The most useful thing to teach young people is how to modify their habits

The most important thing for young people to learn is how to modify their habits. If they can modify their habits, they understand the importance of change, and they understand how to make change happen.

The ability to change is the ability to grow. If we don’t change for the better, we stay stagnant, and in relation to others, we atrophy and become worse. People have to change for the better, or they become weak until death.

To modify a habit requires conscious change. Changing habitual behaviors requires self-awareness and the strength to make something out of that awareness. Self-awareness means knowing our own strengths and weaknesses – both as the outside world perceives them and internally.

Habitual behaviors are necessarily hard to change – these are the behaviors we engage in frequently. The more we do something, the harder that is to change. This is especially true for behaviors that result in feelings of pleasure. Drinking, gambling, drugs, sex – changing habits related to vices is incredibly difficult. Not only does repetition give us an answer for a way to do things, and humans are lazy creatures that don’t want to change, but repeating pleasurable behaviors rewards us psychologically for doing these things.

It’s important that we recognize when we engage in repetitive behavior when there is a better way of doing things. Better can come in multiple forms. Better can refer to efficiency. For instance, if we open a new Excel sheet every time we create a budget, we could save lots of time by creating and using a template, or a program that does the work for you.

Better can refer to health. If we smoke cigarettes every day, that’s going to take a toll on the lungs, decrease our athletic and cardiovascular ability, and increase longer-term concerns like cancer. If we have sex with many partners and are left wanting more, or we accumulate things because it feels good, then we risk short-term dependence on those feelings and the want for more, and the long-term solidification of those habits. These are more mental, psychological health concerns.

Change requires action. Once a habit is identified that should be changed, it takes commitment to action to make that actually happen. It takes opening the Excel template over and over instead of the new workbook. It may take closing an already started new workbook. It may mean staring at dessert as everyone else continues to eat.

The ability to change is the most important skill because it is so difficult. This ability also paves the way for future learning. If you can learn to be self-aware and learn what skills you are lacking and those that would benefit you, you can go and learn those things and accomplish your goals.

Stubbornness prevents change and acceptance of the reality of the need to change. When we are locked into our habits, and either refuse to change or refuse to go through the self-examination required before changing, we reduce our ability and our likelihood of ever changing or being introspective. We will continue on with our further-defined habits, regardless of the costs. Stubbornness is reinforcing.

We can learn from others. Just like learning from a teach in school or a mentor at work, we can learn how to modify our habits by watching others who have become proficient in modifying theirs. Because this can be learned, it can be taught. Teaching this requires making the audience willing to change.

Psychotherapists do this. Psychotherapists make their patients comfortable, then willing to change, then open about their strengths and weaknesses, then prescribe a plan to change.

I don’t recommend a course on psychotherapy be taught to all high-school students, but I recommend some of the lessons from the practice be taught at the high-school level. Students should be taught and made to go through the exercise of changing a habit. Start with their studying skills, or note taking, or reading. Destroy the old habits and replace them with new skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives. In the meantime, teach them how to change.

These students are about to go to college – where they can enter with an understanding of how behavior is modified and an analytical approach to modifying theirs, or they can become the next wave of brainwashed, debt-burdened employee robots. The individual doesn’t benefit from being a debt-burdened employee robot.

Not being a debt-burdened employee robot is only one benefit to instilling the ability to modify habits in young people. From the ability to think freely and understand behavioral changes, people will be less likely to blindly follow an ideology. Political discussion these days is a shouting match between Republican and Democrat. There’s no nuance or compromise or standing up for individual beliefs – it’s all about following the prescribed ideology. There’s no thought in politics.

There’s no thought in corporations. The debt-burdened employee must do what he’s told in order to pay off loans. This ingrains the servant behaviors which make “good employees” that rise the ranks in a corporation. It doesn’t innovate or look out for consequence outside of shareholder value – which is what shareholders want.

The most useful thing to teach young people is how to modify their habits. The ability to modify habits will make people moral, courageous leaders of companies and governments, healthier and longer-living citizens, and unique contributors at dinner parties. Changing habits is, by definition, one of the hardest things people can do, but it is the most important. Without changing behavior, we become stuck in our skillset, our status, and our current spirituality. Start changing habits today.

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10x more than they do currently

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10 times more than they do currently. People that study and work in STEM fields have stereotypes that they are not high-level, conceptual thinkers. They do not understand people, markets, and the problems being solved. There is lots of innovation for the sake of innovation – rather than being solutions for problems, and there are gaps in knowledge versus intelligence. All of these stereotypes would go away, and our engineers would be more prepared for the world, if they had a better understanding of rhetoric and history.

There is no shortage of intelligence in STEM. The most innovative entrepreneurs and the brightest workers come out of science, technology, engineering, and math degrees. They are the most capable people that can develop an understanding of rhetoric and history if they applied themselves.

STEM individuals should study rhetoric and history for three main reasons: to understand technology cycles, to understand people, and to innovate for society.

Understand technology cycles

Studying history will give the student an understanding of the cycles that individuals and entire societies go through. These are naturally occurring cycles of growth and decline, rise and fall. History gives the keys to understanding how these cycles come about, how to handle yourself in the middle of them, and how to get out of a period of perceived doom.

Nearly all human problems have occurred before. The technology may be new, and it probably is, but the problem humans face is probably not new (except my foil-hat AI problems). How people get from one place to another, how we communicate with each other, how we find love – these are all problems that will not go away, these have been solved in a variety of ways, and will continue to exist in the future. Engineers should understand how to prepare for change as well as the effects of their proposed changes.

