Bold, Determined, But Somewhat Wrong

From Victor Pride’s Bold & Determined: 33 Ways To Be The Greatest

There is a schism between the Objectivist faction of millennials, who embody the ethos of self-determination and ‘hustle’, and the empiricists and rationalists on the right and neo-liberal left, who also tend to also be pro-capitalist, but are more skeptical of the ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ mentality. The rationalists believe (and I think this is the correct explanation based on the empirical evidence) that all else being equal, human biology plays a dominant role in individual success or failure, not environment or determination.

As I explain in the Terry Pratchet essay, practice and hard work will allow one to live to their cognitive potential, but not exceed it.

Steven Pinker in his writings is critical of Communism, but he is also critical of pop-psychologists, like Gladwell, who use shoddy research and cherry picked examples to downplay IQ and HBD as it pertains to individual life outcomes and wealth of nations, crafting a ‘schmaltzy’ message that appeals to readers, even if it’s scientifically dubious or just plain wrong.

Anyone who has a minimum IQ of 100 (very low!) can succeed with undivided obsession.

An IQ of 100 is not low; it’s average. It is low if you aspire to work at Google or create the next app sensation. But I imagine that an IQ of 100 is probably good enough to be a low-tech entrepreneur.

Work, work, work, work, work, work, and work some more. Get used to working!

If you want more success than everyone else then all you ever have to do is more than anyone else.

Hard work is important, but intelligence determines how much of a ‘return’ you get from your work, or if your goals are even possible. The best may do more than the rest, but they also tend to be smarter than the rest, too.

We need sober realism. No amount of practice and determination will ever allow me (or anyone else in the world) to dunk a 20-foot basket. It’s just too high. That’s an obvious example of how biology supersedes free will, but there are more subtle ones. A person with an IQ of 130 stands a much better chance of being a coder than someone with an IQ of 90, in which for the later it’s probably impossible. Since wealth and IQ (and its proxy, the SAT) tend to be highly correlated, it’s not unreasonable to assume that smarter people are also more successful at their entrepreneurial endeavors, too.

With a 9-5 job you will only ever scrape by.

You will never get rich, you will never have enough money to make a difference in the world, you will never not worry about bills, you will never have enough money in a catastrophic emergency, and your stupid family will start to despise you.

Hmm…but I think the 9-5ers who work at Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Google or Facebook make good money, or at least some of the higher ranking employees. I think the executives of fortune 500 companies, who work 9-5, do alright. Same for doctors, high profile lawyers, etc. If you’re making more money with a 9-5 job than an entrepreneur who slaves away 12-20 hours a day for months and years, taking on debt for little in return, you’re winning. If the goal is to make money, which is a good goal, entrepreneurship may not always be the best approach. It’s one of many.

Even if Victor makes more money than the executives for Fortune 500 companies, he the exception rather than the norm. The data shows that the vast majority of entrepreneurs (those who don’t fail) make a middle-class income, which is good, but earning tens of millions as take-home profit as an entrepreneur is rare.

A study from American Express OPEN revealed that while more than half of small business owners pay themselves a regular salary, they are receiving an average salary of $68,000 annually, down from $72,000 a year ago.

There is no competition if you’re ahead of the game. If you’re ahead of the game competition simply cannot exist.

But there is no guarantee anyone will ever want what you have to offer. You may be ahead of the game, but that doesn’t do you much good if you have expenses to pay now.

The money comes to the first or to the best, so be one of them.

Not quite so. Look how Google overtook Lycos, Webcrawler, Alta Vista, and Yahoo. Look how Facebook overtook Mysapce.

Don’t chase respect and people will respect you, chase respect and people will despise you.

Agree, and this ties in with the importance of authenticity in post-2008 America. Being yourself, even if means being socially awkward, is better than trying to be someone you’re not. The millennials, especially the smart ones on 4chan and on Reddit, have a fine-tuned BS detector, and if you’re faking it, they will know. It’s like passing yourself off as a ‘published’ author, but not from a real publishing house, but from Amazon’s digital landfill of self-published books. The only exception to avoid poseur-dom would be if you sold a lot of books through self-publishing, which would make you cunning and successful and thus authentic, the epitome of cool. Failure to make money is fine if you’re exceptional in other ways (like being successfully published).

Athletes take steroids and businessmen take cognitive enhancers.

Anabolic steroids do work, which is why doctors sometimes prescribe them to treat various hormone disorders, but cognitive enhancers are at best placebos and most likely a scam. Unfortunately, human biology restricts our ability to get smarter much more so than our ability to get stronger. A person can train to get stronger, with definitive results, but training to get smarter (as measured by an IQ test) is much harder, if not impossible.

So you sweat out toxins

The human body does not produce toxins, and waste is not excreted through the skin (except possibly in severe kidney failure, resulting in uremic frost). Detox is another scam.

Dating is an ultimate waste of time.

Agree, and this aligns with the MGTOW philosophy.

Spurn comfort so you know how great comfort is.

Agree…minimalism is one of the fastest growing movements right now…delaying instant gratification for long-term success and abundance. Even if you’re rich, the cool thing to do nowadays is to invest the money in the S&P 500 (or one of the related indexes like the Dow or Nasdaq) instead of pissing it away on crap that depreciates. In the post-2008 world, ostentatious materialism is definitely out of style, but this is juxtaposed with the millennial obsession with personal finance and wealth – another contradiction, but understandable, since millennials tend to be savvier about finance, economics, and money than earlier generations, as well as millennials understanding the importance of self-sufficiency in our hyper-competitive post-2008 world.

26) No one owes you a fucking thing

Agree, and there is an epidemic of net-negative value people who take from the economy instead of contributing it, as alluded by Mitt Romney in his infamous 2012 remarks about the ‘47%’ who are takers, dependent on the government for a handout at the cost to the productive taxpayers. One solution is to exclude these net-negative people from the democratic process.

Overall, I agree with about half of the list…especially the parts about not looking for a handout, but so not so much about entrepreneurship.

Related: Reddit Users Eviscerate Entrepreneurship BS