August 16, 2010

The Worst Thing That Can Happen Is You Succeed

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a market research firm that should have done a bit more market research


DO YOU REALLY BLAME SCOTT'S PARENTS FOR HIS INABILITY TO FIND A GREAT JOB AND HIS AMBIVALENCE TOWARDS THE ONE IN FRONT OF HIM?

No, just for the second.  Ambivalence is learned.

WELL, WHO DO YOU BLAME FOR THE FIRST?  THE MEDIA? THE GIVERNMENT?

They're all working together: overpromise, underdeliver, and apologize with aspirational goods.  "Here's the lease for your new Honda.  Why don't you drive it to college?  For only $20k a year you can pretend you're employable."

The media designs the fantasy.  They show you the cars and the clothes and the life, and your parents-- misty about their unfulfilled dreams but thankful they can put food on the table, fill in the blanks: "to get that, you need to go to school."


I TRIED TO DO IT ON MY OWN.  BUT IT'S NOT SO SIMPLE AS "JUST DO IT."  WHAT I NEED IS ONE GOOD BREAK.  ALL I NEED IS AN OPPORTUNITY, THEN---

I frequently get requests: "I love your blog, do you ever accept submissions?"

I'm sure these people are creative and hardworking.  So what do they need me for?

  • Working for someone else means the payoff is visible.
  • There's some lack of confidence in their own work, but a complete absence of confidence in the market's ability to realistically value it.   That's what happens when bad output is routinely subsidized for political ends: people will think it's all rigged.  So they want an expert to appraise their output.   Immediate validation.  No uncertainty, e.g. "am I really a writer?"   If Random House says you are, then you are.


They're willing to work hard for someone else, while toying with their own dreams at internet cafes.  ("Hey, should I open an internet cafe?")

Resistance: 

  • resistance in a dream is symbolized by being frozen or stuck;
  • resistance in dating is manifested as obsessive strategizing, running scenarios, going over your audition;
  • resistance in pursuit of a life goal is created with endless schooling, ADHD/caffeine/marijuana, and "I just need to tighten a few things up..."

All of those are the same: "I'll do whatever it takes not to move towards success, because then I will never have failed."

 





SO IT'S FEAR OF FAILING AT YOUR ATTAINING YOUR GOAL?

Oh, no, this is America, no one fails in America, it's always the fault of circumstance.  No, it's not fear of attaining success; it's fear of sustaining it.  "Oh God, how long before they figure out I'm faking it?"  That's the American horror movie.

You know how in the horror movie the killer is chasing the girl, and she trips or the car won't start?  That's resistance: "I need to be punished for the earlier use of my pleasure centers-- because if I get away with it, what kind of a person am I?"

And the boyfriend wants to save her, but the door won't open or he can't get to her in time, so he has to watch her be killed.  That's resistance: "If I manage to bust in there, what am I supposed to do then?"

If you become President, will you know what to do?  If you get that part in a movie, will you actually be able to act?   If you manage to pick up the ultrahottie at the bar, will you be able to not blow it and/or your load on the car ride home?  "We can watch a couple Michael Cera movies, he's wicked.   I love your shoes.   You already have herpes, right?"

Working for someone else creates a buffer: they guided me through the first success, they'll guide me through the next one.  That's what fathers are for, after all.

A DEFICIENCY OF SELF-CONFIDENCE?

How do you explain how this generation is (supposedly) the most attended to, protected, educated, well fed, anti-bullied,  antibacterial, sunblocked generation in history, yet they lack self-confidence to make even easy choices like whether to chat up the brunette at the other table in the internet cafe who is equally terrified of what she's capable of?  Or did you think those were separate things?

WHAT ABOUT WOMEN?

I went back to that New York Times story about Scott and his crazy corporate fantasies, and I replaced "Scott" with "Anne."  You know what happened?  The article became a parody.  Yup.  Check The Onion

Would Anne just sit around the house waiting for the "perfect" job?  Would the father and grandfather be so anxious about her future career?  Would her grandfather recommend she move to Europe?  Would she be allowed/allow herself to be photographed drinking iced tea?

Imagine if Anne had said this:

I am beginning to realize that refusal is going to have repercussions... My parents are subtly pointing out that beyond room and board, they are also paying other expenses for me, like my cellphone charges and the premiums on a life insurance policy.
Which term/s would the 1487 NYT commentors use most often: 

  1. slut
  2. pig
  3. cunt
  4. bitch
  5. savvy go-getter
  6. airhead
  7. casualty of outsourcing and illegal immigration
  8. bimbo

There are other obstacles for women, but they do have an advantage in navigating the traditional path of college to job or grad school because they were historically told NOT to pursue that path, so they don't seem to take it for granted (though I expect that to change in another generation.)    And they do not have Scott's luxury of unlimited time.  Nothing trumps  ambivalence like a looming deadline.

