The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kaufman Game

For those of you who don't know, Andy Kaufman was a comedian who was famous for doing comedy that he found funny, often at the expense of his audience. This included such things as tricking his audience into thinking that their TV was broken during his show by broadcasting static, or during his stand up telling audiences that he was going to read them The Great Gatsby, followed by him actually doing it until many audience members had left. While this is not all he did, and it certainly was not his intent, the behaviour translates pretty well to game.

I was over at Ishmael's house, when he showed me a text that he had received from a girl he was gaming at work.  She had sent him the following image.

He asked for what a good game response would be and what resulted (with both of us collaborating) is the following text exchange (to the best of my memory).

Him: Aww, don't feel bad [presuming that the cat statement applies to her and not him]. I'll tell you what. Come into work tomorrow and I'll roll you in pancakes.

Her: huh...

Her: was that text meant for me?

Him: Yes. About the cats.

Her: Ishmael you're not making any sense.

Her: What's roll you in pancakes mean?

Him: If I'm not making sense it's only because of kung fu lazers and starvation.

Her: hahaha... huh.

Her: I still don't get what your saying. Are you going to feed me pancakes?

Him: Kate! This is serious business. They make you take an animal wife!

Her: What?

Her: Are you trying to tell me that you married your cat?

Him: No. I rolled her in pancakes.


It went on ending with some more normal conversation such as “how was work?” At the time I was not sure of how well it had gone. I admit that I had largely given texting ideas that I found funny more so then what I found gamish. None of it had seemed overtly beta, but it was hardly optimised either. And some basic texting rules had been broken, such as the 3:2 ratio. But the next day report was glowing. At work she had been all over him asking “What does 'roll you in pancakes' mean?” And by denying her that bit of information he was making her pursue him.

So the end verdict is that though Kaufman game might not be the most optimised form of game, it's still effective. It also has the benefit of wrapping up a bunch of game concepts into one simple rule: do I find this funny or do I see this making for a funny story to be told to those not involved. If the answer is yes and you have the courage to then act on your impulse, then off the top of my head you're:
  • Making yourself stand out.
  • Outcome independent (if your action's don't incite attraction, well it's still going to be kind of funny).
  • Exhibiting bemused mastery.
For another example of Kaufman game: accidental alpha.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why Bullying is Good

One of the interesting things about studying game is finding where the principles apply elsewhere. And one of these areas is in understanding bullying.

First off, there are multiple things that fall under the category of bullying, and while some of them are bad, some of them are genuinely good as well. The most obviously harmful kind is a gratuitous exercise of power, such as a stronger person beating up a weaker person. But not all bullying is entirely ill willed.

There was an episode of The Dog Whisperer where a woman had two German Shepherds, one of which was regularly attacking the other. It turns out that the dog with the problem was not the dog doing the attacking, but the dog getting attacked. The dog getting attacked, was acting in eradicate ways that in dog psychology was totally inappropriate. The dog doing the attacking was just trying to help their owner by keeping the other dog in line.

While some bullying might not be the most optimized way of effecting a change in behavior, it often is highly effective. In my school experience, bullying stopped one kid from wearing sweatpants to school every day, and another from touching himself under his desk all the time (it finally got back to him why everyone was calling him “Jack”).

Perhaps the most common example of bullying that I come across has to do with state control. People with very low state control tend to invite others to wind them up. And there are two reasons to do so. First is that if someone is willing to give you the keys to their internal state, it is fun to take it out for a spin. The second reason is that low state control is not healthy and that hopefully by poking at it the person will start to gain more control of themselves. You can tell the difference between the primary motivators because someone who is more selfishly motivated will wind the person up with things that become more and more understandable when resulting in an out of control reaction (an extreme example would be teasing someone about a recent death in the family). Someone who is genuinely trying to achieve an improvement in the person will antagonize them with increasingly absurd things that should not bother them. A totally random example would be posting these pictures on facebook for a overly rabid Packers fan to see (done after claiming that the players on the team are all alcoholics).

Friday, October 19, 2012

The left's war on thought

Over at Patriactonary, Will S did a post about bullying. One of the points that he makes is that the term bullying is getting the rape treatment, which is to say that much like the word rape, it's being used to cover a broader and broader range of activities.

One of the interesting things about language is how one language is compared to another in worth. When I was in Greece, one of the natives told me that the Greek language has gone through several recorded fazes. Early on there was Homeric Greek, the language used in the Iliad and the Odyssey; then you had Koine Greek, the language the New Testament was written in; Medieval Greek; and lastly Modern Greek, which is what is spoken today. The interesting thing about the Greek language through history is that instead of advancing, the language has devolved, and is today more primitive than it was in the time of Homer. When I asked how one measured whether a language was superior or inferior, he said, among other things, that in Homeric Greek one could communicate a thought more precisely with fewer words.

The reason Will S's article made me reflect on this is that those who push for various PC causes, such as stopping bullying, are always trying to bring more and more things under their favorite buzz word categories. “You might not think it, but that's racism/bullying/sexism/harassment/etc. to.” The end result is to take away from the precision of the conversation, which then takes away from the precision of thought.

The desired end effect is to cut off people's ability to think about these issues, and instead have them simply react.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The lack of art

To graduate from the college I went to, every student had to take a course called “Senior Seminar”. Among other pointless busy work, one thing that was required of the class was for every student to do a presentation of some sort for the rest of the group.

One of the presentations from some art majors was about how the Christian Church today is not producing any art. The reason that they gave was that great art cannot come out of Christian culture when it is also aimed at Christian culture. I don't remember the reasoning they gave, I mostly remember pointing out during the Q and A that a good chuck of the greatest pieces of art in the history of the world flew in the face of their hypothesis. This was brushed off with the comment that “the times they are a different”.

Their conclusion still seems insane to me, but their premise about there not being much art coming out of the church lately is a little hard to deny. At the time I thought it was probably simply because there is not much in the way of high art coming out at all right now, Christian or no. But now I think that there might be more.

