”Native Speakerism” As An Implicit Discriminatory Mechanism Propping Up The Status Quo: An Excerpt From My Short Novel-Existential Tableau

‘’I mean,’’ I paused. ‘’There are two levels in human interaction: there’s the explicit level, then there’s the implicit, inferred, level. Just like you have explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is found in dictionaries, books. Tacit knowledge can’t be taught – it’s your personal experience. For example, the way you speak English is unique to you; another person can’t just open a dictionary and master English. Explicit knowledge has low value, because it’s widely accessible; tacit knowledge has high value, because it’s linked to a particular individual’s set of skills acquired over time. Now, switching gears, let’s take the native versus non-native English speaker dichotomy. Do native English speakers actually exist? How do you define a native English speaker? Is it someone holding a UK, US passport? Someone born to English-speaking parents? What if it’s just one parent? Someone who has lived in an English-speaking country, has a native-sounding accent? See? It’s not that easy to define the native English speaker. If you use sound judgment, many people across the planet are native English speakers, and yet they’re forced to take language tests to prove their linguistic competence if they want to enroll in a university, let’s say – in the US. I get it, testing people is good business. Not to mention that the entire English language teaching system is predicated on the native English speaker supremacy paradigm. If you are in charge of defining who native English speakers are, you then control the English-testing-money-making machine; universities and employers then adopt your competency benchmarks and the money starts flowing, because people classified as non-natives are essentially forced to take your tests. Again, it’s vital to emphasize that sensible, practical testing is a sine qua non of effective learning. The problem starts when we refuse to recognize there are millions of people who are native English speakers; those people simply don’t have a proper passport. Fortunately, an increasing number of employers worldwide no longer relies on tests. A five-minute conversation in English will tell you all you need to know. This is an example of an implicit discriminatory mechanism. You need a keen eye to see it.’’

‘’You can’t always test someone’s level of English in a five minute conversation,’’ Alice said. ‘’Especially, if you’re testing technical English skills. I think it’s a contentious topic, I admit I’m a nativist, so let’s agree to disagree on that one, okay?’’

‘’Well,’’ I grimaced. ‘’Alright. I’m tempted to ask you about your definition of nativism, but you’re right – let’s drop it.’’

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English Lesson Plan Example/Template, Student Level: Advanced.

Lesson Info Time : 45 minutes Day

N/A

Age Range : 14-18  

 

Main Aims Improving vocabulary related to the topic of the unexplained  
Objectives By the end of the lesson students will possess a more extensive vocabulary relating to the issue of the unexplained with particular focus on multi-prefabricated chunks.
Materials The article from the Guardian, see Appendix 1.

The Article about ”Exopolitics”, see the website in Appendix 2.

A fragment of ”X-Files”: the Movie transcript used in the lesson and the website source, see Appendix 3.

Anticipated problems

 

 

Solution

Students may feel uncomfortable while discussing topics connected to the unexplained.

The teacher must make sure students truly understand the target vocabulary items.

A teacher ought to start in order to pave the way for a future discussion

Stage Activity Aim Procedure Interaction

and Timing

Warm-up Discussing vocabulary associated with the topic

 

Introducing basic vocabulary connected to the topic

 

 

 

 

The teacher presents the students with a picture of the gray (cf. Appendix 1).

First, the students are asked if they are familiar with the creature.

Students are asked about words that they associate with the gray. The teacher notes them on the board.

T–>S

 

10 minutes

A reading comprehension exercise

 

 

Students are given authentic materials to read (See Appendix 2). They are to note any unknown vocabulary items.

 

Reading practice Students are given a text about exopolitics. The students are asked whether they are familiar with the term. Then, the students are to read the text and familiarize themselves with the following target vocabulary items:

ripple through

sealed off

bolide

non-issue

last-ditch

streak

exopolitics

Extraterrestrial biological entity

merit an investigation

pose a threat

If they are not familiar with the words, the teacher provides the definition.

10 minutes

 

T–>S

 

S–>S

 

T–>S

A  discussion The X-Files: a good show or a boring show? Speaking skill focus, using new lexical items in a practical setting The students watch a fragment of ”The X-Files” movie. The students are to follow the transcript and note any unknown lexical items (see Appendix 3).

The teacher helps the students infer the meaning from the context if necessary after the fragment has been watched by the students.