Of course, that just messes things up for Scott.  Why would Scott take a job for $40k when his girlfriend, who worked just a bit harder in school, has one for $50k?  "Well, because 40k+ 50k = 90k."  No, 50k+40k = 90k.  40k+50k=0; they're eventually going to break up.

YOU'RE SUCH A SEXIST PIG.

Sigh, maybe, whatever.  Interesting, however, that you assumed he was breaking up with her. Ha! Personal prejudice ZING! 

Here's a little secret.  No woman wants to be with the kind of guy who can't accept a woman who is smarter or who makes more money than him; but no woman wants a guy who is too comfortable with that, either.     Oh look, another guy in the passenger seat of his girlfriend's Honda.  Betcha he controls the radio.  I know, I know, it's temporary, someday he'll be buying his girl anything she wants.  Too bad that if that day ever comes, it'll be a different girl.

  
CAN YOU REALLY BLAME PARENTS FOR PUSHING THEIR KIDS INTO THE SAFETY OF COLLEGE AND JOBS?

Of course not, I don't know any father that wouldn't advise his kid to take the job-- any job.

He is afraid of you going out on your own because he is worried about failure, of course; and he has a looming deadline of his own.  "If I die, what is going to happen to this kid?"  That's what all non-opiate dependent parents are thinking, all the time, at dinner, on the toilet, during masturbation, all the time.  Sometimes parents even have recurrent dreams in which they die and beg God for two more hours back on Earth so they can bury a box of money in the back yard and leave a coded map, only to wake up and realize they live in an apartment.

WHAT?

Absinthe.  Part of it is the normal cycle of father-son.  The father looks at his 20 year old son and thinks there is no way this kid is going to make it on his own, he's not strong enough/the world's too complicated; but this is the same thing his father thought about him and all the way back to the Thetans.  So the parent tries to shortcut the maturing process by getting the kid into a stable job ASAP.

The problem is that each successive generation is being raised in less gravity, so the bones are weak.  The grandfather says, "my son's a bit of a wimp, but at least there's no war so he'll probably be okay."  Then that kid becomes a parent and says, "my kid's an idiot, but at least he can get a college degree and that will protect him."  Then that kid grows up and becomes a parent, and you know what he says?  "My kid needs a bike helmet."

"How can you know what kind of a man you if you've never been in a fight?" Ed Norton asks himself in Fight Club.  Well, there are other ways, but the point's solid.

Take a look at Scott's trajectory and you'll see something not at all unusual.  Just as parents try to shortcut maturity with the safety of a good job, kids rebel against these shortcuts by choosing a shortcut to manhood: the military.  "If I do four years of this, then my Dad will have to let me do anything I want."

This isn't to discourage joining the military; if you are brave and focused and want to pull a Wittgenstein, go; but if you are doing it because you are afraid of your Dad's disapproval of your ambivalence, then aren't there easier ways to "individuate?"  Scott appears not to  have thought this through very well, he quit after a year of ROTC then tries a half-assed attempt at officer candidate school and then "the sheen wore off."  Oh.  Has there ever been a previous instance of the words "sheen" and "Marine Corps" appearing in the same sentence? 

WHY ARE YOU FOCUSING ONLY ON ENTREPRENEURS, THE CREATIVE, AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED? 

Because they're worth the investment.  I can't help them succeed, but sometimes the the single thing standing between trying and not trying is encouragement.

----

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych
 














Comments

WoW! just too funny and dea... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Posted by matchless1: | Reply

WoW! just too funny and deadly aim! (so I'm an old fart; with luck ... too.)

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All this coming from a guy ... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Posted by FunPsych: | Reply

All this coming from a guy with an MD, who stayed in school for way longer than most. I hope you're in private practice, given what you've written about the importance of entrepreneurial ambitions...

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this was beautiful ... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 5:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

this was beautiful

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Niccolò Machiavelli died a ... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Posted, in reply to FunPsych's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Niccolò Machiavelli died a failure, having been deposed from office, tortured and exiled. The Prince was written as a warning, an old man sharing the lessons of his mistakes.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 23 (29 votes cast)
Thank you. I needed that. <... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 6:29 PM | Posted by Jim L: | Reply

Thank you. I needed that.

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second only to your "you're... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 6:45 PM | Posted by randy: | Reply

second only to your "you're running out of time" post.

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I knew it. You are a scient... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 8:28 PM | Posted by acute_mania: | Reply

I knew it. You are a scientologist.

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My dad said to my br... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 9:09 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply


My dad said to my brother: "You shouldn't have left the marines to finish college". He also said to my brother "I was much more proud of you when you completed marine boot camp, college means nothing".
My dad also likes to pretend he's in hitler's bunker as he drifts off to sleep.
But on a more relevant note, TLP your writing is getting more and more out there. I think you've had your ass kissed one too many times by an anonymous pimple faced skinny 25-30 year old alienated loser poser on your blog. It's like you've lost your normal inhibitory control over how crazy you allow yourself to become, like you're on such a ranting jag you might as well be manic or something. I don't know maybe you were always this weird and I'm only seeing it now, but IDK.

