If you grew up going to public school, you’ve probably been conditioned to suppress your intelligence.
Not only is public school culture dominated by low-IQ bullies who ridicule signs of intelligence… but the teachers themselves are not particularly bright.
After all, why would an intelligent person want to spend their life babysitting a bunch of feral children?
What are the signs of low intelligence? Illimitable Men summed it up nicely in a tweet:
Most people are uncomfortable with the idea of inequality. Some try to act smarter than they are. Some try to hide their intelligence to blend in.
The open hostility towards highly intelligent people in our culture can only lead to disaster. High IQs are kicked out of universities & pulpits for speaking truths deemed offensive by a low-intelligence culture.
Instead, we are left with sectarian rhetoric. Words that tickle our ears and stir the emotions, but do not stimulate serious thought or challenge us to grow.
My advice to my readers is simple: don’t be stupid.
You don’t have to be a genius. Just use enough of your brain to avoid being stupid.
I’ve noticed that stupidity can be contextually trained. People who might be intelligent in the context of their profession, suddenly become retarded when it comes to reading the Bible or interpreting current events.
Here are a few stupid ways of thinking to avoid in any context:
1.”But what about X?”
This occurs when people hear a generalization that doesn’t align with what they’ve been trained to believe. Rather than checking if they can confirm the rule in most cases, they look for the rare exception and present it as evidence of disproving the rule.
Feminists argue like this all the time. You can say that men are better at making money than women, and they’ll pull up a handful of special cases where a woman became a self-made millionaire.
The exception confirms the rule. The fact that something is special and worth noting indicates that it is not the norm.
2. Using personal or ideological context, rather than original context
What comes before frames the meaning of what comes after.
You cannot bring your own context and superimpose it onto a text. Look at what the author said before the statement in question. It really is that simple.
3. Mistaking logical consistency for reality
The brain is hardwired to like logic. And charlatans know this.
Philosophies and theologies based on falsehoods will almost always be logically consistent. This puts your brain at ease. Everything neatly falls into place so you think it must be true.
But internal coherence is not the same as correspondence with reality.
If you cannot confirm a general truth for yourself through observation, it’s probably bullshit. Nobody has “secret knowledge” that is not observable by ordinary people.
4. “Words don’t matter.”
If someone is disagreeing with you, it is more likely that they are using a different definition of terms than you.
As Vox Day has pointed out, the earliest tell of a charlatan is that they will use a common term in an uncommon way to suit his arguments.
If you call them out on this, they will typically accuse you of being petty, that the words aren’t the important thing, or (ironically) accuse you of redefining words.
I’ve also noticed that religious charlatans will mask the meaning of the original common Greek terms and replace it with a new religious meaning. The religious meaning then becomes the common meaning and it becomes almost impossible to refute without appearing petty or even like a charlatan yourself.
I must admit, I am impressed with the level of sophistication religious charlatans have implemented over the centuries.
It is not a waste of time to clearly understand the terms you are using. On the other hand, it is a waste of time to argue with someone who will not accept your (or the author’s) usage of a term.
5. Not checking the logic.
Often times, things that are fundamentally nonsensical get passed off as truth simply because of rhythm.
I kid you not.
Rhythm, alliteration, rhyming, etc. has a similar effect on the brain as logic. Because it’s so catchy, we think it must be true.
“Might makes right.”
“Happy wife, happy life.”
“Time is money.”
They make great soundbites, but they don’t hold up well under logical scrutiny.
Morality is determined by whoever is the strongest?
If making your wife happy is how to achieve happiness, doesn’t that mean the husband is subservient to her emotions?
Is making money really the purpose of our time?
We live in a culture that exalts stupidity. If you are lazy in your thinking, you will default to stupid thinking.
Exercise your intelligence and stay alert, soldier.
I’ve said it before on this blog, and I’ll say it many times again: a man must learn to survive and thrive in uncertain conditions.
Survival is the art of preparing for the unexpected. If you find yourself surprised by a sudden change of events and unable to respond, it’s your own fault.
So how does a man prepare for the unknowable?
The most versatile survival tool you can learn is antifragility. This term was coined by N.N. Taleb in his book, Antifragile.
I consider the book essential reading. However, it’s not the easiest read. It’s over 400 pages, contains many nuances, and requires (in my case) several months just to digest the implications of the concept.
So I decided to write up a “bottom line summary” kind of post here.
The most concise summary of the book is found in the conclusion:
Everything gains or loses from volatility. Fragility is what loses from volatility and uncertainty.
