Tuesday, January 19, 2021

On Advice

I used to take advice regularly. I saw all the folks ignoring their good advice, and I was determined to not be like that. Autism superpowers activate! They couldn't tell good advice from bad, why would I be able to? I'll take all of it. The conflicting bits I'll take alternately and compare. Secretly I have high agreeableness and would rather get along.

Unfortunately all the advice was bad. Haha, joke's on me.

You know the advice I needed to hear?

"Yeah, you're right. They don't respect you. So quit. You can't walk through walls without using a door, you can't fly to the moon by flapping your arms, you can't draw a circle with corners, and you can't offer advice worth a damn. Fun fact: impossible things are impossible."

Who offers this advice? It's plain brutal. Nobody offers it. Jocko: "No no it's just in your head, everyone loves you." Yeah thanks heard that one before.

The first time I offered myself the advice, I took it. I took everyone's advice, but especially my own. And it fuckin' worked. You know respect isn't needed to live? And you can just let folk fail? They were going to fail anyway, but now I don't look like a douche. (I am a douche, but I don't look like one IRL. In fact I had to tone down the persona's charisma because I was regularly getting limpets.)

When my brutal advice worked, I immediately wondered. What other brutal things would work? Well, all your base. I offered myself the nastiest shit I could possibly imagine and damn it has been effective. I got most of it during the first pass but I did miss a major one until just last year. I'm somewhat addicted. If it's not caustic enough to pry apart flesh and bone I can hardly be bothered. My last one knocked me on my ass for two weeks, and that's about the level I like. Borderline existential crisis. 

If you think about it, all advice is brutal. You can lie about it or you can be upfront. I guess that's being 'indirect'. What's Jocko actually saying to this poor sap? "Yeah you're wrong about everything and actually your judgment is bad, your lived experience is pure illusion. Reals not feels jackhole, haha. This is what I sound like when I'm trying to be nice." You know what? That's properly caustic. Might be true. Let's check. (Later.) It sure as hell ain't nice. It's wearing the smiley drama mask, but being 'indirect' is a fuckin' lie, that's what's wrong with it.

Let's think about it: either the caustic version is true, or not. If it's true, it turns out he's an idiot and there's no cure for idiocy. You're fucked, have fun with that mate. If it's false - if in fact his environment has a respect problem - Jocko's advice is worthless due to being wrong on both levels. The advice is self-refuting in all conceivable situations.

By contrast, "don't offer advice" is especially true. If you're an idiot, well that explains why nobody respects you or takes your advice, doesn't it? If you're not an idiot, odds are your environment has a respect problem. It's not you, it's them, but it still means: don't offer advice. They have head injuries which are in the way. Impossible things are impossible. 

But wait, there's more. The poor sap is going to feel like he was offered the caustic version whether it's veiled or not. I've never seen someone successfully let down easy. Have you? Rejection feels like rejection, which feels like failure. There's no combination of words or etiquette which makes failure feel like not-failure; and thank God for small mercies. Sure, don't deliberately add a pain garnish on the pain steak, but... Likewise, being called an idiot feels like being called an idiot, no matter how fancy you dress it up. 

Let's twist the knife. Jocko is saying, "Oh yeah, sure folk respect you. I mean, I don't, but others, yeah definitely those others who I don't even know as well as a faceless letter." Savage. Shit, what would this bastard say if he was trying to be mean?

All advice boils down to virtue signalling. "I know how to run your life and you don't." If that's true, it's brutal. If it's false, you're an asshole. In almost all cases they know how to run their life better than you by virtue of years of experience. "Hey fattie, you need to lose weight." Fatty: "Shocking insight Sherlock. You spend all night figuring that out?" They either already know or they're a fuckin' idiot and can't take the advice anyway. 

Basically humans are rational. If their rationale doesn't seem to make sense it's merely because they're lying to you. Work out what the action will accomplish and infer they intend to do that thing. Typically the motivation for lying to you will be immediately obvious. Taking your advice would have stopped them from accomplishing their real goal, so... The fatty is fat because they care more about other things than about losing weight. Starvation diets are bad for you but if you're willing to be hungry forever you can be as skinny as you want. It's never impossible. Anorexics are the opposite. They care more about being skinny than about little things like not dying. No accounting for taste. "You might buy it!" Real talk: "Yeah. So?" 

