In my last post I shared Mark Manson’s blog post about the four stages of life, so it makes sense to review now his book “Models – Attract Women Through Honesty”, which I have read some time ago.
The book comes in the form of an e-book and an audio book, which is read by the author himself. I have read quite a few books on dating and I can say that Mark’s book is one of the very best.
Contrary to some other products on dating/seduction, his book focuses on the core issues of building attraction and does not build its case on tricks and techniques. As the title of the book suggests, his dating model consists of being honest with women, even if that means inviting rejection from them. In fact, rejection is vitally important in his method. In his own words:
Most pick up advice obsesses over the avoidance of rejection. Rejection plays an integral part in my strategy. It’s unavoidable, so I figure we may as well develop a strategy that uses it to help us. Rejection exists for a reason.
According to Mark, rejection is a good thing, because it’s a means to keep people who are not good for each other apart. If you are honest with women with whom you interact with, then they will reject you or fall in love with you based on your true self – which is a win-win situation: either you end up with a woman who is genuinely interested in the real you, or you spare yourself a lot of headache later.
The process of revealing to a woman “who you are, how you feel, and what you think” is what Mark calls “polarization”.
Polarization is what occurs when you express your truth and make yourself vulnerable [to rejection].
Polarization is the opposite of playing it safe and making small talk. It is the opposite of trying to avoid confrontation and controversy. Polarization separates unreceptive women from receptive ones, as well as pushes neutral women to decide one way or the other. As Mark says it in one of the most remarkable passages in the book:
You can’t have it both ways. The two go together. You cannot be an attractive and life-changing presence to some women without being a joke or an embarrassment to others. You simply can’t. You have to be controversial. You have to polarize. It’s the name of the game. And getting good at the game is learning to open yourself up enough emotionally, learning to express your honest self enough and be comfortable enough with your vulnerability to take those embarrassing moments with the moments of passion. A willingness to polarize is not easy. But it’s necessary.
* * *
In the first two parts of the book Mark lays a foundation of his method and explains his understanding of attraction between men and women. In the remaining parts he discusses specifics. He sorts the content into three groups which he calls the Three Fundamentals:
1. Creating an attractive and enriching lifestyle
2. Overcoming fears and anxiety around women
3. Mastering the expression of emotions and communicating fluidly
He refers to the Three Fundamentals also as: Honest Living (Lifestyle), Honest Action (Courage), and Honest Communication.
* * *
I truly think that this book is probably the only book on dating and attraction that you may ever need (though it’s probably good to read a few others for comparison), and I would also recommend it to women, because it goes beyond just advice for men – the issues that this book addresses are relevant to everyone (e.g., rationalizations that you invent to maintain the status quo and protect your ego).
Some parts of the book contain sexually explicit language, and the author is not committed to political correctness, so I’m sure not everybody will like it, though. Luckily, the book has a 60-day money back guarantee.
If you would like to know more, here is a link to the first three chapters of the book (and a table of contents), which you can get for free: http://bit.ly/1HPZCpP
Direct link to the sales page for the entire book is here:
Last year I mentioned here a book called “Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue.”
A documentary film based on that book is now in production, and the authors just launched a KickStarter crowdfunding campaign to finance it.
I personally chipped in with a donation, because I find this topic extremely important and I applaud Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz for engaging in their conversations.
If you want to check the film’s KickStarter page, here is the link:
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: The Movie
One of the more important books that came out last year was a book collaboration between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, titled “Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue.”
Sam Harris, a famous atheist, and Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist, joined forces in order to have a conversation about Islam without “devolving into bigotry or caricature.”
The video below presents a few clips from a Harvard forum, a panel discussion with the authors.
I recently had an opportunity to peak into the mind of an attractive woman – let’s call her Lorraine – who honestly discussed with me the issues she is getting around men.
I met her on a hospitality exchange website and spent some time hanging out with her. We had a take-away meal together, took a walk, and went for a coffee/ice cream over the course of two days. It definitely wasn’t just a quick chat.
She confessed that men she meets on that website are frequently falling in love with her, which expresses itself in an odd behavior such as trying to give her frequent (unwanted) massages, crawling into her bed to snuggle, or just generally going gaga over her. She said that none of those men she considered dangerous, nonetheless I can understand why she is averse to that kind of behavior. It can be pretty annoying if someone you barely know is constantly all over you.
