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Victim Nation

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Image from here.

This song should inspire some radical self-awesomeness.  Yes, I am slightly obsessed with Muse, as their music is amazing, complex and comes with some powerful messages.

“You may have a fresh start at any moment you chose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down but the staying down”  —Mary Pickford


I see hero projects everywhere!  I just finished the book the Denial of Death a couple of weeks ago (review to come soon) and it blew my mind.  Everyone should read that book in high school, but parents would be pissed to find out their kids read it, if they are religious.  Don’t let the kids question their religion!  That would be terrible.  Well, in my opinion, all beliefs should be questioned and held up to rational scrutiny, and sheltering your children from reality only sets them up to feel betrayed later.  One can still read that book and have a faith.  If one can’t then does one really want to keep that faith?  I’m starting to see that the social justice warrior social media frenzy phenomena as just another hero project for our lost people, many of whom are too rational to believe in invisible sky gods to feel like their lives have a meaning, so they need to find some higher purpose that isn’t completely irrational, to feel like they are heroes, part of something important, doing something special to change the world, thus alleviating some of the terror of death, which is the central thesis of Ernest Becker’s amazing tome.  The sick thing is, the SJW movement may be helping liberal, mostly educated, upper-middle class white people feel like they are helping the victims of oppression, but in the end, it’s a narrative that is not only scientifically invalid but harmful to the exact people it’s SUPPOSED to be helping.  The only people it’s helping are social justice warriors, who get to feel like they are changing the world, as they make everyone into a victim that they can “save.”

America has become a nation of victims.  Even white males get to be victims now, with the MRA movement.  It’s a sickness, everyone wants to blame someone else for all their problems.  But guess what?  We all got problems and every life is full of obstacles.  If you don’t learn the psychological and practical skills to overcome those obstacles, whatever they may be, you will not lead a successful life no matter what your goals or the obstacles in your way, no matter if you are the victim of racism and/or sexism or have a fairly easy life with mostly smooth sailing.  Encouraging folks to have grit and determination in the face of any obstacles is much more helpful than encouraging victim mentality.  The concept of micro aggressions, yes, 10^(-6) of an aggression, as a huge problem to fight is harmful to those who are micro-aggressed against, as we all need to develop thick skin in this world and living in a micro aggression free bubble is going to make real life seem quite challenging.  If you don’t learn to handle the reality that LIFE IS HARD SOMETIMES and THERE ARE PLENTY OF JERKS IN THE WORLD early, you end up needing to seek therapy when someone calls you a bitch.  We don’t want to be a nation of wusses and whiners, we want to be a nation bad asses, and being a bad ass requires that you train through adversity, not whine about every splinter and give up when challenged or questioned.

Dear reader, if you want to help all the victims in this world, focus on giving them a proactive mindset, not training them to see every slight as the man holding them down, but instead, every slight as an opportunity prove themselves capable of working through adversity.   That is what can actually be improved for folks who come from disadvantaged backgrounds; “non-cognitive skills” are amenable to learning, whereas, cognitive skills are generally more about the luck of the draw.  For details on what I mean by “non-cognitive skills,” as often measured in kids with the “cookie test“,  listen to the This American Life episode Back to School. It’s so heartwarming and full of hope. It’s about ways they are helping inner city parents learn how to form attachments to their babies and teaching teens, well, basically, I’d say CBT or Stoicism, at least, it sounded like they were using those basic ideas in the small segment in that episode.  Secure attachment and the training discussed are used to develop “non-cognitive skills”, i.e. grit, determination, etc, which usually start with a secure attachment but can be taught. That’s what I think would help give kids a more equal opportunity at success no matter their SES or race or religious status.  Have you heard of “Learned Helplessness“?  I read a book which discussed it in grad school, when I was falling into that psychological trap due to feeling so powerless to get data when I was trying my hardest.  Science is a harsh mistress, as I say, and sometimes I swear it wants to make me go insane.  But those experiences helped me understand people more, because before that I hadn’t really ever felt totally overwhelmed by any of the challenges in my life as an adult.  Learned helplessness/victim mentality continue to harm the victim more than the original victimization, so, should NOT be encouraged.

