Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring is in the Air!

I love the spring. It's my favorite time of the year, for a wide variety of reasons.

There's obviously something very psychologically gratifying about the spring. The cold chill of winter is at last in retreat, and the flowers and trees are starting to blossom. This makes for a spectacular sight in New York. Sometimes you will find yourself walking under canopies of white flowers which will grow into leaves on the trees, with a smattering of pink ones thrown in for good measure.

The days are growing longer, and the temperatures are just right - neither too hot, nor too cold.

Spring fills the senses with happiness.

In addition to that, baseball season is back. I love to watch the Yankees play, and love to get out to the Stadium. Even better is playing the game myself (when I have time to). I definitely want to play some more ball this year.

Not the least beneficial aspect of the spring is that girls are out in force - and they're showing off a bit of skin. And that brings me to a goal I want to set for myself.

I haven't done enough socially this winter (more on that in my quarterly report at the end of the month), but I have pushed myself when I can. Reading Think & Grow Rich and associating with my chosen Twenty Men has certainly helped my mindset in this. It has helped me a lot in controlling fear. I've pushed myself to talk to people I would not have talked to earlier. A lesson to learn from all of it is that people are friendly, or at the very least polite.

Most people just aren't going to be rude to you. There's no reason to be afraid. Shyness is all inside the mind. Controlling your thoughts and thinking this way repeatedly (a la Think & Grow Rich) does start to slowly mold your frame and change your subconscious.

I've trained myself (mostly) to make eye contact with girls I'm attracted to, and smile at them. Many of them will smile back. Obviously this doesn't necessarily mean they're attracted, but it is a good way to start a conversation, no bullshit complicated openers required. One girl was eyeballing me just today as I was on my way to an appointed task. And she was with her man too, go figure. Many girls really do just want to meet somebody new, and spring is a great time for that.

And so I really want to start making more daygame approaches this spring. It might still be a tall order for me to handle, but I do want to try. My anxieties have certainly lessened over the winter. Reading, consciously controlling my body language (which is a great way to increase your own self-confidence, by the way - I make sure to walk like a king any time I'm out now - slowly, shoulders back, head held slightly up, and feet shoulder-width apart when standing), and doing sometimes subtle tasks, sometimes not, really goes a long way to change your frame in slow, steady steps. Gaining a few pounds of muscle over the winter hasn't hurt either, and I have conquered many negative habits while keeping emotions in check.

It's time to step further. I really want and need to push myself there. I always greet the arrival of April with tremendous enthusiasm, but I want to make it even better this year.

And really, it's all in good fun.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

They Don't Give a Shit About You

Like most reasonable people, my response to Sheryl Sandberg's #BanBossy campaign was one of mockery and ridicule. It is perfectly emblematic of modern feminism and more broadly, Cultural Marxism. It is centered on the feelings of special snowflakes, showcases juvenile attempts at promoting victimhood, and then proceeds to make demands on others to assuage the warped worldview of its creator and her sympathizers. In short: it is another example of politically correct, insecure narcissism.

Does this sort of thing piss me off to a degree? Of course it does. These people are destroying our culture with their feelings-based tripe, and naturally I don't want it to continue. However my overall reaction will be one of mockery and then ignoring it.

I saw one commenter on the video lambast it, outlining how boys are lagging behind in college admittance and degrees, are far ahead in suicide rates, etc. (I don't remember his comment verbatim, and I won't sift through thousands of comments on that video to find the one in question.) He was understandably pissed off that despite all these issues, "girl power" continues to be pushed to the forefront, and the powers that be completely ignore all problems facing boys.

While his remarks were true, I replied that they don't give a shit about you anyway. As Frost said, "sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive." Society simply doesn't give a shit about boys, I said, and that's fine by me.

It really is.

Why is this so? Because it gives the best men impetus to smash through obstacles and rise to the top. I don't want to be coddled. I don't want to think of myself as a victim, and I don't want to be treated like one. This is precisely why I consider MRAs to be losers. They are the equal and opposite of the feminist coin. They set themselves up as victims and blame all their problems on the opposite sex. And, while I haven't seen a very large sample size, most of who I have seen seem every bit as unattractive as their feminist counterparts.