Attractive women inevitably get trained from a young age on how to deal with stuff like that and acquire a sixth sense for the bullshit. She said she knew within walking into someone’s home if he will bother her like that or not.
I said to Lorraine that I’m not surprised that she has that kind of effect on men, because she obviously is attractive, but I acknowledged that they shouldn’t be doing that to her. I mean, there is nothing wrong if someone just tries to flirt with another person, however it becomes objectionable if that leads then to harassment. Especially uncool is to do that as a host and harass a guest of yours.
She couldn’t understand, though, why a man would fall for a woman he has only just met, even though she is attractive. What about first establishing a connection with a person? Obviously, that was her female brain speaking. On the other hand, men are primarily visually stimulated, and although looks are not everything, they can give an attractive woman a huge initial advantage, partially due to the halo effect.
The halo effect is a cognitive bias that induces you to have a positive predisposition toward a certain thing if you happen to like one aspect of it. For example, if you find someone attractive, you may also perceive them to be trustworthy and friendly, even though you don’t know anything about them.
I guess that somewhat explains the origin of the so–called “bitch shield”, a front women will sometimes put up in the presence of men, if they don’t want to be hit on. They will act like cold bitches in an effort to neutralize the halo effect and be left alone. Not that any of them is normally aware of what they are doing – they have just internalized appropriate behavior by trial-and-error and watching how other women deal with men.
Lorraine didn’t act bitchy toward me at all (it would make little sense to do that in a hospitality exchange, and could potentially lead to a bad reference on her profile), but she did eventually confess to me that she was being a little stand-offish toward me, as she didn’t want me to fall in love with her like so many others. I found that quite amusing.
She has another challenge, though. In addition to many men who are acting obsessive when in her presence, some of the men out there are being emotionally indifferent toward her. She lamented that it just doesn’t seem that a healthy middle ground exists.
I don’t know enough about Lorraine to speculate whether or not she has a pattern of being attracted to the wrong people – i.e. players who have no desire of being in a relationship – or whether she just has a bad luck with men. Or something else entirely.
She said that she can never know if guys really want her because of her or because of how she looks. She thinks that less physically attractive women are better-off, as they don’t have to deal with this kind of problems.
Maybe she has a valid point here, I don’t know. I certainly don’t agree that unattractive women have an advantage over attractive ones (quite the opposite), but maybe being a cute, average looking woman is in fact emotionally healthier than being a super hot one.
Speaking of hotness: Mark Manson, a former dating coach, once wrote in his book that men should ditch any sort of rating scale for women (e.g. 1 to 10), as it is toxic, because it induces men to treat really beautiful women differently for superficial reasons. He recommended men to use a binary system: either you’re interested or not. Nothing else should matter.
His book got revised in 2016, but you can read my review of the book from the previous year. I highly recommend this book to anyone, man or woman. It is arguably the best book on dating on the market.
Click here for the review of his book “Models – Attract Women Through Honesty”.
There is no easy answer to this conundrum, though. Even if all men would internalize the principles laid out in this book and would be able to hold a normal conversation with a very attractive woman without reverting to obsessive behavior, the fact remains that she will still have more potential suitors than an average girl, due to the fact that more men find her attractive.
So, I guess attractive women will always be a little stand-offish for a simple reason that they can’t possibly give attention to all the men who would want to talk to them. There simply isn’t enough hours in a day. That’s the price of living in a high population density world of today.
But maybe we can all seek to understand each other better and not take things personally.
“Somebody should do it. If somebody doesn’t do it, then I think I should probably do it.”
– Elon Musk
I recently watched a very interesting interview with Elon Musk filmed at Code Conference 2016. The full interview is available on Youtube and is embedded below. Here is a short summary of the things Elon talked about:
He started by explaining why his company SpaceX needs drone ships in the Atlantic, for rocket launches from Cape Canaveral: these ships will serve as landing platforms for reusable first stages of their rockets, which are worth about 70% of the cost of the rockets. Here is a video of a successful Falcon 9 first-stage landing, filmed with an onboard camera (video is sped up):
At 13:43 mark into the interview Elon describes SpaceX’s plans for the future. In a few months they plan to start re-flying the landed first stages (which they now have 4 of them). Then, by the end of 2016 they want to launch Falcon Heavy, soon-to-be the most powerful rocket in the world.