In his book, which I reviewed already here, Lee Jussim discusses how bias and self-fulfilling prophecy are actually quite small effects, and get weaker with time, and that stereotypes are typically fairly accurate and applied flexibly and rationally by most people.  After learning that, I find this obsession with victim mentality for underprivileged folks promoted by SJWs to be incredibly selfish; it’s harmful to the people it is trying to help. I can’t just sit by and watch my society all become victims in their minds and give up on having a proactive mindset!  Even white men want to join the “wo is me” pity party.  I would like to empower people to go out and achieve, not tell them they are inevitably going to be held down by racism, Islamophobia, sexism, etc. That’s just not a psychologically helpful thing to do, not to mention the “inaccurate stereotypes lead to bias and self-fulfilling prophecy causing all these social problems” idea is not supported by social science data.  Not to also mention that whining is EVEN MORE ANNOYING in adults than it is in kids.  And it’s pretty darn annoying in kids.

They want to make STEM ladies like me into victims and I thoroughly reject that notion.  I’m sorry twitter-verse, but I’m not a victim and a sexy lady T-shirt isn’t going to stop a “burning with a fire to study nature” scientist from pursuing her passion, and that is what you need to be a good scientist. That was an unrelated social media frenzy incident that really pissed me off. Social media is not a good thing for homo sapiens I think. I’m going to post a blog soon about how it fosters herd mentality and group think that scare me.

I’m a huge fan of Burning Man; I’m working on a book on how to use it a model for the future of society, and I want to add the principle “Radical Self Awesomeness” to the 10 principles of Burning Man. Go out and kick ass in this life, basically.  The idea is to change your thinking so that instead of putting yourself down and feeling like a victim, you gain a proactive mindset and make yourself into a cheerleader in your own head. People need that, especially now that we have such a cultural vacuum full of meaninglessness and nihilism where so many people without a religious ideology feel so lost.  This cultural vacuum leads to some people being easy targets for culty groups, that use tricks of human psychology to steal away psychological, emotional, financial, and sometimes physical freedom from their followers. I think I got my proactive mindset from my grandma, who was a natural Stoic, but not everyone is that lucky.  Another aspect of this principle would also be supporting others in your community in their pursuit of awesomeness.  I guess I modeled it a little after Crossfit, where we do somewhat independent workouts that are incredibly challenging, but we support and cheer on one another so that no matter your actual results compared to your peers, you feel good about yourself after completing a workout that is so challenging.  If it were easy, you would lose that rewarding post workout feeling.  If you got everything you wanted in life without working hard at it, you wouldn’t appreciate it.

Dear citizens of the USA, we should aim to be a nation of bad-asses, not whiners.  No matter what is holding you back, if you decide to go for it, and your goal is reasonable and within your potential skillset, no one can hold you back from pursuing your dreams.  Results may vary depending on outside circumstances, but all you can do is focus on your circle of influence and do your best to get the outcomes you desire, the rest is up to the randomness and inherent insanity of this world and the people and groups who inhabit it.  I have a friend who was literally told she didn’t belong in physics grad school because she is female.  Did she let that stop her?  NO!  That’s the kind of drive you need to achieve great things in science and life.  We need to encourage that kind of thinking, determination and motivation.  We need to remember that obstacles are GOOD because they test our determination and help us grow.  And we need to remember that it’s a terrible idea to send people to school for STEM who are not psychologically prepared to become members of the STEM community, because STEM is REALLY HARD, not just on the intelligence side, but also on the psychologically stressful side.  Teaching kids interested in STEM that they are victims of discrimination is the opposite of helpful to kids who want to become scientists or engineers.  If you think the oppression you feel in the social world is holding you back, just wait till you’ve spent months trying to get your experiment to work and it’s still not working.  NATURE IS OPPRESSIVE!!!!!  She doesn’t care if you want to understand her, she wants to hide her secrets.