In other words, expect there to be sudden & unpredictable changes that occur in your life. Whether you gain or lose will depend on whether you are fragile.
Ideally, you want to be antifragile. Position yourself in a way where you will gain from sudden changes.
Here are the basic categories of fragility vs. antifragility in my own words. Save this page and study it often. Much of your life as a man will be spent working towards putting yourself and your family in an antifragile position.
Read the book for the context and nuances.
Identify what your peers confidently believe “cannot fail.” Remain skeptical and prepare for its destruction.
Forget trying to predict the future with statistics. Simply modify your exposure to potential changes.
Relying on theories is dangerous. Just learn the “rules of thumb” and other practical tricks.
Do not make your decisions on rational thought alone. Heed your emotions and use rational thought to keep yourself in check.
Do not think in terms of “true or false.” Ask yourself whether or not you’re being suckered.
Do not advocate or vote for more centralization at the national level or anything that increases public debt.
Ignore theories that attempt to explain “why” something is. Just pay attention to evidence-based phenomenons.
Don’t try to predict the future, just use the rules of thumb that help you avoid making bad decisions.
Don’t believe claims because they are (internally) logically consistent. Remain skeptical and try to find evidence that refutes the claim.
The parts cannot be separated from their holistic context.
Do not study modern ideologies. Study Ancient Mediterranean wisdom (e.g. the Bible)
Too much explicit knowledge will harm you. Acquire tacit knowledge by actually doing the work.
Skip the curriculums, guided tours and lectures. Build yourself a large library, travel, tinker with your ideas.
Stay out of the classroom. Real life + personal library is a superior teacher.
Erudition is superior to academic knowledge.
Skip the ancient Greek philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, etc.). Read the Roman stoics, Nietzsche, Hegel, Jaspers.
Ignore the theories of economists. Religion creates better economic systems.
Study art, not science. (e.g. read science fiction, not science/futurist articles.)
Conversations outlast books (i.e. the purpose of books is to capture and stimulate more conversation)
Soccer moms raise nerds. Give your children time and freedom to explore the library and engage in “street fights”
Two is better than one. Use one, rent out the other.
Do not be dependent on corporate employment. Have options for freelance work and stash away some “screw you money.”
Play the long game; don’t get suckered in for short-term wins.
Industries change. Universal skills remain. Master a difficult and versatile skill to ensure financial security.
Don’t take on debt. Venture capital is a superior way to lose your money.
If your income is dependent on an outside agency, you’re gonna get screwed. Keep your business simple and be able to do everything yourself if necessary.
If it takes complex infrastructure to launch, it’s too risky. Test small ideas and fail fast.
Don’t cover up mistakes. Embrace mistakes early so you can course correct.
Do not engage in (or trust) directed research. Better to tinker and allow for “happy accidents.”
Do not build (or rely on) centralized systems. Decentralized systems better handle randomness.
Large operations fall the hardest. Keep your operations small and versatile.
Don’t let your body become weak as you age. Exercise your muscles now to get stronger.
Do not use additive treatment (e.g. medications) unless there is serious risk of losing the life. Focus on subtractive treatments (e.g. removing vegetable oil & sugar).
Muscles do not equal fighting ability. Learn to street fight.
Antifragile Relationships / Communication:
Don’t try to make friends. Develop your charisma, and people will be devoted to you.
Relate to others through stories and myths, not ideologies.
It’s better to be strong than weak.
Do not trust the advice of anyone without skin in the game.
Do not make rules. Apply virtues.
Pain and trauma is an opportunity for growth.
The acute pain of change is better than the chronic pain of not changing.
Doing nothing is better than doing something harmful.
The more nomadic you are, and the smaller your tribe, the less exposed to risk you are.
Avoid bureaucrats. Hang out with entrepreneurs.
If you can get fired for speaking the truth, you’re in the wrong profession.
The middle class dream is for suckers. Live an unconventional life that suits your preferences.
After spending some time on Twitter, I find it alarming how few people seem capable of backing their opinions with basic logic and facts.
And I’m not talking about SJW’s (I ignore them.)
I’m talking about red pill men. Men who are supposedly fighting to restore masculinity and Western culture.
Perhaps it is how we are educated. I never learned to construct a syllogism in school.
But it is simple. You do not have to be a genius to do it. And a syllogism can be communicated concisely.
Frankly, if you can’t communicate the essence of your argument in a tweet (280 characters), you don’t have an argument. You’re just blowing smoke and regurgitating rhetoric.
