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every man a genius

While browsing profiles on a Mormon dating website, I came across a girl who said she was an INFJ and then gave no further explanation, as if it was something with which everyone is familiar.  Since I didn’t fall in the category of “everyone” it was off to see the Google.

Apparently INFJ is the acronym for her results from one of the those personality tests; in this case, a rather well-known test developed some years ago by Bristol Myers-Squibb.  Long story short, I soon learned I was an INTJ.

Usually I give exactly zero credence to whatever those tests designed to categorize one’s personality tell me and view them as no more than mild entertainment.  This is why:

  1. Merely by participating in the quiz, there is a subconscious submission to its results.
  2. Personalities come in such variety that traits in one “type” will be usually be found in multiple other types.
  3. After taking the quiz and reading the results, because of #1, the user performs some mild mental gymnastics such that he latches onto the parts of the results that most fit how he sees himself while downplaying the parts that don’t quite match his personal view.  He has ample traits to choose from because of #2.
  4. The user’s conclusion will almost always be that the test was accurate and thus whatever acronym, color, or nickname is given for his personality type will resonate.  Sometimes this result must be shared on social media, too (or just on his narcissistic blog).

In short, the user reads from the quiz only the things he already believes about himself.

As this is my column, back we go to my results from the BMS test.  INTJ: Introverted-Intuition-Thinking-Judgment.

[Sidebar: There are many different websites out there claiming to give your results.  I used this one and I did not test the robustness of this particular test by taking any others.  My interest in taking those kinds of tests only lasts for so long.]

Wikipedia provided the explanation of the results.  I mentioned earlier that I usually put zero stock into these results; but these were so on-point that I couldn’t help but be hooked.

The full description of INTJ characteristics is here but I have pulled a few highlights.

  • “INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion ‘Does it work?’ to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake”
  • “They are often acutely aware of their own knowledge and abilities—as well as their limitations and what they don’t know… INTJs thus develop a strong confidence in their ability and talents, making them natural leaders.”
  • “They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types.”
  • “Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel … This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals … Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.”
  • “By nature INTJs can be demanding in their expectations, and approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result, INTJs may not always respond to a spontaneous infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria.”
  • “They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time with what they consider irrational social rituals. This may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved; nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work.”

I think you get the idea.

[Sidebar 2: Another point that helped bolster my own ego is that INTJs are the 3rd most rare out of the 16 personality types, accounting for roughly 2.1% of the U.S. population.]

What’s the point of this story?  Well, beyond a little self-congratulations coming from the positive traits I so shamelessly outlined above, it’s to make two points: 1) that I think a lot about the world in an abstract, creative, and rational way and 2) that thinking so much can just get in my way, especially in romantic pursuits.  My whole life my friends have told me that I think too darn much.

Another reason for my relating my personality results is to excuse the hat-tip I’m about to give John Derbyshire.  I use the word “excuse” to mean I am claiming that while I post his thoughts, I had also reached similar conclusions and perhaps could have written the following article myself, as arrogant as that sounds.  But since he wrote this article in 2003 and likely had those thoughts long before publication, I’m chalking up this overlap of ideas to a case of independent creation.  The personality results support these claims by emphasizing that this is what INTJs apparently do–quietly and independently theorize about the world.  Right up my alley, I guess.

[Sidebar 3: Since I’m referencing Mr. Derbyshire, I think I can also excuse writing much of this entry in a style similar to his Radio Derb transcripts.]

Title of the column: “The Importance of Not Thinking Too Much

On to the quotes (emphasis my own):

“In general, however, [the case for thinking too much] is a bad one. It would not do for the concert pianist to think about every note before he struck it, or for the tennis player to perform a mental exercise in mathematical ballistics before swinging the racquet, or for the courtroom lawyer to carefully ponder the pros and cons of each question before addressing it to the witness.”

“But that, of course, is the pre-postmodern way of doing things. We are all intellectuals today, encouraged to think about everything all the time — think, and analyze, and ‘deconstruct.’ Every man a philosopher, all worshippers [sic] at the Temple of Reason. Now, reason is certainly a very fine thing. I spent much of 2002 hobnobbing with mathematicians, and I think you will walk a long mile to find someone who has more respect for the power of reason than I have. However, there are regions of life, thought and behavior that are beyond reason’s scope, and ought to stay there.”

