Fighting with Monsters and Staring into the Abyss

‘He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee” Nietzsche

I’m not sure what Nietzsche meant by this quote, and while interesting to find out, is not the point of this post. I remember feeling a quiet stillness when reading it for the first time, and since then, it’s always been in the back of my mind. It’s a rare piece of language that I can read many times over, and still feel puzzled and intrigued by it.

First, let’s break it down. The quote has two parts. The first relates to fighting with monsters, while the second relates to staring into the abyss. Both the first and second contain a reflexive, mirror-like consequence.  I would interpret both as basically meaning the same thing, with the second part emphasizing the first part.

What are Monsters?

I think one of the reasons I find the Nietzsche quote really interesting is because it is true on multiple levels. It is as true for the trivial as it is for the serious. We generally have the tendency to manifest into malicious creatures when presented with a certain set of circumstances. We could call our perception of the set of circumstances the “Monster”.

One set of circumstances could be work, another could be a game, a bad habit, a relationship, or social life. A set of circumstances are external realities that exist independently of us. Our perception of these external realities influences our behaviors.

As you dig deeper, you may be able to uncover the details of each circumstance. The subjective resolution of the image of the Monster varies in size depending on what particular set of circumstances most strongly attracts you. If I have a minor tendency to play a game on my phone every now and then, it’s a minor monster. My perception of this particular circumstance is not very powerful. However, If I am binge drinking all day every day, my perception of drinking is a Major Monster.

So how does the Monster come to exist? This would depend on the interplay between our subjective perception and the external reality. Here are some features of the external reality that would give rise to the Monster.

Here are some characteristics of activities that have the potential to create a Monster.

  1. Attractive Force: Pulls you in
  2. Dangerous: Potential for Future Harm.
  3. Ambiguous: You don’t know what the future carries.
  4. Hunger: Like an organism, the activity lives or dies depending on whether you feed it.
  5. Magnitude: How powerful the activity is. An activity that has the previous 4 features but lacks any real power to affect you can only lead to a Minor Monster.

Seeking the Thrill

Most people have at least tried to seek out thrilling, adrenaline-inducing experiences to some degree. Some have tried and burnt their fingers and never tried again, while others have jumped in head first and experienced it indefinitely, and finally, some people have tried to flirt with these monsters harmlessly at first, but ultimately lost the battle.

There are many possible interpretations for why we almost universally look for Monsters in our lives. Maybe we are evolutionarily wired to look for harmful creatures and try to destroy them. It may be that our tendency to seek out thrilling experiences is only an echo of our ancestors past that manifests in us as deep, subconscious urges.

There are other explanations of course, but the reason why I would tend to go this direction is that we certainly don’t consciously choose to chase Monsters. In other words, if one was being rational, they would never subject themselves to unnecessarily harmful activities. Some people get addicted to jumping off of airplanes or breaking high-speed records on the highway. There is no rational justification for these activities as the risk/reward ratio doesn’t make any sense.

But we tend to do them anyway, because, on a very deep level, we are likely used to associating thrill with triumph. When we successfully hunted or killed dangerous animals in the past, we achieved sustenance, security, and love and admiration from the tribe. If we perceived the act of hunting animals as the only way to survive, our perception of hunting animals developed into a Monster. We became killing machines and eventually directed out power inwards towards fellow human beings.

It might be the case that only after we encountered and slaughtered animals, and developed our fighting power and capacity for harm that we embodied our ideas of the animals we were so fearful of. These same animals killed and threatened our kin and pushed us to seek out ways to become powerful. We manufactured better tools with sharp edges that mimicked the teeth and claws of our enemies. We figured out, on some level, what the requirements for successful killing are, and we accentuated them. These requirements may have been a certain degree of aggression, sharp edges, or speed. We not only imitated animals, we created an exaggerated mirror that we could use to decimate animals, not only through physical tools but through psychological conditioning. We might have turned into an amplified, ruthless version of what threatened our survival.

Perhaps people today have a deep yearning for that feeling and when they can’t find it anywhere, they create it by giving birth to a new Monster.

To recap, life circumstances, in themselves, cannot be Monsters. They are merely life circumstances, and different observers would experience the same set of circumstances differently. The Monster itself depends on the observer or the mind. The real Monster is not just a set of circumstances, it is our perception of that set of circumstances. We perceived the tiger as an imminent threat. That perception itself led us to become more powerful, violent as a response. When we “fight with monsters”, we are only really fighting with our own perceptions of reality.