Yes, I understand the need for rhetoric, context and nuances and all that. In many cases, it’s best to conceal your logic so that the audience comes to the conclusion on their own and you avoid causing offense by speaking bluntly. (Christ himself was a master at this.)
But concealed or not, the basis of communicating truth is the syllogism. Just because something rhymes, has a punchy rhythm, or sounds clever in any other way does not make it true.
Here’s the breakdown:
A syllogism has two premises, a major premise and a minor premise.
I don’t know if this is true (because I’m a victim of the Idaho public school system), but I’ve noticed that the major premise tends to be a generalized assumption (e.g. “all men are mortal”), whereas the minor premise tends to be a specific observation (e.g. “Socrates is a man.”)
Regardless, you need two things that are obviously true to infer a new conclusion.
The classic example is one you’ve probably seen:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
Here’s another example:
All swans are white.
Joe saw a swan.
Therefore, all the birds Joe saw were white.
The above example is a properly constructed syllogism. There are 4 ways you can disagree with it.
You can say I’m illogical: “Just because Joe saw a white swan doesn’t mean all the other birds were white.”
You can say I’m uninformed: “Joe specifically noted that it was a black swan that he saw. You might have missed that info.”
You can say I’m misinformed: “Joe actually saw a pigeon, not a swan. If you’d been there, you would have known.”
Or you can say I’m being frivolous: “Who the hell cares what kind of bird Joe saw or what color it was?”
Expressing opinions as syllogisms won’t necessarily solve disagreements, but at the least it allows you to identify what someone’s assumptions are and whether they have a plausible case.
People who are full of B.S. will avoid expressing their ideas logically when pressed. They intuitively know that their (lack of) logic will be exposed. Instead of addressing the question directly, they will dodge the question by appealing to outside sources or accusing their adversary of being “reductionist” or “Spock-like” or claim how there are many “nuances” or some such thing.
This is no small matter of concern. For it was suppression of truth that was at the root of God’s condemnation of man:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Rom 1:18-19)
Observation and logic are the primary tools we have for discovering truth. Today, we have the Scriptures in addition to God’s creation and our conscience.
If someone denies what the Scriptures plainly say (or confidently affirms what they do not say), opting to rely on some kind of convoluted theological detour to make their point, they are suppressing the truth.
If someone denies God’s design and purpose of biology, calling it “evil” (when God did not), this is suppression of the truth.
And if someone denies the existence of a Creator at all…well, they’re just an idiot.
Logic is the primary tool for testing truth. Be a man and test your opinions against the rigor of logic. And call out other men when they confidently dish out fraudulent claims.
As N.N. Taleb put it:
“If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.”
There are four basic pleasures a man can experience in life:
The ability to do these things unhindered is a man’s reward for both his labor and his refusal to compromise in the face of guilt manipulators.
Media propaganda will tell you not to eat meat, butter, eggs and other delicious fatty foods. They will try to get you on a diet of bland “health” foods that are not fit for a man.
Your boss and/or school demands that you prioritize showing up on time over getting adequate sleep. (Kids do the same thing.. but that’s another challenge.)
The cultural saturation of the so-called “Protestant work ethic” will make you feel guilty if you don’t spend almost every waking hour in some kind of industrious activity. Yes, a man must work for an income. But a life enslaved to the dollar is a miserable life unfit for a man.
And feminists and churches will shame men for wanting to have sex with their own wives. As if the farmer does not have the right to plow his field whenever he sees fit.
Point is, enjoying the basic pleasures of life is an essential part of manhood. God gave us these things so that we could enjoy life and give thanks to Him.
A king must harness the invisible powers of nature if he is to advance his kingdom.
Every boy starts out curious about how the world works. He wants to tinker with things, learn the names of things, build things.
Some men retain this curiosity into adulthood and enjoy activities like working on cars, assembling guns, woodwork, etc.
These activities can, perhaps, lead to a source of income for the man (which he can use to fill his warchest), or they may simply be therapeutic… giving him time and space to get perspective on life as he works with his hands.
But ultimately, if the man is to rule, he must advance to master the invisible forces of life.
For it is the invisible forces that give a king his power and, to the undiscerning masses, are indistinguishable from magic or destiny.
And so every aspiring king must become a wizard before he can claim his throne.
It is the wizard who can dispel the forces of darkness and stand up to tyrants.
It is the wizard who can heal the broken and bring hope to the hopeless.
