Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy HELLOWEEN

Halloween is surely the most pointless, overdone, and historically inaccurate "holiday" of the lot. Fortunately, a band came along waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1986 with an album called Keeper of the Seven Keys that forever changed the nature and tempo of heavy metal. That band, made up of a bunch of German teenagers who eventually became known as the elder statesmen of an entire sub-genre of metal, was of course HELLOWEEN. Every single member of that band, past and present, is a living legend- especially the founder, Kai Hansen. And it just so happens that this very same Kai Hansen wrote an amazing song on that amazing album that singlehandedly justifies the point of Halloween:



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A rare and unusual mistake

Blackdragon's blog is one of the best sources of advice out there for introverted guys like me about dating, money, investing, and a number of other things. I'm also a fan of his books- if you're looking to develop your online game, his ebooks are outstanding value for money. And I have great respect for his writing and his point of view, he writes well and always publishes thought-provoking posts that might just force you to question certain fundamental assumptions.

His latest post was no exception, but in this case I found myself very much disagreeing with his conclusions:
All this hand-wringing about society is very silly. I’ve seen it my whole life from left-wingers, right-wingers, and centrists alike. 
Society will take care of itself. It always does. Human beings have been around for 120,000 years and human civilization has been for 7,000 years, and I notice that society is still here. Human beings have not died out due to plague, war, nuclear weapons, terrorists, global warming, evil governments, poverty, drugs, guns, lack of babies, or Honey Boo Boo. Regardless of all these things, society is still chugging right along, despite all the millions of people now and throughout history who have chosen to do things in their personal lives that were “not good” for society...
As I said above, you can try to convince this woman that what she’s doing is bad for society. That’s totally fine. Some women may listen, some won’t. I try to convince people of all kinds of things all the time. Some people listen, some people don’t, some people get pissed and call me names, some people eventually come around, some never do. Their choice. It’s all part of this wonderful, imperfect, integrated system called “personal freedom”. 
This is why I will never support a society that restricts women’s freedoms at the governmental level. (Again remember, that doesn’t mean women can commit violence or forcibly take things away from people). Society cannot force women to have babies (or not have them) or limit women’s right to work or vote or whatever because of what “society” needs or wants. Society can go fuck itself. In a contest between the individual and the collective, I’m going to support the individual 95% of the time, woman or man. (That remaining 5% is only when someone is committing violence, theft, or similar.)
Blackdragon's basic point is that the arguments within the Manosphere, particularly from the more vocal MRAs, about restricting or even removing women's right to vote, are dangerous and disingenuous. He does have a point- in a free society, one cannot force anyone to do anything he does not want to do. And that is the fundamental reason why he disagrees with the idea of restricting the right to vote, even though he completely agrees with guys like me when we point out the predictable disasters that have followed from giving women the vote.

There is, however, one major flaw in this logic. There is an implicit assumption here that voting is somehow benign, when it is most assuredly not. Voting is an act of force, nothing more, and nothing less.

Think about this carefully. When you cast your vote in favour of some politician's policies, you are using force and coercion to achieve certain ends. That is what government is- force. It is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. It doesn't matter if you're voting for or against the candidate who wants to lower people's taxes; it doesn't matter if you're voting for or against the candidate who wants to go to war in some God-forsaken land populated by barbarians; it doesn't matter if you vote for or against the candidate who wants to socialise your health care system. Ultimately, you are using government force to achieve ends that you desire.

This is where things get very tricky for a lot of libertarians. Libertarians like me (and Blackdragon) are all about human freedom. The core of our belief system comes down to the idea that Man lives best and most happily when left to his own ends. And that belief is the only one that truly makes sense. I firmly believe that it is the only one that is compatible with the will of our Lord; the Supreme Judge of the Universe, in His wisdom, gave us the gift of reason, and with it the ability to choose to live our lives in accordance or at odds with His Law.

However, there is also the reality that men are not angels; as James Madison pointed out, if they were, we would not need government. Governments are instituted among men, subordinate to the will of the people, to preserve them from each other. That is the entire sum of government's purpose and reason for existing. No other reason is necessary. Government is not a redistribution mechanism, it is not a system of favours, it is merely a guardian of ancient, timeless freedoms given to us by the hand of the Almighty, and can be taken from us only by Him. To assign any other purpose to government is to betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of government.

Yet we are still left with the sticky question: even if government is force, to what degree should ordinary people be given access to that power? Less mature libertarians might argue that no government is necessary at all; as I have pointed out before, this is unworkable in practice.

An even more immature response would be to argue that everyone should be allowed such access, and this is exactly where I take issue with Blackdragon's argument. Blackdragon openly acknowledges that, when given the vote, women tend to vote for socialist and liberal political causes that immediately act to reduce human freedom, and he is completely correct to note this. (To be as judiciously fair as possible, it's not just women who fall afoul of this affliction- visit my home country some day and see what happens when you give the right to vote to 700 million poor people.) Yet far from affirming his point that it is immoral to restrict women's freedom to vote, he undermines it.

Let me explain why. The reality is that the only philosophically coherent, practicable, and intellectually consistent approach to human freedom is to adopt a system of government that permits the maximum in individual freedom compatible with law and order. This means that some degree of government is inevitable. It literally can't be avoided; for a society to function properly, there have to be universal rules, and they have to be consistently enforced.

It also means that access to government power must be restricted to those with skin in the game.

And that, by definition, must mean restricting the vote only to those who have an incentive to use it responsibly. And yes, historically, that meant restricting the right to vote to wealthy landowning white men.

It also means that institutions of power must be balanced against each other- placed at loggerheads with the specific intention of ensuring that no one group becomes too powerful. This exact philosophy was the guiding principle behind the most successful power structures in history, including the oligarchy of Sparta, the Roman Republic, the Parliament of the British Empire, and eventually the original structure of the Federal government of the United States.

