Monday, August 31, 2015

Woman: The Most Responsible Teenager in the House?

This is from the Masculine Principle.

Foreword: This piece is directly related to the previous two articles titled "You're Such a Tool!" and "Rites of Passage - Making Boys into Men". To fully understand the significance of the following concepts, those articles must be taken into account. (While this article can stand alone, it is also the "climax" of a three part series - which is part of a chapter of a book. There's much more context to this article than what appears here by itself).

At first it may seem like an assault against your good senses to think of adult women as mere children or teenagers. How could they be? They go through life and mature just like men do, don’t they? Once they are thirty or forty, don’t they behave as adults just as thirty or forty year old men do? Actually, there is much evidence to the contrary. Perhaps men are so keen to believe that women mature the same as them (throughout their entire lives) because in the early stages of our lives, females do actually mature faster than males.

”The nobler and more perfect a thing is, the later and slower is it in reaching maturity. Man reaches the maturity of his reasoning and mental faculties scarcely before he is eight and twenty; woman when she is eighteen; but hers is a reason of very narrow limitations. This is why women remain children all their lives, for they always see only what is near at hand, cling to the present, take the appearance of a thing for reality, and prefer trifling things to the most important.” -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On Women (1851)

The reason why females mature faster than men is not some particular triumph for them, despite how women seem to enjoy throwing this little tidbit of information around. As I described in my piece "You're Such a Tool", what it really has to do with is women being the biological bearers and caretakers of children. They mature faster than males because once they become fertile after puberty, they must also have the mental capacity to care for the children they might bear. Nowhere in nature is there a female organism that is capable of giving birth to offspring which is not also developed enough yet to care for the offspring. This not only manifests itself in hips capable of giving birth and breasts able to produce milk, but also in a mental maturation that enables them to provide basic childcare. You will notice as well, even in our present society, it is when girls reach around the age of twelve that they begin taking up babysitting and it is around puberty when adults begin entrusting young girls to care for infants alone. This merely coincides with female biology, as it is also at that age when girls become physically capable of bearing children, and their mental maturity matches their biological maturity.

The difference between men and women in maturity, however, is that while females mature earlier in life, they also stop maturing at around the age of eighteen, as Schopenhauer aptly observes. And while men don’t catch up to women’s maturity until they reach around age twenty-eight, after that the men keep maturing - often throughout their entire lives. William James describes the same process of maturation in Principles of Psychology, where he states:

"We observe an identical difference between men as a whole and women as a whole. A young woman of twenty reacts with intuitive promptitude and security in all the usual circumstances in which she may be placed. Her likes and dislikes are formed; her opinions, to a great extent, the same that they will be through life. Her character is, in fact, finished in its essentials. How inferior to her is a boy of twenty in all these respects! His character is still gelatinous, uncertain what shape to assume, "trying it on" in every direction. Feeling his power, yet ignorant of the manner in which he shall express it, he is, when compared with his sister, a being of no definite contour. But this absence of prompt tendency in his brain to set into particular modes is the very condition which insures that it shall ultimately become so much more efficient than the woman's. The very lack of preappointed trains of thought is the ground on which general principles and heads of classification grow up; and the masculine brain deals with new and complex matter indirectly by means of these, in a manner which the feminine method of direct intuition, admirably and rapidly as it performs within its limits, can vainly hope to cope with." -- William James, Principles of Psychology

It becomes like comparing three-month fermented wine served in a box of Chateau Cardboard to single malt scotch aged for decades in an oak cask. As such, women do mature faster than males but stop maturing at around the mentality of an eighteen year old (or also, I suppose, to the maturity of a 28 year old man), leaving the woman as literally, the most responsible teenager in the house.

It is interesting to note as well how many men claim that it is at around age 27 or 28 that they begin to “figure things out” in regard to women, or at least much more so than they did earlier in life.

”Women are directly adapted to act as the nurses and educators of our early childhood, for the simple reason that they themselves are childish, and foolish, and shortsighted – in a word, are big children all their lives, something intermediate between the child and the man, who is a man in the strictest sense of the word. Consider how a young girl will toy day after day with a child, dance with it and sing to it; and then consider what a man, with the very best of intentions, could do in her place.” -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On Women (1851)

The reason why women stop maturing at around the age of eighteen also has to do with their biological destiny as child-bearers and caretakers of children. As Schopenhauer notes, women can toy and coo with a child all day long and seemingly enjoy themselves, while what could a man do in their place? Women, as they are wont to brag to us, are also more “emotionally tuned-in” than men are. Women’s emotional proclivities are directly related to her child-rearing duties which biology has assigned to her. Babies, for example, communicate solely through emotion and even as children grow into toddlers and then children that communicate with words and language, a lot of their communication is still through emotion, and so women are at an intermediate stage of development between that of a child and an adult man, or in other words, they are teenagers.

Furthermore, in regard to women’s emotional state, it ought to be noted that one cannot be emotional and rational at the same time, so it is not that females are both more emotionally in-tune while remaining rationally above it all. Just the opposite is true. The more you “emote,” the less you “think.” Take someone suffering from road-rage, for example. The emotions of anger so cloud the driver’s brain that he can even unthinkingly commit acts of violence, only to deeply regret it later when his emotions have subsided. As women are generally in a much more emotional state of mind than men, so do they not use reason and rationality to guide themselves as much as men do.

What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Ours

What husband doesn’t come to understand this is the true nature of marriage after a time? But ultimately, is this not merely the same attitude that teenagers take within the family?

Think about how a teenager refers to the family sedan, which the parents paid for, as our car. But the i-pod which he purchased with money he earned part-time at McDonald's is his i-pod. Is not the teenager’s/child’s default that his parent’s possessions are “ours” while those possessions he purchased with money he earned himself are “his,” and his alone? This directly mimics even my own parent’s marriage, where my father worked his entire lifetime to pay the bills for the family and put a roof over our heads, but when the kids were off to school and my mom took up working, the money she earned doing so was “her money.” It did not go into the family pot as my father’s income did, but became her own “special money” in almost the same way that a child’s allowance or earnings are “his money.”

(Right Now I Feel Like)...

Perhaps you have heard the old saying, “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind…” This is something we usually write off as a cute quirk of female behaviour (even though it often causes untold damage to others), but think for a moment how this resembles the behaviour of children & teenagers. Ask a child what they want to be when they grow up and they will tell you “a fireman,” then ask them a week later and they will say “an astronaut.” Young people will do this right through high-school and on into university where they almost assuredly will change their major at least once, not to mention that after getting their degree, the odds are there will be more changes in their plans once again.

If I were a parent who had a teenager that told me they wanted to be a doctor in the future, I would do well to insert the phrase “Right now I feel like (I want to be a doctor),” in front of every choice the teenager has claimed they made. Certainly, I wouldn’t 100% take them at their word and start depleting my resources in an attempt to help them become a doctor, because in a month or two, the teen will tell me they no longer want to be a doctor but have decided on the career path of Famous Rock Star instead.

One of the sad facts of entering adulthood is that you are forced to make choices which you must stick to in order to be successful in your ventures. The person who decides early to stick to a career as an auto-mechanic will likely be much more successful in life than his peer who spends age 18 to 24 pursuing a career as psychologist, then quits and spends another 6 years attempting a career as an electrician, only to quit again to gain qualification as an accountant. Part of “adulthood” is about making choices that you stick to for the long term, so that those ventures have enough time to bear fruit. Those who change their minds too often rarely harvest the fruits of their labour. In other words, making a choice to go in one direction often closes the door to other choices. We allow children the latitude to change their minds as they grow-up, but after a time we start to insist they make a choice and stick to it.

Women as well change their minds like teenagers do. Sure, she might decide that (right now she feels like) she wants to be a doctor, but as evidence has shown in the medical profession, most women who train to be doctors spend less than a decade working full-time in said profession before quitting and deciding that (right now she feels like) she wants to be a mother. Afterwards, most of these women decide that (right now she feels like) she only wants to work as a part-time doctor. Of course, as time goes on, she has less and less experience than the male doctor who never “took a break” to explore other choices life had to offer and he quickly outpaces her in that field, even without the Patriarchy conspiring behind the scenes to hold her back.

When a woman tells you she will love you forever, insert the phrase (Right now I feel like) before it, so you get the proper translation into Womanese: “(Right now I feel like) I will love you forever. All evidence shows that this should include vows made at the altar as well, since the vast majority of divorces are initiated by women rather than men.

Q: “Do you take this man as your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold until death do you part?” A: “(Right now I feel like) I do!”

Sure women stick to their choices better than children do, but they don’t do it as well as men do either. In other words, women’s behaviour exists somewhere in between the child and the man… kinda like a teenager.

Women’s Fitness-Tests are Similar to the Boundaries Which Children Seek

Anyone who has raised children knows that children seek boundaries and are happiest when they find such boundaries exist and understand there are consequences when they cross them. A child who does not have boundaries set by his parents will in the short term get his way, but will ultimately come to resent everything around him and become miserable.

Women are not much different. They will instinctively fitness-test a man with all kinds of irrational and basically abusive behaviour, to test the steel content of his balls by his ability to pass such tests and not put up with her crap. If the man passes her tests, she calms down and is content to live within the boundaries of behaviour which he sets for her. Once she knows there are boundaries and her man is willing to enforce them, she knows that her man is a capable provider and protector and she can relax and feel confident following his lead.

The behaviour of children seeking boundaries set for them by their parents and the fitness-testing behaviour of women with their lovers is remarkably similar.

Men Love Women, Women Love Children, and Children Love Puppies

There is an “order” to how love works and the order works only in one direction. You can see hints to this in the Bible, where husbands are commanded to love their wives while wives are commanded to “honour” their husbands in return. Children as well are commanded to honour their parents. Love is a hierarchal beast that descends downward. The only way it works in reverse is via honour and respect, because the reciprocal “love” is never equal.