Changing how we do things not only saves the end user time and money to do those things, but there may be secondary consequences. Facebook changed the way we communicate with each other and made it easier to stay in touch with others. However, people are finding it harder to maintain strong relationships and to build communication skills now that it is easier to be social. Ease is attractive, but it may not be best long-term.

Cycles of ease and hardship have occurred before. Understanding these cycles will help the engineer profit, keep society from falling apart, and maybe find love.

Engineers will benefit from this knowledge because they can apply new technology to problems that continue to occur. Solutions can be developed to mitigate or solve problems that are almost certain to happen again.

Understand people

Engineers are the introverts on campus – the nerds, the “non-people persons”. It doesn’t have to be this way. Rhetoric and history both will teach an individual the importance of developing speech and social grace. From the inventors that never received their credit because someone more charismatic beat them to it, to the psychology that goes into connecting with people, rhetoric – the art of language and communicating, is as valuable for engineers as for the marketing majors.

Marketing departments and communication teams are the “social people” in an organization. What they really are is an added layer of complexity and inefficiency. When the engineer understands the people he is serving – the customers, his boss, and team members, the role of the manager and marketer that works alongside the engineer is diminished, and the builder moves one step closer to interacting with the actual customer.

When the engineer can connect with an audience, he can eliminate the need for the manager and marketer. In this world, where additional layers of management and marketing departments are common, the engineer would be much more profitable in his own employment, or by convincing his organization to eliminate those positions for his profit.

Innovate for society

The current world is technology-driven. There are constantly new technologies and competition for market-share and funding are fierce. To guarantee your product will secure its funding and market, understanding of both history and rhetoric will help.

Rhetoric will help for the reason listed above. The engineer can add the value of the marketing department and sales team if he can connect with his audience and relate to them.

Understanding history helps with this too. Most problems have been seen and addressed before. By understanding the cycles that humans go through, that technology goes through, and that societies go through, an engineer can orient their technology to fill a gap that will be valuable long-term.

The goals of new technologies are to make society – whether all of society or your family or your company, better. Profits come when society is willing to pay for your product because it adds value.

An example of technology for technology’s sake is a change in a user interface that doesn’t make the experience better, but maybe looks shinier. Lightshows at a rave look cool but don’t do society a lot of good (at best). When cab companies create an app that allowed you to book a cab, that may be helpful if it has your position built-in, but it still requires hiring a cab and waiting for one to come from the airport.

Uber is innovative. It took the cab application and turned the ordinary commuter into an employee. It gave users trust in the drivers and gave the drivers accountability. It completely innovated both the efficiency of getting a ride, the quality of the rides, and the economics of driving and receiving a ride.

Transportation is a continually disrupted industry. Cab companies were as unprepared for Uber as the train companies were unprepared for the automobile. This will continue to happen, and technology giants, including Uber, are correctly spending money to prepare for the next disruptive transportation technologies – self-driving cars, drones, and underground travel.

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10x more than they do currently. Dedicating time to read non-technical papers will serve their careers, companies, and all of society. By understanding societal and human cycles, the people their product touches, and the problems they are solving, engineers will be much better positioned to add lasting value and make more money.

Boys are not men until they have been broken and reforged themselves

To become a man means to complete The Hero’s Journey. The hero’s journey takes a man into the darkest, scariest place a man can imagine. It is depicted in mythology as the bottom of the ocean with the meanest whale, or the dark cavern with the fire-breathing dragon. That is where the mythical treasure is found, before the hero returns to the normal world. Boys are not men until they have been broken and reforged themselves.

A man is no longer a boy when he is ready to face the world on his own. He has the skills, the courage, and the wisdom to interact with obstacles that stand in the way and to deal with challenges without being rattled to the point of psychosis.

In mythology, this deep cavern, the source of all insecurities and evil, is where the great treasure is found – the princess that needs saving, the father that was lost, or the pot of gold. So too in life, this dark place is where glory is found. And while the dark place is always within ourselves – in our own insecurities, it often takes external circumstances to overcome these insecurities.

Glory in the “real world” is often rewarded with the material receipt – a beautiful girl to wed or monetary wealth. The real reward is the spiritual wealth. We become strong in spirit when we choose to face our deepest fears and turn around our strongest insecurities. When we are physically, mentally, and emotionally strong, we can endure tough challenges and be happy during any trials. Happiness is found in strength, and strength is required to conquer those mentioned dark, scary, unknown situations.

When we overcome our strongest insecurities – whether it be women, money, physical appearance, or relationship insecurities, we often overcome the obstacles that prevented us from experiencing that thing (eg money, women). Women are attracted to the man who is not worried about being attractive to women, and feelings of wealth work the same way.

To break down our deepest fears and insecurities, we need to go to the proverbial belly of the deep-water beast. We need to go, at least psychologically, sometimes physically, to this darkness. These deep-sea monsters, these insecurities, are not easily defeated.

Your deep-sea monster, your insecurity, destroys you in the process of you destroying the monster. To be “destroyed” in heroic journey-terms, means to crush the spirit of your previous self. The weak, immoral, and lazy characteristics in you are destroyed. It means destroying the ego that holds onto the things your old self held in regard. Free yourself from the needs of those previously held insecurities.

These traits are replaced through the new and stronger version of the individual that makes it through the hardship. Strength and confidence, industry and determination, and virtue replace the dead characteristics, and you re-enter the world to share your new strength.

