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I can sense it when I am face to face with a man who is better than me. I met with one yesterday. His aura is different. He gives off this kind of invisible energy that makes me want to follow him. For the first time in many, many years, I felt intimidated by someone.

He asked me to join his venture. He offered me a spot on his team right there and then, fifteen minutes into our meeting.

“The plan is to go public or to get acquired within two to three years. This startup is making money right now. And I’ll have two million dollars more coming from the second-round of funding within the year. Stock options are on the table. I want you in. You want money? This is the place to be.”

The problem is, the role he has in mind for me is a number-crunching desk job. With potential to become department lead, yes. But still …

I have a few days to decide.

~ GC

Used to Love Her

This song was written by Izzy Stradlin and Slash (no Axl Rose) and was from the 1988 album G N’ R Lies. I’ve always liked Guns N’ Roses but didn’t notice how different their songs were compared to their beta-crooning glam contemporaries of the late 80s and early 90s until only recently. The message is simple enough. And the tone is light enough that the whole act can be easily taken in jest.

 

 

Even in music, an admixture of anger, resentment and bitterness totally ruins the alpha frame. Shouting and thumping has its place, but is seldom necessary.

“I had to put her … six feet under … and I can still hear her complain!”

~ GC

Imposing Your Frame, Writing Your Life Story

 

“The first half of my life story has already been written. It’s awesome. All the elements of an inspiring epic-in-the-making is there. The bad draw. The ambition. The struggle … I am now working on the other half to complete it. I want success. I want an imposing climax. Something that will make my story endure. That’s my mission.

I want you to be in that story. You and I, we can write some of the plots together. Bold ones. Moving ones. Arousing ones. Details that will make other people’s lips smile and hearts sigh. Scenes that will stay in people’s minds for a long, long time … Follow my script. Don’t misbehave. I will feel bad if I have to replace you.”

~ GC

I spent my entire university life learning science under the roof of a very exacting and very traditional Catholic institution. The place was founded, managed, and morally guarded by priests of the Dominican order, pompous yet jolly men by the time I was there but whose history as a group is inextricably intertwined with that of the Spanish Inquisition and their infamous, now disdain-worthy, but back then holiest of holies, deeds. Every single day, for the past 400 hundred years of the school’s devoted existence, by tradition, each class to go in session is started, and then ended, with a prayer of piety addressed towards any one of the heavenly host of characters the church recognizes as godly. Every single day! Each class! And it was the duty of a random student to step up to the plate each time to face his classmates and his professor to lead the prayers and belt out his own brand of domesticated piousness in front of everybody and be recognized as keeping faith with proper, god-fearing Catholic conduct.

My problem back then was how to dodge that responsibility, each day, for four years, without creating a scene and making an ass of myself. Looking back, the daily chore became quite an exercise of creative thinking, an improv for making excuses.

Raised by a family of pious Catholics, I was about 9 years old when I began to develop what was to become my own version of a stubborn, smartass form of agnosticism nobody in my family had had any experience in dealing with prior to what they call my turning to the dark side. Seeing Life on Earth on TV daily at 5 pm after returning from a whole day of elementary school, I guess I liked David Attenborough and his romantic narrative of natural history too much that I quickly became this truth-seeking disciple of the sciences. Nobody I care about ever paid attention to that show. So when pre-teen Genghis started challenging traditional points-of-views not quite living up to the arguments supported by his emerging childhood mastery of all things biological, nobody knew how to handle his often sarcastic commentaries, barring put-downs such as “you’re just a kid” and shame-on-you polemics such as “don’t talk to your elders like that”, of course. And by the time I was slugging it out at the university, a couple of years ahead of my age group, ten or so years later, I was experienced enough in tamed intellectual altercations to know how foolish and pointless it is to go out there to try to convince intelligent people a couple of points or more below your own capacity for logical acuity to embrace your dissident demagoguery and expect anything positive to come out of the attempt. During those days when I was dodging the responsibility of leading the prayers, wiggling out of a tight spot using humor and feigned dumbassery, thus, became my tactic of choice, ahead of any confession to my proclivity towards atheism. Arguing in defense of my position in such a situation is exactly the reason why the word “futile” was invented for, I thought then, as I do now.

Life experiences like these always leads me to ponder about big questions and to seek out the most elegant answers I can find to address my penchant for learning.

Why is it that most people’s minds seem to be so immune to the effects of logic and reason?