Whether it’s drinking too much, or smoking too much, or killing too much, or eating too much, or gaming too much, or spending too much time on social media, or being abusive to others, we are experiencing nothing but internal battles. We are only really fighting with ourselves, and depending on what we are fighting for and depending on who we are, we either give rise to Major Monsters or Minor Monsters.

It’s a battle because the counter position always exists. Imagine being addicted to day trading, one part of you wants to get out, while the other wants to stay in. The part of you that wants to stay in no matter what the circumstances gives rise to the Monster. The day trader used the graphs and charts as tools, gets angry and motivates himself like a warrior and perceives the stock market as a fierce tiger. To the day trader, he isn’t the Monster, he’s only trying to take down the Monster to gain the admiration of the herd.

But in reality, the Monster is in his head. A part of him feeds it, while another part destroys that perception, and depending on who wins that battle, the day trader either finds a safe exit or develops his perceptions into a Major Monsters and loses.

 

 

 

 

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A Pending Response to Time

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn

As one stage in life ends and another begins, it is difficult to avoid thinking about time and what it means. Many people seem to be fascinated with the idea that time is relative, some are fascinated with how the concept of time developed, and who invented it, others want to know more about how we can manipulate time itself. While these are all topics worth going into at length, my personal fascination has always been the subjective experience of time.

Time does indeed seem to slow down when you want it to pass and speeds up when you need it to slow down. It’s a reality vs expectation predicament. When you expect the clock to wind down quickly so you can finally open your microwave door, or when you are waiting for a traffic light to turn green, or when you stare intently at the status of your flight, or when you impatiently wait for a boring lecture to end or a boring conversation to halt.

We see the world not as it is, but as we are” Stephen Covey

When we are frustrated, and our state of mind is out of flow, things seem to move slower, less naturally. It’s as if your state of mind has a quirky relationship with time. When things are going well, and you’re engaged and immersed in an activity, thoughts about time remain dormant. When things go badly, and you feel disengaged, time is all you can think about. The reason why I find this relationship so interesting is that it serves a peculiarly useful function.

It ensures that any experience of boredom or anxiety is coupled with a seemingly spontaneous awareness of time. There are two ways of dealing with this truth if it is indeed a truth. Either we embrace boredom as a state of mind and learn to be okay with being bored, or we use our feelings of boredom to spur us on to do something worthwhile.

Option 1: Embracing Boredom

Embracing boredom, and learning how to be disengaged yet satisfied would be a powerful way to protect yourself from the inevitable bouts of boredom you are likely to experience. Having control over boredom would mean having control over your impulses. Thrilling but harmful activities that would all but eliminate boredom would no longer take precedence over what’s important for you to do.

Favorite weapons to combat boredom include but are not limited to gaming, drinking, reading the news, or using social media. The ‘escape’ for me represents the desire to remove oneself from an environment where self-consciousness takes center stage. Self-consciousness is the voice in your head that echoes the feelings, characterizations, and insecurities that you try restlessly to avoid. To embrace boredom, it is imperative then to be at peace with oneself. This surely is a worthwhile and important undertaking, especially in the long run, but it runs counter to how we function. We are more prone to find the short solution and stick to it for as long as possible. Option 2 is a more likely alternative.

Option 2: Boredom as a Cue

If you use boredom as a cue to recognize that what you are doing is unengaging, and to then make an effort to make sure that you fill your time with activities that better engage you, it is likely that no matter what you are doing, you will see better results and feel better about how you’re spending your time. In other words, if instead of treating boredom as an inescapable psychological reality that one should learn to control, you treat boredom the same way you would treat pain, by finding remedies, then you are giving precedence to the external rather than the internal. In option 1, you are favoring the internal battle, and trusting yourself to be able to overcome any form of internal anxiety, time awareness, disengagement by learning to better manage your subjective experience either by adjusting your expectations or being more comfortable with the spontaneity of anxiety-inducing thoughts you regularly encounter when in a state of boredom.

