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Links: Man is a Social Animal

"Man is a social animal. He who does not require the fellowship of others is either a beast or a god." - Aristotle.

Blue collar jobs are hell on the body, but they do offer some benefits:

Because success in a white-collar office is essentially a matter of public relations, professional life has an unfortunate tendency to whitewash one’s personality and homogenize one’s lifestyle. In my office, if an ambitious professional hopes to rise up the ranks, he must set about grooming his image to appeal to his superiors and clients. He must partake of appropriate hobbies, espouse acceptable political positions, and generally refrain from conduct that might mark him in any way as unconventional

I could double my income overnight if I stopped blogging. People really are so lame that they find this blog "controversial" and "offensive." In blue collar jobs, no one would even blink at anything appearing here. White collar people truly are lame, I hate them, and I am glad when bad things happen to them.

Speaking of white pricks, liberals in Silicon Valley are opposed to high-speed rail - when it's in their neighborhoods, anyway:

They are fighting the high speed train in court, claiming the plans for an elevated track running through their towns would be an eye sore leading to a drop in property value. 

These are the same people who praise diversity while living in all-white neighborhoods, talk about fuel economy and greenhouse gasses while taking multiple European vacations, and praise public schools while sending their own kids to private ones. In other words, they are the same pricks a white collar professional has to impress. (Some things just aren't worth it.)

"You are the average of your five closet friends." - Some self-help guy.

Your friends will make you better or worse, and this means thinner or fatter:

Scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler examined 32 years of data collected during a study of people's hearts in the town of Framingham in Massachusetts.

The pair discovered that where two people who are friends for a long time, and where one is heavier than the other, the thinner friend tended to increase in weight by up to 57 per cent over time. 

Fat people always want to eat shit food, and they are always asking me why I'm on a diet. I'm on a diet so I don't look like I need to be...Is it really that hard to understand? Yet when I'm with my friends getting wasted on a Friday, I expect them to hit the gym with me on a Saturday. 

The single best thing most of us can do is cut out the miserable losers out of our lives. If they aren't raising my average, they are gone. (And similarly, I must always seek to raise my own friends' averages.)

The wedding industry is an 80-billion-dollar one. The average wedding costs $25,000, and people spend that even though 50% of marriages end in divorce. Getting married is easy, staying married is hard. Instead of spending money on a wedding, invest in a college fund for your progeny. 

This guy would be fun to hang with:

Mentorship and Self-Importance

People complain about the lack of mentorship, yet finding a mentor was never hard for me. That is because I am capable of, as medicine man Don Juan Matus advised, "surrender feelings of self-importance." If I want to get at someone, then I will put the other person first. This sounds easy. Yet how many do it? 

If someone I wanted to get close to kept Bonsai trees, then I'd go the bookstore and get a pile of books on it. I'd spend dozens of hours reading about it. When I finally saw the person, I'd say, "I never thought Bonsai trees were cool. Then I checked out John Smith's work. It never occurred to me that [insert some interesting point]."

You think that person is going to talk to me? Or does he want to talk to another dumb-fuck person who offers a generic introduction or a compliment?

Now some may say my approach ingratiating, but you know what, that's wrong. If someone found out the books I read, then read them to get closer to me....Am I supposed to not like that person? What the fuck is wrong with some of you people? Do you really think you're so awesome that showing up and "being yourself" is going to win another person's attention? 

Think about it like this: However big your ego is...It's going to get bigger when you actually accomplish something. If you think you're important now, how do you suppose someone who is actually important views himself? Now do you see why you're irrelevant?

Most people go to someone important and say, "I want you to mentor me." Why should they? Because you exist? I am sorry, but there are 6 billion other people like you, so if all you got it, "I'm special," then good luck, because that's what everyone else thinks.

Plus, people in your field don't even usually want to talk about the field you're in. Think about it.

You want to get at a trial lawyer. He probably has trial lawyer friends. Why would he want to talk about trial lawyering with you? 

In law school, my friend was able to get himself a meeting with L.A.'s top one or two trial lawyers. When the lawyer heard that my friend's family came to the United States as refugees, the lawyer asked, "Have you read House of Sand and Fog?" My friend was flabbergasted, and blew the interview. "He just walked to talk about culture, and love," he told me. My friend was totally unprepared to talk about anything other than trial lawyering. 

