‘News’ has always been propaganda, just as Amazon.com has always been a lemonade stand, just as presidents have always been fathers, just as nations have always been homes, just as prisons have always been loneliness, just as wars have always been about man’s daily battle with self-control. Everything scales in the math world.
Math Controls Everything
Everything you see in the universe is a result of limitation. From the alignment of the planets to the watch on your wrist to the ideas in your head, limitation is the cornerstone of design. Without it, nothing can exist.
What is limitation? It’s a boundary designed to remove disorder. Limitation gives purpose to chaotic elements by restricting their movement. These invisible boundaries act as the skeleton of the universe, giving it the ability to function. We commonly refer to these limitations as principles or natural laws.
Principles are not affected by circumstances or the environment. It doesn’t matter what culture you come from, how rich or poor you are, what race you belong to, or what language you speak. Principles operate the same way under any conditions.
For example, the principle of entropy dictates that all things must break down. This means that if you stop maintaining your house, car, body, or relationships, they will all malfunction at some point. Regardless of the situation or circumstance, entropy is always in effect.
Consider the principle of gravity. “What goes up must come down.” This universal constant dictates how high we can jump, how far bullets travel, and what paper airplane designs will work. Gravity even determines how we climb trees. Nothing is immune to its effects. Everything falls under its jurisdiction.
Not one thing exists that doesn’t have a universal law governing its operation. From how a drop of water behaves around a fire to how a bird flies through the air to how a female interacts with a male, universal principles are always controlling how things—especially people—relate to one another.
Even our physical bodies are created by boundaries. Cells, limbs, organs, the shape of our bodies, and even our consciousness all result from the governing limitations of protons and electrons directing how our molecules and atoms interact.
Limitation is essential to the existence of life. To make nonliving elements like oxygen and carbon function as a living being, the right governing structure is required. Even the universe itself couldn’t exist without a boundary to give it form.
Likewise, gender functions for both men and women are determined by their biological limitations. Whether at school, in a club, at work, at home, in a store, in writing, over the phone, or on the internet, principles govern everyone the same way.
The math of Necessity
Just as limitation determines the shape of our bodies, it also controls how we behave. All living things are governed by a common limitation known as necessity; when we’re thirsty, we must look for water. When we’re hungry, we must look for food. When we’re horny, we must look for sex. When we’re lonely, we must look for companionship. At all times, necessity is constantly driving us to act. Even when we’re asleep. Every choice we make, without exception, is determined by a need driving us to fulfill it.
Not only is our behavior controlled by our needs, every human being possesses the exact same needs; your need for oxygen is my need for oxygen. Your need for food is my need for food. Your need for love is my need for love. Your need for companionship is my need for companionship. Every need driving you is the same exact need driving me.
We all have the same needs in common.
And we all depend on getting our needs met in order to function. Necessity is always driving us. In fact, it supersedes our will power. Our fundamental urges don’t go away until they’re fully addressed. We don’t stop being hungry until we’re full. We don’t stop being tired until we’ve rested. We don’t stop being horny until we’ve fucked. And we don’t stop being lonely until we’ve deeply connected with someone. If we don’t get our needs met, we malfunction. We break down. When people are isolated from human contact for too long, they will begin to form abnormal relationships with the neurotic voices inside their own heads as many homeless people already demonstrate. Necessity is not only “the mother of invention,” it is also the governor of function, and violating its tenets will put your life in danger. Necessity is the ultimate limitation for all living things.
The desire for pleasure is fundamental to our being. All our activities are designed to either obtain it or remove obstacles that hinder us from experiencing it. This is why we love good cooking, sleep when we’re tired, work for money, listen to music, fight enemies, exercise, have children, take medicine, daydream, hang out with friends, flirt with women, drink alcohol, watch porn, make memes, learn skills, read books, explore the universe, punish criminals, investigate religions, and pay back our debts. Every second of the day is devoted directly and indirectly to the cause of pleasure; either we’re looking for its source or removing obstacles that prevent us from experiencing it. Pleasure is what we live for. Without pleasure, our lives feel like a gigantic, pointless burden.