There is no cheating on the journey to becoming a mature man. Help can be picked up by lessons from others or your own experience. Ultimately, you are the only person that can destroy your insecurities. You can do all the reading and philosophizing you can manage. You can understand how dragons are destroyed and how your insecurities should be managed. But, until you put in the effort to destroy your insecurities, to destroy your past self – your dragon, your sea monster, you will not be free from the insecurity. You must go to the belly of the beast. You must develop the skills and the virtue necessary to become stronger than the beast and to destroy it.

That is the first half of the battle – destroying the previous self that held you down. The second part is to rebuild yourself. To reforge yourself means to take the new skills, the new virtue, and become stronger because of it. You rebuild yourself with the new characteristics.

If you don’t rebuild yourself, you can be destroyed during your battle with the dragon. It is uncommon to face your deepest insecurities – most people won’t do it. People will go their whole lives without facing these fears.

It is uncommon among those people that do face their demons to become better for it. Too many get caught up in the demons that they find them attractive. Instead of becoming the hero that destroys the dragon, many become the dragon that is a strong force of evil or vice.

The man who becomes attractive to women only to use them and lead them on destroys the women’s virtue and adds to the suffering of the world through the woman and her future partner.

The man who builds his financial empire, not to make the world a better place by enabling new technology but to build his own wealth to build power over others, destroys his virtue and adds to the suffering of the world by eliminating the possibility of others to compete and dig themselves out of poverty.

Becoming a dragon is attractive. It is strong and can kill enemies. It gets to have lots of sex and drive expensive cars. Evil will always be attractive. It is shiny and rich and powerful. This is precisely the problem with vice and evil. It consumes you by making you want more – more women, more money, more power.

There is more strength in virtue. There is strength in knowing you did the right thing, and can always do the right thing. There is true freedom is knowing you don’t need more – more women, things, or status.

When you choose to rebuild yourself with the new strength and virtue, that is when you have something to share with the world to make it a better place. It takes touching evil – killing the dragon, to find this strength. Then, it takes the strength and virtue to choose not to be a dragon, and instead to be a positive influence on others. That’s the hero.

Some people start out on their journey to conquer their insecurities by consciously attacking them. Others may be called by accident. A firing from a job, a hard breakup, or an encounter with evil – these are some events that can trigger the journey of the hero – or the villain.

Boys are not men until they have been broken and reforged themselves. This is because it takes breaking down and destroying the ego so that men can learn the wisdom and strength to handle challenges in the future.

While this is how all people become mature and learn to deal with hardship, there is a double standard that makes this more important for men that women. This process is required for men to be attractive in the sexual market, which is not the case for women.

Hip-hop music is going to be more heavily represented in the future

Hip-hop music will be more heavily represented in the future. It will make its way out of the cities and into the suburbs and neighborhoods. There are a few reasons for this.

Hip-hop is cool

Hip-hop is the cool genre. It glorifies vice and materialism which is the capitalist virtue. It is played in clubs and shopping malls and school dances. It’s the music that gets the girls bumping and grinding and Hennessy bottles sold. Corporations will promote more hip-hop music, because it sells. It sells because it feels good. Hip-hop promotes a message that is “fun” and full of “good feelings” in both its lyrics and it’s sound.

Humans are lazy. Most people don’t go out of their way to find good music. We trust what’s presented to them. If something is played on the radio, it must be good because a DJ, who should know what he’s doing, picked out the song. It’s an appeal to authority. The DJ may likely be handed the song from his station, which was handed the song by a sponsoring company. In this way, people listen to the highest bidder. The highest bidder will always be the company with the deepest pockets versus the independent starving artist.

The spread of the message that hip-hop is cool will pervade all of society. More than black people moving to the neighborhoods and suburbs, the suburban white family will be introduced to hip-hop because it is the cool genre.

Many music genres promote immorality. Rock and Roll is full of sex and drugs, and country is all about drinking beer in order to “be a man.” Hip-hop puts this to the extreme, adds decades of music videos to the mix, and gives a sexy beat that allows the listener to feel the want to be immoral.

Hip-hop is the extreme of this because nearly every song promotes promiscuity and otherwise loose morals – such as drinking, drugs, and violence. These are core themes to the music that, while present in other forms of music, aren’t put on display as publicly and aren’t felt in the same way as other music.

The music videos are not unique to hip-hop but the sexuality is. At least, it is now. The 80s had some very sexual music videos from the hair bands. In the decades since, rock music has gone more funny or cool with their videos than sexual. Hip-hop keeps pushing the sexual envelope with their videos. The genre has had full nudity in their music videos. While Motley Crue and other bands did this, the twerking and sexuality greatly increased in and after the 90s.

Finally, hip-hop adds sexual feeling. It’s the music that’s played in clubs and the music played at all levels down to the middle school dances for this reason. Hip-hop is booty-shaking, hip-swaying music. It gives a beat that allows two people to move together sexually. It gives a rhythm that moves the couple at a sex speed. It’s a lot of fun. It’s promiscuous.

Hip-hop is PC

No, not the words. Hip-hop music will become more popular because black people will continue to be given more of a voice than white people. The music will grow in popularity because they will be the ones given a shot on the radio or the choice of music on road trips.

Black people are seen as disadvantaged. Couple in “white guilt” and you get black preference as the chosen option, when it comes to picking between a white and black option. Political correctness will allow hip-hop to spread fast, because people will not speak against the music. Those that do speak out will be persecuted, even when it’s their children being exposed to Patron and promiscuous sex advertisements at their middle-school dance. There is nothing the weak, “guilty,” man can do.