15 minutes

 

 

T–>S

 

S–>S

Conclusion Students’ personal stories connected to the unexplained Writing practice The students describe an encounter with the unexplained – be it hypothetical or based on their own experience. The students are to use all ten target vocabulary items when describing the circumstance. 10

minutes

 

T—>S

 

S–>S

Homework Students are asked to find one story pertaining to the ‘’unexplained’’ by using modern media available.
Reflections The teacher ought to avoid darker aspects of the ‘’unexplained’’ such as UFO abductions, etc. as this might frighten some students.

Lone Wolf Terrorists – What Makes Them Tick? My Thesis Excerpt.

The homeland security domestic extremism lexicon[1] – issued on 29 March 2009 – identifies the most common lone wolf causes, which propels individuals to carry out acts of terror. While the underlying tactical process has many similarities in almost all known cases, the ideological aspects of violence differ drastically. The lexicon stresses that extremism described therein is of non-Islamic nature[2], as Islamic terrorism (as analyzed above) warrants a thorough analysis independently of other connections.

Animal rights Extremism – the group focused on protecting animal rights, giving them equal status to humans, therefore considering places such as meat packing plants to be on a par with concentration camps.

Anarchist Extremism – a movement of groups or individuals who advocate society devoid of government structure or ownership of individual property.

Anti-abortion Extremism – a movement of groups or individuals who are virulently anti-abortion and advocate violence against providers of abortion-related services.

Anti-Immigration Extremism – a movement which opposes illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico (mostly arriving through various rivers, hence the derogatory term wetback for Mexican illegal immigrants).

Anti-Technology Extremism – also known as neo-Luddites, they target universities and laboratories. The most famous example of the group is Theodore Kaczyński (also known as the Unabomber for his target preference), a proponent of anarcho-primitivism. Kaczyński wrote a manifesto detailing his views on why industrial society is going to doom the human race as we know it due to omnipresent surveillance and uniformity.

Environmental Extremism – a movement using violence to end what they perceive environmental degradation by humans. Also known as ecoterrorism. Greenpeace may be seen as a mild expression of environmental extremism.

Neo-Nazis – a group centered on Adolf Hitler’s beliefs. Frequently engaging in ardent Holocaust denial, the group believes the Nordic race, or – more widely – the white race, is not only superior but at risk of extinction due to low childbirth rate; the group calls for a racial war to save the Caucasian race and for restoration of what the group calls the natural order of life with racial segregation. Given the ideological aspects, group operating in each country often believes their expression of white pride is the most accurate one.

Sovereign Citizens – a rightwing extremist movement composed of groups or individuals who reject the notion of U.S. citizenship. They claim to follow what they believe to be God’s law or common law and the original ten amendments (Bill of Rights) to the U.S. constitution. The group does not believe in paying taxes, any form of vehicle registration or personal identification. The group often targets law enforcement and government officials.

Militia Movement – a group similar to sovereign citizens, conducting paramilitary exercises as a countervailing force to the U.S. government. The group is a bastion of the second amendment (the right to bear arms).

Phineas priesthood – the group which believes the Biblical story of Phineas justifies, or even calls for, inter-racial killing.

These groups are a mere fraction of the groups operating throughout the U.S. and the world. Obviously, it is virtually impossible to ascertain how many groups – either producing or influencing – lone wolves, actually exist. There are attempts, however, to gather as much intelligence about these groups as possible, mainly by the FBI[3].

Homeland security mentions the alternative media, which it defines as various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets[4]. Homeland Security is acutely aware, however, the alternative media’s reach is expanding rapidly, oftentimes pushing the mainstream media outlets to the sidelines.

The fact remains, whereby modus operandi is relatively similar regardless of which group is involved. By extension, individual method of operation involves meticulous planning and subsequent violence to attain a given goal.

The ideological background (the why) varies, but individual phases starting with an impulse leading to homicidal ideations, to testing in a controlled environment and finally carrying out an actual attack (the how) meant to exert pressure on society to change its ways as desired by assailants, are almost always grounded in identical reasoning.

Psychopathy: A Neglected Factor.

Psychopathy is a psychological trait making lone wolves especially dangerous. The trait is largely neglected and misunderstood by the population at large. Unfortunately, psychopathy is a significant factor not just in terrorism studies, but in daily interactions with society as well.

Psychopaths can be found in all walks of life. A debate as to what causes psychopathy rages on, with experts divided into genetic and societal factors.

To differentiate between the two, psychopaths usually pertain to a genetic factor, while sociopaths are created as a result of their pathological upbringing, where social norms and morality are skewed to suit the needs of a group.

