January 25, 2014

Randi Zuckerberg Thinks We Should Untangle Our Wired Lives



Dot-Complicated-Book-Cover-Art.jpg

how hard could it be, none of those circles are actually connected



Randi Zuckerberg is CEO of Zuckerberg Media, which, according to its 10-K, is an iphone.  If you have no idea who she is, and you shouldn't, then the answer to your one and only question is yes.

In her considerable free time she wrote a book about social media. Here's a question: why does a woman who epitomizes the online world need to write a hardback book?  Could it be there's no money in the online unless you actually own the online? I'm guessing that wasn't in the book.  Ok.
  

randi zuckerberg bookstore.jpg

I understand she gives a lot of interviews too, I'm sure they're TEDy optimistic and unactionable, but she's apparently an expert, shrug, here is her insight from six years of watching people work at Facebook: social media is a bad thing, unless it's used responsibly, then it's a good thing.  Settle in for nuance and shades of grey, all 50 of them.

She thinks it's important to "find a balance" between plugged and unplugged life, a phrase you hear all over the plugged place but has suspiciously avoided scrutiny and is an example of media allowing you to debate the conclusions but forcing you to accept the form of the argument, in this case that a balance is what is desirable. 


I'm definitely not advocating a complete disconnect or complete unplug, that's not realistic... But what I am thinking is that people, we've reached this point where we feel like we just need to be always on. Always answering emails 24/7 connected, and the pendulum needs to swing back a little bit for us to reclaim a bit of our own time...


Someone is lying, time to figure out why.  While she misdirected us with "pendulum" and "thinking" and "little bit" which are words vicious ideologues use to sound nonideological and "realistic", she substituted the plugged/unplugged balance with work/home balance, don't think I didn't see it.  Consequently, when someone/Randi tells you about the negatives of being too plugged in, they almost always blame work emails, as if the things that pay for your dinner are what distract you from dinner.   Really?   If I had to make a sexist yet 100% accurate prediction I'd say that it isn't hers but her husband's work emails that she can't stand at dinner, I'm pretty sure that no husband has ever gotten away with telling his still Anne Taylored wife to put her phone away, "the senior partner will just have to wait, we're about to say grace."   I'll cover myself by saying that, indeed, wives do sometimes answer work emails at dinner, however and importantly if this is occurring you can be sure the wife is extremely, extremely bored with everything that happens after 5pm, and this is compared to everything that happened before 5pm which was also *yawns*.  "Huh," she soundboards as she one thumbs a text to anyone else,  "Obama said that, you don't say, pandering to the flavor profile demo, what are you gonna do."   I'll be first to observe Obama has failed in every imaginable way, but Jesus, if that's your dinner conversation, just Jesus.  One of you should cheat just to force the eye contact. 

Email is a convenient scapegoat not just because "family time should be protected" but because it gets us out of inquiring what went wrong with our home life that we could ever be tempted by work emails, and the avoidance of this inquiry is highly suspicious, i.e. on purpose.  "Honey," she says putting down her Trader Joe's summer salad, "I gotta take this."  Only in America does gotta substitute for wanna so we can avoid the guilt.  #behavioralgenetics.  You may recall industrialization/capitalism/Carousel of Progress's great promise of fewer working hours, and for the most part this has come true, please observe what we have done with our increased leisure time: filled it back up with work.  There was some consternation that evil capitalism had forced Target's employees to work all day on Thanksgiving, "no respect for tradition or family time!"  But how many of them wanted to be home on Thanksgiving?  The customers sure didn't, they were willing to camp out/throw down to get in a store what they coulda got easier/cheaper/faster from their Zuckerberg Medias.  "But the store itself has the responsibility to respect tradition!"  And only in America do we want the system to force us to do the right thing so we can take the credit.  #behavioraleconomics

One of our time's great sociological questions is why we filled downtime back up with work, and the reason is it's better than alcoholism.  At some point during the Truman Administration home life became more stressful than work life, where stressful is defined either as hysterical drama or rheumatismy boredom, and by Reagan II the home was no longer a respite from modern society's incessant demands to produce or at the very least a place to get a nap.  Home became work, it became a work, and not coincidentally this parallels precisely the history of homework.  ("But don't you think kids get too much homework nowadays?"   Sure, if you're doing it for them, you have become so myopic about your kids' possible trajectories that not only do you think faking their grades is their only hope, you think that will work.)  Neither is there home cooking at home, Trader Joe's does it cheesier and anyway it's on TV.  The XYs have long been resigned to this, hence their desire to "get an early start" or eat their lunch in their cars, while little girls were hooked on the potential of a fulfilling work and home life, or at least work or home life, now women are in on the reveal...  and it is shaking their very souls.   WTF.   If home is stressful for adults, think about how bad it is for teens, all they want to do is hang out and talk about how phony everything is and instead they're stuck upstairs with Snapchat while listening to their parents masturbate in separate rooms.  Better than listening to them divorce, I guess. 

Part of the reason work and home keep mixing despite our professed desires is that that's how Americans were taught to see an aspirational adult life.  In every TV show and movie after Leave It To Beaver the gimmick has always been that the protagonist's job and personal life overlap-- doctors in love, CIA agents defending their family, late nights at the office trading zingers or abuse stories.  While we no longer think we want the overlap, the shows reinforced the false psychology that a person is something, all the time and everywhere, and the backdrop world "sees" it, accepts it.  This applies just as much to negative depictions of work/life overlap, e.g. the obsessed cop whose wife is now divorcing him because of the job: the point isn't that the overlap is "good", that's not the aspiration; the point is that the structure of these depictions represents the fundamental narcissistic fantasy: a fixed and clear identity-- a character-- seen by a potential audience.  This is why home is not relaxing: we are working to not let it be all that we are.

Work, email, and Target's hours, expand to fill the time available, by request.  We took one look at the void and lack of interesting 5pm TV and started texting to anyone as fast as we could.  The truth is we're not overwhelmed by work emails, we just laid them on top to make it seem like we're buried in work.  Here's your #OWS update: work doesn't bleed over into home because capitalism is evil, work bleeds over to home because we have no idea what else to do at home, and thank God we can blame it on work.  "But capitalism reduces human relations to market relationships."  Oh my god, feed Bobby for a second, I have to totally tweet that.

II.

Together with work emails, the social media evangelists will lump in porn and gaming, because those are seen by the person in the doorway as "bad."  Their inclusion in the plugged/unplugged balance is to get you to accept the form of the argument--that there is a moral balance: work emails, porn, gaming= time away from human relations= bad; while things like Facebook and texting are "used responsibly can connect us all", these require a balance.  "Balance" means "not at dinner", though even this is nuanced, because while you shouldn't check your Instagram during dinner, it's perfectly acceptable to post to your Instagram during dinner, pretty sure that's what it's for.  Here's a foodie tip: the secret ingredient in every Instagramed delicacy is salt, and blowing the whites.

The false dichotomy of "the balance" starts even earlier with reversing the direction of the vector of plugged/unplugged.   "You need to unplug" assumes the default is plugged, but the vast majority of our response to the blinking blue light is a volitional search for anything else but now.  It's worth recalling that the phrase, "you need to unplug" came from The Matrix, and the phrase was important because it had an ironic second meaning: not "you need to stop drawing from the Matrix" but "you need to stop feeding it at the expense of your life."

"But the internet is soooooo distracting."  No, it's not.  A headline like, "When It Comes To Pubes, You Have The Following Options" feels like totallies but after ten thousand or so similar headlines, aren't you wise to the bait and switch?   I frequently get emails informing me that there are sexy singles available to chat right now, and I never click on them anymore.  On some site I saw a story to the effect, "You're not going to believe what a kitten and Miley Cyrus did at the AMAs!"  Not believe what?  That a Disney approved character-actor "won the internet" by pretending to sing a song written by the middle aged white guy who writes all of the 3:40s in front of a stage background of the hackest internet meme of all time-- and together they cried like girls?  "This. Is. Everything."  Yeah, I believe it. 
 


dr luke.jpgtell HarperCollins that women will like what you tell them to like, just get a boob to promote it


Haters beware, clicking on a link because "I can't believe a stupid person actually wrote such a a stupid article about a stupid thing" is 100% the exact same mental process, and anyway, the system doesn't care about your motivations, so long as you act in the required direction.
"OMG, you're referencing something that happened like, three months ago?"  But it was the top story at the time-- so it wasn't that important?  You think you've forgotten about it because it's pop culture stuff, but this is wrong, you've forgotten about it because you are conditioned for novelty, so all topics become forgettable, which, in the logic of the system, is sort of the point of the technology.  "Come on, that's just a bunch of BS, of course we can distinguish between pop crap and things that matter."   Yes, but when the dopamine falls, you won't care.   #SandyHook  
"So because social media is mostly a waste of time, we should shut it off and be more present in our offline relationships?"  No, that's what the internet paid Randi to tell you so that the default=plugged.  This standard criticism of social media and texting is backwards: it doesn't detract from real life relationships, it represents a much desired break from them.   Having to be with someone, especially someone you're not having sex with, especially someone you're not having sex with anymore, is very, very hard; having people see you, especially when you're not amidst the symbols that you believe form your "real" identity-- say, a hedge fund trader who has to be home with the kids or a pretty girl in a sweats at a supermarket-- this is a kind of exposure far more embarassing than any selfie.  What if they confuse that as the real you?  You can see a version of this in married couples who talk to each other, joke, eat, raise kids, do couples stuff, but don't make eye contact.  Avoiding eye contact is a way of keeping reserved a part of yourself, to yourself. "I'm here," you whisper to yourself, "but I'm not going to let this all overtake me, I'm more than this."  This message is strictly internal, after all, you may not be looking at them but they can still see you.   Avoiding eye contact is avoiding a full on Sartre moment, the "scrutinous gaze" of the other.  "Umm, first of all, scrutinous isn't a word, second of all, Sartre called it 'the look'."  Um, hello?  My eyes are up here.
What the couple should have done to avoid this calamity is formed a shared identity, "this is us".  But how were they going to do this?  Everything conspires to drive them apart, hell, even a big tent TV show would be a shared hour but media loves multiple Nielsen boxes so just go buy yourself another flatscreen and watch your own targeted ads.  On the other hand, when TV ignores demography and tries to make a show for all audiences, you get Laverne & Shirley,  and you get it for eight seasons, so I admit there's no easy solution.  "What about not watching TV?"  Hush your crazy mouth, telling America not to watch a Disney network is a non-starter, and for clarification ESPN= (0.5)Disney; the Princesses, Thors, ABC, the theme parks-- all that combined is merely the other half.  Now you know what's a stake.  The NFL's been handing out traumatic brain injuries for decades, but the moment Disney decided it needed the women that was the end of lockerroom hijinx.  But until it completes the NFL's rebranding as a kinder, bully-free, concussionless game, complete with engagement rings and Us Weekly's "Ten Hunkiest White Or Articulate Quarterbacks", it's going to have to keep broadcasting Nashville.  Please don't make the mistake of assuming that the NFL wants female viewers, it couldn't care less, the ad dollars from beer and trans fats and cars are plenty.  What the NFL/Disney needs is to reduce the tension between females and males over all that's spent on it: merchandise, tickets, time, men would gladly watch all the commercials on Sundays if women didn't drag them to baby showers and home repairs.  Sports are male expenses that women reluctantly accept, but there's always a ceiling and if women were more into the experience then that ceiling could go up, way up.  The key is to rebrand the NFL not as a man's game but as America's game, thus reducing the barriers to consumption.
("You know, you could use an editor."  You could use some free association, it may help you see unconscious connections which drive your life.  "I find that weed helps."  Amateur.)
The only shared identity these couples pull off nowadays is "the kids", which is why they can make eye contact easily when they talk about them.  But relationship experts have analyzed today's marital difficulties completely backwards: rather than trying to find some common connection amidst the the turbulent waters of life, they are actually struggling against the current of the relationship to keep themselves private.  This is what they practiced for two or three decades, how can they unlearn the skills?  They fought so many years to be seen as individuals, "be true to yourself", a few years past the exploratory segment of the relationship and a shared mental space becomes suffocating.  So for them, plugging in gives them some privacy, a micro-break from shared reality, under the rhetorical cover of "connecting with others."
But why do we need "the balance?"  What does it replace, what went missing?  The very thing Holden Caufield hated: "phoniness", protocol and ritual for seemingly no purpose.  Politeness is fine, but why do I have to make small talk?  Why do I have to pretend to care about the weather?  Why, after a decade of marriage, should dinner be a regular review of the somewhat boring goings-ons of "the day"?  Because that formality is freeing, it allows self-conscious physical bodies to get used to standing next to each other without having to be acting, this includes husbands and wives.  When dinner is a controlled process with "manners" and expected topics of shared conversation and start and end times, as boring as it may get, it is boring, not you.  Women are especially sensitive to this absence of convention, this is one reason for the popularity of Downton Abbey, not to mention alcohol and iphones at dinner.  It is against this background of "phony" convention that teens can productively "rebel" and find their own individuality against a status quo; fighting against an emotionally illogical, arbitrary, unpredictable structure results in learning the opposite lesson, "whatever gets me through the day..."  Without this structure to social activities, when the "natural" conversation stops being interesting-- and it will, even if most of you weren't bad at it-- it would be a judgment about your relationship, about you.  And you'll beg St. Jobs to blink a path to safety because otherwise you have to sit there with no existential support.
Texting and social media's slowness gives them their power for this purpose.  You read a text, and it lingers, it keeps your attention because it's all there is; and then you respond with a piece of your real self, and wait for a response... what's happening is time travel-- while you are on pause, the rest of not-your life goes faster.  It is far more efficient at killing time than a phone call.

III.

What no one will ever say out loud for fear of being labeled -ist is that "finding a balance" is something only women are encouraged to do.  For men it is supposed to be binary, on or off.  "Honey," the wife says without making eye contact, "please put your phone away."  --But it's the senior partner.  "He can wait, we're about to say grace." 
Unlike men, women, as a group, are constantly being reminded by the media that social media is a necessary use of time-- just find a balance.  To be precise: it is not marketed as a diversion, or useful, or helpful or fun-- it's necessary to their existence.  The danger is branded as "excess."  And this coincides their role as the primary consumers and consumables, which is why Randi's stupendously uninsightful book is being heralded wherever online women congregate.   The book itself isn't meant to be read, it can't be read, it can only be hurled.  It is a MacGuffin; her interviews aren't promotions for the book, the book is an excuse for the interviews. No, of course she doesn't know this.  I'm sure she thinks she's talented and smart and fiercely independent (two fingers to the sky!), but getting her to televangelize about finding a balance (=the default is plugged) to her demo of underachieving credit card applicants is what suits the suits.   "How come Facebook's board has so few women?" ask the very women who would rather use it than run it.  Randi also wrote a children's picture book about a child who is obsessed with her ipad but "learns to unplug once in a while", tellingly even though Randi has a son she wrote the book about a girl-- a girl she named after the internet.  Get it?  Because she can't.  However, not all women are the target demo of Randi's lip synching, the CEO of General Dynamics is a woman, I think she has a higher security clearance than the entire Senate, and I know for a fact she builds alien spaceships, why not interview her about how she uses social media to promote her brand and make connections and break ceilings?  Because there's no Like button for hard work or triple integrals, which is doubly interesting because calculus was invented to make hard work easier.  "I just don't get math."  Can't do math if you weren't taught to think logically, and logic is tough on kids' self esteems and makes them way less submissive, easier just to put on a video.  "They're obsessed with the Wiggles."  And apple juice, whose fault is that?  So instead of "if you do the same amount of hard work as everyone else, you should end up in the exact same boat as everyone else, and it will sink because none of you know anything about boats," we get Randi Zuckerberg, a lot, who tells us about the occupational hazards of posting baby pictures:

First yawn? Adorbs. Facebook it. First hiccups? Obviously all my friends want to see that. Snoozing in a park? OMG, soooo cute! Who wouldn't want to see baby photos 50 times a day?

I soon found out. I had some pretty honest co-workers, and one day one of them decided to give it to me straight. "Randi," she said, "Asher is adorable, but you can't keep posting a zillion baby photos. You have a professional reputation to uphold."

I just got the bends.  What the hell kind of profession could she have had that she's on Facebook all day and then the only criticism she gets is that her pics are of babies?  Observe that the discussants are both women.  Who does woman B believe will judge Randi harshly for her baby pictures?  Men?

All this worry about baby pictures vs professionalism exists in the minds of women, not men, which is why this was in HuffPo, using the atemporal logic of narcissism: if baby pictures can sabotage a woman's professional reputation, therefore she has a professional reputation.  Men are irrelevant to this discussion, a man would never bother to tell Randi anything because the minute a professional man sees a professional woman's baby pictures, she's moved from Bcc: to cc:.   A Cosmo-feminist will hashtag this as evidence of inherent sexism, but you may want to wait a few paragraphs before you hit RT.

The easy "male" criticism is to say that too many baby pictures reveals her head isn't in the game, she's not focused on capitalism and destroying the competition so her boss can make more money.  "Wait, what?"   Don't overthink it, it's a magic trick, you're being permitted to debate the consequences because you've unknowingly accepted the form of the argument.