But the SJWs promotion of victim mentality among those who would benefit most from a proactive mindset does make middle class white people feel like they are changing the world and doing something good (Hero Project), so I guess if you want to be selfish, privileged people, keep doing that.  If it makes you feel better about your privilege that you think it’s worth teaching people harmful psychology, then you are actually quite selfish, in my opinion.  I wish people would revolt against the movement doing them harm.  We should all use a hashtag like #ImNotAVictim.  Every time you punch through an obstacle, use that as your hashtag to show that you appreciate the struggles of life for how they teach you lessons and make you grow into a more awesome homo sapien.  Without them, you would probably be bored.  Character is built through struggle and adversity, not by living in a microagression free bubble.

You can do it, you can live up to your potential, just believe in yourself and do your best to get through obstacles.  That’s all any of us can do.  Giving up and letting bad circumstances make you into a failure in your own mind are not an option if you want a good life.  But they do let you feel like you aren’t responsible for your own problems so it is psychologically appealing when times are tough, but it’s not a good trap to fall into for you or for anyone else.  It gives up the only real power you are guaranteed to have in this life, the power you have over YOURSELF and your attitude.

I’ll end with an excellent quote from A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, an amazing book for life skills that I highly recommend to all human beings.

The Stoics believed in social reform, but they also believed in personal transformations. More precisely, they thought the first step in transforming a society into one in which people live a good life is to teach people how to make their happiness depend as little as possible on their external circumstances. The second step in transforming a society is to change people’s external circumstances. The Stoics would add that if we fail to transform ourselves, then no matter how much we transform the society in which we live, we are unlikely to have a good life.

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17 Comments

  1. Leigh Leigh

    I never felt at all discouraged from pursuing a STEM career. Maybe I just wasn’t sensitive to it.

    • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

      I felt mostly encouraged by those in the field, it’s only normies who questioned whether I had what it takes.

  2. Leigh Leigh

    In my experience, when I try to open someone’s eyes to how much power they have over their own lives, they refuse to see, because they don’t want either the blame for the messes they’ve gotten themselves into in the past, or the responsibility for the choices that will decide their future.

    • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

      True dat! I have the same problem with myself sometimes. Mostly I’m good at stoicism, but on certain days, under the influence of certain hormones, I get into the “poor me” mode and put energy into hating all the factors and people and situations that helped me end up with certain things in my life I’m not happy with that I don’t really have power to change. It’s when the power to change things is outside of my hand that I’m unhappy, mostly. If I can get a proactive mindset, it helps so much.

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    • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

      Cool! Thanks for visiting. If you like it, please share any posts you enjoyed on social media to help me get the word out.

  4. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

    • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

      I use HostGator and WordPress. Bought a plan with a few years on HostGator that was pretty cheap and installed WordPress. I am still learning…I have to figure out how to promote my blog and monitor traffic and whatnot. For now I’m just working on getting better at writing and editing and putting out content. I guess I’m going by the “if you build it they will come” blog mentality 😛

      If you’re interested in starting one, check out HostGator and get started. It’s a fun project and hobby.