The politically correct environment will accelerate all things degenerate. The lower classes are the immoral classes. When they are given the loudest microphone, they are the ones with the voice that will be heard. When immorality is the only voice being heard, and immorality is “cool” and continues to feel good, it will grow rapidly. Political correctness and hip-hop music will spin a feedback loop of degeneracy and disadvantage that will continue to spin with the momentum of the masses. The degeneracy in motion will be hard to stop.

Hip-hop will become more heavily represented because the Western World continues to decline in morality, and hip-hop music promotes the immorality that is now “cool.” Last, the PC culture will allow the music to invade non-black communities at a fast rate.

Atheists are hardly ever self-aware

Atheists are hardly ever self-aware. Atheists are often false intellectuals. They are given a hypothesis – an answer to some of life’s hardest questions, and they choose not to build the premises to support the argument. The atheist says, “That doesn’t exist,” while taking a simplistic definition of “that” and focusing more of their efforts on straw arguments aimed at religious people. Some of which has merit.

God takes many forms across the world. To many, god is a man in the sky that created the worlds. To more, it’s hope in an afterlife. To some, god is an ideal – it’s something to pursue, something we can become. God is a goal, and gives not only answers to “what next?” But also answers “how?” How do I live out an ideal life? To simply say these definitions of God do not exist means that there must be other answers to the questions “What next?” And “How?”

Atheists are false intellectuals because they take the words in the Bible as historical truth and argue that science will never determine the absolute truth in the reading. There is no experiment that can be conducted to prove the existence or non-existence of a god as a creator and judgmental being in the sky.

This is the route and thinking of scientists, but it does not pursue the meaning of God as an ideal. The words in the Bible can be disproven from a historical standpoint, but the meaning of God depicted in the Bible and other sources is the story of all of us.

Atheists argue against the former. They choose the historical God to argue against, without delving into the meaning of God. When God is defined as an ideal, the criteria that makes God ideal can be argued – and should be argued. So should the validity of presenting a single ideal way to live.

Christianity presents an ideal way to live. So do other religions. The characteristics vary, although slightly, from religion to religion and tradition to tradition, but they each present an ideal way to live.

Atheistic views are simplified and do not extend to the next level of analysis. What is the ideal? Does this vary from individual to individual, or group to group? Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions really say, “No, ideals (embodiment of God) do not vary from individual to individual, or group to group. There are universal ideals that anyone can follow, and be happier and freer if they choose to follow.”

Self-awareness is the level that we know ourselves. It is our ability to know we are in control of our own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. We are in control of our happiness, or our lack of happiness. It takes a self-aware person to be happy when faced with difficult external situations.

People that believe in God, by any definition, are in pursuit of happiness by following the path of their God (their ideal). The God-fearing police their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. If they believe in an afterlife and a moody man in the sky, they will police their thoughts and actions because of their fear. If they believe in God as an ideal, they will act in accordance of that ideal, knowing it is both a challenge and a reward. Reward can be the psychological reward of not being dependent on vice, or it can be the satisfaction of knowing that the day’s actions were in line with the ideal being strived for.

Atheists deny the need for this policing. They argue it is best to be “unfiltered,” when really they are promoting action without direction. By acting without direction, individuals necessarily aren’t working towards an ideal – or anything.

It is easy to argue that there are good things to work toward. For instance, if you work for a company, you work to maximize profits. If you are in a relationship, you may have a goal to be more intimate. When you define these things to work for, these can be seen as your ideal. The highest ideals ever imagined and documented have been named “God” and published in Bibles and religious texts.

There are many religious followers that do believe the stories in the texts are literal events that occurred. These people deny published science that define how the earth ages and wage wars over non-believers, instead of understanding the meaning of the passages and the God they worship. It is these extremist, non-intellectuals that atheists choose to fight their intellectual battle.

Even these religious nut-cases can exhibit self-awareness that exceeds the simple atheist. These guys still do the policing of their thoughts and behaviors. They do these as God-in-the-sky fearing people that don’t wish to defy their moody god. Still, this policing is more than the by-the-book atheist pursues.

Now, not all atheists are the false intellectuals I described. However, I defined the common arguments atheists put forward, and the problems with that. Many atheists still create a code of ethics and morality to follow. What they don’t do is equate that perfect morality with God. Perfect morality has been defined and refined and documented for thousands of years. The most complete, eloquent definition of perfect morality is called God, and it is documented in the Bible.

It really is a circular argument only the most intellectual of atheists get into. They say, “there is no god. We can be moral without god. This is how to behave morally. This moral living is ideal.” What they don’t add is that this is how god has been defined – over and over. Just more eloquently and beautifully than the atheist’s academic paper.

Much more common than this intellectual that gets into this circular debate is the teenager who heard a few buzzwords that science must be repeatable under double-blind experiment and understands that the events in the Bible are not historical. Therefore, God doesn’t exist. This is usually a rebellious phase – a way to rebel against the ideas of our parents and “old people.” Many people do not stop this rebellion and never stop to consider the moral ideals that have been presented and discussed in academia and in church.

Atheists are hardly self-aware for these two given reasons. They do not explore the possibilities of the different definitions of God, and they do not seek or provide answers for the “what next”s and the “how”s without connecting it to an ideal, which many of us call “God.” Because of the rebellion against the definition and existence in a god, there is no attempt made to police or monitor the thoughts and behavior. Because there is no attempt made to monitor thought and behavior, there is no awareness brought to that thought and behavior, at least, no consciously. Because there is no awareness brought to thought and behavior, atheists often lack self-awareness.

Cities are unnaturally stressful for the human body and mind

Cities, almost by definition, are unnaturally stressful for the human body and mind. Cities are centers for industry and entertainment. The largest quantity of jobs are in cities because that’s where the people are, and it takes more jobs to support people that work all those jobs.