The way that I would define high art would be works that fall into one of two categories. The first is a work or body of work that paves the way for a new art form. For example, Cervantes' Don Quixote would be considered high art at least in part because it is considered the first modern European novel. If someone else wrote a book today similar in prose and store quality it would not turn any heads, and rightfully so, because the author today would have been beaten to it by 500 years.

The second category of high art is a work that communicates some truth or truths in a fashion other than direct articulation. These works bypass the inner dialogue and go straight to the heart with what they have to say. An example of this would be Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, which without ever directly expressing it contains a powerful message about the nature of man, and how easy it is to be quickly and strongly attracted to those who either have no depth of character, or worse, are evil, and how easy it is to overlook those who are our best and truest friends, who have the best character of all.

So why is the church not creating much in the way of high art? Because on the whole, the church's grasp of the truth is tenuous at best. And because the church has trouble accepting, let alone revealing in, those truths that both separate and alienate it from modern culture, the church is incapable of creating high art.

Take, for example, this little story that's made the rounds recently in certain evangelical circles.  There is some truth in The Parable of the Pencil. But mixed in, you have new age wisdom such as “The most important part of you will always be what's inside”, or “You will always be able to correct any mistakes you might make”. The first is directly contradicted by the Bible: Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”. And the second actually goes against one of the core tenets of Christianity, which is that no man is able to redeem his own sins. Our sins are black marks that we cannot wipe away, only by the blood of Christ can we be made clean again.

So this parable is a mixture of Christianity and a modern day form of paganism. This is an old problem for the church, going nearly back to the time of Christ himself. And these kinds of mushy half truths that seem so easy to accept, are antithetical to high art.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nancy Pelosi admits to turning a blind eye

In an attempt to attack Republicans who have voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt of congress, Nancy Pelosi stated that she could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day.  This, of course, means that while she was in a position of oversight, Pelosi must have allowed for corruption of some sort to simply continue unhindered.  It seems doubtful as to whether anyone will question her about what she knew and when she knew it, or ask if she was complicit in the illegal activities, or whether she in any way profited from her crimes.  But regardless, when the former speaker of the house makes an abject admission of guilt, it's worth taking notice.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The 100% reactive model is wrong

As I was driving today, I found that due to some recent work done on my car I all my radio presets had been lost. So as I was going through the stations, I came across focus on the family. I haven't spent too much time paying attention to main line christian culture in a while, so as today is the day before fathers day I wanted to see if it was as bad as I keep hearing in the manoshpere. And honestly it wasn't horrible. A year ago, I probably wouldn't have even noticed anything wrong with it. But thanks to such bloggers as Dalrock, and Christian Men's Defense Network I was keenly tuned in and waiting for them to engage in some man bashing or undermining of the wives submit to your husbands teaching.

The started out by bringing on a pastor who works with couples.
And he began with saying that a man is the head of the household.

So far so good.

Then that men need to submit themselves to God, and go to Him for direction first in their lives rather than as a last resort.

Good, good.

Then that when a wife sees her husband submit to God she will submit to him because it means that she will be submitting to God.

Uhhhh, a little ignorant on the nature of women and what's in the Bible, but go on.

Then that women will naturally not submit to a man who does not put God first the way that she puts God first.

Ok, you're off in the deep end now.

The second point that they made, that was just pure fiction, was that a man who is a material success, but is not a success at home, is a failure. The point being that your family has to come first and that men should not worship money and all that. They then went on to say that a man's family is a refection of him. So if you have kids and they are doing drugs and having sex and all that delinquent stuff, then you are a failure as not just a father but as a person and a Christian.

Aside from the message of not worshipping money, literally all of that is directly contradicted in the Bible.

First, I'm pretty sure that the whole concept of wives naturally submitting to their husbands when he acts in a way that she deems acceptable has been covered many times by other bloggers. Hopefully simply putting it in that frame makes it clear. And for all the women out there who are caterwalling “How can I submit to my husband if he is not submitted to God? Then I wouldn't be a godly woman!” submitting to other people who are not perfect, is not the same as sinning. Joseph submitted to Pharaoh, and it was righteous. Daniel submitted to Nebuchadnezzar in all things except those that would violate God's law, as did Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. Neither Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar even claimed to serve God. But God wanted his servants to serve them. So clearly being perfect is not a requirement for leading and expecting to be followed, even with God's blessing.

For the second part, they flat out made it up. No where in the Bible does it say that if you are a godly man then you will have a godly wife and godly children. It does address the idea of putting your family first though. 1St Corinthians 7:29From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not”, Luke14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple”.

God comes first. And doing whatever you need to do to follow Jesus comes before your family. There is no ambiguity in the Bible on this.

And when we look at godly men in the Bible, if anything there is an inverse correlation on how Godly their children are.

Job was one of the most godly men in the Bible.
Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”

Job's children were contently partying, and as he was afraid of their sin he would make sacrifices for them.
Job 1:5 “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”

King David was a man after God's own heart. David's children committed rape, murder, insest, and rebelled against him nearly overthrowing the kingdom.

And if you look at the line of the kings of Israel, there is a lot of good, bad, good, bad, going on. There are only 4 kings who followed God who's father also followed God. 4 out of 23. Granted, there were only about 9 total kings that followed God (discounting Saul), but still, one can't make the claim that following God as a man means that your kids will as well.

The heart of the problem for people that profess this type of Churchianity (Besides ignorance of the Bible or failure to apply it) is that they view women and children as being completely reactive beings. When it comes to women, gamers actually tend to do this as well. They think that if a woman leaves, starts acting bitchy, cheats, or files for divorce, that it must be because the man was not alpha enough. Substitute alpha for godly, and you have the Churchianity view. But the Bible teaches that both women and Children are sinful beings, possessing their own free will. While it is true that both women and children are more reactive then men, it's not 100%. And sometimes when a woman or child does something wrong, it's simply because their heart is desperately wicked.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The dynamic demonstrated

Here we see the dynamic between older, ugly feminists and younger, hotter women demonstrated in the animal kingdom.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How the church has been feminized

A while ago I read that the difference between how men and women view morality is this (btw, if you wrote this let me know in the comments and I'll give you your backlink, I just don't remember which blog I read it from): men tend to have a moral system based on a set of rules, and women tend to have a moral system based on relationships and kindness.