A child will never love its parents in the same fashion that parents will love their child. You will readily see parents willing to sacrifice for their children – sometimes with their very lives – but rarely will you see the same in reverse. In fact, even in society as a whole, we consider it to be “the right thing” when a father or a mother sacrifices their life in order to save the life of their child. The whole of raising children to adulthood involves enormous sacrifice on the part of the parents in the form of time, frustration, freely giving resources, the denial of the parent’s dreams, and so forth. It is never returned to the parents on an equal basis, not even when the child reaches adulthood, for by that time the child will likely have children of his own to whom he bestows most of his love upon. Although having children is a one-way-street of parents sacrificing for the betterment of their child, they are still instinctively compelled to do so even though, rationally speaking, it is not in the best interests of the parents. What parents can expect in return is that their children honour them and respect them for their sacrifices – but their love will never equal that which their parents have for them. It is just not part of the natural order of life.

In the same way, a woman’s love for a man will never be equal to a man’s love for a woman. The natural order and a woman’s hypergamous nature dictate that the man must be on a “higher level” than the woman. A man can love a woman just as a woman can love a child, but the reciprocal love is returned only in the form of honour and respect. Just as a child instinctively expects its parents to take care of them, so does a woman instinctively expect her man to take care of her. It is a one-way street. A woman will never be able to equally return a man’s love for her. At best, she can honour and respect him for what he does for her.

In fact, in the form of romantic love, you will find that women are not so much in love with the man as an individual person, but rather they are in love with the relationship. The man is merely a role-player and is easily replaced by another taking on the role. If any man expects to be an “equal partner” with his wife, he will soon find his woman disrespecting him and seeking out a man who is decidedly not her equal to lead her.

"They are the sexus sequior, the second sex in every respect, therefore their weaknesses should be spared, but to treat women with extreme reverence is ridiculous, and lowers us in their own eyes. When nature divided the human race into two parts, she did not cut it exactly through the middle! The difference between the positive and negative poles, according to polarity, is not merely qualitative but also quantitative. And it was in this light that the ancients and people of the East regarded woman; they recognised her true position better than we, with our old French ideas of gallantry and absurd veneration, that highest product of Christian-Teutonic stupidity. These ideas have only served to make them arrogant and imperious, to such an extent as to remind one at times of the holy apes in Benares, who, in the consciousness of their holiness and inviolability, think they can do anything and everything they please." -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On Women (1851)

You cannot expect a woman to be your true confidant, your soul-mate, and your respite to lean upon during the stormy times in life. That is your role for her benefit. It does not work in reverse, for as soon as you believe it can work that way, she will lose confidence in your ability to lead her and begin to resent you. She will go about illustrating her resentment by making your life as miserable as she possibly can. This may be one of the hardest lessons for a man to learn in life because it turns the whole notion of modern love as an equal give-and-take relationship upon its ear. The implications can be rather depressing, as it means that on a certain level a man will always be alone. A parent who expects their child to also be their equal friend to lean upon for support, will also find himself sorely disappointed with the results. The child instinctively expects the parents to be superior and to cater to his needs. Expecting the reverse will only result in a resentful child and a heartbroken parent. The same order must be maintained between a man and a woman, lest she become resentful and seek out a man who actually will lead her.

The Terrible Twos

”If one looks around at today's culture and takes note of all the destructive effects of the female attitude of entitlement, then went on to devise social controls which would prevent such destructive effects in the future, I think you would end up with social values very much like the ones currently labeled "patriarchal."

Rather than viewing feminism as "conditioning" women to behave in completely self-centered ways, I see it more as a case of feminism regarding the socialization process which countered the natural tendency of all organisms toward selfishness - as "oppression."

Every parent who has had daily involvement in raising a child is familiar with the stage called "the terrible twos." This is the stage during which the naturally selfish infant is forced to come to terms with the fact that their desires will not always be met and their will won't always prevail. I have no doubt that if the child were able to express what it knows in its "special infantile way of knowing", that it would consider the imposition of external values on it to be "oppression."

The vast majority of women I have met have seemed to be stuck emotionally at about age two. Any frustration of their desires would result in a tantrum. In many cases these were more subtle than throwing herself on the floor and thrashing around, but it was a tantrum nonetheless. So, rather than saying that feminism "conditioned" women to behave in an immature, selfish, and totally self-centered fashion, I would describe it as feminism destroying the social value system and the process of conditioning women out of their infantile and narcissistic world view.” -- The Wisdom of Zenpriest

Your Bratty Little Sister

"... Women, then, are only children of a larger growth; … A man of sense only trifles with them, plays with them, humors and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly forward child; but he neither consults them about, nor trusts them with serious matters; though he often makes them believe that he does both; which is the thing in the world they are most proud of; for they love mightily to be dabbling in business (which by the way they always spoil); and being justly distrustful that men in general look upon them in a trifling light, they almost adore that man who talks more seriously to them, and who seems to consult and trust them; I say, who seems; for weak men really do, but wise ones only seem to do it. ..." -- Lord Chesterfield, Letter to His Son (1748)

In the sense of seduction, a man is well advised to treat a woman as if she were his bratty little sister:

"…The more you patronizingly treat women like bratty kid sisters, the more their vaj takes over their critical thinking skills. It all harkens back to the one fundamental principle guiding male-female relations: Chicks love submitting to powerful men. And what is a bigger demonstration of male sexual power than believing that a woman is so far beneath you that she is the equivalent of a child, hardly deserving of a serious answer or an emotional investment?

So what does “everything she does is cute” mean in practice? It means not getting riled up when she tests you. It means not explaining yourself when she stamps her wee feet and wags a finger at you. It means never acting apologetic when she’s upset with some mysterious infraction you’ve committed. Keep in mind that when a woman gets upset, at least half the time she’s not really upset with whatever misdemeanor she’s accusing you of; she’s just upset that your behavior caused a temporary reversal of gina tingle induction.

The “everything she does is cute” game tactic is defined more precisely as an inner game refinement. When you start thinking of women as adorable brats who know not what they do, you start treating them in ways consistent with your beliefs. With enough reprogramming in the right direction (i.e. kicking the supports out from under her pedestal), soon the words coming out of your mouth will be effortless verbal expressions of what you actually feel. And therein lies the secret to being a natural — naturals truly believe the charmingly jerkoff things they say to women.” -- Chateau Heartiste

(Also see "Lesson Thirteen: Charm is Treating Women Like Little Girls" -- The Book of Pook)


Despite what most relationship “experts” try to tell you, the key to a successful relationship is not about open, honest communication.

It is true, there must be a form of “mutual respect,” but the respect cannot be equal in all ways. A parent can respect a child and respect the child’s needs, but for a parent to treat the child as an equal would be a grave mistake. In a similar way, a man can respect a woman, but if he deems to treat her as his equal, she will soon come to resent him and leave to seek a man who actually portrays himself as superior – as a leader – to her. She seeks this instinctively. She is like water seeking a strong man to act as the container which will shape her "truths." In the realm of seduction, a woman also seeks out a man who is able to behave in a superior fashion to her, so even if you are not yet convinced that women are as mere children but only of a larger growth, you would be well advised to treat her as one if only from the standpoint of keeping her romantically interested in you.

When a man marries a woman, he doubles his duties while halving his rights. This was true even in the days of Marriage 1.0. It is a large responsibility involving much effort to take on a wife, just as it is for one to take on raising children. You cannot expect children, or women, to fulfill your needs for emotional intimacy nor to be “someone to lean on” during times of strife. Just the opposite, for that is your duty as a parent and also as a husband.

Most of our modern laws, and nearly all of the “experts” in the social sciences, have done everything they possibly can to undermine a man’s ability to properly “husband” his wife. The current state of affairs completely upsets the natural hierarchy between man and woman. In the same way that it would be nearly impossible for parents to properly raise children if the government passed a plethora of laws deconstructing parent’s natural roles and restricting them from setting boundaries for children, so it is increasingly difficult for a man to properly fulfill his leadership role that women instinctively seek and need. When children have legal authority over their parents, chaos will ensue, just as in Marriage 2.0 where women hold supremacy over the husbands, the practice of matrimony will only harm and bring resentment to all parties involved, making one ill-advised to seek such an arrangement in life.

“Feminism starts out being very simple. It starts out being the instinct of a little child who says ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘you are not the boss of me,’ and it ends up being a worldview that questions hierarchy altogether.” -- Gloria Steinem, in the two hour HBO special on the life of Gloria Steinem entitled, "Gloria: In Her Own Words."

An addition to this article': I kind of get a kick watching this article get linked to on Reddit. It causes quite a bit of controversy and has a lot of people pretty angry, especially women. Some of their arguments are pretty silly though. The most glaring one is people calling what Schopenhauer says as "science from the 1850's." Umm, Schopenhauer is a philosopher, not a scientist. Learn the difference.

Your Friendly, Neighbourhood Social Justice Warrior!

Also, there is one ridiculous person in there (who goes to every reddit around to repeatedly complain about this article - for over a year now!) who continually points out that I linked to Angry Harry, "who is just another blogger like me," and points out that AH's "source" for "the more you emote, the less you think" is the Daily Mail. She does not point out, however, that the Daily Mail's article she is referring to is cited by "peer reviewed research," done by a feminist, no less, and Angry Harry merely read the research and translated what she said. Furthermore, Angry Harry has multiple degrees, a Ph D. in Psychology and the others I believe are related to childhood education - making him extremely qualified to critique the research and comment on what it means. Angry Harry often has written about how the school system has been rejigged to favour girls over boys, and it is his area of expertise to note the different brain functions of the sexes.

Further, you will quickly see how angry women get about this discussion, but not men - except for the manginas and white knights trying curry favour and approval from anonymous females on the internet with whom they have absolutely no chance of getting sex from - yet they still feel compelled to grovel like servile worms in front of them. My goodness, I half expect that if women gave those men a dull, rusty pocketknife, they would castrate themselves to gain the ladies' approval. But, to note, I have not yet seen one single man get angry that this article blatantly suggests men are more immature than women from pretty much the age of 12 to 28. (It also says males are valued less than females in society). I mean, no teenage boy nor man in his twenties takes any offense whatsoever to the suggestion that they are not as mature as their female peers, yet women and their enablers are having virtual heart-attacks over the suggestion that men may have some kind of advantage over females - somewhere.

