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  1. #31
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    "How to Make Friends and Influence People", by Dale Carnegie is a manual written for his salesmen, so they could make him even richer.
    And the internet is a media created for military purposes, not foruming.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    The internet is a media created for military purposes, not foruming.
    Well, let's shift perspectives here: God created man to obey his comandments and prosper upon doing so, but many of us sin to our wicked heart's contents! Similarly, all of us naughty kids using the internet can go against the government!

  3. #33
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I really am genuinely interested in an answer to this question. It actually seems to be a weakness for the guys more than the girls. It's a bit like their love of PUA - in fact, Greene wrote a PUA manual before he wrote this one. I think this is perhaps why people get the idea that INTPs are amoral.

    Is it just that the world of people seems so counter-intuitive and irrational that you are always looking for some system to make sense of it? Don't you have a moral core that instinctively finds this kind of thing repugnant? Do you tune it out or just not have it? (Open to anyone)

    I think maybe this is the difference between INTPs with Fi and INTPs without. Other theories?
    The strange thing is that these kind of "rules" always make people who can't deal with other people even worse. Sometimes I think maybe it's about feeling good about using people vs. connecting with people. It's just a way to convince yourself that treating people like sh*t is ok and that you are actually better at stuff that "works" because you can implement these rules.

    INTPs trying to be ENTJs maybe?

  4. #34
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    And the internet is a media created for military purposes, not foruming.
    Yes, this is true, the internet was created to fight a nuclear war, and here we use it for conversation. Who would believe it?

  5. #35
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Good discussion so far. You guys have understandably been hesitant to embrace this stuff, and I was too for the first few months of knowing about it. I definitely also went through a period of misunderstanding, where I either used the laws clumsily or tried to use them to hurt people because of anger I had inside (that doesn't work, though, because it's not what they are meant for).

    I wish I could type all of Greene's introduction for you; he does an excellent job of explaining why the laws are necessary, and beyond that, beneficial to yourself, others, and the world. Here is one tiny exerpt:

    If the world is like a giant scheming court and we are trapped inside it, there is no use in trying to opt out of the game. That will only render you powerless, and powerlessness will make you miserable. Instead of struggling against the inevitable, instead of arguing and whining and feeling guilty, it is far better to excel at power. In fact, the better you are at dealing with power, the better friend, lover, husband, wife, and person you become. By following the route of the perfect courtier (law 24), you learn to make others feel better about themselves, becoming a source of pleasure to them. They will grow dependent on your abilities and desirous of your presence. By mastering the 48 laws in this book, you spare others the pain that comes with bungling power--by playing with fire without knowing its properties. If the game of power is inescapable, better to be an artist than a denier or a bungler.
    Think about it!

    I've also noticed a pattern of suggestions from you all that eschew this book for others, but actually center toward laws 24 (play the perfect courtier) and 43 (work on the hearts and minds of others). These are what most personal relationship/interaction books seem to be about, which is great and needed, however, I believe Greene has a less sugar-coated, more to-the-point way of discussing them that has the downside of putting some people on the defensive. Those indeed may be the 2 most important laws, if any, but I particularly like 48 LOP because it doesn't stop there, it covers everything.

    Let's also not make the mistake of giving Greene all the credit for this. He has merely (done an INCREDIBLE job of) read all the philosophers and wisdom of the ages and distilled it into something digestible for someone who doesn't have the time or mind to pour through the mountain of text that's out there. Machiavelli plays much less a part than the unacquainted might think, btw. He even lines each page with anecdotes, fables, and quotes from some of history's greatest sources of wisdom--far too many to name.

  6. #36
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I think there would be less physical war, because all of the war would be done psychologically. None of these laws ever advocate physical violence. In fact, I think they are probably quite useful in deterring physical violence.
    In what way does "crush your enemy completely in body and spirit" not advocate violence?

    The entire book is actually advocating psychological violence, which is arguably worse.
    FDG is right. If everyone applied these rules, genuine human relationships would become impossible. In fact, such strategies rely on the fact that most people do not operate this way. It's the same reason sociopaths often become successful: it's a parasite's charter. Parasites always require a host.

    One thing to remember is that if you have an objection to a law, you might simply be projecting your own guilt on it and envisioning something that it isn't. For instance, "Crush You Enemy Completely" seems particularly ruthless, but how many times in movies (especially horror movies) do we see someone fail to take an opportunity to kill their assailant only to have that person come back and stir up a bigger heap of trouble than before?
    How does that answer the objection? It doesn't. It's still ruthless, it's just not unfounded.