This poor sap is probably playing some sort of Game that People Play. Slave morality: being persecuted is holy. If he can offer good advice (the best! peer-reviewed and everything!) and get it rejected, he is persecuted, and thus a Good Person. Woe is Me or I Got You Now, SOB. He's deliberately trying to get his advice rejected, but has this niggling small voice saying that even winning this 4D chess game isn't worth the time spent playing...

I do occasionally get asked for advice, but in meatspace I always deflect. They don't want advice, they want affirmation, but I hate lying so that doesn't work out. I suppose in theory you could probably do [a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise]. Want to get a tattoo? Double down man. Get a whole sleeve. I know this one guy (on twitch) and he's was so happy with his sleeve he had to get another. It was expensive and he was saving up and everything. Problem being this is a touch too parasitic. Feels like I would be encouraging others to really fuck up their life so I look better by comparison. Falling institutions should be pushed but I'm less sanguine about treating poor gullible individuals like that.

I still occasionally offer advice. When I feel like deliberately being a dick. The only point is to set up an, "I told you so," which in turn only serves the cause of being smug.


Parisian said...

Yesterday I thought no, it's impossible to do anything that doesn't seem vicarious (except a few things.) So, I hadn't set out to do anything beyond the usual, and I'd been writing in a couple of places and it had been rewarding, so much so that I even became generous. Which is fairly rare. I'm a very selfish man, and admire myself as such. But hey, what about when things are agreeable, there's no reason to be selfish, you decide that what you thought was not worthwhile before really wasn't worthwhile and you were right to withhold it.

I kept thinking that picking up this very demanding, non-popularized book I've been going about, the one about Minoan and Mycaenean Civilization, and that too, seemed like a consolation since I've had a couple of very intense weeks, such that the one night I slept 10 hours just made me feel rested, but not energetic. I was still tired, and had to take one of my 15-minute naps that always work so well. Then I was okay, but that was two days ago, and like last night only in that only late in the day and into the night did I become fresh and cast off that unpleasant stuff that goes nowhere, or let it be cast off by something else, whatever.

Once I started reading about the silver place that was found in tombs and palaces of Crete, and things that art historians only think in terms of--other plate that was found in Egypt, but that was definitely imitative of Minoan. I thought of how 3000 B.C. began a peaceful period that lasted till 1450 B.C., and how 'B.C.' had nothing to do with those years, just as the Old Testament hasn't a thing to do with Christ.

I suddenly had a flashing image of royal Cretan tables with bird's-nest bowls and there were artefacts and the techniques for making them that came from Ur by way of Syria. This guy is fucking good. I could see a festive table of suckling pig, roast geese the way it used to taste, pomegranates, figs--there'd be ribaldry in such courts even if it wasn't taken to such extremes as Rome was so expert at. These Minoan tables full of lush and delicious sweetmeats were already like the Elizabethan ones, the Bourbon ones, lavish and obscenely abundant, and I've gradually been able to picture them and the years much earlier than Christ than we are after Christ. Only a relatively short stretch of time is determined by what has been infused into what Christ has meant to the world.

Parisian said...

I thought about your interest in Ur, and started working that, and the Ziggurat is marvelous, so marvelous that even Saddam Hussein had it renovated decently. All those places in what was Iraq, before Baghdad even existed. (I made a mistake the other day, when getting over-excited by these distantly past times, saying that the 20th c. B.C. was 20000 years to make it even more impossible. So the early Babylonian piece I saw on the wall at the Met was only 4000 years old by then...I thought about your powers and wondered if you could go back to Ur by sheer will power, with or without LSD. Would you have to be in contemporary Ur? (Bizarre that U + R is the abbreviation for Moldbug's blog and the Sailer/Unz blog, where I've stopped writing at all. The commenters are almost all uniformly stupid.) Could you shove it into my head so I could go too? I wouldn't take the LSD, I never have had a problem with drugs, although there have, of course, been the other reasons why I wouldn't need them. I remembered what you tweeted about heroin, how it made you realize the pain you were already in by taking it away. And how 'shrooms had been known to get fully rid of depression. I wouldn't do the heroin, but I would do the 'shrooms if supervised with someone experienced.

