Why I Refuse To Watch X “Documentary”
The post I didn’t want to write.
I put documentaries in quotation marks, because the term implies a degree of truth.
When these films initially started surfacing and making an impact, I spent a lot of time pondering whether or not I had an Ethical or Moral obligation to watch them, so I could make an educated assessment of the content and prepare counter arguments if needed.
So, here’s why I’m sparing myself the time & energy of grinding through many “documentaries” – nutrition or otherwise:
I posted recently about how Important I believe it is to actively go out of your way to research the alternate or direct critiques against the views you currently hold. Only choosing data and arguments, or in todays age; only following people who support your views is the easiest way to halt personal growth and development.
With that said, does that mean that you should consider EVERY piece of evidence that is available?
Are all counter-arguments equal?
Within the public realm the success of a Journalistic account of “science” is almost entirely underpinned by its ability to create interest, see: controversy.
“Today was a pretty low-key day; just the usual stuff happened”
“Study confirms what you actually already know, I mean, it kinda makes sense”.
Newspaper headlines you won’t ever see.
This inherently makes “The Truth”, an inconsequential and often INCONVIENIENT (see what I did there… anyone) which has more value if it’s alluded to, rather than actually stated outright.
Personal opinion in front of a camera, is still just personal anecdote… in front of a camera.
It happens millions of times every day, and generates millions of dollars every day.
What you’ve watching is long-form (big budget) YouTube content. A video format expression of the “Opinion” section. Why give it more credit than that?
It’s certainly done nothing to merit any more credit.
Personally, I actively dig through the literature on these topics. If an important study (which passes scientific rigour) is published within this area – I would love to study it.
However, that kind of study doesn’t come along very often. Because truly groundbreaking, landmark work usually comes in baby steps. Generations of scientists building on the work of previous researchers.
It’s how science works. Slowly. Often undramatically.
However, if your career involves anything outside of the, often disappointingly, controversial world of Exercise & Nutrition science, I absolutely understand the appeal of being spoon fed “The Truth” from the comfort of your couch in the form of entertainment.
That’s not a criticism. I get it.
It’s worth considering, if you are SO convinced that you should choose to implement practices recommended by an entertainment piece (which make no doubt, these are) then it’s important to understand that you haven’t made a decision – you’ve been sold.
P.S. Anyone who chooses to make the argument that these work, complete with their misuse of information & appeal to the canon of science, are justified because they are attempting to create a positive change in the world should take a second to deeply consider the following;
You’re actively employing the “The Ends Justifies The Means” rational, which has, and will, be used very consistently through history to justify some of the most horrific actions ever committed by humans capable of pre-meditation.