“Men are not troubled to hear a man dispraised, because they know, though he be naught, there's worth in others; but women are mightily troubled to hear any of them spoken against, as if the sex itself were guilty of some unworthiness.” – John Seldon (1584-1654)

And, to note, it is virtually accepted scientifically that girls do, indeed, mature faster than boys, both physically and mentally. (Which already proves the male and female brain are not the same). Physically, for example, in puberty girls mature faster than boys in such things as height. But as we all know, while boys start their growth spurt later than girls, boys grow to be significantly taller than girls. Furthermore, males also do not fully fill-out muscularly until they reach their late twenties. However, an 18 year old female is pretty much at her peak of physical development at that age, and by her late twenties is beginning to decline.

As such, those who are angry at this article are, on the one hand, acknowledging the superiority of women (they mature faster than boys) but then complaining - screeching like children actually - that there is some advantage which males will gain later in life. In other words, they are trying to show the superiority of the female brain, not its equality. If a female brain matures faster than a male's, and also, ends up having no disadvantages but only (at the minimum) equality with the male brain thereafter, then it is quite obvious that they are claiming the female brain is superior to the male brain, because if it matures faster, and is also in every way just as capable, then it is superior because it only has advantages, but not corresponding disadvantages. This reminds me of a verse from Angry Harry's marvelous poem, If I Only Had a V:

If I only had a V

I would use it expertly

To generate equality

That somehow always favours me

Boy, I wonder how loud the childish squealing would get if I pointed out other philosophers and writers from the past who argued things such as women's height being between that of a child and a man, or that their facial features and skin are intermediate between a child's and a man's...

As someone who grew up through the brunt of feminism's sickness in the 1970's, 80's and 90's, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard of the superiority of the female brain's multi-tasking abilities. "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah," the females taunted, from teenagers to old women to fat orca's with TV talk shows. (They are still doing it today in their "A Woman's Nation" and "End of Men" articles). Never once has it been acceptable to point out that men's linear thinking brain is the one that is capable of intense and deep concentration, precisely because it does not multi-task, and thus why virtually all of the world's inventions with more than two moving parts have come from the hands of men, plus the majority of great musicians, artists, philosophers and so on. Women's multi-tasking brains are like the phrase "a jack of all trades, but master of none." It helps them do other tasks while also tending to children. (Most women spent the majority of their entire adult lives either pregnant or caring for their children until very recently in human history). For every advantage there is a disadvantage. For every cloud, there is a silver lining. A Ferrari would be a scream for Sunday afternoon drives, but when Monday morning comes around and you need to Shut Up and Shovel the Fuckin' Gravel, you'd probably rather have an old pick-up truck.

The Hard-Wired Difference Between Male and Female Brains Could Explain Why Men Are Better At Map Reading - Researchers found that many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and the back of the same side of the brain, whereas in women the connections are more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This difference in the way the nerve connections in the brain are “hardwired” occurs during adolescence when many of the secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair in men and breasts in women develop under the influence of sex hormones, the study found. The researchers believe the physical differences between the two sexes in the way the brain is hardwired could play an important role in understanding why men are in general better at spatial tasks involving muscle control while women are better at verbal tasks involving memory and intuition.

...Because the female connections link the left hemisphere, which is associated with logical thinking, with the right, which is linked with intuition, this could help to explain why women tend to do better than men at intuitive tasks, she added. “Intuition is thinking without thinking. It's what people call gut feelings. Women tend to be better than men at these kinds of skill which are linked with being good mothers,” Professor Verma said.

(Note that male brains run front to back, thus not crossing logic with emotion as with women).

Unfinished Humans Finding Their Way Back to the Garden

"The never-ending task of finishing himself, of transcending the limits of his physical being, is the powerhouse of man's creativeness..." - Eric Hoffer

All religions agree that humans are imperfect (at least the ones I am familiar with). You might even say that people are unfinished. I find the whole thing very odd indeed.

If one believes in evolution, why did it suddenly stop and leave people unfinished? (Those who claim people are "still evolving" don't know the difference between macro and micro "evolution.") If you believe in God, same thing. Hence, for Christians, "orginal sin" explains the fact we are imperfect.

There are various "cures" for being unfinished. For fundamentalists, "getting saved." For Eastern religions, becoming "enlightened." Yet, still, for all that, people remain unfinished.

Leftism, one of the sickest (if not the sickest) belief-systems ever created, believed that with education and the proper upbringing people would become god-like. That didn't work at all and led to the deaths of hundreds of millions (this is what happens when you give unlimited political power to the most imperfect people of all - those who lust after political power).

Even science believes people are unfinished, with the cure being genetic engineering (which, along with nanotechnology and designer drugs, might turn us into the Borg).

Our unfinished state is what drives us to try and better ourselves. It's the purpose of drug use, of political science, of economics, of psychology, of science and technology, of religion.

When I was a little kid I saw an episode of the original "Outer Limits," in which David McCallum was a Welsh miner who decided to undergo "evolution," courtesy of a machine with lots of knobs and dials. He came out the other end with a huge bald brainiac head with pointy ears and six fingers on each hand. That didn't work out as expected and he decided to go back to his original state. The episode's name? "The Sixth Finger."

Rose Wilder Lane, author of The Discovery of Freedom (and the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, she of the Little House on the Prairie books, once said she wanted to be immortal so she could observe what people turned into. I'd probably prefer Brigadoon, which appeared to the outside world once every hundred years (only one night passed in Brigadoon), so if I didn't like what I saw, I'd just go back to the Garden - I mean Brigadoon.

These days, science and technology are supposed to save us. Considering what it's given us, I understand the belief.

I used to read a lot of science fiction in-between 11 and 14, and all of it was dystopian. There was never a Utopia. The most famous novels - 1984, Brave New World - are dystopian. But all of them had to do with not only the conquest of nature, but more than anything else, of human nature.

Some have tried to perfect human nature through politics, that is, through force. The whole of the 20th century was pretty much about that, by the Stalins and Pol Pots and Hitlers.

Generally, the political solution to finishing people was to try to turn them into machines (the Borg Queen: "Why do you resist us? We only wish to improve the quality of your lives."), or back into unconscious animals (Stalin charged his scientists with trying to breed humans with chimpanzees, to create the greatest warriors ever).

The history of humans has been trying to overcome both nature and human nature. We're doing pretty good with overcoming nature but a terrible job with overcoming the imperfections in people.

There is a writer named Richard K. Morgan who has written novels in which people's consciousness is transferred into machines and artificial bodies (Scott Adams, he of Dilbert fame, believes this is going to happen in the coming decades). I understand the desire, to give up our imperfect bodies subject to pain and disease. I just don't think it's going to happen.

One of Arthur C. Clarke's most famous comments is that any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic. He has a point.

Again, in every religion and mythology with which I am familiar, there was originally a state of Paradise from which we fell. We're always trying to get back to it, for thousands of years through religion, recently through science and technology. We're always trying to return to Eden (Mark Vonnegut, Kurt's son, wrote one book about his schizophrenic break-down, the aptly-named - The Eden Express).

These original Paradise myths start with creation, Paradise, the fall from grace (often involving a flood and usually other catastrophes), then people trying to regain Paradise. Then, in the end, after horrendous catastrophes, they get there (think of the belief in "the Rapture").

The next few decades, when it comes to science and technology, are going to be interesting indeed.

Singularity, here we come! (Which, by the way, was predicted in Clarke's Childhood's End and 2001: a Space Odyssey.)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Drowning in Fat Ugly Stupid People

When I was in my early teens I read a story called “The Marching Morons” (read the story HERE) about how all the smart people had stopped reproducing, so the world was taken over by morons (the problem was taken care of by killing them by shooting them into space).

The story made its way into a movie a few years ago, called Idiocracy which never had much exposure but since has become something of a cult classic. These days everyone knows of it.

Both the story and movie were cautionary tales, and I have no idea to what extent they might come true. But I’ll say this: there sure does seem to be an awful lot of fat ugly stupid people in this country (of every race), and the problem appears to be getting worse.

Smart educated people aren’t having that many children anymore, and we’re subsidizing the stupid with welfare. I’m lost count of the number of obese women I’ve seen at the grocery store, two ugly fat brats in her cart (loaded with Sugar Bombs candy/cereal) and at the checkout she swipes a food card.

And I’ll guarantee you she doesn’t have a job, but lives on welfare, in subsidized housing, with a medical card. Her husband might have some sort of seasonal job, like cutting grass, where he’s paid cash, under the table.

A lot of time that husband (usually skinny and ugly with an unkempt beard) has to ride a bicycle, since he’s so skinny because he’s a methhead and rides the bike because he lost his driver’s license.

The problem is made worse by the influx of Third Worlders into this country. The average IQ of anyone south of the border is 89, and the average African IQ is 70. The average IQ of the Third World is estimated to be 90. We’re letting these people into the United States? My God! This country is committing suicide!

Plus, the country is destroying its own people by putting little boys on Ritalin (the poster child for Ritalin was Kurt Cobain, who offed himself with a shotgun), and is now suffering from an explosion of fat kids with diabetes due to putting high fructose corn syrup and sugar in the food supply. Profits above all, I guess.

Then, of course, that combination of State/Big Corporations has exported all our high-paying jobs to foreign countries to lower wages and make more profit. At least for a while. Talk about short-sighted.

Someday all of this will come to a head, explode and then collapse. I just wonder when. I also wonder how the problem is going to be fixed

The anger in the United States is why Donald Trump is doing so well. No one other candidate is even talking about the problems. A crazy murderous old dyke like Hillary? A Punchable Wimp Face traitor like Jeb Bush? Hah!

Sooner or later both the Democratic and Republican parties will disappear. And this will be a good thing, because they don't represent the people anymore, just the people who pay and therefore own these whores.

Cheesemonster on my Mind

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."

-- Albert Einstein

You see that goofy movie poster over there on your left side? It's from the movie, The Colossus of New York, an obscure but not-that-bad black-and-white SF/horror film from the late ‘50’s (why it was playing at the movies six years after it came out I do not know). I keep that poster not only stored on my computer, but printed out and framed on my wall.

I’d better explain.

When I was barely five years old, my parents took my sister and me to the movies. Colossus was playing, although it took me a few decades and some people at the Internet Movie Database to identify the film.

I remember absolutely nothing about the movie except one thing. As I sat in the darkness of the movie theater, my feet dangling Robert-Reich-like above the floor, the Colossus appeared on a balcony on the right side of the screen.