I know, I know. The question cannot be expressed as a binary. The question is not about whether a person accepts logic and reason or not. The question is about the varying degrees of acceptance. And like almost everything else that can be tagged as complex in nature, a man’s disposition to be swayed by logic and reason exists within a spectrum, a progression scale if you will — with tenaciously unyielding on the left end to indefinitely submissive on the right end.

What causes that? What causes people to reject 1 + 1 = 2 simple-as-you-go logic in favor of unicorns-and-leprechauns-and-kingdoms-in-the-sky fantasies?

There are multiple factors at play, I am sure. Divvying them up to broad categories like nature and nurture does the job of providing for a simple answer to a complicated inquiry. But such simplification does nothing to explain away anyone’s lingering intellectual curiousity to get to some sort of acceptable understanding.

In the 1960s, a certain Paul MacLean proposed a triune model of the evolution of the brain among vertebrates. Although his hypothesis is largely considered functionally outdated today, the brain has proven to be much more complex than he assumed, conceptually, in some other way, the model seems to make a lot of sense. Down that road leading towards becoming human, the vertebrate brain has undergone series of essential expansions, additions of parts and functions, as animals progress from simple to complex. As the process of evolution meanders down that twisted path of natural selection and sexual selection, eventually leading to us, old parts of the old brain, inefficient and primitive they maybe, cannot just be replaced and here and there thrown away. All evolution could do was to keep adding new parts on top of the old but still functioning brain, give these new parts new functions, or, assign these new parts functions that assist old parts in some form of synergistic role.

This is what we see in modern brains. Primitive functions and impulses common to all vertebrates are embedded deeper inside the older parts of the brain while more advanced, less primitive functions, are embedded near the surface. Higher functions such as logic and reason are almost exclusively localized inside the most modern parts, namely the neocortex areas.

A quote from the Wikipedia entry on the subject explains something interesting:

The triune model continues to hold interest for some psychologists and members of the general public because of its focus on the recognizable differences between most reptiles, early mammals, and late mammals. Reasons for the success are its simplicity; the theory in this form recognizes three major evolutionary periods in the development of the brain that are characterized by three recognizably distinct ways of solving adaptive challenges. Under this model, the “neocortex” represents that cluster of brain structures involved in advanced cognition, including planning, modeling and simulation; the “reptilian brain” refers to those brain structures related to territoriality, ritual behavior and other “reptile” behaviors; and “limbic brain” refers those brain structures, wherever located, associated with social and nurturing behaviors, mutual reciprocity, and other behaviors and affects that arose during the age of the mammals. The three brains are said to act in coordination or competition in this variation of the model. While there is no scientific consensus on the applicability of the model at a level other than the three distinct evolutionarily distinct brain systems, some people find this to be a helpful model because of its broad explanatory value.

Could it be then that people disposed to choosing socially acceptable, nurturing behaviors, and mutual reciprocity over elements of advance cognition including logic and reason are the same people disposed to reacting stronger to the dictates of their limbic brains and less stronger to the dictates of their neocortices? If that is so, are the main causes of such differentiation in behavior largely physical in nature — genetics, brain wiring, hormones, brain chemicals — rather than culturally or socially indoctrinated biases? Does nature trump nurture in this case?

Why was I, at 9 years of age, able and willing to open my mind to ideas rejected by everyone else in that same identical environment? Why is it that my university peers, some of whom are more intellectually gifted than I am, able to embrace hypocrisy so willingly and so whole-heartedly even to the degree of building their lives around those antiquated, irrational traditions?

Is it safe to conclude that these dispositions are actually pre-dispositions? That once a person is selected for by nature to become uncritical, a member of the herd whose survival is predicated upon protection in numbers, there is almost nothing anyone can do to sway this person out of this pre-built tendencies that ultimately guide his convictions?

I wish someone could explain the whole process to me. The point of this post is to invite further discussion.

~ GC

I stumbled upon the door that led to this part of the Interwebs we came to call the manosphere almost 3 years ago. And it wasn’t by accident that I happen to land on one of the many web sites that populates this space. No, sir. Like many of those who found their way here on their own, I am presuming, I wasn’t just goofing off that night merrily clicking away at some random links just waiting to discover some random web pages that would interest me. I was having real problems understanding the behavior of a woman I was interested in at that time, and I was looking for real answers. I was typing very specific search terms into Google hoping to read some formal study or two about the quirks of female behavior that would make sense of some odd nuances I have gotten from her earlier that day.