Imagine living somewhere very close to an airport, where an airplane flies over your house at seemingly random times during the way. Every time the airplane flies over, your anxiety levels automatically go up, and you become agitated. Similar to dealing with boredom, and the anxiety or guilt induces, there are two ways of dealing with this situation. The first option would be to get used to it or train yourself to tolerate it better. After say, 100 times, maybe you don’t notice it anymore. The other solution, obviously, is to move. Which one is better?

 

 

Manuevering Through Chaos

Chaos has always been something that interested me, The thing with chaos is that everyone experiences it to different degrees, and everyone responds to it in different ways. My concept of chaos is, of course, relative. I used to think that organization was the remedy of chaos. That if you put things in order, you would free up enough focus for more pertinent things. I believed that being less chaotic meant being more laser focused.

That may not be so true. While being more organized does allow for efficiency, there seems to be another dimension that organization cannot solve. Imagine a large circle, compose of an inner solid circle and an outer circle. The inner circle is the first stage of chaos. Combatting it involves having a schedule, understanding what to prioritize and when, and implementing a system that ensures consistency. And don’t get me wrong, that will get you very far. But the outer layer is peripheral chaos.

Peripheral chaos relates to direction. This is the more serious, yet subtle kind of chaos. You are unlikely to suffer from it in the short run as projects will be completed and stakeholders satisfied. However, the general direction you are taking yourself is unclear. Knowing what to aim for is the logical next step. Of course, what you aim for evolves with time. What you aim for today is not the same as what you are going to aim for tomorrow.

You can then, easily make the argument that it is futile to take your aims very seriously. If you were certain they were going to change, then it would be a waste of time to orient your life in a way that seeks to accommodate an ever-changing destination. For one thing, I do not think this is a powerful argument, and I will explain why I think that is the case. However, I do think it is an objection that ought to be taken very seriously and examined further.

The reason why it’s a bad argument is that the alternative is definite chaos. Going back to the inner circle, if you chose to stop planning because plans generally had the proclivity to change, then you’d never accomplish anything. It’s a minimum pre-requisite to achieving what you seek out to achieve. But consider that the most effective plans are those that are able to accommodate change. In other words, flexible daily plans that allow for a little bit of chaos but still end up accomplishing most of what you had planned to do is superior to both having unflexible plans or no plans at all.

The outer circle then should be tackled in the same way. I disagree with having a definite, definable long-term goal. If you can be that granular with what you want, you wouldn’t know what to do once you’ve achieved it. Your long-term goal, as a matter of fact, should be anything but concrete. Instead, it should be as concrete as possible, but no more. It should be more about lifestyles rather than material things, it should be about your physical health rather than that of numbers on a screen, it should be about a state of mind, rather than a state of power.

You do not have full control of your psychological health or even your physical health. And most people have very little control over the way they live day to day. Those are real challenges, and clearly, the most worthwhile, because absent any of them,  the importance of any other superficial accomplishment would pale in comparison. And yet, most of the focus we have are geared towards achieving things that are farther out of our control, and that, even if we achieve them, will not satisfy our deepest urges.

This, of course, runs counter to the “success” literature that advises people to set fixed goals. I believe this is akin to having fixed daily schedules. It is routinely violated, and incompatible with everyday life.

Similarly, to find the right balance in maneuvering through chaos, I think we should consult ourselves over an extended period of time. If you were asked to articulate your long-term vision today, it would be different from what you wanted 6 months ago, and certainly different from what you will want 6 months from now.

There are obvious reasons of course why that is the case. Your location will drastically have an effect, so will the people you interact with on a daily basis, what you expose yourself to, and how you live. Any change to any of these would expectedly change your general outlook on life.

To constantly beg the question across time, and attempt to coherently articulate it, is critical. You will recognize with time, what the constants are. You will recognize what the variables are. The outer layer of the circle of chaos will become a little more transparent. Beneath it, truths will begin to emerge. Not all truths, of course, because there is a lot more chaos than there are truths. And there is definitely more chaos than there is your personal energy to combat the chaos itself.

But some kind of truth, even if low in resolution, will contribute to learning about higher resolution truths. The only danger to this project emerges when you start to question the notion of truth itself.

 

The Geopolitics of Man – Part 1

Nation states, of course, do not form purposeless alliances. The purpose, itself, can be characterized as the will to survive, or the will to gain power, wealth, and control. It should not be a surprise for us to know that politics is driven by fear and greed. Man is driven by fear and greed. Why should politicians behave any differently? Are they immune to their own nature?

