Waking Up to ZOMBIES - Transcript

Introduction to Deep and Meaningful Insights

[0:00] Good morning, everybody. Hope you're doing well. Get ready for something deep and meaningful.
Now, this is something that sounds like it may not be super applicable to you, but I promise you that it is, because the question is of an artistic nature, but the answer is life as a whole.
So, this is a little bit of philosophy, but it's a lot of strategy.
I've negotiated some pretty challenging situations and environments in my life, and I've done so with a fair degree of success.
At least I've satisfied my own conscience about how I've lived so far. So far, so good.
And I wanted to share with you some of the strategies or methodologies that I have used to navigate life as a whole.
So the question, and it helps if you have read my novels, it's not essential so yeah just nip off read them and then come back but the question was how do i create characters how do i create sort of deep and believable characters this is somebody who said that the story arc of rachel in my novel the present was so powerful that you know it sort of haunts him and and my characters do absolutely haunt me i am populated by the ghosts of people people I've co-created.
So it is a very deep and meaningful thing for me.

[1:25] And I do have an approach to art that is unusual in many ways.
I try not to be limited by standard conventions.
So, of course, in my novel, The Future, I go from first person to third person for the same character.
And unusually enough in my novel the present there's no antagonist right there's a protagonist right somebody who's working to achieve the good but there's no antagonist there's no evil bad guy now there's an evil bad guy in my novel the future which is sort of the main character lewis staton but in my novel the present there are no antagonists of course in my novel, almost there is a protagonist tom and an antagonist his older brother reginald i mean they are fighting for opposite things and reginald is willing to have the entire world burn to try to destroy his brother which is some powerful stuff in my view so.

Unpacking the Nature of Characters

[2:35] How do you create characters? And now, the question of how you create characters, I mean, you probably aren't a novelist who's working to create characters, but the skill that a novelist has in creating characters is a skill that you desperately need, which is to understand characters, to understand the natures and personalities of those around you.
Art, in general, oversimplifies antagonist and protagonist. antagonist.
So what art does, which I find offensive, deeply offensive, and occludes or obscures immorality far more than it reveals it, what art does is it either makes cartoony good guys and bad guys, like literally Batman and the Penguin or Superman and Lex Luthor, they make cartoony good guys, bad guys, which rarely happens in life, rarely shows up in life.
Or what they do, what artists do, artists with a quote sometimes, is they get all relativistic, and everybody has their own motivations.
There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys, there's only you and me, and we just disagree.

[3:44] They get all relativistic and subjective, and everybody has their own motivations.
Sometimes there's tragic collisions, but there is only personality, there is no morality.
But almost all personality structures are built on moral principles, which is why the unpacking of personality is the revealing of morality.
People run on foundational moral principles.

[4:10] Selfishness, altruism, they run on collectivism or individualism.
They run on a commitment to tell the truth or a commitment to, quote, be nice, polite, and get along.

Unconscious Moral Principles and Personality

[4:20] People don't, they don't have moral principles. principles moral principles have them right and the purpose of philosophy is to help you have a personality rather than just inheriting a sense of a set of unconscious principles to actually have you person have a personality by choosing your principles so in this way you choose who you are otherwise you just inherit who you are from circumstances and maybe some genetic, predilections and history and what you happen to be exposed to what you happen to like Like, so, most people are possessed by moral principles and don't even know what's going on.
And by moral principles, I don't mean good, right?
There can be moral principles that are immoral or immoral principles.
So, sorry, I know it's a little confusing to use the same word for both, but exploit others is a moral principle.
Like, everyone's a sucker. or they're either going to rob from you or you rob from them and only an idiot lets himself get robbed from.
This sort of Nietzschean will-to-power stuff. That's a moral principle.
It's a principle of universally preferable behavior.

[5:31] If it's eat or be eaten, well, you want to eat the other guy.
You don't want him to eat you, right? So that's a moral principle.
In business, if it's like, well, everyone's going to chisel you, so you might as well chisel them first.
Everyone's going to lie to you. You might as well lie to them first.
Everyone's going to fool you. You're going to, right? That becomes a moral principle. No, it's not.

The Influence of Moral Principles on Behavior

[5:56] You believe it's universal, so you strike first, right? Right.
It's an animal kind of universality.
Be a lion because the zebras are never going to eat you.
So most people are possessed by moral principles that run their personalities.

[6:14] And those moral principles that run their personalities, it's really like a form of demonic possession or angelic possession.
And those moral principles that possess people's personalities want to replicate or reproduce themselves.
So, nice people trying to create a world in which other people are nice, and that way niceness spreads, right?
This is love your enemy stuff, right? That if you love your enemies, your enemies will become nice. They won't be your enemies anymore.
There are no strangers. They're only friends I haven't met yet.
Have a sort of positive, benevolent approach to life, and in this way, the positive and benevolent mindset transfers from one person to another, or you have a malevolent and predatory mindset in life.
Forget them before they get you. Someone's going to get someone.
It might as well be you being the predator rather than the victim because that's predator-prey is the only way that people interact. It's sort of a belief system that people have.
And so when you...