Being five years old, I was probably less than three-feet-tall. Adults six-feet-tall appeared to me to be 12-feet-tall. The Colossus would have been, in real life, about seven-feet-tall, so, to me, he probably would have appeared to be about 14-feet-tall. On screen, he was roughly eight-feet-tall, making him, to me, about 16-feet-tall. As you can see, he was big, and added to that, a monster! A rather interesting and cool-looking monster, but still a monster.

After the camera showed the Colossus on the balcony on the right side of the screen, it panned to the screen's center. There was a cop standing there, pointing a revolver at the Colossus.

To this day, I remember everything just as vividly as is possible. The cop was wearing a double-breasted uniform, with a garrison cap. The revolver was one of the older .38s with a tapered barrel. His badge was on the left side of his chest. I even remember that.

The officer made a mistake pointing his revolver at the Colossus. As I watched, what I can only describe as Intergalactic Death Rays leaped from the Colossus' eyes, reached out to the cop, touched him. There was the electric sound of a very large June bug hitting the bug zapper. BZZZZT.

The cop glowed white and disappeared. Gone. Not pulverized, not vaporized, but atomized! Disintegrated into his component atoms, to waft away silently on the celluloid breeze. There was nothing left of the cop, not his cap lying pathetically on the floor, not his brave revolver waiting for another hero to grab it, not a pair of shoes with smoke coming out of them. Nothing.

My mouth dropped open. If I had had a box of Milk Duds and a Coke in my mitts, I would have dropped them. My eyebrows shot up. My eyes widened. I was speechless. I was fixated in brainlock, much like a paralyzed rabbit seeing a VW Bug coming at him and knowing he is going to put a dent in the hood and then sail in front of the windshield and disappear over the top of the car (that did happen to me and my Bug when I was 19).

I was awe-struck, the kind of awe you supposed to feel standing in front of God. At five years old, I had seen a man disintegrated by a 16-foot-tall monster who shot rays out of his eyes! What I saw was not within the experience of a five-year-old – it orbited somewhere out near Pluto! If you think such a scene won't permanently stamp your brain, imagine what it would do to you if you saw it in real life. And when you're five years old, it is difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

A five-year-old will believe anything. Tell him he'll break his mother's back if he steps on a crack, or that the inside of golfballs are poison, or a tooth or a nail will dissolve in Coke, and he will believe it. I once told my four-and-five-year-old nephews the reason a guy I worked with didn't have a leg is because he was hunting bears, until all the bears got together and sent out the meanest one to fix the problem. Next thing I know, my nephews are telling all their friends bears can talk.

The next thing I remember about seeing the movie is the drive home. My parents were teasing my sister and me about the film, claiming the monster was from the moon and made of cheese. That is why, to this day, my sister and I refer to him as the Cheesemonster. All I have to do is say, "Cheesemonster" and she smiles.

That night, lying in bed, I happened to look in my doorway – and guess who was standing there? The Cheesemonster. He stood there, just as clear as he was on the screen (although a lot smaller), staring silently at me.

I wasn't particularly scared, although I certainly wanted him to stay in the doorway and not come any closer. Actually, I wanted him to go away. It wasn't as if I was going to leap out of bed, grab my hollow plastic sword and smack him upside the head. Not with those Death Rays of his. My parents would wonder why nothing was left of me, not even my Tony the Tiger pajamas.

As I lay there in bed, staring silently at this apparition staring silently at me, my four-year-old sister, in bed in her room, started screaming. She was shrieking, "CHEESEMONSTER! CHEESEMONSTER! CHEESEMONSTER!"

Hey, now wait just a minute here! Was my sister seeing him, too? This caused a perturbation in my five-year-old brain, much worse than merely seeing the Colossus in my doorway. This was one helluva glitch in the Matrix! I remember saying, "Dawn, do you see him too?" and getting the shrill answer, "My room! My room!"

At this time my father appeared in my doorway, wanting to know what the heck was going on!? (Unfortunately he wasn’t wearing anything, so he had one of his hands cupped over the frank and beans. Later, I always wanted to go into his room, pull the covers off of him, and say, "Wakey, wakey, hands off snakey!")

I found out something that mildly surprised me – the Cheesemonster was transparent, like one of those Honey Bear squirters without any honey in it. My dad was standing right where the Cheesemonster was, and I could see my dad through him. Just as surprising, the Cheesemonster took no notice of my dad. Or my dad of the Cheesemonster.

Finally, I suppose, my father got my sister calmed down, the Cheesemonster disappeared back to the moon or the reel of film he came from, and everyone went to sleep.

Years later, when my sister and I talked about that night, she swore she saw the Cheesemonster standing at the foot of her bed, whereas I saw him in my doorway. Oh boy. There were two of him? At least neither brought their Intergalactic Death Rays.

When I was about 19 I found out what my sister and I had that night were called "hypnagogic hallucinations." They tend to happen as people fall asleep. As to why my sister and I were sharing almost the exact same hallucination, I have no explanation. She swears she had them all the time when little, especially one about a man with a handlebar mustache walking down the hall toward her room. I tell her that if there had been three more, they could have sung her Barbershop Quartet songs.

The most famous hypnogogic hallucination is that of the German chemist Friedrich Kekule, who in 1890, saw, while falling asleep, a snake-like chain of atoms spinning in front of him. What he saw gave him the clue to the molecular structure of benzene, a problem which had stumped him.

Lesser known is the poet/artist William Blake seeing angels outside his window when he was five-years-old. He got paddled when he told his parents. Now either Blake was really seeing angels, or else was doing was I had been doing when I was five.

Mostly, when people imagine things, they see them inside their heads. Less often, they see them outside. Why do people sometimes see them outside? I don't know for sure, but I suspect when you cease to think, and outside sensory input is reduced, brainwaves change and some sort natural creativity pops up. Because of this, I do know that imagination, whether inside or outside your head, is so associated with creativity that the two cannot be disassociated. I guarantee you that 100 percent. And imagination, as Albert Einstein noted, is more important than knowledge.

Notice that Einstein didn't say that knowledge wasn't important, just that imagination comes first. Without imagination one does not know what to do with the knowledge. And Einstein certainly knew about the importance of imagination: he created the Theory of Relativity by imagining what it would be like to ride a beam of light.

Starting kindergarten pretty much put an end to imagination in any of us kids. It's one of the reasons I don't like public schools. Having an imagination, and using it correctly, is an indispensable part of an education. It's an indispensable part of the health of any society, because all societies are advanced by those who have both imagination and knowledge. However unwittingly they do it, I believe the sit/march/sit/march structure of the schools is not the proper way to deal with imaginative kids. If it was the right way, there would not be so many daydreaming kids in schools. Or drug use.

I occasionally run across people who have hypnagogic hallucinations. They always happen right as they fall asleep. I know of one man who uses them to write music. He said he could "hear voices saying things...could see images." I understand this, since even today, when falling asleep, I sometimes hear music. And they're not songs I've heard before; they are new ones, bubbling up out of my subconscious. They’re not very good, though – more like a drumming. There goes my career.)

I've decided the whole thing is a natural hallucinatory state, related to creativity. And I'll say this: who needs drugs when you've got something like this? Unfortunately, one of the main reasons people use drugs is to artificially create experiences which are already naturally within us.

The last time I had a hypnagogic hallucination was when I was 21. For about a year I had had sleep paralysis, which also happens when falling asleep. You're awake but can't move. The theory behind it is that when asleep people become paralyzed, otherwise they will sleepwalk.

Having had a girlfriend who once went into the kitchen and made six peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, put them into Baggies, then stored them in the refrigerator, while talking the whole time, I understand why people shouldn't sleepwalk. I also knew a guy from high school who crawled out of his window and walked around on the roof.

One night, as I was about to fall asleep, I found myself paralyzed. I was so used to it I didn't even pay any attention. This time, though, I began to hallucinate. First, I heard a woman's highheels clicking on the sidewalk outside my window. Then, she began to speak in English, only I couldn't understand her. That's when I realized I was hallucinating.

You might think that under such circumstances, your mind might not be clear. On the contrary – I was as awake and lucid as I could be. Things felt as real as could be, even though I was fully aware that what was happening wasn't real.

Then things got even more interesting. I was lying on my stomach, with no shirt on. I suddenly heard a buzzing sound above me. It sounded like a football-sized bee. I even felt the wind from its wings blowing across my back. Not only an auditory, but a tactile hallucination.

Even though I knew the whole thing was imaginary, and that I was imagining it outside my head instead of inside, I decided I had had enough. Before, I had always been able to overcome this paralysis by trying to rock back and forth. It worked this time, too, and the bee and the wind faded away.

I sat up in bed, and I felt as awake and clear and alive as I had ever felt in my life. As I said, who needs drugs when you've got this?

You may find these experiences strange. Having had them, I know they're not. I also know that when an imaginative person has knowledge and control, that's when true creativity takes place. That's what advances societies.

Stephen King, who was said he lives mostly within his imagination, wrote in the introduction to Nightmares and Dreamscapes, that his imagination "made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world I lived in with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights...there are people in the world – too many of them, actually – whose imaginative senses were either numb or completely deadened, and who lived in a mental state akin to colorblindness. I always felt sorry for them..."

I know what he means.

Friday, August 28, 2015

How I Used to Hypnotize Myself

I have never had any great interest in hypnosis. I do understand how it works, though - imagination and a very relaxed state.

When I was about 11 years old I ran across science fiction - and found reading it was being in a different world.

When I was reading it someone would call to me - and I wouldn't hear it at first. I was engrossed in what I was reading. I was lost in my imagination.

I had actually hypnotized myself. Self-hypnosis. Imagination and being totally relaxed. That, basically, was it.

Because of this (and other things) I know you cannot hypnotize people into doing what they don't want to do. There is no Manchurian Candidate brainwashing, no government-created assassins, none of that. That's Conspironut nonsense (the belief in impossible conspiracies is the American disease).

I consider television to be hypnotic. It puts people into a trance. I don't think that's a good thing. Why do you think there is so much advertising on TV?

Companies wouldn't spend billions on advertising unless it worked.

I have no great interest in propaganda techniques, either, although I know how they work. I don't much care about persuasion techniques, either, except to know how they work (watch Trump sometimes, and you'll see a master at it).