In 2017 SpaceX will fly Dragon 2 spacecraft which is capable of taking up to 7 astronauts to International Space Station, as well as being able to fly to anywhere in the Solar system. In 2018 they intend to send one of them to Mars (on an unmanned mission). Elon said he will present the architecture for Mars colonization in September this year, but he gave us a little preview of the timing: if things go well, he wants to launch people to Mars in 2024, with arriving there the next year. Pretty ambitious, considering NASA is thinking about sending people to Mars in the 2030s.
At 24:10 the conversation shifts to the future of electric vehicles (EV) and autonomous driving. Tesla Motors, another Elon’s company, is working on scaling up the production – in 2018 they aim to make half a million vehicles in total and then a million per year by 2020. Their next model (Model 3) will have a starting price of $35,000, but it is important to note that operational costs will be lower compared to a gasoline powered car – electricity is cheaper than petrol, and EV maintenance costs are much lower. He also predicted that we are less than 2 years away from complete autonomous driving technology.
At 41:35 Elon gets asked about his views on artificial intelligence (AI). He is convinced that any AI we develop has to be friendly, and AI power has to be broadly distributed (not concentrated in the hands of a few people), otherwise the future may not be good.
The wackiest thing Elon talked about, when asked by a member of the audience, was his belief that it is likely that we live in a computer simulation. His reasoning goes like this: the technology is developing very fast, so relatively soon (on an evolutionary scale) we will have a virtual reality capabilities that will be indistinguishable from the reality itself, so if these kind of things are possible then we must also conclude that there is only a one in a billion chance that we are living in a base reality.
I don’t know how you can estimate the odds about that. Also, there is no evidence that we are living in a simulation, so I find pondering about these things pure speculation. But, if someone could devise an experiment that would either prove or disprove this hypothesis, it would be worth finding out.
During the interview Elon also talked about Hyperloop, American presidential elections 2016 (he didn’t want to answer questions directly), becoming a cyborg (merging with digital intelligence by having a direct brain-computer interface), direct democracy on Mars, his family life, and more.
Elon Musk at Code Conference 2016 – full interview.
I don’t have a smartphone. I never had one and never thought that I would need one. I have a regular mobile phone that does have some limited internet capabilities, but they are a joke, so I never use them. I liked the fact that I was disconnected from the internet when I was away from my computer. I have a slight addiction to internet, so not having a smartphone seemed like a good idea.
Recently, I was travelling in England for a couple of weeks and I discovered that the world has changed. Most hostels don’t even bother to have a computer available for their guests anymore. They just offer free Wi-Fi and that’s it. Only one hostel had a computer available, but you couldn’t even connect to the internet there, because the connection didn’t work. Actually, the computer itself looked like it will crash if you press any key.
Internet cafés became a rare thing, too. I only found one, and they charged £3 per hour. Worse yet, they kicked me out after 40 minutes, because it was 8.30pm and they were closing. I still had to pay full price. Compare that to the free Wi-Fi in the hostel, which is available 24/7.
Some libraries offer free computer access to anyone. I went to one of them, but they only allow one 30 minute session (per day, I assume). So, the bottom line is that it is a hassle to connect to the internet, if you don’t have a smartphone or a tablet. Of course you could carry a laptop with you, but that is burdensome in it’s own way. My backpack was already too heavy, even though I packed a lot less things than I normally would.
Not being able to connect to the internet can be costly. The train ticket from Salisbury to London costs £38.30, if you buy it at the train station. The same journey can be made for £14–20 (depending on the hour of the day of your train), if you buy the ticket online.
I definitely will get myself a smartphone the next time I go travelling somewhere for an extended period of time. Maybe I will use it only for travelling, and I’ll still use regular mobile phone in everyday life. Who knows. But, the one thing I do know is that technology is changing fast and that old-fashioned infrastructure is no more. Evolve or suffer consequences, your choice.