Archive for May, 2011
The answer to the question is a difficult one. Most men have been in this position. You see a beautiful woman, and you go and introduce yourself. She writes you off immediately, and you’re left standing there wondering what you did wrong? Am I not interesting enough? Am I unattractive? What’s wrong with me?
Let me start by telling you it isn’t your fault. Most women, particularly attractive ones, are conditioned to have their defenses up at all times. They see men who approach them as a threat. You may just want to say hello, but she immediately categorizes you as another one of the countless sleezy guys who has tried to pick her up for a one night stand. It’s not your fault. We men are not the most sophisticated of creatures at times. Sometimes, we just want to get laid. The problem is that, when we see that special girl we want something more with, she dismisses our genuine conversation as a trick to pick her up. Well, like any defense system, if you understand it, you can penetrate it (Ha! See what I did there? That’s one of them double entendres ).
If it isn’t my fault, why is it my job to find a fix? You may be asking yourself this question, and it is a good one. Let’s assume your goal is to get the girl. You could spend your time changing the female mindset to be more accepting of the advances of men, OR, you could learn how to get past the defense mechanisms. Which one seems easier to you?
The problem with most approaches is that they convey too much interest and become too personal right away. This immediately triggers a woman’s defenses. If you approach a woman and say, “Hi, my name is Joe. What’s yours?” your chances are already shot. You’re a stranger; why would she want to know your name? Not to mention, in an age of identity theft and rape, why would she want to give you hers? Also, you’re probably facing her, looking into her eyes because you think it’s good to maintain eye contact. Next time a stranger stands right in front of you and talks to you, try and note how uncomfortable you feel. If she’s attractive, she’s probably with her friends or a group of people. Beautiful girls are rarely found alone. Your approach has not only triggered her defenses, but a flare has gone out to all her friends, signaling them to intercede. You’re done.
I realize this all seems very daunting, but like I said, it can be cracked, and here are some tips on how to do it.
1. Self Confidence – Nobody is going to like you if you don’t like yourself. You need to feel good, first and foremost. You need to be self-aware and have your shit in order before you can go picking up girls. Without this requisite fulfilled, don’t even bother trying. The idea that women like to nurse wounded men back to health is a myth. It’s an instant ticket to the friend zone.
2. Body Language – Do not approach her face to face with your chest out like a silverback gorilla. Instead, walk a step past her and greet her over your shoulder. Lean in and out as if you’re about to leave at any second. Be tall, not hunched over. If you’re looking at her, look in her eyes, but shift your gaze to other things around you regularly. When you’re walking and you pass someone, do you both look into each other’s eyes? Or, do you play the who will look first game and just end up passing them while looking at the ground? Think about it, you don’t like constant eye contact from strangers, why would she?
3. The Opener – Women think men are stupid and don’t listen. Actually, women are the ones who don’t listen to the content of what you have to say. It really doesn’t matter what you say, but the nature of what you say is crucial. What do I mean by this? Your opener should be impersonal, meaning that you could say it to anybody and it wouldn’t matter. Your opener should not convey interest, meaning that it shouldn’t say, “Hey, I want to get to know you.” Playful insults usually work really well. Try something like, “Hey, you have a great smile, with the cutest Bugs Bunny overbite.” Being ridiculous is also effective. Try, “Hey! The world’s going to end if you don’t have sex with me right now!” When she gives you a bewildered response, just say, “What movie is that from?” (It’s from The Invention of Lying) One of my favorite ones is, “I need your opinion, do you think Katy Perry is hot? My best friend thinks she looks like a mouse. I’m asking because you kind of look like her.” (It doesn’t matter if she looks nothing like her.) The jealous girlfriend opener, “Hey, can I get your opinion really quick? My buddy is dating this girl, and she gets really jealous when he talks to his exes. Do you think that’s justified?” works wonders. The point is that none of these openers will trigger her defenses. Rather, they are designed to stimulate her, get her mind working, and get her to engage with you.
4. The False Time Constraint (FTC) – When a stranger starts talking to you, how long is it before you start wondering when they’re going to leave? Don’t you get more uncomfortable the longer they stay? Well, women are the same way. So, in every opener you use, insert an FTC. Say, “Hey, I gotta meet my buddy for coffee in five minutes, but can I ask you really quick…” It doesn’t matter if you actually have a prior commitment. Most of the time, women forget about it. Even if they don’t, five to ten minutes is usually more than enough to get a phone number, and if you’re really good, maybe even a first kiss (my record is 11 minutes).
