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u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

I know this sounds batshit crazy, the turning point for my social anxiety was finding the pickup community. Yes, that same group of creepos obsessed with getting laid and wearing funny hats to "peacock". Believe it or not, there's more to it than cheesy pickup lines. I actually found it when I was googling "how to build confidence". Take a quick look at /r/seduction and read some of the sidebar and see if it's your thing.

Although the focus of the pickup community is on sleeping with lots of women, 90% is just glorified self-help (it's hard to sleep with girls if your shit's not together). It's not for everyone though, but if you want it to work it really will. Also, although 90% of your progress socially comes from actually going out and talking to people regardless of your fears, some reading couldn't hurt. These are some non-pickup resources that I found helpful when getting over my social anxiety:

  • How to win friends and influence people - A great book on the basics of interacting with people. It's seriously a classic; even my mom has read it. This is what got me started on working on my social skills and may be one of the most helpful. It's simple, effective, and will for sure help you make smalltalk with strangers.

  • - A website with a pretty good collection of articles about developing social skills. I personally haven't found it majorly useful since a lot of the information on the site is covered in pickup material in one way or another

  • What Every BODY is Saying - A good book on reading body language--essential when interacting with people.

  • No More Mr Nice Guy - A very informative book. If you're one of those people who wonders how people (especially girls) can ignore how nice you are compared to other men, or if you feel like you are always walked over, give this book a read. Hell, even if you don't feel this way give this book a look, you'll definately find some parts that resonate with you.

    Then some of that PUA shit that I have found useful (The italics are ones that will be helpful whether you follow pickup or not):

  • Models by Mark Manson - This is actually borderline pickup. The author used to be the author of one of my all-time favorite pickup blogs, though he recently moved past the pickup community.

  • Magic Bullets - A structured how-to on how to pick up women. This is one of those PUA books that's really pickup-y. If you're severely against pickup, I would skip this one, although it is pretty respected.

  • mASF Player Guide - The player guide. A very comprehensive guide of most of the concepts involved in pickup. I'm currently working my way through this, and it covers things pretty well.

  • /r/seduction - Our very own seduction subreddit. Unfortunately, some people find the subreddit to be a little squemish about some of the less glorious parts of pickup. Still, you can get some self-help value from the sidebar. I personally don't follow it any more, though.

  • Vin DiCarlo Escalation Ladder - Another one dedicated to picking up girls and very little to self help, but helpful nonetheless. If you're hitting on a girl, you've gotta touch her, and whenever someone asks about how to do it, people point them to this pdf.

    If some of the books seem expensive, remember that this is the internet. It is VERY easy to torrent these books, but I would rather not link to them just to be sure my post won't get messed with. Don't read too much either. It's a lot more fun to read about being social than actually doing it. Don't fall into the trap of always reading and never doing. Also one more thing about pickup, watch out for people who have no experience. A lot of people give advice on what to do without actually having experience themselves. If someone hasn't been around the block a few times, don't listen to them. Always try something out before you decide whether it's good or not.

    Regardless of if you take the same path as me or not, remember one thing: By putting an effort into putting yourself into situations that you find socially stressful, you will become more confident. For example, the first time I tried to make smalltalk with the cashier at the store, I nearly crapped my pants. But by now it's second nature. Just keep putting yourself in places where you are scared and you'll get over it.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Added a few more pieces of reading and rearranged a few others
u/Snhr · 31 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

I love well written science fiction books that have way more to them in terms of political views, predictions about the future, "what would happen if" situations. I generally gravitate towards the genre and all these books are science fiction, but I found them enjoyable and definitely thought provoking to me. I tried to write some descriptions about them but I'm not that great at writing, and also thinking clearly in the morning while lacking sleep.

  • Ender's Game Series - Mainly Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. It's just a young adult science fiction series but Orson Scott Card talks about some interesting stuff and the society that he made is detailed and interesting.

