Sunday, November 16, 2014

Debuff Usefulness in FFXI



Maybe it's nostalgia talking, but I loved how debuffs actually made a difference in FFXI. In other MMORPGs I've played since FFXI, I've struggled to chose a class. But with FFXI I knew right away. I was drawn to the class for both its aesthetics and its mechanics. The jack of all trades with a pimping hat and sexy tights, Red Mage was so badass. I knew from the start it would be my main class. 

But it wasn't until end game that I realized what a good choice I had made. Regular parties and mana burn parties both wanted me for the essential buff, refresh. But debuffs were also in demand. Gravity was useful for kiting HNMs, fast cast plus stun spam was useful in all kinds of situations, and even the less glamorous debuffs, paralyze, slow, poison and blind, often made a big difference in exp parties.

Because of the way parties worked in FFXI, debuffs actually significantly reduced the number of hits your tank would take, thus saving the healer's mana (or even allowing me to be the main healer), thus making you level faster. Part of me really loved how this kind of thing just happened in the background, without much thanks. But another part of me resented how the Ninja got praised for using utsusemi so well, when it was really my paralyze and slow that enabled him to use his shadows so effectively.
I recently started playing Bravely Default, and seeing the same old debuff spells (in a game where they are, even more than usual, clearly worthless) reminds me of Egoraptor's Castlevania 4 Sequelitis episode. Often sequels will carry on a game mechanic even if it has become obsolete. The funny thing is, debuffs have always been obsolete in FF games, the only game that managed to make them useful was FFXI. In offline games debuffs don't land on most bosses and most trash enemies die before the debuff makes much of a difference. With the Brave/Default system introduced in this game, trash mobs have become less than trash, they are dirt. When every member of your party can attack 4 times from the first turn, why would I ever bother to debuff?

I've only just started the game, so perhaps I will be proven wrong, but I doubt it. When you can plow through enemies with brave attacks, debuffs seem like a huge waste of time. I don't think vestigial mechanics from prequels are all that bad, but I do wonder how they could've been changed or updated to better suit the new game.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Teaching on Monday

I always thought people who dreaded Mondays were just lazy, and I guess they are, and I guess I am in some ways. But what I find amazing is that as soon as I am in front of a class teaching them, being the "genki foreigner" that Japanese education wants, and in some ways needs, I feel fine. 

I've always considered myself an introvert... But am I really? How do I feel so energized and feel my "case of the Mondays" completely evaporate as soon as I actually get started teaching a class? I suppose it depends on how responsive the class is to the lesson, but after so many years of doing this, even in the "bad" classes where only a small minority of students are responsive I feel great. 

After studying psychology and reflecting on my own experience in school, I realize there is absolutely nothing wrong with these kids, and considering how little I get to work with them, I'm not in much of a position to assess their skill level and cultivate their interest in English. If they have an interesting, enthusiastic home room teacher, the class is great and responds well to my lesson too. If the home room teacher isn't passionate about teaching, it shows in many ways.

There is one teacher who lectures on minute details of grammar over and over like language is a math problem to solve, so he only ends up being popular with the tiny minority of students who like to analyze things grammatically. 

There are other teachers who try to be funny and interesting, but they fail miserably and instead come across as weird old people who can't read the atmosphere. They just carry on laughing at their own jokes and ignoring their student's groans. They alienate most of their class, even if they are a decent teacher otherwise. Although, usually they aren't. 

I think there is a certain performing art element to teaching similar to acting that gets ignored too often. Teachers need at least a small amount of charisma to be engaging with their students. I wanted to be an actor at one point in my life and I think could have been an actor if I had pursued it. But there are so many narcisistic people in acting and so much political maneuvering that goes on, I just didn't want to deal with it. 

I suppose teaching, or any field, has those same narcisistic, lazy people, and I suppose I am also guilty of this myself. But it's hard to feel inspired about teaching when your co-workers suck, their English sucks even though they are supposed to be English teachers. On top of that, the system forces me to spread myself thin. I teach every grade and every class in multiple schools so it could be months before I teach the same students again, and half the time the home room teacher only uses me to help teach pronunciation and check grammar like a walking dictionary and spell checker. 

I wonder how much difference there really is between introverts and extroverts. I have a feeling that the main difference is that introverts are just more picky about the kind of people they allow to get close to them and have a lower tolerance for crappy people or people they can't influence to be better people. It's not that introverts get their engery from being alone and extroverts get their energy from being around other people. It's that extroverts have a higher tolerance for stupid people and better social skills for dealing with stupid people, whereas introverts just keep their mouth shut or throw their hands up in frustration and walk away.

Extroverts perhaps have a more instinctive sense of how to deal with people whereas introverts have to learn those skills explicitly, or pick them up over time through experience. I think studying psychology can be extremely helpful for introverts, I know it has helped me a lot.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Smash Bros for 3DS: Born To Throw/Launch/Smash

I swear, there is something in our genetics that makes projectile movement innately fascinating to human beings. I am no in any way a fan of sports, but even I am glued to the screen when a ball is thrown or punted over a huge distance and everyone is holding their breath wondering if it will reach its target. Angry birds cashed in on this fascination, it was a big reason why AP physics held my attention in high school, and now, I think it's the reason why I am obsessed, even more than I thought I would be, with Smash Bros.

Understanding vector physics can help you win in smash bros? Absolutely! That's what it's all about. In a typical fighting game there is a Rock Paper Scissors system between attacks, dodges and throws, but with smash bros there are so many other layers on top of that basic system. Magic/energy, absorb, reflect. Charge, counter, barrage with projectiles. Cumulate damage, distract, go for a launch (smash). 

