Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Principles

I hadn't written anything about sex for public consumption in a long time. When I posted something last weekend, I was happy to see it got an immediate response. People always appreciate well-written, thoughtful commentary on the issues they are most interested in.

Amazing at it seems, I forgot about the flip side to the positive response... the hater. The hater is everywhere, of course, not just in blog comment sections. And I don't particularly hate the hater, as the hater is part of the grand ecosystem of the world. He's like the cockroach. The cockroach is disgusting and lives in the nooks and crannies, feeding off of garbage and old food. No one likes to see the cockroach. But the cockroach is not bad, in the sense of evil. I mean, someone has to eat all that trash, right?

Also, the hater, like the cockroach, comes with certain territory. When I'm on the West Coast, I don't see our friend the cockroach so much. When I'm in New York, he's a more constant companion.

Likewise, if I were to write on something anodyne, like gourmet hipster chocolate bars, probably the hate wouldn't flow (unless I wrote as acerbicly and hilariously as the blogger over at Die Hipster). Or if I picked a mainstream topic and endorsed the official, mainstream, correct opinion. (Example topic: Egypt. Example of proper official mainstream opinion to have: "Oh those freedom fighters are so courageous!")

But if I write about sex relations, and if I write honestly, I can expect the haters to come, occasionally. 11minutes and I tend not to write with too much bitterness or venom. I generally avoid insults for the sake of insults. Occasionally, something is just too absurd for me to handle. Like this. Or this. Usually, though, you'll find me pretty respectful.

But hate — as I said, like the cockroach — does have its proper place. Haters remind us when we aren't being clear. Haters think one-dimensionally, so they are quick to point out what you sound like to a one-dimensional person. And this is important information.

So then, the most common brand of hate I used to get on this blog, was either, "You're an asshole; you exploit women," or the closely related, "You're a phony; you should be yourself." Both these complaints, in my opinion, reveal more about the plaintiffs than about me, but I don't want to get into a hate-the-haters post just now.

Instead, anticipating these kinds of comments to start popping up again (as they already have), as I write more on this blog, let me take a moment and state some of my first principles.

First of all, I have written a great deal about some of my foundational principles when it comes to women. See the following posts:

In Praise of Beautiful Women

Don't Just Feel... Do.

Mystery Does Not Equal Worth

Why I Love Difficult Women


True Romanticism

The Two Kinds of Assholes

In addition to what I have written in those posts, I will add the following statements. Each could be deserving of its own post, and perhaps I will write some of those posts in the coming weeks. For now, let me just state them as clearly as I can:

  • Truth and Falsheood exist, independent of whether we like it or not. The fact that different people have different perspectives does not alter the fact that Truth exists; it simply means we must explore many different perspectives before we can be confident that our picture of the truth bears a reasonable resemblance to the actual Truth.
  • Gender is real. Gender is not a social construct. Gender exists prior to society; all society does is take gender and express it in different ways, using different value systems and different kinds of presuppositions. Ironically, it is modern society's pieties about genderlessness that is "constructed." Gender is far more foundational than feminism.
  • Humans evolved living in small bands, and the way we think and act today is largely a result of evolutionary pressures that applied in the ancestral environment. Some of the resulting adaptations are still adaptive today; many are obsolete, yet nevertheless remain very powerful.
  • Truth and morality and goodness exist independently of evolution. There is meaning to life beyond the scientific. Science investigates and explains measurable phenomena; it is not the plenum of human knowledge. Nihilism is a false and pitiable reaction by modern people, who have lost all touch with profound silence and with the spiritual imagination.
  • Human beings have worth that is independent of their role in society. It's easy for me to assert that women aren't as good at higher mathematics, on average, as men are. Because, you see, I don't see a woman's worth as a human being tied to her ability to do math; neither do I see a man's worth tied to any such thing. They are both valuable and worthwhile completely independent of their ability to do math (or bear children, or arm wrestle, or whatever). In old times, this was called the belief in the soul. If you can't believe in a soul (or some modern equivalent), if your worldview is completely meritocratic and technocratic, then you can't value a person as a person; you can only value their abilities. I categorically reject this soulless way of looking at humans; and therefore I have no problems acknowledging obvious differences between people's natural abilities.
  • Feminism is a joke.
  • Modern marriage is completely broken. This does not stop me from wishing it were otherwise. I do not consider monogamy to be "unnatural"; but it has always been difficult and requires the support of inner morality and outer society, both of which are in sad shape today. The modern man marries at his own risk.
  • Feminism hurts women far more than it helps them. Women living under feminist pretenses are basically miserable. Then they blame their misery on men, rather than on feminism. Like how Stalin said the reason for the death of 5 million Ukrainian farmers was not enough communism.
  • Women like strong men. Acquiescing to a woman's every whim is the surest way to make her feel empty inside. This is one reason so many women feel empty in modern society.
  • People should live their lives basically in service to other people. It's the only way to really be happy inside. Loving other people and thinking of others is fundamental. The self-obsessed person is fundamentally miserable. The most interesting people are the ones who look out at the world and want to talk about it. The most boring people are the ones who gaze in on themselves and what to talk about me. Living for others does not mean being a doormat or working at a soup kitchen seven days a week (though it may mean that for certain people). It means being excellent. It means being the best person you can be; not being afraid to look reality in the face, to look yourself in the mirror, and to cheerfully take on every challenge life throws your way. Enrich the world with your presence. Think of yourself as a gift to the rest of the world... then give them a really great gift. Not some miserable, self-obsessed, weak, mealy-mouthed, resentful gray thing; but a serene, boisterous, cheerful, contemplative, hard-working, and fun-loving self. That is kindness.
I merely assert these values here, without attempting to prove them or explain them very much. Like I said, each statement could merit an entire post (or several). For now, I'll leave them as they are.

