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  1. #41
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I feel like you're gonna fail just like you did with the 'sniper' strategy.
    My past reputation (law 5) is an understandable reason for you to feel that way. There's a couple things you gotta understand though. First, patience and timing is incredibly important, as Greene writes in law 35. I still stand by what I said in that thread, but with one subtle but important difference. See, I was crazy back then and thought that my desire alone affected the way reality and the universe would unfold, so I would sit around doing nothing but keeping my mind on what I lacked and it was terribly painful to do that for hours, days, and weeks.

    My epiphany was to renounce all religion and superstition. Now I employ that same patience, but while I am waiting for one thing, I am doing what I can to advance my life in ways that I do have control over. That keeps me much saner for when opportunities finally do arise, and they do. With the same girl, actually. In the last couple weeks, I have employed great patience with her; I actually think she may have been subconsciously testing me to see if I would freak out again if she ignored me for a while. I definitely wanted to, but I stayed frosty. I have gotten to see her more, though, including yesterday, and she is clearly coming around back to at least loving me as a friend.

    Patience and consistence works. My sniper strategy failed because I didn't follow it lol.

  2. #42
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Well looks like it's only me in this. I just went to a hiking meetup and went full blast on law 24 and it was fkin spectacular. I decided (as I do more and more these days) to just turn the charm all the way up and be ungodly nice to people, and that's what I did. Talked to probably 10-15 people, got along GREAT with them, acted super happy and laid back, and it was perfect. Made several man friends, and talked to several cute girls as well, got 1 of their numbers, would have got 2 but thought it would be weird to ask for both.

    This stuff works. It's not whatever evil image you have in your head of it. Is charm superficial? Not really. It's being a nice, polite, normal person who isn't so self absorbed that they act aloof or weird. The difference between me and a sociopath is that he might use the same charm, but he ultimately has bad intentions. I don't. The charm isn't the evil part of sociopathy.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I dislike that book How to Make Friends and Influence People too
    It is very popular. Some say it is because Americans love to be sold and so love salesmen, and indeed the great American tragedy is called Death of a Salesman.

  4. #44
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    Greene is attempting to adapt Machiavelli for the modern age, but no, I'm not going to invoke #41 on him.

    2. Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies – Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
    Are we sure that a friend's envy is more dangerous than a former enemy's proven capacity to play for the opposing team? If they went there once, they have it in them to go back. Does Greene give a way to test for sure whether "former" means former?

    3. Conceal your intentions – Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.
    People are curious. To much concealing will pique people into probing harder. By "guiding them down the wrong path", what Greene hopefully means is to strike a balance by being open about enough nonessential items to make people think that you don't have anything to hide, but keeping the true lynchpins of your plans to yourself.

    6. Court attention at all costs – Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out, be conspicuous at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.
    Explain how this is worth becoming an easy target, especially in light of this:
    10. Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky – You can die from someone else’s misery—emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.
    If emotional states are that infectious, what about infamy? Rule 6 suggests courting attention at all costs. One of those costs easily could be large-scale ridicule, building a hatedom like Miley. Unlike just being around someone miserable, the negative emotions are all pointedly directed at you. According to Greene's own theory of emotional contagion, this would psychologically wear on a person after a while. We are cooperative animals: you can only tell yourself that you don't give a shit for so long. I think the destructive cycle this precipitates could account for the fall of a lot of child stars who lash out against their past in attention-grabbing ways.

    23. Concentrate your forces - Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another—intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.
    There's a saying about this: "putting all your eggs in one basket". I agree with concentrating your points of attack on a goal down to a few in the name of efficiency and focus, but the rule specifically says one key patron, and when you get down to one is the moment when the security of concentration breaks down. If you have one rich mine, you're good until it caves in. Then you've got no mines and are tasked with starting from square one and finding a new direction, and that's a cripplingly stressful task when your stockpile of gold is running out and you know that if you won't be eating if you can't find another source. Better to have two good mines than ten or one.

    EDIT: A mad scramble after losing your one patron is one of the contingencies planning to the end is meant to address in advance. I see. But my plan would still deem one backup mine to be worth more than the sacrifice in focus.

    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.
    People stuck in the former are more likely to seek a book with "laws of power" in the title. They are more concerned with power day to day because they are having such difficulty empowering themselves.

    What repulses people about this is merely the notion of dealing with people in a rational, calculating manner. People feel guilty about doing that for several reasons.