People are always trying to change their consciousness. It's as if our baseline consciousness isn't go great. Often they use drugs and alcohol.

Governments and businesses want to change our consciousness, too - rewire our brains - to benefit themselves. Not to benefit us, but them.

They want to manipulate us, to persuade us, to hypnotize us - which is fine as long as people know what they are doing.

The most famous scholar who studied the principles of influence is Robert Cialdini. He identified six:

Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The good cop/bad cop strategy is also based on this principle.

Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. Cialdini notes Chinese brainwashing on American prisoners of war to rewrite their self-image and gain automatic unenforced compliance. See cognitive dissonance.

Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.

Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.

Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.

The Propaganda of the Manosphere

"The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment." -Jacques Ellul

The concepts of the Manosphere, many of which are delusions, are propaganda.

Propaganda, as I've pointed out more than once, is based on the belief that the Good is under attack by the Bad, which has to be destroyed in order to save the Good. It's based on our inborn narcissism - everything is either "all-good" or "all-bad."

Many of the concepts in the Manosphere are based on the concept that women are bad, that they are the enemy - monsters, really. And being under attack by monsters who want to destroy you is the archetype of the horror story (all propaganda, then, is based on the archetype of the horror story).

The Manosphere's concept of the "Alpha" is the grandiose "all-good" self (the "Beta" and all the rest is the "all-bad" self). Women are the "all-bad" self, too, who want to destroy men.

Feminism is based on (leftist) propaganda. In its case, women (even if fat, ugly, stupid and deluded)) are the "all-good" and men are the "all-bad."

What we have, then, is a propaganda war.

Understanding the nature of people does not mean as seeing them as "all-bad." I keep coming back to the story of the Garden of Eden, when "evil" comes into the world by Eve being deceived by the "serpent" and Adam wimping out and listening to Eve.

Who's the good one here, and who is the bad one? Both are imperfect and both are equally responsible.

Then there is the observation at the end of the story about how women want to rule men but men must instead rule women (this reminds me of what Samuel Johnson wrote: "Nature hath given women so much power the law wisely gives them little").

Again, who's good and who's bad? Neither. People are just imperfect. In Christianity it's Original Sin.

In other religions and philosophies people are considered to be asleep (the Manosphere's Red Pill in not "waking up," just exchanging one Matrix for another).

Henry Rollins once said, "Knowledge without mileage is bullshit." It's even worse bullshit when your "knowledge" isn't even knowledge but nonsense.

"Alphas," the "Dark Triad," "Alpha Fux and Beta Bux"....all bullshit, all propaganda.

Unfortunately many of the concepts in the Manosphere are the mirror image of feminism. God knows where this will lead. Nothing good, I'd say.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Hope Trump Gets Elected

I wonder if he could effect any change? Probably not much.

But I seriously doubt he could be any worse than a crazy old murderous dyke traitor or a Punchable Wimp Face traitor like Jeb Bush (isn't two generations of imbeciles enough?).

Win or lose, he sure is entertaining.

Don't Put on Those Red Shoes

Most folk tales, of whatever origin, often deal with two things: pride and envy.

Back when "Saturday Night Live" was good, it had a skit in which a young man was wearing shoes that danced uncontrollably whenever they heard music. The implication was that he couldn't remove them.

What I remember most clearly is while he was making cereal for breakfast, music started playing. Up in the air and all over the kitchen went the bowl, cereal, milk and spoon, as he twitched spastically and danced in circles.

I wonder if that skit was partly based on the Hans Christian Anderson folk tale, "The Red Shoes"? "Partly," because if true, it was so abbreviated and incomplete that, compared to Anderson's tale, it was almost meaningless. Although, unlike the folk tale, it was funny. The original tale is deadly serious. Whether humorous or serious, both illustrate a horror that everyone wants to avoid: being mired in something from which you cannot escape. Especially when it's your own fault!

The image of the red shoes is striking. It resonates with many: why did Dorothy wear red shoes? Why did Elvis Costello write a song about angels wearing red shoes? Why "The Red Shoe Diaries"? Are all in some degree based on the Anderson story?

The tragedy that befalls the young man in the skit also strikes the young woman in the folk tale. Unable to remove her red shoes, she dances night and day, down roads and through fields.

Folk tales are more than just children's entertainment. They were originally meant to both entertain and educate, to impart age-old wisdom in the form of short, easily told stories. The bulk of that wisdom warns that most of our problems are self-inflicted, and that they are easily escaped.

The story is about a young woman who is given a pair of red shoes. She's not supposed to wear them to church, but does. She's supposed to wear black shoes.

You get a clue what's wrong with her on the first page: "People said she was pretty, but her mirror said, 'You are more than pretty! You are lovely!'"

That's more of a clue than it sounds like. She looks in the mirror, the way Narcissus looked at his reflection in the water, and like him, thinks more of herself than others do, even though others think very highly of her.

She's self-absorbed. She lives in her own little world and pays no attention to the opinions of her betters. That's why she wore her red shoes to church instead of her black ones.

The second clue comes on the next page, when in church she "thought only about her red shoes." Again, this shows how self-absorbed she was. Self-absorbed people are almost invariably selfish and irresponsible, which is why she wears her red shoes to church when she knows it's against the better judgment of others. She is afflicted with what the Bible calls "pride."

Even though people tell her she should not wear her red shoes to church, she "looked at the black shoes and then at the red ones. Then she looked again at the red - and at last put them on."

Even though she is fully aware, and has been warned, that she should not wear her red shoes to church, she still does. She consciously makes the choice to be self-centered and immature.

"...she thought only of the red shoes," the story reads. "She seemed to see them floating before her eyes."

She finds later she cannot get the shoes off. Worse, they began to dance. She dances day and night, though the countryside. Unable to stop dancing, she has the shoes cut off, with her feet in them. The shoes dance away.

Relieved, she says, "Now, then, I have suffered enough. I should think I am quite as good as many who sit holding their heads so high in church." What happens? The shoes come dancing back to her. This time, with "real repentance in her heart," she gives up her pride and self-centeredness.

There is a profound message to this tale. The young woman, being childish and self-centered, illustrates the Biblical saying, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." The Greeks would call what happened to her Hubris followed by Nemesis.

Her red shoes are a symbol of the destruction that follows vainglorious pride. The full sequence that the Greeks outlined is Koros (stability) to Hubris (excessive pride) to Ate (a kind of "madness") to Nemesis (destruction).

The tale clearly shows that the young woman's excessive self-centeredness and lack of concern for others is a kind of madness. The lesson is that it is kind of madness for anyone, because in that self-absorption, immaturity, and irresponsibility, other people always cease to be fully human. The afflicted then makes one catastrophic mistake after another, because they live in their own closed world, unaware of the lives of others.The self-centered, in their hubris, always ignore wise advice.

To use concepts from modern psychology, we can look at what Lawrence Kohlberg said about the "egocentric judgment" of those who morally remain children: "The child makes judgments of good on the basis of what he likes and wants and what helps him, and bad on the basis of what he does not like and what hurts him. He has no concept of rules or of obligations to obey or to conform to independent of his wish."

That is an exact description of the young woman in "The Red Shoes." She had "no concept of rules or of obligations to obey." She was self-absorbed, childish and irresponsible. She thought she was right, no matter how many wiser people warned her she wasn't. What followed, as it always does, was nemesis.

The only thing that halted her destruction was giving up her hubris. Repentance and atonement. Unless a self-centered, childish, irresponsible person repents and atones, some kind of destruction invariably follows.

In other words, all that is necessary is to not put on the red shoes in the first place.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Propaganda Works

This was published at an online magazine, then I transferred it to my website, back before there were blogs. I had to code the entire thing.

One day when I looked at the counter (one for each article) I found I had over 40,000 hits. To this day I still believe what I wrote.

I should add that as nuts as Hitler was he understood propaganda. He wrote the masses were feminine, i.e., ruled by their feelings. Mobs always are. They are never rational.

"Once you base your whole life striving on a desperate lie, and try to implement that lie, you instrument your own undoing." - Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death.

It's not hard to understand how propaganda works. You don't need a college degree, or to even to read any of those thick textbooks everybody hates. Everything relevant can be explained in one not-particularly-long article. And I guarantee you, you must understand how propaganda targets you, to immunize yourself against the attempts.

Propaganda works by appealing to our most base, animalistic instincts. It does not appeal to our better nature, although one of the purposes of it is to convince us it does. It pretends to appeal to our reason, when in fact it appeals to our most primitive emotions. There is good reason for this: perception travels through the emotional brain first, to the rational brain last.

Specifically, propaganda works by appealing to three things: emotions, tribalism and narcissism.

I just mentioned perception travels first to the emotional brain, then the rational brain. This happens to everyone, including people who con themselves they are the most rational and intelligent of intellectuals.

As for tribes, we share with every nearly every animal in the world the instinct to form tribes, arranged in a hierarchy, with a leader. We are group animals. The fact we look to a leader to take care of us is one of the most firmly established principles in psychology (if you don't remember anything else, remember that).

When anyone transgresses the taboos of a tribe, they can, and often are, ostracized or even expelled. An example? Say some people oppose a war. What happens? They are often called cowards and told to leave the country. Who hasn't heard the insult, "You're a coward! If you don't like it here, get out!" People who say such things think they're being patriotic; in reality they're acting like animals. Emotional, irrational, herd animals, prone to the fear and flight activated by propaganda. Individuals think; groups do not, and cannot.

Narcissism is our inborn tendency to see everything as grandiose or devalued, good or bad, with nothing in-between. It's why nearly every tribe in the world—and nations are just tribes writ large—called itself "the People," "the Humans," "the Chosen," "the Motherland," "the Fatherland," or "the greatest nation on earth," relegating everyone outside the tribe to a devalued non-people, non-human status (aka "collateral damage"). No wonder it's so easy to kill the outsiders — they're just not quite human.

When you combine those three concepts, you have the basis for all propaganda. If a leader of a tribe tells the people their goodness is under attack by insane, evil people who want to destroy them, they will react just like animals and attack. The Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels noticed all you had to do to get people to march off to war is for the leaders to tell them they were under attack, denounce protesters as traitors exposing the tribe to danger, and the people would slander, ostracize and expel the protesters, and then tramp straight off to be slaughtered. He said this technique worked in every country of the world.