That's why I'm hesitant to bring up men's issues in response to this campaign. Society doesn't give a shit about men and that's fine. We need to be grown-ups and solve our own problems, and when that happens, things will be set to rights.

Instead, I told him, link up with guys that are committed to striving upward and being their best selves. Cultivate your mind and body, and make definite plans of action. That is what makes men what they are, and why we fortunately will be spared the infantile bile of the "LeanIn" variety.

It's a harder path to follow, but it brings with it the better reward. While I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, this choice has already made me a far better man than I was when I started.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Opportunity Arises in the Most Unexpected Places

I've mentioned on this blog before that I have a hobby that you could classify as somewhat nerdy - debating hypothetical matchups between fictional characters (although in truth, I've mostly gotten tired of the debating/quantifying aspect of the hobby, and mainly stick around for the community, which is quite a bit of fun). On paper, it's a total waste of time, something to do when you're bored. Yet even something as seemingly ridiculous as this can have value, in more ways than one.

A couple of weeks ago, the Outskirts Battledome Wiki, which I became an admin of at the start of 2012 (mostly by chance, this was not something that I actively campaigned for) was taken down, for largely vague and inept reasons. It was a big loss. This wiki, hosted on a third-party website, was an extremely extensive database, with over 6,000 pages of content, informing the public about obscure fictions and the powers, abilities, and stats of thousands of characters, the point being that it was a resource that could be used in debates. Our pages on scientific know-how was something of value as well (and things I was particularly proud of), informing a scientifically illiterate public simply and concisely, and in a way that it could relate to. How do I know our wiki was serving the needs of people? It got over 6,000 unique visitors a day and hundreds of thousands of hits a month (and this not being the most-loved site by Google either).

Now I could have lamented. A lot of the members did. If this were a year ago I might have done just that - be impotently angry while struggling to find a way forward. But that is not me anymore. Instead, like a leader in any position should, I saw this as a golden opportunity. We would not only be free of the incompetent and unprofessional Wikispaces staff, but we would have a website of our own, one we could now monetize. Why not take advantage of all that traffic?

And so, I sprung into action. I purchased a domain name from the host I'd chosen to carry my other online project (an upcoming one about military history, as I outlined in my post going into the new year), took care of all the legal requirements that I could, found some software that worked for me (MediaWiki was a nightmare, Joomla! is great), and patched the wiki back together. Fortunately I had the foresight that this situation might arise and did weekly exports of the old wiki, the last one being a few days before it was taken down, so no information of importance was lost.

I launched the new wiki a few days ago, and we are slowly putting it all back together. I was even approved for a non-hosted AdSense account for that very site on the first try, something which does not seem to happen for a lot of people.

I'm proud to share the new OBD Wiki here. After only a few days, it already has 600 unique visitors a day. How much money it winds up making remains to be seen, but it will certainly make a lot more than these blogs of mine.

The point is that even the dumbest thing imaginable, the seemingly most useless thing in the entire world with no perceivable value, can be turned into something valuable, through networking at the very least, and even directly making money on it is possible, if you can just think of a plan. I may very well have just turned stupid shit like Goku vs Superman or Luke Skywalker vs Spock into a full-fledged business.

So what did I do with this? I did not despair, understood the fundamentals, had clear goals, saw the opportunity, made a plan of action, and took it. It's an attempt at implementing the philosophy in Think & Grow Rich.

I'll conclude with a couple of quotes from Louis XIV that I think relate well to this situation:

"Time, action itself, and the aid of heaven usually break a thousand paths and uncover a thousand unexpected solutions."

"There are often occasions which give trouble; some are delicate and difficult to disentangle; one’s ideas are sometimes confused. So long as that is the case we can remain without coming to a decision; but the moment we have settled our mind upon anything, and think we have seen the best course, we must take it."