Simply recognizing that there are light-weight characters and heavy-weight characters can really improve your game. You have a better chance of finishing a light-weight with a vertical smash, and a better chance of finishing a heavy-weight with a horizontal smash. Certain characters have significant horizontal AND vertical recovery moves, so you're better off using quick, weak cumulitive damage attacks to get their % high enough for a successful launch. 

There is also my tendency to get so invested in a fight that I have to fight the urge to launch my 3DS across the room in frustration...

Considering the level of complexity and the appeal of the characters I'm surprised that smash bros STILL isn't taken more seriously as a fighting game. I guess because the controls are so simple that it feels like a step backwards to the guys who have had to memorize long-ass button combos to do well in typical fighting games. Also, it's just not even marketed to those guys. If there were a smash bros machine at my local arcade I would never leave! 

I have a feeling with this latest installment, there will be more immitators like the Shonen Jump and Naruto fighting games on the game cube years ago, but nothing compares with smash bros. Smash bros for 3DS has got me hooked. I hate to sound like such a fan boy, but after the outrage about tripping in Brawl, and Brawl's terrible online system, it looks like Nintendo decided to listen to their fans. Similar to how FF14 became a proper MMORPG instead of the experimental crap it was to begin with, smash bros has become a fine tuned work of art with incredible potential for complex mind games and quick thinking exploits. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Japan Bashing

So I just got this book, "The Enigma Of Japanese Power" and the author says in the intro that the book is not about Japan bashing. But then he goes on to do just that.

He bashes the infrastructure "Urban housing is cramped, confined and extraordinarily costly. The cost of living measured against average income, is exorbitantly high. Commuter trains are extremely crowded, the road system is ridiculously inadequate. These and other deficiencies in the infrastructure of daily living leave average Japanese city dwellers with a lower standard of comfort than that enjoyed by their counterparts in less wealthy European countries"

He's right on a few points, the cost of living is crazy high, and trains are crowded. But I like my small apartment and the "cramped" urban environment that gives me quick and easy access to everything I need.

Then he bashes Japanese art "One can hardly say that much emanates from Japan today that enhances the less materialist aspects of life in the way of great music, great literature or even impressive architecture."

Considering Japanese art like video games and anime are the main reason I originally became interested in Japan, I'd say this guy is just a snob with crappy taste. Since living here I've discovered Haruki Murakami, easily my 2nd favorite author after John Green, now Paulo Coelho is only my 3rd favorite, haha.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The World

Incoming flow of conscienceness rant!

The world is wonderful. There is more prosperity, equality, justice and peace than in any time in human history, and as a college educated white male, perhaps I have no right to complain. But complain I will. 

The world is becoming a better place, but at the same time it's becoming a much more complicated place. I am accustomed to living in big cities, but big cities have developed an underclass of people just living to pay the rent and find some measure of happiness in this crazy new world. 

I feel a bit cheated that no one ever told me the world was this complex. I was raised to believe that as long as I read my Book of Mormon and said my prayers, everything would turn out a-okay... Ugh.

I remember scanning a few pages of Thomas Friedman's book The Wolrd is Flat in Target as a teenager and thinking it was too "businessy" for me, that I would be an artist! And such trivial business books weren't worth my time. 

Recently I've been reading the book Why Boys Fail and it suggests that maybe boys should have The World Is Flat as required reading. When I read that it immediately triggered my memory of seeing in Target all those years ago. Perhaps I misjudged.

Something about turning 29 and reading the book Entertaining Ourselves To Death by Niel Postman triggered a big change in my way of thinking. Reading Paulo Coelho's book Adultery only furthered my suspicion that age 29 (the return of Saturn) is an opportunity to have a turning point in my life. I am still more of an idealist and a dreamer, but I have acquired a thirst for real world knowledge.

The problem with learning a lot of history is that you start to see how violent and unpredictable the world is. Where is a safe place to live and raise a family? Is that even something worth doing? What sound investments can I make? 

Stefan Molyneux recently did a video about Ayn Rand. He says that her ideas are kind of freaky to some people. He says it's because of how much western society has fallen away from it's principles, but I have i different theory. I think we are finally realing what hateful bullshit religion is, but at the same time, the ideas that must replace religion, secularism, objectivism, relativism, etc, are pretty scary.

Which is perhaps why I like the idea of humanism so much. Even without religion, we cannot ignore the power and importance of having compassion for our fellow man. But compassion cannot trump honesty. If someone believes in something that is clearly bullshit, like religion, you should tell them the truth. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Moroni's Challenge and Kundun

The difficulty with leaving the Mormon church is that there will always be someone you love telling you to take Moroni's challenge again. The challenge is the idea that if you pray with the right frame of mind that the Holy Spirit will confirm that the church is true. But Moroni's challenge is something I will never do again. I took that challenge hundreds of times, but I could never be sure that the feeling I got from praying about it wasn't just my own mind telling me it was true because I wanted it to be true. 

I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies, Kundun. It's about the conflict between China and Tibet. There is a very memorable scene where the Dalai Lama and chairman Mao sit down together. The negotiations seem to be going well, and it seems like there is nothing but mutual respect between the two men, but then chairman Mao tells the Dalai Lama that there is something he must learn. That religion is poison. I don't agree with socialist or Marxist ideology, and I certainly don't endorse the violence and human right's violations that the Chinese committed in Tibet, but I do agree with the sentiment that religion is the opiate of the people. 

It is a shame that the beautiful culture and religion of Tibet had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the dark ages, but it was something that had to be done for the sake of the poor people living in that country who were stuck worshiping a false god and living in poverty and ignorance about the outside world.

I have a theory that the Dalai Lama himself, through his thorough understanding of Buddhist principles, has come to realize his own humanity. He has said there should be no 15th Dalai Lama. I think he continues to act as the Dalai Lama because of the positive teachings of compassion and non-violence that he has the power to share with the world. I doubt the leaders of the church would ever say there should be no next prophet.