A good Christian should keep both of these in mind. They should have a relationship with Jesus, and they should live by a set of rules which I will broadly call theology. The masculine sin would be to live according to theological rules without having any real relationship with God. Although I was not born at the time, from what I know of history, I believe that this was the Church's biggest problem in the 50s and before. That would explain things like the question in Times magazine: Is God dead?

Then through the sixties into our modern times we had a shift. Instead of focusing on theology in the church, we started to focus on relationship. Which is not a bad thing. The two greatest commands according to Jesus are to love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Not only that but Jesus also says of the two greatest commands that all the law and the prophets hang on these (Matthew 22:40). So, if you are living your life by following all the rules in the Bible: not having sex outside of marriage, not getting divorced, praying, fasting, the whole works, and you don't love the Lord your God, or love your neighbor as yourself; then you have nothing. Your religion is in vain.

The end result of the shift is that, at least in my experience, you have two kinds of churches today. One is basically just community centers that you go to every Sunday, and tend to not really have either relationship or theology. The second is the evangelical type of churches, where you do have relationship, but the theology is something less than rigorous. So instead of having leaders who intensely study the Bible, and draw the most honest conclusions that they can, even if those conclusions make them uncomfortable, you have movements where there is tons of intellectual laziness, and people are guide mostly by what they feel is right and staying true to themselves. And because they do this, they wind up not following the only two commands that they focused on, and in many cases, not living lives substantially different from many new age movements about positive energy or whatever.

Of course neither extreme is good and what you need is both. You DO need to love God and your neighbor. But when it comes to loving God, Jesus tells us: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me”. So the way that we love God is by obeying His commands. And to obey his commands, YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE! And to know what they are requires theology.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What is Churchianity?

James 2:14-16
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”

The word faith, according to Strong's concordance, means: “convictionof the truth of anything,belief;”. So, as I read it, James is saying that if you truly have faith, you will have works. This is because if you truly believe in something you will act on it. We see this dichotomy all the time. So one will say that they believe something, but then when rubber hits the road, it turns out that they are being something less than honest, with either themselves or with others. Examples include Michael Moore saying that Cuba has a better system of government than the USA does. He says this. He does not move to Cuba. He could move if he really wanted to, but he does not. So we can see that even though he probably does have a superficial belief in what he is saying, he does not truly believe it.

A long time ago I heard that the definition of wisdom is “Applied knowledge”. That always seemed like an overly simple definition, until I thought of it in terms of the superficial/true belief dichotomy. Now I think of wisdom as doing your best to find truth, and then acting on it. Conversely, foolishness is to concoct, find, or believe in a set of lies that allow you to act in a way that you find comfortable.

To bring it back to the title of the post, Churchianity is foolishness in the Church that allows churches to avoid clashing with modern culture.

Modern Culture: all roads lead to god. All cultures are merely different but equal.

Churchianity: (from Rick Warren's Twitter) “We're NOT called to be the judge, the prosecutor, or even the defense attorney! 'You will be my WITNESSES' Acts 1:8 Got it?”

Actual Christianity: (1st Corinthians 6:3) “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?”
Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat”

Modern Culture: all you need is love. The world will work if we are all just kind to each other and stop the hate.

Churchianity: God always gives us more of what we want (taken from the idea that hell is simply existance without God (which is also wrong)).
Christians are called to be as kind to everyone as possible.
God is a gentlemen and will leave you alone if you want Him too.

Actual Christianity: (Leveticus 10:6) “And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people” Moses was telling Aaron to not morn the death of his sons after God killed them, or else God would kill him to (not what Aaron was wanting).
Stoning is the main method of execution under Israel's government. Aside from the fact that you cannot view execution as tough love, stoning is hardly the kindest method of execution.
Psalm 145:20 “The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.” Destroying is not leaving alone.

Modern Culture: slut is a derogatory term used to discribe a woman with a life style that she should not be ashamed of.


Actual Christianity: (John 8:11) “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Proverbs 5:3-5 “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Proverbs 11:22 “As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”

Since thinking of Church doctrine in these terms, I have been trying to make a point of rebuking Churchianity any time I come across it. My church has a healthy dose of it, as does the churches of many of my readers I'm sure. And even though, at times standing up and confronting Churchianity can be awkward, I have conviction in the truth of its evil, and I don't want to be a Christian who has faith without works.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't get married

In the spirit of asking what am I trying to accomplish and what alternatives are there, I'm pretty sure that by the modern definition of the word, there is never a reason for anyone to get married.

So to break it down, why does anyone want to get married? The great, big, obvious reason is that a man and a woman what to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. They want to have exclusive mutual access to the other person for sex and romance, and want to spend tons of time together. They want to live in the same home and put down roots. They want to have children. And when one of them dies they want the inheritance to go to the other. They want to face the rest of the world as a single unit. They want a commitment that will be stronger than any future disagreements that wouldn't get worked out otherwise. And to some degree there are probably religious reasons for most of us about wanting to have sex in an institution that is sanctioned by God.

Personally I think that these are all laudable goals. Even the last one. But, do you really need a certificate from the government to do that? As a Christian I find the very idea offensive. 1 Corinthians 6:1-11: 
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Paul makes it clear that when dealing with other Christians we should handle matters within the church. So how much more so when dealing with a matter as intimate as marriage should Christians not even begin to involve the secular government, especially as in the case of divorce, we are commanded to not handle it in court? Further more, as far as the Bible is concerned, marriage has never been a government institution, not even under the theocracy that preceded the kings of Israel.

But what about non Christians? Atheists get married as well as Christians, so as they have no obligation to the church shouldn't they get married normally? For my readers I hardly think I need to go over the problems in family court law. So, although you do still want some parts of the government mcmarrage, such as inheritance being set to default to your spouse, or the right to make bed side visits in the hospital, you don't want all of what you get, and you certainly don't want to go through the rest of your life with some woman having the ultimate power to end things and collect cash prizes.