The entire record of human history confirms that our existence is centered around our necessities. We are human coffee cups always waiting to have our needs fulfilled, our desires satiated. And whenever our needs get met, we experience pleasure. In all of life’s pursuits, nothing tops pleasure.
Physically, we try to stimulate our bodies with food, sex, and touch. If we’ve been without pleasure for too long, we’ll even turn to drugs, plastic vaginas, and crime to produce pleasurable feelings.
Psychologically, we hunt for knowledge to satisfy our hungry minds. We consume works of art (books, movies, music, etc.) to comfort our anxieties, release frustration, and feel a pleasurable connection to life. Above all else, we constantly seek out people to provide the most pleasurable of all human experiences—companionship.
Whenever we dig for answers to our existence, we always find pleasure at the root. Our bodies crave it. Our minds strategize to obtain it. Our emotions reflect its presence and suffer from its absence. Pleasure gives us hope while eternally directing us towards its source. In the unexplored vacuum of our being, our search for pleasure never ceases.
Although we seek after pleasure in many ways, our most enjoyable experiences are always found in our social lives. This is because socializing is our primary function—not survival, not sex, not learning, not exploring, not giving birth, not competing, not conquering, not achieving.
Socializing—our most neglected ability and our greatest resource.
It frees us from anxiety. It encourages us. It motivates us. It gives us purpose. Our communities thrive on it. Our government protects it. And we require it to function.
We socialize when we’re feeling lonely. We socialize when we’re horny. We create artistic events and holidays as a pretense to hang out with our social groups. We’re fascinated by celebrities and musicians with large social followings. We incorporate socializing into individual experiences like playing video games, listening to music, and surfing the internet. And of course, the very pinnacle of human life is typified by a formal social union known as ‘marriage.’
Everything in our lives is centered around socializing. Even the way we punish people reflects the importance we place on socializing; when we fail a math test, our parents restrict our social activities. When Kathy Griffin called for the assassination of the President, the public took away her social authority. When people commit crimes, we isolate them from the rest of society by throwing them in prison. And even in prison, the worst criminals are isolated from all social contact by being placed in solitary confinement. Society’s health can be gauged by the effectiveness of our relationship management skills.
The Price of Convenience
Social media platforms not only cater to but now create abnormal parasitic social environments; “love yourself” slogans and workplace diversity quotas indoctrinate our youth with imaginary social success. Online gaming, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other passive-aggressive forms of social media have transformed the essential function of public scrutiny meant to create relationships, into a sneering and destructively anonymous meme culture that destroys them. Digital lynch mobs have subordinated ethical discernment. Anti-anxiety medication has superseded parental discipline. We have become gatekeepers of self-esteem—replacing fact with feeling, judgement with platitude—artificially manufacturing relationships that we don’t know how to grow organically.
Those of us afraid to speak up will numb any paralyzing social inhibitions with alcohol. Some of us shun the world entirely, shutting ourselves in our rooms away from the judging eyes of strangers, turning to medical marijuana to soothe the pain of self-imposed isolation. And if we’re desperate enough for human contact, we’ll even start talking to ourselves.
If all these strategies fail, we’ll turn to pets and inanimate objects since cats don’t care if we withhold our real opinions and Fleshlights™ can’t get bored when we commit to their lives instead of our own.
Ironically, as the online social media industry grows, traditional human contact begins to feel like a foreign concept to many people. As our society relies more and more on technology, we will see an increase in mental health problems from those who haven’t been trained to socialize.