I think I was moved as a teenager when I first saw Kundun because of the parallel experience I was having with leaving the church. The Dalai Lama was convinced as a child that he was special, he was part of a loving community that taught profound truths about the importance of having compassion for your fellow man. But they also taught him a lot of nonsense about being reborn and listening to hissing, thrashing oracles in funny costumes.

I think now that I am older, I relate more to the chairman Mao character in the movie. No matter how much you may love and respect someone, if they believe something that is fundamentally wrong, you should tell them.

The church has adapted to mainstream culture in the past, changing its stance on polygamy and blacks holding the priesthood, but the world is changing too quickly for it to keep up now. I left the church for purely intellectual reasons, but I understand now that was also the right thing to do morally. Telling children they are special because they believe in the only true religion is psychological child abuse, even without threats of going to hell. Trying to use the law to enforce outdated ideas about sexuality, as the Mormon church has done with the LGBT community, is wrong. 

So, since I've taken Moroni's challenge hundreds of times, could I perhaps persuade you to watch Kundun once if you haven't seen it already? I'd love to hear what you think about it. Are Tibetan Buddhism and Mormonism (or any religion) really so different? Are their superstitions any more or less rediculous than yours? Are their struggles for peace, compassion, freedom and understanding any more or less admirable? I believe that it's the principles that are important, not the religious trappings. Religion is no longer necessary to teach correct principles, religion only divides us.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

MMORPG Roles And Gender Roles

Learning all this stuff about evolutionary psychology, politics, history, social and cultural norms, etc. has gotten me thinking about how it all relates to MMORPGS, esspecially the party dynamic. I have played as all three roles; healer, tank and dps, but I usually play as a healer or a hybrid class. I suppose it appeals to me to be the person in the background keeping everything running smoothly, being able to support when support is needed or contribute a little dps when things are safe makes me feel like I am always useful. Being a jack of all trades, supporting in whatever way a situation calls for, never taking too much risk, this is a typically feminine role, as long as you're making an effort, when things go wrong, blame tends to falls on you last. People understand how essential your role is, but there is little glory or heroism in it so the things you do tend to go under appreciated.

Being a tank is a lot of fun, but it certainly puts a lot of pressure on you. Because you are the one facing off with the enemy, you tend to become the default leader, and therefore the one that blame and scrutiny immediately falls on when things go wrong. You're armor is too weak or you didn't hold agro well enough etc. The tank role is the typical male role, to lead, protect, strategize and take risks. Good tanks are like successful entrepreneurs, receiving praise and attention for fulfilling their role so well. Bad tanks are like the guys whose wife divorces them when they lose their job.

Dps was always the least appealing to me, I would say it is the beta male role equivalent in the MMORPG world. As a dps you are necessary, but your job is fairly easy and straightforward, thus many people want to fill that role and it becomes the least valuable role. If you've ever tried to find a pick up group as a class that is solely dps, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

When I play as a healer I enjoy myself, but it is just a mild sense of satisfaction because I feel that our success was mostly because of the other players in the group. If the MMORPG party were a couple, the healer would be the housewife who feels under appreciated, but sticks with it for the pay off. 

When I play as a tank my emotions become extreme. If a difficult battle goes smoothly, I get a rush of satisfaction. Even if I understand on an intellectual level that we were successful because we worked as a team, it's hard to fight that instinctive feeling to take most of the credit because I was the one putting myself most at risk. On the other hand, when things go poorly, it's easy for me to feel guilty, that the failure was all because of me, since I have the most control over the encounter. 

I've enjoyed playing as a dps, but it makes you feel like a mercenary, a replaceable cog in the party machine. Dps classes are the most popular because they make you feel powerful with big damage numbers and fancy attacks, but over time the monotony of your role and your own replacability will start to bother you. You just don't feel as needed as a dps.

I suppose I am fairly feminine, but I am still a man, so the hybrid classes that can step in and contribute DPS or another unique ability, like mana regeneration, when necessary are the most appealing to me. Shadow priest and Shaman in World of Wacraft and Red Mage in Final Fantasy 11 were my favorites. 

It's interesting that Final Fantasy 14 was originally a game that tried to minimize party roles, and it was an absolute disaster. It seems that people tend to prefer more clearly defined roles, in life and in online games. The rise of feminism has led to the current chaotic state of affairs between men and women. We now have the freedom to chose our own role in life, but our culture and biology still push us to behave in certain ways. I believe problems will persist until men and women learn to fully appreciate the value of each other's traditional roles and chose to be open and honest, to negotiate with their partners about what role, or combination of roles suits them best.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Blog: The Empathy Gap

At first I thought this was just something I would make a few posts about and move on, but as I go deeper "down the rabbit hole" I've decided this is something I want to dedicate more time to, and I think it deserves its own blog.

http://theempathygap.blogspot.com/

A God Among MGTOWs - Nikola Tesla

How ironic that this man who considered working women inferior, created the technology that enabled future generations of women to enjoy comfortable, safe, convenient work. At the same time he revered the women who fulfilled their traditional role as nurturers. He said there is no true medium between a woman that nurtures and one that emulates men. 

I probably would have agreed with Tesla if I had been born in his time, but today there are so many high achieving women that I think it is safe to say that they can do any male role that they set their mind to doing. I think the key to the future well being of society is not trying to force women back into their nurturer role, but to change our perspectives to allow men to be as accepted and respected in the role of nurturer as women are. There also needs to be more accountability and higher standards expected of women who decide to enter the workforce. To recognize our biases and, as Warren Farrell says, strike a balance between male risk and female caution.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Playing the victim card when you need it

I think I might just go ahead and keep my mouth shut with most women. I'll tell them that all my behavior is based on evolutionary psychology, give a brief summary and leave it to them to ask me or to find out more on their own if they are interested.