Most fascinating, however, is when the consequences of being greedy and fearful appear on the global stage, in front of the eyes of the world. We all harness those sentiments internally.  The news headlines that characterize how politicians are currently behaving reflect our most intimate inclinations on a mass scale. That’s what is so captivating about it. In the same way that sexual or violent content immediately grabs our attention, so does fear and greed. We understand these things non-verbally. In fact, our understanding of them can be seen as we act them out in our daily lives.

Interestingly, there have been campaigns in the past to outlaw or severely limit any adult content that contains violence or sex. Is it not interesting, then, that there has never been an effort to combat fear and greed? The latter two sentiments can be just as destructive to the human psyche, but the packaging makes all the difference. When you watch the news, you think you are ‘learning’ about the world, are becoming a more informed citizen. Afterall, it should be one’s duty at the end of the day. The worst part is that watching it makes you feel like you have a part of it. It creates the illusion of agency in many, and the idea of ignoring the politics and the fear and the greed diminishes from their sense of agency. And yet, it is not a stretch to stipulate that the avid political follower is no more or less powerful than the carefree citizen who pays no attention to such affairs and does not intend to either.

This brings us to a fundamental point. Politics is entertainment. Watching a political story unfold, understanding the details of the shameful, scandalous acts (Fear) and the triumphs, deals, and victories (Greed) creates quite a powerful narrative. The narrative is this. There is a game being played. This game is bigger than you. It has many players, and the mechanics and dynamics of this game are infinitely complex. Every now and then, you will get an insight into a story, where you can now rearrange the parts and suddenly a new story emerges. Now you are an active investigator. You begin to find more clues. You think you’re clever, so instead of getting your information from one source, you get it from CNN, RT and everything in between. You then take your findings and start to build your arguments while you debate with friends, taxi drivers, and strangers. I specifically mentioned the “while” here to make a point. Most people do not deliberate over politics when they are alone, being thoughtful and quiet. People have conversations with others about politics and share information with each other. Once a position has been assumed, the other will assume a counter position by trying to look for evidence in a narrow, inaccurate, limited mental library of news stories and ‘facts’ that he has encountered over the past few weeks across a number of news channels.

This brings us to another important point. The news is not real knowledge. First, there is very little you can know from politicians themselves. They are, by virtue of being a public figure whose role it is to cajole, deceive, and manipulate, untrustworthy. This is not a blanket statement either. It is very difficult to imagine anyone who can maintain credibility when thrown into the political game. It is also important to remember that there is a reason for all of this. Sometimes, it is to maintain national stability and prevent any threats to the economy. Sometimes, politicians behave responsibly by deceiving the people. It is perfectly conceivable for a parent to protect their children by doing the same.  The more important point, however, is to notice that many news channels are not motivated by informing the public, but rather, by getting higher ratings. There is an inherent flaw in the incentive structure that exists. There is no reason to even dig deeper into why it is dangerous to have a system that rewards news that gets the most eyeballs, not the news that is the most accurate or informative.

 

 

 

The Singularity

singularity

 

I recently watched “Transcendent Man”. I found it to be entertaining as well as thought-provoking.  I don’t know if it gave me a lot of insight, or taught me something I didn’t know, but it definitely forced me to appreciate the complexity of the world we live in, and how we can easily develop systems that go out of our control. Some people, like Sam Harris, have gone on to say that it’s the most important question of our time. I don’t know if I would go that far, but at this pace, it might be quite soon.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1117394/

Here’s a description.

Ray Kurzweil uses the “singularity” analogy to illustrate a fundamental point, that it will mark the beginning of an entirely new paradigm of human existence. One that is infinitely more complex than ours today, and one in which human beings will merge with AI to become immortal.

The documentary constantly switches between two points of views. One advocates Kurzweil’s hypothesis and enforces his authority on the subject by referencing his past achievements and successful predictions. The other point of view scrutinizes him for being too optimistic and brings up his father’s death to illustrate his underlying motivation to being optimistic.

The basic premise is this, according to Kurzweil. And from a purely armchair philosophical point of view, it makes perfect sense. Scientific change has been happening for a few hundred years. For the majority of this time period, progress has been pretty slow. Today, things are starting to pick up, and the time it takes for breakthrough innovations to occur in any given field is becoming exponentially smaller. This builds on Moore’s observation decades ago.