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PS FunPsych wins. Judging b... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 9:16 PM | Posted, in reply to FunPsych's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

PS FunPsych wins. Judging by the ratings, there are 7 butthurt losers who don't like being told their messiah is actually just some gigantic hypocrite with an extended education his parents probably paid for, while he sits back and judges how well middle class youth get on with their lives.

I am sure TLP is private practice, he wouldn't have this level of unwarranted confidence in himself and his ideas if he had to answer to someone else.

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I didn't realize that a blo... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 10:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by demodenise: | Reply

I didn't realize that a blog was about winning or losing. Silly me.

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But on a more relevant n... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 10:28 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

But on a more relevant note, TLP your writing is getting more and more out there. I think you've had your ass kissed one too many times by an anonymous pimple faced skinny 25-30 year old alienated loser poser on your blog.

Listen, buddy, I'll have you know I'm 23, and when the Neutrogena kicks in the pimple thing won't be true either!

But, to get back on topic, TLP is never wrong.

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It's a shame TLP didn't cit... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 10:47 PM | Posted by Gil: | Reply

It's a shame TLP didn't cite the example where increased safety features in a car ends up making drivers more dangerous because they're thinking the safety features will save them in an accident. Or the rock climber who successfully climbed mountains with no safety equipment but as soon as he had a safety wire, he got complacent and fell to his death.

There's something to be said that maturity comes from the lack of a safety net. Scott doesn't have to look for a job because he has a cosy alternative. But what about his grandfather? Wouldn't it be safe to say that in his grandfather's day it was work or go to charities and hope they have some food?

Undoubtedly it is clear why the older generations had commonsense - there were few to no safety net, make a mistake or fail to act and there are dire consequences. Therefore people can blame the welfare state and anti-discrimination laws? Abandon all safety net and bubble-wrap laws and allow people to suffer the consequences of foolish actions and lazing about and watch people regain a worth ethic and commonsense in a pinch?

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Are the people commenting h... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2010 11:23 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Are the people commenting here old or merely unemployed? This was a fantastic post for the intended audience. What does it matter if he's in private practice or even if he's a doctor?

There are a lot of people who needed to hear this.for everyone else, there are seroquel posts.

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Hypocrite shmypocrite. The... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 12:28 AM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

Hypocrite shmypocrite. The lesson here isn't about the messenger. If you look at yourself and think it doesn't apply to you, good.

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The fact that TLP is unstab... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acute_mania: | Reply

The fact that TLP is unstable, or at least plays somebody unstable on his blog, is what keeps him interesting. He is playing a postmodern incarnation of the Tragic/Romantic Hero who is deeply flawed, introspective, and and, to at least some degree, rejected by society (hence the name), and I and everyone else here including you is eating it up like a box of Krispy Kreme.

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You're right... I think Cha... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:42 AM | Posted by Kyle: | Reply

You're right... I think Charlie Sheen has played a member of every part of the military except the Marines.

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Ur right I am eating it up ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:59 AM | Posted, in reply to acute_mania's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Ur right I am eating it up which is why I get very very excited when TLP posts a new entry. I pretty much squee with delight when I see the words "the last psychiatrist" in my blogger dashboard updates.

I am like a crackhead, I cant live with my crack but I can't live without it.

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@Kyle: You beat me to the ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 2:14 AM | Posted, in reply to Kyle's comment, by MH: | Reply

@Kyle: You beat me to the Charlie Sheen joke!

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"You know how in the horror... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 5:41 AM | Posted by someone: | Reply

"You know how in the horror movie the killer is chasing the girl, and she trips or the car won't start? And the boyfriend wants to save her, but the door won't open or he can't get to her in time, so he has to watch her be killed. That's resistance."

That's not "resistance," that's tension and drama. How would you make a horror movie about a killer if he must necessarily be defeated by the heroes before he can even do anything?

"How do you explain how this generation is (supposedly) the most attended to, protected, educated, well fed, anti-bullied, antibacterial, sunblocked generation in history, yet they lack self-confidence to make even easy choices like whether to chat up the brunette at the other table in the internet cafe who is equally terrified of what she's capable of?"

What kind of a fucking quack psychiatrist are you? You think it's easy for everyone to do a cold approach like that? I hope you don't get too many patients.

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Wow. Just when I thought t... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 6:01 AM | Posted by Psychiatry Student: | Reply

Wow. Just when I thought that there was at least one website that was safe from e-thugs that get off on the safety of anonymous bravery on the internet, banging their gavels in judgment of someone with the insight to tell people the truth about themselves.

Silly me.

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You think it's easy for ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 7:49 AM | Posted, in reply to someone's comment, by demodenise: | Reply

You think it's easy for everyone to do a cold approach like that?

