Mailbag - Written by Entropy on Monday, May 18, 2009 13:42 - 7 Comments

Mailbag! (5/18/09)

Back with a smattering (don’t you like that word?) of questions to answer today. Everything from guilt to shit tests to philosophical reading. As always, if you have a question you want answered here, either comment on this post or email me at:

I’m starting to get some results and it’s fucking with my head. I’m starting to feel really guilty because I feel like these girls are like falling in love with me but I don’t feel the same way with them. Is this normal?

I think so. When guys first start to get some success it really messes with your head at first because your entire life you’ve programed yourself to appreciate women more than you’re appreciated, you’ve always been the guy who likes her more than she likes you and as a result you always get your heart broken. Well, when the tables flip all of the sudden, it’s a huge mindfuck and a lot of guys immediately feel guilty. They feel like they’re getting affection they don’t deserve and when they break things off they feel like they have no right to hurt someone.

It’s tough, yes, but it’s life. In the end you can never hold yourself responsible for other people’s emotions, only your own. If a girl falls head-over-heels for you and you don’t exactly feel the same way about her, you eventually learn to appreciate her and savor the feeling without feeling guilty or unworthy of it. A lot of guys get caught off-guard by this outpouring of emotion from women (especially lower self-esteem women which newer guys tend to attract) and it freaks them out, but once you get used to it you learn this is what’s so wonderful about women that draws us to them so strongly.

I was in a set the other night, all her girl friends and a few dudes are partyin’. I give her a direct opener at the bar by complimeting her style. Her friend says it’s her b-day and I should by her a drink. I ask her how old she is. She says she’s 23 and doesn’t want to talk about it. I tell her she’s not that old and you can’t complain until you’re my age then she asks how old I am. I make her guess and she says 25-26. I tell her I’m older and she follows up with “you’re trouble” then ejects on me. I didn’t have a verbal follow up and just smiled.

Second time this weekend a chick tells me I’m trouble. What would you guys say to a girl who says you’re trouble?

First of all, the “you’re trouble” comment is usually a good sign, especially if it’s happening later in an interaction (like a date or something). What it basically means is that she’s attracted to you and actually so attracted to you that it kind of worries her.

I always deflect the statement with one of two things: “I’m the worst kind of trouble,” (if I’m going for an SNL) or, “Yeah, but I’m the best kind of trouble,” if I’m going for a more long-term thing or I’m on a date. Either works. Both make her laugh.

The important thing is that I immediately segue into some comfort. For more info, check out the Night Game Model in the articles section.

Hey Mark hows it going,

I recently read your blog post about being well read and it has inspired me to get reading during my summer break from uni.  Mostly because while i was study for exams i notice that i was slow as fuck with my readings.  Anyways the part of the blog post that caught my attention the most was how reading all those philosophy books during your summer break helped you out with your grades, which i could use as well, so my question is what are some good philosophy and social science books you can recommend?

p.s. when do you think you will be releasing your college game program?

YES! Reading really dense non-fiction for an entire summer made college a snap after that. I actually have an “official” page for book recommendations up. But since you asked for some more serious philosophical and social science stuff, I’ll add a few more.

- Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything and Integral Psychology. Think of Ken Wilber as Eckhart Tolle, except he explains spirituality through rigorous psychological understanding and philosophical research. He’s as rigorous as he is lucid. These books are “dense” in that they require a basic understanding of a LOT of concepts (anthropology, psychology, biology, philosophy, religion, etc.) but the writing is clear and wonderful. Wilber had a profound effect on my life.

- The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil is an inventor, futurist and called by some “The Thomas Edison of our time.” His inventions span everything from the synthesizer to text-to-speech software. He’s also well-known for being on the cutting edge not only of technology, but understanding how technology will effect society, culture and every day life. This book looks out over the next 50 years with the rise of robotics, genetic medicine and nanotechnology, the conclusions he comes to are as controversial as they are profound. Really awesome shit here.

- For global politics and culture, check out stuff by Andrew Bacevich, Andrew Sullivan, Amy Chua and Fareed Zakaria. Avoid “pop” political books and stuff like “The Progress Paradox” and “Freakonomics.” They’re really simple concepts and entertaining stories disguised as “academic” (when they’re really just marketed to people in airports). Avoid Noam Chomsky at all costs.