5. The Look – You should look good, at all times. This doesn’t mean you need to be in a suit, but make sure you’re cleaned up. A shower, shave, and fresh clothes should be part of your morning routine. Make sure your fingernails are clipped, and the back of your neck is hair free. This will also help you in the feeling good department. This part isn’t crucial, but everyone judges books by their covers to some degree, women too, believe it or not. Wearing ridiculous things that stand out also helps, but that’s for those of you who already have the confidence to pull it off. Until then, stick to simple outfits that universally look good, like a polo and jeans.
Anyway, that should be enough to get you started. Try out the tips, and see how they suit you. Have faith, and I’m willing to bet that you will find yourself being more and more successful with women.
A lot of people think they know what makes a terrorist. Among the common misconceptions are the ideas that religion causes terrorism, poverty or socioeconomic circumstances cause terrorism, political oppression causes terrorism, or that low education causes terrorism. None of these theories are empirically viable. It is my goal in this post to clear up some of these misconceptions and perhaps get you thinking on a deeper level about what leads to the development of a terrorist. Perhaps if we can understand it, we can better address it, because we’re not doing such a great job right now.
Let’s begin with the idea that such acts of violence occur because the perpetrators hate Western democratic ideals. There is little to no evidence to support this claim, and modern scholarship largely rejects it. While there are those like Syed Qutb and Osama Bin Laden whose words have commented on Western decadence, there is no religious terrorist who has publicly declared a hatred for democracy or Western ideas of human rights and popular representation. Even Qutb’s rants have focused on American materialism rather than government or politics. Bin Laden’s accusations revolve around American imperialism and policy in the Middle East. The letter found in Muhammad Atta’s luggage outlining the plan for the September 11th attacks does not comment at all on Western ideals. Rather, it focuses on attaining the favor of God and doing what is in accordance with His command. Scott Atran explains in his article Who Becomes a Terrorist Today:
“The correlation between terrorist acts and target countries, indicating that democracies are victims more than autocracies, is spurious. It requires accepting that attacks on U.S occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are attacks upon U.S. democracy. In fact, there have been very few attacks carried out directly against western democracies, and only three with significant casualties (USA-11 September 2001, Spain-11 March 2004, UK-7 July 2005). There have been no major attacks against the democracies of Israel or Indonesia in the last two years, and only one major attack in India outside the disputed territory of Jammu-Kashmir (11/07/06 in Mumbai). There have been 2400 arrests related to Takfiri terrorist activities in Europe, where civil liberties are guaranteed.”
The next common perception about terrorists is that they originate from impoverished socioeconomic backgrounds. This assertion seems to make intuitive sense. It is not a terrible stretch to imagine that poverty, lack of education, and the social circumstances associated with both must lead to all sorts of motivation to become a terrorist. This is to say that the conditions these individuals face precipitate an attachment to religion and a proclivity toward violence as an attempt to find a way out. Granted, this may be true in the case of the suicide bomber whose family receives a large sum of money, but it is certainly not true for all, or even the majority of terrorists. The evidence, in fact, points contrary to this argument. A higher level of education in Palestine correlates with a higher level support for terrorist acts, and correlates inversely with support for international peace agreements. Income, furthermore, does not correlate at all with support for suicide attacks. Atran explains:
“My research group statistically regressed Palestinian support for suicide attacks against Israelis on education and income levels in three nationally representative surveys of Palestinians (West Bank and Gaza) from 1999, 2001 and 2005. We controlled for area of residence, refugee status, age, gender and religion. Income and education levels were unrelated to support for suicide attacks.”
Examples of those like Muhammad Atta, the underwear bomber, Michael Bray, Osama Bin Laden, and the Aum Shinrikyo scientists all further serve to weaken this hypothesis as all these individuals were relatively wealthy and educated. An evaluation of Al Qaeda members detained in Cuba further shows an overall high level of education and societal status, many having graduate degrees and coming from wealthy families.
 Atran, Scott. “Who Becomes a Terrorist Today?.” Perspectives on Terrorism 2, no. 5 (2008): 2.
