In Praise of Unconventional Wisdom

Is All Conventional Wisdom Bad?

Have I ever learned anything from anyone else (in real life) or from books which had practical utility in my life, without me following my gut and self-experimenting?

Conventional wisdom has never helped me. However on the other hand, listening to and acting upon/experimenting on unconventional wisdom has seemed to pay off. 

Lessons from AI

Lessons from unconventional poker strategies (AI)

Huge news– AI has finally toppled the world of Texas Hold’em poker — a notoriously difficult task, as it deals with ‘imperfect information’.

What I found hugely inspiration and fascinating is this:

AI (artificial intelligence) has the ability to DISPROVE and ‘falsify’ (Karl Popper) conventional wisdom.

For example, in Texas hold’em there are certain strategies which are deemed ‘superior’ to other strategies. But this poker AI was able to tilt the conventional wisdom upon the head of ‘orthodoxy’. Which means:

The AI (via self-play) ignored all the ‘conventional wisdom’ of ‘Poker strategy’, and instead– taught itself NEW INSIGHTS via self-experimentation (a ‘tabula rasa’ approach).

Discover new wisdom, truths, and strategies in life for yourself, by yourself.

Long story short:

Ignore conventional wisdom. Better to learn via self-play, self-experimentation, and starting with a ‘blank slate’ mentality (child’s mind/tabula rasa).

This is the heart of innovation. To approach any field or discipline as an ‘ignorant’/blank mind. This will give you the audacity, courage, and insight to self-experiment for yourself!

Go against the grain (and follow your own gut and brain)

For example, when I decided to ‘open source‘ all of my information, everyone thought I was dumb, and it would cause me to lose out on money or opportunities. In-fact, in the long-run, it turned out to be a financially beneficial strategy. I simply followed my gut, and ignored all of the prevalent ‘monetization’ strategies at the time.

I believe that studying models are only useful in this regard:

If you discover unorthodox business models that work well, it can give you courage to experiment and attempt YOUR OWN unorthodox business models.

Self-experimentation in fitness

The conventional wisdom says that in order to get stronger, you must drink tons of protein shakes, and eat food before you workout. The last 3 years I’ve been experimenting with consuming NO PROTEIN POWDER, or any ‘supplements’, and fasting before working out (I don’t eat anything before working out). Through practice and effort, I was able to deadlift 430 pounds (1 rep max) via this regimen. Also note, I am an ‘ectomorph’ typically “weak Asian-guy” physique, and my genetics for physical fitness is unremarkable. Yet I have proved that via practice, you can truly achieve anything.

Conclusion: Ignore everyone else

Test all conventional wisdom for yourself. Think more in terms of ‘first principles‘ in physics, and ruthlessly self-experiment.

Have fun with the process, and discover deeper truths about reality and yourself!


Philosophy by KIM

Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:

Philosophical Essays

Masters of Philosophy »

Personal Philosophy »

Stoicism »

Zen Philosophy »

Life Lessons »

Learn more: Start Here >