[7:16] Prey on others that predator prey mindset is going to spread so the moral approaches to life, which again doesn't mean virtuous it just means that you have a universally preferable behavior moral approaches to life are trying to replicate in this way bullies are trying to punish victims victims, in some ways, to provoke the victims into no longer being victims.

Attempted Strength Training and Moral Principles

[7:44] It's a form of attempted strength training.
If you come across as a victim, well, you're either going to be a bully or a victim, so I'm going to make being a victim uncomfortable for you to the point where hopefully you'll become a bully and stop whining and start taking, right?
That's the approach that people have.
Now, and this is why philosophy is the enemy to almost all existing unconscious conscious morality-based personality structures, including the nice and the kind and the benevolent and the this, that, and the other, people who want to get along and people who want to be diplomatic and so on.
So the reason why philosophy is the enemy of unconscious morality is because when you make unconscious morality conscious.

[8:31] Then it no longer transmits through behavior, it transmits through reason.
It no longer transmits through behavior. It transmits through reason.
You can reason other people.
So you don't have to model the behavior in the hope of replicating it, the unconscious hope of replicating it.
You can reason people. Now, when you reason with people about morality, you push them close to a terrifying void at the center of their own personalities.

[9:06] So people who say, well, I'm good because I'm nice, I get along with people, I'm positive, I'm helpful, I'm whatever it is, right?
And they say, I'm good because of that. that, well, when you bring UPB to people who are of the opinion that they're good and nice because they're kind and generous, and you point out the deficiencies in this, right?

[9:32] I mean, if people say, well, I'm good and nice and kind and generous because I support the welfare state, and then UPB reveals that the welfare state is built on coercion, then, you know, gosh, I guess they're not so nice and kind and generous and so on, right?
If people say, I want to do good in the world, I'm really interested in helping refugees from X, Y, and Z Micronesia country, or I want to do all of this good in the world, and then you ask them about their childhoods and you ask them about what happened and whether they were nice to their brothers, you ask if there are any children that they know of who might be being mistreated and so on.
On, right, then, you know, as it turns out, they're not so good.
They want to posture as being good by avoiding the moral challenges in their midst and focusing only on, quote, moral challenges that usually other people have to fund by force that pose no personal risk to the virtuous, right?
They are not moral. They are virtue signaling, right?

[10:38] Have you, you know, everybody knows some child in the orbit that's being mistreated.

Starting Your Moral Journey Locally

[10:42] Have you done anything about it?
Well, I mean, that's something you can do something about. It's more immediate. It's more visceral.
It's like it actually might cost you something to confront that rather than spouting off about wind farms in Tahiti or something like that.
You're deep concern for the ecology of the Amazon. on.
And there's nothing wrong with those things, but you should start your moral journey with that which is local, visceral, and you can have an effect on, right? That's where you should start your moral journey, right?

[11:12] You know, if a morbidly obese man is worrying himself sick over obesity rates in the Dominican Republic, we might say that his focus was somewhat misplaced, right?
And if if your moral focus is not on the children in your environment, that you can actually work to help or be better.
Or, of course, you know, if you were mean to other people as a child or a young person, and generally most of us are, I mean, I think everyone is at one time or another, if you're mean to other children when you were little, or medium, I guess, a teenager, then, you know, probably worth taking responsibility for that, figuring out why it happened, and making apologies and restitution, you know, all of that stuff that's actually morally yours, right, that you have done and you have created, and then sort of figuring out if you had parents who, say, hit you, talking to them about it.
You know, these are moral things that you can do that actually will have an effect on the world, and certainly on your world, and will make things better in your life.
And, you know, There's a lot of people, of course, who claim to care about others.
I wake up with a deep love for humanity and so on, right?
And then they had family members who were cruel, and they haven't confronted and talked to those family members about cruelty, which is, of course, letting people persist in moral error and immorality.

[12:42] Which is not kind, right?
It's not kind. If you know someone who is addicted to.

[12:50] To cigarettes, is it kind to buy them cigarettes and light their cigarettes up for them and buy them ashtrays and, you know, praise them for smoking?
Well, that's not kind, right? I mean, you're half killing them, right?
And, you know, if your parents were cruel or neglectful or whatever, right?
And you go over there and, oh, I love you and you're the greatest and let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya over the Christmas turkey, well, you're not talking to them about their immorality, which means that you are participating in the continuance of moral corruption and blindness, right?

The Truth About Being "Nice"

[13:32] So what happens is when people say, well, I'm nice and I'm good, what they usually mean is I like to be praised for morals that are, for me, consequence-free.
I like to be praised for posturing, and people say, I'm nice, and what they mean is, I'm scared, right?
I mean, the world is not a particularly moral place. In some ways, it's getting better. In some ways, it's getting worse.
But, you know, it's the random movement of these kinds of things. It's like the weather.
So the world is not a particularly moral place, and that must be because morality is very hard.