The Bush administration used exactly this technique to start two wars. Essentially they told the public that our goodness was under attack by insane and evil people who wanted to destroy us. See how it works? Tribalism, emotionalism, and narcissism.

Supporters of the war responded by attacking protesters as traitors—trying to expel them from the tribe — and marching off to war. It's altogether too simple, and too easy.

One man everyone should know is Edward L. Bernays, the American disciple and nephew of Sigmund Freud. He was for all practical purposes the founder of modern propaganda techniques.

Bernays despised most people and regarded them as his inferiors, especially because of intellectual or social claims. (See how it works? I just appealed to your emotions, and convinced you Bernays was attacking you. You fell for it, right?)

Bernays not only pretty much founded modern propaganda techniques, but was also the father of modern PR. Although, you could say they are same thing, and that there's really no difference between them.

In his 1928 book, Propaganda, Bernays wrote, "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country..."

Remember that quote. Burn it into your memory. Bernays thought people should be ruled by an extremely small elite, who should manipulate them through propaganda. That means you. People who believe in the wonders of government, and that it is their friend, should think twice about it.

In another book, Crystallizing Public Opinion Bernays wrote how governments and advertisers can "regiment the mind like the military regiments the body." This can be imposed, he said, because of "the natural inherent flexibility of individual human nature," and suggested the "average citizen is the world's most efficient censor. His own mind is the greatest barrier between him and the facts. His own 'logic-proof compartments,' his own absolutism are the obstacles which prevent him from seeing in terms of experience and thought rather than in terms of group reaction."

Bernays also thought "physical loneliness is a real terror to the gregarious animal, and that association with the herd causes a feeling of security. In man this fear of loneliness creates a desire for identification with the herd in matters of opinion."

Bernays claimed that "the group mind does not think in the strict sense of the word...In making up its mind, its first impulse is usually to follow the example of a trusted leader. This is one of the most firmly established principles in mass psychology." What Bernays called the "regimentation of the mind" is accomplished by taking advantage of the human tendency to self-deception [logic-proof compartments], gregariousness [the herd instinct], individualism [exalting their vanity] and the seductive power of a strong leader.

Bernays also expressed the opinion people "have to take sides...[they] must step out of the audience onto the stage and wrestle as the hero for the victory of good over evil." This also means appealing to our narcissism, our inborn tendency to see everything as either good or bad, with little or nothing in-between.

He also noted the need for people to feel as if they belong to something larger than themselves. Again, this also means appealing to our narcissism, such as people claiming they belong to "the greatest nation on earth."

When people consider themselves as part of the Humans (by whatever name they call themselves), they exalt themselves. Still again, those outside the tribe are non-people, "collateral damage."

"Mental habits create stereotypes just as physical habits create certain definite reflex actionism," Bernays wrote. "...these stereotypes or clichés are not necessarily truthful pictures of what they are supposed to portray." Perception is everything, the truth matters little or not at all.

Now, let's boil all this down and see what we have:

Mass Man, the herd, cannot think, and is instead ruled by its feelings. The herd will look to a leader to save it. The best way to accomplish this is for the herd to feel it is under attack. The herd will draw together, expel those who see the truth and protest, and then march off to war.

The full quote from Goebbels? "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Tell the herd they are the Humans, or the People, or best of all, have God on their side. Paint their enemies as insane and evil. Again, this is appealing to people's narcissism, the tendency to see everything as either good (us) or evil (them). Evoke paranoia and hysteria in them by convincing them the insane evil ones want to conquer and destroy them. What will happen? You can get them to march off to war by the millions, just as Goering noticed. The truth doesn't matter, only the manipulation of perception.

To make it as simple as possible, everything that is needed for a successful propaganda campaign can be summed up in those three aforementioned words: emotionalism, tribalism and narcissism.

We con ourselves we are so advanced. In reality, the human race is stuck in One Million Years BC, except there's no Raquel Welch in a two-piece fur bikini.

I forgot—there is one another component to successful propaganda: keep repeating the message over and over.

Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”

This is from VF Culture.

There is a very old observation that women are the gatekeepers of sex, and men, of commitment. That is, every woman can get laid and every man, married.

The article starts here.

As romance gets swiped from the screen, some twentysomethings aren’t liking what they see.

It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering. The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups. Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. Or not. “Ew, this guy has Dad bod,” a young woman says of a potential match, swiping left. Her friends smirk, not looking up.

“Tinder sucks,” they say. But they don’t stop swiping.

At a booth in the back, three handsome twentysomething guys in button-downs are having beers. They are Dan, Alex, and Marty, budding investment bankers at the same financial firm, which recruited Alex and Marty straight from an Ivy League campus. (Names and some identifying details have been changed for this story.) When asked if they’ve been arranging dates on the apps they’ve been swiping at, all say not one date, but two or three: “You can’t be stuck in one lane … There’s always something better.” “If you had a reservation somewhere and then a table at Per Se opened up, you’d want to go there,” Alex offers.

“Guys view everything as a competition,” he elaborates with his deep, reassuring voice. “Who’s slept with the best, hottest girls?” With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling. You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.”

He says that he himself has slept with five different women he met on Tinder—“Tinderellas,” the guys call them—in the last eight days. Dan and Marty, also Alex’s roommates in a shiny high-rise apartment building near Wall Street, can vouch for that. In fact, they can remember whom Alex has slept with in the past week more readily than he can.

“Brittany, Morgan, Amber,” Marty says, counting on his fingers. “Oh, and the Russian—Ukrainian?”

“Ukrainian,” Alex confirms. “She works at—” He says the name of a high-end art auction house. Asked what these women are like, he shrugs. “I could offer a résumé, but that’s about it … Works at J. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance … ”

“We don’t know what the girls are like,” Marty says.

“And they don’t know us,” says Alex.

And yet a lack of an intimate knowledge of his potential sex partners never presents him with an obstacle to physical intimacy, Alex says. Alex, his friends agree, is a Tinder King, a young man of such deft “text game”—“That’s the ability to actually convince someone to do something over text,” Marty explains—that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.

“How does he do it?,” Marty asks, blinking. “This guy’s got a talent.”

But Marty, who prefers Hinge to Tinder (“Hinge is my thing”), is no slouch at “racking up girls.” He says he’s slept with 30 to 40 women in the last year: “I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy,” in order to win them over, “but then they start wanting me to care more … and I just don’t.”

“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way. “I always make a point of disclosing I’m not looking for anything serious. I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens … If I were ever in a court of law I could point to the transcript.” But something about the whole scenario seems to bother him, despite all his mild-mannered bravado. “I think to an extent it is, like, sinister,” he says, “ ‘cause I know that the average girl will think that there’s a chance that she can turn the tables. If I were like, Hey, I just wanna bone, very few people would want to meet up with you …

“Do you think this culture is misogynistic?” he asks lightly.


‘I call it the Dating Apocalypse,” says a woman in New York, aged 29.

As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex. Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship. “We are in uncharted territory” when it comes to Tinder et al., says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. “There have been two major transitions” in heterosexual mating “in the last four million years,” he says. “The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,” leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract. “And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.”

People used to meet their partners through proximity, through family and friends, but now Internet meeting is surpassing every other form. “It’s changing so much about the way we act both romantically and sexually,” Garcia says. “It is unprecedented from an evolutionary standpoint.” As soon as people could go online they were using it as a way to find partners to date and have sex with. In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then and But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in You’ve Got Mail (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. “I’ll get a text that says, ‘Wanna fuck?’ ” says Jennifer, 22, a senior at Indiana University Southeast, in New Albany. “They’ll tell you, ‘Come over and sit on my face,’ ” says her friend, Ashley, 19.

Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating. In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida. “It’s like ordering Seamless,” says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service. “But you’re ordering a person.”

The comparison to online shopping seems an apt one. Dating apps are the free-market economy come to sex. The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. OkCupid soon adopted the function. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G.P.S. tracking to show whether matches have recently “crossed paths,” use it too. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.

“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app. You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York. “I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”

And is this “good for women”? Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women. Some, like Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is … bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued. “It’s rare for a woman of our generation to meet a man who treats her like a priority instead of an option,” wrote Erica Gordon on the Gen Y Web site Elite Daily, in 2014.

It is the very abundance of options provided by online dating which may be making men less inclined to treat any particular woman as a “priority,” according to David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the evolution of human sexuality. “Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there,” Buss says. “One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating. Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”

Now hold on there a minute. “Short-term mating strategies” seem to work for plenty of women too; some don’t want to be in committed relationships, either, particularly those in their 20s who are focusing on their education and launching careers. Alex the Wall Streeter is overly optimistic when he assumes that every woman he sleeps with would “turn the tables” and date him seriously if she could. And yet, his assumption may be a sign of the more “sinister” thing he references, the big fish swimming underneath the ice: “For young women the problem in navigating sexuality and relationships is still gender inequality,” says Elizabeth Armstrong, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who specializes in sexuality and gender. “Young women complain that young men still have the power to decide when something is going to be serious and when something is not—they can go, ‘She’s girlfriend material, she’s hookup material.’ … There is still a pervasive double standard. We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena.”


‘The men in this town have a serious case of pussy affluenza,” says Amy Watanabe, 28, the fetching, tattooed owner of Sake Bar Satsko, a lively izakaya in New York’s East Village. “We’ve seen them come in with more than one Tinder date in one night.”

(The data underpinning a widely cited study claiming millennials have fewer sex partners than previous generations proves to be open to interpretation, incidentally. The study, published in May in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, became a talking point for its surprising conclusion that millennials are having sex with fewer people than Gen X-ers and baby-boomers at the same age. When I asked Jean Twenge and Ryne Sherman, two of the study’s authors, about their methodology, they said their analysis was based partly on projections derived from a statistical model, not entirely from direct side-by-side comparisons of numbers of sex partners reported by respondents. “All data and all studies are open to interpretation—that’s just the nature of research,” Twenge said.)