Then, in an astonishingly weird clumsy configuration, I casually see that all these exotic places and histories are at least a thousand years younger than the Great Pyramid of Giza. And that there has been major work on it in the last 20 years and more, the Queen's Chamber and the King's Chamber of limestone and granite.

But I felt foolish, since I was working all these cultures that only art historians know really well, and the Great Pyramid is one of the world's biggest tourist attractions, and they go in it. Just like the Eiffel Tower.

No, it wasn't a thousand years before, it was concurrent and apparently all the hauling from distances and the building were done in 20 years. I never heard of cathedrals, including very recent ones like the Liverpool Cathedral where I've been, being completed without the requisite hundred years.

Parisian said...


So one of the things that had taken care of that I wouldn't have thought quite 'tactile' enough for my tastes, as would the Cretan feasts, was that B.C. was refuted by the Cretans and Egyptians never paying attention to it, although for that matter neither did the Romans even after the early Christians started doing all that ascetism and self-starvation.


I had to go back much further, which the '20000 years' had told me I must want to do.

I've got a Trilobite Fossile I bought at a street fair some 30 years ago. I amused myself thinking that the 2 wine goblets I found in New Orleans would be kept if I had to choose between them and the Trilobite--although I quite love having it.

So I went back through the usuals--a minute for the tropical-heat Mesozoic and some others--then the whole Phanerozoic Eon, where there had first been trilobites. There weren't even reptiles, much less squirrels and humans. That meant there was also no human death, which is made such a big deal over. That's what I meant about Nova's series The Planets, where I could see that all this 'search for life on planets', in this solar system or not. There was a time when earth couldn't support life too, just like Pluto. And religious people will tell you 'God was there anyway'? Please. That's another of the 'luxuries' that man has been pretty good at pleasuring himself with, all that churchy humility. Genesis was billions of years later, so God had not created the heavens and the earth when there were only trilobites, because he was a "HE" and there were no 'he's' nor 'she's' back then--odd sort of revisionist history to imagine a God the Father presiding for an Eon over trilobites and dinosaurs.

Once back that far, all these current tintype things seemed so small and unimportant. Even my money organized itself perfectly after having annoyed me for a few days. Christ had determined the time, but there was nobody to 'witness for god or christ or even poseidon or athena' for quite sometimes after the Era of the Trilobites.

The brilliant American essayist/novelist Joan Didion said, during her period of mourning after her husband and daughter died less than a year of each other, nevertheless had written up the 'husband part' in the first days and had to put up with being interviewed. She said the most interesting thing: "Well, I do still believe in geology". I thought that was pretty good, because geology went on whether or not there was this 'exceptional life' as the humans have done, even though more enjoyably in some of the earlier times than now, as far as I and other hedonist types are concerned...fuck, I'm made some of those Elizabethan dishes, like Veal, Ham & Egg Pie and Mowbray Melton Pork Pie, and are they ever lusty.

But the 'exceptional life' requires the 'exceptional death', which mollusks and even early fish never had to contend with.

That was then far back enough, unless I get interested in details of the Big Bang, or whatever. All the galaxies we see are long past in their own minds.

I still love Saturn, though. The 2 gas giants don't keep their history the way the moon and Venus do.

I'm going to re-read your post again. As for all politicians being traitors, of course they are, but betrayal happens at every level of human interaction, doesn't it? I've sometimes thought I was totally condemned for having done some unkind things, and I had to spend a lot of time on them before I could go on with anything else. I had thought I was condemned forever--meaning as long as I had consciousness--and suddenly the old hurt images I'd caused were no longer in pain.

Parisian said...

(I am a douche, but I don't look like one IRL. In fact I had to tone down the persona's charisma because I was regularly getting limpets.)

Does this mean you're quite handsome? I always hoped so, even though I'll never see you or even a picture, given your intense secrecy and my refusal of cults.

aha, joke's on me.

Here's some more lyrics from 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered', that quite risque song from 1940 from which I excerpted the "After one whole quart of brandy..."

