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The Stockdale Paradox

A friend sent me the above talk by Ed Yong regarding the Pandemic. I strongly recommend you watch it. It made me think about so many things including but not limited to the pandemic itself.

He spoke about The Stockdale Paradox, which i had never heard of before. It is an absolute summation of what it takes to fight a disease. I have had to take my natural born instincts to be negative and turn that frown upside down. In order to prevail i must remain positive. In order to make prevailing worth while i must remain positive. On the other hand, to prevail we must also face the cold hard truth. I couldn't ignore the need for removing my tongue, larynx etc - i had to tell Dr.Ha, if there is any chance you think the cancer spread further to the larynx or whatever you find - TAKE IT OUT.

I have mentioned before that the particular pathology of my cancer is very rare. (about 20 documented cases) This means the survival statistics are not well defined. I mean no ones life is guaranteed, shit happens, i get that. As i am emerging from 'treatment' and starting to ponder my future further, however, i am trying to get a grasp on how to approach the unknown. Okay, so i want to give myself the best odds so taking care of my health will be primary. Do i live like I only have X years left? And what does that even look like? Or do i continue to live like i will live to 100 (previous approach). What was i forgoing and shortchanging in my life prior that i want to make damn sure i don't want to miss out on moving forward? I mean these are things we all think about at some points in our lives...but they are shoved right in my face at the moment.

Toxic Individualism.

First, i do not consider myself a socialist. I consider myself a capitalist. But lets face it the last few years (heck the last few days) in this country have been a series of the unimaginable. I have always seen individualism as a bedrock of our country, but i believe that we have reached a point of toxic individualism. That can be seen so clearly in the continued fallout of this pandemic (the one that is still going on). Public Health is indeed putting aside personal choice when it comes to protecting the larger society and means protecting the most vulnerable first. Our government and the vast majority of individual in this country have lost sight of this. Covid is not gone, protecting the vulnerable would be the gracious, the ethical, the right thing to do.

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May 31, 2022

I agree on both points you have made. I have always believed in the Stockdale Paradox - unwavering faith while facing the facts to take the best action. I am overjoyed that you have found it too and have turned your frown upside down!! I believe this is the secret to fighting disease for sure. It is also the way to find joy in the face of life's difficulties. On Toxic individualism, I couldn't agree with you more. We have lost kindness, empathy and caring for the wellbeing of others. We should all keep doing the right thing and try to set the example of what it is to be humanistic.



May 16, 2022

I appreciate you sharing the Stockholm Paradox. I actually think I can feel and act both ways. I am a realist.(scored 98% rational thinking on a personality test). But I am also a positive person who looks for the best and I have belief I CAN prevail. I can rationally believe and act on both of these seemingly opposite concepts.

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