On a steamy night at Satsko, everyone is Tindering. Or OkCupiding, or Happning, or Hinging. The tables are filled with young women and men drinking sake and beer and intermittently checking their phones and swiping. “Agh, look at this,” says Kelly, 26, who’s sitting at a table with friends, holding up a message she received from a guy on OkCupid. “I want to have you on all fours,” it says, going on to propose a graphic sexual scene. “I’ve never met this person,” says Kelly.

At a table in the front, six young women have met up for an after-work drink. They’re seniors from Boston College, all in New York for summer internships, ranging from work in a medical-research lab to a luxury department store. They’re attractive and fashionable, with bright eyes highlighted with dark eyeliner wings. None of them are in relationships, they say. I ask them how they’re finding New York dating.

“New York guys, from our experience, they’re not really looking for girlfriends,” says the blonde named Reese. “They’re just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder.”

“People send really creepy shit on it,” says Jane, the serious one.

“They start out with ‘Send me nudes,’ ” says Reese. “Or they say something like ‘I’m looking for something quick within the next 10 or 20 minutes—are you available?’ ‘O.K., you’re a mile away, tell me your location.’ It’s straight efficiency.”

“I think that iPhones and dating apps have really changed the way that dating happens for our generation,” says Stephanie, the one with an arm full of bracelets.

“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’ [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”

They give a wary laugh.

They tell me how, at their school, an adjunct instructor in philosophy, Kerry Cronin, teaches a freshman class in which an optional assignment is going out on an actual date. “And meet them sober and not when you’re both, like, blackout drunk,” says Jane. “Like, get to know someone before you start something with them. And I know that’s scary.”

They say they think their own anxiety about intimacy comes from having “grown up on social media,” so “we don’t know how to talk to each other face-to-face.” “You form your first impression based off Facebook rather than forming a connection with someone, so you’re, like, forming your connection with their profile,” says Stephanie, smiling grimly at the absurdity of it.

When it comes to hooking up, they say, it’s not as simple as just having sex. “It’s such a game, and you have to always be doing everything right, and if not, you risk losing whoever you’re hooking up with,” says Fallon, the soft-spoken one. By “doing everything right” she means “not texting back too soon; never double texting; liking the right amount of his stuff,” on social media.

“And it reaches a point,” says Jane, “where, if you receive a text message” from a guy, “you forward the message to, like, seven different people: ‘What do I say back? Oh my God, he just texted me!’ It becomes a surprise. ‘He texted me!’ Which is really sad.”

“It is sad,” Amanda says. “That one A.M. text becomes ‘Oh my God, he texted me!’ No, he texted you at one A.M.—it’s meaningless.”

They laugh ruefully.

“If he texts you before midnight he actually likes you as a person. If it’s after midnight, it’s just for your body,” says Amanda. It’s not, she says, that women don’t want to have sex. “Who doesn’t want to have sex? But it feels bad when they’re like, ‘See ya.’ ”

“It seems like the girls don’t have any control over the situation, and it should not be like that at all,” Fallon says.

“It’s a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less,” Amanda says.

“Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it’s the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images,” says Fallon.

“It’s body first, personality second,” says Stephanie.

“Honestly, I feel like the body doesn’t even matter to them as long as you’re willing,” says Reese. “It’s that bad.”

“But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism,” says Amanda.

“BOOM-BOOM-BOOM SWIPE” “ ‘Hi,’ ” says Amy, the Satsko owner, reading a message she received on OkCupid from a random man. “ ‘I’m looking for a cute girl like you that has a bit of a kinky side, so I’m curious if you fantasize about rough sex. Do you think you would like to get choke-fucked, tied up, slapped, throat-fucked and cummed on? I think we could have a wild afternoon together but I am happy just to share brunch with you.’ ” She drops her iPhone on the bar in mock horror.

On another busy night at the same bar, at the same table in the front, three good-looking guys are having beers. They are John, Nick, and Brian, 26, 25, and 25; John is the marketing executive mentioned above, Nick works in the fitness industry, and Brian is an educator. When asked about their experience with dating apps, their assessment is quite different from the interns from Boston College. “Works for me,” Nick says.

“I hooked up with three girls, thanks to the Internet, off of Tinder, in the course of four nights, and I spent a total of $80 on all three girls,” Nick relays proudly. He goes on to describe each date, one of which he says began with the young woman asking him on Tinder to “ ‘come over and smoke [weed] and watch a movie.’ I know what that means,” he says, grinning.

“We talk for a total of maybe 10 to 15 minutes,” he says. “We hook up. Afterwards she goes, ‘Oh my God, I swear I wasn’t gonna have sex with you.’ And I was like, Well, you did a pretty shitty job of that one.”

“They all say that,” the guys say, chuckling.

Nick, with his lumbersexual beard and hipster clothes, as if plucked from the wardrobe closet of Girls, is, physically speaking, a modern male ideal. That he fulfills none of the requirements identified by evolutionary psychologists as what women supposedly look for in mates—he’s neither rich nor tall; he also lives with his mom—doesn’t seem to have any effect on his ability to get rampantly laid. In his iPhone, he has a list of more than 40 girls he has “had relations with, rated by [one to five] stars…. It empowers them,” he jokes. “It’s a mix of how good they are in bed and how attractive they are.”

They laugh.

“I’m on Tinder, Happn, Hinge, OkCupid,” Nick says. “It’s just a numbers game. Before, I could go out to a bar and talk to one girl, but now I can sit home on Tinder and talk to 15 girls—”

“Without spending any money,” John chimes in.

Neither Nick nor John has had a girlfriend in the last few years; Brian had one until recently but confesses, “I cheated…. She found out by looking at my phone—rookie mistake, not deleting everything.” Some guys, they say, in order to hide their multiple sex partners from each other, will assign them fake names in their phones, such as “Crazy Mike.”

“When it’s so easy, when it’s so available to you,” Brian says intensely, “and you can meet somebody and fuck them in 20 minutes, it’s very hard to contain yourself.”

“I’ve gotten numbers on Tinder just by sending emojis,” says John. “Without actually having a conversation—having a conversation via emojis.”

He holds up his phone, with its cracked screen, to show a Tinder conversation between him and a young woman who provided her number after he offered a series of emojis, including the ones for pizza and beer.

“Now is that the kind of woman I potentially want to marry?” he asks, smiling. “Probably not.”

I ask if they’re aware of the double standard that’s often applied to women when it comes to sex. “The double standard is real,” Nick says. “If I’m a guy and I’m going out and fucking a different girl every night, my friends are gonna give me high-fives and we’re gonna crack a beer and talk about it. Girls do the same, but they get judged. I don’t want it to be like that, but sometimes the world is the way it is and I can’t change it, so I just embrace it.”

They all say they don’t want to be in relationships. “I don’t want one,” says Nick. “I don’t want to have to deal with all that—stuff.”

“You can’t be selfish in a relationship,” Brian says. “It feels good just to do what I want.”

I ask them if it ever feels like they lack a deeper connection with someone.

There’s a small silence. After a moment, John says, “I think at some points it does.”

“But that’s assuming that that’s something that I want, which I don’t,” Nick says, a trifle annoyed. “Does that mean that my life is lacking something? I’m perfectly happy. I have a good time. I go to work—I’m busy. And when I’m not, I go out with my friends.”

“Or you meet someone on Tinder,” offers John.

“Exactly,” Nick says. “Tinder is fast and easy, boom-boom-boom, swipe.”


A “fuckboy” is a young man who sleeps with women without any intention of having a relationship with them or perhaps even walking them to the door post-sex. He’s a womanizer, an especially callous one, as well as kind of a loser. The word has been around for at least a decade with different meanings; it’s only in about the last year that it has become so frequently used by women and girls to refer to their hookups.

“What percentage of boys now do you think are fuckboys?,” I asked some young women from New Albany, Indiana.

“One hundred percent,” said Meredith, 20, a sophomore at Bellarmine University in Louisville.

“No, like 90 percent,” said Ashley (the same as mentioned earlier). “I’m hoping to find the 10 percent somewhere. But every boy I’ve ever met is a fuckboy.”

Men in the age of dating apps can be very cavalier, women say. One would think that having access to these nifty machines (their phones) that can summon up an abundance of no-strings-attached sex would make them feel happy, even grateful, and so inspired to be polite. But, based on interviews with more than 50 young women in New York, Indiana, and Delaware, aged 19 to 29, the opposite seems to be the case. “ ‘He drove me home in the morning.’ That’s a big deal,” said Rebecca, 21, a senior at the University of Delaware. “ ‘He kissed me good-bye.’ That shouldn’t be a big deal, but boys pull back from that because—”

“They don’t wanna give you the wrong idea,” said her classmate Kayla, 20.

“But a lot of us girls aren’t gonna take the wrong idea,” said Rebecca, piqued. “Sometimes we just want to get it in”—have sex—“too. We don’t want to marry you. You’re either polite or you’re fucking rude.”

Hearing story after story about the ill-mannered behavior of young women’s sex partners (“I had sex with a guy and he ignored me as I got dressed and I saw he was back on Tinder”), I wondered if there could be a parallel to Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth (1991). Wolf posited that, as women achieved more social and political power, there was more pressure on them to be “beautiful” as a means of undermining their empowerment. Is it possible that now the potentially de-stabilizing trend women are having to contend with is the lack of respect they encounter from the men with whom they have sex? Could the ready availability of sex provided by dating apps actually be making men respect women less? “Too easy,” “Too easy,” “Too easy,” I heard again and again from young men when asked if there was anything about dating apps they didn’t like.

“Online dating apps are truly evolutionarily novel environments,” says David Buss. “But we come to those environments with the same evolved psychologies.” And women may be further along than men in terms of evolving away from sexist attitudes about sex. “Young women’s expectations of safety and entitlement to respect have perhaps risen faster than some young men’s willingness to respect them,” says Stephanie Coontz, who teaches history and family studies at the Evergreen State College and has written about the history of dating. “Exploitative and disrespectful men have always existed. There are many evolved men, but there may be something going on in hookup culture now that is making some more resistant to evolving.”

Such a problem has the disrespectful behavior of men online become that there has been a wave of dating apps launched by women in response to it. There is Bumble, created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, who sued the company after she was allegedly sexually harassed by C.M.O. Justin Mateen. (She reportedly settled for just over $1 million, with neither party admitting to wrongdoing.) One of the main changes in female-centric dating apps gives women the power to message first; but as some have pointed out, while this might weed out egregious harassers, it doesn’t fix a cultural milieu. Such apps “cannot promise you a world in which dudes who suck will definitely not bother you,” wrote Kate Dries on Jezebel.