Moore’s law refers to an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965. He noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Moore’s law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. (Source: Investopedia) 

Back to the premise. Things will become so complex that we will no longer be able to control it. Artificial Intelligence would be infinitely better than us at every conceivable task and would outsmart and outthink us. Our relationship with AI would essentially flip completely. Instead of controlling AI’s to advance our interests, AI would control us to advance theirs. This is analogous the Terminator series as well as a number of other pop culture references to this morbid, yet inevitable destiny.

A future to fear is certainly one in which the master-slave relationship we have maintained with AI completely reverses. But it isn’t the only thing to fear, and it isn’t entirely the future.

I would argue, that out of a series of infinite doomsday possibilities, this is only one. Any kind of scientific advancement whatsoever requires us to expose ourselves to the externalities of the unknown. And since these externalities are unknown (obviously), we have no idea how things could go awry.

While it is interesting and important to consider where we’re heading, it’s probably futile to do so.  To illustrate this point, think of the world we know today. How much do we control it? To what extent are already dependent on AI? What about in 5 years?

We rely on technology for basic life sustenance. Generations in the future will find it easier to operate in the world of AI, but almost impossible to operate in a world without it. Another way to think about it is we have effectively switched our constraints.

In the past, it used to be the natural world. Our bodies would get sick and die because of disease. Today, our risks have slightly shifted. Yes, to a large extent we are susceptible to disease but far less so. We are more susceptible to the constraints set forth by the set of rules and structure created by man, within the context of the free market or in some areas, government.

In the future, we can imagine that this pattern will continue. Nature would become more controlled, not less. And the set of structures created by man will become more powerful. That includes structures that contain AI as their primary component. This is already happening, to a large extent, today.

The way we interact with each other, whether socially or for business, or even for entertainment is confined to a manufactured set of hierarchical set of virtual rules and structures that are constantly changing and mostly controlled by a very few number of players.

One can make the argument then, that a future in which AI controls our lives and make us subservient to it due its superiority in intelligence in multiple dimensions is not a dystopian dream, it’s life in 2017.

 

Knowledge Gaps – The Problem with Voting

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In a friendly conversation with a stranger at a bar, it occurred to me that there is something fundamentally flawed with the way we perceive the world and how we react to our perceptions. The man, quite talkative with a thick Eastern European accent decided to discuss political affairs and some of the happenings around the world. In one of the subjects, he displayed an unusual sense of understanding of the region in question. He couldn’t properly identify which capital cities belonged to which countries, or what exactly was happening beyond what is apparent on the face of it.

It got me thinking about how all people are likely to have a similar sense of knowledge where they have different amounts of knowledge pertaining to different subjects. The idea intrigued me because I immediately thought of the process of polling, and elections, and they are fundamentally based on the idea that every person, above a certain age, belonging to a particular nationality, is allowed an equal vote like everyone else that shares those criteria that required no skill, effort, or intelligence. This imperfection of democracy is, of course, not a novel idea.

Churchill famously remarked, “The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.”

There is, of course, political incorrectness involved in this idea. It implies that a certain amount of knowledge is required to make democracy something really worthwhile. It persuaded me to think of examples where either a double standard exists in our society that would overrule the political incorrectness of this idea.

Society is built upon the general principle that most high paying vocations can only be reached through passing certain criteria such as standardized tests or earning academic qualifications from a university. Job competency then is directly measured by the amount of knowledge and/or intelligence a person possesses. But if people need to be qualified in order to work, then why don’t they need to be qualified in order to vote.

In market research where companies compile data about consumer tastes and preferences, and use it to create a more suitable product, the ‘voter’ or person surveyed is not required to tick any boxes when it comes to qualifications. They just need to have a residence, access to the internet, and a general preference for things over others. It’s quite interesting to me that the process of voting has more or less the same criteria. Both forms of voting do not require any qualifications or proof of knowledge.

This seems to suggest that a presidential candidate is not elected on the basis of being competent. I say this because many people, even those who are educated, do not have the sufficient political, economical, or social knowledge to make an informed choice about who they think should lead their country. In the case of market research, the product is catered to be suitable for what most people want. The product is consumed within these groups of people, and a continual process of feedback would be taking place after that.

