Transformation, Cheat Codes, and the Long Game

Is change possible without the process that appears to be innate to transformation?

As human beings go, we seem to change slowly and with difficulty. Is there, then, a shortcut to becoming human? Or does hacking our way forward not actually take us forward?

True change doesn’t seem possible without the adverse undertaking of metamorphically altering the existence of something.

Which is actually just a conversation on the difference between success and mastery.

  • Defining success and mastery through three metaphors.
  • Showing the difference of these approaches as “the short game” and “the long game.”
  • Deciding which direction you want to…

Upgrade to Medium membership to directly support independent writers and get unlimited access to everything on Medium.

Become a member

Already a member?Sign In

It might explain why we disagree so much.


  • There are three general methods humans typically use to develop their ideological conception of ethics.
  • These are based on Lawerence Kohlberg’s “Methods of Moral Reasoning” and the concepts of Deontology, Consequentialism, Utilitarianism, and Teleology.
  • Using different methods will lead to vastly different outcomes — which is often why some people have irreconcilable disagreements.
  • We need to know (1) what methods we use to understand the world and (2) the methods being used by opposing parties.
Image from; used with permission.

The distance between our culture’s propensity to vehemently argue and our culture’s ability to understand what is causing said argument is verging on the infinite.

Six argumentative approaches and why you need to know them.

Photo used with permission from


  • There are six different approaches to the subject matter of a conflict or argument.
  • We need to know which positions or approaches we are using so that we can know what kind of argument we are having.
  • Arguing using two different approaches is the main reason why our arguments are, often, unproductive.

There Are Different Kinds of Arguments?

The position you bring to a conflict or disagreement absolutely shapes the content of your argument. Rarely, however, are we able to articulate which approach we are using.

Because, yes, there are multiple kinds of disagreements.

And they are based on the position — or approach — you…

In the field of communication, we emphasize how important languages are (and mourn when they go extinct) because of their phenomenological value:

Each language offered a specific way of seeing the world by how they created shared meaning for various objects, experiences, or symbols.

I appreciate you affirming this from a historical perspective.

It is amazing to think about all of the languages that we don't even know about that stem from people and places that we can only imagine -- and yet, we are still part of their linguistic chain that has continually evolved even to today.

It is also interesting to consider how even these very old languages have evolved and adapt (and, sometimes, split to new languages).

Corey - well put. And I appreciate you creating this to help give folks a perspective on making changes.

Technically, there is a theory called "Transtheoretical Stages of Change" that articulates why this is such an issue.

I've tried to write about the theory in an accessible way for people here:

I've also got a podcast episode on the same topic:

Way to take on a heavy issue!

This debate has been going on for awhile (at least since the Sophists and Socrates), but I've also noticed a particular strain of relativism recently.

I've found it interesting that many progressive folks, usually inclined toward social justice, also push a form of relativism to try and be open-minded. What you bring up is necessary -- what makes us pursue some sort of "good" if our morality simply equates to what we prefer.

This can get ugly quick - is it wrong for someone to kill my spouse? What about genocide? I think…

Paul articulated the situation well in the comment below.

I would only add that IF Jesus was a rabbi (seems generally agreed upon) and his age range is accurate, it would have been rare for him to have married before becoming said rabbi. Usually, ancient rabbis did not begin authorized work until around 30 years old and would get married after that.

Just wanted to add this as I don't hear the Jewish perspective brought into the debate very often.

I love that thought at the beginning. What if we put as much (if not more) energy on commonality as about to differences? Well said.

The focus on contradictions and the conception of religions as closed systems has become the norm (and I think there are many more factors in this discussion than simple differences in belief; political, economic, and culture wars probably helped fuel the combativeness).

Your piece is a breath of fresh air amidst the hostility. Thanks!

A further question to explore:

Can any one system of thought fully articulate "truth" or an absolutely correct moral configuration (rationally speaking, is it even possible)?


Do the differences in religions/systems of thought reflect cultural stimuli or pure, philosophical differences?

Thank you for this.

I wanted to ask, based on this interpretation, do you see Joseph's eventual prominence and leadership as an elevation of feminity or at the expense of it?

What I mean is:

(A) - A feminine character is in a position of authority. Because of their feminity, feminism is viewed positively.


(B) - A feminine character is a 'masculine' position. Because of their position (and despite said ' feminism'), the character is viewed positively?

I've seen this brought up in other contexts like Deborah in Judges 4 & 5, but have never considered it in this narrative until you shared this! I would be interested to see how you view that (if my question even makes sense). Thanks so much!

1) After responding to your content, I think it is appropriate to "interpret" (i.e., sense, feel, empirically observe my experience concerning) your communication; which is an unavoidable part of human interaction. You can stipulate that I not share that result, but it's going to happen. My argument on your approach using the evidence of your content remains.

2) Jordan Peterson does utilize and cite Biblical scholarship haphazardly; hence the comparison. Certainly brilliant, nonetheless.

3) The interpretation of Onesimus is a *possibility*; one that has been thrown around a lot before but has never been given much credence (even by the…

Pursuing what it means to be human so as to build the best world possible. Practical ethics through in-depth exploration. Becoming Human:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store