Note carefully what I am saying, and more importantly what I am not saying. I am saying that the right to vote should be restricted- absolutely. It should be restricted to those who own property, for a start, simply because they will have less incentive to use that right to take the property and wealth of others. This automatically excludes most young people, and most women. I am saying that the right to vote should be denied to women, for the simple reason that no good can come of it. I am not saying that the right to vote should alone determine government acts; at every point in the structure of power, there must be counterbalances, pitting the Federal government against the State, the State government against the local, and the local government against the individual. Only in this contentious, competitive environment can people truly understand the value of their freedoms, and the need to defend them to the last breath. For instance, I would love to see the Federal government try to take people's guns if they found themselves having to pass the hurdles of State, local, and finally individual sovereignty, especially when everyone and his mother is free to buy and carry a gun.

It is unfashionable in the extreme to argue that freedoms, of any kind, should be restricted to anyone. The best answer I have ever seen to that line of argument comes from one of my favourite books, Starship Troopers:
Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral ones, to permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy. The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority . . . other than through the tragic logic of history.
The bottom line that Blackdragon and others like him do not account for is the fundamental link between responsibility and authority. If a woman- or anyone else, for that matter- cannot demonstrate that she can responsibly wield the authority she is given, she does not deserve it and should not have it. End of story. And if universal suffrage has demonstrated anything over the last hundred years, it is that giving the irresponsible, the reckless, the stupid, and the unmanly the right to determine the destinies of nations was and always will be an incredibly stupid idea.

I leave it to Walter Bagehot to have the last word:
History is littered with the remains of great civilisations that gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Fifty Shades of Complete Disaster

I am admittedly quite late to this story, but then I have rather better things to do than worry about who's starring in the latest godawful stupid idea from a Hollywood studio system that has very clearly run out of ideas:
Charlie Hunnam, the erstwhile star of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film adaptation has dropped out of the production after he finally got around to reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Probably. 
The “Sons of Anarchy” actor last month was cast as the BDSM freak Christian Grey in the movie version of the middle-aged mom porn book, which is widely considered to be an embarrassment to literature and has Thomas Hardy rolling over in his grave. But Entertainment Weekly reported Saturday that the actor dropped out of the film due to “scheduling conflicts.” 
Riiiight. 
The studio said in a statement Saturday, “The filmmakers of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.”
Fans of the book were horrified by the casting decision because they actually thought that they could get someone like Ryan Gosling to act in what is sure to be the worst movie of whatever year it will come out.
I have never read Twilight (of Our Civilisation), Fifty Shades of What the F*** is This Crap, or any of the other necrobestial gay-ass vampire novels that are selling in mainstream bookstores these days. But I have to admit that I was practically choking on schadenfreude when I read this. It's always fun to stomp all over the idiotic dreams people with horrible taste.

Unfortunately, this movie will still probably make millions thanks to millions of desperate housewives trying to live out their fantasies vicariously through this crime against cinema...

A hymn by Chesterton

One of my favourite poems ever:

O God of Earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry,
Our Earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die,
The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide,
Take not Thy thunder from us, but take away our pride

From all that terror teaches, from the lies of tongue and pen,
From all the small speeches that comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation of honour, and the sword,
From sleep, and from damnation, deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether, the prince and priest and thrall
Bind all our lives together, smite us and save us all!
In ire and exultation, aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation, a single sword to Thee
-- G. K. Chesterton, 1906

Or, if you find poetry a bit boring, try this instead- dltaylor81 will appreciate this, I think:


Monday, 28 October 2013

Domain Query: Logic, and the lack thereof

Alexandra Bolus posted this rather amusing comment on one of my more unmedicated rants from a while back:
If your theory on evolution was correct, that would mean that women, too, would be programmed to only be attracted to men with long hair. After all, there is absolutely no difference in the sexes regarding the way hair grows. 
Furthermore, the picture you provided was a horrible example. I did not find the two on the left more attractive - in fact, I barely looked at them. Because they are BORING. The gals with short hair look much more confident stand up straighter. 
Furthermore, since we do not live in a time where natural selection is prevalent, I see no reason why men should only be attracted to women with long hair. With modern medicine, nutrition and growth hormones, a man can logically say that just because a woman had short hair does not mean she is unhealthy or infertile.


And, if such is the case, that would also mean that men should only be attracted to size 10 and 12 women, since anything below (back when we lived in tribes) was considered unsightly. 
But that is not the case at all. 
Your point is moot, sexist, and ill conceived.
Once I stopped laughing, I went back and re-read this once or twice to make sure that I'd gotten the full flavour of it. There are, by my count, at least two (I would argue for three) major errors of logic and one instance of outright solipsistic projection here.

I'll wait for you to find them.

Need another moment?

OK, time's up, I don't have all day. (No, really, I don't, today was brutal.)

Let's start with the very first paragraph. The idea that women would only be attracted to men with long hair would be completely true- if men and women are the same. I really hope that I don't have to tell you why men and women are not, and have never been, the same. Men and women apply totally different standards to what they find attractive- this is why talk of double-standards makes zero sense, since there is no such thing as a single standard that is universal between both men and women for judging the same things. They are literally wired to think differently- this fact starts with the basic reality of sexual dimorphism and affects the very way we perceive the world around us. I have rarely seen a more perfect example of a flawless logical deduction undone by the fact that its starting point is completely false. It's like watching someone passionately argue in front of a crowd that a pristine white canvas is in fact matte black.

Now take a look at the second paragraph. I will assume, for the nonce, that the author is a woman- you can't take anything for granted these days. Note what she says- she finds the women in the photo unattractive.

My dear, the point is not what you think about the photo. The point is that men in general find women with short hair deeply unattractive. Most guys don't give a toss what you specifically think about the women in the photo. What matters to us is what we are programmed to pre-select for: good genetics signalled by clear skin, a healthy complexion, shapely breasts and buttocks, and well-maintained hair.

There are, to be sure, exceptions. There is indeed a very small minority of men who like women with short hair- it's just that most of them tend to be lower Delta, Gamma, and Omega males. Like this jackass.

I could go on in this vein, but I think it's better to let the best of us, Vox Day himself, explain the rest.