[14:15] And telling the truth to people who've done immoral things particularly to children is not easy of course right we're kind of programmed against it and we needed our parents to survive and our tribe to survive when we evolve but that's fine i mean we didn't evolve with cell phones we've managed to adapt we didn't evolve for moral honesty but surely we can adapt or at least stop lying to ourselves right so people who say well i'm nice i i want to do good in the world I want to help people, and this, that, and the other.
It's like, okay, well, have you talked to people in your life who've done wrong?
Have you confronted yourself when you've done wrong?
Have you worked to bring moral clarity and principles to those around you?
And then, as it turns out, when people say that I'm nice, what they generally mean is, I don't want to provoke immoral people by talking about the immorality.
Now, I'm going to call that being nice.
Well, I don't want to upset my parents. they're old, you know, their life is past, what's the purpose?
Like, all of that is just cover-up for, I don't want the discomfort of provoking aggression from immoral people.
And that's fine. Again, whatever you do, just don't lie to yourself about it. That's all, right?
Don't lie to yourself about yourself. That's the foundational cowardice.

Confronting Foundational Cowardice

[15:31] Everything else I don't particularly care about.

[15:34] But if you don't want to confront immoral people because you're afraid that they'll get aggressive or volatile or punitive or they'll... That's fine.
Okay, then don't confront immoral people, but don't say it's because you're nice.
Right, that's all. Don't say it's because you're nice.

[15:53] I mean, if you have an uncle who's drinking himself to death and you don't talk to him about it, don't say, well, I don't want to disrupt the family gathering, and I'm sure he's got it under control, and I hear he's cutting back.
And just say you're afraid of his aggression if you talk to him about his drinking.
I don't want him to get mad at me. I'm scared he's going to bully me.
Okay. And again, you can still make that choice, whatever, right?
But just don't lie to yourself about it, right? And I say this to myself too.
I not lie to myself about things.
It's not not like this massive constant battle oh my god every morning i must not like but you know i mean there are times where i've got to remind myself you know just make sure you're straight with yourself and and don't don't take what you haven't earned right don't steal right because saying that you're good because you're nice but you're actually nice because you're afraid of blowback from confronting immoral people that's stealing right you're saying you're good when you're you're actually not good. You are frightened.

Exposing Self-Deception in Morality

[17:00] And the immorality is not in being frightened. The immorality is in lying to yourself that you're good, or I'm good for that matter, right?
I mean, obviously, I don't want to lecture you in some way.

[17:10] I mean, if you're attracted to someone physically, then say, yeah, I lust after this person.

[17:18] Don't say, she's the greatest. I love her so much. I mean, you've heard this a million times on my call-in shows, right?
And people say, Say, oh yeah, now I got together with my girlfriend five years ago or whatever.
I love her, this, that, and the other. It's like, oh, was she pretty?
Yeah, very, very pretty. Oh, what do you love about her? What are her virtues?
Silence, silence, silence, right?
Okay, well, just say, look, I'm here for the last time, right? But it's the lying.
So philosophy, by making morality universal and applicable, right?
Universally preferable behavior. Behavior.

[17:56] Behavior, right? The B is the part that gets people.
If I had to find a universal system of ethics that were entirely abstract and not actionable, then that would be one thing, right?
But the word behavior, I mean, obviously is no small clue as to the fact that it's supposed to be actionable. And it is actionable, right?

Predation and Moral Principles

[18:16] Is actionable you can tell the truth about virtue to people in your life and now you can prove it it's not just opinion so people think that they're wise or good or virtuous or cunning right if they're more in the Nietzschean will to power stuff and that it's sensible and so on right so the people who are like well you get them before they get you you know my mother used violence with her children and then she ended up believing that the world was imminently about to use violence against her for the last many decades of her life.
Now, of course, that's a world you created, right, where disagreements are masked by coercion.
So those who are predatory are wounded, right?
And they don't want to admit that they were preyed upon as children.
So then they say, well, my parents weren't predators.
Everyone is a predator. They're just those who don't admit it.
If you were preyed upon as a child, then you can either say, gee, my parents were pretty bad because they preyed upon me.
Or you can say, the world is full of predation and anyone who thinks otherwise is just a sucker rolling over and exposing his belly to get feasted on.
Well, so that's the sort of principle. That's the sort of moral approach that they take.
Morality being universally preferable behavior, which is get them before they get you.