Let us take a look at the psychopathy checklist, a diagnostic tool invented by Robert Hare, Ph.D., a Canadian expert on psychopathy who has been studying the phenomenon for circa thirty years. Psychopaths are essentially predators that don a mask of sanity in order to mesmerize potential victims.

In his book, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, doctor Robert Hare names the following psychological traits as part of psychopathy checklist, i.e. a system of tests designed to detect psychopaths in the criminal justice system[1]:

Glibness/superficial charm – psychopaths are congenial, even charming; this is merely a façade to lure their prey.

Grandiose sense of self-worth – psychopaths often suffer from messianic complex. They are ‘’masters unto themselves’’.

Pathological liar – telling a lie and telling the truth is the same to psychopaths. They have no moral compass.

Lack of remorse or guilt – psychopaths do not have the ability to feel any kind of remorse or guilt.

Shallow affect – psychopaths are easily enraged, although they use rage as a control mechanism rather than a genuine emotional state.

Failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions – it is always someone else’s fault.

Parasitic Lifestyle – psychopaths feed off of others as much as they can; they rarely produce anything of worth.

Easily Bored – psychopaths require a constant adrenaline rush.

Calculating – a psychopath always thinks what’s in it for me.

As we can see, these traits may result in a perfect storm, creating a deranged offender, i.e. a lone wolf. Lone wolves are often locked in their own world, interacting with others via the Internet, a state of affairs which only reinforces their delusions.

As much as they are delusional, lone wolves are perfectly capable of executing their plan down to the tiniest detail.  The public often mixes psychopathy with psychotic behavior, which are two distinct conditions.

A deranged individual who is incapable of interacting with the world without attracting suspicion due to highly visible pathology cannot be a successful lone wolf. Lone wolves know exactly what they are doing and they often use their psychopathic tendencies (lone wolf does not have to be a full-fledged psychopath, but psychopathic traits such as manipulative and charming go a long way in creating a congenial image in society).

Lone wolves often share a messianic component with each other, a belief they must convey a certain message to the world. They are above the law and above any kind of norms, a belief they shared with psychopaths.

The modern world offers plenty of opportunity for lone wolves to find a cause. Islamic extremism is particularly prolific. A constant barrage of news desecrating Islam can be found on a daily basis.

A relatively recent example of a Youtube movie – Innocence of Muslims[2] – and subsequent riots in many Muslim countries[3] proved how seemingly insignificant actions can spiral out of control. Indeed, we could observe how the angry masses blamed entire governments for actions of an obscure director.

Certain cases are difficult to categorize, i.e. they are a mixture of lone wolf tactics and a deranged individual in action. Jared Lee Loughner – who attempted to assassinate a member of the US House of Representatives Gabrielle Giffords – could not really explain the motives. They did not appear to be political, nor did they appear to be personal. His videos are available on Youtube[4] to this day, but they offer no tangible insight into Loughner’s mind.

The specter of lone wolf – and terrorism in general – is here to stay. After Newtown massacre, Home Security posted an active shooter survival video. The agency recommended to find a place to hide where the shooter is less likely to find you and consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available. Grab scissors when confronted by a gunman[5]. The last statement is particularly perplexing, given the recent gun control debate in America.

Are we then to presume, then, that lone wolves are insane? Courts around the world appear reluctant to acknowledge that lone wolves are deranged individuals. The legal system is fully aware how beneficial insanity defense is to criminals. Besides, lone wolves exhibit levels of meticulousness and premeditation not found in insane individuals. In countries where human rights are not of particular concern, lone wolves face death penalty. Had Anders Breivik been insane, he most likely would not have prepared for every eventuality.

[1] Hare, R. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. The Guilford Press, 1999. Page 32.

[2] ‘’Innocence of Muslims’’ on Youtube. 15 April, 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpuxiZcB6HU&gt;

[3] Rudegeair, Peter. ‘’Man behind anti-Islam film that stoked riots has no regrets.’’ 27 November, 2012. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-protests-nyt-idUSBRE8AP0YV20121126&gt;

[4] Jared Loughner’s Youtube channel. 12 March, 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10&gt;

[5] CBS News. ‘’Homeland Security posts active-shooter survival guide video.’’  February 2, 2013. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57567077/homeland-security-posts-active-shooter-survival-guide-video/>

[1] Department of Homeland Security. ‘’DHS Domestic Terrorism and Homegrown Violent Extremism Lexicon’’. June 3, 2012.  < http://publicintelligence.net/domestic-terrorism-and-homegrown-violent-extremism-lexicon/>

[2] Ibid

[3] Fields, Gary. Perez, Evan. ‘’FBI Seeks to Target Lone Extremists.’’ May 27, 2012. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124501849215613523.html>

[4] Homeland Security. ‘’Domestic Extremism Lexicon.’’ 15 November, 2012. <www.fas.org/irp/eprint/lexicon.pdf>

Given the – overwhelmingly positive -response I’m going to write an additional chapter of Existential Tableau.