And Ms. Bolus is quite wrong to argue that we live in a day and age when natural selection is no longer prevalent. As far as I can tell, it is more strongly prevalent than ever. The dating market is becoming extremely polarised, as noted by multiple game bloggers. Roosh, Roissy, and Rollo have all commented at various times on this polarisation, and on the fact that a small number of highly successful players are capable of rapidly racking up notches due to superior genetics, skill, luck, or a combination of all three, while most guys wallow in mediocrity all their lives because they never develop their game. Never before in history has this polarisation occurred, and it is happening precisely because women are now freer than ever to seek out the traits that they are programmed to find attractive, without fear of the negative consequences of unprotected sex. Women are indeed the gatekeepers of sex, and when they find that they can get the pleasures of sex without severe penalties of societal ostracism, early (and painful) pregnancy, and economic and financial hardship (thanks to Big Daddy Government), is it really so surprising that they will tend to search out specifically Alpha male traits?

Finally there's that little gem about how women "back in the tribal days" were at least a size 10 or 12. Uh, lady, have you ever seen pictures of ancient and modern hunter-gatherers? Unless you're talking about tribes living in areas which specifically favour stocky builds and layers of fat, both ancient and modern tribal women tended towards lean, muscular, and very fit. They compare with the modern cardio-bunny-PR-flack woman in much the same way that Spacebunny Day compares with Theresa Nielsen Hayden.

As for the point that I was making in my missive- moot? Not if you talk to, y'know, actual guys- and by that I mean men who eat red meat, like shooting guns, and have no problem whatsoever with beating the crap out of trespassers and aggressors. Ill-conceived? To a vegetarian, perhaps- but then, I doubt many vegetarians frequent this blog or any others like it.

Sexist? Yes, and...?

This, I have to admit, is where I simply dissolved into uproarious laughter. Here's a lesson for those paying attention: calling guys like me "sexist" is not an insult. It's like being called a poopyhead by a toddler in a playground- it just reveals the fundamental immaturity of the name-caller, and nothing more. (Or, if you prefer, it's like watching McRapey trying to prove that he's really not bothered at all by Vox's clearly vast intellectual and physical superiority over him.)

Gentlemen, the next time a woman calls you a sexist pig, just look her straight in the eyes, put on your best s***-eating Han Solo grin, and tell her, "True. Now go make dinner. And fetch my slippers while you're at it."

He's back

One of our best has finally returned to semi-regular posting after a long absence. Halfbreed, who graciously provided his insights and advice on the game some time ago, disappeared for a while after about May this year, but then he resurfaced a few weeks ago. If you're looking for a good place to go to get some insights into how to build and maintain a soft harem, or if you just like reading some rather funny (and perhaps mildly disturbing) stories written by a guy who knows how to write, then head on over to his blog and check it out.

(Be warned, however, that his blog ranges from somewhat to very NSFW, so be prudent; Lord knows, guys like us give the bloated land whales that populate the HR departments of this world enough excuses to fire us.)

I understand that he also has an eBook out now. From what I can see, this book addresses the end of the market that bloggers and game masters like Roosh and Blackdragon touch upon but haven't necessarily penetrated too deeply. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) That would be the part of the game where you've gotten past the approach, the escalation, the inevitable awkward moment outside her apartment, and the annoying LMR/ASD- i.e. when you get to the actually enjoyable part of the game. If this is an area of your life where you feel like you could use some improvement, I'd recommend checking it out- but only after you've already built a solid foundation on the teachings of guys like Halfbreed, Roosh, and Blackdragon.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Defining Curie-Hultgreen Syndrome

Given that we are apparently only months away from seeing the first ever female Chairman/woman/person (who really gives a toss about the politically correct nomenclature when it comes to the creature from Jekyll Island?) of the Federal bloody Reserve, I think it's clear that having women in charge simply because they're women is, and has always been, a catastrophically stupid idea.

Janet Yellen, though, is not the problem. Her nomination for a post for which she is singularly unqualified- unless you count "being a proponent of every single stupid idea that got us into this mess in the first place" as a Good Thing- is a symptom of the disease eating away at our society, not the disease itself. That disease is something that the best among us, Vox Day himself, came up with- and he calls it "Curie-Hultgreen Syndrome".

What he didn't do (insofar as I can tell) is provide a working definition of it.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, let me make it perfectly clear that I do not, under any circumstances, consider myself to be Vox's intellectual equal. I'm not even close. He is much, much smarter than me- by at least two standard deviations, last time I checked. He also does not know me personally and most certainly does not need me to explain his work to others, given how very capable he is of doing that himself. I simply want to ensure that, somewhere within the 'Sphere, we have something of a simple definition of what the problem is, so that we can actually fight it.

Definition

Based on what I can see, Curie-Hultgreen Syndrome might best be summarised as "a cognitive impairment disorder which results in the victim assigning undue importance and privilege to a woman in any given field of professional, scientific, academic, or martial excellence simply because she is a woman".

Etymology

The original etymology for this rather insidious disease comes from the careers of two women. The first is of course Marie Curie, the only woman who ever won two Nobel Prizes for scientific innovation, and the only person in history to win Nobel Prizes in two separate fields of science. Her stellar career was cut rather short by the fact that she exposed herself to quite a lot of very nasty radiation during her experiments. She was, in my opinion, one of the very few truly legendary female innovators who really deserves to be recognised for revolutionising the fields in which she worked. She was also, as noted in that article, incorruptible; unlike Albert Einstein, whose ego expanded almost as fast as his fame did, she remained both absolutely honest and completely modest in her personal lifestyle and habits.

The second is rather less well-known. Her name was Kara Hultgreen, and her greatest claim to fame was in crashing her F-14 Tomcat just months after being certified as combat-ready. In the subsequent investigation in the crash that killed her, a classified report into the incident concluded that the pilot screwed up, royally, despite being trained to recognise the mechanical deficiencies of the aircraft she was piloting.

Symptoms

Symptoms include: promoting a woman over a better-qualified man for reasons of optics; insisting that men and women are interchangeable and can perform the same tasks at the same level of consistent quality; being wilfully blind to any evidence to the contrary; and insisting on putting women in positions of responsibility for which they are completely and totally unsuited.

Treatment

Treatment options are unfortunately limited at this time, due to mass-scale brainwashing over the last 50 years. If afflicted with Curie-Hultgreen Syndrome, the victim is advised to get the hell out of the ivory tower/cubicle/think tank/feminist group meeting and attempt to objectively measure performance of males and females with similar qualifications in similar jobs to see which group performs better under stress and delivers consistently superior results. This is also known as "real world exposure" and "anti-liberal shock therapy", and has proven highly effective- though it is often extremely traumatic to the victim.