Other than that, I'll just point out any double standards when they pop up and "play the victim card" so to speak, just like they do to prevent being treated unfairly. At the same time, I'll stick to my guns when they are attempting to be manipulative. Seems like it's the best approach, women just don't want to talk about these things explicitly, you have to prove it to them over time through your actions.

Women are really bad with generalities...

http://jezebel.com/5941433/you-can-tell-evolutionary-psychology-isnt-true-because-its-not-true

ugh... I know I said we should not focus on feminists, but I couldn't help myself. I am so thoroughly convinced that evolutionary psychology makes sense, I just had to see what women think of it. After a few recent conversations with women and after reading this article, it seems like I might need to take an even more emotion based approach than I realized. Karen Staghan is rarity indeed.

The article begins with a solipsism "Evolutionary Psychology Isn't True Because It's Not True" and then a goofy cartoon caveman to serve as an indirect ad hominem. She goes on to assume her own experience is universal, and interpret the data to suit her argument. It's just so... predictable.

When I tried to point out gender differences with my female friends in a playful, non-accusatory way, they still took it as a personal attack! I was a bit shocked. It is really difficult to get women to accept anything negative about their nature, even if you sugar coat it by pointing out all of the positive aspects along with it. I really was just pointing out differences. I'll leave out the details, but the gist of the conversation want basically this.

"Men are good at some things, but we really, really suck at other things. Women are great at some things, we'd be lost without them! But they're not quite as good at certain things. What do you think?"

Of all those statements, the last one, which I tried to make as gentle as possible was immediately seen as an attack on all women! >_<

Women's aversion to criticism is astounding. It seems that even if a woman who is very mature in her personal life and can take personal criticism fine, she has an instinctive defensive reaction to generalities about women. This reaction is also explained by evolutionary biology, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Why MGTOW rubs people the wrong way

MGTOW baffles people because it is turning your back on your most basic instincts to serve the community by being competitive with other men and being responsible for a wife and children. These are instincts that got humans to where they are today, so just checking out feels like a cowardly thing to do.

But I think they are brave in a way and the phenomenon should be given proper attention. Masturbation, gayness and porn are all looked down on because they cheat the system by satisfying male interests without satisfying female interests. I think perhaps MGTOWs are the purest of MRAs. The women's rights movement celebrated the fact that women could rely on themselves instead of men, MGTOWs are celebrating the fact that they can chose to turn their back on a corrupt system that doesn't fully appreciate their contribution anymore.

I suppose I am a Man Going His Own Way too, but I think I am more hopeful than most. I believe women are smart enough to recognize the truth, there just aren't many voices talking to them nicely.

PUAs will tell you that women are more interested in conversations about relationships, so you should focus on that sort of conversation. My idea is that evolutionary psychology is just talking about relationships on a broader scale. Why wouldn't women be interested in that? The problem is, men get bogged down with fleshing out the science with research and facts instead of emotions and personal experiences.

To make it an interesting conversation for women you have to tell them how it relates to you personally, how it feels to realize you are a victim of your own male impulses, how insulted you are by women who have broken up with you for dishonest reasons. At the same time balance that out by talking about how much you love the women in your life, how much you appreciate the contributions certain women have made to society. It's not enough to just say you don't hate women, you have to show them that you still love them, otherwise you just sound like an angry man.

I think approaching women this way is much more valuable and healthy and strikes a good balance between the pessimistic MGTOW who say fuck it all, and the PUA who wants to be deceptive. I don't want to just stay home and play video games all day, I still want to contribute something meaningful to society, and I'd like to find a partner who feels the same way.

I suppose I am a MGTOW, but I am holding out hope that I can find a woman strong enough to talk about these issues and admit to her flaws and find some middle ground. Perhaps it's a fools errand, but I think it's worth the risk.

MRM Needs More Emotional Men

I am an emotional man. I cry more than most girls I know. I have a theory that it's because I was raised in the Mormon church, which is extremely feminine. One of the most important meetings in the church is "fast and testimony meeting" a special meeting once a month that brought out a lot of emotions. It's also an exercise in brainwashing that serves the necessary purpose of reinforcing everyone's confirmation bias, but let's look at the positive aspect of it.

Crying is something I was never looked down on for as a child, in fact, I saw grown men cry on a regular basis. And it wasn't just crying because they loved God and Jesus, that's part of it to be sure, but they're only given partial credit. I believe most of the men were crying because they were admitting to their weaknesses and expressing gratitude for being blessed with support of family, friends and community, with some lucky coincidences they attributed to god. The focus on the community was very strong.

If I am going to add my voice to the MRM community, that is the voice that I will add. Mine is a voice that emphasizes the importance of the emotional man and the power of empathy and isn't afraid to cry a bit!

Paleo in the MRM

It feels so good to hear people within the MRM community talk about health and diet. I just watched a video of a conversation between Karen Straghan and Stardusk, talking about "stuff" and "junk." Although they didn't explicitly mention paleo, they mentioned that we evolved to be hunters, eating meat gives us bigger brains, vegans and vegetarians are misguided, the cholesterol hoax, the high fructose syrup hoax, the high nutrients in organ meats, the depletion of nutrients in food from bad farming practices etc. They must've read the Vegetarian Myth too!

This is the magic of the theory of evolution. No one is preaching it as a gospel you have to believe or you will suffer, they are testing theories against reality, showing the results and letting people decide for themselves. The truth prevails in the end, it does not have to be actively preached, only celebrated among the community. People will start to notice that community more and more and want to join it. We're still working out the details, but over time, paleo and evolutionary psychology will be seen as the ugly truths they are, and we will change our behavior.

Think Like A Man, Feel Like A Woman, Take The Red Pill

The more I think about this stuff, the more I believe it really is evolution. After all, when presented with two pictures, baby boys will look at the object, and baby girls will look at the human face. But I also believe in what Mark Sisson calls gene-expression. We can reprogram ourselves, with lots of practice and repetition. Humans are masters of adaptation. I think the next stage in our evolution is for men to become more like women and for women to become more like men.