It's not so hard once you realize that the outcome of the risk taken doesn't necessarily extend beyond that particular situation. Two possible outcomes: either she's interested or she's not. If she's interested, there's a whole other set of choices and possibilities. If she's not interested, then nothing in life is different than before you said hello.

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Forget all these losers, ha... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 9:06 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Forget all these losers, haters gonna hate. This entry is excellent. I'm 27, two college degrees, lookin at grad school and the security of a PhD and professorship- helps that I'm smart as hell and deserve one and can teach.

You make me think about sayin, "Fuck it, I'm gonna start a book store."
Ha, but forget that. I wanna write instead. Thanks TLP!

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Re: I'm 27, two college ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 9:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by hermitian operator: | Reply

Re: I'm 27, two college degrees, lookin at grad school and the security of a PhD and professorship.

No, statistically you're probably looking at a couple of low paying post docs followed series of non-tenure track lecturer positions where you'll get beaten down.

Perhaps you'll transition to that insurance trainee job that Scottie turned down

You'll like migrant labor, it builds character.

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If you read this post....it... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 9:52 AM | Posted by GT: | Reply

If you read this post....its for you, baby!

Between this post and some previous post that told me I'm older than Han Solo I've just had my eyes opened.

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If she's not interested,... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 10:13 AM | Posted, in reply to demodenise's comment, by Reader: | Reply

If she's not interested, then nothing in life is different than before you said hello.
Except she's hurt your feelings. Maybe her rejection (coupled with multiple previous rejections) will permanently scar you as a man, making you feel unworthy and vulnerable. Anytime anything with a vagina gets within 20 yards you'll have a panic attack.

So you turn to dating services that guarantee a match. It's not you she's rejecting, but the service's choice. Pass the buck to someone else. Can't do that in a bar...

A big boo-f'ing-hoo and what is wrong with our society.

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And the boyfriend wants ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Posted by Get to tha chopper: | Reply

And the boyfriend wants to save her, but the door won't open or he can't get to her in time, so he has to watch her be killed. That's resistance: "If I manage to bust in there, what am I supposed to do then?"

Where's Arnold when you need him? "If it bleeds, we can kill it..."

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Permanently give up masturb... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 11:57 AM | Posted, in reply to someone's comment, by GET TO THA CHOPPA: | Reply

Permanently give up masturbation and porn, and you'll see how quickly you get over your approach anxiety for that brunette. You'll be so hungry for the real thing that you won't even be able to displace your anger due to sexual frustration on an anonymous blogger!

Porn/masturbation, like the helicopter parenting being described, is a safety net. "Well, if I fail with her I can always go home and flog the dolphin."

Unless a chick is watching it next to you naked -- STOP IT

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"It's not so hard once you ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Posted, in reply to demodenise's comment, by someone: | Reply

"It's not so hard once you realize that the outcome of the risk taken doesn't necessarily extend beyond that particular situation."

There's this thing called "reality," not sure if you've heard of it.

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I'm never really sure I get... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:50 PM | Posted by DCF: | Reply

I'm never really sure I get the point with TLP's posts because they're always full of sarcasm ("Oh, no, this is America, no one fails in America, it's always the fault of circumstance."), misdirection ("I know, I know, it's temporary, someday he'll be buying his girl anything she wants. Too bad that if that day ever comes, it'll be a different girl.") and wtf moments.

It's a wild psychological ride, but at the end, what's the point of this post? What's the suggested direction? Be a man and start your own business?

Circumstances don't dictate everything, but they dictate a lot. There is no tech bubble for us to ride. If we go out on our own and fail, there's a good chance we won't be let back in the doors of the big offices and corporations. Their demand for employees is shrinking as supply grows.

I worked for a large IT consulting firm, then took a risk and joined a 50 employee software company. The company is now failing and when I apply to jobs at big IT consulting firms, they tell me it's a long shot I'll be hired since they have plenty of experienced applicants who have been on the corporate path all along.

TLP's advice makes a lot of sense from a psychological standpoint... form a real life standpoint, I'd say it's far-fetched and potentially dangerous.

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...also, I know several peo... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Posted by DCF: | Reply

...also, I know several people who have ran their own biz. Some did like it, but others hated it.

The urge to work for a company is not entirely about some generational/psychological issue. Some people prefer not being the front line to customers, being able to focus on ONE thing instead of everything and many other aspects that distinguish the self employed from those who work for others.

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You're right, it just sucks... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Gil's comment, by DCF: | Reply

You're right, it just sucks and it's not surprising to me that people aren't excited by their options. Basically grandpa Scotty had more to fear than Scotty, so he acted accordingly. It's not fun getting up every morning acting out of fear, though that's what just about everyone has to do.

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Look if you are going to po... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 3:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Psychiatry Student's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Look if you are going to post bullshit on the internet - particularly with the authority of a self appointed god - you gotta expect some kind of backlash.