Prevention

Prevention of CHS starts early and must begin in the home. Parents should be advised to note that girls and boys are different, think differently, respond to different incentives, and are not interchangeable. Teachers should stop trying to treat boys as maladjusted girls and start letting them do what boys do- fight, stick together, build stuff, break stuff, act out hero fantasies, and generally muck about in the mud.

It is advisable that parents ensure that their children study sensible subjects in university to prevent their offspring from contracting incurable CHS. This means that children should be advised to study the hard sciences and mathematics (i.e. not biology) and avoid fields like Economics, History, Gender Studies, Sociology (sorry, had to cough up a hairball just now), and other useless liberal arts subjects that essentially amount to 4 years of farting around in the quad sipping overpriced lattes.

Remember, only YOU can prevent the spread of CHS and its potentially devastating effects upon the rest of what little is left of our civilisation.

The relentless pursuit of perfection


The Long Road

If you've started taking regular doses of the red pill, you're going to realise pretty soon that you face certain shortcomings as a man which you know that you must overcome. And when you embark down the road of serious, constant, rigourous self-improvement, you're going to come to certain points in the journey where you will be sorely tempted to give up, to turn back, to say, "it's too difficult, I can't do this".

It would be so easy to give up. It would be so simple to turn back. But sooner or later, you're going to realise that there is no going back.

Once you have taken it upon yourself to achieve fulfillment in your life, and you have accepted the responsibility that you have to yourself, your family, and your people to be the best version of yourself that you can be, you will find that this is not something you can simply give up or lay down. The commitment to this path is eternal, and while you might falter along the way, you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to truly quit.

The reason for this is simple: while it would be easy to give up, the value of the knowledge that you have gained through whatever enlightenment you have achieved so far is simply too great for you to refuse to continue. This applies to every discipline of your life- whether that be approaching women, becoming strong and fit, taking up a martial art, becoming an elite programmer, or whatever you choose to dedicate yourself toward as a life goal. Once you truly decide- truly make the commitment, with the most serious mind- to be the best, then the only direction left before you is forward.

Obstacles

Let me give you a real and very personal example. I've been studying the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga for nearly 7 months now, and I feel as though I am more than ready to take the test to get to the next level. At my school, though, the policy is very simple and very clear: you have to take a clinic with an instructor of the school, and only when he thinks you are ready, are you allowed to test (at least for Yellow and Orange Belt).

Last week I went to my third such clinic, almost desperate to prove to my instructors that I was ready for the trials. There were far too many people who turned up to that clinic, though- it was really more of a class than a clinic, because the Master Instructor was training us that day- and as a result it was impossible for the instructors to make a definitive decision about who was and was not ready to test. In the end, I was not judged to be worthy.

I came away deeply disappointed, furiously angry, and bitterly unhappy, wondering if there was really any point in continuing. It felt like I had wasted 6 months of my life studying an art with nothing to show for it. I gave serious thought to simply quitting the school after my contract with it expired, abandoning the art, and refusing to have anything to do with it any longer. I was sure that I was ready to test, and surely my teachers could see that- after all, I'd trained in front of them for so long by now. I stewed about it for a few hours, wallowing in bitterness and disappointment, after I came home, and figured that I'd come to a final decision the next evening while lifting weights in the gym in what I have long since come to think of as "blessed solitude".

The next evening I entered the gym and immediately entered that special headspace that all powerlifters get into when lifting hard and heavy. And that was when I started thinking about what the Master Instructor had told us, both in a short speech to us all at that clinic and in similar speeches in other classes. Over and over again, the Master told us that he regards Yellow Belt as the single most important belt in the entire curriculum of the art. Those who test well at the Yellow Belt level do so because they have very solid fundamentals, and because they have driven themselves to seek perfection in the art. The best students do not merely seek to be good at this stuff- they seek to be perfect. That means that they execute every single strike with the goal of making this one better than the last; they execute every single technique with the goal of seeking out small errors in their form and correcting them.

In short, they seek mastery.

Looking at it from that perspective, I realised that I simply could not turn my back on the art. I just couldn't do it and look at myself in the mirror the next day. Looking at it that way, I could no longer justify the urge to quit, because I realised that in order to seek that same elusive perfection, I had to overcome my own limitations- mine, and no one else's. No excuses, no dodges. I couldn't just give up and invalidate everything that I had learned- I had come too far down this road to do that. I realised that I'd gotten my motivation for studying the art backasswards. I had thought that I wanted to test for the next level simply to learn new material and progress upwards, but that night, I realised that I actually wanted much more than that.

What I truly wanted was to stand before my teachers, having proven myself worthy of their teachings. I didn't just want to study the art- I wanted to become a part of the living, breathing tradition of Krav Maga, to uphold the values of honour, discipline, courage, and martial prowess that define the art and those who practice it. I wanted to show, beyond any possible shadow of doubt, that I understood and respected the fundamental ideas of the art. I wanted to prove to the Master Instructor that I had earned the right to stand before him as his student through hard work and dedication, instead of just being one of many, many paying customers for a service.

And I realised that night that I didn't care how long it took to achieve these goals, not really. Sure, sooner would be better than later- I'm a busy man, I've got books to read, scripts to program, and idiots to avoid, after all. But mastery takes time, and if you're not ready, then sticking to some artificial schedule is not going to speed things up unless you dial things back and focus on the basics once more.

Once you realise what your motivations truly are, and once you figure out whether your motivations are worthwhile, you'll realise very quickly that if they are worthwhile, then giving up is not only shameful and dishonourable, it is also infeasible. You simply cannot give up all of that wisdom, that hard-won confidence and skill, just because you hit a few bumps along the way and forgot to put on your big-boy pants that day.

The Fundamentals

As I hope you can see, this doesn't just apply to martial arts. Let's say that you've stalled out in your attempts to hit a PR in the squat rack (like I did, a few months ago). You'll eventually come to the realisation that your form is poor and that you need to correct it. At that point, when you're squatting more than virtually every other man in the gym, are you really going to say, "f*** it" and return to doing those stupid body part split isolation exercises that everyone else is farting around with and which never result in anything other than frustration and burnout? Of course you're not, because at that point you will have seen the tremendous gains that come from hard work, discipline, and an iron will.