For thousands and thousands of years of our evolution, men had to do all the thinking. Where to find food, how to build a shelter, how to deal with other men in competition for women. Feelings made men weak. Men who did not put aside their emotions didn't make it. Fear, doubt, and discomfort had to be ignored. That doesn't mean men don't have emotions, we just learn to ignore them. We ignore them so well, at times it takes a lot of reflection to decide how we feel about something, to turn off our analytical brains and think about what we actually want. But deep down we always have feelings, soldiers on the battlefield don't cry for their mothers because they want a sandwich.

For thousands and thousands of years of our evolution, women had to do all the feeling. Women were surrounded by people throughout their existence. While the men went off to hunt, the women took care of children, tended the sick, wounded and elderly. They developed a strong sense of how to navigate the social landscape. They became intimately aware of our selfish nature and how to deal with it without spoiling it. How to encourage others to do more, to speak without offending, how to minimize risk by avoiding blame and guilt. 

Thinking is an outward action, feeling is inward. It's interesting the way the pendulum swings. Up until quite recently, women were mostly content with their role in the home. They weren't interested in independence until men had tamed the world to the point where it became safe and comfortable to work outside the home. So, women began working, earning power and independence for themselves. This changed things a lot for women, some have adapted better than others to their newfound power, some have been irresponsible with that power.

The men's rights movement is about more than changing laws, it's about changing hearts. Sadly, we men mostly only know how to speak the language of logic, which women don't like to listen to unless they can see some immediate benefit. In this complex, technologically advanced world of insatiable consumerism, it's hard to rise above our base desires and work for a better future. Men are programmed and conditioned to make sacrifices for the future, women are more concerned with the here and now. Men's ability to imagine the future and make predictions made the prophets of the past and the scientists of the present. 

Major shifts in worldview have all been initiated by men who took the time to analyze the world and come up with a system to explain it. It takes time for new ideas to catch on, but in the end, the truth will prevail. There is already a major shift toward atheism because of the theory of evolution. But we are afraid to apply the theory of evolution to our gender roles. It just doesn't feel right, we like to believe we are more than just animals when it comes to love. But when we do bravely plunge in and accept the world of evolutionary psychology, the explanations are so eye-opening it really is like Neo taking the red pill. Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit, now it's time to give women the red pill.

Wow, I really like that analogy. I imagine that if the story of Adam and Eve has any basis in reality, Eve gave Adam the fruit as an incentive for him to go find more fruit. Men teaching women this "red pill material" is inviting them to join us in the effort of finding fruit. It's still up to them whether that role is by supporting us in their traditional role as mother, by working alongside us, or some combination of the two.

Now that men and women are free to perform whatever role they want, thinking has become a valuable skill for women to learn, and feeling has become a valuable skill for men to learn. PUAs, MRAs and MGTOW are different groups with different ideas about how to interpret this new knowledge and what the best course of action is, like different sects of Christianity using the same foundational teachings, but coming to different conclusions. Well, I suppose I am proposing another idea. I guess you could call it "give women the red pill." 

PUAs try to create a map of the social landscape, called game theory, to get sex. This is fine, but seems a bit cold-hearted to me. Instead of being deceptive, why not just get it all out in the open? The red pill is most certainly a hard one to swallow, and it might need a lot of sugar coating, but I think it must be done.

It's tempting to focus your efforts on the feminists, because they feel like such a threat, but I think it's best to ignore them. Most women can smell crazy, they just choose to avoid or ignore it. Instead focus on the average woman, the people you meet in your daily life. Be gentle though. Use humor, this is heavy stuff, and a good sense of humor goes a long way, as the PUAs will gladly agree. Appeal to their innate motherly sympathy by pointing out the victimized men who are being ignored; veterans, the homeless, neglected boys, heartbroken fathers. Perhaps the hardest thing to sell is the economic consequences of their rampant consumerism. Shopping is their drug, so even if you teach them the damage they are doing, they may be prone to relapse. This isn't to say that men aren't wasteful consumers too, we are. We buy porn, beer and video games too, but these are poor replacements for the love that we really crave.

So, red pill evangelists? RPEs? Whatever... Are willing to delve deep into the implications of these new discoveries about men and women and come up with practical solutions in their lives without being deceptive or simply giving up on women. It's harder for men to trust women when they learn this stuff, briffault's law is hard to refute. Women will feel a bit insulted when they learn it, but as the MRM community expands and more women join, they'll feel more and more comfortable. They've already started joining, why not invite them in?

Hypergamy and Solipsis

Here's another rant about Stardusk's ideas. Apparently lesbians divorce more often than gays, and they marry in much narrower demographics. The reason for the high divorce rate is likely that hypergamy causes them to both have unreasonably high expectations. There's also this idea of "war brides" or women who marry their invaders. Women are more likely to experience Stockholm syndrome. All of these things make sense, and I don't know if they are necessarily a bad thing or that they necessarily mean women are stuck in solipsisms.

Basically these are all examples of tried and true survival strategies. Being selfish, adaptable, submissive, cautious. Women needed these traits for humanity to survive.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think women can "take the red pill" too, it's just much harder for them. Young women are in a great position right now, they have no reason to question things. Even if they do question things, women tend to believe other women more than they believe men, which is probably why feminism became so big and is still defended by so many women and supplicating men. Women are less curious, less likely to question things, so unless people tell them about these ideas, they'll be unlikely to stumble across them on their own like men do.

I'm more hopeful, I don't think there will be a "Fempocalypse"

What Women Really Mean

Perhaps I should stop watching Stardusk's videos, they're really making me lose faith in women. I'll hang on to the hope of finding someone some day, but my standards are rapidly becoming too high for most women. Karen Straghan meticulously describes the biology and the origins of certain female behaviors, Stardusk points out the social implications of that biology.

