Self Improvement Advice Is A Scam

A bizarre obsession, somewhat peculiar to N.Americans, is the idea that self-improvement can help them magically change their lives for the better. While I do not deny that stopping overtly self-destructive behavior is a good idea, the vast majority of such advice is a victim blaming/shaming scam.

Let me explain with a few examples-

1. Financial planners and other wealth management- types want to advise you about saving/investing money. This is somehow supposed to help you ‘retire’ and live well in your ‘golden years’.

While I could write a few books about this particular strain of insanity, ask yourself a few questions-

How many of you earn enough to be able to save a worthwhile amount of money? Can you really cut your expenses to the extent that these scumbags suggest? How will that affect your current lifestyle? Can these cocksuckers promise that your investments will perform as predicted? Can they protect you from the effect of macro-economic phenomena like inflation, currency devaluation? Are your ‘golden years’ going to be golden?

Remember that these scumbags make money “managing” your investments whether you make or lose money on them.

2. You may have heard about people who will teach you how to pick up women.

Here is my question.. Other than non-neediness, some aggressiveness, a decent wardrobe and talking to lots of women- does anything else really help? Sure.. going to the gym might improve your physical condition, but shouldn’t you be doing that for yourself anyway?

Unless you are famous, very rich or infamous your conversion rate for women is going to be pretty low- like 5%. Now that is better than 0%, but still not quite what you have been implicitly promised. To put it another way, most advice on how to pick-up women is worthless and perpetuates a blame-the-victim mentality. What is the point in picking up women if the effort put into it does not justify the returns.

If you want sex with a hot chick, why not just buy it by the hour? Will any woman who looks down upon you escort use actually offer you sex? What about the guys who look down upon your escort use.. are they helping you get desirable women? If not, do their opinions matter?

3. You may have read books about how to lose weight.

How many of these books and speakers promote ideas based on counterproductive concepts like lowering fat intake, controlling calorie intake and exercising? Can you really reduce caloric and fat intake over a long period of time without ‘failing’ those diets and gaining more weight than you lost? Does exercise really help you lose weight? Ever considered that those diets are meant to be impractical and fail so that you can be blamed for the failure, rather than the now rich promoter of bullshit.

When is the last time you have seen low-fat/high carb eating cultures not get fat? Isn’t it odd that those who eat lots of meat and fat, in combination with low carb intake don’t put on weight easily. So why do so-called ‘experts’ keep on promoting what is objectively untrue?

4. Marriage and relationship advice is also a big scam.

Ask yourself.. If you require a series of ‘professionals’ to help you navigate a personal relationship- is that relationship even worth it? If you did not require ‘professional’ advice when you were dating and fucking that person in the beginning of the relationship, why now? What has changed? Has she become more beautiful, more desirable, more sexy, a better human being???

If not, then why are you trying to make things work? Since when did trying to save the rotting corpse of a relationship become a worthwhile endeavour? Even if you can save it for the time being, are you not putting more effort towards an inferior replica of the original? Is living like a slave in your own house worth it?

5. Health advice is scam ridden.

Hardly a day goes by without somebody publicizing some bullshit/fraudulent study that allegedly shows some correlation between something and your health. While obvious things such as poverty, heavy smoking, working in hazardous industries etc do have a negative impact on health- many others such as eating enough vegetables, fruits, coffee/tea intake and most supplements have no measurable impact in populations. That is not to say that all supplements are useless because some have a worthwhile effect (glucosamine, aspartate) and some vitamins (Vitamin D) do actually reduce incidence of certain diseases.

It is also worth remembering that most advice dispensed by doctors is meant to enrich them or promote their dogma rather than benefit the patient. What about antidepressants for mild reactive depression, antipsychotics for ‘hyperactive’ kids, cholesterol lowering drugs other than statins, prostate surgery for slow-growing prostate cancer in old men etc? In each case these worthless to harmful treatments make billions of dollars in profit.

The common theme running through all of the examples listed in this article can be summed up as-

Self-anointed ‘experts’ use their perceived authority to promote harmful or useless ideas with the intention of extracting rent from average people under the guise of helping them.

Comments?

  1. Mr. Stricter
    July 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    As usual I mostly agree. However quite a few people I know have had good lifelong results with a lower carb diet and regular exercise. Exercise will build muscle and while you weigh more, muscle weight is attractive, healthier and useful. In general regular workouts and a sound diet seem to work well. I am unsure on the vitamin issue so I’ll punt on that.

    As for relationships, correct but there is a hitch, if society no longer has any incentive for marriage and child rearing it will no longer be able to sustain itself to pay for a welfare system or anything else. No one will be around to do the jobs needed or to take the fiat money . On top of that the most CONservative members will breed the most and the LIEberal society will get replaced.

    Beyond that, pretty much yeah

    • Ben
      August 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Single people pay taxes and contribute to the welfare system.