There are many ways to classify the invisible forces of nature. But perhaps the most succinct summary is what’s known as “The 12 Universal Laws.” A wizard should understand and know how to utilize these laws to his advantage:
1. The Law of Connection – everything is connected to everything else. Words, actions, prayers, beliefs and perhaps even thoughts have a ripple effect that affects those around you
2. The Law of Energy – everything and everyone in the universe moves according to different energy patterns. Understanding the “vibe” of a person or place is critical to understanding and influencing the situation to your advantage.
3. The Law of Action – Nothing can be manifested without action. Your actions must align with your inner thoughts and dreams. Otherwise, your inner thoughts will change to align with your actions.
4. The Law of Correspondence – the patterns of heaven reveal themselves in earthly form. We catch glimpses of heaven on earth. And we intuitively sense when the earthly forms are out of alignment with the heavenly forms. We instinctively desire “on earth, as it is in heaven.”
5. The Law of Cause and Effect – Every action has a reaction or consequence. You “reap what you sow.” Or, in more blunt terms, “everything is your fault” …for better or worse.
6. The Law of Compensation – We are rewarded in accordance with our contributions. Wealth, friendships, and blessings are a direct result of value that we’ve delivered to others. Therefore, if you want greater blessings, make more and/or greater contributions.
7. The Law of Attraction – like attracts like. Negative energy attracts more negative energy. Positive energy attracts more positive energy. Positive thoughts attract a positive life. Negative thoughts attract a negative life. Positive people create a positive culture. Negative people create a negative culture. You become what you think about and who you surround yourself with.
8. The Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy – All people possess the power to change the conditions of their lives. You can drive out negative energy by creating positive energy.
9. The Law of Relativity – each person receives a series of problems in their life. These problems are uniquely suited to them and designed to strengthen their spirit. You can also recognize that, no matter how bad your problem seems to be, there is always someone else in a worse position. Everything is relative.
10. The Law of Polarity – everything exists on a continuum and has an opposite end of the pole. If you have undesirable thoughts that are pulling you towards one end of the spectrum, you can suppress and transform those thoughts by concentrating on the opposite end of the pole. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right… think about such things.”
11. The Law of Rhythm – everything has a cycle and a rhythm. The earth has seasons. Women have hormonal cycles. Even history moves in cycles. These rhythms reflect the regularity of God’s universe. A master wizard knows how to recognize which part of the cycle he’s in. He does not despair in the down times because he understands the cycle and its purpose. And he knows how to align himself with the cycle to get the best results.
12. The Law of Gender – all energy is masculine or feminine, the penetrating and the yielding. Masculine energy initiates, feminine energy responds. Feminine women are the response to masculine men. Masculine energy is directed through direct commands. Feminine energy is directed through imagination and subconscious. There are many implications to this law.
These laws may seem simple on the surface, but each of them has profound nuances for every interaction you have with others.
A wizard must reflect upon these laws and apply them to achieve his goals.
In order for a man to become a king, he must claim his territory.
By nature, you cannot have two men occupying the same position. You cannot have two men ruling the same household.
It is for this reason that a man needs the spirit of the Warrior.
The world is mostly run by evil emperors who are fueled by greed. If they had it their way, you would simply remain a cog in their profit machine. They may “allow” you to marry, but they’d rather you not claim your woman by regularly “plowing her field” and seeding her.
No. Conquering a woman produces too much confidence in a man.
And they certainly don’t want you ruling your own household… let alone leading a tribe of people.
Warriors area threat to established order. Because warriors mark out territory where the established rule is weak and claim it for themselves. Or rather, they claim it for THE King and rule over it on His behalf.
What would the established emperors do if there were thousands of kings ruling over their own little kingdoms? The consolidation of power would be lost.
But these emperors have a major flaw in their defense: they are fragile. They do not respond well to change. In fact, they try their damnedest to suppress it.
But they cannot stop it. For change is the way of life.
And so it is that the Warrior has an opportunity to claim a new domain.
The emperors attempt to keep the populace in fear of change. “Change is a threat to your way of life” they say.
But the Warrior sees opportunity.
Every significant change reveals a crack in the Empire’s armor. One that a well-prepared warrior can exploit.
The warrior is more mature than the mere skirmisher. The skirmisher is simply looking for a fight. He demands revolution and wants change now.
The warrior recognizes that warfare is about preparation and waiting for the opportune time to act. The warrior waits patiently for his time. In some cases, this patience can even span multiple generations of preparation.
The warrior spends most of his time waiting, but he must not hesitate to seize new territory when the opportunity arises.
