of positive thinking will turn her into a nice person, just as no amount of positive thinking is going to negate all the signs around TelexFree that lead to it being shut down in Brazil as a Ponzi scheme (and there are now signs that the US may get in on the act soon). 

This sort of "negativity avoidance" is called recklessness. Risk? What risk? Who cares about risk? 

That will get you hurt... and hurt badly. 

So when you hear that 'rebuttal' next time, double-check what were the "negative thoughts" being ignored and decide for yourself whether you should really ignore them, rather than succumb to someone else's decision (to ignore the evidence). 

Remember, scammers don't want you to think about things. And if you decided that the slogan is good enough, you stop thinking. And if you stop thinking, you're stupid. Just the way scammers like it. 

Don't be blind and stupid for money. It's not worth it. 
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1 comment:

  1. Love it! What a coincidence this thought ran through my head, (about the ridiculous nature of this quote) so I decided to google it, and your post comes up - AND is only a few days old! glad to know there are people who think a like out in the world :-)