As has come out with the whole gay marriage arguments, all the practical benefits of marriage can be achieved through other means for any two people living together. And if, beyond that, you want to make some sort of commitment that will stand the test of time, and make the two of you exclusive, you can do way better job with just a private contract then you can with a government recognized marriage. Make a contract that comes with defined, harsh penalties for either cheating or leaving. Will it stand up in court? Maybe not. You may get slapped with a common law marriage and all the obligations that come with it. But it may work as well, and as such is still a much better option than marriage.    

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Don't go to college

Whenever your going to make a huge life changing decision such as getting married, buying a house, or deciding where or if to go to college, there are two questions that you should ask first. The first is “What am I trying to accomplish?”, and the second is “What alternatives are there to accomplishing my goals?”.

As a man who has a four year degree, more and more I see going to college as a very bad life choice.

The reasons that I went to school honestly had more to do with the expectation in my family that I would do so than anything else. But if you had asked me at the time, I would have said something about it forming me into a more well rounded person and getting me a better job. Ultimately, I went for a degree in computer science, because the area was something of a mystery to me, so for the whole well rounded person thing, it seemed like a good choice.

So now that I'm five years out of college, lets take a look at how well I met those objectives. Do I have a better job than I would otherwise? Perhaps. I do have a job skill now, and it does open doors for me in the job market that would not be there if I was not a programmer. But is college the only way to open those doors? Absolutely not. In my last job, half the people in my department did not have anything beyond high school education. Sure they had taken a class here and there because they wanted to learn something specific, but in the end they paid around $4,000 on post high school education whereas I paid over $100,000 on mine. And to top it off, if you compare actual earnings, at my last job I made less than my friend of the same age who simply went into retail and has been promoted to manager.

So can you make more money with a college degree? In some limited number of cases yes, but for the most part a degree will not do anything more for you than self education and job experience. In some cases it will do less.

So how about the well rounded part? Again, I would say that objective was met. But not for the reasons that it was supposed to be. My general education courses were a joke. They did not go beyond where my high school education went in some cases. In others, such as my American literature course, they fell laughably short of what I have simply gotten out of just reading for myself. So really, what I got was the same as an AA degree with a bunch a pretence tacked on. To be fair, I did not attend an Ivy League school. But my school certainly would be considered better than most state schools.

The real reason that I would say it made me a more well rounded person, is because of the social aspect. Going from a high school, where I was smarter than almost everyone (including the teachers) to a college were I merely had middle of the road intelligence, was a pretty big shock. In high school I was never challenged by anyone. It was a small christian high school, and most everyone that was as smart as me agreed with me on all my religion and politics. This lead to absurd levels of arrogance for an 18 year old, and a fairly warped world view. I truly thought that anyone who was liberal was not only foolish but very dumb, in terms of IQ. Going to college was a real eye opener in that way.

But again, was going to college the only way I could have achieved this eye opening goal? Of course not. The truth is, it would have happened sooner or later no matter what I did. Probably not as fast, but just as surely.

So in my case, college did met my goals, but I'm pretty sure if I had it to do over again, I could met those some goals just as effectively but with a lot less money spent.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

There is nothing wrong with shaming language

Within the men's rights movement, there is a fairly prevalent thought that shaming language is feminist invention and should be avoided. And it often comes up in the comment sections on men's rights blogs that some commenter or other is using shaming language to make their point, and therefore can be disregarded as a feminist.

But the problem is not terms like “man up”, the problem is their application. Telling men that they need to “man up” and get married is not a bad thing to say because the idea that men should put away childish things and act like men is evil. It is a true and valuable sentiment. The problem is that the main reason men are not getting married is not because of perpetual childhood. The problem is that the pool of women that they are finding acceptable for marriage is shrinking. And beyond that, the problem is that the whole marriage contract is stacked so sharply against men that even if a man does find a woman who he would to spend the rest of his life with, and to raise children with, he still has reason to pause. There are plenty of men who believe that with family law being what it is, no woman is worth it, and I'm not saying that they are wrong. This does not come out of childishness, but out of a rational assessment of risk.

The call for men to man up and get married is so common that the phrase itself has become somewhat repugnant. But the fact that the phrase is so commonly misapplied does not mean that the sentiment is wrong. Their truly is a phenomenon of men in my generation (I'm 27) extending the adolescent life style well past when it should be put behind them.

For these men, the sentiment behind the phrase man up truly does apply. Not because they need to go get married, but because they need to stop acting like children.

The reason that there is nothing inherently wrong with shaming language is because for a man to react to being dealt a hand that is worse than some others have been dealt, by simply sitting around and pouting, is shameful. Men who pity themselves, either to the point of inaction or impotent action, are stomach turning creatures. And they should be ashamed.

When a man is dealt a bad hand, he analyzes the data at his disposal and then fearlessly takes the best action he can even though it might involve a great deal of risk. He does so without need for pity because for a man to do what is right is enough.

We have examples of men acting like men in the Bible. In Daniel chapter 3, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abendnego react to king Nebuchadnezzar, who has just demanded that they worship his false idol or be burned alive. They tell him “we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” They didn't have to think about it because they knew that God could save them, and even if God didn't they would still rather burn alive than submit to the evil orders of their king.

This sentiment was echoed again by British solders in WWII, when they were facing apparent certain doom on the beach of Dunkirk. From there they sent a three word transmission: “And if not” to let the people back home know that they considered their mission more important than their lives. These British solders acted as men.

And finally I can't help but include this example from Braveheart of a man acting like a man in the face of adversity.

Beyond the fact that shaming language like “man up” is not bad in and of itself, it also is something of a one way street. A woman who wallows in self pity is contemptible, but not in the same way as a man. And I don't think that because of cultural conditioning or because of some bits of feminism that I have not yet purged from my thinking. I think that because the need to not submit to your circumstances, but to fight for what is right regardless, is a part of being a man, and a part of how men and women are different.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teasing and masculinity

Dogs look at us and think, "You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you must be God." Cats look at us and think, "You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, I must be God."