It's not that babies are more interesting to women than men, it is that baby pictures are more interesting to women than men.  Men would rather look at a picture of a used condom than a baby, this is a scientific fact.  They get that the baby is precious to you, but there is nothing otherwise in a picture to connect to.  Furthermore, showing a baby picture to a man is an aggressive act because it demands a reaction, you showing him a picture of your baby is entirely for your benefit and not at all for his, it is a dare, in much the same way as a woman on a first date telling you she doesn't play games is a dare, a dare you shouldn't take, trust me on this, overpay the check in cash and run.  I'll grant that there is some level of bonding that occurs between women over baby pictures, worth exploring later, but not for men: men will only (and rarely) show photos of their children doing something, the activity is what represents the kid as kid and them as a parent.  Showing a man a baby picture is equivalent to showing a woman a picture of his car.  "A #baby is more important than a car, dontcha think?"  Yes, but a picture of a baby isn't more important than a picture of a car.  "Yeah, but--"  I know.  Logic is mean. 

In the world where the media postulates social media as an absolute requirement of the modern era-- the era where everything is fetishized-- no one is permitted to make the distinction between a value and the picture of a value, they are made equivalent, so daring to criticize Randi's baby pictures is made to sound like misogyny or misobaby.  It's not. I love food but if you ask me to look at a picture of a food I will poison your toothpaste.  Be careful: the point is not that a woman shouldn't post her baby pictures, the point is that the system cannot profit from her baby except as a photo, so that in order to get them to do it more-- to be online more-- the system teaches them to overvalue the photo; and this must necessarily be at the expense of the object itself.  #porn.
And here again you glimpse the long con: a power struggle packaged as a gender war.
Usually you imagine "sexism" as a pervasive institutional power directed top down against you, oppressing you with sexist jokes or heels at work, but it's much more illuminating to understand sexism as just another tool to increase consumption.  An obvious example:  it costs women more to dress professionally, even though they get paid less.  But sexism can be run in the reverse, too, for women's "benefit."   Example: We say things like "the public has a ravenous hunger for celebrity photos," but this is demonstrably untrue, paparazzi pics are almost entirely a product for the female demo, no man wants to see a picture of any of the Kates or their babies or their homes.  However you will never hear this said out loud in the media, they will tell you (and you will parrot) that the greedy force that creates the paparazzi is "America" or "the public's obsession with celebrity"-- men are lumped in with women.  Men's relationship to celebrity  after teenage years is completely different, the pictures matter much less than "information"-- a pic of Lebron is worth way less than his stats.  But the easy money is in digital photos, monetizing envy has very low fixed costs and great margins, and nothing can be permitted to threaten the money, so when Princess Di is driven off the road we blame the paparazzi; but then, in a surprising admission of guilt, the media comes out and accepts some responsibility-- although in a very specific way: "the media has succumbed to the ravenous demands of the public's infatuation with glamour and wealth."  Because if everyone-- not just women, but everyone-- wants this, then women have less guilt about wanting it and men get the sense nothing can really be done to change it.   Do you understand the infrastructure that is necessary to cause people to disavow something that they know with total clarity, just to keep the money flowing?   The moment male America decides out loud that we're harassing actors and actresses not for "our" prurient interest but for women's prurient interest only, to the media's financial benefit, they will require an open carry permit for telephoto lenses; tell them gays also like Us Weekly and they will repeal the First Amendment.  Believe it.  The system repackages a female product as a "public" product to get it past the hairy misogynists who hate women's media because it doesn't wisely use a ball, and if a couple of celebrities have to be harassed or die for their ballless entertainment, whatevs, there's no reasonable right to privacy on the street or on a beach.   The consumers are women, the rest of you pad the numbers.  "It's hard for me to tell what side you're on here." Sides: the form of the argument you've been trained to accept.   Still not convinced?   Swap out "America's celebrity culture" with "America's gun culture" and "male America" with "Senator" and see which Amendment gets repealed.  "Now I'm totally confused what side you're on."  Jesus.  Just Jesus.
It's right about here that I should again remind everyone that for five decades we've been repeatedly assured that men are visual creatures.   Time to rewrite the evo psych texts to support the new economy.

---
Part 2 here





Comments

Wow! Lot's of time you have... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 3:18 PM | Posted by TransMillennium: | Reply

Wow! Lot's of time you haven't posted anything. But this is great. Check out the translation of The Second History of Narcissus and Echo on my blawg.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -67 (79 votes cast)
" ... the vast majority of ... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 3:45 PM | Posted by Nobody Atall: | Reply

" ... the vast majority of our response to the blinking blue light is a volitional search for anything else but now. "

Word.

Also ... "misobaby" ... priceless!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (27 votes cast)
Whenever I read these, I fe... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 3:50 PM | Posted by Alex: | Reply

Whenever I read these, I feel like I don't completely understand - hm - not clear on the connection between 'bored' couples and the pro-marketing beliefs that are created (by the system?) - I would totally buy (lol) a book that laid out these ideas in a comprehensive way ;)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (34 votes cast)
PARAGRAPHS, Alone. Remember... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 4:03 PM | Posted by pcface: | Reply

PARAGRAPHS, Alone. Remember paragraphs?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 95 (117 votes cast)
Great article, but let's be... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 4:19 PM | Posted by tpeps: | Reply

Great article, but let's be real, you COULD use an editor.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 62 (84 votes cast)
I'm starting to think you'r... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 6:39 PM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

I'm starting to think you're misusing the word "form".

that there is a moral balance

That's not a form, so why use the word.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -15 (17 votes cast)
> Only in America does gott... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 6:59 PM | Posted by Vince: | Reply

> Only in America does gotta substitute for wanna so we can avoid the guilt. #behavioralgenetics.

Really? This isn't a thing in any other country? Seems to me like it'd be a common idiom.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 21 (35 votes cast)
Women don't want to look at... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 7:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Women don't want to look at pictures of other people's babies any more than men do. The woman was only referencing vague hypothetical other people being bothered by the 'professionalism' of baby pictures because a straight "Stop posting all this crap!" never goes over well with people who do this sort of thing. (This applies to endless streams of wedding planning crap as much as it does babies.)

The fact that Randi could only be manipulated with such a ploy still ties in pretty well with other parts of the article, though.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 38 (54 votes cast)
Really? None out of the ... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 7:23 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCoconutChef's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Really? None out of the eleven definitions apply?

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/form

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (8 votes cast)
Well, to be fair, "the form... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 7:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

Well, to be fair, "the form of the argument" may not mean "the logical form of the argument", but then what form?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (7 votes cast)
"You could use some free as... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 7:49 PM | Posted by thestage: | Reply

"You could use some free association, it may help you see unconscious connections which drive your life."

But you're not supposed to share your free associations, the act of which--!--speaks to everything you've ever written re: socially reinforced narcissistic loops.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (12 votes cast)
Great post, best one in a w... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 8:01 PM | Posted by Danny: | Reply

Great post, best one in a while.
Also, I will edit your posts for you. You can pay me in rum dollars.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (23 votes cast)
There is a logical form tha... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 8:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

There is a logical form that relates to what he's talking about. It's a disjunctive syllogism: "Either you have struck a balance between plugged/plugged in or you are too plugged in." I don't think he meant that, though. He probably meant to critique the use of the form aka the premise that the particular example of the form depends on.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (7 votes cast)
Great Read, thanks Dr.Alone... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 8:39 PM | Posted by Amour: | Reply

Great Read, thanks Dr.Alone.

Please Review
"Love Contracts - Kærlighedskontrakten" a book wich causes a Revolution in Scandinavia about how Couples act together.
summary here.
http://tinyurl.com/m4l3p6r


Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -15 (19 votes cast)
Sometimes Alone throws out ... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 9:03 PM | Posted by Danny Goldberg: | Reply

Sometimes Alone throws out a really interesting observation as an aside, and I find myself wanting to know more without knowing anyone else who can shed some light on the subject. I have never heard of a good justification for phony social conventions until just now. The best justification until now was "it's how everyone does it, so do it not to look weird."

But I don't know what Alone means by:

When dinner is a controlled process with "manners" and expected topics of shared conversation and start and end times, as boring as it may get, it is boring, not you.

How can you have a boring dinner but not be boring? If you're doing something boring, aren't you boring?

And I don't fully understand this:

It is against this background of "phony" convention that teens can productively "rebel" and find their own individuality against a status quo; fighting against an emotionally illogical, arbitrary, unpredictable structure results in learning the lesson, "whatever gets me through the day..."

What lesson are they learning. I don't understand what "whatever gets me through the day..." is supposed to teach you.

Can anyone shed some light?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 18 (28 votes cast)
On the topic of dinner: You... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 9:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by bark: | Reply

On the topic of dinner: You are not what you do. Your personality exists outside of the unfortunate and uncontrollable context(cubicle, high school, relationship) in which you are trapped. If only you were offered the opportunity to shine, you would do so. The problem is the system. Dinner. Your boring counterparts. They're so boring that even your effervescent personality can't spice up the room. You never had a shot to succeed!

On the topic of learning a lesson: The world makes no sense. And it is so angering. And it hurts. And it won't do what I want it to do. Oh hey. This little ritual takes my mind of off all the horrible bullshit. Cat photos are so soothing, I get to forget about that terrible boring dinner with my passive aggressive parents. I wish they'd just argue and be done with it!* I'm hanging out with my friends tonight, maybe they'll want to see some cat photos. It's 20 years later, why doesn't my teenage daughter want to look at cat photos with me? What a monster! I'm divorced because I spoke my mind to my wife every day of our marriage and she left me for a deaf-mute.

On the topic of everything: People are shallow and stupid when it comes to understanding other people. Every tool we use to understand other people we also use to understand our self. Therefore...

The incentive to lie to ourselves about other people is far lower than the incentive to lie to ourselves about our self. Therefore...

It's very easy to rationalize. But it doesn't make logical sense! Rationalize.

*your grandparent/grandfather(s) was a/were violent alcoholic(s).

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"On the topic of dinner: Yo... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 9:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"On the topic of dinner: You are not what you do. Your personality exists outside of the unfortunate and uncontrollable context(cubicle, high school, relationship) in which you are trapped. If only you were offered the opportunity to shine, you would do so. The problem is the system. Dinner. Your boring counterparts. They're so boring that even your effervescent personality can't spice up the room. You never had a shot to succeed!"

This seems to go against everything Alone has ever written about. Your actions are the only thing that can possibly define you. It's the mental delusions of "The problem is the system, not me! I was just never given a chance!" that he's critiquing.

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Reading a lot of David Fost... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 10:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Reading a lot of David Foster Wallace lately? Does preferring breaking into shorter paragraphs make me a narcissist?

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"You are not what you do."<... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 10:33 PM | Posted, in reply to bark's comment, by John: | Reply

"You are not what you do."

You are precisely what you do (and do not do).

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I'm gonna try the best I ca... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 10:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by Ryan: | Reply

I'm gonna try the best I can to explain this.

I think the point here is that we live in a society where large numbers of people (i.e. Narcissists) reject any social protocol that lacks a "real" foundation. The existing social order (religion, manners,community, etc.) was torn down in the 60's and replaced with essentially nothing.

While the prexisting order may have been illogical and arbitrary, it at least was definable and gave people a 'place in the world' and a retreat from the meaninglessness of our lives and the illusory nature of our identities. Now as a result, people (meaning narcissists) walk around trying to find their "real identities" without realizing that there is no such thing; they were constructed by a social order that ceases to exist.

The crazy thing about this blog is that the ideas are so nuanced and complex that TLP seems (ironically) to simplify them. This is the best I can do for now.

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Perhaps this quote from Ziz... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2014 11:20 PM | Posted by Ryan: | Reply

Perhaps this quote from Zizek may help shed some light also:

"According to the risk society theory of Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and others, we no longer live our lives in compliance with Nature or Tradition; there is no symbolic order or code of accepted fictions (what Lacan calls the ‘Big Other’) to guide us in our social behaviour. All our impulses, from sexual orientation to ethnic belonging, are more and more often experienced as matters of choice. Things which once seemed self-evident – how to feed and educate a child, how to proceed in sexual seduction, how and what to eat, how to relax and amuse oneself – have now been ‘colonised’ by reflexivity, and are experienced as something to be learned and decided on."

(cite http://www.lrb.co.uk/v21/n06/slavoj-zizek/you-may)

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He's writing from the persp... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 12:03 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

He's writing from the perspective of the narcissist, you for some reason took it at face value.

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Alone-- Are you a professor... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 12:16 AM | Posted by Student: | Reply

Alone-- Are you a professor? If you are a professor where should I transfer? And finally, why aren't you a professor?

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Was he? I guess I didn't pi... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 12:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Was he? I guess I didn't pick up on it. Oops.

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Alone, I enjoy your blog an... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 1:49 AM | Posted by acid: | Reply

Alone, I enjoy your blog and I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you write, but your indictment of of the so-called pervasive narcissism that is the plague of our time sometimes comes off as mean-spirited, overblown, and needlessly cynical.

Is incessant fantasizing really a disorder, especially when it's so common? I would say that the simpler diagnosis is that it's an attribute inherent to our biology (or psychology rather). Is it really pathology to dissociate and dream about doing something else when you find yourself in a boring situation (work, a meeting, getting dragged to a chick flick by your wife or alternatively getting dragged to a shitty action film by your husband)? I'd be hard pressed to believe you don't do any of those things, and if you or anyone here claims they don't, it's a form of self-deception.

Posts like these sarcastically relate the inner monologue of the narcissist:

>"On the topic of dinner: You are not what you do. Your personality exists outside of the unfortunate and uncontrollable context(cubicle, high school, relationship) in which you are trapped. If only you were offered the opportunity to shine, you would do so. The problem is the system. Dinner. Your boring counterparts. They're so boring that even your effervescent personality can't spice up the room. You never had a shot to succeed!"

...but is that wrong though? We are just as defined by the things we specifically don't do as much as the things we do. I don't steal, rape, or murder, so I can't readily be called a thief/rapist/murderer. Do I have the potential for such things? Of course, but then again so does everyone, and while at the end of the day you can't be judged on potential alone (you have to do something with it; the topic of many of your blog posts), you tend to speak about this phenomenon as if it were the disease instead of the symptom. You're attempting to treat the effects and not the poison, which is surprising coming from someone with such pointed criticisms of the state of modern psychiatry and mental illness diagnoses.

To believe anything other than the fact that we can't always be doing what we want at any given moment is delusional. Life is a compromise. You wouldn't drink so much otherwise.

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Hey Alone, I know someone h... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 2:30 AM | Posted by RK: | Reply

Hey Alone, I know someone has mentioned this earlier on the blog somewhere, but it would be excellent if you'd provide a bibliography of the books that helped you understand the form and structure of written arguments (which seemed to be the central thesis of this article). Some books on the human nature would also be useful!

For the benefit of others (apologies if this has been mentioned earlier in the blog) - Alone seems to have referred to Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground", which is an excellent read. I also think Erich Fromm's "To have or to Be?" coincides with TLP's philosophy. Can anyone suggest me similar literature?

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Think i just might have to ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 3:56 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Think i just might have to come back to this as it may have struvk a nerve.

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The smalltalk comment means... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 4:27 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The smalltalk comment means that you can't expect conversation to be interesting all the time, just like you can't expect things to always go well.

It's not about accepting those downs with a "this isn't me", it's about not making an inevitable part of human interactions about you.

The key is to not make it about you but keep the conversation going anyway, even if it seems "fake" at all.

Which is counter-intuitive to a narcissist, who feels threatened if his life doesn't reflect his narrative all the time. keeps talking about the weather, dude, and in the downtime think of a new topic to bring on the table for latter, not of whatever product might help you escape this "chore".

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The Culture of Narcissism b... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 4:31 AM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch

I don't know if TLP ever recommended it explicitly, but it's in the background of nearly everything here.

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"but it would be excellent ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 6:38 AM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"but it would be excellent if you'd provide a bibliography of the books that helped you understand the form and structure of written arguments"

well, he sure does have wittgenstein in the header of the website.

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Keep in mind, I'm not the b... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 7:11 AM | Posted, in reply to acid's comment, by bark: | Reply

Keep in mind, I'm not the blog author.

Day dreams are a lie. They are a lie we tell ourselves in order to make the situation we are living in slightly better. NB the situation might be fine. Day dreams aren't tools that only genocide survivors use, they're used by plenty of people that shouldn't have much reason to complain if they could apply a bit of perspective.


The point, however, is that you dream about being a more interesting conversationalist and get a measure of satisfaction from that fantasy. Then you go to bed. Then you wake up. It's tomorrow. You're still boring as shit. Or your job still sucks. Or you still can't satisfy your wife. Whatever.

The illusion of success is ALMOST as satisfying, to far too many of us, as the actual net result of (True Success - The Effort Required To Get It). Heck I'd argue for most people the illusion of success even if for 2-3 hours per day is much more gratifying than the hard slog to actual accomplishments.

On the topic of boring movies: If you hate chick/action flicks pay close attention to them. Then, analyze it for hours with your partner after they're done. Point out plotholes. Speculate about character motivation. Read about standard movie/story structure. Read Save The Cat!

Your life does not have to be boring. Boredom, much like pain, is a desperate signal from your body: "Stop doing what you are doing!" Identify the source of the pain. Make it such that the source of the pain is no longer hurting you.

Or take a sugar pill and pray along with the witch doctor. I mean, if solving problems is too hard.