I've noticed two bad trends in blogs that treat the same topics that Alpha Status treats. One, the hedonist; the other, the resentful. The hedonist wants to learn about women to extract sex from them, devouring more and more, like a vast empty stomach that can never be filled. The resentful wants to see women suffer, because he has been hurt in the past.

These are two sides of the same nihilist coin. The hedonist beckons to the resentful man, saying, "Come this way brother. Here be pussy! Enjoy yourself!" And I have seen many resentful losers become cold-hearted players, who at least are enjoying their hedonism (a step up, in a way, from merely hating all life).

But resentment beckons to the hedonist too. It whispers in his ear, "Life is meaningless. Beauty fades. You will die old and alone, and then ... the black void." How can this not make one rage — however ironically — at the emptiness of the world. Every sunset, every loving moment, every exquisite orgasm, is tainted with emptiness. The hedonist and the resentful man are one and the same.

I can't convince any of my readers that nihilism is wrong just with a single blog post. It's a long journey, much of which cannot be put into words. All I want to do here is tell you that I, for one, reject it.

Writing a gender-realist blog in this day and age is like living in a tenament in New York City. There are bound to be some cockroaches. Let this post be a roach motel then, where I can direct them in the future. What say ye, me hearties?

11 comments:

  1. Living my life in service to other people? Yeah, I just started seminary last fall after decades in the computer business. I'm not doing it for theological reasons, I'm doing it so I can help more people.

    Many folks have real trouble understanding this.

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  2. OZ:

    Devil's advocate here, but are you aware of the rationalist argument that you should earn money doing what you do best, and then hire other people to do charity work, thus producing more good more efficiently?

    Fuzzies vs Utilons

    I actually think there are complex reasons why this reasoning is faulty, or at least insufficient. But it's good food for thought. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. That is a good point. In my case, I am sick and tired of the IT business. It has been taken over by technically illiterate business school graduates who have no interest in doing quality work and have none of the domain knowledge that would allow them to actually do an effective job of increasing efficientcy and increasing profitability. This applies heavily to PMI graduates, they have no clue about the projects they are actually attempting to manage, instead they have formed a guild intended to keep themselves in power. In the last ten years, I have dealt with only one project manager who is doing a good job.

    So, becoming a minister looks like one of the best ways that I can help people. I think I will be able to help more people and do it more effectively than if I continue in my current career.

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  4. Could you explain more about why you think this - "If you can't believe in a soul (or some modern equivalent), if your worldview is completely meritocratic and technocratic, then you can't value a person as a person; you can only value their abilities.If you can't believe in a soul (or some modern equivalent), if your worldview is completely meritocratic and technocratic, then you can't value a person as a person; you can only value their abilities."

    I do not believe in a soul, but that people are the composition of form, sensations, perceptions, volition, and consciousness that arise and cease at a very rapid rate, unobservable by sentient beings. Within this framework, I still find it very easy to "value a person as a person."

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  5. Hi Thomas,

    I would call that a "modern equivalent." You have retained consciousness and freewill (volition) in your picture of the human. Your picture reminds me of the three "nen" picture from Zen. Certainly not the traditional soul, but again, I consider it an equivalent in the rather loose terms I have laid out here.

    Some people deny that we make free choices, and others deny that we are actually conscious in a significant way. Those are the people I am talking about.

    Also, as a side note, sometimes people don't even think about it as much as you clearly have. They just blithely accept that man is a robot or an animal (or worse), and then wonder why they're so depressed all the time

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  6. Great post, really resonated with me. Thanks.

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  7. spit the truth. people fear and react more violently to deep held truth and observation than they ever do outrageous lies.

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  8. Welcome back! Glad to see you posting again.

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  9. Thanks AJ, ****, and Anon. It's good to be back.

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  10. Excellent post. You are speaking from my heart.

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  11. You say

    "People should live their lives basically in service to other people. It's the only way to really be happy inside.Loving other people and thinking of others is fundamental. The self-obsessed person is fundamentally miserable."

    Is it narcisstic to live for me? I don't mean live to talk about myself, I dislike bragging. Rather, I mean live for myself (and for the time being) no one else. I want to do interesting things, witness beautiful sights, and canoodle with beautiful women because doing so brings me pleasure.

    If I help someone, I want to do it because I genuinely want to help them, not because I believe I should live in service of other people.For example, I want to help my family and friends.

    But for the random person on the street or person who asks for something, I feel I don't owe them anything.

    Maybe I'm saying the same thing as you are with different words.

    Anyway, lovely post and welcome back to the blogging world.

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