Bring all of this up to young men, however, and they scoff. Women are just as responsible for “the shit show that dating has become,” according to one. “Romance is completely dead, and it’s the girls’ fault,” says Alex, 25, a New Yorker who works in the film industry. “They act like all they want is to have sex with you and then they yell at you for not wanting to have a relationship. How are you gonna feel romantic about a girl like that? Oh, and by the way? I met you on Tinder.”

“Women do exactly the same things guys do,” said Matt, 26, who works in a New York art gallery. “I’ve had girls sleep with me off OkCupid and then just ghost me”—that is, disappear, in a digital sense, not returning texts. “They play the game the exact same way. They have a bunch of people going at the same time—they’re fielding their options. They’re always looking for somebody better, who has a better job or more money.” A few young women admitted to me that they use dating apps as a way to get free meals. “I call it Tinder food stamps,” one said.

Even the emphasis on looks inherent in a dating game based on swiping on photos is something men complain women are just as guilty of buying into. “They say in their profiles, ‘No shirtless pictures,’ but that’s bullshit,” says Nick, the same as above. “The day I switched to a shirtless picture with my tattoos, immediately, within a few minutes, I had, like, 15 matches.”

And if women aren’t interested in being treated as sexual objects, why do they self-objectify in their profile pictures? some men ask. “There’s a lot of girls who are just like, Check me out, I’m hot, I’m wearing a bikini,” says Jason, the Brooklyn photographer, who on his OkCupid profile calls himself a “feminist.” “I don’t know if it’s my place to tell a girl she shouldn’t be flaunting her sexuality if that’s what she wants to do. But,” he adds, “some guys might take the wrong idea from it.”

Men talk about the nudes they receive from women. They show off the nudes. “Tit pics and booty pics,” said Austin, 22, a college student in Indiana. “My phone is full of ‘em.”

And what about unsolicited dick pics? “They want to see your dick,” insists Adam, 23, a male model in New York. “They get excited from it. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, you’re huge.’ ”

No woman I talked to said she had ever asked for one. And yet, “If you’re a girl who’s trying to date, it’s normal to get dick pics all the time,” said Olivia, 24, a Brandeis graduate. “It’s like we have dicks flying at us.”


On a rainy morning at the University of Delaware, the young women who live in an off-campus house are gathering on their front porch for coffee. They’ve been joined by their sister “squad,” so the porch table is crammed with sorority girls in shorts and sundresses, all ponytails and smooth bare legs, all meeting up to discuss their Saturday night, which included some hookups.

“This kid went to sleep and woke up with the same hairstyle—how the shit did that happen?” says Danielle, 21, the one with the Betty Boop voice.

Rebecca, the blonde with the canny eyes, also mentioned above, hooked up with someone, too. “It was O.K.” She shrugs. “Right after it was done, it was kind of like, mmmp … mmmp.” She gives a little grunt of disappointment.

As they talk, most are on their phones. Some are checking Tinder. I ask them why they use Tinder on a college campus where presumably there’s an abundance of available guys. They say, “It’s easier.” “And a lot of guys won’t talk to you if you’re not invited to their fraternity parties.” “A lot of guys won’t talk to you, period.” “They don’t have to.” “Tinder has destroyed their game.”

“I’m on it nonstop, like nonstop, like 20 hours a day,” says Courtney, the one who looks like a 70s movie star.

“It’s, like, fun to get the messages,” Danielle says. “If someone ‘likes’ you, they think you’re attractive.”

“It’s a confidence booster,” says Jessica, 21, the one who looks like a Swedish tennis player.

I tell them how I heard from guys that they swipe right on every picture in order to increase their chances of matching.

“Nooooo … ” They explode with laughter.

“Boys will do anything, do anything, to get it in,” says Rebecca, frowning.

The rain comes down harder, and they move inside to the living room, which has a couch, a coffee table, and tie-dyed tapestries everywhere. The talk turns to sex again:

“A lot of guys are lacking in that department,” says Courtney with a sigh. “What’s a real orgasm like? I wouldn’t know.”

They all laugh knowingly.

“I know how to give one to myself,” says Courtney.

“Yeah, but men don’t know what to do,” says Jessica, texting.

“Without [a vibrator] I can’t have one,” Courtney says. “It’s never happened” with a guy. “It’s a huge problem.”

“It is a problem,” Jessica concurs.

They talk about how it’s not uncommon for their hookups to lose their erections. It’s a curious medical phenomenon, the increased erectile dysfunction in young males, which has been attributed to everything from chemicals in processed foods to the lack of intimacy in hookup sex.

“If a guy can’t get hard,” Rebecca says, “and I have to say, that happens a lot, they just act like it’s the end of the world.”

“At four in the morning this guy was so upset, and I was like, Dude, I’ll just go to fucking sleep—it’s O.K.,” says Sarah, 21, the one with the long curly dark hair. “I get really tired of faking.”

According to multiple studies, women are more likely to have orgasms in the context of relationships than in uncommitted encounters. More than twice as likely, according to a study done by researchers at the Kinsey Institute and Binghamton University.

“When I see limp dicks coming at me I’m like, Oh my God,” says Courtney, putting her fingers in the sign of a cross, as if to ward off a vampire.

They laugh.

“It would be great if they could just have the ability to perform and not come in two seconds,” says Rebecca.

“I think men have a skewed view of the reality of sex through porn,” Jessica says, looking up from her phone. “Because sometimes I think porn sex is not always great—like pounding someone.” She makes a pounding motion with her hand, looking indignant.

“Yeah, it looks like it hurts,” Danielle says.

“Like porn sex,” says Jessica, “those women—that’s not, like, enjoyable, like having their hair pulled or being choked or slammed. I mean, whatever you’re into, but men just think”—bro voice—“ ‘I’m gonna fuck her,’ and sometimes that’s not great.”

“Yeah,” Danielle agrees. “Like last night I was having sex with this guy, and I’m a very submissive person—like, not aggressive at all—and this boy that came over last night, he was hurting me.”

They were quiet a moment.


So where is this all going to go? What happens after you’ve come of age in the age of Tinder? Will people ever be satisfied with a sexual or even emotional commitment to one person? And does that matter? Can men and women ever find true intimacy in a world where communication is mediated by screens; or trust, when they know their partner has an array of other, easily accessible options?

According to Christopher Ryan, one of the co-authors of Sex at Dawn (2010), human beings are not sexually monogamous by nature. The book contends that, for much of human history, men and women have taken multiple sex partners as a commonly accepted (and evolutionarily beneficial) practice. The thesis, controversial and widely criticized by anthropologists and evolutionary biologists, didn’t keep the book from being an international best-seller; it seemed to be something people were ready to hear.

“I think the spectrum of human sexuality appears to be getting more colorful and broader, and very rapidly,” Ryan says. “You have an acceptance of gay relationships, of transgender people; young kids are redefining themselves as queer and other gender identities.

“I think a lot of people are still interested in having long-term, stable, deep connections to one or a few other people,” he says. “We as a species value intimacy and authenticity very highly. On the other hand, we are very attracted to novelty…. So people are going to go ahead and have sex with the people they’re attracted to, as they’ve always done, and it’s a good thing for everyone if that becomes accepted and not censured by church or state.”

Listening to him talk, I could only think, If only it were that easy. In a perfect world, we’d all have sex with whomever we want, and nobody would mind, or be judged, or get dumped; but what about jealousy, and sexism, not to mention the still-flickering chance that somebody might fall in love?

“Some people still catch feelings in hookup culture,” said Meredith, the Bellarmine sophomore. “It’s not like just blind fucking for pleasure and it’s done; some people actually like the other person. Sometimes you actually catch feelings and that’s what sucks, because it’s one person thinking one thing and the other person thinking something completely different and someone gets their feelings hurt. It could be the boy or the girl.”

And even Ryan, who believes that human beings naturally gravitate toward polyamorous relationships, is troubled by the trends developing around dating apps. “It’s the same pattern manifested in porn use,” he says. “The appetite has always been there, but it had restricted availability; with new technologies the restrictions are being stripped away and we see people sort of going crazy with it. I think the same thing is happening with this unlimited access to sex partners. People are gorging. That’s why it’s not intimate. You could call it a kind of psychosexual obesity.”


Michael Falotico, 29, is the bassist for Monogold, an indie band that has played in all the top Brooklyn venues and at festivals from Austin to Cannes. He’s tall and slim and looks like a Renaissance painting of Jesus, plus a nose ring. All of which means that, in a certain corner of the world, Michael is a rock star. So he should have no trouble meeting women.

Which he doesn’t. But he still uses dating apps. “I would consider myself an old-school online dater,” Michael says on a summer day in New York. “I’ve been doing it since I was 21. First it was Craigslist: ‘Casual Encounters.’ Back then it wasn’t as easy; there were no pictures; you had to impress somebody with just what you wrote. So I met this girl on there who actually lived around the corner from me, and that led to eight months of the best sex I ever had. We’d text each other if we were available, hook up, sometimes sleep over, go our separate ways.” Then she found a boyfriend. “I was like, Respect, I’m out. We still see each other in the street sometimes, give each other the wink.

“Now it’s completely different,” he says, “because everyone is doing it and it’s not like this hot little secret anymore. It’s profiles that are, like, airbrushed with lighting and angles and girls who will send you pictures of their pussies without even knowing your last name. I’m not saying I’m any better—I’m doing it. It’s texting someone, or multiple girls, maybe getting very sexual with them, 99 percent of the time before you’ve even met them, which, more and more I realize, is fucking weird.” He grimaces.

“And it’s just like, waking up in beds, I don’t even remember getting there, and having to get drunk to have a conversation with this person because we both know why we’re there but we have to go through these motions to get out of it. That’s a personal struggle, I guess, but online dating makes it happen that much more. Whereas I would just be sitting at home and playing guitar, now it’s ba-ding”—he makes the chirpy alert sound of a Tinder match—“and … ” He pauses, as if disgusted. “ … I’m fucking.”