Or let's say that you've taken the teachings from Roosh's Bang and Day Bang and you've gotten some real success, perhaps even several actual lays, but you've suddenly hit a slump and you have no idea why. Are you seriously going to tell me that it's time to pack it in and give up, and return to the stupid old blue-pill approach of waiting for "the One" to come along and fulfil all of your Beta buttboy dreams? Of course you're not.

The only way to overcome these mental blocks- and they are almost always mental- is to focus on the basics once more. If you read the works of history's greatest warriors- Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings comes to mind- you will recall that every single one of them viewed the fundamentals of their respective arts as absolutely paramount. Every modern highly skilled martial artist- including 5th, 8th, and even 10th Dan black belts in Krav Maga- will never walk into the dojo or onto the mat and start practising releases from head-locks or bear hugs or knife threats or gun standoffs. Ever one of them will instead focus on the absolute core elements of their art- punches, kicks, and strikes. And every single one of them will do so with exactly one goal in mind- the relentless pursuit of perfection in all that they do.

Stand Up and FIGHT!

Perfection is, by definition, unattainable. That does not make its pursuit worthless or fruitless. And once you clear your mind and focus specifically on the fundamental aspects of your chosen field, you will eventually realise that the things that were holding you back really weren't that difficult to overcome after all.

Once you de-load on your squats and fix your form, you'll eventually be able to squat 315lbs for a set of 3 reps, without problems, when previously just doing one rep with proper form was really hard. Once you master your inner game by focusing on your own confidence and tranquility of mind, you're not going to find it difficult to talk to that HB9 in the corner, because you're just not intimidated by her- indeed, at that point, if your game is tight, she is probably going to be intimidated by you. Once you practice pistol and rifle shooting to the point where sight alignment and sight picture become second nature, you're not even going to think about how to line up the target; what you're going to care about is narrowing the gap between your current scores and the perfect 100.

It all comes down to how hard you're prepared to work on the basics- and once you've truly mastered those, then there actually isn't much to worry about after that. Sure, the situations and the techniques get harder, but they're just different applications of the same basic problem- the problem that you've solved many, many, many times before. It makes no difference whether we're talking about loading another 5lbs on the bar for a heavy deadlift or approaching that insanely hot babe in the corner who's been giving you signals all night long- it's all about how well you understand the basics. Once you understand those basics, you understand yourself- and you understand that what is impossible is simply a matter of what you are willing and able to take on.

Seek then to be not merely good but perfect with your fundamentals, whatever your chosen field, and mastery will eventually come. It really doesn't matter how long it takes. All that matters is that you meet the road in front of you with courage and resolution, to move forward, always.

What has been seen...

Recently the last season's episodes for How I Met Your Mother hit Netflix. There was a time in my life where I did watch this show, fairly frequently; I thought it was one of the funnier sitcoms out there. But my views on the roles of men and women in society have changed radically over the past three years, and as a consequence, when I was watching the first three episodes of that latest season the other day, I simply had to switch it off in disgust.

When it comes to TV, there is nothing worse for a red-pill-aware man than watching the panem et circenses that passes for "entertainment" and having to pretend that there is some value in that trash.

I was re-reading an old favourite post of mine by Keoni Galt regarding one of the funnier sitcoms out there these days- "The Big Bang Theory"- and what he had to say about the nature of sexual relationships, as portrayed in most mainstream TV shows, is broadly applicable to about 95% of the television that Big Media broadcasts as entertainment these days:
The character of Leonard is passive aggressive, simpering, sackless and has a severe case of oneitis for her. He is only spurred to act bravely or assertively if Penny shames him into it or promises a sexual reward. He has no say in the status or direction of their relationship, it's completely at Penny's whim, and he just has to accept her choice and go with however she "feels" in any part of the show. When they are "together," he begs and pleads for sex. When they are apart, he feigns disinterest and approval for Penny's other boyfriends in her presence, than mopes, seethes and plots to disrupt her new relationship when she's not around. 
In short, for the viewer who understands "the red pill" and how female hypergamy works, the relationship between Leonard and Penny is completely unrealistic and artificial. Leonard has almost zero alpha traits, he is the paradigm of the NICE GUY white knight. In fact, during many of the episodes in which they are "just friends" Penny often "dates" other guys- athletic, dumb jock alpha types...which of course is the only realistic representation of today's sexual marketplace.


No matter how many other guys Penny sleeps with, Leonard is always ready and willing to take her back, and not judge her negatively for her steadily increasing partner count in anyway. When she is dating other men, he still is ready and willing to do anything for her at anytime.

In short, this show, with it's witty dialog, humorous banter, and clever SyFy pop-culture references, is a very well-crafted series of BNWO socially engineered programming.
This applies to virtually every other sitcom being broadcast these days. They're all worthless to watch- the only exception I would make is Tim Allen's Last Man Standing, and that is because the main character is very much a masculine guy who likes hunting and fishing and has very traditional ideas about how a man should comport himself in society, which makes his interactions with the milquetoast father of his grandson very, very funny to watch. It's not even worth watching many of these programs for the promise of mindless entertainment- you get annoyed and then angry before your brain has time to disengage and turn into mush.

This extends also to movies these days. Think about it- when was the last time that you went to the movie theatre and saw a hero rise up and act like a hero? Aside from the Dark Knight Trilogy and Iron Man 2 and maybe Pacific Rim (which I saw only after it came out on DVD), the ONLY movie I can think of in recent times which portrayed good and evil in unabashedly black-and-white terms, and made it perfectly clear that it stood for masculine, patriarchical values, was 300. (That is partly why it remains one of my favourite movies of all time- and there is nothing gay about that movie, unless you actually are gay.)

When was the last time you saw a truly funny comedy that didn't try to turn the leading man into some sort of stumbling buffoon, at the mercy of a beautiful and sassy leading lady? There's R.E.D. and its equally hilarious sequel, R.E.D. 2, and there is the magnificently hysterical Hot Fuzz. And... well, that's it. 