      No one should be rearing their children. Try raising them, they are not livestock.

      Marriage is a relatively modern event in human relationships. It’s a form of transferring ownership and continues the subjugation of women. Think about what marriage used to mean for a women: no voting rights, loss of family name, no property rights.

      All of this is dynamic. Society comes up with ways of incorporating these changes. Just because things aren’t like the good ole days (another sorry misconception of the conservative) it doesn’t meant the world is coming to an end.

  2. demirogue
    July 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Fuck yeah it is. Self improvement is nothing more than modern day snake oil remedies peddled by high rise intellectuals with no clue of the real world. And in many cases they do have hidden agendas as you mention.

    Speaking of diets, I lost 80 pounds. Didn’t do it by reading a book but by cutting down the fat, eating less at one sitting but more times a day, and getting off my ass. And the best thing anyone can do while on a diet is splurge once a week. That isn’t an excuse to pig out by the way. All it means is that you allow yourself a burger or a few slices of pizza or fries or whatever as a reward for dieting. But most important is so you don’t resent dieting and develop cravings so much that you go on a binge and eventually go off the diet.

    I’ve kept the weight off now for 4 years. And I’m almost 40.

  3. Commander Shepard
    July 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I’m gonna have to disagree about your commentary on the game community. The evolutionary psychology behind their analysis is quite a departure from the nonsense we get from every other source. You could dismiss it as mental masturbation but it’s not. It sets the proper framework for a man to better understand women.

    Typically the low 5-10% success rate with women depends on cold approaches.Today’s hook up culture depends on proximity and social circle. Women aren’t comfortable with meeting guys through bars or clubs. You gotta meet women through work, school, or friends. You can have a pretty decent lay rate if you know how to go about it. Numbers wise you’ll have fewer chances through social circle but when you do get chances they’ll likely lead to sex.

  4. demirogue
    July 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Here’s one other thing to think about. My father is almost 80, a heavy smoker since his childhood, drinks coffee like it’s water, is a consumer of red meat on an almost daily basis and loves salt like no other. He suffered a minor stroke a few years ago and last year had to have a stent put in his heart. That’s it.

    Listening to all this trash in media though one would think he should already by dead. Yet he still drives and they renewed his license for 4 years. Maybe genetics do play more of a determining factor than anything else. Who knows, but I’ve also known plenty of the WWII generation that lived to be in their 80’s with similar lifestyles and died of old age. Now though I know plenty of baby boomers and even younger who are suffering from illnesses such as Lou Gehrig’s, MS, and all sorts of weird cancers including of the tongue. It’s weird how people are getting all these illnesses and IMO it can’t be squarely pegged on their lifestyle alone but other factors in their overall environment as well. We are simply chemicalizing ourselves to death.

  5. July 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Diablo—

    as far as financial planning–well, they used to say that owning a home was an investment–I’m sure you’d recommend renting. So, the economy is in free fall and there are no “sure” things…..

    as far as PUA guru’s–I’ve said it many times, but what I’ve read looks like badly written sales manuals. ie–do more cold approaches/make more sales calls. Work on your game/work on your pitch and product knowledge. Put yourself in better venues to meet women/make calls in territories your competitors are not thinking of….

    Strange how some guys seem to think of Game the way a Jedi thinks of the force or a feminist thinks of patriarchy. It’s kind of creepy…..

    as far as prostitutes, some guys want validation from the women they are sleeping with that they are “likeable.” So some find “paying for it” gross even though you are right to mention that even an investment in time, clothing, paying for drinks etc is still a form of “paying for it.” To each his own.

    As far as marriage counselors–they seem like the next step of PUA–that is you seduced the woman-now they will help you “maintain” the relationship. Seems weird that an industry has grown out of rocky marriages… The whole thing seems like a joke when so many end in divorce and most are initiated by the woman. Only if you really want to have children should you think of such a thing and be ready to realize it may not work out. Sort of like someone starting their own business–they are taking on allot of risk. But if it is in their heart and soul it is not my place to tell them not to do it.

    as far as diet, well, interesting things happen when I eat burrito’s 😉
    http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/dont-read-if-easily-grossed-out/

  6. anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 3:18 am

    >> Typically the low 5-10% success rate with women depends on cold approaches. Today’s hook up culture depends on proximity and social circle.

    I agree with this. Even 5-10% is probably over-stated with a cold approach. It can work, but requires huge volume. Not much different than cold calls for a job really. Cold approaches probably lead to less quality females too, same with jobs, so people that do this are going to have to settle for less and try not to be cynical.

  7. July 20, 2011 at 5:34 am

    From what I see, all PUAs are needy.

  8. Mr. Stricter
    July 20, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Nestorius :
    From what I see, all PUAs are needy.

    Most men are needy actually. As soon as the Iron Boot is off, people revert to primates instead of humans. This means only the Alphas and some lucky Betas get sex.