But there will always be people like you to kiss his ass ridiculously keeping the score even in terms of cynics and sycophants.

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And I would add that TLP is... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

And I would add that TLP is just as anonymous as I am... unless his birth certificate says The Last Psychiatrist , or Alone, he is pretty anon as well. So don't give me this crap about how brave he is and how cowardly anons are... because all of us are spouting off anonymously and all of us are just as traceable by crazy people.

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Actually, if he is rejected... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 3:16 PM | Posted, in reply to demodenise's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Actually, if he is rejected by the girl, the boy's life does change as he has been just told he is not good enough for her, which in turn will negatively affect his confidence, thus how he approaches future endeavors (with hesitance, inhibition, fear). If this happens enough times, his whole life could turn out pretty poorly.

This is why many young people avoid challenging social situations with a potential for rejection - they are afraid of the feeling of rejection and would rather simply not confront a social situation because the risk of failure and intolerable self reproach is too great.

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Thank you DCF for interject... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Posted, in reply to DCF's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you DCF for interjecting reality into this crapfest of nerds spouting inspiring pseudo-macho battle calls to encourage other emasculated nerds to hit up brunettes and build new businesses, with little relevance to the real world. Sure, go start your own business...that's what we need more failed crappy "business owners" fucking up our economy and piling on debts. Get a clue. Odds are you don't have what it takes, just get a fucking job and give up. If you have to push yourself to go into business, it's almost certain your business will flop terribly since the first bare minimum ingression of a successful entrepreneur is insatiable drive and effort (and even THEN there is no certainty you will succeed... I've a distant relative who was quite successful multiple small business owner, then he went insane from stress and now he's in poverty and brain damaged from ECT).

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The reason TLP is never wro... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acute_mania: | Reply

The reason TLP is never wrong is that if you can't identify with his posts, they seem so incoherent that you can't call them wrong if you can't make heads or tails of them. But some of his posts strike a chord with me to the point that my ears ring for days after reading them.

It makes me wonder if what I see as TLP's more insightful posts make no sense either. It could just be my over-sheltered, over-pampered, unmotivated, underachieving existence being validated by mysterious being with a blog who ostensibly has credentials.

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Re: "It makes me wonder ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 5:12 PM | Posted, in reply to acute_mania's comment, by hermitian operator: | Reply

Re: "It makes me wonder if what I see as TLP's more insightful posts make no sense either. It could just be my over-sheltered, over-pampered, unmotivated, underachieving existence being validated by mysterious being with a blog who ostensibly has credentials."

Or it could be that Dr. TLP plays you guys for chumps. He gets half-loaded, does a minimally coherent mind dump and then watches with detached indifference as his little ant farm of devotees churn away.

Now that I think of it, that's a pretty good Null Hypothesis...

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At least we know the author... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 5:51 PM | Posted, in reply to hermitian operator's comment, by acute_mania: | Reply

At least we know the author's existence is not all that less miserable than ours.

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"resistance in pursuit of a... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 10:07 PM | Posted by Accepting the Label: | Reply

"resistance in pursuit of a life goal is created with endless schooling, ADHD/caffeine/marijuana, and "I just need to tighten a few things up...""

So are you saying that ADHD is not real? Fck. Why am I taking adderall then?

I do need to tighten a few things up and I do need to go back to skool. How is that resisting my life goal of becoming a well paid asshole who enjoys life and drives a nice car?

Why don't you just quit your job like you know you want to? What is holding you back? Sometimes you are just way too traditional for me. BORING.

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Since TLP knows everything,... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2010 11:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Since TLP knows everything, perhaps you can answer a mystery that has plagued mankind for decades now:
Why do 50% of filipinos go into nursing?
As a physician you may have extra insight into this conundrum.
Thank you in advance wise one

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It's called irony, child. I... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 4:41 AM | Posted, in reply to DCF's comment, by Zo: | Reply

It's called irony, child. Irony.

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What's called irony?<... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 8:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Zo's comment, by DCF: | Reply

What's called irony?

Be an adult and explain instead of leaving cryptic jabs.

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Can you imagine what the wo... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 9:22 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Can you imagine what the world would be like if this guy was in charge ?

You'd have a special branch of police dedicated to detecting the dreaded narcissim, 'analysing' your phone calls, i'm sure the way you take a dump or walk your dog might be key giveaways too.

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Actually, if he is rejec... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 9:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by fraula: | Reply

Actually, if he is rejected by the girl, the boy's life does change as he has been just told he is not good enough for her, which in turn will negatively affect his confidence, thus how he approaches future endeavors (with hesitance, inhibition, fear). If this happens enough times, his whole life could turn out pretty poorly.

In other words, you're saying that this incredibly naive boy places an unreasonably large chunk of his self-worth on the opinion of a woman about whom he knows nothing more than her appearance? Of course he's going to turn out poorly, the kid seriously needs to grow up and realize that being rejected by a practically-anonymous woman is not Goddess' Final Judgment Of His Life's Worth, it's... being rejected by someone he barely knows. For reasons he doesn't know (unless she gives one). For reasons that could quite possibly be good.