Learned helplessness! It's probably the #1 life skill in the world.

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If you're doing so... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 8:32 AM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If you're doing something boring, aren't you boring?
Oh, only if your identity relies on the reaction of the other...
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Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, K... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 9:05 AM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by Mg: | Reply

Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard. That's what you want. I'd recommend all of it, but Alone specifically recommends Fear and Trembling. Also see Arthur F. Bentley's Process of Government and, of course, Nietzsche (title of the blog is a Nietzsche reference).

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"Is incessant fantasizing r... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 9:44 AM | Posted, in reply to acid's comment, by COMM FLAGG: | Reply

"Is incessant fantasizing really a disorder, especially when it's so common?"

I don't think "incessant" fantasizing is necessarily the point of contention so much as how you let these fantasies affect your real life behavior. Do the fantasies contribute to your indolence? Do they function as rationalizations for why you're not working harder at achieving your goals? The point is not to get too lost in these ideas of "you" in the abstract, ie the idealized version of yourself. It is this version that is easiest to manipulate. And it is this version that your narcissism wants to promote as the "real" you.

"I would say that the simpler diagnosis is that it's an attribute inherent to our biology (or psychology rather)."

That's a simpler diagnosis, sure. It's also incredibly convenient and functions as a defense against change, which is why it's worth exploring alternative explanations.

"We are just as defined by the things we specifically don't do as much as the things we do."

That's true and I think Alone would agree with you there. But it's not either/or, it's both what you do and don't do that define you. So daydreaming all day about how you deserve better does define you...as a person who daydreams and doesn't work toward his goals.

"You tend to speak about this phenomenon as if it were the disease instead of the symptom."

He's treating it like a bad behavior, which if stopped can help put the poison at bay. You may think he's being mean-spirited, but he's attacking the method acting, not the person. The abstract version of yourself, the constant "I am" which blocks out the rest of the world and prevents connection with others is who he's being "mean-spirited" toward. And why? Because that person gets enough love from himself. The last thing it needs is a gentle hand. But the ultimate point here is that any kind of "treatment" for narcissism is going to be of the form of small, everyday subjective changes, ie faking it for the happiness of others.

As for the cynicism, here's an old quote from Alone:

"Describe the march of history over the past 100 years. Answer: Fascism, then Marxism, then Narcissism.

What distinguishes the three? Technology.

What followed fascism? War. What followed Marxism? War."

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Great new post, thanks "Alo... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 10:52 AM | Posted by John R: | Reply

Great new post, thanks "Alone."

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Yes. I think the best way t... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 11:04 AM | Posted by Ryan: | Reply

Yes. I think the best way to sum up the thesis of this blog is: "Stop thinking about yourself and get out there and live your life." Everything else is really an exposee of the societal influences that have confused us into thinking that our narcissism is actually working.

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A true return to form. Loo... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 11:58 AM | Posted by mordymoop: | Reply

A true return to form. Looks like you got some thetans audited, because this is quite lucid compared to the last couple.

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The title of the blog isn't... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 12:54 PM | Posted by randomalonefollower: | Reply

The title of the blog isn't Nietzsche; it's Wittgenstein.

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Great read. Anyone else lo... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 12:59 PM | Posted by Brent: | Reply

Great read. Anyone else love the irony of the Facebook Like button at the bottom of this post? :)

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If we got rid of all the co... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 1:05 PM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

If we got rid of all the comments from petulant smartphone users demanding shorter paragraphs, and all the comments where the commenter is trying but failing to prove an imagined intellectual status, and all the comments which say the equivalent of "wow that's great writing" (in other words, adding nothing), the comment threads might be worth reading.

But then we'd have The Return of Jonny and his endless saga of bot-typed kookaburra nonsense.

At least the main entry is worth reading, and it doesn't need shorter paragraphs -- the complainers simply need to stop stealing time from their bosses by reading on a smartphone, and need to spend $$ on a home computer that has a decent display size. Your decision to rely exclusively on a smartphone's 3.5 inch screen is not a problem for anyone but you, Whiny Commenter.

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Subtitle is Wittgenstein. T... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 1:58 PM | Posted, in reply to randomalonefollower's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Subtitle is Wittgenstein. The title "The Last Psychiatrist" is the Nietzsche reference.

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while i agree that complain... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 2:14 PM | Posted by brian: | Reply

while i agree that complaining about smaller paragraphs is ridiculous, any time you steal from your boss is good.

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Thank you so much Mg + anon... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 2:18 PM | Posted by RK: | Reply

Thank you so much Mg + anonymous people! The suggestions do help. I also remember Alone making a passing reference to Heinz Kohut somewhere - "The Search for Self" (two volumes) is a very useful primer on the kind of narcissism Alone talks about.

Or, if reading's too tough, Louis CK.

I like how both the content and the comments section (well, sometimes) at TLP make for a productive read - very uncharacteristic of internet forums!

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Great article. One little n... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 2:52 PM | Posted by cmoney : | Reply

Great article. One little nit pick.

"Can't learn math if you aren't taught to think logically. "

This is backwards. You can't learn to think logically if you never learn math. It is a skill that must be practiced. Drilled.

But today's educators think drilling is arcane and they must first teach math from the logical angle. The 'why' before the 'how'.

"We're teaching them how to think, not what to think. "

Then how come they all suck at math?

" Well it doesn't really matter. Who uses math anymore? What's important is they learn to think critically. "

/blows brains out

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I'm not sure I understand w... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 4:35 PM | Posted, in reply to bark's comment, by Nay: | Reply

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this:

"Every tool we use to understand other people we also use to understand our self. Therefore...The incentive to lie to ourselves about other people is far lower than the incentive to lie to ourselves about our self."

It seems insightful at first glance, but I'm having trouble interpreting exactly what you're trying to say. Could you elaborate?

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>When dinner is a controlle... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 4:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

>When dinner is a controlled process with "manners" and expected topics of shared conversation and start and end times, as boring as it may get, it is boring, not you.

What (I think) he's alluding to with this, is that the controlled/contrived formality of the occasion creates a mental excuse/escape for the participants. The event itself is a scapegoat and can be thought of as 'boring', as opposed to accepting that the participants themselves are the reason it is boring - ie. if they were engaging/interested/interesting individuals they would have little trouble making the occasion fun. They still get to believe that they are interesting people, and don't have to face the reality of their life.


>It is against this background of "phony" convention that teens can productively "rebel" and find their own individuality against a status quo; fighting against an emotionally illogical, arbitrary, unpredictable structure results in learning the lesson, "whatever gets me through the day..."

This one is less obvious to me, so I apologise if this one doesn't hit the mark... The phrase "whatever gets me through the day" carries more than a hint of desperation. Alcohol, weed, heroin, prozac, obsessively browsing the internet at work -- all of this sort of thing can be self justified with that phrase. "I just need this to get through today, tomorrow is Friday and I can finally relax". It's a sort of never ending cycle of consuming and producing, the catch being that you find yourself needing to consume more to produce essentially the same amount... To keep yourself from burning out. "Whatever gets me through the day", y'know.

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With the amount of analysis... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 5:00 PM | Posted by macy: | Reply

With the amount of analysis going into how narcissism degenerates into a disease of our culture, maybe the line between those who are, more than the usual, serious and foreboding and those more bubbly and perky tend to get (darn!) too clear-cut these days. People from different cliques feel each other's vibes and know they just don't mix. You know, as vehement as red and blue, left and right, in and out, all that.

But some narcissism is good, I suspect, for introspection and the intellect, and some internalization, necessary for building a strong self-esteem. It's always about balance, but equally I suspect, for those who are aware of keeping things in balance, it cuts across all the shades of gray (as you say), it is a habit reinforced by many life lessons already, and for those who are not aware, never drank the cool aid, well, they are simply not the audience for this blog. And for those, you can sing until your throat sores, but they have other priorities to sit and agonize over dark wisdoms.

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I print all of Alone's post... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 5:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Ersatz Critic's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I print all of Alone's posts. The paragraphs after Harper Collins's picture go on for more than one page. I print them so that I can annotate them and share them with others without masturbating on the internet like I am now.

This comment is as worthless as yours and the ones you have listed.

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<a href="https://www.google... (Below threshold) Good job. But the title of ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 9:03 PM | Posted by Mg: | Reply

Good job. But the title of this blog is not "Wovon man nicht sprechen..." it is "The Last Psychiatrist."

Here is TLP admitting to it so that you dummies stop misinterpreting/doubting the fact that it's true:

"Nicholas Carr writes that Nietzsche (title of this blog, BTW) stopped writing because of eyestrain"

from: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2008/10/the_dumbest_generation_is_only.html

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"misobaby"... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 9:11 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"misobaby"

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>It seems insightful at ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 10:00 PM | Posted, in reply to Nay's comment, by bark: | Reply

>It seems insightful at first glance, but I'm having trouble interpreting exactly what you're trying to say. Could you elaborate?

Two steps in modeling people: empirical observations and theoretical analysis. We apply them to both others and to ourselves.

The difference is that the observations I use to judge Joe are public. SOME of the observations I use to judge myself are private. Observations of my thoughts and motivations. Or at least my apparent motivations.

That's where the wiggle room of rationalization shows up. It's easier to disagree with the social consensus opinion on my self than with the social consensus opinion on a third party.

You have, in theory, privileged information when it comes to your own self.

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You promised part 2 on Mond... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 10:41 PM | Posted by Vellutina: | Reply

You promised part 2 on Monday! Where is it, where is it?

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he didn't say which Monday<... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 11:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Vellutina's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

he didn't say which Monday

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The point Alone is trying t... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2014 11:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by cmoney: | Reply

The point Alone is trying to make about dinner formalities is that when they actually existed, when the forced socializing was boring, you could blame it on the very formality of it all. And for the teens, it was something concrete to rebel against. "Dinner is so stupid, this is so fake. I can't wait to get out of here." In addition, these sorts of formalities provided practice for learning how to socialize, even in situations where you don't necessarily want to be there. The rituals of daily life prepared you for situations you'd face when you get older (e.g., annoying meetings at work, getting through a first date that isn't going well, etc).

But the boomers and subsequent generations decided "fuck it", rituals be damned. They openly admit family dinner time is a tired old tradition they can do away with. It's just so phony. Dinner is whenever, and you can eat it wherever. But every now and then is family dinner night, but no norms are really established and the routines aren't practiced, so everyone just diddles their phones and gets out of there as quickly as possible. And what this lack of ritual does to adolescents is it gyps them of something concrete to rebel against. That's what alone is saying. With the boring routine dinner, the kids can use that, and the fact their parents make them attend it, as something objectionable. But now, their parents are cool with them eating dinner in their room. Well, that seems fair. But I still want to rebel against something. Maybe it's just my parents don't give a shit about anything or anybody?

An interesting sidenote: a large percentage of these parents who do away with family formalities fetishize other cultures that still have a strong family element. Look at those mexicans, so many living in the same house, sharing meals together and having family parties. It's so authentic. Oh we were vacationing in Thailand and had tea with all the members of a lower class family. They just really hold the family sacred there. I wish America could get back to that. Bullshit, no you don't. Because then your family would be indistinguishable from all the other families on your block. And you'd have to dinner on the table, at 5:30, every day. Now you have Thailand photos to one up your neighbors with.

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Comments from Zizek (and La... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 1:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Ryan's comment, by Daisies: | Reply

Comments from Zizek (and Lacan, for that matter) have never made anything *more* clear.

Alone is an existentialist boss. I wonder how much of what is interpreted as "narcissism" is a the product of loneliness, though. We have torn down all of our old social conventions, and now we have no idea how to relate to each other.

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"it would be excellent if y... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 2:13 AM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

"it would be excellent if you'd provide a bibliography of the books that helped you understand written arguments ... Some books on the human nature would also be useful!"

Wanting to learn is good, but you're also kind of foreclosing the range of possibility unreasonably, RK. First, he's not talking about a written argument as much as he's trying to show how a social structure (mediatized consumerism) engenders cognitive & behavioural structures (assuming that real life is something you escape to and then escaping from it when you're actually there). Zuckerberg's 'argument' is just an example. He could have used Nicholas Carr, but then he would have missed the gender dynamic. But you should consider that Zuckerberg's book is incidental to the analysis. It's just a convenient example of the larger phenomenon.

As to 'the human nature', what makes you think there is such a thing? He's constantly arguing that there is no essence to anyone, except maybe for 1) narrative is a universal heuristic, 2) death is a universal fear/motivation, 3) there is a universal motivation/drive to have kids (corollary of 2). But there isn't some universal set of principles that boils down to the essence of Man or some similar BS. He shares that with pretty much all the posties ever, even the 'pre-posties', from Foucault to Magritte to Nietzsche to Hegel to Marx to Zizek.

So here's some advice: don't ask others what to read, ask yourself what you've already read. If the answer is 'not much', then you probably don't want to learn (i.e. improve your thinking and broaden the ideas you have to do it with), you probably just want some quick & easy answers. But you would know what you have to do. If the answer is 'quite a bit, but nothing like this/interesting', then you know you need to read other things, but you still have to do it.

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Thanks for yet another cont... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 3:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Thanks for yet another content-free non-answer, Fox.

I really don't understand this kind of wishy-washy response to every single person who asks for further reading or application, and it always seems to come from Alone's various hangers-on and the other ilk contributers from Partial Objects. As if you're channeling Alone by purposefully not giving out any answers and shrouding your dialogue in a cult-of-personality mystique; as if you could somehow gain Alone's powers by adopting his esoteric writing style and shunning people who "don't quite get it".

You're not Alone. And it's getting really old seeing some people here try so hard.

I love this blog but the comments section has for a long time been near useless and become a sort of pissing match to see who can ride Alone's dick the hardest. People would rather answer in a snide remark to everything and purport that everyone should "do their own work" instead of helping by engaging in meaningful dialogue.

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The Last Psychiatrist is th... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 6:11 AM | Posted by karmicchaos: | Reply

The Last Psychiatrist is the best escape from my own life and I have missed it so much. Thanks for being back.

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Yeah, Guy Fox, it's a bit i... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 9:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yeah, Guy Fox, it's a bit ironic that you initially state that:

"As to 'the human nature', what makes you think there is such a thing? [...] there isn't some universal set of principles that boils down to the essence of Man or some similar BS.

But when you get to the bibliography recommendation part you can reduce his behavior and will to:

ask yourself what you've already read. If the answer is 'not much', then you probably don't want to learn (i.e. improve your thinking and broaden the ideas you have to do it with), you probably just want some quick & easy answers. If the answer is 'quite a bit, but nothing like this/interesting', then you know you need to read other things

If you are going to imitate Alone, at least don't contradict yourself in the same comment.

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Alone - where's the long pr... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 9:51 AM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

Alone - where's the long promised book? All the best,

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Guy Fox's responses calls b... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 10:40 AM | Posted by Larry: | Reply

Guy Fox's responses calls back this exchange from A Fish Called Wanda

Wanda: But you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?
Otto: Apes don't read philosophy.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don't understand it.

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Okay, I'll accept the charg... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 11:38 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

Okay, I'll accept the charge of being a sycophant, but not of contradiction. I was saying that you can shape yourself, change how you think and the materials you have to think with, by engaging in a certain practice, i.e. reading. Arguing that people are shaped by their interaction/communication with others is exactly against an idea of a human nature in the sense of a pre-existing essence, let Alone 'the' human nature that applies to all alike. No contradiction.

As for what to read, I dropped 5 names (Magritte doesn't count - painter, but worthwhile paintings).* Ever heard the one about the rabbi and the flood? Add to that Baudrillard, but start with Saussure and Debord, or you'll give yourself a brain hernia.

I also don't see much apeing his writing style. He rarely gives direct 'do this' advice, and his humour is a lot more topical and pop culturey (and present, tbh).

I do agree on the quality of the comments section, though.

Just because somebody dares to offer a positive answer doesn't imply snark. The voice you attribute to written text is usually just that: your attribution.

No hard feelings.

*Oh, and the idea of human nature is pretty much anathema to any philosophical project these Guys could collectively belong to, so there's that.

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I love this blog but the... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 12:19 PM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

I love this blog but the comments section has for a long time been near useless and become a sort of pissing match to see who can ride Alone's dick the hardest. People would rather answer in a snide remark to everything and purport that everyone should "do their own work" instead of helping by engaging in meaningful dialogue.

comment by Anonymous January 28, 2014 3:18 AM

**********

That's pretty much what I was driving at in my earlier comment. Ideally the comments should be opening eyes-ears-minds, not pointless adulation, sad rooster-strutting, or faux-insights from solipsistic sophists who want to play a psychiatrist (or student of psychiatry) on the internet.

People who just jump in with an "interpretation" of TLP's essay, or some small piece of it -- what the hell are you up to? Has your wizardry been solicited? Can't you keep it to yourself, instead of showing off with a clumsy attempt at specialness?

The people who complain about "needing an editor" -- seriously, what are you talking about? People write in their own style and if you can't humble yourself to the author's style, then just shut your mouth and go read some newer, wider-ranging sources. I have no problem reading long paragraphs. Most people whose sense of meaning isn't a sad snark distilled for a tweet shouldn't have any trouble either. Your ridiculous need to iPhone the world is YOUR problem -- not TLP's.

Anyone have any thoughts on Randi Zuckerberg? Or are you all just going to wank?