  • A Canticle For Leibowitz - I loved the ideas in this book. It probably doesn't have the same impact as it did during the cold war and the threat of nuclear war but it's still interesting. It's written in eras and the main subject the book deals with is the three stages of a civilization. The first one being a period of darkness where people will gravitate towards faith in something that promises good things. The second one being a period where everything is under control and people are focusing on society as a whole, mainly improving it and generally being selfless. The third period is where the growth stops and people are comfortable enough to start worrying about their own issues and happiness which eventually leads back to the dark ages and the cycle repeats. Pretty interesting.

  • Animal Farm - Great book, not much to say since everyone here probably knows at least what it's about. If you haven't read it it's a small book and will take a couple of hours if not less to read.

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Great apocalyptic/wasteland -future book about a bounty hunter questioning his motives. A lot of small things in it and a book that makes you think (at least it was for me).

  • Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts - This is a great collection of short science fiction stories, had to get it for a sci-fi college class and I'm slowly reading what we didn't read. It has nice and long sections for stories about Alien Encounters, Artificial Life, Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Disasters and Apocalypses, and Evolutions.

  • 1984 - Great book, a bit boring but terrifying to read and think about what it would actually be like in that society.

    Why I added Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts (Amazon reviewer)
    >Masri's collection is a monumental anthology of science fiction stories and novel excerpts that are paired with theory, criticism, and analysis relevant to a given theme found in the stories. There are no other anthologies with the breadth or scope of what Masri accomplishes here, which makes this a very unique and useful addition to any teacher's arsenal.

    >Instead of focusing on one of the many historical approaches to science fiction, Masri selects 9-10 stories around particular themes (e.g., Alien Encounters, Artificial Life, Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Disaster and Apocalypses, Evolution) and pairs the stories with three contextual essays by critical theorists, scientists, and scholars (e.g., for the Evolution stories she includes essays by Steven Jay Gould, Marvin Minsky, and Steven Johnson). Additionally, Masri is careful to select stories that are representative of the whole gamut of science fiction and its writers. The collection's author diversity crosses sex, race, and nationality lines.

    It really is a great collection, I haven't found any stories I haven't enjoyed at least somewhat yet.

    edit: added some details and fixed some grammar
u/manageditmyself · -1 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

>If we cut public funding to education and other services, we are taking the rug out from underneath future inventors and innovators.

I think you believe that you are presenting facts, but you are not. This is not a 'fact', this is an emotional appeal. You make your decisions based on political rhetoric, not on your understanding of how policies actually affect people in the real world.

If you want to learn how to logically and rationally understand politics, read some economics.

>It is beyond irrational to believe in such a utopian ideal

I'm glad that there are 'rational' people like yourselves who know better than idiot-libertarians like me.

Doesn't it seem strange to you that there are a higher percentage of economists that support freed markets than regular punters? The question is: how are you so sure that you're on the right side? Could this possibly be a function of the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

u/softservepoobutt · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

Honestly - through rigor. I would suggest studying logic, some philosophy (this is about the structure of arguments, and deduction in a general sense) and then something applied, like policy analysis or program evaluation. <- those last two are just related to my field so I know about them, plenty of others around.

Some suggested books that could be interesting for you:

Intro to Logic by Tarski

The Practice of Philosophy by Rosenberg

Thank you for Arguing by Heinrichs

Policy Analysis is instructive in that you have to define a problem, define its characteristics, identify the situation it exists in, plot possible solutions (alternatives), and create criteria for selecting the alternative you like most.

Program Evaluation is really just tons of fun and will teach a bunch about how to appraise things. Eval can get pretty muddy into social research but honestly you can skip a lot of that and just learn the principles.