One of the uglier consequences of taking the red pill is that you become increasingly disconnected from the society around you- unable and unwilling to partake in the same meaningless, mindless stupidity that entertains the somnambulant public around you. This is in many ways a very Good Thing- try reading a book like Greg Bear's The Forge of God and then tell me that any recent disaster movie can even compare. Or try reading a book like Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi (which I'm reading right now), and then tell me that the latest summer blockbuster is even half as interesting. Hell, if all you're interested in is sci-fi and bewbs, try watching Star Trek Into Darkness after reading a book like Dune or Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, and then tell me that the movie somehow has value.

When it comes to the TV, my recommendation is simple: cancel your cable/satellite subscription, get a monthly subscription to Hulu and/or Netflix if you must, and watch truly creative productions, such as some of the better anime series from Japan, or old-school movies and TV shows like The A-Team (the series, not the film) and Firefly. Your brain will thank you for it.

Monday, 14 October 2013

The care and feeding of deep introverts



It's always an interesting experience being a deep introvert in a highly extroverted society. Even if you work in a relatively cloistered environment (like I do), you'll still experience the life-draining, soul-sucking presence of other people no matter what. At the end of every workday, it's quite normal for a deep introvert to simply "shut down" and become almost completely non-responsive or borderline aggressive and rude in response to what others usually think are simple and polite queries.

It is the natural lot of the deep introvert to be misunderstood, ignored, belittled, or regarded as "strange" or defective in some way. This is neither wrong nor surprising- and this post is not meant to function as some sort of "pity the poor introvert" diatribe, so as far as I'm concerned, the way that extroverts and the rest of society view deep introverts is simply what it is. The point of this post is instead to formulate some simple and clear ideas to help deep introverts deal with our natures, and to help those around them to deal with us (mostly by leaving us the hell alone). In other words, instead of being descriptive, the intent of this post is to be prescriptive.

A word of caution to the reader before you proceed: if you're a frequent visitor like pumpsix, FrancisBegbie, UncleBob, Tempest, or dltaylor81, then literally nothing I'm about to write is going to be news to you. If, however, you're an extrovert who stumbled across this blog by accident (because you had nothing better to do and no one to talk to in order to distract you from the emptiness of your own head) or a deep introvert trying to figure out whether there's "something wrong" with you, then what is to come might be of some use to you.

How to Spot a Deep Introvert

This can be something of a challenge, actually. Most deep introverts have developed serious stealth skills through a lifetime of learning to fade into the background in order to avoid censure for being... well, different. You would also be surprised to find that a great many deep introverts- Didact included- can easily be confused for extroverts if you meet them in a public setting where they are giving a presentation or a speech of some kind. Many of us have learned to adapt, to project a charismatic and powerful persona with a loud voice and flashes of wry humour; only once you get to know us will you realise just how carefully constructed that fa├žade is, and how immensely taxing it is upon us to maintain it.

There are, however, certain tell-tale signs.

Most deep introverts- INTJs, INFPs, those types- are male, there are a few female deep introverts out there but they are very rare. So basically you're looking for the guy sitting deep in the corner wearing headphones and concentrating very hard on reading a book on something esoteric, like quantum physics, the fundamentals of investing, applied mathematics, or world history.

Common feeding grounds include: large bookstores, the backs of dimly lit coffee shops, small bookstores, computer hardware stores, used bookstores, hunting and ammo stores, out-of-print and rare-edition bookstores, internet cafes, basement bookstores, musical venues showcasing obscure yet fanatically-followed underground acts, college bookstores, and quiet old-school English pubs drinking pints of real ale (i.e. with soil floating on the top).

I did mention bookstores, right?

The most common place to find us, by far, is in our own homes. This means that if you don't know where we live- and we often go to considerable lengths to ensure that you don't- then you are S.O.L.

How to Work Alongside a Deep Introvert

Give him a difficult assignment that requires large amounts of time alone to think and formulate ideas. And then go away and let him figure it out. No, seriously, just get lost, we'll figure out how to fix it on our own.

You may find it very difficult to read a deep introvert. This is deliberate and intentional; we do feel emotions- often very very strongly- but we don't like displaying them in public. It is unseemly to do so.

You may also find it very difficult to get an introvert to open up about his personal life. Again, this is completely intentional. We tend to compartmentalise our lives. Work, family, friends, and play all form distinct and discrete compartments in our lives, and with the exception of extremely close friends and family, it is extremely rare for us to let them get jumbled up. We do this for our peace of mind as well as for yours, since our minds and personalities can only handle a small amount of socialisation at a time.

How to Work For a Deep Introvert

Deep introverts make surprisingly good managers and bosses- mostly because we don't micromanage. We don't have the time or patience for it. We don't generally play favourites either, and because we hate superficiality and pretense, we don't play politics, so you always know exactly where you stand with us. The best of us tend to be brutally honest with our opinions about you, within the limits of what is allowed by corporate policy or legality, both to your face and behind your back, so you never need to worry about us saying one thing about you in front of you and another thing to others.

Understand that when we tear apart your idea and present it back to you in tatters, we are in fact giving you the highest possible compliment that we can. Ideas are of absolute importance to us. We spend time examining ideas only if they are worthy of our time and attention. The fact that we have taken the time to look over your idea and then ruthlessly dissect it based on our knowledge, experiences, and skills should be taken as a very positive thing.

Introverts often tend to be very good at delegating work as well. It's not that we're lazy- well, actually, we are, it's just that we're selectively lazy- but there are certain tasks which we just know we're not cut out for. Most of these tasks involve socialising of some kind or another. We can do it, but the mental and physical drain that results is so severe that we require literally hours if not days of recovery time afterwards. In some extreme instances, the drain is such that we enter a near-catatonic state that requires us to be almost completely isolated from external stimuli for a few hours before we can even think about being around other people.

How to Manage a Deep Introvert

The key is to recognise that his greatest talents shine forth when he's left alone. The idea that "teamwork" and "brainstorming" are always and everywhere Good Things is complete nonsense, as anyone who's ever worked in a corporate environment knows full well. "Brainstorming" is just another way of saying, "let's put a bunch of overpaid and overly talkative idiots in a room together to come up with the most harebrained consensus possible". When you want off-the-wall thinking, creative problem-solving, and dogged perfectionism, that's when you bring in your deep introvert, sit him down with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones in his own corner office, and tell him to get to work. There is nothing that makes a technically gifted deep introvert happier than being given license to sit down and build, test, debug, and implement scripts for 10 hours without having to say a word to anyone.