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Realize that your defense o... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 12:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Ersatz Critic's comment, by Justin Charity: | Reply

Realize that your defense of Alone's writing style may as well apply to your derision of so many commenters. If you don't like it, skip it. None of us are paying for these gems.

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I don't know what the hell ... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 1:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't know what the hell you guys are talking about. With the exception of the comments about the format of the post (and the idiots who don't know the difference between a title and a subtitle), most of the comments have been helpful (even the interpretations). Dismissing these interpretations is seems more in line with a "clumsy attempt at specialness." "Look at me! I'm so humble with my interpretations, I keep them all to myself!"

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== quote ==And I don... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 1:52 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by Recluse: | Reply

== quote ==
And I don't fully understand this:

It is against this background of "phony" convention that teens can productively "rebel" and find their own individuality against a status quo; fighting against an emotionally illogical, arbitrary, unpredictable structure results in learning the lesson, "whatever gets me through the day..."

What lesson are they learning. I don't understand what "whatever gets me through the day..." is supposed to teach you.

Can anyone shed some light?
== end quote ==

My impression is that you missed the dichotomy in the sentence you quoted. The semi-colon after 'status quo' is the inflection point.

My understanding is that Alone is contrasting a family defined by conventions with a family absent of conventions. The latter is defined by "emotionally illogical, arbitrary, unpredictable structure". It therefore offers nothing logical/predictable/ordered to meaningfully rebel against, and therefore a teen cannot discover his own individuality by rebelling. The lesson that he will learn in such a context is "whatever gets me through the day..." Needless to say, this is a very bad lesson for him to learn.

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Here are some books that I ... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 1:59 PM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by obj: | Reply

Here are some books that I have found helpful. I apologize if you've already read them all.

Don Quixote
Middlemarch
Madame Bovery
Dead Souls
Huckleberry Finn
The History of Tom Jones
Most of Joseph Conrad's books are helpful, but Lord Jim is the most relevant to narcissism.

Alternatively, you can just go down the list of greatest novels. They're mostly about narcissism. That's because Cervantes showed that novels and narcissists are perfectly suited for each other. I guess Stephanie Meyer really proved the point though.

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Is the point of TLP blog re... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 3:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Is the point of TLP blog really that we all, therefore, go an emulate Alone? Really?

I'd hope, in the end, reading TLP is more about patricide than consumption.

Also, remember that books only get you so far. The dude has worked in the field for years. I'd venture to say most of Alone's analysis is based on that.

That said, read Freud. Adam Phillip's edited volume is a good, concise place to start (plus all new translations, including his essay on narcissism). You'll need Freud whether you go to Kohut, or Lacan, or Bollas, or whomever.

Secondly, read Marx's The Power of Money (https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/power.htm). It is short, and clear. It is not "Marxist," in a crude sense. It's convicting.

From there on, ask questions about your desires. Figure out what your desires shroud. Figure out if they're actually yours at all. Then figure out what, in your life, you're faking. Either stop doing it, or start doing it for real. It will be hard word, regardless. And realize you don't necessarily need experts to answer all of these questions for you.

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"Is the point of TLP blog r... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 5:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Is the point of TLP blog really that we all, therefore, go an emulate Alone? Really?"

Not sure where you got this from. Dude just wanted some books to read. If you like a musician, you tend to check out his influences. If you like a writer, you tend to check out his influences. Etc. It's just an extension of inquiry. Doesn't mean emulation will result.

Anyway, I second the Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

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Fair enough. I think I may ... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 5:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Fair enough. I think I may have conflated two posts.

Reading back on my post, it seems a little cringy and condescending anyway.

Still, my recommendations for Freud and Marx still stand.

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I really enjoy the way you ... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 6:21 PM | Posted by Marcus: | Reply

I really enjoy the way you think. You have inspired me to read Being and Nothingness. 630 pages...I'll start tomorrow...

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Someone correct me if I'm w... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 9:16 PM | Posted by Lexie: | Reply

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's only one copy of Zuckerberg's book on the display table, which suggests that she put it there herself. There are at least three copies of everything else. Are there others I've missed?

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Woah, now I have a full rea... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 9:58 PM | Posted by RK: | Reply

Woah, now I have a full reading list, this is awesome! Thank you everybody!

Guy Fox - I think I understand your point (I'm not so sure though, so it would be good if you could clarify this) - I shouldn't read from the point of view of merely accepting ideas, but should make the actual effort of bringing a change in the way I think. Or maybe the point was to start reading itself. I'll take your comment in a positive light - I've committed to a daily schedule of reading these books, it's going slowly (some of the jargon used is quite complicated) but I'm moving ahead. Thank you :)

But I'm so bewildered, why is everyone fighting? Did I say something wrong?

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My impression is that y... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2014 10:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Recluse's comment, by Danny Goldberg: | Reply

My impression is that you missed the dichotomy in the sentence you quoted. The semi-colon after 'status quo' is the inflection point.

Yes! I did miss the contrast. The paragraph makes much more sense now. Thanks.

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Men are irrelevant to th... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 1:19 AM | Posted by G: | Reply

Men are irrelevant to this discussion, a man would never bother to tell Randi anything because the minute a professional man sees a professional woman's baby pictures, she's moved from Bcc: to cc:.

What does that mean? I use both all the time but don't get what alone means. makes more sense the other way around or i'm not seeing it

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Alone, will you ever releas... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 2:19 AM | Posted by anon: | Reply

Alone, will you ever release the Echo and Narcissus audiobook for free? Or did your plans change?

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its 2 dollars... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 3:18 AM | Posted, in reply to anon's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

its 2 dollars

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Per book recommendations I ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 5:31 AM | Posted by Glen: | Reply

Per book recommendations I would like to chime in with Badiou's 'Wittgenstein's Anti-philosophy.' (Verso, Jan. '13)

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Looking forward to your boo... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 7:08 AM | Posted by GT: | Reply

Looking forward to your book on porn.
Regards,
GT

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I watched some of Randi's i... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 10:51 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I watched some of Randi's interviews on YT last night, partly because I honestly couldn't tell if she was Mark Zuckerberg's mom or his sister. One thing I noticed that she kept bringing up was that "you only have one identity online now", which is an odd concession to make when the entire internet is in the middle of that battle. I mean, sure, with enough metadata you could figure out who is who by their internet habits but there are still tons of places where you're allowed anonymity to the degree most people are comfortable with (ie, the degree that allows us to call each other cunts on the internet).

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Realize that your defens... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 11:31 AM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

Realize that your defense of Alone's writing style may as well apply to your derision of so many commenters. If you don't like it, skip it. None of us are paying for these gems.

Why thank you for ORDERING me to "realize" something that I already understood.

And thank you for reinforcing the notion that if someone doesn't like something, they should shut their mouths about it.

But most of all, thank you for your hypocrisy and unintended irony.

I'm not defending TLP's "style," you nitwit. I'm not defending TLP at all. I'm talking about the nitwits like you who think they're geniuses, above the rest of us, in some lame attempt to put themselves at the blog-keeping author's level of imagined genius. This pattern of sycophancy, one-upping losers trying to feel smart, and sad pseudo-academic-intellectual (hah guffaw chuckle hah) "analysis" of essays is found across the webiverse, as is the weak-tea snark uttered by the likes of you.

Do you have any thoughts on Randi Zuckerberg, or are you just here to pretend at superiority through snark?

I suppose snarky comments at a blog might support Randi Zee's theory of projected e-living being a good thing, if you find your self-esteem boosted by re-viewing, again and again, your triumphant snarky remark at TLP's blog.

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I don't know what the he... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 11:40 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't know what the hell you guys are talking about. With the exception of the comments about the format of the post (and the idiots who don't know the difference between a title and a subtitle), most of the comments have been helpful (even the interpretations). Dismissing these interpretations is seems more in line with a "clumsy attempt at specialness." "Look at me! I'm so humble with my interpretations, I keep them all to myself!"

I haven't seen a single helpful comment. Reading lists? That's helpful? When the listed books are esoteric, poorly written, tail-chasing nonsense? The only useful book listed thus far is Lasch's Culture of Narcissism. The others like Lacan, Marx, asstd other Marxists -- pointless masturbatory posts, trying to prove esoteric reading tastes. Again, one-upping losers trying to feel special.

In case you maintain your inability to understand simple English written by meself above, I said that comments are useful when they show something. Giving an example of why Randi Zee's theory is correct, or incorrect -- that would be useful.

Pretending to be an internet shrink who "understands TLP better than TLP understands himself, and let me show you with my ...ahem... interpretation of his essay" -- man, that's just sad ego-massaging by an insecure pretentious dimwit.

Is Randi Zee correct? Is your projected life on the internet more important than your lived-life in meatspace? Equally important?

Is Randi Zee incorrect? Is e-living a bogus substitute for actual thriving as a human, rather than being focused on your projected fantasy self that one-ups everyone with imagined heroic choices in laundry detergent or baby food?

You might say TLP's comment threads serve the highest use when they are chock-full of pretentious windbags who do nothing but project idealized fancy selves, rather than having the kinds of conversations people would have in meatspace.

If you were discussing this with friends, would you really rattle off titles by Lacan and Marx as your conversational contribution? Would you really offer some pathetic mail-order PhD owner's bad "analysis"?

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And realize you don't n... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 11:45 AM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

And realize you don't necessarily need experts to answer all of these questions for you.

That's ironic coming from someone who says you need to read these 7 listed books by these 7 listed experts.

All your comments have done is "prove" you have read esoteric books that your esoteric experts have written to give shape to your previously uninformed and shapeless, waiting-for-a-conduit-opportunity, non-original opinion.

Yet another battle of the experts. Christ, what's next? Discounting someone because they don't have the requisite parchment?

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I was wondering the same th... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 2:36 PM | Posted, in reply to G's comment, by ANON: | Reply

I was wondering the same thing - I think the woman was :bcc because the man doesn't want some other woman or potential male rival, to see he is sending her emails. Her baby pictures make her less threatening to other women, or no longer an object of desire with whom he wants to communicate privately?

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I can recommend a couple re... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 3:00 PM | Posted by Ginkgo Mylanta: | Reply

I can recommend a couple recent books by Andrew Potter & Joseph Heath: The Rebel Sell and The Authenticity Hoax. You get a nice mix of late 20th c. history, economics, and cultural studies wrapped up in simple, sane arguments. Ideologically, they're in Lasch territory--old-school social-democrats dismayed by the stupidity of "leftist" "counterculture." Definitely not heavy reading, but I'm sure some of you would enjoy them.

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I think it is. It's just t... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 3:01 PM | Posted, in reply to acid's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think it is. It's just that everyone has the disorder because our society is messed up. If you went to an anorexia convention, the fact that everyone there has anorexia and doesn't eat anything but single lettuce leaves is not a sign that anorexia is normal. That's our society. I personally think it's a sign of something horribly wrong in our culture that we feel the need to live in fantasy worlds of our own making.

I think the dinner thing, as well as other rituals has a relatively simple answer. It gives people a framework for interaction. Then you are free to have the interaction. When you have to make everything up on the fly, you have to invent the entire thing from scratch. That doesn't work as well, because when you have to invent a means to communicate with your spouse or kids (including ways to start the conversation), then you end up uncomfortably trying to figure out what to say and how to say it. If you follow a mainstream religion (Judaism or Christianity or Islam or Buddhism) it gives you a framework for dealing with a crisis, for figuring out where you fit in the universe, and for figuring out what makes sense. That gives you a framework for whatever crops up.

When you have these cultural frames it makes things easier, you know how to steer a conversation toward or away from topics that are painful either to you or to your friends. When you know what the mainstream opinion of a topic is, you know what to ask someone with a different view.

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I haven't seen a single ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 3:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I haven't seen a single helpful comment. Reading lists? That's helpful? When the listed books are esoteric, poorly written, tail-chasing nonsense? The only useful book listed thus far is Lasch's Culture of Narcissism. The others like Lacan, Marx, asstd other Marxists -- pointless masturbatory posts, trying to prove esoteric reading tastes. Again, one-upping losers trying to feel special.

Somebody specifically asked for a reading list from Alone, so most of the authors recommended in the comments (Kohut, Kierkegaard, Lacan, Nietzsche) are authors Alone has referenced in the past. So, yes, helpful to the person the people were posting for (hint: not you). If you want to get mad at "esoteric reading tastes", blame Alone.

Nobody expected the whiny guy who needs to write long posts about how the comments suck to find value in any of the comments. Other people seem to find value. I'm not sure why you keep wasting your time on this point. Nor do I understand why you're trying to dictate what counts as a useful comment. It's almost as if you're embarrassed by us or something.

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The Cc: field is useful in ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 4:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The Cc: field is useful in instances when you wish to share a message with someone but are NOT requesting that they reply or take any direct action in response.

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I think what he means is th... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 4:39 PM | Posted, in reply to G's comment, by sb: | Reply

I think what he means is that receiving a bcc of an email means higher status.

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You don't hate them because... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 4:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Ersatz Critic's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You don't hate them because they're therapists, you hate them because they aren't therapists, they don't seem to know they aren't therapists and are going to therape anyway. ;)

(right before III http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/01/im_building_a_rape_tunnel.html)

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To me, when you bcc someone... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 7:31 PM | Posted, in reply to G's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

To me, when you bcc someone you are sort of letting them in on something behind the scenes, which seems like the behaviour of people who are part of an in-group. Effectively Alone is saying she's no longer taken seriously.

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Alone's point about social ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2014 10:19 PM | Posted by Danny Goldberg: | Reply

Alone's point about social rituals reminds me of David Foster Wallace's article on TV, "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction". DFW argued that TV had become too ironic. That while irony was once used to tear down harmful ideas and ideologies, now it's used to bring down everything indiscriminately. And most importantly, the stuff that gets torn down does not get replaced.

Maybe we did the right thing by getting rid of the much too racist and sexist social rituals of the 1950s. Where we messed up is we did not create any rituals to replace them. I still haven't figured out what it should be replaced with or how to replace them.

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I don't think Alone is actu... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 12:52 AM | Posted, in reply to John's comment, by Mark: | Reply

I don't think Alone is actually saying that. I think he's saying people think that, and it allows them to try to define themselves.

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>vicious ideologues<p... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 2:15 AM | Posted by Facho: | Reply

>vicious ideologues

Is there anything particularly bad about them?

>The easy "male" criticism is to say that too many baby pictures reveals her head isn't in the game, she's not focused on capitalism and destroying the competition so her boss can make more money. "Wait, what?"

Are we supposed to say "what?" When Blythe Masters says the competition should be scared shitless of us because we're ruthless plutocrats, I think "fuck yeah", though maybe that's because I'm a fascist.

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Hey Alone, as always your e... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 4:04 AM | Posted by Hans: | Reply

Hey Alone, as always your essays are extremely interesting. You've got some extremely unique insights into popular culture that I've really never seen anywhere else.

I've got a question for you, though. As much as I enjoy reading you, your writing style is often opaque, and I find myself rereading your essays multiple times. For the readers benefit, would you consider doing a piece that sort of systematizes your views on narcissism?

What it is is, how your version differs from the clinical one, the history of the disease in our culture, and how it came about? And how it manifests itself?

I realize that this information is all here on the blog, but it's scattered among your various essays. I think doing that would really help us understand your point of view better, since I think that there's often a lot of confusion about what you really mean (thus the big debates on all of your articles).

Thank you, and I appreciate you taking the time to write out your thoughts.

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welcome back tlp... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 8:32 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

welcome back tlp

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I love your crazy ranting r... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 10:48 AM | Posted by foo: | Reply

I love your crazy ranting rambling style. refreshingly different and insightful!

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hey, it's motherfucking thu... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 10:48 AM | Posted by the voice: | Reply

hey, it's motherfucking thursday, where's part 2? if you never sleep what's the hold up

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Hi RK,Thanks for bei... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 11:55 AM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by GuyFox: | Reply

Hi RK,
Thanks for being charitable. I guess you should always be critical with what you read, but my point was that asking what to read is a way of not reading because you have the excuse, the alibi, that nobody's shown you the way. It's just more productive to go out and get started and to let your curiosity guide you and the ideas to inspire you to read further.
Consider: Obi-wan gave Luke a live light sabre to practice with while wearing a blast shield. Luke complained that he didn't know what he was doing. Instead of giving him an easier task, Obi-wan gently told Luke to put the blast shield back down and keep swinging.
If you start doing, you will quickly acquire the knowledge how to do. Not knowing how isn't an excuse not to start.
BTW, there's a website where me and some other clowns discuss this sort of thing, but I won't advertise it here to keep the trolls away. If you want to join in, you're welcome to contact me over Twitter: https://twitter.com/TipoZorro

Enjoy your journey. Don't cut your (or anybody else's) arm off with that light sabre. It grows the more you use it.

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To the people complaining a... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 12:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

To the people complaining about the lack of paragraphs in that one part:

Triple click a part of it. You'll notice paragraphs, clear as day. Which means they were formatted properly, but TLP removed them. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out why.

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Interesting to juxtapose th... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 3:45 PM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

Interesting to juxtapose this:

What the couple should have done to avoid this calamity is formed a shared identity, "this is us".