Once you understand women's primary motivation for things, all of a sudden, the things women say become a bit creepy. When a girl talking about her relationship says "I always win when we fight" what she is really saying is, "I am a master manipulator." If you ask her why she loves her boyfriend and she says "He'll do anything for me" what she really means is, "I use him like an appliance." When they insist on men paying for dates, what they are really saying is, "I am a prostitute." If a woman flirts with you and you politely refuse her for what ever reason, she will tell you the next day that she was "just tipsy" to avoiding taking credit for failed flirtation. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

MRM = the real feminism

I think this is a point that is not stressed enough in the Men's Rights Movement. That the MRM is much more in women's best interest than feminism is. That the equality of the sexes that feminism claims to be fighting for would become a reality through the men's rights movement. 

Feminism is all about treating women as a perpetual victim, telling women they deserve free stuff without working for it, that they are entitled to rights without responsibilities. All these messages make women weaker and less attractive to men. Men are losing respect for women because women are losing respect for themselves. 

I recently watched a video on YouTube by Stardusk about female projection. I think men and women have a tendency to miscommunicate because we don't agree on the meaning of certain words. The word respect is a big one for me. A man respects Steve Jobs for his hard work, his creativity, his commitment. A woman respects Steve jobs for the result of that work, that he got rich and famous. I am amazed by how many popular songs there are with women throwing around the word "respect" without understanding where respect really comes from. A man who took risks, worked hard, and built an empire is deserving of respect. His son who inherits it, unless he similarly proves his competence is not worthy of respect for his wealth and power, he was born into it. 

If women got to where they are today the same way that men did, there would be more love and respect between the sexes. The poisonous message of feminism is that all you have to do to get what you want it complain until someone gives it to you. Crybabies are not attractive.

I can imagine a feminist response to this. "YOU'RE the one being a crybaby!" The hypocrisy is astounding. I don't think we should pay so much attention to those people. The majority of women are smart enough to hear the difference between purely emotional outburst like that and the truth. The problem is, I think women need to hear the emotional arguements too. 

The tone of most men's rights movement is typically male. Logical pontificating, debating, crude jokes that some more conservative women find offensive. That's fine, but we need to show some emotion too, there is a lot to be emotional about. In other words, if men are the real victims, as I believe we are, I think we're entitled to act that way a bit, even if it is somewhat unattractive.

Couples are being devastated by divorce courts. Young boys without strong fathers are being driven to drugs, violence, depression and suicide. Battered husbands, veterans, and the homeless are being completely ignored. Helpless infants are being subjected to physical and emotional trauma. The lack of love for boys and men is causing so much unnecessary suffering and it needs to stop! 

This is a message that any feminist with a heart will listen too, this is the way we need to talk about these issues. As men, it feels very unnatural to play the victim, but unless we appeal to women's emotions, I don't know if they'll ever listen to us.

MRM as a personal confidence booster

I've read loads of PUA stuff. The psychology they teach makes a lot of sense, and I've used some of it with some great successes, but I could never shake the feeling I was being exploitative. After watching tons of Karen Straghan (girlwriteswhat) videos on youtube, things make a lot more sense. I think what bothered me about the PUA community was that it was all about getting sex. The PUA perspective teaches you to behave in a way that causes women to respect you for the ultimate goal of having sex. I guess that is the only difference. Even though I am atheist now, I think I still have some very underlying puritanical ideas about sex, namely, that actively seeking it is bad.

Now I am quite thoroughly convinced that for a man to get anywhere in life, in work or in love, you have to behave that way. You have to be social, you have to offer value to the people around you, you have to demand respect. But don't do it just for sex, do it because it is the best way to live.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thank god for women willing to call bullshit on other women.


Gender Role Education Could Change The World

I remember sex ed in jr. high school being entirely focused on biological facts of reproduction, which is valuable information, but what about gender roles? Women are solidly in the workforce, and more and more men are rejecting social stigmas and becoming stay at home dads. So why is our socialization of children, especially boys, stuck in the past?

I don't know, but I don't think it won't be this way for long. In the age of information, logic trumps tradition faster and more powerfully than ever before. In the marketplace of ideas bad ideas will be subordinated by good ones. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cost of Feminism

The more I read this book,"The Myth Of Male Power" the more I do web searches to see if things have changed much. It's shocking how much they haven't. When I do a search for "the cost of feminism" I get crap articles like these.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2206665/The-REAL-price-feminism-Modern-men-expect-women-Dutch-dates-s-equality-workplace.html

Really? Boo-hoo, I have my own income so now guys won't pay for dates anymore... THAT is the cost of feminism? I was thinking more about the cost in legal fees and lost man hours from men being falsely accused of rape, or taxpayer dollars going to programs to protect women where no equivalent exists for men, or the double cost of female prisons vs male prisons, or the cost of companies paying for pregnancy like it's a "disability" ... But instead I find women STILL crying about trivial shit like this... Wait, I take that back. This isn't trivial either. Chivalry SHOULD be dead. Chivalry is treating women like children instead of respecting them. Women should be upset when a man tries to pay for their date, he is sending the message "awe, you need my help, don't you? You poor little thing." I'm not saying men should never pay for women, but it should be something women are more grateful for, not something they feel entitled to. Ladies, true equality means sharing responsibility.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Men's Rights

It sucks that I have to preface this with something that should be obvious. The men's right's movement is not sexist. It's really shocking how little changes from the childhood playground name calling to the adult world of throwing around words like "sexist" or "chauvinist" as if they'll win an argument or convince someone to change their mind.