    First, it requires a bit of distance to detach yourself from your emotional reaction and instead select a rational option that is more effective.
    I like some of the laws, but I think that the opposite of what you say above is true about specifically the laws that are done at others' expense. Because of their displacement of discomfort, they will be the emotionally easy choices. Brains aren't stupid: most manipulators don't know that they're manipulating, just that they can't tolerate the pain. Psychological distress chokes your capacity to empathize in the name of pain control (see: some personality disorders). Fight-or-flight mode, unless it is engaged to protect another, makes you temporarily forget other people. Remember the last time you hurt someone while in a state of rage or panic, in a way that you would be morally loathe to do in your regular state of mind? These, for example...

    11. Learn to keep people dependent on you – To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
    36. Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge – Be acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.
    43. Work on the hearts and minds of others – Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.
    ...appeal to frightened people the most. A quiet, rational mind can see the interpersonal factors and how they imperil these strategies in the long run.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Suffice it to say, again, that I am not picking and choosing, myself. I think all of these laws have truth to them, but must be applied correctly. There is plenty of room for error and misunderstanding, but I've seen myself improve with time. Here's an example.

    I was talking to a friend on the phone and she had just stepped inside. She asked me if she could call me back in a few minutes and I said sure. She never did. I was pissed. I waited a couple days, till she called me. She wanted help with something, but I said I was talking to someone and I'd call her back shortly. Of course, I had decided to follow law 44, the mirror effect, so I blew her off and didn't call back.

    The results weren't disastrous, but it didn't work out that well. She was mad at me, I was mad at her, etc. Better to use this law in different circumstances. Live and learn. However, this was still an improvement on my former modus operandi, so I have to give myself some credit. I would have said something angry or told her how her ignoring me made me feel. That doesn't work. People hate to believe that sharing your emotions doesn't work, so I'll probably get shit for saying that, but from experience I have seen that it is a poor way to get someone to feel truly sorry. There are definitely other times when sharing emotions creates harmony.

    If I could do it over again I just would have been more patient and waited for opportunities to use 24 and 43. Honestly, those are the 2 biggest ones for me right now, and they are really the only ones that apply in most circumstances.

    Not sure why you would single out 43. It's... like the nicest law. The historical lesson in the chapter dealt with Marie Antoinette. She got to France and was greeted with fanfare, and remarked "how fortunate to be in a position in which one can gain widespread affection at so little cost." Indeed, in her time in power, she did virtually nothing to court the people she ruled. That's why they wound up hating her. The law deals with how it is necessary to at least display solidarity with those whom you want power from. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." That's how you work on the hearts and minds of others.

    Always remember something folks: evil often wears a beautiful mask, and the truth isn't always so palatable. If you want to listen to Eckhart Tolle, Joel Oesteen, whoever, go right ahead. They'll give you a spiritual fix anytime you want it. They give you all the hope about life you could want and more, and you'll listen for years as life passes you by and all you ever get is that promise of eventual bliss. The truth, OTOH, may seem cold, but when you accept it, you can use it and make something of yourself.

  6. #46
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Is charm superficial? Not really. It's being a nice, polite, normal person who isn't so self absorbed that they act aloof or weird. The difference between me and a sociopath is that he might use the same charm, but he ultimately has bad intentions. I don't. The charm isn't the evil part of sociopathy.
    There is nothing charming about this book. Any non-sociopath should be able to see that.

    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    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.
    Hardly. You talk about rationality, but your approach is that of disciple or cult-follower. A truly rational person would examine each rule individually, the pros and cons, how strong is Greene's case and what are the moral implications. Still better, examine the original texts yourself, without Greene's cynical "spin".

    This is what genuine rationality, coupled with genuine morality, and in my view, genuine success, looks like:

    Likes Noon liked this post

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    There is nothing charming about this book. Any non-sociopath should be able to see that.
    Can a book be successful if it only appeals to sociopaths as you assume this book does?

    I would think that a book would require a larger interested audience than that to remain in publication with a major publisher as long as this one has.

  8. #48
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Can a book be successful if it only appeals to sociopaths as you assume this book does?
    If by "successful" you mean sell well, yes, I'm certain it can. 1% of a population of x billion is more than enough to make you some dosh.
    If you expand to include wannabe sociopaths, the sky's the limit...

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    If by "successful" you mean sell well, yes, I'm certain it can. 1% of a population of x billion is more than enough to make you some dosh.
    If you expand to include wannabe sociopaths, the sky's the limit...
    This book appeals to people who aren't sociopaths.

    Prove that wrong.

  10. #50
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    I have no interest in doing so. I'm sure it appeals to those with limited reasoning capacity or a sense of powerlessness looking for a "quick fix" too.

    Lots of people buy snake oil.

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