For the most part, I've always found these types of jokes more interesting than funny. It's not that they are not clever, it's more that for a joke like this to be funny it has to have a kernel of truth to it, and in my experience with my cat, it doesn't. This had me wondering if the reason that cats are perceived this way is because for the most part cats are a woman's pet and dogs are a man's pet. In my experience women's pets tend to be worse behaved and more entitled due to the woman's only interactions with her pet being to talk to it in a baby voice and try and hold it (an action that the pet contemptuously struggles against). This results in both cats and dogs being stuck up, and often violent.

So because cats and toy sized dogs are very often owned by women, or in a house with men and women but where the man just puts up with the animal, these animals tend to be viewed as being stuck up brats. It was somewhat surprising to me when my friend, Ismael, started renting a house with some other people who owned a pomeranian. At first the dog was a pain in the ass. He would nip at you if you got too close, try and stake out territory such as the seat you currently wanted, and wait for you turn your back so he could dart out and bite at your ankles. But Ishmael, who is good with animals, got that pomeranian turned around. Instead of being worthless and annoying, which I thought was just how pomeranians are, he started to act like any other dog. He was friendly, even affectionate, funny, and bloomed into having his own unique personality, as most dogs do if treated right.

There are two things that Ismael did to result in this transformation. First, any time the dog would act out of line by biting Ishmael or anything like that, Ishmael would chase him down and pin him to the ground until the dog stopped struggling and submitted. Secondly he would mess with the dog. One thing Ismael would do would be to hold that dog upside down balanced on one hand. At first the pomeranian would be nervous in that position, but after a while he'd just sack out with all his limbs and head hanging loosely in every direction. It did take a bit, but eventually the dog was better behaved, and viewed itself as belonging to Ishmael.

To bring things back to cats, after I last read the cat thinking “I must be God” joke, I looked over at my cat, Wilson, and said “Do you think your God, Wilson?” The answer could not have been clearer as he stared back at me with his crazy eyes, as if to say “What are you up to Booch?”

For Wilson to feel like God would not be possible because in addition to feeding, sheltering, and petting him, I regularly go out of my way to tease him and mess with him. The needy little bastard tends to follow me around from room to room, so when I move from one room into another, I'll hide around the corner and wait for him. When I hear him coming I jump out and see how high I can make him jump (my record is 4 feet). Sometimes when he is just lounging somewhere, minding his own business, I'll go and put my hand on his hindquarters and see how long he'll let me keep it there before getting up or trying to bat it away. Or if he's walking around I might play the game where I put my hand on his tail and laugh while he furiously spins round and round jumping after my hand trying to get me off.

The end results? Far from squashing his personality or making him live in fear, this has brought Wilson's personality out. Now it's not uncommon for me to be walking along and feel something hit the back of my calf, which of course was Wilson pouncing. When I turn around he walks backwards a bit while arching his back as if to say “Yeah I did that. What are you going to do about it? Chase me? I bet your going to chase me (please)”. I, of course, am willing to oblige and at least feint like I'm going to chase him until he runs away into the next room. I never get sick of seeing those spindly, out turned back legs tearing ass away from me.

This also has not resulted in any lack of affection that my cat has for me. Every morning he crouches by my bed waiting for any sign of life from me which he takes as a cue to jump up and scamper next to my head, where he flops down and uses his legs to press against my face, purring loud enough to be heard in the next room. Whenever I put my shoes on to leave, he starts standing by the door meowing, in effect begging me to stay. And if I'm at my computer too long, ignoring him, Wilson will come over and stand up on his hind legs with his front paws in my lap, and smash his face against the arm I hold my mouse with (he is a very tall cat).

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that this type of teasing, and the positive end result is not just limited to men and their pets. It is something that is done between men and their children as well. To some extent it happens between a man and all types of relationships he has.

I remember that when I was a child, my grandpa was the number one man in my life that would do these kinds of things to me. When my family was visiting my grandparents, if I ventured too close to the couch, where my grandpa was sitting, he'd grab me and with one of his hands hold both of my hands together and with the other tickle me till I was able squirm away (or perhaps till he let me go while letting me think that I got away). And although I have no memory of it, one of the better pictures of my childhood that exemplifies the relationship I had with my grandpa, is of me as a small child, in my underwear (I assume that's what I thought fighters wore because of pro wrestling) with my hands up and shoulders forward, wearing a pair of cheap boxing gloves and taking a swing at my grandpa who was standing in front of me with a big grin on his face, holding his hands up for me to hit like a boxing trainer.

The reason that this kind of teasing/tickling/messing with/boxing/wrestling behaviour is so powerful is because it sends two messages much more definitively than words ever could. First says that I (the teaser) am bigger, better, smarter, and stronger than you. This does not leave tons of room for the child or animal or whatever to feel very entitled and special. It destroys the unearned kind of self esteem or self worth that is so prevalent among kids raised in broken homes and by single mothers. But the other thing that it says is that I (again the teaser) both like and love you. This has the effect of destroying insecurity and self doubt.

Ultimately, one of the lessons taken from the book of the Song of Solomon is that the best way to develop a person is not to use the stick when they are bad and the carrot when then are good, but instead is to delight in them. And one of the ways that men delight in those around them is by teasing. With kids it might be seeing how outrageous a lie you can get them to believe. With cat's it might be seeing how high you can make them jump by startling them. With dogs it may be hanging on to the ball when you make the throwing motion. With your girlfriend/wife it might be dumping green goo on them. For you step mom it might be (as my friend Gordy did) pretending to be your wife on instant messenger and saying that “Mom, I don't know what to do. Gordy came home and peed on the floor and then looked himself in the bathroom and won't come out”. As long as these are done in love, they are greatly beneficial to both the person teasing and being teased, and they are a mark of a good man acting as God designed him to.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A retarded statement

Something I've been hearing and reading a lot lately is the statement “I don't believe in divorce.” People don't say that they don't believe in murder, or theft, or rape. And with good reason. That reason being that those things exist whether you believe in them or not. Murderers, thieves, and rapists are not like Tinkerbell. They don't require your belief to exist. They don't go away if you merely fail to stand by and clap your hands. In the same way, no judge in a divorce hearing is going to ask you whether or not you believe in divorce. That is not currently a part of family law.