“Derb” then relates a story about three accomplished mathematicians who discussed over dinner two great mathematical questions that not only seemed unanswerable but also threatened the very philosophical foundations of modern mathematics.  What one of the men found most interesting was that his two colleagues did not seem to care too much about the existence of these questions.  They, in essence, asked themselves, “What does it matter, really?”  Nothing in their day-to-day work would change whether they devoted their intellectual energies to these questions or not.

The story reminded of me of the first time I read A Study in Scarlet and shared Watson’s incredulity that Sherlock Holmes was ignorant of the fact that the earth rotated around the sun.  Besides being ignorant of it, once he learned of the Copernican Theory, he did his best to forget it.

In Watson’s words:

“‘But the Solar System!’ I protested.

‘What the deuce is it to me?’ He interrupted impatiently; ‘you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.'”

It’s not a perfect parallel, I admit, but it reminds me that sometimes it is in fact more useful to only spend your energies on questions of practical importance.

In my local congregation there is a young man who, after brief interactions with him, I labeled as a “meathead.”  Perhaps a bit insulting, however I was trying to think of a simple way to describe someone who gave little thought for anything outside his day-to-day life.  Someone who viewed the world in very simplistic and black and white terms.  A rather pleasant person, too, with a good deal of niceness and seemingly bottomless enthusiasm.  “Meathead” was meant more as a descriptor than an insult.

One day as I sat in a meeting I looked over at this person and considered him more carefully.  This time, I saw a man who is well-liked and enjoys his daily life.  He participates in a host of fun activities, regularly makes new friends, pursues women without much self-consciousness, and accomplishes a fair bit of good in terms of community service and volunteer work through the church.  I thought, “Am I really so much better than he?  Any better at all?  Me, who considers myself so thoughtful, creative, and rational.  Who reads and writes about big ideas and doesn’t have much time for the mundane.  Am I happier?  Do I do more good in the world?  Do I somehow matter more?”  Quite to my consternation, I realized that depending on how you keep score, I was far behind this man in terms of quality of life.  And I think the difference really comes down to a “meathead’ versus a “thinker.”

Final quote from The Derb:

“Perhaps… we shall come to our senses and stop trying to analyze and deconstruct our society down to the bitter end. Perhaps we shall realize that in order to get on properly with life, as with mathematics, a great many things just need to be taken for granted. Perhaps, like Hume, after arriving at some nihilistic end point of our inquiries, we shall recover our respect for the much neglected, sadly unfashionable virtues of carelessness and inattention.”

And that is the goal, ladies and gentlemen.  Everyone these days thinks he’s brilliant.  Everyone has their college degrees, their “informative” podcasts, and their moments of sophisticated reflection.

Does this mean we’ve all reached a higher plane of intellect?  I doubt it.  If everyone is a genius, then no one is.  True, there are a few exceptional minds in our population, but the rest of us are all of the same type of humans that have inhabited this planet for the last few millennia, albeit with more technology.  Not much else has changed.

A quote oft-misattributed to Marilyn Monroe but was probably said by Terry Johnson goes like this: “Have you ever noticed how ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision to make?”

I concur.  Here’s to thinking less!  Concerning everyone else and the ever-increasing amount of thinking going on these days, the one question I still can’t answer is, “What does it matter, really?”

do you have plans?

Yes.  The answer is always yes.

If you ask me, “do you have plans on ___” the answer will be “yes.”

If you ask me, “hey what are you doing on ___” the answer will be a vague form of “I’m busy.”

I’m sick of the cloak and dagger bullshit.  The person wants you to commit to having no plans before they spring something on you that they think you won’t want to do.  And because you have no plans, you’re left with no options other than 1) doing it (yeah right) or 2) being a colossal dick and saying no.

And a lot of people think I’m a dick.

Well this ends now, assholes!  I’m preempting your machinations.  You want to sneak-attack me into doing something stupid?  I’m booked up from now to eternity!  You can’t stump the Trump!

