Archive for category Theory
I had the good fortune to have both my father and my brother around for this last holiday season. It was wonderful seeing my brother in particular, since he lives on the other side of the country, and we are very close emotionally. However, I had an interesting discovery, and one that saddens me somewhat. He was divorced earlier this year, but he still hasn’t even looked at the red pill. He doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a systemic societal problem, other than a lack of manliness. While he’s right about the fact that the majority of the men out there these days are little more than puling manginas, he’s wrong to place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of men. There is plenty of blame to go around.
I realized that he and I were never going to see eye to eye on this, so I ended the discussion, but I continued to think about it. The real revelation came when I brought the subject up with my dad. My dad is a gentleman of the old school, raised on a farm, but exquisitely courteous and well mannered, and always correct in his dealings with women. And he completely agreed with my brother. They both lambasted me for sympathizing with men who choose to withdraw from the divorce machine to play Call of Duty, drink beer, and wank to whatever porn strikes their fancy. That was when the really sad realization hit. They are both men who pride themselves on their masculinity, and to accept that this sea change in society happened at the behest of feminists, for the sake of the female hamster, is completely alien to them. Women are still supposed to be submissive, gentle and feminine. If women aren’t acting like women should, well, it is because men aren’t manning up and acting like men should.
I cited statistics on divorce initiation and reasons given for divorce (you all know them, and if you don’t, read some other blog. This is about introspection, not persuasion. Any MRA/PUA/etc. blog will have them somewhere.) My brother discounted them through some rather interesting mental sleight of hand. I gave examples of frivolous divorce, and challenged them to cite one legitimate well known divorce for every three hamster driven divorces I could. They invoked the shibboleth of “You never know what the marriage was actually like unless you’re in it”, even pointing out the fact that since they both had been married, and I hadn’t, they understood better than I did how bad a bad marriage could get (true, but irrelevant. See the statistics.) Nothing I said even began to scratch the surface of their serene conviction that men were to blame for the failure of marriage. And then I had the saddest realization of all. It is BECAUSE they are masculine. A masculine man accepts responsibility. It is part of masculinity; a willingness to shield others from blame. And because their masculine natures prohibited them from blaming women (especially given the admittedly glaring flaws in today’s men), all of the blame must belong to men. The flaws just make it so much easier.
If and when I marry, I intend to raise my sons as masculine men. With that, I have to accept the risk that they will take the blue pill and be complicit in the continued war on marriage, because a masculine man accepts responsibility for his own actions, and by extension (since he is masculine, and knows how to be manly), those of his sex. The feminists are winning the war on marriage not because of treacherous male collaborators and whining Jezebel posters, but because of genuinely manly, masculine men. And those manly, masculine men will either find one of those increasingly rare women who understands just what the word ‘promise’ means, or they won’t. And if they don’t, they will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again until they do. Because a masculine man does not accept failure.
Just to add poignancy to the whole thing, the real losers aren’t the feminist elite or their limp-wristed male turncoats, or even the very few mensch out there. The real losers are the young women who buy into the lie, take the blue pill, and divorce those increasingly rare masculine men, because they were bored, or they fell out of love, or some other idiotic reason. Or even worse, the young women who spend their twenties acting the way their friends do, and find themselves alone in their mid thirties, desperate for a husband, but spending more and more time looking at that nice tabby at the pet store. The feminists and the sympathy belly-wearing quislings don’t actually hurt the real men; real men aren’t that vulnerable to something that petty. They hurt the women who have the potential to be real women.
I love my RSS reader. It reminds me to read the people who are blogging important stuff. Heartiste had a post today which was simply brilliant, dissecting the three flavors of anti-game men. I commented at some length, and had a realization, and that is why I came back here immediately to write a post. Simply put, it is that Game is still in its infancy. Viewed alone, as a method for picking up women, it is a mature art, but it is only one piece of the puzzle of reclaiming masculinity by men. If men are masculine, which is to say assertive, informed, competent, responsible and mature, game is so thoroughly integrated into their worldview that it isn’t even inner game anymore. It is them. Game becomes a sine qua non for masculinity. If they want to collect notches, they can, but if they are genuinely responsible, their goal will be to create a better life for themselves and for others. They genuinely will leave women ‘better than they found them’. How many PUAs do you know who actually do that?