Practically speaking, the warrior devotes himself to the following areas of preparation:
Physical training – a warrior must remain fit so that he has energy to act when opportunity arises
Spiritual training – defining what you believe, based on your own study, and enduring shame from those who hate the truth. The man who’s conscience is bound to the opinions of others is not fit to rule.
Trends – both technological and social. Changes create holes. A hole is an opportunity for a new king to arise.
Antifragility – setting up yourself and your household to benefit from stress rather than break. This applies to every area of your life: your beliefs, finances, education, health, everything.
The warrior spends most of his time in preparation. It is not expedient to attack before the establishment begins to crumble. But he certainly does not hesitate when the time is ripe.
If kingship is what man is destined for, then there must be an immature belief in that destiny before it actualizes.
To an unbelieving world, it sounds selfish, egotistical, and even narcissistic to claim that you, as a man, are destined for kingship and are the rightful ruler of your household.
Nevertheless, it is the word of God.
A boy intuitively gets this. He dreams of his kingdom and imagines what he will become when he “grows up.” He imagines slaying the dragon and saving the girl.
Tragically, what most men become when they grow up is mediocre. Boyhood dreams of conquest are set aside as “selfish.” They get busy working hard to be a good employee, a good dad, a good husband.
Meanwhile they look on enviously as “selfish” “narcissistic” men get whatever they want from life.
Narcissist is an interesting term.
In common usage, when we refer to someone as a “narcissist” we usually mean that that they have an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
Few would argue that it’s wrong to have self-interest or self-esteem. The man constantly plagued with doubts of his abilities will not get far in life. And anyone who claims purely altruistic motives is probably delusional.
The ambiguity is at what point does it become “excessive”? Wherever ambiguity exists, a plethora of guilt manipulators will arise to tell you just how selfish you’re being.
Feminists will shame you for your “toxic masculinity” and your “egotistical insecurities” when you attempt to take charge of your household.
Churches will shame you for your supposed “self worship” and call you to sacrifice your own interests to be a “servant leader.”
And your family will always define you by some past identity that they knew you as… the unathletic one, the nerd, the disobedient child, the compliant student, the “sweet boy” etc. … never acknowledging that you were meant to grow into something greater, something entirely your own.
Any attempt to rise above mediocrity and become a king will be shamed as self-centered and even narcissistic from nearly every influence in your life.
The world respects established kings. But they are hostile to future kings.
No one seems to know exactly what a narcissist is. But it’s a word that triggers strong reactions.
Personally, I like Ivan Throne’s poetic definition of the positive side of narcissism:
Narcissism is the driven, hardened vision of a man who believes in his own future achievement with such force, drive and experienced, focused mind that reality itself shimmers and shifts, and accords with his vision the way time and space curve in the presence of mass.
–The Nine Laws, p. 160
This is a fundamental truth a man must accept about the world:
The world is full of insecure people who will follow narcissists… for good or for ill.
That includes your wife and children.
Any man who would become a king must spend a large amount of time thinking about himself… who he is meant to become… what he needs to achieve. Then he must project confidence in his future achievements.
Some will call this narcissism. Let them.
An undefined man can offer nothing of value to the world. He is only a pawn in the power schemes of other kings.
Note: This is the first installment of a special series on core masculinity concepts. I intend to eventually edit these posts and turn them into an ebook. Tentative title: Think Like a Man. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments.
The core essence of man is the imago dei – the image of God.
If we fail to grasp this concept, we will fail to understand what it means to be a man.
In Hebrew, the image of God is two concepts joined together:
tselem– something “cut out” and thus bearing resemblance to the thing it was cut out from
Elohim – expresses Yahweh (God) as in charge, the Creator, the all-powerful ruler who establishes the scenes of life.
Man was “cut out” of Elohim when He breathed His spirit into man’s lifeless body. And so it is that man’s core instinct is to create, to rule, and order his environment to his liking. He was created from the very spirit of God – the Supreme Creator and All-Powerful Ruler of the universe.
In short, we can refer to this as the “King” archetype.
A king wants to create life… and so he seeks out fertility: fertile ground, fertile minds, fertile women.
A king wants to rule over his environment… so he studies the world and learns to classify and conceptualize so he can better control and arrange his environment.
And a good king wants to bless… so he seeks out subjects underneath him and gives them his praise and approval for their good qualities. He empowers them to grow and thrive according to their design.
Never underestimate the blessing of a king. The blessing of a king is the difference between wealth and poverty, happiness and misery, and, in some cases, even life and death.
Every man has the power to be a king. Few men tap into that power.
And man’s core power is this:
He can change his environment in order to bring forth fruit.