The key to this is that you're either very smart and can learn this stuff through your own brains and force of will, or, more likely, you'll need people to help beat it into you WELCOME TO GRADSCHOOL.

u/katie5000 · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

Regarding competition, a lot of it is rooted in the types of people who settled the United States and the reasons why they came. Some of the people who came were religious or political dissenters trying to escape persecution, yes; but many, many of them were speculators here on behalf of some venture or company to see what they could discover/exploit the hell out of (and for how long) to get filthy rich and please the financial backers in the venture back home (some of whom were royal). That behavior was simply carried forward, both by Southern plantation owners and Northern industrialists: if you spend as little as possible running your venture, you'll have much greater profits in the end. And there is always somebody who will think they can do it more cheaply than you.

Here's an interesting book that might provide more insight: American Nations (Amazon)
An interesting article posted elsewhere on Reddit: NY Times article on American capitalism

Regarding college, there are many factors that have sort of dovetailed over the last 70 or so years to create the current situation. There's a big obsession ("madness") with attending college because the vast majority of employers now seemingly require college degrees for basic, halfway decent positions, and nobody wants to be left behind. This has led to a lot of bloat and the (unfortunate) de-valuing of the average degree. And this leads into why people are angry ("mad") about attaining/having college degrees: over that same period, college tuition has steadily gone up as costs have gone up. At the same time, wages have stagnated and subsidies (like for the public universities) have been slashed. Employers still want that degree, though, so many people take out loans to cover the difference in cost. And when they get to the end and get that job, they find out that they're going to be sorting garbage or filing widgets. And they still have to pay the loans back. You'll basically never get to use the university knowledge that you paid so much for, that the employer themselves required. So, yeah. Anger.

Of course, this doesn't explain why the US doesn't have a more robust (or publicized) vocational training system. Were I in office, I'd work to organize some kind of educational summit between industry and academia where they could hash all this out. What sort of knowledge does a university degree confer? Is it really necessary for most jobs? If you want your employees to have some kind of post-secondary training, what would be an acceptable alternative to university? Stuff like that. Then I'd work with the Department of Education to make it happen.

u/zeptimius · 1 pointr/TrueAskReddit

A good book about this is Flat Earth News, which details how and why the media have changed in the last couple of decades. I found it very insightful.

The gist of it is that because most media are owned by media conglomerates, fewer reporters are paid less to produce more, which has inevitably led to a lack of fact-checking, copy-pasting press releases from whoever sends them in, and no time or money for investigative journalism.

Some media maintain a high standard of journalistic excellence, such as the New Yorker and the Guardian, but the industry as a whole has changed dramatically.

The best point the author makes is that journalism has traded in objectivity (finding out what's true and reporting it, a time-consuming, tedious task) and neutrality (reporting the controversy and letting both parties have their say, without taking sides, an easy task that requires no knowledge of the point being debated).

The more extreme politicians and activists are wise to this and use it to their advantage. The government shutdown is a good example: in the past, the GOP would have been cut down by the media for sabotaging the country just to postpone a law that passed through Congress, was signed into law, and passed a constitutionality test in the courts. Now, the shutdown is presented as a "game of chicken" in which both sides are on equal footing.

It's also a logical consequence that you can get a lot of made-up bullshit reported as truth by the media. This has been proved time and again.

u/data_wrangler · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

Assuming you're male, I really took a lot from this book:

I think it presents an interesting context to understand the feeling, and a reasonably concrete plan to go about getting better. I can't stress enough the importance of working out and being proud of your physical self and appearance. If you don't follow /r/Fitness, they've got a fantastic community and great advice on that front.

u/envatted_love · 1 pointr/TrueAskReddit

You might be interested in Robert Frank's Passion Within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions.

The basic idea is that love can function as a precommitment device, ensuring better long-term outcomes for both partners.

u/AlotOfReading · 3 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

The most complete explanation of his ideas is probably Das Kapital, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being particularly difficult to get into. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy also has some good insights into his thoughts while the later Critique of the Gotha Progra has more detail concerning what a communist society might actually look like. If you're looking for a secondary source, Karl Marx's Theory of History is excellent.

u/blacktrance · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit - What I think of as the "default libertarian position", to which others are compared. Some minarchists, some anarcho-capitalists. Ranging from culturally conservative to culturally neutral.