The men's right's movement is not "anti-woman" or "domestic terrorism" or looking for special treatment of men. It's about achieving TRUE equality. The women's right's movement seems to have only gotten us halfway there. I'm sick of women saying "you're not a woman, so you can never understand." Men could easily just throw that back and say "you're not a man, so you can never understand." Instead they're saying, yes, WE are men and women, we may never be able to experience first-hand what it is like to be the opposite gender, but I think we are intelligent and sympathetic enough to make an effort to understand each other more complexly. Society, culture and even evolution have given us roles and instincts that cause us to have a propensity toward certain behaviors, but it's time for us, both MEN AND WOMEN, to outgrow them.

Feminism has always pissed me off. I think what's pissed me off the most about it was that everyone just blindly agreed with the most outrageous feminist claims and emotional outbursts. Finally that seems to be changing with this Men's Rights Movement, but it's being met with a lot more resistance than the Women's Rights Movement ever was. I was shocked to find that "The Myth of Male Power" was written in 1993 (when I was in elementary school!)  and yet radical feminism is still alive and well more than 20 years later.

Men who have never hurt women in any way get lumped in with the "evil patriarchy" for being born with a dick. What the fuck is this "patriarchy" bullshit anyway? I've had way more female authority figures in my life than males. In general, the male authority figures have been more fair and compassionate with me. I'll admit, it most likely just a gender bias, but I always got the impression that when women scolded me, they were taking out some unrelated  emotional aggression, and I was just a convenient outlet. Male authority figures could be just as harsh, but I felt they were more fair and logical. Hey, maybe that's why boys are better off with a father-figure in the home! Women make up half the population, and apparently have better turn-out in elections than males, so if the "patriarchy" is so damn evil, you'd think they would've overthrown it by now. 

I've never been given any special treatment for being a certain race or gender. Instead I've gotten white guilt and male guilt, on top of Mormon guilt! I never owned any slaves or raped any women (although the Mormon guilt was justified, I did jerk off and have some "pre-marital sex" lol). I remember when I was looking for scholarships to apply to university there were loads of scholarships for women and minorities. Fuck your "historically underprivileged" arguments, not seeing any special scholarships for white boys sure made me feel "underprivileged" in the present. 

The Selective Service System is sexist, and religiously biased to boot, it's hard to argue about that. I only vaguely remember signing up for it, even though the September 11th attacks had happened just a couple years earlier. I should've been freaking out, but the possibly of being drafted didn't really cross my mind, it was just one of those things you had to do, like going to the dentist, but it's essentially signing your life away to the state. Instead, I remember looking at all those posters of men in uniform thinking "hey, that might be cool" because that's the way it's marketed. Death and enslavement sold as bravery and glory. I can see why feminists aren't clamoring for equal treatment of THAT law. 

I could go on, and I probably will, but that's enough for one post.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stefan Molyneux

After reading more articles from fdrliberated.com I've gotten a more complete picture of how Stefan treats his fans and "followers." It's creepy how many of his debate tactics remind me of closed-minded religious types.

http://liberatingminds.forumotion.com/t87-short-summary-of-15-of-stef-s-debating-techniques

But I am still a fan of Stefan Molyneux. His well researched videos offer insights you don't find from most mainstream sources. I highly recommend his "Truth About" series and his bitcoin videos. Just don't take everything he says at face value, do your own research, and don't convert your life savings into bitcoins.

Also, as excited as I am about the future of bitcoin, I have doubts about how far the free market can go in making the world a better place. Free trade works fine for nations that are already rich, but the book "Bad Samaritans" shows that poorer nations can benefit from more economic protection and government intervention.

Especially be wary of his relationship advice. In his video "The Truth About Karl Marx" he argues that no one would read a diet book written by an obese person, so no one should take moral advice from a morally bankrupt person. By that same logic, someone with very few strong personal relationships might not be the best person to be giving that kind of advice, although I guess you could argue that he has quality relationships over quantity of relationships.

Still, if you decide to read his book "Real Time Realtionships" I would recommend also reading "How to Win Friends & Influence People" and the 7 habits books. Perhaps even some of the stuff written by the PUA (pick-up artist) community and the books with cheesy titles like "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps." Relationships are more complex than he assumes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I guess I am a libertarian now, or maybe I've always been one and never knew it?

I've never paid much attention to politics, but even when I did, I just assumed, like most people do, there were no other significant parties besides the democrats and the republicans. I found this Centrist party, which I found very interesting and inspiring.

http://uscentrist.org/

Check out this message on their page:

"America is 70% Centrist. So why are we letting 15% from the left and 15% from the right control our nation? We need to support Independent and Centrist candidates, or risk losing another election to special interests."

Sadly, as professional looking as their site is, the party is currently pretty much non-existent, as far as I can tell. Fortunately, the libertarian party is basically the same thing. Socially liberal like the democrats but financially conservative like the republicans... claim to be.

I'm fairly new to this, but I have a feeling the reason so many people don't realize that libertarianism is a good third option, is because there are a lot of misconceptions. Because of the party's focus on freedom, it tends to attract atheists, anarchists and gun freaks.

I have to give credit where credit is due, Stefan Molyneux really convinced me. But a quick word of warning, Stefan Molyneux has some crazy ideas, so take his personal advice with a grain of salt and check his resources for yourself if they seem dubious.

http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-molyneux-and-defoo-defined/

Here's the path that led me to libertarianism. First I read "Entertaining Ourselves to Death" which convinced me of the need to stop spending so much time playing video games and educate myself about the world around me.

My next big discovery was the paleo diet. I spent several months devouring books about that. One of Mark Sissions recommended books "The Vegetarian Myth" got me thinking about the fate of the planet and whether the lofty goal of feeding the world is even possible.

Then I read "The Bottom Billion" about how corruption, lack of infrastructure, civil war and greed can keep a country from growing. Reading "Behind The Beautiful Forevers" gave me a better idea of what the day to day struggles of the poor are like.

