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 @postmasculine  @ikremsky  @briank 


Vulnerability is great, but it feels very wrong to use other people for my own catharsis. The urge to share emotional pain with other humans is a leftover relic from evolution. "The Selfish Gene", "Virus of the MInd", and "Ideavirus" are 3 great books that explain this concept.


If you approach pickup from the frame of ACTUALLY being independently happy, then concepts like the "pain period" or "walking the tough road" aren't useful. If you believe you need a pain period with other people, then you do. Clarisse sort of addressed this idea in your third podcast.


What she said (I'm paraphrasing) is that a lot of guys who discover pickup really could care less about pickup, they're just looking for emotional carthasis. From that paradigm, Vulnerability is a form of relationship building that has a higher probability of producing healthy, long-term relationships than other pickup methods.


Better alternatives: prayer, meditation, diet, exercise, writing and journaling, travel, being in nature - activities that involve opening yourself to emotional pain without depending on other people.

2 years, 3 months ago on Vulnerability and Manipulative Women


Mark I enjoyed this article because I'm in a phase of "dissociating" from self-help. The timing is coincidental - I was reading this great article yesterday, which then directed me to this one by Paul Graham My first thoughts ran back to some of your posts on the BMS forums (where you share your opinions of RSD and their philosophy). I believe this "culture fractionation" will continue as kids get online at an earlier age.


Maybe you can help me pull these ideas together. A hypothetical timeline might go something like: any "nerd" group in public education takes to technology to find an identity/subculture, non-nerds continue through the standard education route. Inevitably some nerds will be fine socially because they have their subculture identity, and some non-nerds will be successful because they are smart enough to be white collar professionals. As technology advances and the pressure to become doctors/lawyers/engineers is not worth the effort, nerds will find subcultures very early and the fraction of non-nerds who can run the gauntlet of Ivy League education begins to shrink. Those individuals who Gwern calls "stragglers" are, in my mind, the people who are most likely to be of the Bad-to-OK mindset and therefore the most likely to discovered self-help without first having The Prime Belief.


As Gwern points out, any "master" only reached mastery through some degree effort justification (, and in the process of communicating this justification, they can attract the weak-minded into believing that its a necessary precursor to happiness.


Ideas are all over the place...  but I think they're connected.


"Be skeptical. Be selfish. And be ruthless."  Indeed.

2 years, 4 months ago on 5 Problems with Self Help