This is how complexity works. A man with nothing has no need for complexity. When he acquires things, he needs somewhere to store things. So, he buys a box. When his boxes fill up with things, he buys a shelf to store his boxes. When his shelves are full, he gets a storage unit for more shelves, and then a warehouse. It takes time to go through shelves and storage units and warehouses to find what you want.

Stress occurs when you can’t get what you want. When you can’t find what you want, you become stressed. Other forms of stress happen when people don’t behave how you expect them to, which throws obstacles in the way of you getting what you want. Same with sitting in traffic – other cars interfere with what we want.

The man who has nothing, and lives far from everything, has no need for boxes, no need to sit in traffic, and no need for the complexity on which stress feeds. The man with nothing, and desires nothing, is free from stress. The poor beggar is not necessarily stress-free just because he doesn’t have things – which lead to stress. The beggar wants. He yearns for things, and therefore is stressed, because he doesn’t have what he wants. It’s the poor stoic that is free. Or, simply, the stoic.

Cities are the opposite of freeing. Cities introduce complexity to us and they introduce wanting. The beggar and the slick city playboy have this in common. They want. The beggar wants his next meal and the playboy wants his phone to be faster and the local transit to get him to his destination faster.

Living in the city, he can influence those things. Cities are the innovation hubs. Engineers are at work trying to make phones faster and trying to speed up transportation. While these engineering feats may allow us to solve problems faster, they still leave us wanting.

If we were told 20 years ago we would have cell phones with wireless internet access with pages that load in 5 seconds, we would be blown away. We wouldn’t fathom that 5 seconds would be slow and that we would need to make that faster. Yet, here we are, 20 years later. 15 years after dial-up internet and 10 years since wifi devices made their way into every home, and buffering is one of the ultimate evils.

A more complex phone doesn’t solve our problems any more than dial up internet did. We still want, just as much. We may want more, since we expect so much more. We expect delivery in 2 days instead of a month. We expect pages to load in 3 seconds instead of 20. Our technology has improved, but it hasn’t solved us. We still want.

Complexity doesn’t solve our problems. It masks our problem. Our problem is that we want things. Complexity sells us an image that’s worry free. Complexity – the boxes, the storage racks, the newest phone – they all promise us less worry without addressing the real problem.

The real problem is we want. Not wanting doesn’t sell. No one is incentivized to sell not wanting things.

It’s ironic that we are told the cure to complexity, and the cure to the stress caused by complexity, is to buy more things. It starts with a storage bin and ends with a city full of technology and industry that’s working hard to create more complexity.

The real cure to stress is to eliminate things by first eliminating the want of those things. This is a hard sell. It’s hard for two reasons. One, the more complexity we introduce in our lives, the more complexity seems to be the answer. I mean, if we have boxes full of things, we can’t just get rid of the boxes and have things laying all over the floor. That doesn’t make life easier.

We started this feedback loop of complexity and stress the day we wanted something and went out and got it. The only way out is to be content with what you have. That is easier when you have fewer things than when you have many, since, as we went over, more things require complexity to manage.

The second reason is that incentives are all out of whack. Apple sells us, through their advertisements, that we will be less stressed when we use their phones because they’re fast and easy to use. But we’re only using them to add to the number of things we own. Sure, we can get rid of the fax machine, camera, and book library. But we are still left with the problem of wanting. We want the phone to be faster. We want it to get us where we’re going faster than not only the physical map, but faster than the Waze app navigates. There is no “good enough” in advertising, and a lot of people get paid a lot of money to keep us thinking that way so we will continue to spend money.

If Apple told us we could reduce stress by throwing away our phones, a lot of people wouldn’t drive sports cars and have luxury yachts that all come with their own imperfections and maintenance costs. Imperfections and maintenance are complexities, and complexities are stress.

Escaping the city escapes the engineers building the latest digital shelf. Escaping the city escapes the dwellers that pay high rents that need engineering jobs to cover. Not that engineers are the bad guys. The human brain is at fault. The human brain wants more things. We see things as status symbols, which are sexy to the other sex. The marketing department sells us the image of success, and the engineers build it.

Cities are unnaturally stressful for the human body and mind. They add unnecessary complexity and disguise that complexity as the answer to complexity. We are all the culprits to blame. We choose to be the bad guy every time we desire something – every time we consume something. No thing will ever solve the ultimate problem.

Equality is not a virtue to be strived for

Politicians, leaders of corporations, journalists and school teachers – really anyone seeking approval of the masses, preaches equality as a way to gain favor with the masses. Those masses seek the wealth, status, and objects that the elites possess. The “elites” are always a small handful of people, and the large majority of society makes up the disadvantaged masses. At least, that’s how it’s marketed.

We are biologically different

People are not equal. And we never will be. DNA isn’t equal. In every organism where evolution is capable of taking place, mutations occur in DNA that allow for the evolution of a species. These mutations cause diversity in genes, and in the individual made up of those genes. Nearly all multi-celled organisms are going to be different, genetically.

So, people cannot be equal on a cellular level. The differences only begin there. We will never be equal in our status, in our happiness, in our financial wealth, and in our intelligence. Genetic differences will keep some people smarter than others. The smarter people will find ways to make more money OR do what it takes to achieve sex and status in their societies. The people with status will be rewarded with wealth in the form of finances, sex, and lack of need to worry about essentials. Not that the privileged don’t worry. Intelligent and beautiful people seek similarly intelligent and beautiful people of status to mate with, so that their children will have similar traits.