Example appropriate response: "Aw shucks. Well, I'm looking forward to finding someone who wants to take the time to get to know me as a person, and likewise me for hers."

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Alone's posts sometimes sho... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 9:50 AM | Posted by Jack Coupal: | Reply

Alone's posts sometimes show a mind-blowing degree of insight into the human condition. Others are just very good.

This post is a mind blower.

I have a hunch that Alone has a book inside him/her/them. Just let us know when it will be published!

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Those marine corps boots ha... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Posted by spriteless: | Reply

Those marine corps boots have such a good sheen that you could blind yourself shooting a laser at them.

The (ch)air force gives girls more balls than people waiting for their opportunity. I guess this means that any old job could, too, or at least that I thrived in a job.

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fraula - "a practically-ano... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 1:36 PM | Posted, in reply to fraula's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

fraula - "a practically-anonymous woman is not Goddess' Final Judgment Of His Life's Worth, it's... being rejected by someone he barely knows. For reasons he doesn't know (unless she gives one). For reasons that could quite possibly be good."

Yeah but then it wouldn't be all about him and what he wants...there's big difference between being shy and thinking that other people only exist to serve your self image and make you feel good. If you can't bear to hear "no" and your whole sense of yourself dissolves if you do, that's an indication it's not actually shyness you're dealing with but narcissism and a sense of entitlement...and you're treating the woman/girl in question as an object. If you're actually a decent guy and LIKE the women/girls you approach (not ONLY want to use them for sex or ego purposes) instead of expecting to use them to prop up some fragile self image (that's not related to the reality of who you are), you won't actually have that hard a time getting laid or finding a girlfriend. The advice to give up the porn is very relevant.

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All I can say is the best t... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 3:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

All I can say is the best thing I EVER did was leave the fiancee who alternately loved/hated paying all of our bills. I contributed, even had a job most of the time, sure. But it just is. not. the. same.
(Now, there's the fucked-up-ness of our relationship in general, and the love/hate thing about the money, but forget about that for a moment)
Like most people I know, and especially most people I know in their mid-20s, I think there's something wrong with me, that I am probably inadequate, or otherwise that shitty art, shitty products, shitty everything, is worth more than what I make and create to society at large, etc.
I no longer give a fuck, because I have bills to pay, and have to be accountable to myself. So in January I'm going to school to study ecology. Secondly, I am starting my own business, as well as working longer hours at the job I have (when available).
And thirdly, instead of moving into a cheap, small apartment, I moved into the best place I could afford. I can't really afford much else besides groceries and bills, so... now... I gotta make some more money, and sacrifice.
And I love my life so much more than I thought I could, and without any money, without some sort of miraculous gift, without being the center of the universe. I feel strong, and free, and happy. It's about choosing to strike out, choosing to invest your self in yourself.
Maybe I will fail, and end up losing this place, or my job, or both, or everything, but it's all just stuff in the end regardless, and I know I won't starve to death, and mostly likely won't be homeless, so... why not??

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Thanks for the laugh! ... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 3:52 PM | Posted, in reply to DCF's comment, by Zo: | Reply

Thanks for the laugh!

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Well, the dad's looking out... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 4:52 PM | Posted by skeptic: | Reply

Well, the dad's looking out for his son is an intutive act aimed at maximizing his survival.
Usually when push comes to shove the drive for survival of species does trump survival of individual.
That it (dad making it easy for son) has been done for several generations suggests that this should be a drive for survival of species.
The meek shall inherit the earth?

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and the same to you my fri... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Zo's comment, by DCF: | Reply

and the same to you my friend :)

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You have no idea how these ... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2010 11:12 AM | Posted, in reply to fraula's comment, by someone: | Reply

You have no idea how these things work. If your beep boop computer calculations could be used to solve complex social problems, they would have been solved already.

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A part of the puzzle: they ... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by medsvstherapy: | Reply

A part of the puzzle: they only go into nursing in the United States. Do ya think over there in Ilo Ilo the place is carpeted with nurses?

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Sir, I was making a joke. <... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2010 2:23 PM | Posted, in reply to medsvstherapy's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Sir, I was making a joke.

I totally picture the Philippines to involve men and women wearing scrubs all the time, the way we wear jeans and shirts here.

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I rather liked this article... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2010 4:47 PM | Posted by Alexei: | Reply

I rather liked this article. It certainly highlights many flaws I've been noticing in myself. It reminds me very much of this well known (amongst some circles) piece of writing:
http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/2005_Stuck_In_The_Middle_With_Bruce.html

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It feels plain wrong, to me... (Below threshold)

August 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

It feels plain wrong, to me, thinking about a smart woman being in a relationship with a less intelligent man. It's almost disgusting to think about it, like bestiality or something. I can see a better paid, better educated girl with a poorer, less educated but smarter man though.