    You can't use horror movies to justify a strategy for living unless you want people to think you are nuts. Horror movies play on our deepest fears and allow us to exorcise those fears in a safe, controlled environment - catharsis. They intentionally amplify the gap between fantasy and reality.
    "Projecting your own guilt" is a meaningless phrase. I really think Greene is suggesting that one ignore one's conscience. Corrupting your conscience is how monsters are created. It's how SS officers were trained. If you have false beliefs and fears that are holding you back in life, that's one thing, but if you are held back because you don't want to harm others, well, that's healthy. That's how empathy is supposed to work!!

    If you find any of these suggestions distasteful or morally questionable, there's a reason for that. If you do it anyway you diminish yourself as a person of integrity and you compromise your emotional and psychological health, not to mention your relationships with others. Can you really rationalize everything on the basis of "whatever works"? Do ends justify any means? Where do you draw the line?

    The irony is, in applying yourself to someone else's definition of "mastery", in embracing their idea of "success", you just end up brainwashed and alienated from yourself. And a person alienated from himself cannot be happy. So all the superficial success in the world becomes meaningless and empty.

    Such questions of moral bankruptcy aside, this manifesto, or whatever it is, is not even consistent. For example, you say Miley Cyrus has become successful because of rule #6 - it's too early to say anything about her long-term success other than that she has certainly created a short-term buzz of scandal around herself, but she is definitely in danger of breaking rule #16 - overexposure leading to being perceived as cheap and worthless. If the self-same act both fulfils and breaks one of these rules, what then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    It's called good taste.
    Why thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    "How to Make Friends and Influence People", by Dale Carnegie is a manual written for his salesmen, so they could make him even richer.

    This manual has nothing to do with making friends and everything to do with manipulating customers.
    I dislike that book too, but I think it's much less cynical than Greene's output.

  7. #37
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    FDG is right. If everyone applied these rules, genuine human relationships would become impossible. In fact, such strategies rely on the fact that most people do not operate this way. It's the same reason sociopaths often become successful: it's a parasite's charter. Parasites always require a host.
    Yeah; nerdy ramble, forgive me: in game-theoretical terms, they'd be a dominant strategy for a fixed fraction of the population, made by one-half of "offenders" and one-half of "defenders" who act similarly but on behalf of the remaning fraction of "normal" people who would give up a (large) part of their benefit to the sociopaths in order to protect them from other sociopaths. The optimum would then be reached by the complete elimination of the sociopathic fraction of the population.

    I still think some of the passive rules are fine. Not pissing off people above you? Fine in peaceful times when they're unlikely to be killed and a substitute has to be elected. Get others to do the work? Generally fine, but then the whole population cannot simultaneously follow both
    - get others to do the work
    - take the results as yours

    otherwise there will simply be no work ever done. And so on and so forth for plenty of those rules.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  8. #38
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    In what way does "crush your enemy completely in body and spirit" not advocate violence?
    Sometimes war happens. There is a way to deal with it, like anything else. A bully often won't learn to stay away unless you seal the deal once and for all. That's life.

    The entire book is actually advocating psychological violence, which is arguably worse.
    Actually it more advocates psychological finesse. Psychological violence would be.. like berating your kid or your employees or something. It doesn't advocate that. It maintains a realistic outlook, though - life is a (mostly) psychological battlefield, and to thrive you must fight.

    FDG is right. If everyone applied these rules, genuine human relationships would become impossible. In fact, such strategies rely on the fact that most people do not operate this way. It's the same reason sociopaths often become successful: it's a parasite's charter. Parasites always require a host.
    These laws can be used for good or bad.
    Personally, I think it is time more good people start empowering themselves and stop feeling guilty and timid.
    Also, neither you nor FDG have the slightest idea what it would be like if everyone applied these rules deftly. That argument is entirely hypothetical and invalid.

    How does that answer the objection? It doesn't. It's still ruthless, it's just not unfounded.
    Just my opinion, but sometimes it is necessary to be ruthless. If someone threatens my life or loved ones, I will be ruthless, period.

    You can't use horror movies to justify a strategy for living unless you want people to think you are nuts. Horror movies play on our deepest fears and allow us to exorcise those fears in a safe, controlled environment - catharsis. They intentionally amplify the gap between fantasy and reality.
    It's just a relatable example, but definitely not the only one. History is rife with examples of one side failing to crush the other side thoroughly enough and then having them come back and wreak havoc. Like off the top of my head, McClellan in the civil war. The prime example, really, is Hitler. He was obviously not dealt with thoroughly enough in the beginning, and as a result put the world through the worst nightmare in human history.