During my first year, I met an important trial lawyer. He asked me if a kept a journal? He found it highly amusing that I got ink on his hand. My fountain pen exploded, I didn't notice, and the ink got onto his hand from mine. "If I kept a journal, this would be precisely the kind of thing I'd write about."

So....Yeah...I got ink on an important lawyer's hand. That's what he would have remembered from the meeting. 

He then told me I was too fidgety and should start meditating. I don't think we even talked about law.

Yet when a 20-or-30-something talks to an old lawyer, what do you think he's going to want to talk about? Your theories of law or trial advocacy? LOL. Seriously. Most older male lawyers want to talk about pussy, watches, and cars. If you show up thinking you're awesome because you're a lawyer, you're going to get blown out. You'd be better advised learning about whiskey and cigars. Or journaling. Or meditating. Or Bonsai trees.

So the problem with mentorship isn't a lack of mentors. It's that there's an oversupply of people who think themselves so god-damned interesting that simply showing up "eager to learn" is enough to get someone's attention. It's not. 

People who want a mentor should figure out what the would-be mentor is actually interested in. Spend several dozen hours learning about that subject. Then, once the meeting arises, start talking about the subject that interests the person. Talk about anything other than yourself.

Doing the above will find you with plenty of mentors, and will get you outside of your own head, which will make you a well-rounded person.

Prince William and Proverbs 21:9

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

When I toss around terms like alpha and beta, guys invariable get bitchy. "Those are zoological terms, Mike!" I also often here, "You can't use those terms because status is so complicated!" Yeah, you all are so fucking smart that I can't handle it.

It never occurred to me that alpha and beta are heuristics. Thanks so much. Yet an amusing news story reveals how useful the heuristics are.

Prince William is going to be a king. What does that matter, though, when he's marrying a manish cunt?

After a final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey, Kate Middleton arrived this evening at the Goring Hotel, where her family are staying ahead of her marriage to Prince William tomorrow.

The practice took place as it was revealed Miss Middleton will not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.

(Via Roissy.) First of all, she's a 6. Why is a prince marrying a 6? Clearly his game is as weak as his hairline. Second, she gets to be a queen, which means, by definition, he's the king. As Willie D of the Geto Boys put it: "I treat a bitch like a queen, But she's got to realize I'm the goddamn king."

Yet before even getting married, William has abdicated the throne. His life is going to suck, even though he has riches and status none of us can comprehend. And so there's a lesson here.

What matters most in life? As old Jews were writing about millenia ago, it isn't money or big houses or even a kingdom. It's a legit girl who is cool, likes having sex, and doesn't nag.

Prince William is a court jester, but you need not be. Watch him. Now do exactly the opposite. 

Henry Blodget, Man Crush, Interviewed at the Business Insider

It'd be a stretch to claim that Henry Blodget lost everything. He did, however, lost much of his net worth. He lost his career. He lost his reputation. He went from earning several millions dollars a year to...nothing. He even lost his professional license.

Most people would sit around depressed. Yet Blodget came back. He started a successful media company - my go-to site for news and randomness, Business Insider

In this lengthy interview, he talks about his rise and fall. It's well worth watching, as it provides perspective. One way Blodget coped with his downfall was by getting outside of himself. He studied people who had real problems, and this helped him stop feeling sorry for himself, and to start growing:

Getting a Job Verses Being a Job

Why am I the youngest guy at the law library?

Although most do their legal research online, about 25% of the time I'm in books. This is especially true when learning a new area of law. Finding a case online is helpful, but how will I know whether the case is only one of numerous subparts? Books are useful, and so I spend too much time in libraries.

Meanwhile, I hear young lawyers and recent law grads say they can't find a job. Why aren't they in a law library?

Graduating law school in May, 2010 was horrible. There aren't many law jobs out there, and many lawyers have no found jobs in almost a year of looking. Imagine each job searcher took two different approaches:

  1. Read Above The Law, Temporary Lawyer, and other sites revealing that law schools are frauds. (They are, and it was your parents fault. Even so, you gotta ask yourself: Now what?
  2. Went to law library five days each week. Each day the lawyer read legal treatises and newly-published opinions for 6 hours.