How to Date a Deep Introvert

It's not easy for you. You might be surprised to find out, though, that it's often even worse for him (or her). Actually, this is the one place where female deep introverts genuinely do have it worse than male deep introverts. People generally expect women to be sunny and pleasant to be around, not taciturn and contemplative, but female deep introverts tend to have their noses buried in books quite a lot of the time (these days usually with headphones on), so opening them is quite difficult.

Ladies, when it comes to male deep introverts, understand one thing: if he doesn't want to talk to you, there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. It's that simple. Male deep introverts can be, and often are, very very successful when it comes to dating- but it takes enormous effort over a much longer period of time than it does for extroverted A-types.

When it comes to dating and sex, though, there is one good thing going for deep introverts. We spend huge amounts of time in our own heads- and no, you can't join us in there, you wouldn't last a nanosecond. You think Alice's Wonderland was bizarre and crazy, wait until you spend ten minutes wandering around the utter chaos that is an INTJ's headspace, in which a thousand different voices and ideas all compete for attention at any given time.

Anyway, back on topic- because we spend so much time in our own heads, we have very highly developed imaginations. Let's just say that when it comes to intimacy, more imagination is a Good Thing- and we have plenty to spare.

Just understand that ultimately, your very presence drains us. If we insist on spending hours alone playing video games, reading comic books, lifting really heavy weights, cooking, or listening to music and writing Javascript programs, then simply leave us alone to recharge and be assured that when we come back, we'll be quite pleasant to be around.

Do not, under any circumstances other than extreme and life-threatening emergencies, disturb a deep introvert during his "me time". If you are stupid enough to do so, do not be surprised when he responds with unmitigated and violent hostility. You asked for it, after all.

How to Raise a Deep Introvert
This one's a topic particularly near and dear to me. I was raised by two complete bookworms, so naturally I'm a bookworm myself. The simplest approach here is to leave your kid alone to let his imagination run free, but make sure that you use a firm, fair hand to ensure that he (or she) grows up right. There is a fine line between an introvert and a psychopath, as it happens. And ensure that you have a lot of books around. No, seriously, you need to have loads of books around, otherwise your kid is going to drive you insane asking you for yet another book about dinosaurs or dogs or ecology.

Treat your children fairly. Do NOT show favour of one child over another, especially if one child is an extrovert and the other is a deep introvert. The introvert will simply withdraw if he sees this happening, and will generally either become cold and moody, or insecure and possibly even mentally unstable. I've seen both happen, and neither outcome is pretty. Do not allow your introverted child's siblings to gang up on him, this will damage him beyond your capacity for understanding and may even forever destroy his ability to form meaningful relationships in his life.

Note that the one thing you should not do is try to force socialisation. Introverts form friendships at our own pace and any attempt to rush the process usually results in breaking the very rapport you're trying to create. Remember, introverts have been burned many, many times by a society that simply refuses to understand us, which means that we reserve our deepest trust and greatest affections only for those who have proven themselves worthy of those privileges.


Homeschooling is also strongly advised. Not only will you spare your kid the lousy standards of most public Western education, but your kid will likely learn a damn sight faster than he would via conventional schooling, and he'll probably form much stronger bonds with you to boot.

Gift Ideas for Introverts

  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Books, books, and more books- no seriously, you CANNOT go wrong with giving a deep introvert a book, just please for God's sake ensure that it's not "mainstream" literature (you know, of the Fifty Shades mommy-porn variety)
  • Video games
  • Rare DVD boxed sets- LOTR extended edition boxed sets, certain great old-school cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series, stuff like that
  • Musical instruments (for those of us who are musically inclined)
  • A Linux distribution on a DVD or USB stick- you think I'm joking, but you've not seen a nerdy introvert truly geek out until you've given him a copy of Knoppix or Gentoo or Slackware and then asked him to optimise it
  • Food- no really, many of us have learned the hard way to be self-sufficient when it comes to food, and we are genuinely very grateful and appreciative when other people take the time and trouble to make good food for us

Dos and Don'ts With Introverts

(Mostly Don'ts)

  1. Don't repeat yourself. It bores and annoys us beyond measure and causes us to space out very quickly.
  2. Don't be vapid or content-free in your speech. We'll immediately assume that you have no idea what you're talking about and proceed to ignore you.
  3. Don't try to act smarter than you are. We have very finely tuned BS detectors and have no patience for it. If you do this, do not be surprised when we make you look like ten degrees of idiot in public.
  4. Don't be incompetent, at least not around us. Incompetence is something that irritates us beyond mortal comprehension. Being deep introverts, we generally won't say anything, we'll simply get on with doing our job and then do yours for good measure so that we can get the hell out the door faster. You'll look great in the short term, but we'll also put in place an exit strategy that means that when- not if, but when- we leave, you'll end up wearing your arse around your ears. Like a hat.
  5. Don't try to talk to us if we have headphones on. Seriously, how difficult is this to figure out? WE"RE BLOCKING OUT THE REST OF THE WORLD FOR A REASON. Talk to us via office IM or email, you're actually more likely to get a coherent and thoughtful response that way.
  6. Don't make small talk. We can't friggin' stand it. Nothing about the weather or your kid's football game is anything like as interesting as the non-stop dialogue going on in our heads.
  7. I suppose I ought to include at least one do, so... how about this- do keep things short, sweet, and to the point. How's that?

Introvert Kryptonite

Didact walks into a bookstore...

Didact: "OK, I'm not going to spend more than thirty minutes in here, and I'm not spending more than $50 on three items, I know exactly what books I want to buy, and I know exactly where to- hey, look, they've finally put the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen into a compendium edition in trade paperback! And they've FINALLY got the new HALO novel in paperback! Whoa, an illustrated edition of Dante's Inferno selling at a discount!!! Hey, a large-print edition of The Lord of the Rings! My dad's going to love this! And there's a leather-bound classic print of the Aeneid! Mum's been wanting to replace the copy that her friend borrowed and never returned for thirty years!"
...