Lost my heart,but what of it..
He is cold..I agree....
He can laugh..but I love it
Although the laugh's on me.

This is masterful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBXwdl2CvnA Lorenz Hart was the greatest of all the B'way lyricists. Music is by Richard Rodgers, who was writing these caustic songs all that far back, only to end up with Oscar Hammerstein and the nightmare of The Sound of Music

Alrenous said...

I wouldn't say I'm that good looking but according to the general reaction I would be mistaken.



Is America screwed because of these solecisms, or is America fascinated by dysdaimonia because it is screwed?
As per the "they don't need advice" principle, Americans prefer dysdaimonia to eudaimonia, which is what makes their country such a shithole and getting shittier.

Anonymous said...

You gave me advice a week ago. I took it into consideration. Hopefully that doesn't make me a fool.

Giving (solicited) advice is in my experience a central element in male friendships.

Parisian said...

Oh Satan and Jesus and Helen, what a relief! But I must commend myself on that I didn't require it--on the other hand, they may go hand in hand, and my taste is just as limited as it always was...I actually think I would have felt the same even if you looked like this:
https://twitter.com/CatholicUndead/status/1351753423868162049/photo/1 which was on one of Nick's threads last night. But I told myself "no, I wouldn't mind". And I knew you weren't one of those 'fatties' you were using for illustration in the post, because of your strict discipline (much stricter than mine, and I'm good-looking and not fat mostly because of genetics and unwavering vanity--I am horrible about fat people but I don't tell them so and go ahead and be polite; they can be nice just like anybody, but that still doesn't mean you want to spend all that much time with them, because it's so hard to quit thinking about.) That's like the question you ask about which comes first: the screwedness coming from the solecisms or the dysdaimonia due to having arrived at screwedness. Surely there must be some of both, n'est-ce pas? But I like to think of the second one, because it is sadistically funny: They are screwed, so they don't have anything available, can't afford anything other than dysdaimonia, so whether they think it's exactly pleasant and enjoyable or not, they have to concentrate on it. So the gradual rot has to be fascinating if only be default. These people don't know how to generate Elon Musk projects, nor do they even know how to 'go to the movies' by studying Crete and Damascus like I do. Most don't even the fuck read WaPo or NYTimes, which I have to just to get an outline of the day's things.

I am always full of images, and I remember when they started. I was an adult when I started seeing every event in terms of some abstract image--as with the money, there was a stable image of little interest line-wise, but was perfectly clear. I'd get all sorts of images of you, even thought you might be like Stephen Hawking. So how do you feel about being a handsome normie looks-wise, even if not intellectually? I think it's a superb combination and now I don't have to feel guilty about not liking the idea that you might look like some godawful nerd.

There's also the laziness of Americans due to the huge wealth and properity gathered in such a short time, and the fact that American culture is barely 250 years old. Before even that, there were the Puritans, and that has never completely gone away. Mike Pence exemplifies American Puritanism, even though it's Midwest. That's one of the reasons for so much violence: Even in the Eisenhower 50s, parents would let their children see the most frightfully violent things, but if there was even the slightest whiff if illicit sex (meaning pre-marital hetero copulation), "No children under 16 will be admitted unless accompanied by an adult". So we went straight from 'virgin ideal' to porno. Anybody who's lived in France knows they have none of this, and why it's so much pleasanter to live in a naturally sex-saturated country. I guess porno is a hysterical reaction to the Collective Chastity Belt.

Alrenous said...

Yes there's a noticeable hole in my analysis. I often leave these here just to see if anyone will notice. This would be the first time ever, so nice work. If I had a prize, you would get it.

Though also I very carefully limited the format of my advice. All the phrasing of the form, "I expect" is extremely deliberate, for example. And unlike everyone I've witnessed IRL you have a real issue which can be solved by more information, instead of a request for affirmation of your bad character.

That said I'm not sure solicited male advice is actually about the advice. This is because I'm not joking when I call myself autistic. Does the advice have to be any good, or is that just me? It seems it's often merely about demonstrating willingness to give face. Perhaps it rarely has to be anything the asker can't figure out on their own.