    Using the laws requires finesse and maturity. Should you wake up in the morning wondering who to crush completely today? Probably not. It's about knowing the appropriate time, then taking the appropriate action, even if it is unpleasant.

    "Projecting your own guilt" is a meaningless phrase. I really think Greene is suggesting that one ignore one's conscience. Corrupting your conscience is how monsters are created. It's how SS officers were trained. If you have false beliefs and fears that are holding you back in life, that's one thing, but if you are held back because you don't want to harm others, well, that's healthy. That's how empathy is supposed to work!!
    Don't confuse conscience and emotions. Greene is absolutely suggesting that we transcend our emotions. Our emotions distort our perception of reality and can make us act hastily and ineffectively. To wield power can definitely require some tough decisions. Let's say you have a negative friend who is dragging you down. You've tried to help him, but he is still floundering in life, and he is hurting you as well. Your emotions might feel terrible for disconnecting from a person like that, but your higher rational mind would know that it is unpleasant, but ultimately the best outcome for the most people. Just a quick example, but I think it shows how following rationality rather than emotion can feel like lacking a conscience.

    If you find any of these suggestions distasteful or morally questionable, there's a reason for that. If you do it anyway you diminish yourself as a person of integrity and you compromise your emotional and psychological health, not to mention your relationships with others. Can you really rationalize everything on the basis of "whatever works"? Do ends justify any means? Where do you draw the line?
    There is no easy answer to this question, but it is an inescapable question whether you read and apply this book or not. Maybe sometimes they do, maybe sometimes they don't. Nothing is ever black and white, and even if there is one right answer, no one knows absolutely what it is.

    If you find something distasteful, sure, there might be a reason for it, but it doesn't have to be a good one. A lot of the time people are offended by harmless things others say because of their own inner insecurities. If I had an abusive father (for example) and other people are talking about fond memories of their fathers, I might feel disturbed and offended. Rationality is about overcoming those emotions and thinking clearly about life. In other words, maybe it's just you. In the end, we all reach a point in our lives where we are forced to either let our emotions define us and tear us down (because life is painful, unfair, and infuriating), or do our best to overcome them and make the most of what's here. To do that requires rationality, and yes, a little bit of distance or "alienation" from oneself.

    The irony is, in applying yourself to someone else's definition of "mastery", in embracing their idea of "success", you just end up brainwashed and alienated from yourself. And a person alienated from himself cannot be happy. So all the superficial success in the world becomes meaningless and empty.
    I think success and mastery are very well defined, fairly universal concepts, personally. Then again, I think a lot of people make excuses. When you aren't the most skilled or successful person, it becomes convenient to say you've defined those things for yourself and don't have to measure up to society's standard. It takes courage to acknowledge the standards of society, because virtually no one out there is at the tippy-top of success or mastery. That is humbling, but it can be gotten over and it gives you motivation to make the most of yourself possible.

    Such questions of moral bankruptcy aside, this manifesto, or whatever it is, is not even consistent. For example, you say Miley Cyrus has become successful because of rule #6 - it's too early to say anything about her long-term success other than that she has certainly created a short-term buzz of scandal around herself, but she is definitely in danger of breaking rule #16 - overexposure leading to being perceived as cheap and worthless. If the self-same act both fulfils and breaks one of these rules, what then?
    There is a subtle art to this. Many laws do seem to contradict, but you've got to think on your feet and read the circumstances you're in. Often times, politicians break rule #16 - especially in campaign season. By the time elections roll around, we pretty much hate them for having had them shoved in our face for months on end.

    This stuff isn't easy. Again, the laws without context can contradict, but it's all about reading the situation.

    I dislike that book too, but I think it's much less cynical than Greene's output.
    Again, it is like a somewhat sugar coated version of laws 24 and 43. And yes, I've read it.

  9. #39
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Another example of violation of law 16 is a significant other who crowds you and doesn't give you enough space in the relationship. Pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes it is best to give people a break, maybe even make them wonder what you are up to. Nothing wrong with that. Of course, it shouldn't be relied on completely, but it is something I think we've all witnessed.

    PS: simple examples like this are why I made this thread. I don't believe these laws are far removed from any of our experiences. The way they are written, and the grandiose historical examples, though, can sometimes be difficult to translate to daily life. That doesn't mean they're not everywhere.

  10. #40
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I feel like you're gonna fail just like you did with the 'sniper' strategy.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

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