Category Archives: The Matrix

More on the Red Pill

“…And literature became an arsenal open to all.” Alexis de Tocqueville

Over beers in the (rare) SF sun, a reader and friend asked what the Red Pill was. Ummm, dude bro, like, didn’t you see the movie The Matrix? A really bad movie series but the Red Pill/Blue Pill metaphor is useful.

Let’s go straight to the source of all knowledge and truth in the Universe. That being wiki:

“The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are pop culture symbols representing the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).”

Before you, dude bro reader, decide to pop this red pill…a foretaste:

Paradox: ­Perplexing but powerful. How can being absent increase your presence? How can allowing others to make fun of you make others take you more seriously? Jesus and Nietzsche in the same playbook? Wait, what? (for the heathen bro among us, Jesus is a major religious figure who advocates love over law, and has 1B followers worldwide. for the christian bros among us, Nietzsche is a dead German philosopher who explored man’s dark side, proclaimed that “God is dead” and is universally hated by most Christians – a paradox in itself given Christianity’s emphasis on love).

Offense: ­ Play it, don’t take it. Be willing to be completely offended. If you aren’t willing to be challenged at every level, you should go back to playing your X­box right now and prepare for a pitiful life of cube­boredome. If either Jesus or Nietzsche offend you, you offend too easily and you are probably on the wrong blog.

Masculinity: Your friend. Despite what HR and society may tell you, it’s OK to be a man and it’s damn awesome. Healthy Masculinity can take a career, and more importantly, a team, to a championship.

Jesus and Nietzsche both have some good stuff to say about blissful ignorance versus painful truth, along with a host of other philosophers (Solomon, Lao Tzu, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates), poets (Rumi, Robert Bly, Keats, Frost), warriors (Patton, Bradley, Sun Tzu, Rommel, Ghengis Khan, Lawrence of Arabia), theologians (CS Lewis, Augustine, a few popes, the Buddha, the Dalai Lama), writers (Hemingway, Patrick O’Bryant, Thoreau, Melville), politicians (Churchill, Charlie Wilson), plus mythology (Greek, Norse, Celtic), religion (nearly all of them), mysticism (but no cheesy New Age BS spirituality), neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and maybe a few business leadership books.

Fear not, noobs, wannabes, players, and haters, I will package the above into blog-sized bites for you. Your job is to merely read and reflect, maybe over lunch, in your cube, in between checking fantasy football stats and your profile, while you nom a five dollar foot long.

Peace out, homies.

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Social Dynamics – Pop the Red Pill and See the Matrix?

Cash is purported to rule everything around us – Wu Tang Clan’s CREAM principle – dolla dolla bill y’all.   Actually cash doesn’t rule over all – social dynamics rules everything.  That includes who gets the cash, the power, and the girl(s);  note the three usually go together.

This is good news and bad news.

Bad news, because social dynamics befuddle the average benchwarmer.

Good news, because social dynamics, once understood, can be managed, manipulated, and maximized by the skillful player.

The Social Matrix integrates every aspect of human existence to determine winners and losers.  This includes social IQ, emotional IQ, charm, attraction, image management, relationship building, strategy, humility, and self-awareness.

Natural Players often excel in charm and attraction.  These are obviously their strengths.  Over-reliance on these things is their weakness – eventually undermining their impact.

Wannabe Players can make varsity.  But only if they humbly study, and then apply.  Strength and courage are required to persevere through trial and error. Gaining mastery across all social disciplines equips the Wannabe to eventually overtake the Naturals.

The humanities and social sciences can do the “coaching up.”  Philosophy, mythology, religion provide the foundation.  Anthropology, sociology, psychology, poly sci, and literature provide the advanced techniques.  Neuroscience and physiology also come into play.

So if Social Dynamics is the game, what’s the scoreboard?  Social Status.

Every interaction involving two or more has a ranking among the players.  This is completely fluid, situationally.  A well timed joke, a pair of cowboy boots, the right body language, tone, and eye contact, a push and a pull, combined with deep industry knowledge and preparation can enable a junior analyst, sitting in the right seat, to steal the situational Alpha rank from a CEO.

In other words, Frame Control.  Who controls the Frame, controls everything.  More on Frames later.

But dare you take the Red Pill?  Do you want to see the matrix?  Think carefully.  Neurosis and semi-comfort from merely playing the Game and a little bit of the Game within the Game, Politics, might actually be easier.

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