Three hours later:

Cashier: "So, that's 10 items for a total of $205.83 with tax. Cash or credit, sir?"

...

On the train back home:

Didact: "FML..."

Monday, 7 October 2013

To Infinity, and Be- *hic*

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "moonshine":
He's a decade off being able to drink it but that hasn't stopped a Colorado sixth-grader from developing a way to brew beer in space. 
Michael Bodzianowski, 11, will soon get the chance to test his method, after he beat nearly 4,000 students to win a National Center for Earth and Space Science Education competition recently. 
'He came up with this idea all on his own,' Michael's teacher and sponsor at the STEM School and Academy in Colorado, Sharon Combs, said.
I think we can all agree that this is the kind of forward thinking that we can ALL get behind. Here's to getting s***-faced in space!

Truly Effective Government

Courtesy of Ron Swanson:



There is much, much more where that came from:


Coming soon to a fast food outlet near you...

Quick! Someone patent this before the Cambodians do!



Yes, that is exactly what it looks like- a one-handed fried breaded chicken nugget meal/drink combo. I am, frankly, astonished that some land whale in 'Murica hasn't figured this out already, and made a bloody fortune selling the rights to it to Burger King and McDonald's...

(h/t Didact Sr, who has rather a lot more time to laugh at such stupidity than I do...)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

"Woman, Go Make Me a Damn Sammich"

As if we needed more evidence that feminists are devoid of humour and utterly lacking in common sense, here's a rather amusing story about feminists completely losing their s*** over a woman making sandwiches for her boyfriend:
Earlier this year, an anonymous woman created a site called 300sandwiches.com, with the following mission statement: 
THE MISSION
My boyfriend E is obsessed with two things: Star Wars and sandwiches. During a Sunday lunchtime viewing of “Return of the Jedi” he told me: “you are 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!” … And so, I got cooking … 
ABOUT ME
I’m a Midwest girl living in New York, a writer and foodie who loves a good meal. I love chocolate, pork buns, and sushi more than I love a sale at Saks. I’m a woman who loves her man, but also never backs down from a challenge. If he wants three hundred sandwiches, then I’ll deliver.
Unsurprisingly, the feminazis proceeded to go completely ape. (BTW I am very much in agreement with Vox when he says that calling feminists "feminazis" is an insult to the National Socialist Worker's Party of Germany- feminists, of the Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan stripe, are far, far worse.) All I can say is that, as far as I'm concerned, if a woman wants to make me a sammich of her own accord, I'm fine with that. I will be happy and grateful that someone else spent the time and trouble to make food for me- especially since I'm so used to cooking for myself. Of course, I probably won't eat the bread- I've been fully Paleo for nearly 2 years now and I don't miss the taste at all- but there's nothing whatsoever wrong with a woman who makes her man a sandwich and shows that she's good at it.

What feminists do not seem to understand is that a woman's impulse to nurture and care for her man is both natural and right. And, given that this same impulse is what builds and maintains civilisation, the only logical conclusion, which is borne out by the evidence, is that feminists are by definition anti-civilisation.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

True Diversity Should Be Celebrated

And I'd say this would be a damn fine way to do so:


Form Versus Function

That's the true difference between bodybuilders and powerlifters:

This is taken straight from the StrongLifts Facebook page, which I think is publicly accessible (and that's the only reason why I can get this pic). It illustrates perfectly the difference between body building and true strength training.

I've seen plenty of examples of the Captain Upper Body types in the gym- there was one joker who looked exactly like that in the gym on Tuesday night when I was doing squats, bench presses, and chin ups. All he did, the entire time, was bicep curls and tricep extensions. He looked jacked and massive from the waist up- and had legs like toothpicks from the waist down. If that wasn't an example of a steroid-boosted body, I don't know what is. Meanwhile, there I am in the squat rack doing reps at 245lbs (it was my light squats day) with a bad throat infection and then proceeding to do bench presses and chin-ups with good form all the way- a simple, total-body workout program that most of these guys with their Imaginary Lat Syndrome would never be able to do.

If you're aiming to get in shape, forget about the crap that you see in muscle and fitness magazines. Ditch the supplements. Stop paying your personal trainer. Just listen to what guys like Mehdi and Elliot Hulse and Mark Rippetoe and, way way way down the totem pole, me, will tell you- chain yourself to a squat rack, learn how to lift heavy weights with good form, and don't be a pussy or make excuses. If I can squat heavy when quite sick and still stand afterwards, you can bloody well learn how to do the same when you're healthy and strong.

To put it another way- what would you rather have girls ask you: questions about how tiny your penis looks in that ridiculous man-kini on stage, or whether you really can wrestle bears on a mountain?

So THAT'S What They Mean By "Special Ed"...

And here I thought "Hot For Teacher" was just a really funny and really silly VAN HALEN song that only gets played at strip clubs these days- I didn't think it would actually happen in real life:
A Dallas teacher has generated a buzz around the high school where she teaches Spanish ever since students discovered that she posed nude online as Playboy’s “Coed of the Month” in February 2011. 
Cristy Nicole Deweese, 21, is a first-year teacher at Rosie M. Collins Sorrells School of Education and Social Services, reports The Dallas Morning News
The magnet school, which serves students in ninth through 12th grades, is located on a campus that hosts six semi-independent magnet high schools. 
Deweese had apparently just turned 18 when she posed nude for the illustrious men’s magazine. She was not employed by the Dallas Independent School District at the time.
In Playboy’s online videos and photos, Deweese goes by the much sexier name, Cristy Nicole.
Now admittedly she did this when she was about 19, I guess, and female college students are not exactly a group known for good judgement or sobriety or understanding of the term "future consequences". I have just two things to say about this.

One, I have absolutely no problem with teachers becoming strippers. The government-sponsored education system is a joke as it is- why not eliminate any remaining pretense that the system works?

Two, and much more importantly- WHY THE HELL DIDN'T MY HIGH SCHOOL HAVE TEACHERS LIKE THAT?!?!? Organic chemistry would have been soooo much more interesting, and I might actually remember some of it today. And don't even get me started on Physics- I was pretty good at it, but I think it would have been way better with a stripper for a teacher. Honestly I think that the guys who created that separate physics engine in Dead or Alive 4 for the women's breasts were on to something there.