Of Course You Want What You Haven’t Got

I mean, that's what the word "want" means. "For want of a nail, the shoe was lost" does not mean that the blacksmith was looking for the nail he wanted and lost the shoe. It means that the blacksmith did not have a nail. So he couldn't put on the shoe. Now the horse wanted - did not have - a shoe. And the rider wanted a horse. And so on, and so forth, until the kingdom is lost over one missing horseshoe nail.

The lesson there is much more meaningfully stated as "small things are not just important; small things are everything." But today we're talking about want, the core element behind the bucket-brain. The bucket-brain wants. The bucket is not full. It must be filled. It wants things to fill it.

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Applied Knowledge FTW

So yesterday we talked about some basic economic principles, and today I'm going to go over how they apply to some common situations you might face when expressing your badassery.

One of the big ones I see from people is how to select the "niche" they enter. This is a clear case of people face tradeoffs, and it's why I don't talk about niche marketing the same way others do. Tradeoffs are easy to resolve; you simply examine your options, throw out the ones that are obviously wrong, and whichever ones are left - you need more information. If you can't get that information... whether because there isn't any, or you don't have time, or the information is too expensive... then the remaining choices are rationally identical and you can choose arbitrarily. If it turns out to be the wrong choice, there was absolutely no way for you to know that, and you need shoulder no blame for it.

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A Dismal Truth

I go around a lot telling people that having even a rudimentary understanding of economics is like a minor superpower. I stole that from Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, and the example he used was that the little automated "your speed" indicator sign on a street invariably means there are no actual police watching that street. You can go as fast as you want, because it would be a stupid waste of resources to put that sign and a police officer on the same street. You can put one on this street and one on that street, and you cover two streets for the same price.

Similarly, when that sign is missing, guess what that means? You got it: they put a cop there. Slow the fuck down. And just past the area where that sign used to be, you'll look in your rear view mirror and see mister state trooper camped out in a little honey-hole with his radar gun.

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Filling Your Bucket

There's a psychological condition most of us face when we start trying to do anything, and it's called "shiny object syndrome" or SOS. Which is an apt title, because when you have it, you seriously need help - in more ways than one.

If you recall the library metaphor from earlier, this is kind of what you're  doing here. You don't know anything about this new subject, so you don't have any books about it on the shelf. Which means anything you can put there is better than nothing, and therefore that you can go read Atlas Shrugged and think it's a brilliant work of literary genius that changes your life. Because you are stupid and don't know any better.

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The Deep Science Part

We're about to get into the deep science part of things here, so I have to make a series of disclaimers. Otherwise, some fuckhead is going to make medical decisions based on it, and try to sue me for not knowing he was stupid. Or, at the very least, I will get email from med students saying "that's not true" and explaining shit I don't fucking care about.

The purpose of all this brain science is to give you a rudimentary understanding of the idea that your brain has lots of parts which all have to work together. And some of those parts are similar to certain animals. And that metaphor applies to a specific work style. And that work style lends itself well to a particular element of running an online business. And running an online business is the natural and normal expression of one's general badassery.

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Nobody Has It Easy

Not so long ago, Allie Brosh returned from a nineteen-month hiatus to make this post about dealing with depression. It's the follow-up to a much older post explaining a five-month hiatus for essentially the same reason which makes a full two years of effectively not posting anything on her amazingly funny blog.

This is the same time period during which she's supposed to be writing her book, which is available for pre-order at that link and if you buy through it I'll get like a dollar or something. But I digress, and plug, and that's really not what I wanted to talk about here at all.

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What Does It All Mean?

So let's consider the combination of SLIM and FAT. The blunt reality is that inside every FAT Jack is a SLIM Jim. No matter how FAT you get, there's always that pesky human nature of being SLIM lurking inside you, and it's constantly wanting to be let out so it can start throwing SHIT.

And what this means, as you're learning to be FAT, is that you constantly have to be vigilant. You need to second guess yourself. Remember when you were hax0ring your brain with smartness and shit? Your brain didn't like that. It wanted to stop learning and be a little fucker about everything, rebelling against... well, ultimately, itself.

The same thing will happen as you're trying to be a better human being. Even before you get into being a badass, just the part where you started out trying to make yourself a little smarter... and now the part where you're trying to be a better person... these things take time to sink in, and during that time your brain will fuck with you.

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Bunga, I Say, Bunga

In certain dialects of the Bantu language, the lingua franca of which is the Swahili spoken by the pictured Masai warriors, the word "bunga" derives from the word "i-bunga" for a tribal council. To "bunga" is to meet in such a council, and upon meeting another tribe, it is not uncommon for one to suggest such a meeting. In essence, the word "bunga" means a combination of both old science fiction tropes, "I come in peace" and "take me to your leader."

It's also quite possibly the most common racist utterance in white supremacist literature. If you go pick up a copy of The Burning Cross, the official newsletter of the "Invisible Empire" Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, you'll quite likely find multiple racist cartoons and diatribes in which the only word spoken by black characters is "bunga." And this isn't some quaint artifact of pre-civil-rights America, either; it was still being done in the late 1990s.

Both of these evidence the opposite sides of what is is to be Tribal, which is the T in FAT. FAT Jack aspires to be Friendly, Active, and Tribal. And now it's time to get into the dark triad.

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It’s Time For That Advice Again

Yes, we're here, right in the middle of everything, and I'm going to tell you what everybody tells you.

It's that one piece of advice you get everywhere, and people say it's all you really need, and they're kind of right. If you just ignore every other fucking thing anyone says and do this, you will succeed.

The A in FAT is for being Active. Take action. Take massive action. If you just get the fuck up and do something, and you keep doing something, even if your beating your head against a brick wall - sooner or later that wall will come down. Even if what you're doing is patently absurd and objectively stupid, sooner or later you will get somewhere with it. Granted, maybe it's on the news as "that  fucking moron who's trying to do something absurd and stupid," but that's somewhere.

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