With this:

http://partialobjects.com/2012/06/champagne-facials-are-more-erotic-than-real-facials/

The moment there is nothing else left to desire, desire abandons you. Desire needs limits to try and breach or else it turns to ennui. So a man can hungrily have sex with the same woman for decades as long as he feels there is some aspect of her sexuality he can’t access...

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Yawn. ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 4:32 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Yawn.

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"[...]only in America do we... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 6:36 PM | Posted by GC: | Reply

"[...]only in America do we want the system to force us to do the right thing so we can take the credit."

It's the same on the other side of the Atlantic, too. I could go into specifics, but I don't want to awake the torch-and-pitchfork mob just yet.

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Are you yawning at the arti... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2014 6:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Are you yawning at the article, the comments or just existence itself? We're all dying to know.

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"your one and only question... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2014 2:22 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"your one and only question" --- Is she hot?

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Thought of your posts when ... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2014 9:08 AM | Posted by fraula: | Reply

Thought of your posts when I read this today: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/the-death-of-the-cool-feminist-smoker/283273/

This bit sent a chill down my spine. It confirms everything you've said:

The new Gen X smokers were the first teenagers to be exposed to high-volumes of anti-tobacco PSAs, and if Phillip Morris was going to outshine the American Lung Association, they needed to change their approach. The Yale study dug up a 1991 focus group study conducted by Marketing Perceptions, Inc., that describes the values of the new female smoker:
- Money, material acquisitions, a good job (pays well, more so than gratifies)
- Fears: Risks with commitment to relationships, marriage, children
- Social activism, political statements: None.

They may as well just have written "Narcissism on the job, narcissism in the home, and narcissism writ grand."

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"Forty years ago, women's l... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2014 9:36 AM | Posted, in reply to fraula's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Forty years ago, women's lib used to peddle cigarettes."

No, tobacco companies peddle cigarettes. It's just that the feminine fantasy they use to market their cigarettes changes over time.

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waiting for TLP to comment ... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2014 4:25 PM | Posted by GP: | Reply

waiting for TLP to comment the last KIA commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob-wn52Dkmk

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Overstreet - The Mature Min... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2014 5:36 PM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by GP: | Reply

Overstreet - The Mature Mind
Overstreet - The Mind Alive
Salter - Conditioned Reflex Therapy
Horney - Neurosis and Human Growth
Baudrillard - The Consumer Society
William Golding - Lord of Flies
Joost Meerloo - Rape of the Mind
Victor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning
Eric Hoffer - True Believer
Political Ponerology - Andrew M. Lobaczewski
Gavin de Becker - The Gift of Fear

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You seem to spend a great d... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2014 10:46 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You seem to spend a great deal of time picking apart the neuroses, hypocrisies, and idiocies of various public figures. I wonder though, is this exercise really much better than what they're doing? You're wading through a proverbial sewage heap, showing the reader the rank filth here and there. Look how it squirms and writhes. Observe the black ichor, the clutching tentacles, the hooked beak.

But aren't you dirtying yourself in the process? Why not attempt to transcend the stupidity and move on to better things. Put on a baroque classical stream instead of rolling your eyes at the sheer inanity of Ms. Zuckerberg. Anyone with a whit of sense already knows she's full of shit, and hardly needs a thorough explanation of why.

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"Anyone with a whit of sens... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2014 3:39 PM | Posted by Justin Charity: | Reply

"Anyone with a whit of sense already knows she's full of shit, and hardly needs a thorough explanation of why."

Both clauses are false; that's why such a blog exists.

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Triple click a par... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2014 6:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Hans: | Reply

Triple click a part of it. You'll notice paragraphs, clear as day. Which means they were formatted properly, but TLP removed them. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out why.

I don't know why, could you tell me? That elitist intellectualism is insulting. You can be smart without having to be a dick about it.

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The fact that he literally ... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2014 8:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Hans's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The fact that he literally tells you why in the string of paragraphs suggests I'm not being intellectually elitist but you're simply not reading well.

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It's almost as if you're... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2014 12:08 PM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

It's almost as if you're embarrassed by us or something.

It's almost as if you imagine snarky comments that pretend to respond to mine, but do not, is "winning."

Congratulations. You "won" the bitter smug snark award for this installment of The TLP Blog. Please pat your own back endlessly.

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You don't hate them beca... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2014 12:12 PM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

You don't hate them because they're therapists....

I have far too little emotional energy invested to be hating.

Remember, there is but a tiny existential space between "therapist" and "the rapist". You're welcome.

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If you're foolish en... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2014 3:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply


If you're foolish enough to read the comments, you're foolish enough to click the links. Or at least I am. So I read The Power of Money, by Marx. I read all of it, even though the first paragraph is ample warning to veer away.

If you want to accept Matx, apparently you have must first accept the 'nature of being' is defined by our identity rather than our actions. Talk about debating the conclusions... Did the poster recommend this essay as an example of inflamed narcissism or was Marx an original propagandist?

Genuinely... I'd like to know. It wasn't a waste of time, because I didn't know Marx was such a phony. He wasn't a misappropriated genius. He was a baby boomer 80 years too early. Ugh.

Here's the first paragraph. If you want the rest, go find Mongo's link for yourself. It's 30 posts up.


...

The Power of Money

[40] If man’s feelings, passions, etc., are not merely anthropological phenomena in the (narrower) sense, but truly ontological [41] affirmations of being (of nature), and if they are only really affirmed because their object exists for them as a sensual object, then it is clear that:
Blah blag blah smoosh.

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It is Monday.Here, I... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 12:51 PM | Posted by TheCopiedWriter: | Reply

It is Monday.
Here, I arrived I have
with feeding tube
and catheter prepped
and at the ready.
Feed me your sage, TLP.
Teach us the truth--
lower-case "t" and
all that jazz.

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While looking for a book ab... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 3:00 PM | Posted by Macy: | Reply

While looking for a book about Freud, I came across fraud in mental health. I have read the introduction and I think someone is a big fan of TLP. This book is about all the business goins on TLP complains about. Especially personality disorders- this book is all about personality disorders getting disability.
So faur- really intense......

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I know you've received crit... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 6:39 PM | Posted by Dee: | Reply

I know you've received criticism regarding paragraphs, editing and the like, but my reason for stopping halfway through: I hate reading about the Zuckerbergs. I think they are overrated, greedy assholes and that there should be no additional attention shone on them.
They have nothing significant to say, unless it somehow publicises their financial interests.

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I, too, have watched Chicag... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 6:41 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCopiedWriter's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I, too, have watched Chicago during Broadway week a few days ago.

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which book you talkin` abou... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 7:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Macy's comment, by GP: | Reply

which book you talkin` about?

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Why is it that every post h... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 7:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Why is it that every post here makes me want to kill myself?

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Sorry, "Fraud in M... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2014 10:22 PM | Posted, in reply to GP's comment, by Macy: | Reply

Sorry,

"Fraud in Mental Health'. It was on Amazon kindle books.
Says it's by The Therapist

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I'm glad you're back. ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 2:14 AM | Posted by Lindsay: | Reply

I'm glad you're back.

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<a href="http://www.amazon.... (Below threshold) > I'd hope, in the end, rea... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 10:06 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by matt: | Reply

> I'd hope, in the end, reading TLP is more about patricide than consumption.

that's really smart

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Monday passed and I got TLP... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 10:07 AM | Posted by I'm blue dibudibududah dudibudidah: | Reply

Monday passed and I got TLP Blue Balls

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Good post and very interest... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 12:23 PM | Posted by Jared: | Reply

Good post and very interesting blog! It's got me to think about many things in a different way. Here's hoping you post entries a little more often. Cheers.

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anybody know how I can read... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 12:26 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCopiedWriter's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

anybody know how I can read this without a Kindle?

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> <a href="http://www.amazo... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 12:31 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCopiedWriter's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

> http://www.amazon.com/Fraud-Mental-Health-Therapist-ebook/dp/B00I6RW39K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391499857&sr=1-1&keywords=fraud+in+mental+health

anyone know how i can read this thing without a goddamn Kindle? I'd even settle for an unformatted PDF, whatever...

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You can always read it with... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2014 2:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You can always read it with an ebook reading software (Calibre, FBReader etc) on your computer if you buy it off Amazon.

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cheers, thanks!... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2014 11:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

cheers, thanks!

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Did I miss Part 2?... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:30 AM | Posted by GT: | Reply

Did I miss Part 2?

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Yes. Part 2 isn't for you.<... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 1:39 PM | Posted, in reply to GT's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yes. Part 2 isn't for you.

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Well, for what it's worth, ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 1:51 PM | Posted by jr: | Reply

Well, for what it's worth, in a completely unrelated string of events, I got too busy at work and null-routed facebook in /etc/hosts. I don't know about the writing style on this blog, or even if it's helpful... I didn't understand a lot of what was written here, or even if it was comprehensible. But it seems related, after having done it.

And it seems that now I'm getting fixes of "social interaction" by submitting my thoughts to random blogs like this, and had to also turn on "productivity mode" at hackernews, trading bad behaviors, but it still seems like a general improvement.

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can you do one on mixed-rac... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 2:21 PM | Posted by alone2: | Reply

can you do one on mixed-race couples in advertising?

why is there never a black woman with a white man?

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If you're not reading it, i... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 2:47 PM | Posted, in reply to GT's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If you're not reading it, it's not for you.

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Technically speaking, it'd ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 3:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Technically speaking, it'd be if it's not for you, you're not reading it.

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"I'll be first to observe O... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:14 PM | Posted by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

"I'll be first to observe Obama has failed in every imaginable way"...Huh?

Perhaps you didn't notice the way he has been handing so-called conservatives large bleeding chunks of their collective ass, such as the ACA, Benghazi, Benghazi BENGHAAAAziiii, the shutdown and so on.

Yeah it should have been single payer, and yes it should cover more people, and has other flaws, but that he got it passed, is all by itself a miracle victory over the opposition of billionaires that vowed, on the day of his inauguration, to destroy him.

What's that...he didn't close Guantanamo? Why? He couldn't get congress to accept that American Supermax prisons - the most fantastically secure fortresses in existence would be up protecting the evidently helpless, but most heavily armed population on earth...right?

Generally, I enjoy reading your posts, but "failed in every imaginable way"?

Cut back on the rum - OK?


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Take your hyper-sensitive p... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:30 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Your Friend: | Reply

Take your hyper-sensitive politically partisan bullshit elsewhere. Please? Thank you.

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" I didn't know Marx was su... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

" I didn't know Marx was such a phony"

Nobody has ever been able to refute (Refudiate?)his analysis of the social conditions he observed - I don't think anyone has even tried.

He saw what he saw and wrote about it; all that followed did not alter a single word of the truth of his reporting.

All his critics ever did was ransack philosophy and the Bible to find Ideas that could be transmogrified into justifications for the squalor and poverty that underlay greed and wealth.

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And, a partisan F word to y... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Your Friend's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

And, a partisan F word to you "My Friend"

Your comment glaringly reveals where your non-partisanship "Lies"

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You can say the word fuck. ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 5:52 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You can say the word fuck. It's okay. I won't tell anyone.

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" I won't tell anyone"... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 6:18 PM | Posted by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

" I won't tell anyone"

Oh look!! Isn't it special? The non-partisan potty-mouthed flamer thinks that someone here cares about his little secrets (everybody can tell that he is "An Independent" which is code for "I'm ashamed to admit I'm a republican - or something worse.)

KK? TP? Crypto Fascist?

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The fact that somebody read... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 6:23 PM | Posted by Your Friend: | Reply

The fact that somebody read this TLP column and their takeaway was "He said something bad about Obama. MUST. GO. ON. ATTACK." is the reason I stay away from debating current American politics. I watch the news and stay informed but that's it. You gave an opinion and there are legions of immature little shits waiting to personally attack you for it. Of course they'd never do this to your face. That's why this aggressiveness has thrived in the internet era. You can mock and bait people and there's no risk to you.

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*You GIVE an opinion, not G... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 6:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Your Friend's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

*You GIVE an opinion, not GAVE

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The not "hyper-sensitive", ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 7:21 PM | Posted by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

The not "hyper-sensitive", "non-partisan", potty mouthed flamer, who does not go on attack, posted the following within minutes of my post, that I directed to Alone, not to "Your Friend".

"Take your hyper-sensitive politically partisan bullshit elsewhere. Please? Thank you"

Oh, and he doesn't debate politics either!

Now note the veiled threat: "You wouldn't dare say it to my face."

Why? are you going to tell me about your guns, make death threats?

It's becoming very obvious now, who you are and what you are - and just a tip for you "Friend" - be informed: profanity isn't manly - "Profanity is the mark of a weak mind striving to express itself forcefully."

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Eugene, your insights may b... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 8:00 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Eugene, your insights may be a bit more appropriate on the Infowars Disqus. More fruiful traction and such. Just sayin.'

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I see what you did there. ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 9:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Nobody Atall: | Reply

I see what you did there. Heh.

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Thank you for the courteous... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2014 10:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

Thank you for the courteous suggestion - and I mean it!

However, it does seem to me that it differs only in degree from the comment made by our "Friend", in that it questions the appropriateness of my words to Alone and the suggestion that I go elsewhere.

I have been a reader of this site for many years and I like what Alone has to say - usually, even if I may not -like others - agree completely.

I do not comment frequently except for the post he wrote about the "Judge" in Texas, I think; who repeatedly and viciously flogged his disabled daughter, in a dark room, because of some illegal downloads.

On that occasion I had plenty to say about the Judge and his defenders.

I take it that Alone accepts comments on his thoughts, words and ideas on this site - even if they disagree with him. On reading the comments I notice there are several posts that are less than complimentary; yet mine was the only one that suggested that my words were inappropriate and asked me to leave.

His comment about Obama was part of the post and it seemed to say that he supposed general agreement among his readership on the subject.

If the agreement is general, than I feel it is incumbent on me to point out that there are maniacs out there advocating armed rebellion, lynching, assassination and military take over against the man, not at all because of his policies, but because of his color.

And if anybody has a problem with me for saying those things, then they probably have a problem with free speech to begin with – except for their own speech of course.

Again, I thank you for the courtesy, trusting that it was sincere.

P.S. Alone, if you want to contemplate recent presidential failure, you might begin with Reagan, and then take a quick run through the Bushes.

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That's a lot of assumptions... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2014 12:31 AM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That's a lot of assumptions you're making there. And you know what they say: When you assume, you're projecting your own unwanted feelings of irrational hatred towards a public group in order to justify living your life in opposition to a force as opposed to creating or doing anything substantive.

And I am not ashamed at all to be a republican. I'm a republican. Republican. Again, republican. Guess what?

If you guessed that I was a republican, you were correct.

The difference is, I don't actually care to say it unless prompted.

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My name is Mandy laira am f... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2014 8:02 PM | Posted by mandy laira: | Reply

My name is Mandy laira am from USA. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man DR.EKPEN brought my husband back to me, i had three lovely kids for my husband, about four years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i should not worry about it at all, so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so i contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that's why i want to say a big thank you to DR.EKPEN spiritual temple. This great man made me to understand that there is no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at:ekpenlovetemple@gmail.com

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Awesome new blog that maybe... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2014 2:28 PM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

Awesome new blog that maybe readers of this blog will also like (not spam): http://itisnotmyshametobear.blogspot.com

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No. Just no.... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2014 3:41 PM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No. Just no.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
my stomach turned reading t... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2014 4:01 PM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by TheCopiedWriter: | Reply

my stomach turned reading this garbage.

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You don't sound like you're... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2014 5:02 PM | Posted, in reply to mandy laira's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You don't sound like you're "from USA."

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Jesus Christ. I've been co... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2014 10:49 PM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Jesus Christ. I've been coming here so long I've forgotten what "other blogs" read like.

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Why is there only one copy ... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 12:45 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Why is there only one copy of her book in the ppicture?

Interesting that a book by another wackjob is above hers, to the left.

Randi (With an "i" - really?!) has quite a manaical smile and I love the SATC Halloween costume.

Looking forward to part 2 - would love to share your great posts, but no one I know will read that far, if you know what I mean.

Max

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On the subject of boring-ne... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 11:24 AM | Posted by ChevalierdeJohnstone: | Reply

On the subject of boring-ness, actions, and self-identity.

Defining yourself by your actions is an aspect of narcissism. The narcissist views the self-as-object. (He also views the other (person)-as-object.) We define objects by their accidents (a philosophical term meaning appearance, history, usefulness, and so on.)

Human beings are not defined by accidents but by substance. You were an individually distinct human being prior to taking any action at all. While not all truths are empirical, this one is observable: some babies kick in the womb more than others. It is not the act of kicking that makes them different; they kick more or less because they already are different.

We are not defined by our actions. This is the essence of human consciousness. Animals, when responding to instinct, are defined by their actions. Human actions (this is not to say we are not sometimes animals) are volitional. It is who you are, your individual human substance, that determines your actions, not the other way around. Of course we can choose to be re-moulded by our experiences, but this too is volitional.

What you do, how you behave, may be "boring". But you, as an individually distinct, conscious, thinking being with infinite (though limited) capacity for new thought and imagination - you can never innately be "boring". It is the difference between seeing a person as an object and a person.

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THANK YOU FOR THAT INTEREST... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 12:46 PM | Posted, in reply to ChevalierdeJohnstone's comment, by SISYPHUS: | Reply

THANK YOU FOR THAT INTERESTING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING POST. HOWEVER, I DISAGREE.