Education helps bring dumb people up, but it benefits the intelligent more than the disadvantaged, and keeps the gap alive. While education will bring the bottom up, it will widen the gap in comparison. The advantaged will benefit more from education because they will be able to make more use out of the information, draw more insights, and have fewer distractions such as bills that get in the way. Plus, the wealthy have better access to top schools because they can afford the resources to make a school better, and more location independence to make sure they settle in a good school district.

Inequality is not unique to humans. The animal kingdom is full of alpha leaders that are more genetically or resource-gifted than their beta peers. The alphas, like humans, are rewarded with the sex, reproductive options, and dibs on food and shelter. Socialists in the animal kingdom that try to take from the alpha are either destroyed or outlive the alpha to become their own kingpins at the top of their tribe. Never in the animal kingdom does this altruism continue once in power.

Promoting equality as a virtue will never succeed. Not only are there fundamental differences in people that rule out the option of ever obtaining genetic equality, but there are psychological incentives that keep this from ever working.

We have different motivations

Even if it were possible to be genetically equal, which it isn’t, this would not be a natural way to live. We should not want this because of our differences in sexual psychology. Men are attracted to women that are beautiful. We evolved to find traits attractive. If all women looked good – with the round butt, thin waist, and pretty face, then all women would be attractive to nearly all men. Men would be a bit more discriminatory with things like kindness and femininity, but most of what makes a woman attractive can be agreed on.

This does not work the other way around. If all men looked the same, much more pressure would lie on men’s social skill and status within their community. Women do not like a man for one or two qualities. What makes a man attractive to a woman is his status compared to other men. Good looks can allow a man to project confidence over other men, but it’s the actual status women long for. There will always only be a handful of attractive men within any community. These are the guys at the top of the social hierarchy.

I said sexual psychology, but this applies to all types of equality – not just gender equality. A lot of the other inequalities – racial, class, income, stem from this sexual psychology. Some groups of people have lower intelligence (measurable, and largely determined by genetics) than others. We’re talking group averages not individuals within groups. These inequalities are still sexual because people have to compete for sexual status with what they have. While this should be understood by society, it is instead used as a tool for political persuasion – these less intelligent are targets for manipulation instead of for promoting happiness and peace through harmony.

This makes sense. The less intelligent are more easily manipulated, and are therefore more likely to give into pressure from advertisements to spend money on products and services. They are also more likely to give into a political ideology which can be used by a manipulator to gain power. A good thing to promise these less intelligent people is “equality”. Equality can be used to instill jealousy with the more successful, and move blame to another group.

The way around this, to get people to think the same and have common attraction triggers, is to have a collective conscious that is capable of being filtered. A robotic conscious could allow for this. One downside of this, is this robotic conscious would eliminate the modern free will that humans have. Certain thoughts and behaviors would have to be censored, such as a man’s want to invent in order to appeal to women, or a woman’s want to go after a more attractive man.

Profit is what encourages innovation and labor in a society. Profit leads to a security of financial being, the accumulation of things and, in this, status. With status, man and woman (but mostly man) are treated with sexual favors.

Profit grows companies which grow societies, and profit gives the individual reason to work. By putting in a hard day’s work, I can choose how I spend my profits. After paying bills, I spend my money on dates and entertainment that make me pleased. If I don’t put in hard work, I risk being fired, which puts my love-life at risk in addition to any long-term financial security I may concern myself with.

So too, companies have incentives to be better – to look for new ways to solve problems and to reward their employees that do this. Companies that don’t will fail, and everyone involved will suffer the loss of finances and maybe love. The beauty in having a choice, in not being a part of a collective, is we can participate in the financial economy, or choose not to. Not everyone seeks to be top dog in a company, or even in the sexual market. Think monks.

These motivations aren’t going away

Trying to create societies where everyone shares and everyone gets along have been monstrous disasters. This was proven time and again, across the world, in the 20th century. The Soviet Union, home to 200 million casualties, is the glowing example. The Soviet Union was violent, backwards, and evil – all in the name of equality. Other examples were Maoist China, Che’s Cuba, and Venezuela.

Totalitarian regimes turn evil when people don’t conform, but more than that, totalitarian evil emerges when people do. When people are told they are the exact same, even if they don’t see any evidence contrary, which is impossible, they will live as servants to the status makers that decide what is reproductively attractive – even though that goes against nature.

If all else is equal, and it won’t be, women will choose to have sex with the most beautiful man. That man will be given sexual access at the expense of others. More likely, there will be the government officials, who, even if they have the same resources, will have advantage in job title which would become attractive.

Even in a perfect, on-the-Marx socialist world, there is never full equality. The man with all the same resources will be in envy of the more beautiful man. What you get is a chasing of different ways to be equal, until you get to the unequal DNA that I started this essay with. Then, it falls apart. There is no equality in nature. There never will be. I will never have the Lamborghini, as fun as that would probably be, because I won’t put in the time in a career that leads to Lamborghinis. And that’s fine. The pursuit of equality is worse than futile – it is dangerous.

Even if we could achieve equality in a handful of chosen areas (we all have the same car and house) by implementing a number of policies, we should still not pursue those policies. The policies would necessarily encroach on the free will of some individuals. There will always be people that disagree with policies. In a free society, people can choose to disagree. In a collective, they cannot. That is damaging to the spread of innovative ideas, and moral ideas.

Martin Luther King held an unpopular opinion that later manifested in more virtuous laws. We want that. He could not have accomplished that in an (even more than America towards blacks at the time) oppressive country. In addition to individual oppression, efforts to achieve equality through socialism killed more than 100 million people during the 20th century. Equality is a common goal for socialism that has killed many millions and destroyed the hopes and ambitions of many others.