That said, I still think every man should start studying game at, oh, say 14 or 15. That gives them just enough time to know the kind of frustration that can be spawned by AFC-hood, without getting them bitter. And if they are a natural, then don’t interfere. A man who has relationships that fall into a healthy masculine-feminine dynamic before his personality has fully crystallized is MUCH more likely to be a fully integrated person as an adult, capable of intelligent, informed decisions about commitment, but also able, should it be necessary, to ensure that his partner remains committed to him. Make no mistake, as the half of the species that favors logic and deductive reasoning over emotional reaction, it is Man’s responsibility to give his partner no reasons to stray. There are exceptions. I know this. There are women who would no more cheat than they would saw off their mother’s left arm because they needed fertilizer for their garden. There are women who will even do this for logical reasons. I know two personally. But if you step back from the immediate “Oh NO! A sexual generalization! He must be a male chauvinist pig!” reaction…. wait, no. If you’re having that reaction, you are part of the problem. The sexes are different. There are outliers, as in any population, but you know what statisticians do with outliers? They ignore them.
There is currently only one world economy. No matter what people tell you about the economy of the United States, or Europe, or Japan, or China, all of them are connected intimately and deeply. Price changes in food in China affect the cost of iPads in the US, which affects Apple’s bottom line, which affects the tourism industry in France, which affects…. you get the picture. The only reason we don’t see this more obviously is because of the human factor. A human can only be awake, tops, twenty-ish hours a day if he abuses prescription drugs. That still leaves four hours in which he cannot make decisions. Of those twenty hours awake that our Provigil and Adderall abusing business mogul spends, he probably only spends sixteen or so actually making decisions. And he is far and away in the minority of the human race. As computers improve and are entrusted with more and more decisions, second by second adaptations to the market become more and more possible. Arbitrage lessens, and ever more powerful and subtle computers are required to scrape profit out of ever narrowing margins. This effect is being seen already in some markets; the Forex market is almost impossible to make a profit in, unless you are a mathematician and a skilled programmer.
The reason that the world will never decouple into separate physical markets is that we are (justly) accustomed to recompense for creating a product. HOWEVER, our assumptions about compensation are beginning to change. Many people make a full time living on the internet, for example, doing something as their full time job that actually is provided for free. Take webcomic artists for a moment; they create a free product which often amounts to a full time job for them, but they continue to do it. Their profits are provided on the side, as they take already created ideas and put them in books, on coffee mugs and tee shirts. But what about all of the people who do their online job, and work in meatspace on the side? There is an enormous amount of content that is created whether or not people read it. I’ve heard (and my source may well be wrong) that there is more information on the internet than the entire population of the United States could read before their deaths. That is a LOT of content. How much of it have you read? This blog is an excellent example, in fact. I’ll probably write for a year or two, and if I don’t get any readership in that time, I will probably stop. But there will still be hundreds of posts. Tens of thousands of words. Every single word is being put out there for free. I don’t have any expectation of ever making a penny from this blog (which is probably a good thing, since I have no intention of revealing my identity), but I still need to eat. I provide content for free, merely because I enjoy doing it. I may write for ten years, and not lose interest in all that time, even if I never get another reader.
That effect; people creating content because they like to, without expectation of compensation except recognition, is slowly causing a decoupling of the internet’s economy from that of meatspace. More and more, I suspect, meatspace will be devoted to actual production, or supporting production, and that will be one economy, where tokens of exchange will rule. The second economy will exist in small, specialized cells, where individuals will exchange recognition and reputation for entertainment. There may continue to be a market for mass movies, games, and music, but I suspect it is more likely to dissolve in favor of talented hobbyists. This may take a while; we are only now raising a generation that is accustomed to having the internet in its current “Do anything” form. Anyone born in the eighties and nineties thinks of the internet as something that is still new and amazing, even as we take our livings from it, depend on it, and use it for more and more. For entertainment to truly decouple from production, we need to take the internet for granted. I suspect that it will happen, but not immediately; the oldest of the post-millenial children are just eleven years old this year, after all.