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  6. Mo3 Sizlak Mo3 Sizlak

    Excellent post!! I think a great combo along with reading Jussim would be to watch Michael Sandel’s Harvard lecture series “Justice”. Our society will never get anywhere by focusing on how we are personally disadvantaged by the “system”. The very act of framing it as “disadvantage” assumes a very specific concept of the good or the good life which has buried within it very strong, implicit ethical claims as well as claims of human nature (whose existence cultural marxists would paradoxically deny). My answer to the very general question of “who can ethically lay claim to what ?” is “no one can lay claim to anything”. As pessimistic as this sounds, it as actually quite liberating. Being a white, lower class male born in a small town, I could quite easily consider myself as the middle of the pack in terms of “disadvantage” if I were to think of it in these terms. However, I am just as ok with being passed up in favor of a rich black kid of equal or even lesser qualification for an educational opportunity as I am with being treated on “merit”. The only problem I have is if the rich black kid himself or society in general somehow thinks he deserves it. Our lot in life is a product of an infinite number of different lotteries before birth and we can take just as much credit for it as a Lottomax winner (or loser). Anyways, the best I can hope for with this SJW nonsense is that the number of “oppressed” groups approaches infinity and the whole movent collapses under the weight of its own stupidity. At least I now know there are at least some women out there who can see this nonsense for what it is.

    • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

      Your comment was awesome! Thanks! I’m not very good at promoting myself so share on social media if you like. I’m just writing and sharing around the webs a little when people post about topics I’ve blogged on.

      Yes, as a female who sees the truth on some of these topics, I feel I really do have a duty to speak up so that people will start to realize that feminism is harming women and our society. And spew my random ideas out. I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, but then I ended up being a scientist. Science is about seeking truth and when I see there are a lot of truths that I was lied about, I get upset. So I write.

      • Mo3 Sizlak Mo3 Sizlak

        Thanks! I am an engineer myself and I am only just now starting to find out that I enjoy writing. I always used to hate writing because I always found the writing assignments during school extremely boring and stupid lol. In my opinion we need to start introducing REAL critical thinking to students at a much younger age if we want to avoid becoming a society of useful idiot’s. Heres an article you may find interesting :
        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/03/scientists-easy-prey-jihadis-terrorists-engineering-mindset
        In our drive towards efficiency, personal “success” as defined by our society, and “truth” we seem to be unable to avoid leaving reason and critical thought behind as sacrificial casualties. This happens whether we focus on the sciences and neglect the complexities inherent within human culture and language, or we focus on a very narrow view of the social aspects of human nature (such as liberal bias in education institutions). Anyways, I wish you well and hope you are able to enlighten some minds.

        • Skeptic at Heart Skeptic at Heart

          Wow, interesting article, thanks.

          Can’t they just join the Ayn Rand cult instead of becoming Jihadists? That cult is appealing to those kind of thinkers. Islam is so obviously made up by Mohammad as a means of power and control, it makes me so angry that a 1400 year dead sociopathic cult leader is still causing murder and mayhem and threatening Western society. WTF, just STOP! It’s so silly, there aren’t 72 virgins in paradise, that’s obviously made up to get you to die for Mohammad, stop murdering over it!

  7. yod d yod d

    “That would be terrible. Well, in my opinion, all beliefs should be questioned and held up to rational scrutiny, and sheltering your children from reality only sets them up to feel betrayed later. ”

    All beliefs, less for the faith in “rational scrutiny” and “reality” ‘s accessibility to us, this time around.

    “The only people it’s helping are social justice warriors, who get to feel like they are changing the world, as they make everyone into a victim that they can “save.”

    You’re speaking of the good-faithed fraction, of course. (To the rest, the aim is power-grabbing, as always.)
    Well, and then what? We are all self-centred and self-serving.
    Ideologies are collective counterparts of “opinions”; the purpose doesn’t change.
    But that’s of all ideologies.

    “It’s a sickness, everyone wants to blame someone else for all their problems.”

    It’s a disease born as a response to a disease.
    Since the real reason of our ill-feeling can’t be faced (it would hurt the rationalist post-modern man too hard), scapegoats are to be found.
    Ah, and “victims” around us, too. “Victims” that we can raise, thus raising ourselves to victim-raisers.

    :))…

    “Social media is not a good thing for homo sapiens I think. I’m going to post a blog soon about how it fosters herd mentality and group think that scare me.”

    All that’s frightening regarding social media is they [“social media” is plural] allow people show their true selves. Which they can’t, obviously, in any other social setting.