[19:43] Everyone's going to lie to you, you might as well lie to them Women wear makeup so I can fake my income Right, says the man Or I can lie about, right, getting to bed with women Because women will Lie to you, take you to court, whatever it is Right, mom divorced my dad And he ended up living in his car, And so you end up with this I said this the other day, of course In a call-in show that, Every man who sleeps around with women Is angry At his mother Until that anger is resolved, the predation will continue, right?
A woman hurt me, so I'll hurt women back.
So philosophy, real philosophy, what we talk about here, it exposes people's theft of morality.
If you're good, if you want to be moral, then you should tell moral truths to those around you. First and foremost, right?
First and foremost, we wouldn't particularly believe a wellness guru whose entire family and extended family were morbidly obese, including himself.
I mean, that would not be at all credible, right? I remember some years ago, there was a picture of a woman posing with her three kids, and she had a great figure, and she's like, you don't have to stay fat after you give birth, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[21:07] Well, but if she was morbidly obese saying you don't have to stay fat after you give birth, it'd be confusing, right?
So when it comes to everything but morality and politics, I guess, we expect people to act locally before they prescribe universally, right?
You should buy my supplements and do my exercises, says the ripped guy, right?
So you can look like me, look at these pecs and delts and abs and triceps and biceps. You should eat my supplements and you should exercise the way that I do so that you can look like me.

[21:44] Whereas, you know, some guy who's 350 pounds saying, you should eat my supplements and exercise so you can look like, not me, but that guy over there who's really ripped, who's not doing what I'm doing.
Like, that would be ridiculous, right? So in everything but morality, we expect people to act locally before they prescribe universally. Conversely.

Acting Locally Before Prescribing Universally

[22:02] And so, of course, you know, all of these people who were like, well, I'm concerned about this geopolitical thing and that thing in the Middle East, and I'm concerned about this migrant and that overseas and foreign aid.
And it's like, OK, well, gosh, if you're concerned about the fitness levels of people 6,000 miles away, then everybody closer to you than 6,000 miles must be really fit because that's where you are. That's where you've gotten to.
I've dealt with everyone in 5,999 miles.
So now I'm, you know, obviously I'm at the water's edge 6,000 miles away.
That's where my focus is, right?
But people leap over acting honestly and morally in their own personal lives so that they can windbag about abstract topics that they neither pay for nor face any risk for promulgating.
It's moral posturing they're stealing because they're claiming morality.

[22:56] Without actually acting to improve the morals in their environment which they have effect and control over a lot of these people of course were mistreated by their parents or teachers or others when they were children and they haven't talked to them about that, okay so where you actually were the victim of corruption and immorality you won't say a thing, but when it comes to windbagging about geopolitical stuff on the other side of the world, you're very, very passionate.
So you're stealing. It's a form of theft. It's a theft of virtue.
It's a theft of self-esteem.
And thieves don't like to be caught, and UPB catches them.
And, of course, usually because the source of their virtue is borrowing or coercion or money printing, then they're literally stealing. They're literally stealing.
You must be forced to do the good that I want is not virtuous.
Obviously, it's not virtuous. Thank you.
I mean, some guy robbing a woman at gunpoint saying he really wants to give the money to charity on the other side of the world is not doing any good, right?
Virtue without cost is theft.
Virtue without risk is theft. Virtue without honesty is theft.

Unveiling Moral Preferences

[24:07] And philosophy exposes that. So people have moral preferences to be nice or to be predatory or to be self-sacrificial.
And the self-sacrifice often always ends up with a price tag, right?
It always ends up with a price tag if it's perceived as self-sacrifice. You know this.

[24:25] As a mother who maybe wasn't particularly nice, but then later claims, well, I gave up everything for you.
I sacrificed everything for you. It always ends up being a demand, right?
It's not self-sacrifice if there's a demand, right?
And it's like me saying, I have completely sacrificed myself to my employer. Now give me a paycheck.
It's like, okay, well, if it's sacrifice, then you ain't getting paid.
If you're getting paid, it ain't a sacrifice. It's just a moral.
It's an economic exchange, right?
So why I'm saying all this? So the reason I'm saying all of this is when you come to develop characters, and this means if you're artistic, it means developing characters in a fictional sense.

Understanding Characters in Your Life

[25:02] But if you are not artistic in particular, or you have no interest in writing novels or plays or, you know, scripts where there are characters, then the consolation prize is you get to really understand the people in your own life.
And yourself, if you want, right? Understand the people in your own life.
So, the way that I approach characters is with this one fundamental principle, and this is characters in my novels, this is characters in my life, this is often people I'm talking to in call-in shows, if you want to know the mechanics behind the conversations, is that the choice to think or not is a moral crossroads.
The choice to think or not is a moral crossroads everything after that.

The Immorality of Avoiding Thought

[25:51] I am for a tragedy. So let's take the people, the majority of people who don't think, right?
They just avoid, they manipulate, they are like little video game Luigi's going after the shiny coins of social approval.
So people who don't think, the choice to not think is immoral, right?
Because it is a lie, right? People don't sit there and say, wake up and say, well, well, I've decided not to think for the rest of my life, but simply seek social approval and disapproval and be programmed to turn on whoever does think. They don't say that.
They lie to themselves about not thinking, and it's immoral.
It's not evil. Evil is the result of not thinking, but the choice to not think is immoral.
Or, to be more precise, the choice to lie about yourself about not thinking is immoral.
If you lust after a woman, that's fine. Whatever. Lust is good.
But if you lie to yourself and say well no she has all these great wonderful positive qualities.