Who, at the end of the year, is going to have a job? 

Lawyer 1 will send out many resumes, but why should anyone hire her? What does she know? What value can she add? She's a nothing.

Lawyer 2 will have had 1,500 hours of legal knowledge in his brain. The law isn't rocket science, and if you can't develop a working understanding of an entire area of law within 1,500 hours, you are too stupid to be a lawyer.

Consider, too, that you seem the same people at the law library. People recognize you. I had to switch locations, since people kept trying to talk to me. 

I've had more job offers in bars and libraries than from sending resumes. Today, I wouldn't even know how to find a job. I don't have a resume. If someone asked for a resume or law school transcripts, I'd have to consider whether they were worth the trouble of digging that stuff up.

If you're a jobless law grad, you're going to see the same people. They will see that you possess the most important skill of a lawyer - a hard ass. If you can sit the fuck down for several hours a day in a law library, you are going to be at least a workmanlike lawyer. You will get a job offer. At the very least, you will get "case overflow," i.e., cases the lawyer is too busy to work on herself. 

Yet the post goes well beyond jobless lawyers. It covers everything. One of the best metaphors for life comes from Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

[People who tell me they want to learn, but don't actually start learning] remind me of the deathless line in Wood Allen's Small Time Crooks: "I've always wanted to know how to spell Connecticut." I tend to feel that if a person genuinely wants to know how to spell Connecticut, you see, they will make efforts to look it up. Or, failing that, if a book announcing itself as The Only Way to Spell Connecticut is This is to be found in heaps on a table in front of them, they will think, "Hang on, I might get this!"

If people want to become a lawyer, or get into better shape, or lose weight, or whatever: Start doing it. There really is no secret. You show up, sit down, and start working. 


"Reawaken Your Rhomboids." Two years ago my best friend was visiting. While at a bar, he asked, "Have you gotten shorter?" I looked at the bar mirror, and noticed I looked shorter than my equally-tall friend. My posture had degraded due to working at a desk. I started working on my rhomboids and using the foam roller, and regained my full stature. 

I foam roll religiously, won't travel without one, and am going to do a post on how important foam rolling is for professionals. Here's the foam roller I currently use. The Rumble Roller is awesome, but a bit psychotic. Most of you should start off with this one.

Woman who lies about disability is awarded $400 in montly alimony rather than sent to prison.

The latest witch hunt. As with the online poker prosecutions, one wonders if the Department of [in]Justice is being supervised by adults. Is there really nothing better to focus on than drugs in sports?

Quote of the day: "The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind's flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality—without exploiting them for fun and profit." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

"Keeping Us Safe From Poker." The United States Department of [in]Justice "has now charged more people for running poker sites...than for causing the financial collapse."

Huge book sale in San Francisco - 250,000 books at $3 each. Stock up.

The Last Psychiatrist reviews Limitless at his sister blog, Partial Objects. Since TLP drinks too much, he probably has low testosterone. For a man, testosterone is the Limitless drug.

Londoners are learning about the parasitic nature of Islam. People are learning the hard way that  Muslims are not going to tolerate us because we tolerate them. There is no reciprocity with a parasite. VoxDay has more on the Muslim threat to Western Civilization.

Sitting at a desk is fatal. Get a standing desk, or walk often. Or both.

Shocking tax facts.

The Japan tsunami: 

Irony Alert

If you tell people to think outside of the box, then you're inside the box.

A comment to Keith Lee's post about CEO's reminded me of my favorite irony - the unintended variety:

Wonderful. Tnx for the heads-up. I shall check it out. Singing from the same hymn sheet as The Naked Lawyer eBook. Passion + curiosity + enthusiasm + energy is a winning formula. Differentiation also comes from being authentic, carving a niche and a personal brand. N’est ce pas?…

How many canned devices did that drone use? Let's count them:

  • Cutesy text message/teenage girl speak: 1 ("Tnx");
  • Pretentious diction: 1 ("shall" instead of "will");
  • Addition signs to create pseudo-mathematical winning formula: 3 ("Passion + curiosity + enthusiasm + energy is a winning formula");
  • Cliches: 4 ("differentiation," "being authentic," "carving a niche," "personal brand");
  • Pseudo-sophistication/French language reference: 1 ("N'est ce pas").