    “because STEM is REALLY HARD, not just on the intelligence side, but also on the psychologically stressful side.”

    And are we at, here?
    Disciplinary supremacism?

    The factors at play are 2 (casting aside the vanity in that statement). Intelligence, inclination (which we could render in words by something on the lines of “kind of intelligence” or “mind type”).
    What is misleading is the different standards we are held to, if we study in the STEM field or humanities & arts.
    Humanities & arts were not in the slightest “easier” than scientific studies in the 19th century.
    A modicum of familiarity with, for example, doctoral, or even graduation theses from that time (which had, for one thing, to be written in Latin, no-one’s mother idiom) would show you this.

    Academic humanities and arts turned “progressive” a century ago, thus the drive to democraticize over and over, which means nothing but: allow less intelligent people than before to access and fulfil studies.

    There is already pressure to “democraticize” the STEM courses. Should it achieve its goal, you’ll see a remarkable “easification”.

    The only other difference in difficulty is apparent as well, and derives from the fact that evaluation of literary or artistic competence is far more subjective.
    You can tell no dim wit what he answered when questioned on the Macbeth is “wrong”, lest you want to end up on the LA Times and Atlantic displayed as a bad racist…
    Errors in science can’t be disguised as non-errors.

    I am sorry to hear STEM distressed you, still.

    “NATURE IS OPPRESSIVE!!!!!”

    Ok, but please, do without upper-case writing and the rain of exclamation marks, or some may think you are under oppression.
    I’d say “uneven” rather than “oppressive”, however.
    Our species is a privileged one as compared to all the others, leads a far safer existence.

    “so I guess if you want to be selfish, privileged people, keep doing that.”

    Any doubts they want?
    We are again only talking of the good-faithed ones, to be sure.

    “We should all use a hashtag like #ImNotAVictim. Every time you punch through an obstacle, use that as your hashtag to show that you appreciate the struggles of life for how they teach you lessons and make you grow into a more awesome homo sapien. Without them, you would probably be bored. Character is built through struggle and adversity, not by living in a microagression free bubble.

    You can do it, you can live up to your potential, just believe in yourself and do your best to get through obstacles.”

    To me, it seems you take no pains to try to see it from the angle of a <100 IQ person (especially as technological advances make menial works less needed).
    See, a change in perspective can turn things upside-down.
    Even less pains you take to take the viewpoint of groups of people who have low IQ.
    Do you really thing that intra-group hatred can be avoided, in a, let's say, variegated society?
    It has never been avoided; it never will, probably.

    I'll quote a Jewish supremacist of ole, Disraeli.

    "The difference of race is one of the reasons why I fear war may always exist; because race implies difference, difference implies superiority, and superiority leads to predominance."

    You see, in spite of how dislikeable Disraeli and his ethnic supremacism can feel, this in no way means he was wrong.
    He wasn't wrong about reality.
    People were not only wiser, but also more sincere, a century and a half ago.

    "I felt mostly encouraged by those in the field, it’s only normies who questioned whether I had what it takes."

    How do normies come into play?
    You take a good intelligence test, ask yourself if your will is hard enough, and go for it.
    In point of fact, your riveting on how hard, tough, straining it's been seems to make a case for those normies' doubts, lol.

    • I think it’s hard for high IQ people to understand low IQ people and the same vice verse. Not sure it’s possible, really, I saw an interview once where a psychologist discussed this issue. I don’t think stoicism is only for the high IQ, though. Encouraging people to reach their unique potential, whatsoever it may be, I would think would be a good thing for everyone. I respect all forms of hard work and determination, from brick laying to Nobel prize winning research. Craftspeople, artisans, salespeople, we need all of these people to have a functioning society. Until we all get replaced by robots who are smarter and more hard working than any of us. Which some will celebrate but will actually lead to widespread depression, I predict. Reward circuits are a huge part of happiness and doing work, especially with the hands, that builds things is helpful to human happiness.

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