[26:52] That's the lie right so the choice not to think is a moral choice everything that follows is a tragedy and that's where for me at least i get the empathy for my characters or for people i've known who are immoral i mean like most of us i grew up with people who chose not to think i chose not to think, to avoid thinking, to lie to themselves.
So the choice to lie to yourself is a moral choice. Everything after that is a tragedy.

[27:25] So my mother, of course, chose to roll the dice on her primary value being her physical beauty, which was considerable.
And she made that choice. I'm going to found the value of myself on physical beauty.
But then when she turned 40, she couldn't get out out of bed and she ended up being institutionalized because her physical beauty was declining of course you know as it always does and she hadn't received the kind of security that she needed from her looks now my mother of course again being a beautiful woman wanted a wealthy playboy guy or a wealthy guy who would keep her in comfort and even if she didn't stay married to him she She would divorce him and take half his stuff.
And so she rolled her dice on beauty as the ticket to financial security. And it didn't work.
It didn't work because if you put yourself on the market, I mean, I hate to sound harsh, but if you put yourself on the market as a piece of meat, guess what?
You'll be treated like a piece of meat. You'll be consumed, not kept.

[28:36] So my mother was unable to translate her beauty, physical beauty, into financial security.
Now, she had to have an answer as to why. Why was this not happening?
Why was this not working?
And this, I mean, it's a very, very sad situation, and it's very, very common.
So what happens is, and of course my mother was a single mother, so what happens is a very attractive single mother, and my mother was not just pretty. pretty.
I mean, she had a kind of ethereal beauty to her. And she also had some class.
I mean, my mother was very smart.
She was quite well-read. She was quite witty at times. She was a decent conversationalist.
She was high status. She wasn't just pretty or hot or whatever, right?
But she had a certain elegance to her. She had a certain bearing.
I mean, she comes from a very artistic and philosophical and intellectual family.
So she wasn't just, you know, meth for breakfast kind of hottie, right?
She had a certain elegance, a certain grace, and a class to her, without a doubt, without a doubt.

[29:43] So she wanted to do the Grace Kelly becoming Princess of Monaco thing.
And she went all in on that, right? I won't say she dieted obsessively, but she barely ate.
She she exercised to to stay trim and she cultivated an air and of course you know i mean getting into her 40s and 50s in the austro-german community she was i mean slender and and beautiful so she went all in on that and she's like i'm gonna i'm gonna cash in my physical beauty to to gain financial security.
But it didn't happen. She got dates, of course, but the relationships never lasted.

[30:30] Now, then the question is why? So the first thing which my mother did to not think was to place her value on her looks, right?
And to not be honest about that.
To say, well, I'm not going to work on my personality.
I'm going to work on my looks. I'm not going to work on being a good person.
I'm not going to work on ethics. I'm not going to work on virtue, I'm not going to work on integrity, I'm not going to work on honesty, I'm going to work on keeping my legs slender, you know, Ayn Rand style or whatever, right?
Because she thought that she was a good, nice, wonderful person, and that being beautiful was a bonus, but that wasn't the reality of the situation.
So, she thought, I bring all of this to the table, I'm so wonderful, and beautiful, and slender, and great, and funny and well-read and a good conversationalist, why won't a man marry me?

Blaming Children: An Excuse for Lack of Self-Reflection

[31:28] Frustrating right so like most single mothers she turned her cold beady eyes on her children right and she said ah well the reason you see that i'm not getting married is because of my children, because i'm burdened and weighed down by my children and of course i can't get rid of my children because i'm not married and i need the child support and i need the i guess welfare welfare after a while. So, yeah.
So, the answer was not, well, there's something about me that men don't want to commit to.
Maybe it's my vanity. Maybe it's my shallowness. Maybe it's the fact that I'm not a particularly good person.
Nope, nope, none of that. None of that.
Now, she couldn't turn on men and say, well, men just, you know, hate a strong, independent, blah, blah, blah, because then that would be to give up her dream of financial security through her looks.

[32:25] She couldn't do that. So she couldn't blame herself or accept responsibility for herself as to why men wouldn't commit to her.
She couldn't blame men because that would be the cutoff for a future source of financial security.
So who's left to blame? Her children, right? This would be why she'd scream in the middle of the night, I hate these effing children.
Because that was the only answer she could come up with as to why men wouldn't commit to her.
Even though men do commit met two women who have children. Of course, it didn't change after we were gone, right?
So it wasn't that, right? But that's so, her choice not to think was a moral choice.
Everything after that is a tragedy, right? A guy's decision to not quit smoking is a choice.