Just the sexual act requires the man to be superior to the woman, or else it feels sick and disgusting, and obviously that superiority can't rely on strength alone or it would be akin to bestiality

Luckily for girls, they are on average less smart than us men, and for each very smart girl, there are 8 or more men who are as smart.

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"sometimes the the single t... (Below threshold)

August 25, 2010 5:19 AM | Posted by Trei: | Reply

"sometimes the the single thing standing between trying and not trying is encouragement."

you mean... "Put the helmet on, son, you can do it!" ?

kids wearing helmets don't fall more (or less). they're just more confident to fall. so I guess the problem isn't wearing the helmet, but wearing a toilet paper roll around your head and expecting it to protect you. (aka two college degrees, etc).

it's not that we lie and we've been lying to other and ourselves for ages. it's that there is no "truth" anymore, anywhere. everything is fake.

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LOOOL, man.don't u... (Below threshold)

August 25, 2010 5:24 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Trei: | Reply

LOOOL, man.

don't use "us men" cos you're obviously an idiot and you make us all look bad. the girls just won this round, thanx to you, buddy.

on the other hand, we can assume women are stupid cos there's at least one who loves you, and you're such an unlovable moron. guess it matters less it's your mom. if she was smart, she would've taught you to be a better man.

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Trolled.... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2010 6:25 AM | Posted, in reply to Trei's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Trolled.

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This is the self-aggrandizi... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2010 12:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by acute_mania: | Reply

This is the self-aggrandizing bullshit that gets so many of us through our miserable lives. Steve has created an abstract and intangible superiority for himself which of course, nobody can challenge, not because it's a fact, but because it doesn't exist. Hey Steve, would you like to meet my imaginary friends?

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I never said women are stup... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

I never said women are stupid. I said men on average are smarter, and a smart girl should be in a relationship with a man who is as smart as her, or smarter

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Regardless of who TLP is, t... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Posted by IWriteISwear: | Reply

Regardless of who TLP is, this is a message that hits home to people like me who are afraid of failure, and therefore doing nothing. Likely just reading this on its own won't help me write my novel, or start my blog, or get that job any faster, but it's one of many pushes in the right direction.

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In a blog full of insightfu... (Below threshold)

August 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Posted by sardonic_sob: | Reply

In a blog full of insightful snark, this is probably the most insightful non-snark (it may have been meant snarkily, but too bad; snark is in the eye of the beholder) EVAR:

"If I die, what is going to happen to this kid?" That's what all non-opiate dependent parents are thinking, all the time, at dinner, on the toilet, during masturbation, all the time..

GET OUT OF MY HEAD, BENE GESSERIT WITCH!

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I never said women are s... (Below threshold)

August 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I never said women are stupid. I said men on average are smarter, and a smart girl should be in a relationship with a man who is as smart as her, or smarter.

I gave this a +1 just to be a smartass. However, it's wrong. Men and women have different distribution curves, which does some odd things to your perceptions of relative intelligence depending on what sort of people you associate with. If you hang out with a lot of smart people, you'll probably think men are smarter. If you hang out with a lot of stupid people, you'll probably think men are stupider.

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"I never said women are stu... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2010 9:56 AM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by Trei: | Reply

"I never said women are stupid"-steve

nope. what you said is you're stupid and terrified others will know, so over-compensating by being a bully.

don't worry! people don't give a shit about you. if you'd keep your mouth shut, nobody'd notice ;-) except your imaginary supermodel girlfriend, of course...

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hey, I have not been a bull... (Below threshold)

September 9, 2010 6:56 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

hey, I have not been a bully since middle school. And what gives about being stupid and being scared of people knowing it? I don't give a damn.

But now, seriously, find me a woman who would say "I prefer a partner stupider than me to a partner smarter than me" and who is not lying.

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Or it could be that Dr. ... (Below threshold)

September 16, 2010 1:25 AM | Posted, in reply to hermitian operator's comment, by PKS: | Reply

Or it could be that Dr. TLP plays you guys for chumps.""

Uh, as much as it might be appealing to cry "the emperor has no clothes" and bask in the satisfaction of thinking you're the only smart guy in the room, keep in mind that just because everybody thinks you're wrong, it doesn't mean you're Galileo.

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Thank you! The content is e... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2011 10:10 PM | Posted by cheap jewelry: | Reply

Thank you! The content is extremely rich.

cheap jewelry

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This is one definitely for ... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2011 6:57 AM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

This is one definitely for the book.

I am sure it resonates with.. apparently 99% of the people at this time.*

* - hopefully less.

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Where is your advice blog? ... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2012 2:32 AM | Posted, in reply to fraula's comment, by DGS: | Reply

Where is your advice blog? You make so much sense it hurts...

