Tag Archives: fear

The 50th Law

Power is great­er than hap­pi­ness, con­tends Robert Greene in an online dis­cus­sion with Eliez­er Yudkowsky about Fear, Power and Mor­tal­ity (qual­ity sum­mary there­of), as hap­pi­ness is fleet­ing and unre­mit­ting.

Also dis­cussed in this con­ver­sa­tion is strategist Robert Greene’s latest book, The 50th Law: 10 Les­sons in Fear­less­ness, which is the res­ult of an unlikely col­lab­or­a­tion with hip hop artist 50 Cent (Curtis Jack­son).

Ini­tially (very) scep­tic­al of such a col­lab­or­a­tion (hip hop and its cul­ture is com­pletely ali­en to my tastes), I’ve heard The 50th Law called a “hip hop bible” and a “how-to for apply­ing The 48 Laws of Power” and so had to look deep­er.

With the life of Curtis Jack­son as the nar­rat­ive, the book looks at “how to suc­ceed in life and work based on a single prin­ciple: fear noth­ing”. Based on the text of the chapter head­ings, there’s an ebook intro­duc­tion avail­able on Slide­share that gives you a good idea of what the book is like.

I found the fol­low­ing excerpts rather inspir­ing on mul­tiple levels and wanted to share them:

On self-reli­ance:

When you work for oth­ers, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. Your cre­at­ive spir­it is squashed. What keeps you in such pos­i­tions is a fear of hav­ing to sink or swim on your own. Instead you should have a great­er fear of what will hap­pen to you if you remain depend­ent on oth­ers for power. Your goal in every man­euver in life must be own­er­ship, work­ing the corner for your­self. When it is yours, it is yours to lose – you are more motiv­ated, more cre­at­ive, more alive. The ulti­mate power in life is to be com­pletely self-reli­ant, com­pletely your­self.

On oppor­tunism:

Your lack of resources can be an advant­age, for­cing you to be more invent­ive with the little that you have. […] Do not let fears make you wait for a bet­ter moment or become con­ser­vat­ive. If there are cir­cum­stances you can­not con­trol, make the best of them. It is the ulti­mate alchemy to trans­form all such neg­at­ives into advant­ages and power.

On cal­cu­lated momentum:

In the present there is con­stant change and so much we can­not con­trol. If you try to micro­man­age it all, you lose even great­er con­trol in the long run.

On con­nec­tion:

Most people think first of what they want to express or make, then find the audi­ence for their idea. You must work the oppos­ite angle, think­ing first of the pub­lic. You need to keep your focus on their chan­ging needs, the trends that are wash­ing through them.

On mas­tery:

To [build the found­a­tions for some­thing that can con­tin­ue to expand], you will have to serve an appren­tice­ship. You must learn early on to endure the hours of prac­tice and drudgery, know­ing that in the end all of that time will trans­late into a high­er pleas­ure – mas­tery of a craft and of your­self.

Thanks, Ryan

Working With Children – Fear & False Accusations

This news report comes as no sur­prise.

While in the past, adults would have helped chil­dren in dis­tress or rebuked those mis­be­hav­ing, there was now “a feel­ing that it is best not to become involved”, it said.

Report author Prof Frank Furedi, of Kent Uni­ver­sity, said: “From Girl Guiders to foot­ball coaches, from Christ­mas-time Santas to par­ents help­ing out in schools, volun­teers – once regarded as pil­lars of the com­munity – have been trans­formed in the reg­u­lat­ory and pub­lic ima­gin­a­tion into poten­tial child abusers, barred from any con­tact with chil­dren until the data­base gives them the green light.”

This is the con­sequence of fear-mon­ger­ing at its finest col­lid­ing with years of poor news report­ing. Give the pub­lic some­thing to worry about, and they will – tak­ing it out of all pro­por­tions in the pro­cess.

Instead of rely­ing on Crim­in­al Records Bur­eau (CRB) checks, adults should be allowed to use their “dis­cre­tion and pro­fes­sion­al judg­ment” to decide who should work with chil­dren.


Why We Scream

The Tele­graph looks at Why We Scream:

We all have a core set of five facial muscles that con­trol our abil­ity to pro­duce stand­ard expres­sions which con­vey anger, hap­pi­ness, sur­prise, fear, sad­ness and dis­gust. But there are up to 19 muscles present in the face, and many people do not pos­sess all of them.

The risori­us muscle, which con­trols expres­sions of extreme fear, is found in only two thirds of people.

via Mind Hacks

10 Ways We Get Things Wrong

Psy­cho­logy Today has an inter­est­ing art­icle on fear, prob­ab­il­ity, and how we get things wrong. It’s not a very scan­nable art­icle, so here’s an exec­ut­ive sum­mary:

  1. We Fear Snakes, Not Cars – Risk and emo­tion are insep­ar­able
  2. We Fear Spec­tac­u­lar, Unlikely EventsFear skews risk ana­lys­is in pre­dict­able ways
  3. We Fear Can­cer But Not Heart Dis­easeWe under­es­tim­ate threats that creep up on us
  4. No Pesti­cide in My Backyard—Unless I Put it ThereWe prefer that which (we think) we can con­trol
  5. We Speed Up When We Put Our Seat­belts OnWe sub­sti­tute one risk for anoth­er
  6. Teens May Think Too Much About Risk—And Not Feel EnoughWhy using your cor­tex isn’t always smart
  7. Why Young Men Will Nev­er Get Good Rates on Car Insur­anceThe “risk ther­mo­stat” var­ies widely
  8. We Worry About Teen Marijuana Use, But Not About Teen SportsRisk argu­ments can­not be divorced from val­ues
  9. We Love Sun­light But Fear Nuc­le­ar PowerWhy “nat­ur­al” risks are easi­er to accept
  10. We Should Fear Fear Itself – Why wor­ry­ing about risk is itself risky

Another Example of Middle-East Ignorance

Dunkin’ Donuts removes ‘ter­ror scarf’ ad – The US chain Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an advert fol­low­ing com­plaints that the scarf worn by a celebrity chef offered sym­bol­ic sup­port for Islam­ic extrem­ism.

She was wear­ing a black-and-white checked scarf around her neck that resembled a tra­di­tion­al Arab kef­fi­yeh.

This fash­ion choice incensed at least one prom­in­ent con­ser­vat­ive blog­ger, who said it evoked extrem­ist videos.

The blog­ger called the gar­ment “a reg­u­lar adorn­ment of Muslim ter­ror­ists appear­ing in behead­ing and host­age-tak­ing videos”.

People really do need to get more edu­cated on these issues. Do the major­ity of people not real­ise that there is a dif­fer­ence between Arabs and Muslims – let alone Muslims and extrem­ists?

As a white middle class­er who has recently decided to learn Arab­ic, I get a lot of odd, angry stares when I (attempt to) talk to the loc­al Arab immig­rants. How­ever, I just ignore these ignor­ant people… just like Dunkin’ Donuts should have.

Edit: Here is the blog post from said “prom­in­ent con­ser­vat­ive blog­ger”. Watch out, it’s scary over there!