The three most common forms of inequality spouted by politicians are: gender, racial, and economic. I covered economic and the other two fall into the same categories. There are racial differences in abilities. These do not extend to every member of every race, but they extend to the averages.

Gender has more pronounced differences, especially when it comes to reproductive health and sexual incentive. Men are not attracted to the woman who has financial stability the same way women find financial strength attractive in men. When women seek the same financial equality as men, they will, almost necessarily, put in more years in school and work to maintain their goal of equality. Even if they achieve it, they have lost out on the reason men were in the race to begin with – sex. Equality has become an incentive for women, not a result of the work. And the goal will never be achieved. Even if it is achieved financially, it won’t be achieved across every metric. I’m most interested in the happiness metric, and that won’t be brought about through financial equality.

In summary, equality is not a virtue because:

  • It is impossible to be equal genetically. These genetic differences manifest in social structures.
  • It pushes the values of some onto the collective, which includes individuals that do not value equality as high as individualism.

Equality, whether obtainable or not, should not be strived for, because:

  • Equality as a goal infringes on the wants of individuals by making certain values mandatory. It encroaches on individual human free will.
  • Political efforts for equality led to the death of millions during the 20th century.

Why people hate Trump

Trump is disliked because he’s an arrogant billionaire. Trump is hated because he represents the results of following the laws of nature. He succeeded in business, marriage, and politics by exhibiting the uninhibited, natural behaviors that lead to those rewards.

It makes sense that the modern culture would resent this. The culture is trying to re-engineer what we think is natural. This happens with sex – look at rise in transsexual behavior and legislation, anal sex, and sex dolls. All of these replace the intimacy that naturally comes with sex. Let alone the baby that naturally follows sex and imposes commitments upon the doers. People have degenerate forms of sex not to have children and a relationship based on trust, but instead as a means to be seen as the type of person with high enough status to have lots of sex.

In the workforce, the best workers end up with status through promotions, wealth, and recognition. However, the culture wants us to believe that there is only oppressors and oppressed and that wealth is taken from the poor to be spent by the wealthy. In reality – in nature, wealth is not zero-sum, and economic value is typically created by the wealthy and shared with the lower classes through both taxes and incentivized employment. People join the workplace not to add value to the economy so they can share in trade, but instead join the economy to gain status in the eyes of others.

Despite thorough historical, economic, biologic, theological, and psychological literature on what constitutes natural, there continues to be this push toward a world that is more concerned with subjective equality and feelings not being hurt rather than actual, natural results. 

Why would society push these lies? Mostly because it pays. Having more people in the workplace means companies will have larger profits because there are more people to produce and more money going around to consume. Having people insecure about sex means they will spend more money on products and services that claim to fill these shortcomings.

This is not sustainable. The more people ignore their own biology and the feelings that result from our evolutionary design, the more delusional we become with the natural world around us. We are lying to ourselves.

When we lie to others about what we want out of a relationship or what we want out of a career (status, instead of sharing with someone or the community), we lie to ourselves because our actions go against the natural feelings that occur in all of us.

By hiding our feelings from ourselves, we become less empathetic towards others. We assume our motives are virtuous, and that others’ motives are not virtuous. We become distrusting. When we are distrusting, we are less likely to have healthy relationships with others and less likely to be trusted by producers and consumers in trade. We are less likely to be rewarded in sexual and economic markets.

Trump participates in the natural markets. He built a business by being aggressive, hard working, and cunning – traits that are rewarded in the financial markets. He succeeded in the sexual market by developing the charisma, leadership, and powerful image that is attractive to chicks.

Modern society says that these traits aren’t what lead to success. We are taught that equality is the highest virtue. That giving to the less fortunate is the path to riches. That working long hours in a career is the way to status. That being nice, instead of powerful and charismatic, is the way to a woman’s heart and pants.

These virtues are not rewarded in the natural world. There is tons of evidence that supports this. The bad boy with the tattoos and motorcycle gets the girl instead of the “nice guy”. The sociopath that plays office politics gets promoted to CEO. This is only natural.

If we don’t get material reward, at least we have our dignity because we did the right thing as a culture, right? Wrong. We did the opposite of what is true, and we behaved that way because of dishonest reasons. We wanted the girl and the status, and those things never came. They never came because we never developed the skills necessary to attract these things.

In being dishonest, we destroy our own soul rather than build it up over the competitive womanizers.

Trump’s soul is healthy compared to people that say they hate him. He built the skills to succeed in business and in relationships. This goes against everything our culture tells us from the time we are little. We are unprepared to deal with the world, and we are unprepared to deal with someone who figured it out. We are told he is wrong, but we know deep down that he did the things that would lead to his definition of success, and we did the wrong things because we were lied to about what the right things were.

Do we yell at our parents, teachers, and entertainment heroes – all of our influences that made significant impact on our lives?

Unlikely. We are much more likely to take our frustration out on the man who did the right things. People hate that they’ve been lied to about what success looks like and what it takes to be successful. These people project this hate – the deception they’ve been through, onto others. Plus, our friends, entertainment heroes, parents, and teachers will share our frustration and we can be made together.

The United States of America is an empire akin to Rome

The United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. For more than 500 years, the Roman Empire was the most dominant nation in the world. It was superior to all other nations technologically, economically, and culturally. The United States has existed for fewer than 300 years, but has been a superior nation for most of that time. The USA has seen success in the same general areas as Rome – the economy, technology, and the culture.