[33:11] Everything after that is a tragedy, right? The coughing, the wheezing, the can't climb the stairs, the emphysema, the lung cancer, the painful death, the horror to the family, everything after that is a tragedy like you you can choose to flick over those first dominoes or that first one first domino after that everything happens of its own accord.

[33:30] Thought is a muscle which passes. It fades. It disintegrates. It atrophies.
Responsibility is a muscle. And to use a physical analogy that I think is actually very accurate, if you choose not to think, it is like choosing not to exercise.
Now, I mean, not to exercise really at all, right? Okay, so if you choose not to exercise, what happens?
Well, I'm no expert, but my understanding is that, of course, your muscles atrophy first, and then eventually your skeleton weakens.

[34:04] Weight lifting, in particular, strengthens the bones.
So if you don't exercise, initially your soft tissue weakens, but then eventually your bones weaken.
And, you know, maybe that can happen to the point where exercise has become functionally impossible impossible because your bones are too weak.
So eventually you're just kind of crippled, right?
Maybe, I don't know. I mean, I'm not sure of the physics of it.
Maybe you can do lightweights or whatever, but it's pretty, pretty harmful.
And it's very tough to get back to where you could have been if it's possible at all.
If you choose not to get educated, then everything that happens after that is kind of like a tragedy.
Like I think, of course, of all of the people who are, you've got a lot of young people who are complaining about about, oh, the rent is too damn high, and I can't make any money, and taxes are too high, and I can't get my life started, and so on.

The Price of Ignorance: Economics and Politics

[34:59] And it's like, well, but, I mean, you want the vote, right?

[35:04] And people who want the vote but won't educate themselves about politics, or in particular, economics, right?
I mean, if the rent keeps going up, it's because there's lower demand, or, sorry, there's higher demand or lower supply, or both. It's not that hard. It's not hard at all.
So, people who want the vote and will fight to keep their vote, okay, fine.
But, you know, the price of the vote is you've got to learn something about economics in particular and politics as a whole. All right?
So, if you want the vote, but you want to scroll endless reaction TikTok videos rather than, I don't know, reading a basic book on economics, the choice to not think.
I want the vote. vote, I don't want to learn anything about what I'm voting for, right?
I want to vote, but I don't want to learn anything about what I'm voting for.
I'm mad at interest rates are up, but I will never study about interest rates.
Like the people who, you know, they vote for soft on crime policies, and then they complain that crime is going up.
Well, I mean, why, right? So the choice not to think that's a moral choice, everything after that is just a tragedy.
Now, people, of course, will always try and sell you on the tragedy without selling you on the origin story of the tragedy, which is their choice to not think, right?

[36:25] Who's passionate about, I don't know, some political thing, this, that, or the other, some policies, ask them some basic questions on economics.
Where does money come from? What determines interest rates?
How is government funded? I mean, just basic questions that a five-year-old could understand.
I mean, if you say to a five-year-old, give me a candy bar, I'll give you two candy bars tomorrow, they'll do that.
You know, because that's a real good that they'll double by delaying gratification.
That's receiving interest, right?

[36:55] If you say to a kid, give me a candy bar, and I'll give you two candy bar wrappers tomorrow, well, that's fiat currency. You're exchanging something real for something that's only a wrapper, and they wouldn't take that, right? So they all understand.
Everybody knows. It's dirt simple.
It's ridiculously simple. There are introduction to economics videos for kids, for teenagers, and it's like 20 minutes, right?
So over the course of your entire life, you haven't been bothered to spend 20 minutes learning some basic economics, blah, blah, blah. Well, the choice to avoid knowledge, the choice to not think, that's a moral choice.

Choosing Ignorance: The Moral Choice

[37:28] And the moral choice is not the avoidance of knowledge.
I mean, I avoid the knowledge of how to learn Polish, right?
I'm not studying Polish.
That's not the moral choice. The moral choice is lying to yourself, right? Well, I deserve the vote because I want to have a say in the direction of the country.
I want to vote on policy. But you don't know anything.
You don't know anything. And you haven't really studied anything.
Or like the people who study only one side of an issue, never look at the counter side, never look at the other person's perspective, never look at counter narratives. It's boring.
It's just confirmation bias, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? right?
So the choice to not think is a moral choice.
And people who don't study anything about economics or the reality of politics or currency or whatever, right?