WHILE IT'S SIMPLE TO LABEL ACTION (OR ANYTHING REALLY) AS AN ASPECT OF NARCISSISM, THE CONSTANT ACT OF RUMINATION YOU REFER TO AS SUBSTANCE MAY BE MORE DELETERIOUS. THE QUESTIONS "AM I BORING?" AND "AM I UNIQUE?" AND "WHAT DEFINES ME?" ARE THE FOREPLAY AT THE BEGINNING OF MENTAL MASTURBATION. THE QUESTIONS THEMSELVES DENOTE THE NARCISSISTIC TRAPS WE ENCOUNTER WHEN WE PEER INTO THE POOL.

THE SOLUTION IS NOT, AS YOU SUGGEST, BEING CONTENT WITH FEELING UNIQUE AND CHERISHING OUR INFINITE HUMAN CAPACITY. THE SOLUTION IS TO LOOK AWAY FROM THE POOL AND TURN AWAY FROM OURSELVES. IT IS NOT WORTH CARING WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE UNIQUE OR BORING OR SPECIAL. TAKE ANY MEASURE OF SUCCESS, HAPPINESS, CONTENTMENT--WHATEVER YOU'RE LOOKING FOR. FIND PEOPLE WHO EMBODY THOSE MEASURES. DO YOU THINK BILL GATES, THE DALAI LAMA, AND LEONARDO DICAPRIO CARE IF THEY'RE UNIQUE--OR WORSE, IF THEY APPEAR UNIQUE? NO. THEY'RE TOO BUSY LIVING.

QUESTIONS OF UNIQUENESS, BORINGNESS, AND IDENTITY ARE IRRELEVANT. YOU CAN THINK ABOUT WHO YOU ARE ALL YOU WANT AS YOU VEG OUT IN FRONT OF THE TV. THE TRUTH IS: WE CAN BE ANYBODY WE WANT TO BE--THROUGH ACTION, NOT CONTEMPLATION. THE POINT IS TO LIVE.

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Alone, wherever you are, yo... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 2:13 PM | Posted by Curio: | Reply

Alone, wherever you are, your readers are craving new material!

And none of the "recommended similar blogs" are worth anyone's time of day...

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This here TLP blog sounds m... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 4:03 PM | Posted by Rude Idiot Jerk: | Reply

This here TLP blog sounds more and more like a Pat Buchanan-lite Gen-Xer mashed in with a warmed-over Lasch.

Hahaha yes, hours of labor are up because society collectively demanded more work in a circuitous attempt to avoid home life! Tired appeals to the protestant moral fabric make total sense in the Year of our LORD 2014, because people only define themselves in terms of staid priggishness! I will obliquely state both like they're self evident, so I don't need to defend these assumptions using any sort of legitimate methodology!

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"Human actions (this is not... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 4:12 PM | Posted, in reply to ChevalierdeJohnstone's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Human actions (this is not to say we are not sometimes animals) are volitional. It is who you are, your individual human substance, that determines your actions, not the other way around."

And the only way to measure this is to observe a person's actions. Hence, people are defined by their actions.

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>And the only way to measur... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 5:04 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acid: | Reply

>And the only way to measure this is to observe a person's actions. Hence, people are defined by their actions.

...through the eyes of others, yes.

Being overly concerned with "how I am perceived" or "how others define me" is a primary staple of narcissism and belies a weak sense of self that requires a constant, external source of periodical maintenance in order for it to retain any kind of self-worth.

How can this many of you miss the point?

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Maybe you're missing the po... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 5:31 PM | Posted, in reply to acid's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Maybe you're missing the point? I don't understand where your arrogance is coming from. What people do is who they are. That doesn't imply that people are overly concerned about how they are perceived, it's rather just a statement of how things are.

Your logic is twisted. It is the denial of external judgement that leads to narcissism, not the acceptance of it. If enough people say you are a bad boyfriend, the constant in all of those situations is you, hence you just might be a bad boyfriend. To deny that is to deny reality in favor of a delusion you have about yourself. "That's not the brand of myself I'm trying to portray!" Exactly, which is why the judgement of the outside world cannot be discarded. The outside world sees you for who you are by the actions you take. There is no mystical "substance" about you. Your ideas do not matter until they are transmuted into action.

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It's not really that much o... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 5:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

It's not really that much of a surprise that she said that. It's a matter of who gains by you having only one identity. That would be what Alone calls "The Matrix" -- Business, Government, and so on. They love the idea of a single identity, because it literally allows them to control speech and thought on the internet. It works like this -- if I post something dangerously outside the mainstream online, using my "single identity", it's indexed and cataloged for future use against me. If I apply for a job, one Google search will show that one time ten years ago I said something controversial.

Whew, dodged a bullet there, almost hired that guy.

And once it's common knowledge that this is what can happen on the internet, the internet is no longer a place where it's *safe* to speak freely. You can't do the things that i.e. OWS did, because your future boss is watching. The revolution is thus prevented because to speak those thoughts is to jeapardize your family's future. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/employers-use-facebook-to-pre-screen-applicants_n_1441289.html) That's what will happen with any form of Real ID, except that with real ID, it's actually worse. Not only can your future boss look at what you *say*, but what you *read*, the games you play for fun. Any of that. Do you want a postal worker on staff who loves to play Halo? Do you want to hire a manager who reads Mother Jones or Huffington Post? What about a police officer who reads up on civil rights violations? There are lots of things that based on a person's career path, it would be ill advised to tell your boss you're reading. There are certain political and social positions that it would be ill advised to tell people about. Real ID prevents those things from flying under the radar. It's the effect of having a police state without actually having to go to the trouble of repealing the first amendment. Easy enough. Make people who revolt unemployable, and make survival without a job impossible. No revolt.

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>What people do is who they... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 6:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acid: | Reply

>What people do is who they are.

This is an inane tautological statement that conveys no useful information. It's an intellectual killswitch to say "What you do is what you are" because it stops people from asking meaningful questions like, for starters, what you mean when you say "I" (what are you referring to?) and where the supposed "actions" are coming from.

The idea of our actions being evidence of an inherent internal uniqueness, and not simply a way for outsiders to gauge said uniqueness, has been offered. But you'd rather say things like this:

>And the only way to measure this is to observe a person's actions. Hence, people are defined by their actions.

Which puts an unnecessary importance and value on the act of being observed, not the inherent uniqueness of the actor independent of his (observed) actions; hence, classic pathological narcissism.

Ask yourself why your personal measuring of someone's individual human substance is necessary if said substance is assumed a priori, which according to the way you answered the above post I can safely say you accept. If not feel free to correct me.

This is a gross, black-and-white oversimplification. Denial of external judgment often times happens because the narcissist accepts praise from an outside source while at the same time devaluing the external provider of the praise, thus resulting in a feeling of emptiness and a lack of intimate relationships.

Is the strawman boyfriend in your post a bad boyfriend, or is he just "maybe a bad boyfriend"? And according to whom? You say the outside world "sees you for who you are", but according to what criteria except each individual's own personal criteria?

This is a rather precarious way to go about conducting your life. You're quite literally advocating molding your actions to fit a worldview that "perception is reality"

>There is no mystical "substance" about you.

Who said the substance was mystical? It's purely biological. Ideas have a biological basis.

>Your ideas do not matter until they are transmuted into action.

Don't matter to whom?

How many scientific advancements would have been lost if people took the attitude that ideas are useless unless immediately transmuted into action?

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I'm guessing you either don... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 7:41 PM | Posted, in reply to acid's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm guessing you either don't understand what a tautology is or you're admitting that I'm correct.

>because it stops people from asking meaningful questions like...where the supposed actions are coming from

It doesn't stop anybody from doing anything. People can and will reflect for as long as they want about what causes them to act as they do, but whatever conclusions they reach ultimately mean nothing until they're transmuted into action.

>Which puts an unnecessary importance and value on the act being observed, not the inherent uniqueness of the actor independent of his (observed) actions;

Exactly right. The action (or decision not to act in some cases) is more important than the man. You would rather it be that the man is more important than the action, I get that. Why do anything if some abstract identity that represents "you" isn't appended to it, right? If credit's all that matters, you'll take it.

>Denial of external judgment often times happens because the narcissist accepts praise from an outside source while at the same time devaluing the external provider of the praise, thus resulting in a feeling of emptiness and a lack of intimate relationships.

This doesn't make any sense. Denial of external judgement happens because the narcissist accepts external judgement? I think what you're trying to say is that somebody can accept external judgement while still devaluing the people making the judgement. This is true, but this fact doesn't discredit the external judgement itself. The external judgement is still important.

>Is the strawman boyfriend in your post a bad boyfriend, or is he just "maybe a bad boyfriend"? And according to whom? You say the outside world "sees you for who you are", but according to what criteria except each individual's own personal criteria?

It wasn't a "strawman", it was an example similar to one Alone himself has used. The criteria of the outside world is the one you don't like: your actions. How they perceive your actions varies according to their own standards, but a consistent judgement from various different people is a better authority on yourself than you.

>You're quite literally advocating molding your actions to fit a worldview that "perception is reality"

Alone is advocating that. Remember that the only treatment for narcissism is "faking it", ie molding your actions, etc. I'm only advocating that people think of themselves in terms of what they've done rather than what they believe or what they think about and never do.

>It's purely biological. Ideas have a biological basis.

Well, no, not "purely." Nature vs. nurture and all of that. But the idea that you have a fixed, unchanging "substance" is completely against reason. You are a thousand substances in one environment and a thousand in another. Neural connections come and go. Brain plasticity, etc. How you choose to filter this multifarious nature into real world engagement is what matters.

>How many scientific advancements would have been lost if people took the attitude that ideas are useless unless immediately transmuted into action?

But scientific advancements are literally what I mean by "action." These people didn't just sit around with ideas in their heads, they did something with them and advancements were made. You brought "immediately" into it. I never set a timeframe. Some people spend all of their lives and only have a few actions to show for it. There's nothing wrong with that. Others have none.

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>I'm guessing you either do... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by acid: | Reply

>I'm guessing you either don't understand what a tautology is or you're admitting that I'm correct.

Neither. Your statement carried "self-reinforcing pretense of significant truth", meant to convey meaningful information but failing to do so.

"You are what you do" is meaningless unless you first define what "you" are, and if "you" is defined solely as the sum of your actions, it reflects an enormous ignorance of biology and, by extension, human psychology.

>It doesn't stop anybody from doing anything. People can and will reflect for as long as they want about what causes them to act as they do, but whatever conclusions they reach ultimately mean nothing until they're transmuted into action.

You keep saying "mean nothing" as if meaning exists in a void. Transferal of meaning is a dialogue between two or more agents in which there is a person doing an action and an observer taking (or creating) meaning from said action.

Why is the observance of an action so important to you, and how does it relate to the inherent qualities of an individual? You still didn't answer the question.

Why does something have to be observed to be meaningful? If I murder someone in the forest where nobody is around to hear or see it, am I a bad person?

>Exactly right. The action (or decision not to act in some cases) is more important than the man.

Which again doesn't follow, because earlier you said that the man IS his actions.

Which one is it?

>You would rather it be that the man is more important than the action, I get that.

No, not at all. What I'm saying is you have a very insular, black-and-white view of both biology, psychology, and philosophy if you think that the actions aren't a product and thus evidence of the inherent qualities of the man.

>Why do anything if some abstract identity that represents "you" isn't appended to it, right? If credit's all that matters, you'll take it.

That's not what I'm arguing, although it does seem to be what you're arguing given your obsession with the idea that an action has to be observed so as to gauge the characteristics of an object.

>This doesn't make any sense. Denial of external judgement happens because the narcissist accepts external judgement? I think what you're trying to say is that somebody can accept external judgement while still devaluing the people making the judgement. This is true, but this fact doesn't discredit the external judgement itself. The external judgement is still important.

You misread, or misunderstood.

The denial of external judgment happens because of the devaluing of the external provider of said judgment.

If I use the praise of others to prop up my weak ego, but at the end of the day I think everyone (including the people who praise me) are complete idiots unworthy of my attention or time, it leads to a denial of said praise which perpetuates itself in an endless feedback loop of emptiness and shallow social interaction.

>It wasn't a "strawman", it was an example similar to one Alone himself has used. The criteria of the outside world is the one you don't like: your actions. How they perceive your actions varies according to their own standards, but a consistent judgement from various different people is a better authority on yourself than you.

But according to whom and based on what criteria? Why is the scattershot subjectivities of a thousand different observers a better authority on a person? You keep refusing to answer this.

>Alone is advocating that. Remember that the only treatment for narcissism is "faking it", ie molding your actions, etc. I'm only advocating that people think of themselves in terms of what they've done rather than what they believe or what they think about and never do.

I'm not talking to Alone right now, I'm talking to you. And "thinking about themselves in terms of what they've done" sounds suspiciously like treating the symptoms and not the poison.

For example, if you're a toxic person on the inside your actions will reflect that. No amount of "molding" your actions to fit the preconceived notions of virtue that are held by others will change who you are inherently (although an argument could be made that over time a change could be made).

To believe such a thing is in itself narcissistic. You're putting on a show, projecting a fake self for the approval of other people.

>Well, no, not "purely." Nature vs. nurture and all of that. But the idea that you have a fixed, unchanging "substance" is completely against reason. You are a thousand substances in one environment and a thousand in another. Neural connections come and go. Brain plasticity, etc. How you choose to filter this multifarious nature into real world engagement is what matters.

What does nature vs. nurture have to do with what I said? I was talking about the biological basis for thought.

Do you have the idea of "the self" as some kind of amorphous cloud floating around in the ether somewhere? If not, what do you mean when you say "I"?

>But scientific advancements are literally what I mean by "action." These people didn't just sit around with ideas in their heads, they did something with them and advancements were made. You brought "immediately" into it. I never set a timeframe. Some people spend all of their lives and only have a few actions to show for it. There's nothing wrong with that. Others have none.

Your original post was this:

>Your ideas do not matter until they are transmuted into action.

Which implies that the start or development of an idea does not matter until the moment it has been brought to action. It's an incredibly naive thing to say considering that most of the scientific advancements we take advantage of every day were wrought over with great calculation and deliberation in the mind of someone somewhere until finally they put it to good use. There is no action without thought.

Now you can go ahead and say that "some people spend their whole lives around ideas with little action to show for it", but that's not what was said nor what was being discussed.

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No, you are confusing obser... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No, you are confusing observation with definition. There is far more (to a person, for example) than that which you can observe.

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No, narcissism is defining ... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No, narcissism is defining yourself as a bad boyfriend.

Whether it is because other people say so or you think so.

You may be a boyfriend, and you may be bad at it. This does not "define" you. For you are a unique person, encompassing far more than "bad boyfriendness".

The problem is that if you reduce yourself to the simplistic object of "bad boyfriend", you are certain to reduce others to such a simplistic and false definition.

Human beings are far more than what you observe.

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Thank you for your response... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:46 PM | Posted, in reply to SISYPHUS's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you for your response. You may want to avoid ALL CAPS in the future. Other people on the interwebs will think less of your comments if you cannot use CAPS properly.

It is not possible to "turn away from yourself". That which you experience is determined by your self. What you're suggesting is like saying we should turn off the camera so we can get a different picture. You can change aspects of the camera to change the picture, but if you put it away or turn it off then there is no photograph.

You are also missing the point re: "feeling" unique. The point is not to feel unique or special. The point is to recognize the fact that you are, that other people are, human. This sounds simply but Mother Teresa did it, maybe a little bit, on her good days. Most of us go through life seeing other people not as people but as things. Most of us define ourselves not as people but as things. Human beings are not objects (things).

Finally, you certainly cannot be anyone you want to be. You can only ever be you. This is a tautology and I'm not sure how to answer the obviously false refutation of it.

Again thank you for your response. I'm not entirely certain you have the philosophical knowledge to engage in this discussion. That's not meant to be an insult - philosophy, who needs it? - but it explains why you seem to have misinterpreted certain basic statements I made.

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@ Anonymous in convo with "... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

@ Anonymous in convo with "acid"

I already responded once to this thread, but what you're saying is nonsense. It is simply not possible for the self to be defined by the self's actions. This puts that act before the actor. It is impossible.

You have, apparently, a very good mind for philosophy. What you're thinking with it is nonsense. Please stop wasting it.

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>if "you" is defined solely... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

>if "you" is defined solely as the sum of your actions, it reflects an enormous ignorance of biology and, by extension, human psychology.

Biology, as far as I know, does not account for identity or "I". Please elaborate on how my ideas betray ignorance of biology/human psychology.

>Why does something have to be observed to be meaningful?

I never equated action with observed action. I simply spoke about both action and external judgement. By "mean nothing" I only mean that you cannot go around imagining yourself an astronaut when you've never gone to space. It's easy to build an identity around what you think about, but this can confuse the subject into delusions that would have been checked/accounted for if he/she actually attempted to put his thought into action.

>Which again doesn't follow, because earlier you said that the man IS his actions.

Let's not confuse ourselves with language. You are what you do is a simple way of stating that we are engaged in a community with one another where the only way we can tell anything about each other is through behavior/action. Everybody's individual ideas about "who they are" do little for this community unless they drive some kind of action. You might say "Aha! The inherent self is the driving force of the action, you admitted it!" Well, one. It isn't "inherent" (but I'll get to that further down) and two, again the community sees only the action, so the action is all you are to these people. If you want to identify action with its corresponding thought process before the action, go ahead. But action must follow.