Developing A Standard
Many of us make the mistake of relying on popular situation-based strategies when we socialize. Whether we’re trying to make new friends or ask a girl out on a date, we are constantly wondering what’s the best thing to say. And we’re always trying to figure out what to do if something goes wrong so we don’t end up feeling stupid and embarrassed. Some of these strategies include:
Looking for things in common
Lying to your date to avoid confrontation
Wearing fashionable clothing
Bragging about your accomplishments
Memorizing interesting stories to tell at parties
Buying women drinks in the hopes of getting sex
Pretending to be cool and unaffected by anything
Lifting weights to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger
Being “nice” and polite
Trying to be funny, telling jokes
Asking lots of questions
While these social gimmicks make us feel more in control, they ultimately reinforce bad social habits and distort our view of how simple it is to form functional relationships. Instead of learning how to get our needs met, we’re actually training ourselves to hide our real identity. Even though we really want to get to know people, these behaviors actually keep everyone at arm’s length.
Additionally, any shift in the social environment can easily nullify these social gimmicks. Faking confidence only works until someone challenges your view. Posting your bicep pictures on Facebook opens you to ridicule. Hiding your real intentions to avoid confrontations with friends doesn’t solve your frustrating loneliness. Buying a woman a drink won’t prevent a more charismatic man from stealing her away. Reciting cool stories from memory won’t prevent you from being boring if you’re focused on telling people what you think they want to hear instead of what you really want to say. In other words, pretending to relate to people doesn’t solve the real problem—your lack of a social standard.
Lastly, this approach will eventually backfire because all functional relationships rely on our attitude. If we don’t know how to spontaneously offer a meaningful response to the people we want to get to know, we become monotonous, overly complicated bundles of anxious energy focused on protecting our self-esteem instead of getting what we need from a relationship.
The Basis of Our Standards
If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything
All relationships rely on universal standards called principles. Principles tell us exactly what’s required to create and maintain healthy, satisfying contact with people. There’s no more guesswork involved! Having a standard gives us the security to say what we’re really thinking while showing our true feelings. Setting proper social standards rescues us from anxiety and awkwardness. It also helps us cut through the bullshit and instead causes us to focus on our needs. When we speak to people based on a standard, we always know what to say and what to do at any time, regardless of the situation or circumstance. And the highest standard of all is a Principle. Principles are the universal standard—they apply to work, to school, to BBQs, to the ghetto, to the Oval Office, and every other circumstance under the sun.
But what does it mean to be governed by principles? In practical terms, it means that we must restrict our behavior according to the guideline of life’s fundamental limitation—necessity. We must commit to meeting our needs.
For example, fire is always hot, gravity always pulls us towards the earth, and entropy always pulls things apart. These principles never take a day off. And the consequences for violating them are also consistent. No matter what time of day we touch fire, our hand will always get burned. Similarly, no matter how often we violate the law of gravity, the effects are always the same—we fall down. And whenever we stop maintaining our car, entropy always causes it to rust away.
How we govern ourselves and others should reflect the principle of necessity. It’s not good enough to only speak up when we have a problem with someone. We must commit to speaking our real thoughts at every opportunity! Even though our desire to speak without filtering out our true meaning is instinctual, it still requires daily practice to perfect. Revealing our real thoughts to others may start out as a conscious decision, but eventually it should become our unconscious, permanent habit. Whatever we express (in words or behavior) will determine how people treat us; if what we say (or do) is necessary, people will look forward to seeing us.
On the other hand, if we only say what we think people want to hear, we become optional to people’s lives. We become a suggested activity instead of a desired kiss, an awkward look instead of a comforting gaze, a frightening tyrant instead of a dependable leader.
Be Accountable? How About Fuck You
We already know what we should be doing; we know we should eat more vegetables. We know we should exercise. We know we should get good grades. We know we should get to work on time. We know we should keep our promises. We know we should pay our bills. We know we shouldn’t lie, cheat, and steal. We know we should treat people the same way we want to be treated. Yet for one reason or another, we fail to live up to these expectations. As most of us have discovered, being accountable for our behavior is difficult if not impossible; we can’t meet the moral standards of society, we refuse criticism of our work and person, and we can’t fulfill our obligations to those we care about. We might as well ask ourselves to paint the Sistine Chapel.
Bottom line: we need help.