Quite frankly, even then, I thought I was good with women. At my age, 35 years old at that time, I had been with well over a dozen. That number doesn’t qualify me as a stud of any kind, I know. I am aware that some men do very, very well on that department. But compared to practically all the other male friends I have in my circle who had been with one or two, most of them, or three or four, in a couple of cases, I was suppose to be the guru when it comes to these things. Yet there I was that night, dumb-founded, clueless, on the verge of something I would eventually learn the manosphere calls a oneitis, desperately seeking to understand female nature, banging away at my keyboard somewhat sure that someone somewhere on the Internet has the answers I was looking for, actively searching for help, definitely willing to listen, and itching to try other ideas out because what I know wasn’t working.

Saying that I consider that night one of the most intellectually enlightening nights of my life isn’t an understatement. When that door was opened, and the road leading inside taken, there was no turning back. There was no turning my back on the accuracy of the revelations, no turning my back on the gravity of the underlying social implications. And how could there be? Understanding the consequences resulting from the natural tendency of women to be hypergamous, in and of itself, changes entire worldviews in such drastic manners that whole worlds built on the foundation of romantic love falls apart inside your head. Going down that rabbit hole is life-changing. And any man, I dare say, having read what the manosphere offers in terms of proof, must be so intellectually-challenged if he would refute it’s most basic assertions.

 

Which brings me to my first observation:

The manosphere is bustling with men with some kind of higher self-awareness type of intellectual potential.

Bustling may not be the exact adjective I am looking for here, the manosphere is a small place, but the point is the same. The men populating this space, or at least a good proportion of the men populating this space, are here because their minds operate from a vantage point very different from most others. Manosphere-type men can perceive points-of-views that goes beyond the horizons of their peers.

Let’s face it. I am sure each one of us has tried, at some point, to some degree, to discuss the things we know with our other male friends out of some genuine feeling of altruism. And if your experience is anywhere like my own, you have also seen how the majority of these friends dismiss the value of what we have to say, sometimes outright. In some cases, even a successful practical demonstration of the understandings that we possess wasn’t enough proof for them to change their minds. They would continue to cling to their old ways and not pay attention, not even become a wee bit curious, to the alternative ideas being presented to them, even when it is obvious, and they admit to it, that they are struggling with women.

This behavior I just find so hard to comprehend.

  • How can they not care?
  • How can they not be curious?
  • How can they not, at least, consider try changing themselves?

 

My queries doesn’t end there.

And the next set brings me to my second observation:

The manosphere is full of intelligent men, but the lack of ambition in these men is appalling.

I was born and raised as a member of the peasant class, grew up in a childhood of deprivation, in a poor village, in a poor country. Lacking in almost everything, I made it my sworn mission in life to improve my standing in society, or die trying. Nothing else is more important. Everything else is secondary. My pursuits always had a context. And that context was to rise up along those imaginary steps that represented the heirarchy of men, as far up as I could take myself.

The manosphere appealed to me because the principles it was trumpeting revolved around self-improvement as a tool to get you to where you want to go. I could totally embrace the notion that I am deficient in some ways and my personality needed some work in order to develop myself into becoming a better person. And in the company of other like-minded men, I thought, initially, the toil will be much more bearable and the process, more exciting. But drats, I was through and through disappointed by what I saw as my interactions in the manosphere expanded. Intelligent as most of these men are, the prevailing attitude of nihilism, and in some cases fatalism, came to me as somewhat a surprise. I began to speculate that, maybe, the real root cause of the demise of masculinity here in the West had something to do with the dampening of individual ambition.

Maybe a well-provided for society has less to ask for from life. I wouldn’t know.

  • But measuring your worth by the lone yardstick of your female companionships?
  • Weaseling your way into women’s lives just so you can get sex?
  • Living your life detached from any existential mission that you defined for yourself?

 

This lack of purpose is foreign to me and beholden as I am to the manosphere for the past 3 years for my intellectual enlightenment, I could never make myself accept these points-of-views as main motivations for developing my life story.

*****

There are several characters in this community whose particular takes on the subject of end-goals I admire. I would add to and link to their work in future posts.

~ GC

When Caesar Wept

In his mid-30s, around 70 B.C., in his official capacity as Quaestor, an elected position equivalent to our present-day municipal court judge and municipal treasurer, Julius Caesar visited the Temple of Hercules at Gades (Cadiz) in Spain on his way to his new appointed assignment — to become some other man’s lieutenant. The legend goes that when he came across the statue of Alexander the Great, he went down on his knees and wept in sorrow. “Do you think I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable,” he lamented, so the account goes, in reply to a companion’s inquisition.

