The Whole Of The Law

One of my favourite people on the planet is Wil Wheaton, although he stupidly prefers lion Voltron to vehicle Voltron. We may never really come to terms on that. He says vehicle Voltron sucks. I say lion Voltron is piloted by retards and also Prince Lotor is a faggot. But one thing we do agree on is something which has, over the years, been dubbed "Wheaton's Law."

This law is simply, "don't be a dick."

That's one of the things that always struck me about the movie I mentioned yesterday. People would tell me that to be successful, you had to be a dick. That if you were successful, you must have cheated or exploited people. But that's not the way FAT Jack was in the movie. FAT Jack was always sort of quietly powerful, not a big jerk about it, and he never called people names or talked down to them or got angry. He was rather a jolly sort of fellow.

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Time To Get FAT

So it's time to get over SLIM Jim and start talking about FAT Jack.

I first got the image of FAT Jack in my head almost forty years ago. I was watching some old movie on television, and there was this fat guy behind a desk. I want to say it was Telly Savalas, but I've been over his IMDB listing and cannot find any movie that could possibly be what I saw. Plus Telly Savalas wasn't fat. So it was probably just some fat bald guy.

And this big fat guy was sitting behind a big wooden desk, and he was leaning back in his chair smoking a big fat cigar wearing a charcoal grey pinstripe suit. His feet were up on the desk, wearing mirror-shined black dress shoes. And you could see a hatrack in the corner behind his desk, where there was a grey fedora with a cream-coloured band, and a long black wool overcoat.

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The Information Product Cesspool

So let's talk a little bit about information products, like you might come across in the WSO section of the Warrior Forum. Or some other forum, in the section where people pay to hawk their shit. And let's try to get you out of what they call "Bright Shiny Object" syndrome.

First of all, you will discover sooner or later that I actively advise you to sell information products. There are a number of very good reasons for this, which I'll go into when I start talking about how badass you will be when you start selling your own. And, of course, I practice what I preach, so quite some time before I start advising you to sell them... you'll notice that I'm selling them.

So no, I am not going to tell you how horrible and awful information products are. Information products, in and of themselves, are awesome. They are empowering and profitable and easy to build and sell. You should totally be doing this shit. Even in the most wretched hive of scum and villainy, you can find amazing and incredible information products that will honestly help you improve your business and your life and do amazing things.

The problem comes about when you start gathering information products together into a single marketplace.

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And Also Because Fuck You

So we're nearing the end of our discussion of what it is to be SLIM, and we've covered how it means you're selfish and lazy and ignorant by nature. No judgment implied there; we're all selfish and lazy and ignorant by nature. What makes us the "higher" animals is the ability to transcend that.

This leaves just one last letter to deal with, and that's the M. And the M in SLIM is for Mean.

See, when you're selfish, that makes you lazy. And when you're lazy, that makes you ignorant. And being ignorant makes you mean. You don't know or care how other people feel, so you don't take those feelings into account - only your own - and you do nasty shit to other people.

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Because DERP That’s Why

Okay, so you're Selfish and Lazy, and then there this natural thing that falls out of this which is to be a fucking Idiot. Well, really the I in SLIM is for Ignorant, but you can also just think "Idiot" and that's close enough.

It's natural because being selfish means you care about what matters to you, and being lazy means  you DON'T care about what doesn't. So if you work with a particular machine where you push a button to start it and then it stops all by itself when it's done, why would you need to know how to stop it?

For that matter, do you even really need to know what it does or why? You push the button and wait. That's it. Remember the Jetsons? George's job was to sit around all day waiting to push the button, then push it. Sometimes he had to push the button for an hour, two days a week! Can you imagine? Life is hard.

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Why Fucking Bother

Now, as you've noticed from our little experiment with cramming your brain full of new shit, the net effect of your brain being selfish is to make it lazy.

That's the thing about being SLIM (and about the Ayn Rand bullshit about "you should just be a huge prick to everyone") - just that initial selfishness cascades into the rest. The S is for Selfish, the L is for Lazy. We'll talk about the rest later, but right now, let's focus on Lazy.

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Why Ayn Rand Sucks

So yesterday we talked about how being SLIM is kind of shitty, but not what SLIM stands for. If you're already familiar with Rand, though, it's pretty obvious that the S will have something to do with Self-interest.

And you're completely right! The S is for Selfish. We're all fundamentally selfish, and that's just the way it is. Some people like to argue with this and say that we naturally want to share, but that's bullshit. We have a notion of emotional maturity which includes the ability and willingness to share, but that notion is cultural - you have to be taught not to be selfish.

Selfish just happens. Everything is selfish.

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Slim fucking SLIM Jim

There's a pair of characters I like to talk about who inhabit the world we live in, and they represent kind of the two polar opposites we deal with every day. And these characters are SLIM Jim and FAT Jack.

If you ever went to the doctor's office as a kid, you probably remember Highlights for Children magazine. Nobody ever had this magazine except the doctor or a "special" school. If you had the dubious distinction of people thinking maybe you were retarded and/or mentally disturbed, then you got to go to a school which had this magazine, too. If you were lucky, they eventually figured out you were just weird and sent you back to a "normal" school.

But there's one specific feature of Highlights magazine that everyone who ever saw it remembers.

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Scheduling And Shit

One of the many things I got to do over the course of my life was to run a software development company, which is where I learned how offline business works and what kind of tradeoffs you have to make and honestly just how little of a seven-figure business goes into your pocket.

Seriously, when I went to work as a contractor for Microsoft, people would ask me what kind of money my business made and then when I told them they always went "well, shit, why the fuck are you working here?!" and somehow they never believed me when I said "better hours, better benefits, and better pay."

Someday I'll tell you a little more about the accounting, but there's one particular benefit of running a software company which you don't get anywhere else: the ability to overtly fuck with people and see what happens.

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