So believe in the immorality of divorce all you want, but act in accordance with the knowledge that it does exist and it can happen whether you want it to or not.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One step removed

The social rules that apply in real life do not apply exactly the same in fiction as portrayed on either TV or in movies, nor do the social rules that do apply TV and movies apply exactly the same in real life. There is a relationship there, but it is not 1 to 1. This is pretty obvious when it comes to comedy. Take this snl sketch for example.

This sketch is funny to the viewing audience precisely because it is not funny to the fictional characters portrayed. If you imagine the sketch being preformed differently, where Chris Farley is clearly being sarcastic in his rage, and everyone around him is having a good time watching the performance, then you'll see that if it was done that way it would not be that funny to the viewing audience. And, of course, if you were actually in a restaurant and unruly customer both savagely beat, and was savagely beaten by the staff, you (hopefully) would not look on with belly laughs. If on the other hand you were actually at that restaurant, at Chris Farley's table, and you saw him reach with feinted anger, you probably would be amused.

In both amusing cases (fainted anger in real life and real anger in a sketch) what is funny is a horrible act that is one step removed from reality. In real life it's removed by sarcasm, and in the sketch is removed by fiction. If you remove it by two steps (an actor pretending to pretend to be angry), it's not funny, and if it's completely real, its also not funny. Of course there is more going on than just something horrible being one step removed from reality (Schindler's List is not a comedy), but you get the point.

What made me think of this was Keoni Galt's link to Why I stopped Watching “The Big Bang Theory” AndWhy You Should Too. And although I certainly agree with Galt's main point about the problems with the underlying narratives as they relate to how men and women are supposed to interact, I just don't have a problem things like actors being rude and inconsiderate. In practice I don't think that 
If you watch Sheldon too much, you will find yourself (either outloud or in your inner monologue) correcting people for the most inane things.
is any more true than watching Chris Farley in the following will start making me yell “You stupid bitch” at women I hardly know on a regular basis.

Not all of the one off relationships are so simple though. Some can be quite subtle and hard to recognize. So anything you see on TV, take with a grain of salt. For example many actions that are seen as being sweeping romantic gestures on film, would be off puttingly desperate in real life.     

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A manosphere myth

There as a meme in the manosphere about women in the workforce, that based on personal observation, I believe to be wrong. That is the meme that women entering the workforce has, or was intended to reduce the cost of labor. If that was the intent, than the elites who pushed for it have done a remarkably bad job, as the cost of labor in the U.S.A. has not exactly gone down sense the 1920's. When you take in all the factors such as minimum wage, unions, and regulations, it's costing employers more and more to have employees. 

But besides the fact that the cost of labor has not gone down with women in the workforce, if you look at what kind of work women go into you'll see that with a few exceptions, when it comes to actual labor the supply of potential employees does not go up. Jobs like construction, welding, concrete cutting, mining, smelting, or any number of similar blue collar professions, are predominantly done by men.

If you look at the kinds of jobs that women are taking, barring medicine and education, you'll notice that they are almost all in regulatory roles. They work in the DMV, human resource departments, and in law. So the entrance of women into the workforce has not brought down the cost of labor, it has brought down the cost of regulation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Automatic Social Proof

The idea of social proof is that someone can be in a state where their actions are generally considered to be correct or good. The way their behaviour is evaluated is not by actually weighing their individual actions. Their actions are considered good because of who is doing them. The person doing them has social proof so therefore whatever they do is viewed in a positive light.

Normally getting social proof is a process. You can do it somewhat quickly by working a room. Make sure that people see you interacting with other people where you're all smiling and laughing and they'll think that you are a fun guy, and therefore whatever you do must be fun. After all, you're a fun guy. A good wing man can help with this as well, as they can, with their interactions, show you both respect and amusement.

However, there are some situations where you can have pretty strong social proof simply by being alive. The best example of this happened to me while I was in college. The dorms were set up so that you always had people from all grades there. It was not like some colleges that have the freshman dorm and the sophomore dorm and so on. For us everyone was mixed in together, so every year you had a batch of seniors and juniors who would either graduate or move to an apartment, and you had a new group of freshmen coming in. And every year the upper class students had pretty near 100% social proof when interacting with the freshmen for 1 whole semester. After that time they'd start to figure things out and those of them who where more socially savvy would get a place in the social hierarchy that was higher than many of the upper class. But for that first semester the sophomores, juniors, and seniors could do no wrong in the freshman’s eyes.

It was remarkable because some of the most socially inept people I have ever met, I met in college. I knew guys with such a bad sense of humour that no joke, no matter how funny, would be amusing when they told it. And on top of that the jokes that they told were terrible. But for that first semester, they could send the frosh rolling in the isles. The reason for this is that most of the students came from out of state and generally didn't know anyone, so they would be pretty desperate for acceptance and approval. So if some one told a bad joke, they'd laugh. If someone made an absurd, stupid statement they would accept it as wise. And of course upper class men dating the incoming freshmen was so common it was a cliche. Then that magic semester would wear off (and by magic I mean that the normal rules did not apply, the frosh were actually annoying as hell before they stopped all the damn approval seeking) and things would get back to normal.

So if you are trying to start using game and improve your sociosexual rank, it couldn't hurt to seek these situations out. Go places were your approval automatically means more than other people's, ride the wave, and see if when everything levels out if you can stay on top. Staying on top is much easier than climbing there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Women's Rights

The answer is clear. The government needs to pass more laws to make men less happy until we finally have equality.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ann Coulter shows why she's no longer a top thinker on the right

In her latest column Ann Coulter asks why not Romney. We are told that he's not a politician. No really, he's an outsider. Also, not only is he pro-life, he's deeply pro-life. Sure he switched positions right when he started campaigning for president, but he's a Washington outsider so we'd be fools not to believe him. He's great on immigration as recorded by his tenure in a state where immigrants were just pouring in. Despite the fact that in Massachusetts as governor he passed the bill that was the model for Obamacare, when he was not in political office and the only thing on the line was public perception, he stood strong, pushing for conservative alternatives to what was being passed in Congress.