The Isla Vista shootings got everyone talking about gun control, which led me to Stefan Molyneux's videos and also got me very interested in bitcoin, which has the potential to be more stable than a lot of fiat currencies and could help the third world.

On top of all this, I noticed Penn Jillette is a libertarian, and I'm a huge fan of Bullshit!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Paleo is not a diet, it's a lifestyle

I live in Japan, so I don't know how much this misunderstanding persists. And I know there are plenty of more well known bloggers who have covered this topic in more detail. I just want to throw in my two cents. 

Vegans and vegetarians still struggle with this, but I know there are some places where you can tell people what kind of vegan or vegetarian you are and they can get a general idea of what sort of dish to prepare for you. I want that for paleo! I want to be able to simply tell people "I'm paleo" and not have to go into great detail about why I don't eat grains, dairy, drink alcohol or eat processed foods.

But first, there needs to be an effort to dismantle all the misinformation out there. I have a feeling there are still lots of people out there under the impression that paleo is all about eating loads of raw meat. It's not. The rules are not set in stone, but basically we eat real, natural foods. There is no "one true" paleo diet. Being paleo means learning about the affects of various foods and using that scientific information plus a little self experimentation to find the best foods, portions, combinations of foods, etc, that work for you. 

If even someone like John Green can misunderstand what paleo is, there is a big problem. He's the guy who said one of my favorite quotes ever, "the truth resists simplicity" so it seems utterly bizarre for him to have such a presumptious idea of what paleo is. I literally yelled at my computer screen. Ugh... 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

10 Reasons Not To Drink Alcohol

After six years of drinking, I think I am ready to stop. Since I grew up in the Mormon church, "god says it's bad" was the only reason I needed as a kid. Now I've stopped going to church, and I am surrounded by the drinking culture of Japan, so I need better reasons to not drink even though everyone around me drinks. I've tried to quit in the past, but I'd always google some research about the benefits of moderate drinking and not worry about it. Lately though, since I started eating paleo. I've been researching more and more, reading the good and the bad, reading lots of people's different experiences with alcohol. I've decided I've had enough.

10. It's Expensive

I've heard of people spending $300 or $500 dollars a week on it! I've never spent money on alcohol at that rate, but I think I have spent $100 some weeks in the past, and that is just crazy. Add up all the money I've spent on alcohol over the past six years, and I know I could have a nicer car, nicer TV, more money in the back, more money to make investments with, all kinds of things!

9. It's Acidic

Your body tries to achieve homeostasis, not too acidic, not to alkaline. I like veggies, sure, but I think we all know that it's the acidic stuff we crave. Taking alcohol off the menu makes it that much easier to maintain homeostasis and not cause your body unnecessary damage while still enjoying some tasty acid foods like sweet fruits and juicy meat.

8. It Causes Liver Problems

Smoking causes lung disease, sugary, high carb diets cause diabetes, alcohol causes liver disease. This should really be the only item on this list, but we humans have a hard time dealing with stuff in the distant future. That's why I've formed a habit of visualizing myself going into a doctor's office and getting the news that I have diabetes or liver disease whenever I get tempted by junk food and alcohol.

7. It Makes You Take Stupid Risks

This could be a list of its own... I've only broken a bone twice in my life, both times I was pretty drunk. I've only been arrested once, I was drunk at the time. I've spent time with some shady folks in bars who I would have gotten the hell away from had I been sober. I have trouble keeping track of things when I'm sober, so drinking only makes my absent-mindedness much worse. I've lost an MP3 player, a jacket, my car key (which cost $100 to get a new one made since it was my only copy at the time).

6. It Upsets Your Gut

I've thrown up, had stomach aches, diarrhea, fatigue and a few other obvious ill affects on my health as a direct result of drinking alcohol. Mark Sisson's post about this is very interesting. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/no-alcohol-challenge

5. Black Outs

Not remembering how you got somewhere or what you did last night is extremely unsettling. I never want it to happen again.

4. It Makes You Lose Your Voice At Karaoke Faster

Most people say they need a few drinks to sing karaoke, I'm the opposite, I love singing. I don't know if it's the alcohol directly damaging my throat as it goes down or if it's because I have a tendency to talk and sing louder when I'm drinking, but sometimes I lose my voice after only 1 or 2 songs, and that sucks.

3. It Prevents You From Burning Fat

Sometimes, I look at the dumbbells in my room and think of those ever elusive six pack abs I've been trying to get. Maybe with getting rid of alcohol on top of eating paleo, I'll finally be able to get them? Only one way to find out!

2. You Can't Eat Salmon

According to the Perfect Health Diet, eating salmon or sardines with alcohol is a big part of why alcohol causes liver problems. So you have to choose one or the other. I'd rather have salmon sashimi for breakfast than a beer for a nightcap.

1. It Alters Your Brain Chemistry

Being a heavy drinker doesn't make you addicted in the clinical sense, but being at risk of addiction doesn't sound a whole lot better, does it?
http://news.yale.edu/2013/03/08/binge-drinking-and-your-brain-raising-risk-dependence

What about the benefits?
The few positive affects of alcohol as a source of anti-oxidants and as a stress reliever can be much more well achieved in other ways (eating dark chocolate and playing video games for example). 

So that's my list. Writing it all down like this makes it look like such an obvious decision, but it's so easy to slip back into old habits. So, from now on I think the only alcohol I will drink is complimentary or celebratory champagne once or twice a year. If I haven't eaten any salmon that day.

2 people who have never had alcohol who I admire.
Penn Jillette
Arin Hanson (Egoraptor) 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rampo

This is pretty much exactly how I see Rambo. And most other cheap 80s action flicks. And most action flicks from any time really. I prefer movies with some substance, not moronic, unrealistic, over the top, macho fantasies.