Does s/he realize that using clichés doesn't make you different - or as the morons say, provide differentiation? Is differentiation a bon mot? Of course s/he doesn't. S/he is just like every other fucking loser claiming to be an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur is not a self-referencing concept. Entrepreneurs own businesses. If you don't actually own businesses that earn a profit, then you're a poser.

"Pick up artists" regularly introduce themselves as Internet entrepreneurs. Sergey Brin introduces himself as CEO. See the difference?

Which reminds me of some handy life advice: If someone ever introduces himself or herself as an entrepreneur, run, don't walk, outside of the box.

"The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs" is a Fraud

A man must never ask a woman for dating advice, or a CEO for leadership strategies. Both groups give notoriously bad advice, as it's colored by self-interest and rationalization. Why do women who date assholes tell you to bring flowers on the first date? Why do men who steal money from companies tell you to be honest and hard working? Think deeply, and the answers will appear.

Take CEO's for example. In a new book, "The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed," the author asks CEO's for career advice.

IMAGINE 100 people working at a large company. They’re all middle managers, around 35 years old. They’re all smart. All collegial. All hard-working. They all have positive attitudes. They’re all good communicators.

So what will determine who gets the next promotion, and the one after that? Which of them, when the time comes, will get that corner office?

In other words, what does it take to lead an organization — whether it’s a sports team, a nonprofit, a start-up or a multinational corporation? What are the X factors?

What do you suppose a CEO will say?

Will the CEO say, "Be tall"? That's true:

The heads of big companies are, as I'm sure comes as no surprise to anyone, overwhelmingly white men, which undoubtedly reflects some kind of implicit bias. But they are also virtually all tall: In my sample, I found that on average CEOs were just a shade under six feet. Given that the average American male is 5'9" that means that CEOs, as a group, have about three inches on the rest of their sex.

Or to wear platform shoes? That'd also be a useful tip:

Le Gourmet Gift Basket CEO Cynthia McKay wears 3-inch heels even though she's 5-foot-9 in bare feet.

Will a CEO say, "I have the business ethics of a convicted felon, and I betrayed everyone I told that I loved"? Well, that's the truth:

When it comes to ethical standards, convicts and MBA students rate about even, says a Ball State University researcher.A survey of a group of convicts found their ethical standards compare favorably to those of MBA students. But, when it comes to loyalty, convicted felons may have the edge, said Shaheen Borna, a marketing professor.

Will a CEO say, "A man who sold bagels on the honor system - the so-called Bagel Man - had to stop delivering bagels to the Executive Suite, as we all stole from him"? Well, that's also true:

He also says he believes that employees further up the corporate ladder cheat more than those down below. He reached this conclusion in part after delivering for years to one company spread out over three floors -- an executive floor on top and two lower floors with sales, service and administrative employees. Maybe, he says, the executives stole bagels out of a sense of entitlement. (Or maybe cheating is how they got to be executives.)

Nah, the CEO's didn't share any truths. Instead, they gave the usual platitudes, which Associates Mind discusses here.

Homicide Report

The Los Angeles Times has compiled a database of all Los Angeles County homicide victims since 2007. It's spooky, because it's not simply dry crime data. You can do more than learn dates, ages, and names. Behind every victim is a person, and the site tells the story of the person's death.

Accompanying each murder victim's photograph is a description of his or her death. For example:

Philip Victor Williamson, a 29-year old white man, was found wounded in an alley in the 1500 block of Pine Avenue on Thursday March 24 by a passerby, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Coroner's officials reported the location of his death as the 1500 block of Pacific Avenue which is a short distance away.

Very erie, and it's a truly sick world:

Amanda Cooper, a 10-year-old Latina, died Saturday, Nov. 27, in the 4800 block of West 132nd Street, which is on the border of Del Aire and Hawthorne, according to authorities.

Deputies arrived at the home about 7:20 a.m. on a rescue call, said Sgt. Richard Pena of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"They found an unresponsive 10-year-old white female," he said. "The girl was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead."

Emergency room doctors said the girl’s body showed evidence that she had been sexually assaulted, a possibility also noted in the coroner’s records.

Yet it's the world in which we live, and it makes no sense to hide from it.