After establishing his conservative bonafides, Ann goes on to tell us that Romney is the anti-establishment candidate. The establishment as defined by Ann is Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Sarah Palin. On the other hand, Christine O' Donnell (boy I remember how the establishment of conservative talk radio hated her) supports Romney. But of course we are not to take simply being anti-establishment as meaning anything as he who must not be named (seriously she mentions basically every candidate serious or not, but never Ron Paul other than with some vague “loose canon” reference) is certainly not to be considered.

Then in her conclusion she makes the very unfortunate comparison between conservatives that oppose Romney to liberals pushing for green jobs. This was a bad choice because Romney is a AGW nut. Oh sure there has been rampant fraud, the leaders of the movement have to constantly change their story when individual pieces of evidence such as the Himalayan Glaciers melting turn out to be false, and lets not forget that NASA has come out and said that there has been no warming in the last 15 years. But 'ol Romney knows better.

Pile on top of all this that Romney supported the wall street bail out, and is himself a made man from the financial sector, and you have a candidate who is simply not conservative. It does not matter who does and does not support him.

In showing the tremendous amounts of historical revision that had gone on with Joseph McCarthy in her book Treason, Ann Coulter gave me one of my first red pill like experiences. Then in her later books she also changed the perception of single mothers from heroes to villains, decried the political use of victims as spokes men (or more often women), and more. So it is sad for me to see how far she has fallen in writing this kind of drivel now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thinking in formulas

All of us think in formulas to some degree or another. There are different terms for it in different fields. In politics the formulas are called narratives. You have the left leaning narrative that says that if business is unregulated it will do evil things to hurt people. You have the right wing narrative that the free market can solve basically anything. These are basically just formulas that replace thinking. Business = greedy/evil. Free markets = everybody benefits.

In life style choices, the formulas are called scripts. One such script is the main one taught to our youth, which is that if you work hard in school and go to college and you will get a good job. In the alt-right sphere the script goes more like this: quite your job in the corporate prison, become self employed, and you can have more wealth freedom and happiness while you travel around the world.

To some extent I believe that formulas are necessary because to think through everything and question everything simply takes more brain power than most of us have. And there are some formulas that are pretty good and serve the people who use them well. For example Vox Day has the formula that if a scientist comes on the news and presents scientific conclusions without showing the science but instead relies on their authority as a scientist that you can conclude that their claims are false. That is how he reconsigned early on that global warming was a farce. The formula I used was that any scientific claims that are used to back radical liberal agendas are probably false.

The down side is pretty obvious. A lot of formulas out there that people commonly use are not only wrong, but very, very wrong. But even worse there are a lot of formulas out there that are right 90% of the time. One such formula that I have, that recently lead me astray, was the idea that liberal protests are just wrong, only existing because it is necessary to substitute group think for actual thought to reach their absurd conclusions. I'm not alone in having this formula, but recently in the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it was wrong. The fact of the matter is that the anger directed at Wall Street is justified. Thanks to the alt-right blog sphere I did catch on pretty quickly, but I know lots of people who have not. It was actually kind of funny to hear Sean Hannity interview some of the protestors. There was one where the protestor kept listing grievances and Sean kept saying that he agreed with that, but it didn't matter he kept having to try and twist it because the crowd as a whole was not protesting Obama.

The point is that even though some formulas can be good, you always have to recognize them for what they are not get attached to them, because chances are that sometime one of your formulas is going to be wrong, and if you are not able to let go of your formula driven conclusion you'll be a fool.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The problem with Ron Paul

Most commentaries that I read, I read because they either give me new information, because they put some new spin on something that I find interesting, or because they do a better job then me articulating what I already believe. There are a few, however, that will actually change me by reshaping the way that I think about the world. One of these that is fairly well know in the manosphere is Vox Day. Another who is probably less read is Alan Keyes.

Back during the run up to the 2008 presidential election, I used to find myself in the camp of thinking that of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, etc, I had to choose which one was the best because these were the only men that had any chance of being elected. I recognized that non of them particularly represented my values that well, but of course they were better than Obama, Hillary, or John Edwards.

Alan Keyes, in a wnd commentary, made the very good point that as a Christian, for me to think this way was an insult to God. As a follower of the One who spoke the Universe into existence, there is never a time when I should out of necessity compromise with evil. God has the ability to elect whoever He wants. He is, in fact, more powerful than the latest polling data.

This election I've learned my lesson, and I have not even considered voting for anyone except for Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and very early on Herman Cain who was largely an unknown at the time.

Now only Ron Paul remains in the race, and despite my desire to like him as a candidate, there's a fatal flaw with him too. As pointed out by Alan Keyes in his latest blogpost, Ron Paul supports a States right to murder children (I find that substituting the definition of the word abortion for the word itself very quickly resolves all the moral quandaries surrounding it). He does this in spite of the fact that he recognizes the humanity of an unborn child, and that he supports the enforcement of the Constitution, which says that “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. This means that if an unborn child is a person, they must be sentenced to death in a court of law before the abortion can be preformed. And beyond that, even if it were not the law as it is currently written down, supporting the right of a state to murder children is abhorrent.

For this reason I find myself unable to vote for Ron Paul either in the primary or general election.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why I believe in God

When I was in college, there was time where a missionary to a Muslim country (I forget which one) came and spoke to my floor. It was a fairly informal event. It mostly involved us sitting around in one of the suites and talking, rather than an actual lecture. I was there because I've always found Islam to be fascinating on a interpersonal level as its followers are generally more willing to die for their beliefs than any others. When I asked what causes their beliefs to run so deep he responded by asking me why I believed what I do. Before a segue into my answer, I'll say that eventually he said that very devout Muslims will get together and work themselves up about their beliefs, and basically it is very powerful group think that drives them.

But as for my answer, it was an interesting question because mostly when thinking about why I believe what I believe I'd thought of it in terms of apologetic arguments. However, a belief on those types of arguments is really only going to run so deep. So why do I personally believe in the God of the Bible, regardless of what anyone else might think or say? It is absolutely not because the the 2nd law of Thermodynamics says that the universe must have been created. Arguments like that could never lead me to a belief so strong that I would be willing to die for it. The real reasons that I believe what I believe almost exclusively come from experiential knowledge.