Self-help Is Bullshit
So you think this is a self-help book? You think you’re just going to dig your way out of your social problems with the same shovel you used to bury yourself? Wake up, Asshole! You don’t solve social problems with antisocial methods just like you don’t create relationships by isolating yourself from people.
Self-help never works because The Self is the problem!
A drowning man can’t rescue himself no matter how hard he struggles. His effort isn’t the issue. His lack of realization of his own limitation is the culprit; all his life he’s been taught to depend on himSELF. The resulting pride he feels from his own self-reliance prevents him from looking to others for help. He can’t take pride in his accomplishments if he’s not the cause of his own salvation. To allow someone to save him is an admission of weakness, an admission of mortality—an admission of limitation.
We have been socially conditioned from birth to hide weakness, or worse; to deny it even exists in us. We’ve been trained from birth to feel pride whenever we rely on ourselves and to feel shame whenever we rely on others. Beyonce churns out song after song announcing her individual strength and independence. GQ magazine covers praise celebrities for their individual style. Floyd Mayweather reminds the world of his self-reliant attitude as the reason for his successful boxing career. TV shows like Shark Tank reward individual achievement and stress the dog-eat-dog “entrepreneurial spirit” required to succeed in business. Even Trump himself lauds the philosophy of “winning”—the self-sufficient individual beating his weaker competition—in front of the entire nation. The message is clear: independence is everything and dependence is shameful. There’s even a pop culture term for it: thirsty.
If you’re talking to a girl you like, your friends will warn you not to be “too thirsty”—don’t admit you have a need for a relationship. Denying and hiding necessity has been ingrained in males from a young age.
You’re not failing at relationships due to lack of effort. You simply don’t have a fucking clue how they work. What they require to succeed is a mystery to you.
You grew up with asshole parents and painfully oblivious buddies who didn’t teach you dick about how to meet people, get a girlfriend, talk to guys in your classes, make friendships. Everything for you has been hit and miss. You’re like a turd floating down the toilet hoping the current will change in your favor.
That’s not how life works.
You ever seen one of those zen posters with a picture of a leaf idly floating down a peaceful stream with the tagline: “GO WITH THE FLOW”? Now imagine that “flow” taking that little leaf all the way to the bottom of an indian sewage system in Bangladesh. That’s you. That’s exactly what ends up happening if you choose to just cross your fingers and hope something great will happen to you.
“Be yourself!”, “Act confident!”, and “Fake it until you make it!”
ALL. COMPLETE. BULLSHIT.
None of it cured your neurotic approach to socializing. None of it helped you feel comfortable in your own skin. None of it stood up to public scrutiny. It just left you feeling more confused and more frustrated than ever before.
Independent Relationships Are A Lie
“I assume, as an incontestable fact, that man is so constituted as to be a social being. His inclinations and wants, physical and moral, irresistibly impel him to associate with his kind; and he has, accordingly, never been found, in any age or country, in any state other than the social. In no other, indeed, could he exist; and in no other were it possible for him to exist could he attain to a full development of his moral and intellectual faculties, or raise himself, in the scale of being, much above the level of the brute creation.”
—John C. Calhoun
Society has taught us that the best relationships are independent. From a young age, we’re conditioned to avoid relying on anyone or anything. We’re forced to value the “self-made” man. Throughout our lives, we’ve struggled to free ourselves from becoming obligated and accountable to others. This is what we’ve been tricked into believing.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee
Contrary to popular belief, functional relationships require a symbiotic dependence. You need to realize that society is nothing more than 2 people agreeing to meet each other’s needs; you must meet my needs, and I must meet your needs in order for the relationship to function, in order to create a peaceful, stable society. Our relationship must make us dependent upon one another. If we remain independent, then our relationship isn’t based upon necessity. It’s based on our personal preferences. This means we are optional to each other. When we become optional, our relationship loses its purpose and deteriorates quickly.
If we want to be able to satisfy each other, we must first learn the principle of mutual dependence. I must depend on you to meet my needs, and you must depend on me to meet your needs. Without mutual dependence, the relationship won’t matter or last.