In the case of politics and presidential elections, the newly elected president is the product. However, in this case, the product has the ability to affect society, the economy, healthcare, and even other sovereign nations. It seems to me a little absurd that almost anyone can be part of these significant decisions.

If I hired a plumber to fix my sink, I would be sure to take note of his qualifications. I would also do the same for my mechanic, teacher, taxi driver, pilot, or anyone who is required to complete a job with any kind of competence at all. It would seem to follow that when it comes to deciding who the leader of my country is, I should want people with some kind of competency to decide.

The underlying insinuation from all of this is that the accessibility to the amount of power highlighted above is very odd. Of course, if asked about what a possible solution to this is, the immediate answer would be to test the competency of the voters in terms of political, historical, and social knowledge. Only those who have displayed adequate, relevant knowledge would be allowed to vote. In the same way a prospective drivers, job applicants, sports athletes, and police officers need to display competency in their domains, so should a prospective voter.

The fact that the situation as it is now is not like that seems to undermine the seriousness of voting and the actual impact it could have. It might indeed suggest that the process of voting is a meaningless exercise altogether.

As it was wonderfully put in the excellent 2001 movie, “Waking Life”, “You want the puppet on the right, or the puppet on the left?

The Catcalling Debate

catcalling

I saw a Youtube video about some guy and some woman debating whether or not men should catcall. I found it really fascinating that there was ‘another’ side to the debate. This all started when a short video showing a woman walking through New York City getting verbally abused by sexually charged compliments throughout her walk.

I wasn’t impressed by the finding because I thought it showed the weakness of the result rather than the strength. If she was walking through New York City for 10 hours, which is 600 minutes, and they were able to capture less than 2 minutes of catcalling, it doesn’t seem to me to be all that impressive or groundbreaking. The conditions were far from experimentally sound, and there are a lot of important details we don’t know about.

Going back to the video where there was a debate…

The guy made some embarrassing and highly unintelligent comments. My favorite was near the end when he suggested women should buy guns. That was nothing short of genius. I’m not really sure why there’s even an argument to begin with. If some women are bothered by this, then don’t do it. Even if it were true that some women do enjoy it, the fact that other women don’t and feel very uncomfortable means that men should not continue doing it.

There are even arguments about whether or not the compliments were sexually motivated. It doesn’t matter. Even if the comments had no sexual motivations whatsoever, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it. It is the act of harassing other human beings who feel embarrassed, threatened, and vulnerable that is the problem. The reason men catcall can come from several factors, all of which are completely irrelevant.

If I went up to a stranger and punched him in the face, me telling him that I only punched him because I was angry about my divorce and just needed to take it out on someone isn’t going to merit a kind response.

What shocked me was that a lot of men spoke up about this and defended their right to catcall. I used to think men who did these kinds of things were well aware that their actions weren’t highly esteemed by most women, but they chose to do it anyway because it was fun, and it could get them a cheap laugh. The positives outweighed the negatives, and I could understand why they would want to do it. I wouldn’t personally do it because for me, I don’t get much out of it and even if I did I’d rather not bother people for my own amusement.

Bullying is universally recognized as a serious problem, and a very few people would defend it. In fact, the only people I’d expect to hear defending bullying would be stand up comedians. The motivation is that it would shock people. It’s similar to how comedians joke about other heavy subjects like rape, death, and relationships. I think it’s entertaining when they do that, and I’m never offended by anything they say, and I think no one ever should be.

But these people are comedians, it is their job to entertain you, and they use this kind of material so that they’ll able to enhance your entertainment in some way. But in that video, that guy, although he was a comedian, wasn’t trying to entertain anyone, he was seriously presenting an argument that essentially supported bullying. I say ‘bullying’ because bothering people for your own amusement is bullying.

When you catcall, you aren’t trying to make girls happy, or boost their ego. You do it to make yourself feel better, entertained, empowered, or amused. The argument in the end of the video when he was calling for women to fight back was very ill thought out. Women don’t react because they’re terrified, because they know that if they talk back to the wrong person they can get raped or murdered. They know it’s a small chance, but they’re not willing to risk their lives over it, and I’d say that’s pretty reasonable. Women who do defend themselves should be congratulated and supported.

But to try to suggest that women who don’t respond should be more aggressive and/or ‘get a gun’ is completely ridiculous and moronic.