[38:21] You know, they've watched every Star Wars movie, but they've never watched any G. Edward Griffin on the Federal Reserve.
All right. Well, then you know a lot about Jar Jar Binks and you don't know anything about the economic forces shaping your entire life.
Okay. But that's a choice. But they say I am informed, right?
They say, I do know, I do understand. I deserve the vote because I know things.
But that's a lie. I don't know anything. I don't know anything.
They know what they've They've been told. They swallow what they've been told, which is not thinking at all.
It's not thinking at all. It's a parrot can repeat.
And a parrot does not think. So with regards to my characters, if you look at Rachel, well, Rachel has put her faith in vanity.
How she looks, the career.
She likes saying, and I say this right at the beginning. She likes saying that she's a feminist.
She likes saying that she's a journalist. is she doesn't really understand these things. Nobody's ever asked her to define.
She says, I want to be a change. I'm a change agent, right?
And I say right at the beginning of the book, she's secretly relieved that nobody's ever asked her to define what that means.
It's just buzzwords and nonsense, right? And she chooses her boyfriend based on vanity, not virtue.
And Arlo, her boyfriend, has thrown his lot in also so with vanity and looks.
And so they look good together.

[39:50] Everything about Rachel, when she enters the novel in the restaurant to meet her sister, everything about Rachel is external.
She likes looking at herself in the mirror. She likes thinking about how people are looking at her. It's all outside in.

[40:04] About that because she does talk about being a journalist and a change agent and though she barely writes anything right and then she meets someone who's genuine and authentic, and he implicitly repudiates her false self and you'll see this when oliver and rachel interact whenever she lies he cuts off like he literally when she's lying to him he'll hang up on her because he knows and when she finally does tell the truth to escape the city she finally tells us the truth.
Finally, open, honest, and vulnerable. Finally tells the truth.
Then she breaks out of the artificiality of the city and gets into the reality of the country.
So she has chosen to not think.
And everything after that is a tragedy.
Now, Oliver has chosen to think. And therefore he flourishes and survives.
And tortures, both positively and negatively, the people around him who don't think.
Ian, Cassie's husband, is in the process of starting to think.
He's shedding excess body fat as you shed excess wasteful inherited opinions.
And he's thinking, he's trying to take a leadership role in that which he's good at, which is economics and parenting. So he survives.

The Consequences of Living Small: Hiding from Thought

[41:16] Arlo does not think. Arlo says, the purpose of my life is to hide out, to live small.
And of course, what happened to him as a child, right?
What happened to him as a child in his creepy parents, creepy condo full of the creepy pedo art is never discussed, and Rachel never shows any curiosity, never asks him about his childhood.
She doesn't want to know. I mean, Socrates says the unexamined life is not worth living.
In my novels, the unexamined life means you don't survive. If you look at Crystal, Crystal staked all of her dice rolls on ambition. I don't need a man.
I am going to be famous. I am going to be wealthy. I'm going to be successful.
And she achieved all of those things.
She achieved all of those things. And because she lived for adulation, she lived for success in the eyes of others.
And when she was younger, she was very pretty, which helped her career.
She's hollowed out she has no internal engine and so she then, can't create in the present or the future so she dives into the past and wants to drag Rachel who has no future into her own illustrious past.

[42:42] To Rachel, in effect, don't build your own house full of children, but come and live with me to explore the dusty museum of my own personal history.
And because Crystal had such an effect on Rachel, in terms of provoking vanity, Rachel has merged to some degree with Crystal, and therefore cannot say no to Crystal.
Because they're both living on the principle that value in the eyes of others is value in the self, right?
I mean, Rachel is attractive and has good physique.

[43:23] And so men lust after her, and she's got the most handsome or beautiful boyfriend and all of that, And that means that she's saying, I have value because I'm attractive, right?
I mean, when Crystal thinks that Arlo is coming over, she says, I cleared a section of my condo so that he could do his sit-ups because he can't even socialize without doing sit-ups because he needs to maintain his abs because he has value because he's pretty.
But that's externalizing value into the programmed needs and lusts of others, right?
To think that you have value because people lust after you, well, you did not create your body, you did not create your shape, you've obviously had some influence on it based upon exercise, but you exercise because it will draw value.
And you did not create hormones or lust or the desire to reproduce, these are all things inherited from blind nature and therefore do not confer value upon you in any way that is direct.

[44:25] These are just some examples and, Oliver of course thinking is constantly wrestling with those around him who refuse to think he keeps telling people bad stuff is coming get your food bad stuff is coming make your preparations bad stuff is coming right so then when his mother confronts him in New Eden about his mother's sister and the fact that they're stuck behind he's like.

The Pain of Thinking: Wrestling with Unthinking

[44:54] Interfere with the rule, take what you want and then pay for it.
Thinking is painful. Thinking is difficult. Thinking is ugly.
Not innately, but because of the unthinking around us, right?
Would you want to put on a pair of permanent glasses that revealed most people around you to be brain hungry zombies?
Well, no, that would be living from a fantasy to living in a horror movie in the world that is.
And we have to, I mean, I think it's worth having the stomach to put on the glasses that reveal the zombies around you because it can also reveal the angels around you, right?
Otherwise, humanity is just an undifferentiated blob of arms and legs with no moral content. You put on the glasses that reveal the horror, it also reveals the beauty.
You put on the glasses that reveal the dead, it also reveals the living and the beautiful.