Unfortunately, most of our “friendships” suffer from our childish desire to remain independent of one another. We are not obligated in any way. Neither party is willing to hold the other accountable to any standard of behavior. If either of us gets offended, we simply stop talking and move on to the next relationship. We don’t understand how depending on someone else can help us to become happy, so we end up hanging out with people out of mere convenience. We just happened to end up in the same class together, or grew up in the same neighborhood, or have mutual friends, or like the same sports, or listen to the same music, or play the same videogames, or share the same religion, or support the same political party, or like the same websites, or wear the same clothing, or belong to the same fraternity, or watch the same TV shows, or like the same hobbies. In other words, we form relationships based on our cultural habits and personal preferences.
But these types of optional relationships leave us unsatisfied. They are like candy bars that taste delicious while we’re eating them. We love joking with our friends to alleviate our stressful lives. But in the long run, they leave us with more problems than they address. People we’ve known for years seem like strangers. If they move to a different city, we don’t miss them. Without the bond of necessity, the people in our lives easily lose their significance to us.
Restriction Must Reflect Limitation
Limitation is required to produce order. Your atoms being limited into the shape of a human body is what brought you into existence in the first place. Limitation is why the planets don’t fly out of their orbit, destroying our solar system. You get the idea. Limits existed before you were born, before anybody was born, even before the earth was born. We can’t affect universal limitation. It governs us. But what we can do is restrict ourselves and others to these limiting principles. That way we become governors of our relationships.
Limitation is the principle that governs all things. Restriction is our implementation of that principle. Because we know that limitation produces an orderly, functioning universe, we must apply this knowledge to generate harmonious, satisfying personal ecosystems designed to meet our needs. This means we must restrict ourselves and others to form functional satisfying relationships.
Relationship Vs. Organization
Restriction is not for convenience. It’s for growth. Restriction requires careful attention when it’s applied to living organisms. It should not be performed in a haphazard fashion. Otherwise we are in danger of producing another lifeless system of suppression instead of a thriving organic relationship. We are in danger of producing organization instead of order. Although we need organization to eventually reach order, we should not rely on it to replace our own organic function. This would be like reading off of pre-written, organized cue cards to have conversations with friends. Although your thoughts may be organized, you will ruin your organic relationship by suppressing your real emotions for organized responses. Again, the goal of organization is to lead us towards an orderly relationship, not to replace it a monotonous, predictable, boring, organized system.
Our goal is to be satisfied. Remember that the end result of all the limitation in the universe is the production of life! When restriction is based on this principle of limitation rather than on circumstance or feeling, the end result is always a mutually satisfying relationship.
Metal can be artificially restricted to produce a functioning system called a computer. But since a computer has no desires driving it, it can’t grow. It only functions according to how it was organized. Although artificial restriction outwardly resembles order, it is unable to express life’s principle of limitation. It can’t produce or govern life. Organization can only produce a limited set of functions, but no growth. For example, the dewey decimal system can help librarians find books, but it can’t create a friendship. Cleaning and organizing your desk will reduce stress and help your work run smoothly, but it can’t bring you joy. Organizing computer code into a video game can occupy your attention for hours at a time, but even this type of entertainment gets boring the longer you play. Thus, organization can never meet your needs. This is the fundamental difference between order and organization.
Life, on the other hand, is produced by the natural principle of limitation, and when living things are restricted according to this principle, they have no option but to grow as well.
Life requires dependence and its resulting growth signals satisfaction. When people depend on each other—when their relationships are based on necessity instead of commonality—they grow, and this growth expresses mutual satisfaction.
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an independent relationship. All living things are dependent by nature. They must form symbiotic systems of governance to survive. The only way living things can become truly independent is by dying. Death is the ultimate independence, signaling the end of growth and satisfaction.