In the chapter, we’re going to delve into the alternate reality:

  1. How is China different?
  2. What are the names of countries?
  3. How exactly did I meet my wife?
  4. How is the academia different over there?
  5. How do people over there see the concept of alternate realities: individuals, TV shows, etc.
  6. What about abortion, euthanasia, etc., on the other side?
  7. Linguistic differences.
  8. Where are the others?
  9. Who’s my psychofan/stalker?
  10. Cultural differences.
  11. Taxation system.
  12. I wouldn’t be myself without questioning virtually everything I’ve been told about the other side. What about the others? Can we access other realities? Do people on the other side really have no idea? New world order, truthseeking, conspiracy theorizing.
  13. Rapture, End Times, Eschatology.
  14. Free speech, the right to bear arms – what are the differences?
  15. Pesky publishers, pesky trolls.

That’s all – for now.

The Beginning of my short novel – Existential Tableau

Since I’ve been told a few times to break my novel down into shorter parts – here’s the first part. You can read the rest on my blog, if you’re interested.

 

Existential Tableau

 

Perhaps men of genius are the only true men. In all the history of the race there have been only a few thousand real men. And the rest of us–what are we? Teachable animals. Without the help of the real man, we should have found out almost nothing at all. Almost all the ideas with which we are familiar could never have occurred to minds like ours. Plant the seeds there and they will grow; but our minds could never spontaneously have generated them. – attributed to Aldous Huxley.

 

Sure, people marry for money all the time. Others want visas. How can you tell what someone’s agenda is? You’ve got to listen to what they say, watch their body language. If they’re psychopaths, it may be virtually impossible to spot deception, because psychopaths literally become their masks. Be careful – if something doesn’t feel right, it’s your intuition talking, warning you. Cut all contact with that individual. Then, there are those who didn’t marry for money, but they got greedy along the way. Always have your money stashed away somewhere – just in case. Don’t tell anyone. Have a contingency plan in your mind. Romantics? They’re either psychopaths trying to play mind games with you for whatever reason – or dangerously deranged people with no sense of reality. Avoid both, if you can. – Yours Truly.

*

When I was younger, I was filled with hope; the world was turning into a great place! Space travel. Eradication of poverty. Life extension technologies. Free energy. Blue skies. Adults were just perfect human beings to me. As I got older, my cynicism grew. I realized how naïve I had been. 9/11. The Financial Crisis. The Refugee Crisis. Psychopaths in power. Human trafficking. Dumbing down of the population. Environmental disasters. I realized the world had taken a decidedly dark turn.

I remember people dancing in 2004 Poland, when the country was admitted to the European Union – who would have thought that in 2017, the EU would be facing an existential crisis?

I thought moving to Asia was the answer, but Asia was still on the same planet as the rest of the decaying civilization. The only sure-fire option was an escape to an alternate reality, where the population was simply smarter. There were three pivotal problems: a) mainstream science did not prove the existence of alternate realities, b) even if these realities did exist, there was no way to get there, c)it was unclear what kind of a socio-political system one was walking into.

So, what did I do?

I turned to God and asked for help. Desperate times, desperate measures. I could hear the snickers of intellectually smug atheists in the background, but their derisive gestures were of no relevance to me. How can one quantify infinity, reduce the totality of life to two choices: religion and non-existence? Such absurdity always seemed like a perfect mind control mechanism to me.

They say God works in mysterious ways. Given the sequence of events that unfolded in my life – I agree wholeheartedly. Pieces of the puzzle that is life just fall neatly into place.

Here are my life puzzle pieces.

If I wanted to survive, if I wanted to get out of the asylum, I had to…

Avoid Another Waco!   

Why arent you chipped? asked my co-worker. Youre not keeping up with the trends! This isnt 1995! Who uses cash these days? Cryptocurrency? It’s illegal!  