First off, let me make a disclaimer; I have not mastered (or even, in a couple of cases, developed) the techniques I will hereinafter outline. These are largely theoretical at this point, but I rather think that they are the right way to do things.
I was contemplating the whole men’s rights movement recently, and I realized that we (in this case meaning men) are going about things almost exactly the wrong way. Men are campaigning (badly, and mostly being ignored) for equal rights under family law. We are pissing and moaning on the internet. We are checking out of society. We are using the enemy’s (in this case I use enemy to mean the feminist anti-men elite, not, repeat NOT women as a whole) tactics against them. This is a MISTAKE. Last I looked, we (humanity, not just men) use expressions referring to testicles to refer to people being bold, changing things, affecting their world, and daring to stand out. This world currently is a world that is replete with whiny protesters (viz. OWS) who don’t function in the modern world. This is not the manly way to do things. This is not the path of the testicle.
Let me make another disclaimer before I continue, however. I do not argue that women cannot be as good as men at anything. One of the women I respect most in this world is a highly skilled and talented mechanical engineer. She has managed government contracted projects, after graduating from a Big Ten engineering school in the late seventies. She worked certifying nuclear power plants during a time when engineering was a man’s job, and dealt with very real sexism and harassment in the workplace. She went on to raise three children, and then re-entered the workplace after spending fifteen years away from it, and quickly moved from just another mechanical engineer on the bottom of the company’s totem pole, to managing one of their major projects, and turned it (despite major contracting issues) into a profitable concern. This woman is driven, motivated, and VERY good at anything she sets her mind to, so long as it isn’t musical. To say that women can’t be successful in traditionally male pursuits would be moronic. Thus, I am not attempting to say that.
What I am attempting to say is that there are pursuits that require balls (metaphorical, in this case), and pursuits that don’t. Men, naturally endowed with a glorious pair, should generally try to do things in a way that maximizes their advantages. Counseling and support groups are not a constructive way to deal with problems. They are a fantastic way to deal with the emotions surrounding problems, however. Waving signs never accomplished anything useful, with the possible exception of union strikes (but it was more the refusal to work than the actual protesting. Notice the active verb in there?). Men shouldn’t be protesting. We shouldn’t be going to support groups in order to deal with our feelings when we find ourselves unemployed, robbed via divorce or child support, or passed over for a promotion in favor of a marginally qualified person who happens to have the law on her side.
We should go out and change things.
We should take risks.
We should reach down and fondle the wonderful gifts we were granted by nature, and, to quote Heartiste, say “Thing 1, Thing 2, I’m going to let you out of your cage again.”
We should sack up and be men.
I am currently doing the right thing. (Right by a certain definition. I’m not going to get into that, but there is a whole post in that phrase alone. A different post.) Some time ago, I decided that I was going to clean up my act. I was going to stop with the dating (let’s just leave it at dating, shall we?) of random girls who I didn’t have any long-term interest in, and I was going to actually try and be someone that a decent woman would have a long term interest in. Doing the right thing sucks sometimes.
When I initially made the decision, it was actually fairly easy. I was disillusioned with women in general, I was sick of casual ‘relationships’, and I was enjoying a brand new job in a new place. The first couple of months went by in a flash; no loneliness or ennui with life. Then I started to feel it. I missed calling a girl late in the day and talking, or the feeling of her (whoever she might be) hand in mine. There are those (see; who I was a year ago, for example) who would say just nut up and go meet girls. Yeah, okay, that is an option, but I’m not in a place where I can really start a long term relationship effectively, and I’m deliberately forgoing short term relationships. There the suckage enters in. You see, somehow I have absorbed this idea that I’m never supposed to admit that I’m lonely. It probably comes from some early childhood experience or other screwing with my ideas of how the sexes relate. Five years (or so) ago I started down the path of pickup, and that obviated it. Even just the casual chats helped. So I no longer had to hide the fact that I was crashingly, desperately alone. I wasn’t. Sadly, it was a bandaid solution. Physical contact and even shallow emotional contact helps, but they only mask the symptoms.
