He who is against action

"Well, actually" can stop a conversation. If it doesn't, good. But often it does, because not everybody can say "Maybe, but let's talk about the general point anyway".

"Do you have examples?" can stop a conversation. If it doesn't, great (and giving examples is pro-action). But often it does stop the conversation, because not everybody can say "Not at the moment!" and keep discussing the general point.

"This is not important" can stop a conversation. "Here's a long post I think you should read before talking about X" can stop the conversation. "Aaaargh this is really annoying" often stops the conversation and replaces it with a different one (the one that is probably about youб and now you are the source of action).

If the conversation could have lead to some kind of action, conversation stoppers are against action. Some conversations are stuck. Then stopping them can be pro-action.

It all depends.


Perfectionism is against action — because it always delays the next stage, whatever the next stage is.

"If you can't do it well, honestly, don't do it at all" is against action. "I'll do it myself" is against action — not against all action but against other's action, in the same way a gun is not "against people".


Scrolling Twitter is against action.

Tweeting itself can be against action too, if you are tweeting into a void and there was an available non-void you could talk to. At the very least tag somebody. Tagging is pro-action.


"But" is against action. (People have figured this one out already.)


Calling people out can be pro-action, calling out a "wider trend or phenomenon" can be anti-action.

Or it can be the other way around. Depends on what happens next.

"Against action" is judged by whether it did, in fact, prevent action. Nothing is inherently against action.


"But what if we get sued" is against action. This is the unsaid lesson of Fucking Sue Me. Can be pro-action if you're getting sued all the time and would rather spend this time on something else instead, though.

Security is against action. Same caveat applies.

Shouting "tie your shoelaces!" to a random kid on the street is against action. So is [everything] the kid's parents do, likely.


Becoming vegan, becoming trans, becoming anything, seems to be pro-action. Not "different action", but "actually more action than there would have been otherwise".


Nate Soares gives an example of someone who is anti-action:

Bob says, "That plan sounds stupid and will never work. Also, even if it did, the UN has no real power. I also want to change the world, but I'm not going to do it via a long convoluted hopeless plan. I'm just going to generally improve my ability to change the world and wait for a better plan to appear."

[...] Yes, [Alice's] plan is bad. It's complicated, it has too many steps, and it's built on a poor model of how to change the world. But I'd still place my money on Alice.

Why? Because Alice is going to be out there bumping into the world, and Bob's going to be staying inside wishing he had actions he could commit to.

— Dive In


"I missed you" is pro-action. Silence is against action.

Blocking people is pro-action, because the alternative is ignoring people. Ignoring people is against action: nobody gets closure. Everybody is 1% more stuck.


Sharing drafts is pro-action. Working with your garage door open is pro-action. Radiating intent is pro-action.


When he is against action, he usually has a good reason.

And honestly, action sucks. Everything bad that happens, happens through action.

But perhaps if he stopped action less often — say, just 10% less often — his life would be different.

And maybe he should try it, out of selfishness. Or boredom. He's been stopping action for long enough that it's become predictable and routine. What would happen if he stopped?

See also