I just ran across a post on a gardening site saying, essentially, "I'm not into lawn care at all and know nothing of the do's and don't's, but my lawn keeps dying -- can anyone help?"
Yes, I can: If you want to succeed at something, learn a little !$^*@&^!@#* bit about it! It's similar to a woman I knew who would always say, "I try to grow things but I just don't have a green thumb!" Knowing her pretty well, I understood that this meant: "I don't know a thing about growing plants and certainly can't be bothered to learn, but rather than admit my repeated failures are due to laziness and ignorance, I'll blame some magical thumb factor as the cause!"
Or someone will say to me, "I tried your recipe for X, but it just didn't come out the ways yours did!" Well, yes: I've cooked the dish 50 times before, cook almost everyday of my life, study books on cooking (not recipe books!), and have personally spent time with about half-a-dozen good cooks learning from them. The disappointed cook, on the other hand, cook once a month, has never made the dish before, can't be bothered to watch me make it, doesn't study the subject... and thinks a few lines scratched on paper will make up for those differences?!
It's a species of what Michael Oakeshott called "rationalism" -- the idea that a recipe or cheat sheet is just as good as spending years actually mastering something.
UPDATE: And the point here isn't "I cook well" -- I cook as well as anyone who puts a lot of time into it is likely to cook! -- or that there is anything wrong with not cooking well. What I am complaining about is the "shortcut" attitude -- play golf like Tiger Woods in three easy lessons! Think like Richard Dawkins with only these four simple rules! (Oh, wait, that would be easy.) Think like Aristotle with only these four simple rules!
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