Islam and the Future of Tolerance

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.

Models – Attract Women Through Honesty (book review)

Womanáš Patkaň.

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:

Direct link to the sales page for the entire book is here:

(affiliate link)

Stages of life

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote Shakespeare in a passage from As You Like It, where he identified the seven ages of man.

I have just finished reading Mark Manson’s blog post on the same topic, where he states that we can reduce it to just four stages. And since the name of this blog is The Changing Ways – the essence of life is change; nothing ever stays the same – I feel I have to share Mark’s article with my readers.

The four stages that he identifies are: Mimicry, Self-discovery, Commitment, and Legacy.

He says that “at each subsequent stage, happiness becomes based more on internal, controllable values and less on the externalities of the ever-changing outside world.”

Previous stages are not replaced, they are transcended. At each stage your life priorities get reshuffled, but you continue to exhibit some behaviour from previous stages.

I don’t want to put any spoilers here, I recommend that you read the entire article for yourself: The Four Stages of Life.

I will just reveal that it gets deeply philosophical at the end. It reminded me of the famous Tears in rain monologue from Blade Runner.

To look things in the eyes and call them by their right names*

I’ve watched a video by Scarlett Rose Turner titled “I’m a feminist & why you should be, too!”

The video wasn’t particularly obnoxious, but I left a comment anyway. And since I don’t post much on this blog lately, I decided to repost my comment here.

Watch the video first, my comment is posted underneath it.

My comment:

If you want equality of the genders, races, sexual orientations, and religions, why don’t you call yourself an egalitarian?

And your speech about society telling us how we have to dress and look… The original idea of feminism was that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, i.e., discrimination on account of sex should be prohibited. If there was a law that women aren’t allowed to wear pants (only skirts), that would be an example of discrimination.

However, there is no law in western democracies about how you should dress (with a minor exception of public nudity laws). Nobody is forcing you to wear make-up.

Sure, there are some informal rules on what most people find pretty and fashionable (they change with time though), and YOU with your beauty channel on youtube are one of the role models that young girls learn these rules from (some standards of beauty are innate, but others are learned).

You say women should “dress up because they want to, not because society is telling them that they have to”. Cool, but you don’t have to be a feminist to say this. You just have to respect individuality and reject herd mentality. The same can apply to almost any issue. The most trivial example I can think of: people should throw birthday parties because they want to, not because society is telling them that they have to!

Scarlett seems to be a perfectly fine young woman. She also likes to dress nicely and make fashion tutorials – I have no problem with any of these things.

Being part of the “beauty community” and having a Youtube channel dedicated to fashion, she probably also realizes that she does influence young girls who look up to her and want to emulate her. So, she felt obliged to make this video and assert that a woman should only dress up, if she wants to. I don’t object to that, either.

The only reason why I wrote my comment is that she’s pushing feminism into that. And modern feminism sees everything through the lens of patriarchy. So, soon it could become: “patriarchy is telling women that they have to dress up.”

In some places, women have to be covered – patriarchy is definitely telling women in Saudi Arabia what to wear. But, in the West, women don’t dress up because men force them to look as sexy as they can (which would be a reverse Saudi Arabia scenario).

No, they dress up, because that is a natural development in a world where men value physical beauty, and women compete for social status and the attention from men (and are free to do so). Scarlett inadvertently gives a clue on this when she says in the video that women have a pretty hairstyle or wear some red lipstick because it empowers them.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and no man values exactly the same physical features – some may prefer a more natural look. But, certain generalizations can be made.

And this is not because of the patriarchy; women have their own standards of what they value in men, and men have to compete for their attention. So, it is fair to say that we are equal in that regard.

*Gone with the Wind quote

Lack of Focus

The biggest problem you can have is a complete lack of focus.

A sure way to achieve nothing.