 Atran, Scott. “Who Wants to be a Martyr?.” The New York Times May 5, 2003
Yesterday was a big day in the world of soccer. FC Barcelona took the UEFA Champions League title in decisive fashion, and Bin Hamman decided to quit the race for FIFA President. I will begin by talking about the Champions League final. Taking nothing away from Barcelona, I was very disappointed by the quality of play of Manchester United’s middle and defensive thirds. The precision and ease with which Barcelona attackers managed to penetrate the United defense time and time again was almost disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, I was rooting for Barcelona the entire time, but I was really expecting the United players to put up a better defense. It seemed as if the entire game was just a waiting session for Barca to score their next goal. Evra pinched in too far for an outside back and was caught off guard multiple times by whatever player chose to attack down that side, whether it was David Villa, Messi, or whomever else. Nearly all of Barca’s attacking initiatives, including the ones which resulted in a goal, began with pressure down the side Evra was defending. Barcelona’s penetrating passes caught the United defense ball watching over and over again. All credit to the Barca players, however, for finding and exploiting a major hole in their opponent’s defense. Overall, the game was fun to watch, but far too one-sided to be a real Champions League final. Also, my condolences to Sir Alex Ferguson for not managing his record tying 3 championships; maybe next year ol’ chap.
On to Bin Hamman’s decision to quit the race for FIFA President. For those of you who are unaware, the recent FIFA presidential race has led to what can only be described as a civil war in the organization. Mud slinging has been rampant in an organization that is supposed to stand for integrity and unity. Qatar’s Bin Hamman was thought to be the only person who could dethrone the dominant Blatter before a fourth term on the seat. Bin Hamman, however, has decided to resign amidst investigations of bribery, claiming that he does not want to see the organization’s reputation tarnished anymore as a result of this emotionally violent race. I sincerely doubt if these are actually Bin Hamman’s motivations. Sincerity has not been a strong point of any major FIFA official in the past decade, let alone a FIFA president. Blatter himself isn’t the cleanest of individuals and is under investigation himself. Either way, I am sad to see Bin Hamman resign because, amidst the modern political climate, an Arab Muslim in such a position would have been a great thing. Alas, the reputation of Muslims is further damaged as a result of these recent events.
The idea that everything is composed of tiny indivisible particles is nothing new. The Greeks, Indians, and Muslims that predecessed us over a millenium ago all developed theories of atomism. The problem is that none of these theories, including the modern one, are logically possible. I do not believe the world is composed of atoms, or tiny particles of any source. Rather, I support an ontological view of matter which argues that everything is one thing (call it a substance if you want, though that is not entirely accurate) molded and morphed into different things. Our ontological uniqueness does not come from the fact that our atoms are arranged differently, but rather because of a superphysical element which allows the potential of our substance to be realized.
So what is the big problem with atomic theory? It is infinitely regressive. There was a point in time when we believed that the atom was the small unit of matter, and that it was indivisible. Then we found protons, electrons, and neutrons. And now, we’ve found quarks and neutrinos. As long as something can be identified as having a size that we can perceive, it can get smaller, it must have parts. Why must it parts? Because, if particles do not have parts, they cannot aggregate or come together to form something else. Even a round ball has parts; every point on its surface is another part where another ball can touch. Some may say that essential particles are possible because they can aggregate by an inherent force like gravity. The problem is that they still cannot stick together unless they have parts, and if they have parts, then they can get smaller. The idea that matter is particulate is doesn’t make sense because the existence of an essential particle is necessary and yet impossible. Anything with dimensionality is divisible. What does this mean? If there is a substance which is essential to all matter, it must definitely be imperceptible. If we can see it, it has at least two dimensions, meaning it can be divided, meaning it is not essential.
