Category Archives: Author

41: Mark Manson on Pick-Up Artists, Monogamy, Materialism, Writing, and Upping the Quality of Your Suffering

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Mark Manson is the author of the well-respected dating book “Models: Attract Women Through Honesty” that espouses honesty, self-discovery, genuine connection with like-minded human beings and… common sense as a way of life and love; we talk about materialism, death, vulnerability, rejection, demographics, self-discovery, writing rituals, etc.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or RSS, and check out our facebook page.

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Mark Manson Quotes (from Podcast)

On pick-up artist philosophy:

“Women are complex and it’s an adventure getting to know them and understand them. You can never reduce dating to an algorithm: say this, text her this many times, etc.”

On experience:

“The only way more experience with women can be bad is through the ‘paradox of choice’. If you give people two options, and they choose one, generally they will be happy with what they chose. If you give them 100 options and they choose one, then they are more likely to spend a lot of time worrying that maybe the other 99 options were better, that they missed out.”

On monogamy:

“Monogamy works for most people. What doesn’t work for most people is ’till death do us part’.  The majority of people prefer to stay with one partner at one time. What doesn’t work for the majority is being sexually monogamous with one person for 60+ years. Once you take into account the divorce rate and the infidelity rate, you end up with a small slice of the pie of people who stay faithful to one another their entire lives. A lot of people get bummed out by that idea, but this is something we have to be realistic and honest about. That said, people vary a lot.”

On demographics:

“If you want a woman with different values then you need to live a life based on different values. You can’t go spend money at a strip club and expect a girl from Sunday school to show up on a date with you.”

On writing:

“The first draft is for me. The revision is for the readers.”

On “suffering better”:

“We spend most of our lives focusing on gaining more and more positive experiences, but the quality of our lives is actually determined by our ability to handle negative experiences.”

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Full David Foster Wallace Quote

The following is an abridged quote from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace that I read to close the podcast:

“If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility, you will acquire many exotic new facts…That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.”

40: Rory Miller on Violence, Self Defense, Social Conditioning, and Fear of Death

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Rory Miller has 17 years of experience working in maximum security detentions, booking, and mental health facilities; for 14 months he was an adviser to the Iraqi Corrections System, working in Baghdad; he is the author of several books Meditations on Violence; we talk about self-defense, the false assumptions martial artists make about violence, breaking the “freeze” response, fear of death, fear of embarrassment, how a criminal thinks, Steven Pinker, the decline of violence in the world, the power of violence, human nature, and much more.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or RSS, and check out our facebook page.

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Rory Miller Quotes (from Podcast)

“One of the problems with martial arts, especially if you want that martial art to make you feel safe for self defense, is that people want answers. People want to feel comfortable having answers. But there is nothing out there that’s an answer to all the bad things that could happen.”

“It’s not uncommon to spend 5, 10, 20 years for a martial artist to study what to do when a bad guy attacks him, and yet spend absolutely no time studying how bad guys actually attack in reality. I only see that in martial arts. There is no way you would ever go to a medical doctor and he would say that he has never bothered to study diseases or injury, he just focused on studying surgical techniques and drugs.”

“No one remembers their training until after the first 3-5 encounters.”

“If someone (who is not dealing with violence as part of their job) had to use serious self-defense skills five or more times, they need to make better lifestyle choices.”

“There are four ways that things get into your head: teaching, training, condition, and play.”

“A lot of times what we are training and what we are conditioning are working against each other, and it’s the conditioning that comes out in a fight first.”

“People who play hard have a huge edge over people who don’t play hard but pretend that they do.”

“Death is an inevitability. The world has a 100% mortality rate. No one gets out alive. A lot of the self and ego that people get defensive over is a wisp of smoke anyway.”

“In infinite universe, everybody is wrong, just accept that. If you can just start there, it gives you a lot of freedom to learn and to make things better, because then you’re not trying to making things right, you’re just trying to make them better.”

“Most of the mistakes that people make in a fight aren’t because they are afraid of dying, but because they’re afraid of looking stupid, they’re afraid of being embarrassed.”

“Everything involved in self-defense is breaking a social taboo. We don’t usually yell at strangers. We definitely don’t hit strangers. Even guys who practice martial arts all the time. We’re hitting friends, people we know, not strangers.”

“I believe everyone is a natural fighter, but we’ve been conditioned not to be.”

“Part of being good is exerting will when nature wants you to be bad, when nature wants you to eat the weak, to say: not today, I don’t need to do that, I’m not going to.”

“Violence works. The rarer it is, the better it works.”

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