Recently, I’ve opened up to some people I trust a lot, and they keep telling me the same thing – to wit – “Be patient. She’ll come along.” Do people just not realize how offensive that is? Sometimes (not to be melodramatic) it feels like telling someone who is in physical pain to be patient, because pain fades. When you are in physical pain, you DO something about it. If you need it, you take powerful drugs that drive the pain away. But for whatever reason, we have this cultural rule that the only solution for emotional pain is patience. There has to be some line between passive waiting and man-whore, but there really doesn’t seem to be one that is logically consistent.
Here we get to the meat; the propositional logic.
A) Loneliness sucks.
B) There are methods that can quite effectively ensure relationships of a sort.
C) Genuine partnership requires vulnerability and openness, something contraindicated by B.
D) The only long term solution to loneliness is genuine partnership.
It can be readily demonstrated from these four propositions that the extrema of passivity and activity are mutually exclusive in the relational sphere, but that leaves one with a problem. Humans are creatures both of absolute extremes and very subtle nuance. I never really got practiced enough at game (I really only ever played when I was feeling particularly lonely; it is too high maintenance to play it the way someone like Roosh or Heartiste does) to get the nuance of playing different types of girls; I usually just went after the drunken college chicks. Maybe more practice (prohibited by the whole ‘right thing’ thing) would help with that, but obviously that isn’t really an option.
The question of God, religion, et. al. is ultimately a philosophical one. And, no, it is not some absurd philosophical question like “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” or even more interesting ones like “What is the nature of evil?” It is, ultimately, the only philosophical question that actually matters (although, depending on your answer, it might not matter). The question is this; am I prepared to base personal beliefs on subjective input, or only on things which are completely objective. It is REALLY not hard to justify either position, sadly. Those of us who have had religious experiences (even if the experience is something as ephemeral as just saying ‘I feel like it is true’) and accept them, feel the need to integrate them. As much as it galls me to admit this, though, without a religious experience of some sort (hereinafter shortened to theophany. Because I can. Look it up.) it is impossible to justify a belief in God. Materialists/naturalists refute these experiences as being irreproducible. Well, yeah, but so is a live musical performance. Your point? My belief in God (and for that matter, in Christ) in no way impinges on your rights to deny them. I am, of course, leaving aside those wingnuts who insist on teaching unverifiable pseudoscience, or legislating things that have no business being legislated, but those are rants for another day.
Claiming the mantles of both Christian and rationalist probably disturbs rationalists more than it does Christians. I’m okay with that. Rationalists believe that all questions can eventually be answered (although it will probably open up new questions in the process, of course), and that is, fundamentally, the core of their rejection of religion. I believe that the universe will always have some mysteries; specifically origins. That alone is sufficient evidence (leaving aside my personal experiences) in my mind to require a God. Again, leaving aside my own experience, Pascal’s wager and the nature of most world religions implies that there are very few religions that are appropriate to choose. The overwhelming majority of belief systems do not require salvation in itself, merely good behaviors. Only a very few demand some form of redemption for man. At that point, if there is some immortal part to me (and I don’t know that there is, necessarily, much as I like the idea) then it makes sense for me to choose a way that leads to maximal utility.
So, we start with three beliefs, and I think you will see how starting down this path leads to Christianity.
A) The universe has unanswerable questions.
B) God, by His nature, is unknowable in any complete sense. (A topic for a later, MUCH longer post)
C) Only a few religions demand some sort of penance for being human.
There are more aspects to my specific choice for Christ, of course, some of which are much more telling (for me) than these, but they are for another time.