Reason Magazine - Reformist libertarian magazine. Mostly utilitarian moderates opposed to cultural conservatism.

Bleeding Heart Libertarians - Culturally radical libertarians, mostly minarchists and moderates with a few anarcho-capitalists. Recently had a debate about the NAP. Some deontologists, some virtue ethicists.

Center for a Stateless Society - Culturally radical free-market anti-capitalist anarcho-capitalists, and a few left-wing anarchists.

EconLog - Blog run by libertarian economists, though the material is accessible to the layman. The related EconLib has libertarian articles and books, and a few non-libertarian books about economics.

Roderick Long - Quasi-Objectivist virtue ethicist, culturally radical anarcho-capitalist.

Lew Rockwell - Former Ron Paul staffer, cultural conservative.

David Friedman - Utilitarian anarcho-capitalist, son of Milton Friedman.

Capitalism and Freedom - Book arguing for moderate libertarianism on utilitarian grounds.

/r/Libertarian - Mostly minarchists, sometimes culturally conservative.

/r/Anarcho_Capitalism - Anarcho-capitalists, as one would expect.

/r/Objectivism - Objectivists, as the name implies.

/r/LibertarianLeft - Mostly left-wing anarchists, but there are some left-leaning anarcho-capitalists too.

If you want more, I still have plenty of resources.

u/Me_for_President · 113 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

/u/KaleHavoc mentions the Piraha, which I'll expand on a little. They're not religious in the sense that they believe in god or the devil or have ritual. They don't have a creation myth, they don't have churches, and they have no worship. They do, however, have superstitions, so to speak, and believe that spirits walk among them.

The curious thing about the spirits though is that it appears to be a group delusion that everyone knows about, but maybe pretends isn't real.

Dan Everett has a very interesting book about them called "Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle." In one story he relates how the village hears a "spirit" calling from the woods over the course of several days. He identifies the source as one of the villagers, but when asked, the villager flat out denies that it was him.

In another story, a large group of villagers claims to see a spirit on the opposite side of the river from where Everett and the villagers are. Everett can't see the spirit, but everyone agrees that it's visible.

The Piraha are also known (or at least, Everett believes) as having one of the world's completely unique languages. The language is missing tenses in the way we think of them, and has no memory generally beyond the lifetime of those currently alive.

I'd really recommend the book. It's quite interesting.

u/aducknamedjoe · 5 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

There's a few fictional treatments of this you may be interested in, that explore hypothetical libertarian societies and how they work.

u/jerhinesmith · 7 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

If you enjoy reading and history, check out Imbibe. It's basically a history of cocktails in the US along with recipes, etc. even if you have no intention of making the drinks, the history and evolution is really neat.

u/aethelberga · 11 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

Read this book, WarDay by Whitley Strieber & James Kunetka. Pretty much an exploration of what you're talking about.

u/harmonylion · 7 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

This book will answer your question.


  • kids (and adults) get addicted, moody, hyperactive, go through withdrawal without TV

  • attention span and ability to delay gratification are diminished

  • watching TV the brain goes into a "passive" state that doesn't occur while reading, this state is not actually relaxing (actually low-level stress)...

    That's off the top of my head, there's definitely more.
u/Xylarax · 2 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

I just recently started using this Phillips wake up light to simulate that. I can't fall asleep with any light so keeping my curtains open isn't an option.

u/morechatter · 1 pointr/TrueAskReddit

This might be a much smaller scale, but in Gladwell's Tipping Point he explores people he calls "mavens" and "connectors". These are relatively small numbers of people who disproportionately influence the masses even without being assigned powers. Your question reminds me of that book.

u/sir_mrej · 5 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

At some point, I was reading a book about this. Here it is, on Amazon