Warning: this is not for the faint of heart.  It has the potential to backfire if the person is asking you to do something awesome.  So instead of a cloak and dagger, it’s like a cloak and pizza.  Everyone likes pizza.  I know you’re thinking, “yeah, like that’s ever going to happen” but trust me, every now and again it does.

If this is the case you’re left with three options: 1) hold the line and let the idiots fuck off alone to whatever awesome activity they have planned, 2) awkwardly back-pedal and pretend you altered your “plans,” or 3) just tell them you were lying to prevent them from tricking you into going to dumb shit.  Choices #1 and #3 are acceptable.  Choose #2 and you’re a pussy.

But that brings us to what I said before: this technique is not for the faint of heart.  It’s for the strong and powerful.  The rest of you will simply proceed through your lives like a bunch of mindless lemmings.  Helping people you don’t want to help, going to stupid parties you don’t want to go to, and, occasionally, going to something pretty cool.

No thanks.

What’s the solution?  If you want to ask someone to do something, just say this: “Hey, do you want to do ___?”  How hard is that?  Then, having full information, my options are 1) be honest about having no plans and commit to the activity, 2) lie and avoid the god-awful activity, 3) just say no and be a colossal dick.

Choices #1 and #3 are acceptable.

 

Huh.  Looks like a lot of these outcomes still result in me being a dick.

russell westbrook tells off nerds and (gasp) uses a naughty word

 

Geez.  What. A. Bitch.  “He said ‘fuck’ to me and my wife!”

Grow a pair, please.

I’m on Team Russell, as every normal person should be.  If you aren’t, just do me a favor and do what Russell suggested: sit there with your wife and shut the fuck up.  I can’t remember who said it first so I’m going to credit PFTCommenter since I think I heard him say it once, but in sports there’s a clear line between fan and athlete.  If either party physically crosses that line, as in the Malice and the Palace, anything goes.  It’s like going fishing in a spot where bears are also fishing — anything that happens is on you, not the bear.  That’s just what you get for forcing yourself into their world.

So I have no problem with the Malice at the Palace either.  Fans crossed the line and got decked.  The same applies to words.  You yell at a player, you personally get his attention, you have to take whatever verbal punishment he comes back at you with.  If you don’t want that, please, for the love of God, sit there with your wife and shut the fuck up.

Remember when I said sports have too many fans?  Yup, that’s why the NBA fined Russ.  Have to appease all the sissies who discovered the NBA in the last 5 years so they don’t miss out on any revenue.  Now I’m sure the athletes who are getting paid millions more because of the increase in league popularity aren’t complaining too much, but it’s sure annoying for the rest of us.

When this pussy got on the horn to the NBA in order to whine like a bitch Adam Silver should have just pointed to Westbrook and said, “Yeah, what he said.”

los angeles is a dump: evidence presented in easy-to-read bullets!

I’ve said it before many times: LA is a piece of shit city that has a few nice spots and good weather that makes you trick yourself into thinking the whole place is nice.  But it isn’t and you’re just an idiot trying to convince yourself that you didn’t make poor life choices to end up in this god-forsaken desert of humanity.

Well, say this for me–say I always present both sides of an issue.

Pros

  • weather

  • culture
    • Lots of music, art, film, TV, comedy, theater, etc. is here.  I can’t deny it — there’s a lot to choose from.
  • women
    • Talk to friends from around the nation.  It’s not really in dispute that LA has some of the most beautiful women. (Stay tuned, though.  This one makes the cons list, too)

If you’re looking for “beach” on the list above, you’ll find it in the roughly half dozen other states that have better beaches than Los Angeles.  LA beaches are overcrowded, dirty, and have freezing water and zero parking.  I almost put it on the “con” list.

 

That’s right, kids, it’s not a long “pro” list.  Right before we do the cons, though, let’s do another quick list.