The reason that I had not thought through my beliefs from this perspective is because though these reasons for my belief hold a lot of weight for me they do not hold a lot of weight for anyone else. But the fact that they might not be persuasive does not mean that they are not worth sharing. So here is why I believe in the God of the Bible.

The number one reason is that I know God. I talk to Him, and some times He talks back. I experience His presence on a somewhat regular basis. And for these reason I believe that I know God.

So what do I mean specifically when I say I experience His presence? It's hard to explain as it is a unique experience for me. One way that I've heard it put is that it feels like the room is full of warm jello, and I can somewhat relate to that. You could also say that it is somewhat like being on drugs. I have not done any recreational drugs, but I have been on opiate based pain killers. The neat thing about those for me is that although they don't deaden the pain at all, they alter my mood in such a way that I simply don't care. When on those pills (I forget which one it was exactly) I was unable to feel any stress, and just in general felt really good, and more than a little drowsy. It's also somewhat like they way I feel after a morning run and a cup of coffee. Runners high mixed with caffeine makes me feel very good, and active and ready to take on whatever the work day may throw at me.

Experiencing God's presence is somewhat like those things but not the same. It also involves feelings of both intense longing and fulfillment at the same time. When singing the worship song with the chorus “Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere” I can truly sing the lines with complete sincerity when experiencing God's presence.

I'm sure that someone of an Atheist mind set would read this and simply think that I'm imparting meaning to some sort of chemical reaction going on in my body. And although this is possible, it does not a good fit for the facts. The fact is that the other feelings that I have described come from predictable things, such as running, or taking drugs. But the presence of God has come to me when I'm active, meditating, tired, wide awake, in groups, or by myself, and ultimately I think you would have a pretty hard time explaining what triggered this chemical response in every single situation.

So then what do I mean when I say that God speaks to me? Me speaking to Him is no great mystery, it's just me thinking thoughts that I intend to be heard, or literally speaking out loud with the faith that God hears me. But what of God speaking to me? There are two ways God speaks to me. One is directly to my mind, and the other is through other people. God speaking directly to my mind is tricky because there is a constant conversation going on up there that happens on and between multiple layers of consciousness. So how do I know if a thought came from God or from my subconscious? Or do I even know for sure. Sometimes I just get an impression, not even words, that may or may not be from God. It's tricky for me if I am being honest. Some of the reasons that I believe that I get thought from God is that the thoughts tend to be startling. It's similar to an epiphany, but distinctly feels as though it has not come from my own mind. I admit that neither of these are daily, or even weekly events in my life, but they do happen.

When God speaks to me through other people it is almost always after being prayed for. After being prayed for, the person praying at times has told me that they felt God wanted them to say something to me. Sometimes what follows does nothing for me and leaves me wondering if they really heard something from God or not. But there have been other times where what the person said has had a similar effect on me as if I had just been hit by a truck. And this has come from people who I know, who are not professional motivational speakers or anything like that.

As with the other things, if you come at this from an atheist perspective, you certainly could explain this all away. It's possible that I'm placing undue importance on things people say due to the circumstances, and although I've had people give messages from God about things that I had not asked them to pray for, their words have been generic enough that you could attribute them to an extremely well done cold read. I don't think that this is the best explanation though, because the people doing this are not pro's, and at times are doing things in a way that are too risky. For example there was one time where I was at a conference, and during the worship portion, a person came up onto the balcony and specifically walked up to me through a crowd of people and asked if he could pray for me without hearing any prayer request. I said yes, and after he was done praying he told me that I needed to trust God about where I was. He said that God was saying that He had already affirmed that where I was was where He wanted me to be and that I needed to have faith and trust Him instead of perpetually doubting and asking. This had a very strong effect on me. I was also the only person that this guy prayed for on the balcony of that church. So could this have been done with a cold read? Maybe, the message was fairly generic and was one that could apply to many young Christians. But the fact is that this guy came right to me unasked and gave me a message that would not have applied to me for the rest of my time at college.

The final reason that I believe in God is because of the supernatural. There have been several events that I have been to where I supernatural events took place. Some of them I only observed in others, some I didn't personally observe things but heard things from other people there who I knew, and in one case I experienced a small supernatural event myself. I come from a more charismatic background within the church and there have been times when I've seen things that are just weird. For example, outside of church events I have never seen something like 30% of a crowd effected so that they are unable to stand or sit up right, are actually lying on the ground in most cases, and are uncontrollably laughing or crying perpetually for periods of ½ hour to 1 hour. I also know a lot of people who have been to such events that have found them very off putting, but either way this does not seem natural. Then there was one multi-night event I was at but I missed one night. One of the other people in our group came back to the hotel and said that there were people in the isles that could not walk correctly. They appeared to be walking against oncoming water as they approached the stage. These events always correlate with a very strong sense of the presence of God. Lastly there was an event that I was at where there were lots of people falling on the floor laughing or weeping. I asked one of the people with the conference to pray for me, and while he was praying for me I felt a sharp push to my chest. It was not the guy praying because his hand was on my head, I had my eyes open, and although I was certainly pushed backwards, I could not tell you where exactly I was pushed from other than that it was in the chest region. If it had been the guy praying or someone else I would have felt their hands on me, but I didn't feel any hands. After being pushed I stumbled backwards. The man praying told me to not do that be to allow myself to fall. There was another person behind me to catch me. Sure enough it happened a second time, and this time I didn't step backwards to keep upright but let myself fall.

My sister had the same thing happen to her, with the exception that when I was on the ground I stayed there till I no longer felt that God was doing something, but could have gotten up any time I wanted. My sister on the other hand said that she felt a great weight on her and could not get up. And also if I recall correctly she cried while I was not overcome with either tears or laughter.

This is why I believe in God. The supernatural argument might seem like it should be the most persuasive, but for me it is not. For me it is in feeling the presence of God that most moves me. And for that reason, because through His presence I know Him, my faith in God will not be shaken.