Rome’s economy was open to free trade, although there was little industry compared to a more advanced economy. This led to a wide range of available jobs which allowed many participants into the economy. As technology improved and allowed previous jobs to be done more efficiently by fewer people, those left without jobs were able to find new ways to add value to the economy, which led to more technology and more jobs.

Similar, the United States is the economic and technological center of the world. While there are major financial hubs in Europe and Asia, the New York Stock Exchange is the largest international stock exchange, and the largest private companies in the world are all American. On top of that, America has most of the international startup ventures. Private American citizens and their companies invest in new technologies and attract the best engineers to work on their projects. The United States has long been a business-friendly nation, which encourages risk-taking entrepreneurs to try to add value in new ways. This encouragement comes in the form of capital availability, local resources that can help, and success stories to emulate.

Rome was, and the United States is, the strongest military in the world. This is largely due to the availability of resources in the two nations and how those resources combine with the technology to create superior weaponry. It also has to do with the individuals and the leaders of the nations. Romans and Americans have conquerors. That’s how the nations were founded, expanded, and how other advantages like resources have been secured. The United States has a disciplined military that incentivizes members to work hard for the country. Rome was even better at this – making it a great honor to serve in the military despite little financial reward.

The United States is, not so slowly, being taken over in terms of global market share and GDP. Other nations are catching up fast due to larger citizen bases now having access to global resources through the internet, improved education.

The Roman Empire collapsed because it was no longer seen as necessary. Surrounding countries had grown in resources and power. The infrastructure and values that had been a part of Rome for centuries were taken for granted by the citizens. Some of those values included military discipline, free trade, and virtues of not wanting. Discipline was not only in the military but in the society. As faith in these values and infrastructure faded, so did the resolve of the Romans. The resolve of Rome faded compared to that of the surrounding nations, and the empire collapsed in political and militant struggle.

The degradation of values and, with those values, freedoms that made Rome great is similar to what’s happening in the United States. The US won two world wars. It’s home to the financial and technological centers of the planet. We invented cars and airplanes. And today the United States lags in infrastructure and is growing far less rapidly in technology and the general economy compared to other nations.

In summary, the United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. The US maintained its position as the dominant force in the world for centuries. Both achieved this economically, technologically, and culturally. Both nations had a strong military force that kept civilians safe and inferior nations in fear. Like Rome, the citizens don’t understand the framework that the superior technology, culture, and economy depend on. We can learn from Rome in order to not sacrifice individual freedom to maintain a position of political dominance. As Rome demonstrated, if one is given up, the other follows.

Programmers could be significantly more effective if they engaged with Authentic Relating practices

Programmers could be significantly more effective if they engaged with Authentic Relating practices. Authentic Relating practices are games we can play with other people to better relate to them past just a surface level of relationship. These are games that help us to be empathetic and relate to what other people like and the hardships they are going through. These practices are beneficial the personal lives and careers of everyone – not just programmers. but mostly programmers.

Authentic Relating started in San Francisco in the 90s as a repeatable way to solve interpersonal conflicts and build new relationships. The practices follow principles that have been discussed by Stephen Covey and many others that have been helping to explain social skills for centuries, which all start with a confident self.

The practices are often games that can be played by multiple individuals to solve the goals above (new relationship or solving conflict) as well as increasing empathy, strengthening the community. One example of a game is The Noticing Game. Two people sit across from each other, making eye contact, and they take turns sharing an observation, thought, or feeling that emerges. The purpose of this game is to build comfort in expressing emotion, while also increasing the amount of topics that can be discussed with an individual. Over the course of several minutes the participants will need to move past the obvious physical characteristics to talk about.

Another example is The Hot Seat. One person in a group sits in “the hot seat” for 5-10 minutes and chooses the level of spice (mild, medium, hot) which determines how deep and intense the questions will get. The group asks questions rapid-fire, receiving quick responses from the nerd in the “hot seat.” The point of this is to to build the strength it takes to be comfortable asking questions that get people to open up more, and to be comfortable receiving probing questions.

Programmers are not known for their extroversion and their ability to inspire emotion in others – inspiration that would come from connecting with the emotions of others, which comes from being empathetic and able to relate. Being empathetic and able to relate comes from practicing empathy and the ability to relate.

By engaging with these Relating practices and being more empathetic to others, programmers can build trust in the teams they are working with. They can understand the challenges other team members face – whether related to the project at hand directly or if they are related to the project indirectly – such as a hardship at home that brings the energy, creativity, and patience of the team member down. These indirect challenges can manifest in a team environment and bring the morale and results of the whole team down.

If programmers are empathetic toward these internal and external challenges, they can work to resolve them as a team instead of continuing to insist on deadlines and updates – which at this point can be counterproductive.

In addition to team members, programmers would better understand their customers’ wants and problems if they engaged in Authentic Relating practices. Programmers are usually creating something to solve a problem for their potential customers. By relating to the individual, by understanding what the customer wants to see, experience, and the problem they want solved, a programmer can address these in his work.

In addition to work scenarios – whether with team members or customers, programmers can be more effective by using Authentic Relating practices to solve those indirect problems of their own. By being better able to interact with other humans and form strong relationships, programmers can have stronger relationships with family, friends, and lovers. This can help keep the mind sharp when it needs to be – because it will reduce worry that is happening outside of the immediate situation.

Programmers could be significantly more effective if they engaged with Authentic Relating practices. They would be more empathetic to the wants and needs of others, more trustworthy in teams if they better relate to team members, and happier because of the strengthened relationships with other humans and the ability to be honest and expressive.