Things People Think are Pros but Actually Suck

  • beaches
  • “mountains” and “hiking”
    • In Los Angeles, “mountains” means dusty, barren, crowded hillsides with a view of something that might be pretty if there wasn’t so much smog in the way.  “Hiking” means walking up said hillside along a mild incline and taking a selfie at the top, the whole trip taking a total of 2 hours at most.
    • True, there are more reasonable mountains close enough to Los Angeles that I will talk about them here.  But, like the rest of LA, these too are run down and covered in garbage.
    • For those of you who are confused, this is what real mountains look like:  Click here and here and here and here and here and here and here.
  • sports
  • being better than everyone else because you live in a city that “matters”
    • OK, maybe this one should have been on the “pro” list
  • palm trees
    • As the current and eternal drought testifies, Los Angeles is in a naturally arid region.  So does it make sense to plant a bunch of non-native trees that require lots of water?  Maybe it does in LA logic, where perhaps the goal is to have plants as superficial as everything else.
  • the hollywood sign
    • Speaking of superficial, here we have the ultimate symbol of LA: a sign that is contrived, useless, and for some reason has everyone obsessed with it.

 

So to recap, except for “culture,” literally everything people think is good about living in LA either sucks or is better-enjoyed by leaving LA.  California on the whole has a lot to offer, but LA stinks.

 

With that, now we’re into the meat.

Cons

  • douchebags
    • LA is full of normal dudes but we also happen to have a higher share of douches than the rest of the country.

(whoops, those are just run-of-the-mill Dodger fans… actually… never mind)

  • women
    • A well-known fact about LA life is that whatever party or gathering you are at, if you are talking to a girl the amount of times she will look over your shoulder for a “better option” while pretending to listen to you is inversely proportional to 1) your looks, 2) your social status, 3) your money.  Yes, this is true everywhere, but it’s especially true here.
      • BTW, it works the same when it’s the other way around.  But since I’m not (always) flirting with guys, I don’t notice (as much).
    • Just look at the numbers and you know it sucks.  Los Angeles has one of the worst single man to woman ratios of any large city.  Here’s a map of places you should live instead.
  • overcrowding
    • More crowded than New York City in many parts.  But we live out west where there’s so much space, right?
  • infrastructure
    • Are water mains supposed to do this?

  • potholes
    • It used to blow my mind that there could be so many nice cars in a city so full of shit roads.  Like, didn’t the rich owners care that their cars are getting destroyed in the city of potholes?  Guess not. *

  • bums

  • graffiti
    • Look how they have to put barbed wire over the damn freeway signs to keep them from getting tagged.  Also, a nice shot of a private business having to do extra cleaning work just for the privilege of operating in this area (to add to the high cost of running a business due to the regulations, bureaucracy, and taxes).

  • garbage and litter
  • water
    • What water the city does have is terrible.  This reddit guy had it right regarding the tap water: you just get used to the “iridescent glow.”  Don’t worry, though, because it will all be gone in a year.  Wait, that story was written almost a year ago?  Son of a bitch.
      • Coming from the Pacific Northwest, the land of green, water, fertility… life, really, it boggles my mind that this many useless morons have moved to an arid region and decided it wasn’t arid but in fact a paradise.
  • corrupt politics
  • cost of living
    • Hmm, let me count the ways.  No one can afford a house and so the ones who want one are leaving.  This leaves LA with an interesting dynamic in which only the very rich are the new homeowners who maybe actually care about the city and the rest of the people are renters who are more likely to be apathetic (like me) towards anything that might improve the state of this place.
    • Instead of investing in houses, we invest in cars.  Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty of room for home improvements.  We pay an extra 2 1/2 g’s each year towards these wheeled money pits just because we live in Los Angeles.
    • Rapid fire: #8 in tax burden, #1 in highest poverty rates for a big city, and #8 nationwide in overall cost of living.  Now I’m sad.
  • hit-and-run accidents from all the godless citizens who drive here
  •  traffic
    • No need for lots of stats here, everyone knows this: shitty roads, too many cars, and insufficient efforts from our rulers to fix it.
    • It’s also most of the reason we’re #7 on the dirtiest cities list.
  •  parking
    • What’s better than having zero available parking in a city known for cars?  Having a government that uses gibberish laws to fund itself and screw the tax payers out of money for parking on the roads they pay for.  Plus, there’s a dickhead mayor who acts like he cares about the people and then does nothing to lower fees which fall disproportionately on poor people.
  • Lastly–and this is a minor complaint–these assholes are infuriating.  A restaurant that sells water.  No jokes necessary here because all of us are the joke.

