On The Border Between Profound And Unhelpful

Over time I've become increasingly convinced that such a border doesn't exist, at least as long as you look at things a certain way. What is one tends to also be the other. An example of what I'm talking about, from a Mariners.com article on Tom Wilhelmsen:

[...] he approached Felix Hernandez last year and asked for advice on how to cure his struggling changeup.

"He just said, 'I don't know, dude. I just throw it,'" Wilhelmsen said with a smile.

But leave it to the free-thinking Wilhelmsen to find wisdom in those shrugged shoulders and sparse words.

"I figured, 'Alright, I'll just throw it,'" he said. "So that's what I'm doing with it now. I'll just keep throwing it and throwing it and throwing it."

Felix wasn't giving advice. If anything, he gave anti-advice. Here's how that conversation very easily could have gone:

Wilhelmsen: How do you throw your changeup?
Felix: I don't know, dude, I just throw it.
Wilhelmsen: Thank you for literally nothing.

But Wilhelmsen went the other way and interpreted Felix's words as ultimate, crystalline truth. "Just throw it." Exactly! Now Wilhelmsen is just throwing it, and if it works, he'll credit Felix, even though Felix didn't do anything. We cannot create matter from nothing, but we are very capable of creating meaning from no meaning.

"Just throw it." The shit that gets through to people sometimes.

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