>evidence of the inherent qualities of the man.

"Inherent" implies permanent, fixed. No man has permanent internal qualities which define him.

>your obsession with the idea that an action has to be observed

"Obsession", ha. No. And I don't think an action has to be observed, but I am thinking about this mostly from the perspective of a community. What about a lone man on an island? Who is he? He is whatever the painted volleyball thinks he is.

>Why is the scattershot subjectivities of a thousand different observers a better authority on a person?

It's a better authority because what are the chances that a thousand different subjectivities are lying to you or misunderstanding you or, etc? What would they have to gain by being wrong about you in the same way without even knowing each other? Sure, they could be wrong, but what harm would it do to assume they're right and test the results?

>For example, if you're a toxic person on the inside your actions will reflect that.

Right. But you think that because of the toxic on the inside part and I think it because of the actions part. I don't think we're going to change our minds about this.

>To believe such a thing is in itself narcissistic. You're putting on a show, projecting a fake self for the approval of other people.

The idea is that it isn't a fake self if you keep doing it. It's just a way of conditioning yourself.

>what do you mean when you say "I"?

It certainly isn't one fixed thing, that's for sure. "I" could be my hunger, my sex drive, my caffeine levels and body temperature. Language tricks you into thinking "I" is permanent. It's not. But luckily we have memories, a conception of past and future, and the ability to construct an abstract version of ourselves that helps drive action. But we can't mistake this abstraction for our actual selves. What is this "actual self"? To the community, action. To science? Good luck answering that.

>It's an incredibly naive thing to say considering that most of the scientific advancements we take advantage of every day were wrought over with great calculation and deliberation in the mind of someone somewhere until finally they put it to good use.

You're equating action with "put to good use." Great calculation counts as action.

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>I already responded once t... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2014 8:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

>I already responded once to this thread, but what you're saying is nonsense. It is simply not possible for the self to be defined by the self's actions. This puts that act before the actor. It is impossible.

>You have, apparently, a very good mind for philosophy. What you're thinking with it is nonsense. Please stop wasting it.

It's very possible that it's nonsense. Still, it's doing me good to flesh some of this out so I can find out where I'm wrong and where I'm right (if anywhere).

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I appreciate the way you ex... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2014 7:48 AM | Posted by Nick: | Reply

I appreciate the way you expose the invisible premises in society. The idea of building a shared identity as a couple and why it is important is something I will keep in mind. Reading, I pictured Randi Zuckerberg sitting at a big dinner table that I now realize my brain borrowed from the movie Schizopolis. Anyhow, just wanted to voice my appreciation.

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>You may be a boyfriend, an... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2014 9:12 AM | Posted by Anomalous: | Reply

>You may be a boyfriend, and you may be bad at it. This does not "define" you. For you are a unique person, encompassing far more than "bad boyfriendness".

Your problem seems to be that you want one all encompassing term to describe a person, which is just silly. Of course he's more than a "bad boyfriend." He's also a terrible employee, a rotten friend, and a whiner (I'm guessing). Each one of these terms also defines him. Your actions define you, and your inactions define you, and you're also a precious, unique snowflake who is so compwecated (ess oo are!).

The important thing is to remember that the term "bad boyfriend" defines you, but that doesn't mean it confines you. You're capable of breaking out of that role. Think of yourself like a character on a television show. You may feel that your character has this rich inner life, but the audience only knows what's presented to them. If the character behaves like a dick, then the audience can safely say, "He's a dick."

But your life isn't scripted, it's improv. You can choose if you want to play the dick role or not. You could be the hero, or the best friend, or the nice guy. In each new scene, you get to choose what role you will play (will you be the main character or a supporting character? Here's a hint. In most scenes, you're supporting cast, usually a background character who doesn't get involved, because the scene is not about you). But, sure, you could be the guy who quibbles over definitions and wants to convince the audience that he's more than the sum of their observations, but this is a tough role, because all the action is internal and heavy on dialog, plus you're trying to convince the audience not to trust their own observations. The Bad Boyfriend with Hidden Depths is a tough character to play. Gene Hackman could pull it off, but only because he's a hell of an actor.

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Eagerly awaiting part two. ... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2014 10:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Eagerly awaiting part two. This one was a gem.

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Alone untangled his Wired l... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2014 2:09 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone untangled his Wired life and didn't send part 2. Randi WINS

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dude, everyone knows the ne... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 11:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

dude, everyone knows the next post is coming on monday. it says it at the bottom!

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Good ol' TLP trollin as usu... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 12:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Good ol' TLP trollin as usual by creating abiguous deadlines and then "missing" them

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I see I'm not the only one ... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 1:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I see I'm not the only one who noticed that. Thirty one days from posting is Monday Feb. 24, keeping in line with the regular update schedule pre porn book.

I've worked with a project manager who does this.

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Anonymous said: ----"I real... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 3:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anonymous said: ----"I really don't understand this kind of wishy-washy response to every single person who asks for further reading or application"-----

I get what you are saying, its just that I don't agree, I've actually found these types of answers as helpful, and tend to regard the asking of the question "What should I read to (understand you/be you/know more)" as honest yet clearly misguided.

Maybe its because I've been on the receiving end of many a question that if answered directly (like, here: Read this!) robs the questioner of real knowledge. Or in this case, gives you knowledge without wisdom, because "Thus spoke Zarathustra" is not the red pill and "50 shades of Grey" is not the blue pill.
(One of those questions I get asked BTW is "What's going to be on the test?")

If you were on top of the mountain and the master asked you "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" you don't immediately ask how to get knowledge and you don't ask how to gain wisdom, you sit down and think about the question, and in thinking...

The choice to pursue knowledge, and the understanding of meaning extracted from experience is a sort of bootstrapping process and is really hard to answer, to answer at all without consciously misleading the person who honestly wants to know takes quite a bit of effort.

Which means understanding takes quite a bit of effort too.
If its hard, what makes you think there's an easy answer?
(I could try to answer that one but you won't find it helpful, I think)

Could be wrong though but it makes sense that way to me.

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----"Ideally the comments s... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 4:00 PM | Posted, in reply to Ersatz Critic's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

----"Ideally the comments should be opening eyes-ears-minds"

Well, they don't so where do you get that they should?
Oh, you mean Ideally! Your comment doesn't do any of the things you mention so I'm not sure what you mean by this.

You seem to be saying that "opening your mind" is something someone must do for you. And that you came here to have your eyes opened, well, open your eyes then and see.

Oh and ears are never closed, not even metaphorically because the both the act of covering your ears and ignoring what you hear mean closing your mind don't they?

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Anything you read should ma... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 4:22 PM | Posted, in reply to RK's comment, by tachin: | Reply

Anything you read should make sense on its own, but when you are just starting out in any new domain, things don't make sense if they expect you to have certain knowledge as a prerequisite. (This means keep at it)

I would suggest getting comfortable with this, and realizing that being able to entertain an idea without accepting it is a pretty useful skill. (This means, at some point you have to decide if you have a better explanation)

You should also realize that some things only make sense once you make certain assumptions, most of the time, these assumptions are hidden, seek them out. (This means at some point you have to ask yourself, "sure, the answer makes sense, but is this person asking the right question?")

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---"you only have one ident... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 4:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tachin: | Reply

---"you only have one identity online now", which is an odd concession to make when the entire internet is in the middle of that battle.---

People may be arguing about this, but really, the battle is over, sure, you can't be legally tied to an IP address but that doesn't matter when the point is to track you and sell you stuff.

Facebook and Google know who you are without even trying very hard, and the people who are trying very hard, know a lot more.

So yes, her comment doesn't make sense in the way you meant it, you can call someone a bad word on the internet and they won't know who you are. But the masters see all, to Google and Facebook, you really only have one identity.

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Where the fuck is the new a... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 4:50 PM | Posted by Oscar Olivera: | Reply

Where the fuck is the new article Lonely? Rum is for submitters only.

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I won't dispute what you sa... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 7:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tachin: | Reply

I won't dispute what you said, but you are not actually arguing against what you say you're arguing (Sorry to make that phrase so tortured I just didn't want to say you set up a straw man, I don't think you did)

The commenter did not say that you are not defined by what you do, he actually said that you do the things you do because of who you are.

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Well, they don't so wher... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 7:36 PM | Posted by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

Well, they don't so where do you get that they should?
Oh, you mean Ideally! Your comment doesn't do any of the things you mention so I'm not sure what you mean by this.

dog chases tail, doesn't catch tail, but declares tail has been caught and even goes onto internet to shout it smugly.

You seem to be saying that "opening your mind" is something someone must do for you. And that you came here to have your eyes opened, well, open your eyes then and see.

You misunderstand me because of your emphasis on what "seems to be." That doesn't surprise me, given the smugness of your comments. Put down that squeeze bottle of hand lotion and hurry up and pat your own back with both hands.

Oh and ears are never closed, not even metaphorically because the both the act of covering your ears and ignoring what you hear mean closing your mind don't they?

That's sweet, the way you used so many words to say utterly nothing relevant. Projecting mistaken readings onto me, and demanding I apologize for your mistake may be how it works in the knuckledragger pseudo-intellectual haunts you skulk around in, but it's not working here.

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You misunderstand me bec... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2014 10:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Ersatz Critic's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You misunderstand me because of your emphasis on what "seems to be." That doesn't surprise me, given the smugness of your comments. Put down that squeeze bottle of hand lotion and hurry up and pat your own back with both hands.

Seems to be = is?

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I seem to have hit the nail on the head!

Didn't mean to bruise your ego big boy, just pointing out that what you claim to be true... Isn't so.

In case it's not obvious I'm using fewer words so you don't get confused, that oughta make you happy! Wait, thats not what you meant at all is it?

Please tell me how I Demanded an apology from you, oherwise, I'll leave you with the words i read from a total jerk on the interwebz:

dog chases tail, doesn't catch tail, but declares tail has been caught and even goes onto internet to shout it smugly.

Because if all youre saying, "with all them words" is that I did not understand you, and you feel butthurt because of it... well, I'll not add to the misery that must be your life, God, you must see stupid people everywhere! Run into them all the time and they misunderstand you too.

Man, you confuse my comments as smug then turn on the profanity and smarm you doodyhead. (Oh I WENT there!)

Go back to your "cousin's only" circle jerk! Cause thats a inbred masturbatory reference you know! So there.

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Is it Monday yet... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2014 12:15 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Is it Monday yet

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (9 votes cast)
I really like what you're s... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2014 3:08 AM | Posted by lovestorysad: | Reply

I really like what you're saying and the way you say it. Thank you
kizi | friv

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Yeah but which Monday - 3 h... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2014 6:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by early: | Reply

Yeah but which Monday - 3 have passed already

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I was giving you the ben... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2014 5:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Ersatz Critic: | Reply

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt...blah blah blah...watch me be smug about my superiority while I'm completely mistaken about you and what you think.

You sure do know how to miss the target completely and then shout BULLSEYE for your adoring audience of self and no others.

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Yes! Well worded. Superb. ... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2014 9:30 AM | Posted by Chris: | Reply

Yes! Well worded. Superb.

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it is hard to follow the co... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2014 8:44 PM | Posted by rainman: | Reply

it is hard to follow the comments, some are interesting and some are too rambley.
can the last psychatrist open up a forum or something. it seems like the readers of TLP are as interesting as the blog itself, but it is hard to follow these linear comments.

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On the plugged lif... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 12:53 PM | Posted by Froot Loop: | Reply

On the plugged life vs unplugged life mirroring the work life vs family life. Used to be that the job you wanted was just a means to a end. You could live the life you wanted to live so you got the best job imaginable. Once you did you could than devout time to the things that really mattered, your family and friends. Than cultural narcissism took root and the image mattered more than the person underneath. For the cultural narcissist, even the family is a accessory.

Were did this begin? The family as just a sign of success and not a natural part of life. Probably began in the 1960s and 1970s* when people started to question many of the traditions at the heart of America. One of those was the school, than job, than nuclear family dynamic established in the 1950s. More and more people started to go to college and the working world began to prefer college educated professionals, especially as America shifted from a industrial to post industrial society.

Rather than just working in a factory when you were 18, delayed adulthood for four years or more**. Ideally, the reason a person might delay family is because their mind was expanded in college and they started questioning the traditional way of life of Americans. In reality the reason was that college was a time to get drunk,party, and act even more irresponsible than you were in high school. People acted even more immature and childish in college than they did when they lived with their parents.

How did college turn into a place of the lowest human behavior? Up until the 1950s a man was expected work at a assemble line the rest of his life, start a family, have kids, and that was it. Wasn't even expected to graduate from high school half the time. It doesn't also leave time for a active sex life. In those days it was expected that a man might have a woman at the side, but she was a mistress. And there is a difference between a mistress and a booty call. A mistress you have to have had a existing relationship with, a booty call is a booty call. Wam, bam, thank ya ma'am.

A woman was expected to be treated like property throughout her life. Her life defined by the men in her life. First it was the father who treated her like a delicate little flower. Than her boyfriend(s). Than when she turned 18 she would find a man to marry and she became a housewife while the husband a breadwinner. No sex, no desires, no agency.

Than college comes around in the 1950s. Once a elite institution only reserved for the upper class, now it became necessary for everybody to get some college education in the post industrial workforce. Suddenly the son of a factory worker didn't have to become a adult immediately after high school. He was on his own for the first time in his life, away from his hometown, in a place with guys his own age who come from all over the nation, and young pretty girls from all over the nation. You do the math.

A daughter who was destined to become a housewive like her mother before her and her mother's mother and her mother's mother's mother suddenly didn't need to be pregnant and barefoot with 18 kids by the time she's 18 now can go to college, learn everything men can learn. Didn'have to take orders from men, and could live with her own agency. She could also develop a personality and interest, things good girls never did before. She also realized she didn't need a man and there was a life beyond the kitchen.

So it was natural for the baby boomers-the original narcissists- to turn colleges into breeding grounds for narcissism. All those young,impressionable minds, free from family not yet adults. So they told them it doesn't matter what degree they get, or even that they care about the degree, they will get their dream job no matter what. So they can partay as much as they want, because the rest of their life is going to be boring. Not realizing that by allowing them to set the standards of fun, they were limiting the fun themselves

"If you don't party down now, you won't get to have this much fun again!" I'm sure everybody in college heard someone say that. But that doesn't make sense because they said that in high school. They were probably the same dudes saying that. "If your not going to party in high school, your going on to boring college and studying all the time" "If you don't hook up with this girl now, you won't get this chance again because only college girls are this hot" Really? It seems that way because all the girls here are 18 years old. While all the women outside of college are 20 years or older. Your comparing a very small group of women to the entirety of women. It's really not fair.

The reason I say this is not about fun vs no fun. It's about family life vs work life. And unplugged life vs plugged life. By saying that fun/family/not being on a computer is something that only precludes being no fun/work/connected, they are saying that non-work life doesn't matter. It is just something you do when your not on the job/not connected, the job/connected being your real life.

It's not surprising that college has this artificial environment feel to it. That it is this funhouse view of humanity compared to the scary real world. By associating non-work life/not being connected with school, it gives it a artificial feel. While work/being connected, becomes the real thing that exist outside of school. This way, people become really connected to the job and do things like work longer hours for lesser pay, and will not complain. This is one of the reason it's hard to get massive protest like what happened 40 years ago. People believe that being plugged in/ the job is life itself. When a job should be treated like something you do to get by.

So what is the solution to the work/plugged life vs family/unplugged life. Realise the divide is nonsense and fabricated. A normal human being would unplug his or himself easily and cut back on work hours to focus on friends and family. When a person needs a book to tell them "you need to get off the internet" or "you need to spend less time at work and more with family", they have a serious problem.

The fact no one thinks to say this shows how messed up our nation is when it comes to how to live your life. We need people to write a book to tell us "your son/daughter misses you,come home" or "stop hanging out on tweeter/playing playstation 4, real face to face social interaction matters". That's really pathetic.

As for me, I spend way to much time on the computer and way too much time playing playstation 4.

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** The average age for grad... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 12:56 PM | Posted by Froot Loop: | Reply

** The average age for graduating from college is 25, it takes five to six years on average.

sorry, forgot to include that.

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So, you said part two comin... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 2:23 PM | Posted by Lauren: | Reply

So, you said part two coming Monday...Which Monday?

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Is she related to that Mark... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 7:25 PM | Posted by Maria: | Reply

Is she related to that Mark fella? Oh wait! She's his SISTER....ah, no wonder she can get a book deal. Not to be cynical. The book and the photo kinda says it all. "Look at me! I published a book!" I am a trendy lit-chick trying to cash in on a current phenom (and my bro's notoriety). I too, would have thought an ebook would have been more appropriate for this topic than a hardback. Who in her demographic has time to read anything longer than 100 characters? A really interesting read would have been one where she refuses to use Facebook at all. Nevva gonna happen.

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#puritanism #protestantwork... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2014 4:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Vince's comment, by Nchoirnmind: | Reply

#puritanism #protestantworkethic

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Fuck all these pedantic dor... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2014 9:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Fuck all these pedantic dorks who can't grapple with the critique of the simulacrum and instead say stuffy formalist things about paragraphs and editors. You aren't writing anything this real. Go read the paragraph breaks in The Atlantic, it's got the superficial trappings of legitimacy you're after.