Order = Relationships
The fundamental unit of order is a relationship. When people are functioning properly, they spontaneously form symbiotic relationships. A strictly sexual relationship will not not satisfy this basic human need; you may be focused on having sex with supermodels. You may even daydream about sleeping with an entire harem of women. But you will always find yourself spontaneously gravitating towards one woman. Your need for companionship works in tandem with your need for sex. They were never meant to be separated. They are like food and water—two sides of the same coin. You need both. In the end, necessity always rules your behavior.
Whenever you violate any universal governing principle, you are attempting to overcome essential limitations with poorly enforced emotional restrictions. Your current condition epitomizes this approach. Contradicting information, irrational perspectives, dysfunctional methods, and frustrating relationships all result from your misguided attempts to restrict life according to your unstable emotional standards.
Consider the inner workings of a clock. The wheels, dials, latches and springs all depend on each other for the whole device to function properly. If a single piece becomes dislodged, it affects the entire system. Either the clock starts giving inaccurate times, or it stops telling time completely. The right limitation is essential to its function.
This same principle of limitation applies to human relationships. For example, the specific functions of bearing children and leadership are determined by the innate gender limitations of the human form. But when our feminist society forces misguided restrictions on both men and women, these dysfunctional elements act like monkey wrenches thrown into the gears of functional relationships, eventually causing them to break down and forfeit their ability to satisfy the participants.
For society to function, both men and women must be properly restricted according to necessity. When either gender violates these standards, the other suffers as well. This can be seen today in the way people socialize. It’s not just a matter of one isolated couple experiencing relationship problems but rather a systematic breakdown of our entire relationship culture.
Because feminism emasculates men, it forces women to take over the male function. Thus, women sacrifice male leadership and men sacrifice female companionship. Both remain dissatisfied.
To remedy this, your assumptions must undergo scrutiny, and your conclusions must be tested—you can only work towards an orderly result after all the crap has first been exposed and removed.
Just as the universe is strictly governed by life-producing limitations, we too should apply boundaries to our own behavior to create a satisfying life.
When we clean our room, fix a flat tire, throw out trash, alphabetize a list of names, create a work schedule, remove bugs from a computer program, build a better mouse trap, comb our hair, gather data for a research paper, put a curfew on our children, or write a book, we are restricting our behavior to meet the standard of order. This can only be done by removing obstacles and extraneous steps that fall below the standard we’re trying to meet. This also means you must control both what you do and how you do it. You must create a strategy that determines where you will focus your effort and how much effort you will expend. The only way to do this is to create a system that regulates everything involved. This systematic process of restriction is called organization.
Organization acts like training wheels on a bike, simultaneously restricting and directing your behavior. It guides you to stay upright while preventing you from falling over.
For example, in schools you have bells that ring during the day. They govern your behavior by telling you when it’s time to stop playing and start working.
Organization also governs your health. If you’re a fat guy trying to lose weight, you go to a gym. There, you will systematically restrict your physical activity with running and weight training. You can even hire a nutritionist to restrict your eating habits with a precise food diet.
Organization is also the crux of our infrastructure system. To keep the freeways safe, the government restricts its citizens with speed limits that regulate the flow of traffic. If you break these laws, the government will go even further to systematically restrict your behavior by putting you in jail.
Even our economy is one big system restricting how we do business.
Everywhere we look in society we find our actions being restricted according to some standard of behavior.
But how is this standard determined?
And how much can we depend on it?
Will it change from day to day or year to year?
Do we even need a standard?
Can’t we just do whatever we want?
The more confining the boundary is designed, the closer to efficiency the resulting function becomes.
Take fruit-bearing trees for example. Good farmers know that it’s necessary to prune their crops to produce the best fruit. Unpruned trees produce large crops of small, worthless fruit. Without limitation, life does not mature. Without self-discipline to limit your behavior, you will not mature.
The old saying, “Jack of all trades, but master of none,” refers to a man who lacks limitation. He may know many things superficially. But he fails to truly master any one area because he lacks the necessary self-discipline to become specific and thorough. Limitation is essential to proper growth.