Atomic theory is also self refuting, and it requires the existence of empty space to be possible. I will try to explain both of these points in turn. Try to imagine a lawn with a boy and a dog standing in it two feet apart. Some may say that an arrangement of particular atoms led to the development of a person, and a different arrangement of atoms led to the development of the dog, the grass, etc… The problem with this contention is that it supposes that all these things are separate when they are not. They are connected by the air, which is composed of the same quarks as neutrinos as everything else, just arranged differently. So, when examining it on a subatomic level, how do we know where the human ends, and the air begins, or where the air ends, and the dog begins? Our eyesight is limited, so we can draw large ontological distinctions to serve our own purposes. Although, when examined at the most microscopic subatomic level we have reached, all these things would be practically indistinguishable. We aren’t yet certain of how subatomic particles aggregate either. Atomism actually necessitates that everything is one unified thing. The only way two things can be distinct is if complete emptiness exists between them. The stars and planets can be said to be ontologically separate. Zoom out your perspective and see that everything on our Earth is connected. The same things are buzzing and vibrating against one another. Nothing is completely separate from anything else. Everything must be one, and you can call it whatever you choose: Brahma, Toapeiron, Potential, etc…
So what is the world made of then? I do not have the answer. I know that the only thing we can perceive which is not a substance is light. While it may behave like a particle at times, it is not ontologically particulate. Light can aggregate without parts or dimensions as well. In fact, an 12th century Islamic philosopher by the name of Suhrawardi developed an entire ontology of matter based upon light. I give it more credence than modern atomic theory. I know that everything must be one thing, molded to appear as separate unique entities. Because no two things are separated by a void, on Earth at least, it is not possible for anything to be ontologically unique.
Have you ever had bad sex? Confusing sex? Sex where you weren’t sure what your partner wanted, and where you wondered why your partner wasn’t doing what you wanted? Well, the experts pretend like they have all the answers. Check out
to hear what they have to say. There is a lengthy commentary and discussion about several sex related topics like whether or not men like to cuddle, the effects of performance anxiety, and the arousal times and states of both sexes. There is one huge problem with all of this stuff, it’s all nonsense. These experts pretend like all these principles can be universalized, like there is a set of guidelines or definitions which can improve sex for any couple. Magazines like Cosmopolitan take the same approach, and it disgusts me.
Media makes us think that our partner should know exactly what we want in the bedroom, and we should know exactly what they want. They should know my likes and dislikes, and I should have a priori knowledge of their desires and preferences because they are the same as everyone else I have ever been with. Movies and television make love making seem so easy, like it will just happen naturally without any mistakes or stumbles. This is completely wrong.
The biggest mistake people make during sex isn’t anything the experts will tell you it is. The biggest mistake is a lack or fear of communication. The biggest mistake is expecting your partner to do everything right without you telling them. No two people are alike, man or woman, and no two people have the same sexual preferences.
Some men like to cuddle, and a lot of women like to just have a good fuck every now and then. Nothing is universal. I always make it a point to ask the girl if she’s enjoying herself, to ask her what she wants, to ask her if I can do anything better. For example, some women have a very sensitive clitoris that responds to slow and deliberate teasing, while others have one which responds to fast hard stroking. How are you supposed to know if you don’t ask her? You could just end up hurting her and making any future intimacy nervous and awkward. Conversely, women need to not be afraid to ask their man what comprises a good blow job. Not every man likes the same thing. Some men like a little bit of teeth, some men like their testicles played with, and still others enjoy a little bit of pain. I repeat, nothing is universal.
So the important question is why people are afraid to talk about sex. Well, I think it goes back to our fundamental fear of rejection, and men and women alike share this fear. Having sex places us in our most vulnerable state, emotionally and physically. Being completely exposed in front of another person is never easy, and it is always emotionally chaotic. It makes sense that we would be afraid of doing something wrong or being seen as weird because of something we like. This problem exists even more in the modern world where impersonal sex with one time partners is becoming more frequent. At least the confines of a relationship can provide some security which alleviates rejection anxiety a little bit. Even outside of a relationship though, it is very possible to have open communication which will lead to a much better sexual experience.
People need to talk about their sex lives, plain and simple. Granted, this is easier said than done. Try experimenting with your partner, and don’t be afraid to ask them to try new things. This is especially important if one of you is more experienced. Guide your partner through sexual experiences and adventures. Respect their boundaries, but don’t be afraid to push the line to learn about their desires and body. If you are in a loving relationship, then sexual exploration should not lead to dissolution of the relationship, even if you have fetishes or desires your partner may not share. If they are not hurt by it, they should be willing to do it to make you feel good. After all, that’s what love is. If you aren’t satisfied with your sex life, don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about it outside of the bedroom. Get coffee and address ways you think you could have better sex, or things you want to try.
You will never have perfect knowledge of what your partner wants before you get to know them, ever. There are no sexual techniques which are universally successful. Your current partner is different from your previous one, and I guarantee they do not want the same thing. Investigate their desires, and let them investigate yours. Don’t be afraid.