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Not this Monday....... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2014 10:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Lauren's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Not this Monday....

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Listen, Alone. We send you... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2014 10:33 PM | Posted by Mikey: | Reply

Listen, Alone. We send you money every month in subscription fees. I think we at least deserve prompt follow-up when you promise new content!

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Even high powered women wan... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2014 7:41 PM | Posted by Big Bill: | Reply

Even high powered women want to be owned. A bracelet that your boyfriend locks on your wrist with a key and it cannot be removed.

But watch the marketing video and reflect on the Madison Avenue spin. Slave bracelets championed by High-Powered Hip Young Things.

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/even-strong-independent-women-want-to-be-possessed/

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Are the majority of America... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 12:31 AM | Posted by Heisenberg: | Reply

Are the majority of Americans/Westerners so insecure and self-obsessed that they can hardly fathom living a life that doesn't revolve around TV shows, shopping, sports and pretentious blather about nothing (as seen on TV!)? Do they worry excessively about what others think and secretly live quiet lives of misery...perhaps stuck in loveless marriages or relationships, deathly scared of "being alone"?

Keep the Internet but maybe try "unplugging" a bit from consumer/pop culture and do your own thing....you know, live life on your terms as much as possible and fuck what the neighbours and co-workers think...fuck what magazine article hacks, Facebook employees and "lifestyle" websites tell you to be and do. Oh, and not getting married helps, too. Grow a pair of balls and use your short time on this planet to do something interesting and rewarding...break away from the herd and learn how to think critically and independently...learn how to be an individual and life a fulfilling life on your terms.

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The problem is that Alone i... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 1:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Key: | Reply

The problem is that Alone isn't pointing out the break between talking from the viewpoint of these members of society who have a tendency for self-delusion, and the explanation of what he observes in society, so when Alone speaks of a member of his society who doesn't want his actions to define him, he doesn't explain that this is society's view of itself, he speaks of it as if he were justifying society's actions. The prose isn't clear.

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Bah, all I've learned is th... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 1:50 AM | Posted by Key: | Reply

Bah, all I've learned is that Americans want too much, that's boring.

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Is there a way to resist th... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 9:00 AM | Posted by Belisaurius: | Reply

Is there a way to resist the system? Any chance it will crash under its own weight?

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Jesus Christ, that comment ... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 2:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Big Bill's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Jesus Christ, that comment section. I knew MRA's were idiots but I had no idea lunatic Bible thumpers made up such a significant portion of them.

And before some MRA gets all up in arms in response to this post, I'm not a female nor am I a feminist; I just don't find it useful to mold my entire worldview around the perceived shortcomings of the opposite sex, dodgy pop-sci evolutionary psychology, and PUA "alpha / beta" false dichotomy nonsense.

It's kind of funny that you people don't even realize you are the exact same as the Tumblr feminazis, just the opposite side of the coin. The echo chamber that is the site you just linked to is fundamentally no different than any feminist Jezebel-esque hugbox on the internet; exchange a few key buzzwords and there'd literally be no difference. You people are constantly whining and bitching and victimizing yourselves, just like the libtards and femnazis you hate so much.

Protip: it's 2014. Anyone with an IQ over room temperature realizes getting married is a losing game. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out, and Mens Rights Advocates' need to reduce all the problems in the world to "bitches did it" is a little bit telling. If you were actually alpha, you wouldn't give a shit.

That being said, I greatly prefer the specific type of mild tongue-in-cheek, knowing misogyny utilized by TLP for the same reason I'd rather come here and see him tackle racial issues rather than somewhere like Stormfront: because it comes from a place of genuine curiosity and a call for honest dialogue instead of a place of hatred.

TLDR; you can throw aside the bullshit facade that is political correctness without succumbing to bitter rivalries delineated by sex, race, etc. Nobody likes an ideologue, and that shit's boring.

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Hey it's Wednesday February... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 5:26 PM | Posted by InfoDataScienceTechnocratic Empire of Capital: | Reply

Hey it's Wednesday February 26, exactly one month and one after this article was posted and is 31 days since the Monday (assuming you meant the Monday following your posting pf this article, which would have been January 27th) on which you said you would post par 2.

Where is it??????

U pooop

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How about you post your own... (Below threshold)

February 26, 2014 6:37 PM | Posted, in reply to InfoDataScienceTechnocratic Empire of Capital's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

How about you post your own version of part II?

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I wrote a few longass posts... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2014 11:04 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I wrote a few longass posts here ages ago, which TLP even responded to. They were all negative and got a lot of responses. But I found myself back here for some reason recently and I finally get it.

I am a narcissist and TLP is right. Trawling through the archives, there's a few odd political and economic predictions that didn't turn out so good, but I won't nitpick.

TLP is fundamentally right about this whole narcissism thing. His pieces about schooling and the response to violence by the teachers? Fucking hell! That's exactly my experience. Along with the parenting stuff - it's all real.

It finally all clicked with me. I already knew my parents where narcissists, but I didn't want to admit that I am one too.

Fundamentally, there is an insight into our culture and psychology on this site which I think is of the absolute utmost importance. Reading it has given me a large dose of sanity. Thank you.

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"Part 2 Monday"Doe... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2014 2:21 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Part 2 Monday"

Does no one get the joke? The post was partly about disconnecting from the internet and how the culture is trying to turn "being connected" into the default behavior. And here you are saying, "Where's part 2?" like Zuckerberg at the end of the Social Network hitting refresh hoping his One True Crush will like him back.

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No, we're saying "Where's P... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2014 5:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No, we're saying "Where's Part 2" like a group of people who have been promised something and have not yet received it.

TLP, Alone, whatever the person writing this blog will be called, promised a second part to appear by Monday, with the implication being that it would be the Monday immediately following when this article was put on the site. And I, and I'm sure a few other people who frequent this site, do not understand why it's taken so long.

If it's a joke, it's the worst kind: Not Funny. If it's not, then I don't understand why TLP can't post the second part, or at the very least something explaining the wait. Had it been a stand-alone piece, I'm guessing we wouldn't have this problem. But we, the audience, were promised a second part, and we're just getting antsy as to when that part will come, a la the gaming community waiting for Half-Life 3.

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Key difference being that H... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2014 8:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Justin Charity: | Reply

Key difference being that Half-Life 3 will sell for approx. $60 (USD) to its audience via Amazon, whereas here we're just whining/begging for free shit from a busy man.

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Guy you're replying to here... (Below threshold)

February 28, 2014 9:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Justin Charity's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Guy you're replying to here. I guess the comparison to Half-Life 3 was a poor one. But we're not just "whining/begging for free shit". TLP said "Part 2 Monday". I'm sure that between the book Alone is writing and researching for and stuff going on in the real world (job, family, etc.) there are things preventing him from working on and posting the second part.

But, we were told, straight from the source, that part 2 was going to come Monday, with the implicit meaning that it would mean the Monday coming after this first part appeared. TLP said when it would be here, and TLP has yet to deliver. Yes, this stuff we're reading is free, but I don't care if something is free or $60. When a person says something is going to happen on a certain time, and then it doesn't happen for weeks on end, I think at least a small explanation is in order.

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TLP owes us nothing. He's p... (Below threshold)

February 28, 2014 11:32 AM | Posted by Kat: | Reply

TLP owes us nothing. He's probably busy.

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On Wednesday, March 5th at ... (Below threshold)

February 28, 2014 6:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Sophistophile: | Reply

On Wednesday, March 5th at 1600 PST you will be visited by violet unicorns, gleefully dispensing soft-serve of inconceivable variety from their 40k gold-toned underbellies. There, I said it. I am the source of this information. My words are the coupon, the terms and conditions of which are intrinsically subject to the social order of your choosing, your majesty.

Please note that you are thoroughly entitled to bitch from crashing shore to barren desert should plans change.
________

tl;dr-- get a fuckin' life

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Seriously? There's no need ... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 1:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Sophistophile's comment, by Rajun008: | Reply

Seriously? There's no need to be rudely sarcastic to me and bring about that ad hominem style of arguing.

And yes, that is me you're replying to, Sophistophile. I know I can't prove it, hence why I've decided to switch to using a screen name.

Look, I don't mind waiting for the next part. The issue isn't that I have to wait for the next part at all. If it had simply said "Part 2 coming soon", I know enough to know that "soon" can be a very long time. So I will wait, and not say anything about the wait in that case.

But it says "Part 2 Monday". Not "soon", not "eventually", not "in the future", Monday. And the Monday that it is referring to, or at least the one that one might naturally think it was referring to when the article was first published, has long since come and gone, without any sort of news to explain why, be it here or on Twitter.

I understand that TLP is more than likely busy with things that are more important than this blog. I understand that nothing I say or do is going to change when the second part actually does come out. I understand that, for all I know, TLP's parents could have gotten into a horrific car crash and he just hasn't felt like writing for a while. I get it. I just don't like that there has been such a delay in the proposed schedule.

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Let's get this out of the w... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 3:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Rajun008's comment, by Sophistophile: | Reply

Let's get this out of the way (respectfully): Do you by any chance have Asperger syndrome?

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How about all of you arguin... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 9:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Sophistophile's comment, by KarlYoung: | Reply

How about all of you arguing on the internet take Alone's advice and go out and get involved in life by serving someone-making them the main character of your story?

There's your PART 2. You won't take it, but there it is.

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it was never said which<... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 11:03 AM | Posted by keisuke: | Reply

it was never said which Monday..

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I wonder if Alone ever wond... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 11:37 AM | Posted by OldWoman: | Reply

I wonder if Alone ever wonders what the people who don't write in are thinking.

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What the hell does that hav... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 1:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Sophistophile's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What the hell does that have to do with ANYTHING?

No, as far as I know, based on my previous doctors, both medical and psychological, I do not have Asperger's, Autism, ADD, ADHD, or any major behavioral disorder. Granted, this is all "as far as I know", but I think my parents, extended family, physicians, teachers, friends, etc. would have noticed if I had one, and have me examined to see if there was one.

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Crap, sorry. Forgot to type... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 1:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Rajun008: | Reply

Crap, sorry. Forgot to type in screen name.

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I ask because after giving ... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 3:05 PM | Posted by Sophistophile: | Reply

I ask because after giving you shit about being all caught up in the disappointment about a (perceived) specific date, I'm thinking, 'wait, that sounds like something a few aspie comrades I know would get pissed about.' Fixation on taking things literally and meltdowns over timeliness are one of the hallmarks of spectrum disorders. Small chance but nonetheless if that were the case with you I'd probably apologize in an attempt to be understanding.

So with that out of the way, what do you want to hear? TLP has an email address after all, so what good does it do for anyone else here to complain* about an imaginary posting deadline? And tell me, if that post had followed directly the Monday after would you have shown monetary gratitude via the donation button?

To everyone else bitching about posting frequency in general, go and throw five or ten bucks in via Paypal. I wouldn't be surprised if a ample amount were reciprocated appropriately.

KarlYoung - you hit that nail on the head.
__________

*I'll count myself just as guilty

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Stop being guilty and be AC... (Below threshold)

March 1, 2014 7:49 PM | Posted by KarlYoung: | Reply

Stop being guilty and be ACTION. It is salvation, and it is at hand.

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Okay, I went too far with t... (Below threshold)

March 2, 2014 4:20 AM | Posted by KarlYoung: | Reply

Okay, I went too far with the idea theft in that last post, but you get the point.

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It's all good. I read it li... (Below threshold)

March 2, 2014 9:05 PM | Posted, in reply to KarlYoung's comment, by Sophistophile: | Reply

It's all good. I read it like the buddhist admonition "Do without doing does not mean don't do.

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I know it's been mentioned ... (Below threshold)

March 3, 2014 6:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Hans's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I know it's been mentioned before here, but I would check out Christoper Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism.

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"ann taylored wife" #hero</... (Below threshold)

March 4, 2014 4:56 PM | Posted by bops: | Reply

"ann taylored wife" #hero

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But the ultimate point h... (Below threshold)

March 6, 2014 1:14 AM | Posted, in reply to COMM FLAGG's comment, by John: | Reply

But the ultimate point here is that any kind of "treatment" for narcissism is going to be of the form of small, everyday subjective changes, ie faking it for the happiness of others.

Could you clarify a bit? What is the "it" a narcissist-in-search-of-a-cure should fake?

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Service to make others the ... (Below threshold)

March 7, 2014 7:29 AM | Posted, in reply to John's comment, by KarlYoung: | Reply

Service to make others the main character in your story.

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Substitute Meghan McCain fo... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2014 6:06 PM | Posted by bezimienny: | Reply

Substitute Meghan McCain for Randi Zuckerberg.

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All articles are written by... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 9:46 AM | Posted by friv: | Reply

All articles are written by very intelligent people. And I want to share this with you. You must be mentioned here that has something for everyone

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Hey, I'm living in Japan wh... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2014 9:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Danny Goldberg's comment, by Teal P: | Reply

Hey, I'm living in Japan where this type of ceremonial setting controls nearly all social interactions. So I'll take a stab at this. What's the point of constantly reaching for originality and "being different" in something so stupid as daily dinner conversation? You do it every day- it's going to be the same. If you simply accept the framework, you can build above the framework. Up and up and up with your original self, sturdily supported. But when you reject the framework, you have to build a new exciting original "you" framework... every single day. That's a lot of work. And suddenly if today's framework isn't as witty and original, you feel bad about yourself? You don't say anything at all?

These daily rituals are boring because they are so often used and repeated. They are so often used and repeated because they work so well. They work so well because they are based on something we actually want to do- know about the person sitting across from us. When you have to be "different" and express the "true you" by not doing these things, you're turning the conversation into a baby picture- a self-indulgent expose of selfdom for the other person to simply react to. The dare.

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Thank you for sharing this ... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2014 4:31 AM | Posted by kizi: | Reply

Thank you for sharing this article!

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all very attractive thing t... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2014 6:02 AM | Posted by hopy: | Reply

all very attractive thing that's great, I would love

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Thanks for sharing the grea... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2014 6:04 AM | Posted by play girl: | Reply

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April 8, 2014 4:42 AM | Posted by friv: | Reply

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April 12, 2014 1:13 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

We say things like "the public has a ravenous hunger for celebrity photos," but this is demonstrably untrue, paparazzi pics are almost entirely a product for the female demo...men are lumped in with women.

Because if everyone-- not just women, but everyone-- wants this, then women have less guilt about wanting it and men get the sense nothing can really be done to change it.

Women feeling guilt for wanting what they do not merit? Is that intended irony? In the minds of women, what doesn't belong to them belongs to them by virtue of their wanting it. Like America.

BBC: US Apoplexy Over Jackson Flash

Two seconds of bare flesh and America is beside itself with indignation and outrage.

Janet Jackson's Super Bowl stunt, which she says went further than she planned, has left the US in a state of mass apoplexy on the subject of taste and decency in broadcasting. There is no denying the level of public fury.

The Super Bowl telecast also featured sexed-up commercials for beer, an advert starring a flatulent horse and others for erectile dysfunction drugs. But, apparently, they do not compare with the impact of an exposed body part.

Television's most TiVo replayed moment has provoked a level of debate that is unprecedented and there have been many calls for sweeping changes in the way broadcasters are regulated.

While the Jackson breast expose easily upstaged the entire Super Bowl event, the commercials, Iraq and the presidential election campaign, the underlying issue is nothing new for US broadcasters.

Events such as award shows are likely to be transmitted on a five or 10-second delay. This would allow network censors to bleep or blur out potentially offensive material.

Since Sunday, America's late-night TV comedians have had a field day making light out of the embarrassing Super Bowl concert.

"In spite of the controversy, how many guys are glad they bought that big screen, high definition TV now, yeah!" joked Jay Leno.

Broadcasters don't control broadcasting. The public was furious but guys are not offended by women exposing their breasts.

Wives and mothers had a problem with Janet Jackson's breast. The Super Bowl broadcast included a Bud Light advertisement featuring a dog attacking male genitalia, but that is not indecent. Whores take offence when breasts are exposed for free.

"Won't anyone think of the children?" - whores

The National Coalition on Television Violence estimated that an American child will witness 8,000 murders & 100,000 acts of violence on television by the time they finish elementary school. Whores aren't offended by psychotic violence. As the US was losing its mind over Janet Jackson's breast, the sons of America's plantation whores were dying in foreign wars. 4.5 million Iraqi children were orphaned but plantation whores DGAF. They care about women who give it up for free.

You can kill their sons with blatant lies as Dubya did; they DGAF. Their offence is exclusively reserved for threats to their depraved entitlement to enslave men; like the bastard sons of women who didn't need wedlock. Married whores stigmatised the illegitimate newborns as whoresons to destroy their lives.

Men don't give birth. They don't have first access to children's minds. They don't raise children Right. Abused children are made to adopt their mother's value system. In 2001, the FCC received 511 complaints. In 2004, ~1,500,000 complaints triggered by Nipplegate forced the FCC to bring the broadcasting and entertainment industries to heel. Mothers control everything. Demonic leeches who murder their own children in leaching wars of attrition, taking offence at an exposed breast. And now Miley...

"It's just not safe for children anymore." - whores
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