The closer your form aligns to the principle, the less dysfunctional the outcome. And when you are perfectly aligned with the principle, you will begin to function. This means, that the clearer your restriction becomes, the more efficient the result you’re able to produce. And the single correct form—the most specifically limiting boundary possible—always leads to the only functional result possible.
So what then is the most functional limitation? What single correct form always leads us in the right direction?
The answer is necessity. Necessity represents the ultimate form.
Your needs epitomize the best, efficient limitation possible. Your needs represent the most uncluttered version of your wants. The highest limitation always reveals your needs. If your needs aren’t clear, something is wrong with the corresponding restriction being applied.
For example, you may want a car. But is it a good restriction? Does it clarify your needs? Yes, it can act as transportation. But so can a bike or your own legs. While a car may be convenient, it also causes pollution and doesn’t allow you to exercise. It’s also very expensive and takes money away from your food budget. Thus, even though a car may be an enticing restriction, it doesn’t represent a functional restriction characterized by necessity. Sure, you may require one to get to your job in the morning, but strictly speaking, if it doesn’t produce life, it’s not a necessity.
Wherever necessity exists, life is present. And life—like any other form of order—has a function. That function is to form relationships because life meets its need through relationships. In other words, necessity determines the form, and the form determines the function.
The best limitation—the best form—is always determined by necessity.
Whether shaping words in a poem to touch an emotion, molding a clay pot to hold water, or perfecting a jump shot to score a basket, form determines outcome. Once a thing achieves its highest form, it will only produce a functional result.
The Nature of Skill
it’s the LITTLE THINGS that matter to those who are highly skilled; they represent hallmarks of preparation. Michael Jordan’s a great example. even after scoring a basket for his team, he’ll criticize the execution of the opening pass. just a small detail that most players would ignore during the celebration of reaching their goal. but Jordan’s goal isn’t just to win the game. he’s more concerned with efficiency than outcome because he understands that efficiency always governs outcome, not vise versa. sometimes shots go in the basket by accident. to Jordan, this isn’t a cause to celebrate because he realizes that accidents don’t produce championships. correct execution does. skill really just means you’ve learned to obey a given standard. you’ve learned to follow the guidelines of that will get you to your goal. that’s why Jordan is just as meticulous about his teammate’s entry pass as he is with shaving his head in the morning, repeating these small little details like clockwork. his skill is really just a statement of efficiency. when “you’ve got skiLL!” that means you’ve cut away all the unnecessary fat impeding your function.
just like he works on his shot. shot after shot after shot. he’s a specific! that’s a given. and that’s also why his skill is so universally recognized. because mankind isn’t impressed by gambling or blind luck. we’re impressed by PRECISE, EXACT, PRINCIPLED movement just like we’re impressed by PRINCIPLED decision-making. it’s never the nature of the game. it’s always the nature of the player—how good is he? how hard has he worked, how meticulously has he prepared? how much of his life has he sacrificed to succeed?
we have doubts about every player’s skills because we’re impressed by the divine, not the faulty. the calculated, not the convenient. the coordinated, not the cavalier. the controlled, not the coincidental; the closer Jordan is able to align himself (through training) to a 100% accurate-never-missing-a-single-shot PRINCIPLE, the more we admire him.
this is why so many today still idolize Michael Jordan. this is why his shoes still fetch top dollar. this is why so many try to emulate his style. in essence, whenever we witness perfection’s distant cousin—Skill—we begin to worship it because we unconsciously recognize the frightening shadow of universal PRINCIPLE being expressed. unadulterated control. correct governance. supreme decision-making ability. the dream of efficiency. all the attributes that make principles so frighteningly strict, yet so fundamentally attractive. the nearest we’ve been able to approach an UNTOUCHABLE, INFALLIBLE PRINCIPLE are represented by the skilled experts in living within arm’s reach. our best attempt thus far, at mimicking the divinity of Principle is called ‘skill’.
War is a lie. Lies are always last resort, not first option. And once you need to tell a lie, you’re already dead. The war won’t matter at that point.