Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar 

Recently, I was reminded of the above saying as I had a choice in my response: angry, cynical, or playing dumb. That choice also relates to my blog Choose your battles wisely. Moreover, a 2013 article in Foreign Policy argued that “There are many more ways to be a fool than there are to be a genius”.

Perhaps, I would have used vinegar if there had been a time constraint. Quite often, we forget or ignore the proverb above when we are under pressure (eg, priorities, time). Still, even Proverbs 15:18 already stated: “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”

Nowadays, we seem keen on convincing others of our view, at all costs. To paraphrase those words: competition is more important than cooperation but Why? It’s tempting to blame demographics (ie, 8 billion humans). However, there are 20 quadrillion ants and cooperation is their default.

What constitutes competition? Wiki: “Competition is a rivalry where two or more parties strive for a common goal which cannot be shared: where one’s gain is the other’s loss (an example of which is a zero-sum game).” This definition argues that our beliefs (eg, in a zero-sum game) cause competition.

Several articles claim that humans have become the apex predator of nature (eg, PNAS-2014, Phys-2021, LiveScience-2021, ScienceAlert-2022). Hence, humans now lack a common enemy (eg, animals). Instead of a common enemy, we have started picking on ourselves, like caged chicken.

The art of picking on ourselves has several historical examples: the origin of ancient antisemitism, medieval anti-Arabism, post-WW2 anti-communism, the political Islam, and – more recently – the Black Lives Matter movement. Any human identity is fragile and vulnerable in those examples.

If my analysis is valid then a solution would be simple: a (new) common enemy (eg, aliens). Indeed, the 2017 urban fantasy action film Bright (#6.3 in IMDb) argues the same; also see my blog Bright (Netflix).

There is, however, no solution for the ultimate root cause: our human beliefs and our 7 Belief systems, including its three domains: Love, Knowledge and Power.

My 2020 blog Needs, Wants, Beliefs & Awakening (2) suggests a route to overcome our beliefs: more pragmatism and less ideology.

Probably, that route would – first and foremost – require less pressure.

“You may catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but you’ll get them to work harder if you use a flyswatter.” A quote by Jerry Lewis (1926-2017), an American comedian, actor, and singer.

Under Pressure (1981) by Queen featuring David Bowie
band, artist, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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