Free thought was to be eradicated. Replaced by a sentient collective, an artificial intelligence guiding people’s daily interactions. It was only a matter of time. Starvation. Dropping dead like flies. The conditions were certainly conducive to change. Rampant unemployment gave rise to the precariat. The precariat was no longer content with accepting the blatant economic slavery brilliantly disguised as freedom of choice. Unfortunately, the precariat lacked the intellectual capacity to change the world for the better. Security was the name of the game. Freedom be damned. As a result, social pressure to get chipped was growing exponentially. If you didn’t want to get chipped, then you were a remnant of the past. A religious zealot with ties to terrorism. Innocent until proven guilty? Due process? Remnants of a bygone era. A new, Kafkaesque, law was the norm: snatching people off the street, never to be seen again. Stalin was undoubtedly rubbing his hands with glee. He wrote the mass mind control through terror manual.

I met my American faux-wife at a Warsaw protest against unbridled migration. It was a chance encounter, if you believe in this sort of thing. She asked me for directions, and when she heard my English, she thought I was a fellow American. I told her the accent was a product of globalization, as well as having an American grandfather on my mother’s side – though how having an American grandfather translated itself into having an American accent, well, I could not tell you. Genetics, perhaps? Reincarnation? We did not discuss my grasp of the English language further, as there was more interesting development unfolding around us. We hit it off right away. Her name was Alice, but the madness enveloping the planet was hardly of Wonderland variety. If people could identify as attack helicopters, then calling Alice my wife was perfectly sane by comparison. Enduring the red-tape just to get married? No, thank you. I was not in the business of writing the Bureaucratic Odyssey. Alice’s beaming smile was my source of inspiration. She would twirl in her skirt, the pleats looking like rays of sunshine piercing the veil of darkness around us. She didn’t like her annoying blonde bangs, they made her feel like a prissy school girl. She was of Polish and German heritage, a testament to the greatness of genuine diversity, rather than the simulacrum of diversity imposed on the Judeo-Christian civilization by the psychopaths that be.

Poles found their way to every corner of the globe; our diaspora was a force to be reckoned with. Hubris; hussars; humiliation; messianic complex; inferiority complex – you would be hard-pressed to find another nation on Earth, with an equally convoluted history, giving rise to mentality vacillating between inferiority and messianism. My friend once said Poles shared psychological traits with the Irish and the Chinese; in some respects, certainly. Wasn’t the whole average Joe idea a mirage? Our brain needs patterns to decipher reality; we wouldn’t be able to function otherwise.

Radical ideas infecting the feeble-minded masses; political correctness curtailing freedom of speech at an alarming rate; anyone with a brain cell left was pining for the days of yore. A nationalist theocracy? A rainbow utopia? Take your pick. My choice was clear: neither. I just wanted sanity to prevail. Sadly, sanity, sound judgment, pragmatism, whatever you want to call it – was a scarce cognitive commodity.

Problem-reaction-solution. Thesis-antithesis-synthesis. The powers that be used the same playbook throughout human history. If it works – why change it?

Was the Mark of the Beast actually predicted in the Bible? Was the microchip the ultimate mechanism of control? Was it really so simple?

(If it works – why change it?)

Dealing With Pump And Dump Manipulators… and why it pays in life to carefully choose your friends.

There are people in all aspects of our lives who want to control us. Our society (well, the ‘civilized’ part, anyway) revolves around passive-aggressiveness; you can’t just beat someone up, because there are serious consequences that are most liklely going to follow. So, people resort to (stereotypically) female tactics: passive-aggressive behavior, that you can’t really classify as an attack on you in any shape or form. I’m reasonably confident you know more than ample examples of passive-aggressive behavior: be it verbal and/or physical – for example, not giving way when walking as a way to assert dominance over you, forcing you to be the one who steps aside. Yes, it all matters in life, every single step we take, how we walk, how we talk, how we look – it’s a delicate dance of sending out the message to the world about who we are. We can manipulate this image, of course. We do it all the time in all sorts of settings. Our culture (the Judeo-Christian civilizational sphere that you are likely a member of) allows women more leeway here, of course.

Okay, so who are the pump and dumpers? They are a type of manipulator who uses a cult technique known as love bombing to turn you into their psychological pet.

1.  It starts with a vision. Asking you to join a project. Sounds great, right? A startup, perhaps? A Bransonesque vision of greatness unfolds in front of your eyes, your heart is racing. You’re given a few pieces of the puzzle to keep you focused, but nothing concrete ever materializes – it’s always a mirage, always on the horizon, and yet – out of reach.