 

I once thought of starting an Instagram account named, “LosAngelesOrTijuana” in which I would post pictures from news stories or a dumpy end of town or whatever and then play a game.  People would guess which city it was: one of the “coolest” cities in the most powerful nation in the world or a run-down border city in some random Third World country.  The winners would be everyone who didn’t live in either of these places and the losers are me and my depression.

I think the solution to all these problems with Los Angeles is something that really involves normal people.  A grassroots solution, if you will.  Something that would torch this place all the way down to the grass and its roots.

This is why when Day After Tomorrow came out, I’m pretty sure everyone in the theater saw the scene where LA gets destroyed by tornadoes and just went, “Ha. Good.”

 

 

 

* That’s because all the nice cars are owned by 3 types of people: 1) transplants who don’t plan on staying long term and thus don’t care, 2) poor people who “invest” in a car instead of a house because if you’re an American you better be overextending yourself and be in debt to some bank or you’re not doing it right, and 3) rich people who don’t care because they sell their really nice cars after a couple years to the first 2 groups and then buy a new one.

my return to the high horse to lecture women

An article someone sent me written at The Federalist by a mother-of-four author and columnist.

What Women Really Want Is The Patriarchy

Good article and God knows I agree with her premise and most of her points, but there’s a key understanding that’s missed (and most anti-feminists miss this), as shown in this concluding statement:

 

Women can have careers, be independent, strong, and happy, but if they want to do all this and attract the kind of man they really crave, they need to throw out the hallmarks of feminism that claim their male peers are domineering, stupid, misogynist authoritarians who will make their lives miserable.”

 

No they cannot. At least, the VAST majority of women cannot. Satisfaction in life, especially for women, never comes from their careers or anything they do outside of the home. This is true for men, as well, but I’m focusing on single people aged 25-35 or so.  At that age, men are naturally inclined to launch a career and make money–really, to lay a foundation to provide for a future family.  Women, entering their biological prime, are naturally inclined to have children and settle down.  But feminism has got them all out working, driving nice cars, and hanging out with loser guys.

I know many good, anti-feminist, traditionally-minded, conservative, single women who are all the things the article says they can be: independent, successful in their careers, strong, hard-working, attractive, and fun.  The girls I’m thinking of aren’t weirdo cat ladies and they’re not Miss Career Bitchness either.  They’re cool.  But… they are miserable.  They’ve found themselves getting into their 30’s and look around to see they don’t have a man or kids and they start doing things like freezing their eggs or dating beta bums.

 

Here’s the prototypical story:

  1. Woman gets educated.
  2. Woman works hard and succeeds at work.
  3. Woman enters early 30’s.
  4. Woman wants to settle down.
  5. Woman desires man who is slightly older, smarter, and richer (sorry but it’s true).

 

Here’s the problem with this situation: any man who even loosely qualifies for #5 is interested in the sweet 25-year-old who is more attractive and can still bear him children (or he already married said 25-year-old).  If he’s patient, he can also find one that doesn’t have the obsessive, nagging, “go-getter” attitude that advancing in the business world demands.*  Hate to break it to you, girls, but the masculine, traditional man that women want does not give a damn about your job or education.

 

Here’s conclusion of the story: the nice, non-feminist woman is still alone and miserable, despite all her career accolades, nice apartment, interesting hobbies, and international travel experience.

True, the article I linked to is right that feminism has done this to them.  However, it’s all women who are victimized by it, not just the ones who, as this article asserts, haven’t ditched the feminist ideology.

 

Here’s the solution:  There was a time (i.e., all of human history except the last 60 years) when a woman knew that the most important thing she could do during these years was to attract a good man.  This was spoken of honestly and openly.  And woman acted accordingly.  Time to bring that back.

Look, in regard to long-term happiness, finding a good spouse is the most important thing women and men can do.  As I said above, men should be spending this time working hard so they can provide for a future family.  And everyone talks all the time about the ways in which men can change and improve themselves in order to attract top-tier women.  This is a good thing.

So let’s do it for the girls, too.

 

* This is demanded of men, as well, although they wear it better.

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