Empathy for the machine that is your body: If you can tell someone how you surf – you can’t surf.

When you surf, you want to know where the board’s going to be. When you drive, you want to know how the car is going to respond to the road. And when you engage with another person, animal or machine, you want to know what it’s going to do, so you will know what to do next. That is what empathy is for.Photo by: Miguel Navaza

The subject of muscle memory came up yesterday on Facebook, just in passing. It’s one of those fascinating topics that drives reductionist scientists crazy, since they can’t figure out how to duplicate it with Legos. Fascinating to me, too, albeit for different reasons:

Actually, what’s most interesting to me about habituated phenomena are people who don’t trust them. This is why some Cautious temperaments are such awful drivers, because they can’t stop the fearful micromanagement that makes what I call the empathy for the machine impossible. If you can tell someone how you surf – you can’t surf.

I live this all the time on the guitar. I don’t play well, I am the first to declare, but to the extent I can play at all, I do it by means I could never Continue reading

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My third quarter: Two new books, ten hours of new video and you.

The Church of Splendor: Beatitude with a beat.

The Church of Splendor: Beatitude with a beat.

I’ve been organizing this year’s work into quarters, just to keep track of how I’m doing. I don’t know if this makes any difference, but keeping the inventory is impressive – to me at least.

And my third quarter turned out to be a pretty big deal. I wrote two new books, both of them based on new and deeper understandings of the idea of the self I’ve been playing with for the past 35 years. Nine empathies illuminates the biological basis of empathy in self-preservation strategies, and Shyly’s delight demonstrates how those strategies play out iteratively in human social relationships.

The Grand Unifying Theory of Human Motivation – as taught to me by a turtle, and by an eternally-outraged human reptile.To read more about empathy, see me, feel me, touch me, heal me at Amazon.com.

The Grand Unifying Theory of Human Motivation – as taught to me by a turtle, and by an eternally-outraged human reptile.To read more about empathy, see me, feel me, touch me, heal me at Amazon.com.

Both of those books owe to my thinking on the astoundingly destructive Stefan Molyneux cult-of-personality, about which I wrote a ton along with making several videos. The net result is that I finished the third quarter with a grand unifying theory of human social interaction. This is impressive to no one but me, Continue reading

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Why do people get trapped in awful relationships? Because they think they’re fixing what’s wrong.

Find the love for life your dog never lives a day without at Amazon.com:Shyly’s delight: Work, play and love like a Labrador.

Find the love for life your dog never lives a day without at Amazon.com:Shyly’s delight: Work, play and love like a Labrador.

This came up in email, but I’m sharing it here in the hope that it might help people learn to do better:

A Cautious tyranny emerges when the social machine – family, job, school, church, club – is under Cautious control. A Cautious tyranny sustains itself by blocking escape – to flee a perfectly-planned paradise is not simply apostasy but insanity, for one thing, plus it calls the whole ‘perfectly-planned paradise’ idea into question – and Sociables break-up by reconciliation.

How do Sociables, considered as a type, so often end up being metaphorically imprisoned by the monster? Human beings have free will because, unlike dogs, they are capable of recognizing that a collar denotes captivity and a leash slavery – and capable of responding accordingly, by flight if possible, by rebellion if not. Sociables are poor at recognizing the collars and leashes the Incandescents and Cautious like to adorn them in. Moreover, their goal in their relationships is to keep them together at all costs. Accordingly, they don’t think to run away until the cost of doing Continue reading

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Who can free you from the chains that bind you in slavery? The same person who forged those chains.

From Chapter 11 of Man Alive, Indomitable you.

If you lived here, you’d have an excuse for your self-pity.Photo by: Tim (Timothy) Pearce

If you have been paying attention to the slow-motion train wreck going on among the allegedly capitalist nation-states and their undeniably socialist central banks, you will have heard terms like “crony-capitalism” or “entitlement mentality.” Perhaps the pundits you have read have been honest enough to use a more comprehensive coinage – such as “moochers.” All of these ugly phenomena, and many others, are manifestations of a practice economists call “rent-seeking.” That term is used to mean market or legislative manipulations by which someone collects economic “rents” without providing any value in exchange. Crony-capitalism – more accurately characterized as Rotarian Socialism – is rent-seeking by means of government loans or subsidies, special favors or legislation inhibiting or outlawing competition. The entitlement mentality is the testy insistence that I should profit from your labor but you should not.

Suppose I show up at your house with a couple of my henchmen. We grab you and lock you up in shackles. We frog-march you back to my place and jail you in my basement. In the morning, we take you Continue reading

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The high-D diet: How to lose weight without even trying.

If all you want is the frosting, why eat the rest?

If all you want is the frosting, why eat the rest?

I’m a very high-D in the DISC system, a Driven. Compared with a highly-analytical Cautious personality, I can make three mistakes and land on the perfect answer while the high-C is still building the spreadsheet to analyze mistake number one.

What does that mean in the context of losing weight? I ain’t counting calories, points or starch stats. My friend Richard Nikoley runs a very big Paleo-living blog, FreeTheAnimal.com, and I deeply admire the work he is doing there, but I have zero interest in thinking about food, much less obsessing about it. Food is something I consume while working in order to keep working. That’s all.

The consequences of habituated inattention will accrue, of course, with the result that I have been a slowly blossoming carnation since 1998, the last time I would say I was physically fit.

I started to reverse course a few years ago, losing weight steadily instead of steadily gaining. My diet secret? Not a diet, but simply a long-term change in my habits.

With that as introduction, I will give you my three quick ’n’ easy high-D diet prescriptions:

1. Eat half as much twice as Continue reading

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Christmas at the cemetery – with Bubba.

A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story

December 25, 1998
If you want to hear your thoughts echo into a perfect silence – go to the cemetery.

I do it a lot, actually, not to be too terribly morbid. Potter’s fields and VA graveyards and tidy middle-class golf courses of the dead and tony, upscale permanent condominiums where they frown loudly on walk-in traffic. But democracy makes her last stand at the cemetery, so no one is ever actually turned away, and I expect it would take quite a performance to get yourself ejected.

But the cemetery is not the story – it’s just the honest part. The other part – to be much too kind – starts with my growing a tail.

A Secret Service tail, that is. Last August I wrote a story called ‘How Bubba pulled it off.’ It’s about a teenage masturbator who just happens to be President of the United States, and just after I wrote it I started noticing the tail.

Like this is so hard. I walk from place to place, that’s what I do. Sometimes I take a bus or a train or the subway. Rarely do I fly. Mostly I walk. When you’re walking into an empty dawn on an Continue reading

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An Autonomism FAQ: If self-control is all the “government” there is — what then?

“But, but, but! We can’t live in anarchy!! We already do. There is no alternative to human self-control. There is no way for you to control my behavior from the outside, and no way for me to control yours. We are indomitable as a manifestation of our nature as organisms. This is a matter of fact, not malleable by opinion, by rage, by threats or by torture. You can delay my exercise of my in-born freedom with chains or cages, and you can inhibit it forevermore by killing me. But while I am alive as a human being, I am solely in control of my own behavior.”Photo by: Kalyan Chakravarthy

Here is a simple fact of nature that just about anyone can accept without objection:

You are self-controlled.

Beyond obvious, yes?

Here is the corollary to that proposition, which just about everyone vehemently rejects:

So is everyone else.

What is the purpose of a statute law if not to affect to pretend to make believe that other people do not control their own behavior? What is the objective of a threat — like the threats of fines or imprisonment undergirding every statute law — if not to attempt to effect external control over Continue reading

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