    Its not good for society of course but short of 24-7 social and legal pressure its inevitable. AD’s escort solution works for a few people but its only a stop gap on a broader scale.

    Ideally we need to isolate the genetics of Alpha and either uplift everyone to Alpha (this would make women very happy at the cost of destabilizing human society) or better make everyone Beta, which would slow society down a lot and make women unhappy

    • P Ray
      April 13, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Ideally we need to isolate the genetics of Alpha and either uplift everyone to Alpha (this would make women very happy at the cost of destabilizing human society)

      Uplifting everyone to Alpha would actually make almost every woman UNHAPPY …
      as individually they wouldn’t be able to look down at their friends’ mate choices.
      Women want to be with the Alpha BOTH for his rarity factor and for how jealous they make other women feel.
      There is also another reason why women treat Alphas very well and rarely complain about them to other women …
      because women are attracted to drama,
      other women will be attracted to “tame the badboy”.
      Women ignore the men they don’t like … but rarely complain about the men they DO like, as that creates competition from other women.

  9. AnonymousDragon
    July 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I would put the conversation rate for cold approaches at 1 in 100 or 150, assuming she is of quality.

  10. Ben
    August 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Also, what of the “if you can dream it, you can be it” nonsense that piped into our culture by corporate sponsors and the few people who are lucky enough to have “made it”?

    The athletes, actors and sportsman who are .0001% of the world claiming that with hard work and never giving up, they achieved success. Erm no, its natural talent, being found and then a shitload of money and support that makes you a success asshole. Tell the kid currently being shelled in some shit hole eastern block ghetto that if he dreams ir, he can be it!! If he doesn’t getting his fucking legs blown off first off course. Same goes for the women getting raped and infected with HIV in Africa.

    Sorry, the world isn’t a fuzzy place of dreams.

    • P Ray
      April 13, 2015 at 7:58 am

      I’m pretty sure the woman getting raped and infected with HIV in Africa, either wouldn’t be able to afford testing to know she has the condition … or will pass it on until declining health makes it impossible for her to ignore a checkup.
      It’s all very well and good to talk about the “nasty men with HIV infecting women”,
      but there is a lot of silence about “women have sex more than men, with more partners, therefore are probably more significant vectors for HIV” …
      because that would mean a cut in funding from western feminist-led governments.

      • joesantus
        April 13, 2015 at 9:03 am

        “…but there is a lot of silence about “women have sex more than men, with more partners, therefore are probably more significant vectors for HIV” …

        BINGO again, P Ray.

        Even a “double standard” depends on the eyes of the beholder, doesn’t it?

    • joesantus
      April 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

      “Also, what of the “if you can dream it, you can be it” nonsense that piped into our culture by corporate sponsors and the few people who are lucky enough to have “made it”?
      The athletes, actors and sportsman who are .0001% of the world claiming that with hard work and never giving up, they achieved success….”

      Agreed. Bodybuilding offers a clear example. As a 59-year-old who’s been a lifelong-drug-free bodybuilder since age sixteen, I (along with any other adult male who’s been in weight training and bodybuilding more than four or five years) guffaw when we hear the “it’s all a matter of hard work and not giving up”.

      Bodybuilding success is primarily GENETICS — sure, without hard work and not giving up, no one can maximize his genetic potential; but, unless a guy is born with the right genetics (including genetics that respond well to steroids, if professional competition is his goal) for muscle growth and body symmetry and proportion, then even twenty years of hard work and not giving up won’t produce magazine-cover-level success. Hard work and perseverance only succeed if applied to a foundation of genetic talent.

      The societal lie is probably needful to keep the gears of the system cranking. If everyone was told the truth — that, only a tiny fraction are born with what it takes to “succeed” , and that, while hard work and perseverance are necessary, they don’t guarantee success — then many if not most might simply say “fuck it” and walk away, leaving the gears corporations depend upon to earn their billions to slow and halt.

      • joesantus
        April 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

        …and, I need to add, the societal lie provides a hope that many if not most people WANT and probably need. “Hope” is what keeps most people striving to survive. I don’t expect most people’s pysches can cope with a “life is not only ultimately meaningless but likely temporally hopeless” perspective.

  11. April 14, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Being delusional is , oddly enough, quite adaptive in many ways. Seeing things as they really are is often not good for one’s “mental health”; also employers seem to want people who will not only do as they are told but smile as they get assraped …

    • P Ray
      April 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

      As someone on cracked.com said,
      The reality of work, is that “slavery is the gold standard”.
      Smile as they get assraped AND be a willing scapegoat for the superior’s stupidity.

      I saw it and got out, with a lovely severance package that I put together myself. And that is still paying off years later 🙂

  1. January 12, 2012 at 2:00 am
  2. April 13, 2015 at 5:28 am

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