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The only valuable path is e... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2013 4:23 AM | Posted by jrs: | Reply

The only valuable path is entrepreneurship blah blah blah. Yea whatever, if it's what you want then go for it. But it's not even what many people even *want* period, even compared to the cubicle or whatever, I mean it is entirely logically possible to like neither alternative and still prefer the cubicle on balance. But fantasy that never existed, entrepreneurial daydream, will make a living selling unicorns. Really if you really want entrepreneurship you will do the research and know it is a business, and many (most?) sucessful entrepreneurs definitely don't choose what business to go into based on their passions, they choose basic on what the open market niches are. If your passion is your thing you might be better off getting a day job, it will leave you with much more free time afterward (also might be a better option if family is your thing).

But macho macho man is an entrepreneur, whatever, slow down here, is entrepreneurship actually something you will enjoy or just another something you should do? All you really got to do is live and die.

Sucess, blah blah. Sucess is real and not real, or it's one aspect, gloss on reality. It a money based economy having money has some definite advantages in quality of life. That's objectively real. It's partly our socitities decision to discard people who aren't sucessful by it's measures, to let them go without and suffer, disposable people really. It's not particularly humane or conductive to happiness. The selling point is usually that it promotes innovation but that case is also weak. That's money, all the rest about sucess is about evolutionary drives, and you can say that IS reality but no, it's part of the human experience hard-wired into us by evolution. But it's really one aspect or gloss on reality. Because in the end it makes no difference, there are no winners and losers in reality, as in the end we all lose (die), physics doesn't care about winners and losers. It's just the old evolutionary drives on the brain is all.

But even we know we are more than winners or losers, sucesses or failures (and I say more without normative connotation). We were children too, long before were we all about procreation, sucess, blah blah. We may have been sexual even then but we were also just pure little sparks of being and awareness. That's ultimately as valid a gloss on what we are as in proclaiming ourselves winners or losers, in fact a better and broader gloss I think.

But it's so motivating (despite being an utter illusion, no winners and losers, we all lose in the end). Yea, well the real problem with this type of motivation isn't that it's illusionary, most of human behavior is, it's that it's often based on self hating, and that's not necessarily sustainable, it's often self-destructing, in the long run.

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I think the problem is the ... (Below threshold)

April 17, 2013 9:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I think the problem is the degree to which we protect ourselves. A kid in 1800 was working from the time he could walk, he was feeding the cows, he was carrying things for daddy, he was learning how to make it in the world. He was shooting guns probably from pre-school age, he was building things and fixing things, and so on. What builds self-sufficiency muscles is independent decision making, and most importantly making mistakes and recovering from them. Not knowing how to recover after a fall, or even knowing that it's possible is the reason no one tries. You think that you get one strike, and if you mess up there's no future, you can't come back from a mistake.

The other thing is that our society is so specialized, that it IS actually harder to recover if you make a big mistake. If you study to be a doctor and a mistake makes you lose your liscence, that's hard to recover because you've spent 8 years learning to be a doctor, and thus have few other open avenues. A programmer that's for some reason barred from programming jobs isn't going to be able to do something else quickly. There's less flexiblity in your training, thus any failure that gets you fired might make you hard to employ at all.

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No. This is more resistanc... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2014 9:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No. This is more resistance, this time from history and how things are somehow not as good in the present or your childhood as they were for someone else. The only moment is now. If you lose your license after becoming a doctor, time to reinvent. Nobody says that it wouldn't suck, but if you can get yourself back on your feet, and heck, you became a doctor, you can do the next thing too. Because, well, you have to don't you? And if you're not a doctor, just a ditch digger or peep show room janitor, well you dug the hole or cleaned up the ***, right? Use what you have accomplished, even the smallest thing (you figured out how to stand?) build on that. Think about it. How many times did you fall learning to walk? A lot. But you had to walk! You're unstoppable! Get out there and get intense enough to solve the problems and do it. Unless the TV is on, especially if it is Thursday. That's good stuff. Effort can wait until after Big Bang Theory. Your success will wait, and we can just redefine it as a little less anyway right? Just crawl over and turn off the TV when you wake up at 2am and go to bed. I love posting on 2-year old threads.

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...to at least som... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2014 5:26 AM | Posted, in reply to acute_mania's comment, by jonny: | Reply

...to at least some degree, rejected by society (hence the name)...

Everyone is dying to get into Polite Society, the thought of being rejected keeps most men up at night. It's the outcasts they reject that makes Polite Society the best. Kids lose their minds learning fluent Doublethink from their Moms just so they can function as antisocial creeps in polite conversation. But it's worth it.

No one has ever rejected Polite Society. That would be crazy rude. It's not "normal" so...so they've blocked all the exits and rigged all the windows with explosives. Just in case.

Who wouldn't want to be part of a Society where those who will never gained emotional or financial independence invest their time giving shrewd advice to those who have? Treat me Right.

Or else.

Or else they'll fall in love with you. Then you're fucking screwed.

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