Today, as we men are expected to go about our lives sitting in offices and cubicles, using narrow, specific abilities, to accomplish mundane, routine tasks day-in and day-out, in the service of the companies, the corporations and the governments we are all beholden to for our livelihoods, our securities and our self-worth, the old, proverbial, fiery “coal embers of ambition” that once ignited passion inside the hearts of great men like Julius Caesar, pushing us men to dream about, to crave and to seek out great conquests in the name of personal glory, has been doused dead in water in most, reduced to a pathetic flicker in some, and socially-suppressed and shamed-against in those stubborn few who still has it burning bright red.

The world has been tamed, so they said. Sit down and do your duty, so they demanded. Think about others, not yourself, so they taught. And so we men listened, we obeyed and then we collectively failed the biggest shit test the world has ever seen. Truly sad.

Genghis will be turning 40 years old in a couple of years. He has outperformed every single boy he grew up with in every single measure that is important to him. But in the grand scheme of things, along that ONE great ladder men are suppose to bust their balls climbing up to tower among others, like Caesar, he is weeping. Like Caesar, he wants more. Like Caesar, he dedicates his life to the pursuit of his ambitions. And like Caesar, he is going to get to them.

This blog will be a memoirs of his mindset as he dares to attempt to accomplish all that he seeks.

~ GC

 

Statue Alexander the Great on a Horse

*** This is the second part of a two-part list. The first part can be found here:

12 Stories in History that Changed the Way I Think – Part 1

=====

# 6

 Sacsayhuaman, Olmec Heads, Atlantis, Homo floresiensis

I have very little difficulty believing that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built by the ancient Egyptians. It was damn hard but I think they were able to pull it off. But Sacsayhuaman in Cuzco built by the Incas? In mountainous terrain? Give me a break! Google that thing, look at the pics and tell me how? … And the Pre-Columbian Olmec heads at La Venta? They all depict black African men. At a time when there weren’t suppose to be any contact between Africa and Mesoamerica? … Cocaine traces in the tissues of Egyptian mummies? That screams Atlantis! … And how about the complete skeletons of pygmy humanoids in Indonesia? Where does that one fit?

History is a messy business. We simply don’t know a lot of things. What we do know are mere best guesses based on reconstructions of how we believe the human story progressed throughout the ages. I wouldn’t be surprised though if it turns out that our entire timeline, our whole premise in fact, is wrong. Maybe there really was an earlier age of humans before ours — the Golden Age myth every primitive culture is referring to in their legends and traditions …

*** The world is an interesting place. So much to learn. So much to do. So many unknowns. So many questions. And when I think about it, I always shake my head in disappointment whenever I see people out there doing nothing more than have some fun. Moreso when they start preaching about their uncaring ways.

 

# 5

Star Trek

Not so much the TV show, but more of the opening line: “Space, the final frontier.”

None of us alive today will ever live long enough to see the colonization of space actually happen. Yet deep in our consciousness, we always wonder about what the future will look like. We look at the stars at night and we can’t help but wonder about the majesty of it all. It evokes emotions. It stirs up the imagination. Are we alone in the universe? Are there worlds other than this one? What do these other worlds look like? Even the religious among us, when we pray, we look upwards, at the sky, at the stars. We address someone we believe resides somewhere out there. There is probably something to that. Something beyond religion. Something beyond science. Something beyond history.

*** Despite all the advances in our understanding of the world, there is still room to believe in some form of magic. There is still room to recite poetry. There is still room to admire beauty. It is this hope for a future and our creative expression to imagine what it looks like that keeps our human spirit alive.

 

# 4

Ramses II, Kadesh, Abu Simbel, Qin, Goebbels, Obama, Global Warming and Albert Einstein

Propaganda. First masterfully executed in the grand scale by Ramses II after the Battle of Kadesh, spinning facts to pave the way for his eventual diefication through the building of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel. The same exact techniques employed by the Emperor Qin to compel millions of Chinese to do his bidding. The same techniques custom-fitted for the industrial age by Josef Goebbels for the benefit of his Nazi Party’s goal of Lebensraum. The very same techniques modernized by present day spin doctors to sell shams like Barack Obama’s message of change and the Liberal’s global warming fear-mongering to the same naive and stupid public, who will predictably, now as always, gobble up lies with a smile.

Albert Einstein once said, “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” Einstein was right, as usual.

*** The overwhelming majority of people are weak-minded. Totally incapable of thinking on their own. Easily swayed by whatever opinion is accepted by others around them. If you find yourself agreeing with opinions shared by a large group, chances are, you are on the wrong side of the issue.