You start to question the whole endeavor, but the leader tells you to wait. It’s going in the right direction!

A few months later, you ask to get paid. That’s what you agreed on, right? Well, suddenly you’re no longer a friend, a stellar individual – you’re reduced to zero. You don’t know what’s going on, you’re confused – and that’s the point. To keep you that way, so you never question the leader again.

What’s the best course of action here? Just forget about it, it’s a smoke-and-mirrors game. If the leader keeps bombarding you with messages – block. The leader might send you best wishes as a way to re-establish communication – ignore.

Were you dealing with a psychopath? Not necessarily. It might have been someone who had an idea, but wasn’t capable of putting the project together. Then again, it might have been a con artist who’d just wanted your money. Did they minimize the role of money from the start? It was most likely a trick to direct your attention elsewhere. To reel you into their game.

Still, you may learn a thing or two from these people – just bear in mind who they are and when to abandon ship.

Okay, next – you enter a room. Three people are verbally undermining your authority. You’re accused of all sorts of terrible things. They threaten to call the authorities, unless you quit, etc. Whatever works.

It could be that you did something inexcusable; but it could also be a manipulation tactic to intimidate you. They aren’t in the room to listen to you – they’re in the room to verbally beat you into submission.

What’s the best move here? Kindly inform them you’re going to call your attorney, etc. It doesn’t have to be true – turn the tables on them, make them realize you aren’t alone in the game. It’d be best to actually call someone; step outside of the room. If they try to physically stop you, then it’s obviously illegal, if not a crime, to do this. Even if there’s nobody else around, it’ll have been clear to you by that point what their real agenda is.

If you’ve never experienced these types of situations/interactions with these sorts of indiviuals, it may come as a shock to you. They’re good at intimidation, they know how to get to you. They’re going to surprise you, you won’t know what’s hit you. They may even be psychopaths. You’ve got to remain calm. What you need to do – right now – is to scan your social circles and see if you have any legal professionals as friends/acquaintances.

Just in case. It’s also a terrific idea to have:

  1. Doctors;
  2. Accountants;
  3. Automobile mechanics;
  4. Realtors/interior design/architects;
  5. Travel agents;
  6. Teachers

As friends. Now, there are many, many more groups it pays to know. You may think: hey, but isn’t it Machiavellian to think this way? Is it a real friendship?

Well, it is.  But life isn’t unicorns and roses. It’s good to have friends, but it’s even better if they can actually contribute something substantial to your life.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be a ”Good Person.” Machiavellianism Is The Way.

You often hear that people just want to have a nice life, they don’t want to trouble anyone else.

Is it true, though? Stalkers. Serial killers. Psychopaths of all sorts. Granted, they’re in the minority, but they know how to wreak psychological havoc on others.

Many people want to be good people – good is defined by whatever set of criteria a particular culture has adopted to make sense of the world around it. Is good… naive, helpful, mild-mannered? Selfless?

As reviled as Machiavellianism is in many social circles – Machiavellianism is a sensible approach to life. Don’t limit yourself, don’t impose artificial barriers. Be whoever you want to be, don’t limit an infinite range of responses to two cartoonish choices.

If others tell you: you’re a good person, it’s not necessarily a compliment. It may mean you’re actually their psychological lapdog. It’s just like with teachers: when a teacher’s told he/she is ”nice,” by the students, it usually means he/she doesn’t have a lot of authority in the classroom. You have a choice: be less liked, but get things done… or be nice and sit in the corner like a good girl, hearing an occasional snicker here and there.

If you want to be a goodie-two-shoes, just know people are going to take advantage of you. Obvious, right? Don’t try to silence your dark thoughts. Rather, integrate them into who you are. You’re not a cartoon character. The world is infinitely complex. It’s nice to see people as good and evil, good and bad… but this type of reasoning can have catastrophic consequences, because life is usually that gray area in between, with no right or wrong answers. Ignoring the gray area is living in a bubble, in an ivory tower of lofty intellectualism, devoid of practicality. \

Do you watch the Good Place? There’s a character there – a philosophy professor – who just can’t decide on anything. As a result, he ends up in the Bad Place – Hell. Think about that. A bad decision is better than no decision. The bad decision at least propels you forward; no decision keeps you in a quagmire of your own ineptitude.

So don’t buy into the be a good person psychological trap. People who prance around on their holier-than-thou high horses, are the ones you’ve gotta steer clear of. They’re often projecting their own flaws, their own faults – onto others.