[45:41] You put on the glasses that have you afraid, the same glasses make you capable of love.
It's worth it to me. it's like absolutely worth it. The fear is going to be there either way.
You can either see the fear and deal with it and get the love or let the fear rule you and avoid love forever. It's not worth it.
But you know, by the time the price shows up, as the devil always says, by the time the price shows up, it's too late.
By the time you know the plane is going to crash, you're already 10,000 feet in the air and there's nothing you can do other than make your texts and make your at peace with the good Lord.
So when you look at the people around you, you'll see that they're animated by foundational principles.
And those foundational principles are usually inherited, they're unthinking, and they result from the avoidance of thought.
Because personality structures can only replicate if people don't think, and those personality structures want to replicate.
My mother tried to drive her madness into me.
I had a call yesterday with a guy who was incredibly frustrated with his life and kept contradicting himself and stonewalling me, which was his unconscious attempt to transfer his frustration to me.

[46:52] But I won't have. So if you look at the people around you, there are personality structures that are trying to replicate all the time.
And what prevents that replication is thought, philosophy, self-knowledge, honesty.
The personality structures say, I'll give you an identity, but you have to take the unearned virtue and not think.
I'll bribe you with feeling good in return for you not thinking so I can inhabit you, right? It's a drug. It's a demon.
I'll make you feel good at the price of your soul, right? Isn't that what the ancient bargain is, right? And that's what it represents.
The personality structures reproduce by bribing you with feeling good rather than being good.
And the only price that you pay for this pretend identity, for this false self, is not to think.
But then when someone comes along who does think, then you turn most people turn predatory they turn into predators.

Unthinking False Self: A Demon to Thinking

[47:52] Because thinking prevents the transmission of the unthinking false self it blocks it and the unthinking false self wants to reproduce it possesses almost all of humanity for almost all of human history it has been the dominant demon of the species unthinking false self the anti-thinking false self unthinking becomes anti-thinking very rapidly, because unthinking gives you short-term dopamine and thinking reveals A, that it's short-term or after a while B, that it was a bad deal because now you can't be happy because deep down you know you've lied we can't stop our reality processing except by going fully psychotic.

[48:32] Lives of quiet desperation, as the old saying goes, right? The old analysis.
So if you look around, you'll see that people, and you know, if it's parents, usually it's before you were born, they made a choice.
Everyone has this fork in the road, right? Truth or comfort, reality or conformity, thinking or vanity, the pride of real achievement or the vanity of praise.
And of course, people are trained with punishments and rewards to avoid thinking.
And these days, the punishments and the rewards are escalating because thought is escalating.
Increasing censorship is because of increasing thought. And censorship is a way of preventing the transmission of reason so that the false self can replicate without resistance.
The false self says, this feels good. Philosophy says, is this true?
It's bribery with dopamine to avoid the discomfort of thought.
If I give you enough drugs, will you promise to never think?
Well, that's a lot of what happens in what is called culture and other things, right?
So, if you look at the people around you, and this is sort of how I build characters, you look at the people around you, there's a fundamental decision that is made.
And the fundamental tragedy in Rachel's life is not Rachel, but her parents.
The elder generation, right? Her parents did not expose or oppose her vanity, right?

Parental Influence: Failing to Oppose Vanity

[50:01] Have not talked to her about honesty and truth and authenticity.
And Crystal, her aunt, has not warned her of the dangers of ambition.

[50:14] Ambition for achievement, success, recognition, fame, and money delivered by others, rather than a good conscience and contentment with your own soul.
Look at the people around you. What are their foundational principles?
For men, it's often dominance. through women is often conformity, but ask them rational questions.
How do you know what you know? What is good? What is true?
And that will often cause the cobras of the false self to strike out, to drive the honesty away that kills their possibility of transmission.
And remember, a lot of parents will retain their false selves into their old age so that they get the opportunity to replicate their false selves on their grandchildren.
And you've heard me talk about this a bunch of time with the callers, right?

Generational Transmission: Replicating False Selves

[51:01] Are your parents, if they're dysfunctional, are your parents going to be exposed to and have authority over your grandchildren?
Because the false selves don't particularly care if it skips a generation as long as they get to reproduce.
I mean, lots of genes skip a generation. They're latent.
So, yeah, look at the people around you and try to identify the principles that possess them, the habits that possess them the personality structures that they have been bribed into accepting instead of the truth and the clarity of thought, to be real is to be hunted by reproductive ghosts.

[51:43] To be a barrier to the transmission of an illness called unthought is to be attacked by the illness called unthought anti-thought, if you stand between the predator and his prey, the predator will attack you.
And if you bring reason to the mindless, they will attack you.
Or, to be more precise, the mindless memes that have taken possession of them will attack you so that you don't interfere with their transmission.
And that's a lot of what I'm doing in my fiction. So I hope that helps.
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