- As for philosophy, I’ve read a lot of primary works of guys from Aristotle to Nietzsche to Hegel to Bertrand Russell. I honestly don’t think there’s any significant advantage to reading the primary works (which are sometimes impossible to decipher) rather than commentary on their work. A lot of the ancient philosophers’ ideas are considered pretty commonplace today anyway.

- On the other hand, when it comes to psychology, I did enjoy reading Carl Jung and some of Freud’s stuff.

That should be enough to get you started. As you start reading you’ll get turned onto new subjects. The more you read and learn the more you become curious about new things. Just keep following your curiosity and you can’t go wrong.

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May 18, 2009 15:07

Avoid Noam Chomsky at all costs??? Why? Explain yourself Manson!!

May 18, 2009 15:11

Because he’s basically the Rush Limbaugh of the intellectual Left. He’s a polemicist in disguise and mentally stuck in 1968. He provides mountains of facts on “atrocities” and morally ambiguous geopolitical maneuvering done by America, yet provides absolutely no context, or assertions for what he would prescribe in the same scenario. He’s one of those people who is smart enough to tear everything down but not brave enough to put something up in its place.

May 18, 2009 16:48

So your saying America doesn’t commit atrocities and America’s “geopolitical manoeuvrings” in South America, Africa and currently in the Middle East are all for benevolent purposes? I find his commentary valuable and poignant. A far cry from the usual media sychopahancy that reached vomit inducing proportions during Obama’s election. I don’t agree with everything he says obviously but more often than not I agree. And as for Rush Limbaugh how could you disapprove of someone that introduced the term “feminazi” into popular public lexicon??

May 18, 2009 16:54

Of course I’m not denying the existence of those “atrocities” and whatnot. But whereas Chomsky blames the American socio-political “elite,” I see them more as a systemic side-effect of the global political and economic lattice than any malevolent or malicious force. If you look at every dominant “empire” in history from the US to Britain to Rome to China, these same things keep happening — the little guy gets shoved around as a pawn in the global chess game for power. Should it be that way? Yeah, it’d be nice if it wasn’t. But it’d be nice if I shit out rainbows and bunny rabbits too. I think we’ll see this same shit happen when China becomes the leading power in 50 years too.

That’s the thing about Chomsky, he never gets very far past the “atrocities” part. And his anti-American hysterics borderline conspiracy theories at times. He gets annoying.

May 18, 2009 18:19

I would recommend Chomsky. It is easy to be polarized on either side but to do so without understand the “other side” is to be involved in willful ignorance. Overlooking the atrocities does not give the full experience of a country.

(”I see them more as a systemic side-effect of the global political and economic lattice than any malevolent or malicious force. If you look at every dominant “empire” in history from the US to Britain to Rome to China, these same things keep happening — the little guy gets shoved around as a pawn in the global chess game for power. Should it be that way? Yeah, it’d be nice if it wasn’t. But it’d be nice if I shit out rainbows and bunny rabbits too. I think we’ll see this same shit happen when China becomes the leading power in 50 years too.”) I don’t think it should be so easily dismissed as you profess. Just because everyone does it or has done is a bit naive. As someone who is part of those groups that have been dominated, I think it’s important to learn from the past so as to not do it again. Especially if we consider ourselves (as americans) different than every other “empire” in the past. And I do think that this thing called humanity should lead to rainbows and bunnies. Now I am naive but I am hopeful. However I am open to being proven wrong.

Beyond this, I want to thank you for the reading list, the clips, the articles, and everything you have posted and the opportunity to debate and learn from one another.

May 18, 2009 20:29

I personally would like to see you shit rainbows out of your ass, that would be a sight to behold! He does emphasise the role of the “elites” more often than he should but when you examine the influence certain unelected groups have over the government and how they influence and shape policy at times it’s extremely disturbing. And as for you not seeing the “elites” as a malevolent and malicious force I doubt citizens of a certain number of 3rd World Countries would agree with you. But my main point of disagreement is your assertion that the emailer should stay away from Chomsky, he should read up on him and arrive at his own conclusion and if he dislikes Chomsky as much as you do then so be it!

May 18, 2009 22:31

I agree that it’s important to be exposed to the other side. The only problem is that guys like W. Appleman Williams and C. Wright Mills express Chomsky’s views 10x better and more fairly than he does, and they expressed it decades before him. Chomsky has received some sort of intellectual celebrity despite being a hack for god know’s why. I check out, “The Power Elite” if you’re interested in a fair intellectual liberal perspective.

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