 

# 3

Magellan’s Voyage

In 1519, five wooden ships with 237 men on board left the port of Seville in Spain to undertake what could very well be the most surprisingly successful adventure in human history. And along the way, accomplished something so big that none of the men who were there could have anticipated the enormous implications of what they were about to achieve.

Sailing unknown waters, surrounded by the mythologies of the era, guided only by the stars, at the mercy of the winds, Ferdinand Magellan and his men flung themselves westward, ill-equipped, across the vast expanse of the uncharted Pacific on nothing but mere hunch, pure guts and, undoubtedly, burning curiousity to find out what was out there. And found out they did. Most of the men, including Magellan himself, died during the ardous journey. But in 1522, three years after it all began, one battered ship from the expedition, carrying 18 dying men, made it back to Seville, completed the very first circumnavigation of the world and wrote a story that will forever live in the annals of great human discoveries as one the finest adventures ever.

*** Some stuffs are made of dreams. We won’t always know what lies beyond the fence. But we go for it anyway. Yes, the stakes are high. The odds of winning are slim. But sometimes good things happen nonetheless. Luck smiles more at those who dare try than those who don’t.

 

# 2

The Discovery of Quantum Physics

Nature, as far as classical Newtonian mechanics is concerned, is very predictable. The phases of the moon, the reaction of chemicals, the splitting of the atom, the genetic variations in asparagus, everything … everything can be calculated with a fair amount of accuracy. Nature, so it seems, follows a finite and very distinct set of rules that determines all the observable behaviors that we can see around us. In fact, maybe, life itself is simple and deterministic. And why not? Our bodies are made from the same chemicals, the same electricity, follows the same fluid dynamics that we can measure in our laboratories. So why not? The temptation to think that way was simply too great to ignore. Until someone, a hundred or so years ago, noticed that the physics of the very small is very different from the physics of the very large. The numbers didn’t align at all. Strange. And so quantum physics was born and changed the whole way science looks at everything.

We can hold a piece rock in our hands. We know it is hard, it is solid. But wait, the atoms that make up this rock is mostly made up of empty space. The protons and neutrons and electrons of these atoms are so small that even if you pack them all together, they would fit inside a pinhead with plenty of room to spare. So why the heck can we hold the rock if it is mostly made up of empty space?

Quantum physics introduced terminologies such as uncertainties, superpositions, multiverses and brought forth discussions about never-ending collections of paradoxes that resulted in the complete shift of scientific thinking from mechanistic determinism towards a more free-wheeling “hey, we’re not so sure anymore, we need more time to study”. Converting scientists from strictly practicing mathematicians to creative thinking philosophers bodes well for the future of research.

So, what happens if the geeks who built the Large Hadron Collider succeeds in proving the existence of the Higgs boson? Hahaha, man, don’t ask me. Do your own speculation and then let’s discuss.

*** Open-mindedness is the hallmark of true intelligence. Never be afraid to change your mind in the light of new evidence. Knowledge is good. But no knowledge is sacred. The dogmatic approach to believe in whatever you currently believe in no matter what is the attitude of a fool.

 

# 1

The Selfish Gene

Published in 1976, The Selfish Gene by zoologist Richard Dawkins is probably the most misinterpreted popular science book of all time. The confusion stems from the title of the book itself as the word “selfish” implies a rather unsavory characteristic that is carried forward by most to mean that the book was trying to justify selfish human behaviors through biological arguments, which, of course, it wasn’t.

Getting pass that common misunderstanding, the book was all about expressing the mechanisms of evolution through the point-of-view of genes and provided a very compelling explanation of why altruism exists in nature. This explanation, to my mind, provided the groundwork necessary towards understanding human nature deeper than those existing models proposed based on anthropological and sociological studies.

Because all living organisms are inherently wired to try to propagate their own genes, the rationale behind the principles of individualism stands on firmer scientific ground compared to the rationale behind the principles of collectivism. In evolutionary terms, “for the good of the species” is a consideration that sits lower in the hierarchy of priorities compared to “for the good of the individual”. Observations of various biological systems support this fact. In sociological terms, individualism should precede collectivism. Observations of human societies — the failure of communism, the abuses of nazism and fascism, the problems of socialism, and the success of capitalism — offers an interesting parallel that strongly implies that Dawkin’s arguments suggesting innately “selfish” motives for altruism is correct.

*** Help yourself before helping others. There is nothing intrinsically wrong about it no matter what other people say. The success of a society is nothing more than the aggregate successes of the individuals making up that society. Sacrificing your own success for the success of others is an unnatural way of pursuing life and is punished by nature in biological terms.

~ GC