T Nation

The Cyborg Complex (Fitness Related)


#82

Sounds good!


#83

This is prima fascia bad? I mean psychopaths and sociopaths have higher concentrations as CEOs. Maybe they’re the best at it. I get your point that the fakers or the wannabes are annoying when they brag about work.

But when the most successful people on earth say they work all the time… duh. That should comfort those of us that don’t want 3 ex wives and estranged children in exchange for sky high wealth.

I would bet most “hyper achievers” are damaged in one way or another. My desire to escape the middle class is rooted in my grandfather’s last words. He was the hardest working human I’ve ever met, but not money motivated. HIs last words clutching his chest with painful congestive heart failure:
Grandma:“I’m calling an ambulance.”
Grandpa:“we can’t afford that.”

I want my last words to be “I love you” or “OUCH CALL THE AMBULANCE” not “I’m broke”


#84

I guess it’s hard for me to follow your definition. It seems to be all of the traits mentioned, but not just a few.

It’s ambition, with narcissism. Effective self-management, without circumstantial filter. Success, but unsolicited advice. Etc. etc.

A mutual friend connected me with this guy on Instagram yesterday. He thought we’d get along well. Read the guys bio and he was a self-proclaimed polymath. Had no desire to communicate after reading that. Is that a characteristic? Self-identification with prestigious titles?


#85

No shit lol. And we get our Iphones and 4k TVs, self-driving cars, GPS, online shopping, medical technology vastly improving lives of the severely disabled, access to every single work of music and literature ever composed or written at the click of a mouse, 3,000 songs in device that fits in your pocket, conversations with people across the globe in real time, cloud computing…

This is scifi shit, man. Just 20 years ago, all these would have been as ludicrous as the flying cars in Back to the Future, and they would have stayed that way if not for the actions of some crazy people.


#86

I gotta admit I gradually became like this when I entered university in a foreign country studying a pretty tough and highly sought after course which is normally undertaken by mostly kids from more affluent backgrounds (the responsible and self-motivated kind, not the bums lol). It was a complete culture shock looking at their work ethic stemming from their upbringing, which is why I still believe that you should never ever take any advice about being successful(career and financial) from people who are not successful. But unlike them, I had to work to supplement my savings from my previous army career plus a need to compete with some of the smartest fuckers in the state in a language I was not entirely fluent in so there was a terrible sense of urgency involved. Somehow, this evolved into developing intense feelings of guilt when I had any free time that I wasn’t spending on doing anything productive (“productive” included getting laid, for some reason that I still don’t quite grasp) as if I was taking an opportunity that very few from my background had for granted, even though I knew that was simply not true because I knew no one I knew was willing to do the shit I was willing to do. If I partied, I partied fucking hard just to block out any thoughts that I was wasting time.I had girlfriends who wanted to just stay at home and watch vcds and I would start detesting them after some time. It’s very hard to put it in words but the underlying drive was always guilt. Probably from a Catholic upbringing, I don’t fucking know lol. This shit just followed me into my career for over 10 years until it just became bad enough to take a severe toll on my mental and physical health.

So, I dunno. I don’t think it’s sustainable for the average person. It’s also very hard to stop because it involves an entire rewiring of the way you think. I don’t think this is healthy in the long run unless one is born with the specific character traits for it. But I do think many people aren’t pushing the envelope enough to know what they can really handle.

Just to be clear, I think these people are normally charlatans who are closer to motivational speakers, and most of the people following them are posers. The latter are normally all talk, just like the New Year’s resolutioners whom you see in the gym for the first few months out of the year, but they still come online and act like they know everything about working out after that.


#87

I’ve experienced something very similar. As my family was deprived of intergenerational wealth thanks to the double whammy of Nazism and Communism me and my siblings were brought up with the implicit concept of being expected to use our brains to close the gap. While this is a great recipe for short to medium term academic and business success, it can be extremely damaging in the long term.

Personally, I tried to excel in everything - academia, sports, even leisure time, all quantified. Which grades did I get? How many girls did I sleep with? How many days did I spend doing an X “fun” activity? How did I stack up against person Y? An internal success metric for everything.

Fortunately, I grew up in the era before smartphones and the advent of the Quantitative self otherwise I would have literally gone insane.

And for the vast majority of people this is not viable in the long run - in my mid-twenties I realized I used to wake up with a mild feeling of self loathing if I had a somewhat “wasted” weekend, and that meant not spending a Saturday morning before going to the gym learning Portuguese. A self masturbatory circle of obsessive betterment.


#88

There are CEO’s who don’t work much too, and make millions at it. :grinning:


#89

I think a lot of this stuff can be explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Those on the lower steps and those on the higher steps sometimes appear to do similar things. Those on the higher steps actually do it whilst those on the lower steps just blag about it. Those in the middle are working hard to get higher up and at the same time resenting the blaggers lower down.

Regards

Nile Crane


#90

I think both sides of this argument have some merit. I think we can all agree that to be more successful than average you have to, generally, put in more effort (more time) than said average. If we exclude outliers, it’s normally those working the hardest and for longer periods of time that get the furthest and it makes logical sense.

On the other hand, does Mark Wahlberg need to wake up at 2:30 AM, workout twice, and sit in cryo chamber every day? No, of course not. That’s fucking nonsense.

All that said, I don’t think this is new at all. In Total Recall, Arnold talks about how he was lifting twice a day, running a mail order catalog business with Franco Columbu out of their apartment, and talking acting and speech classes. It obviously worked out for him, but had that occurred in present day we’d see it on Instagram all the time.

Another current example is Jocko Willink. I have a ton of respect for Jocko, but I think he is more or less what Brick is referring to. Just look at his Instagram. Every other post is a picture of his watch when he starts exercising that day. For lack of a better term, it’s part of his schtick and a lot of people find it “motivating”, but it’s part of this notion that you have to “do what other won’t to achieve what others can’t” type of mentality.



#91

Good post.

I can’t write much now but im his posts and others, there is a common reference to “others”: doing what others can’t, living like “no one else,” not letting others tell you what do. It actually makes me feel like saying f—- you!”

Also what’s wrong or bad about how the “others” are living? Why is there an urge to do others. It’s life, not a sport. (Inb4 “but bro life is a sport.”)

Why is there a hangups over others? It’s crass and corny. So others don’t want to do what the next guy does (eg, train as if life depends on it, work oneself into the dirt, etc.). And?

I’ll say one thing the next guy can do: work in a group, collaborate, and so on.

The “other” woman can raise three kids and take care of a home, not be an executive or careerist (which is OK too.)

The “other” guy can become head of a PTA chapter and look out for his community. And so goes the rest!

This all strikes me as grotesque individualism. And as I said in the end it’s all monetary and image driven And I class it as yet another symptom of a pathological culture. My take.


#92

I think some people need external forces to push them and I think some people need, for lack of a better term, a hero to look up to because they’ll likely never achieve that status/income/whatever.

I think it can be, but there are also examples of people who promote others. Think of all of the information @Alpha has provided over the years even before he started an Instagram/Youtube account. The Loyalty Brand has been promoting a young kid with a disability for a while now who got to spend time with Arnold and show off his strength at the Arnold Classic this year. At the end of the day, they’re selling a brand like anyone else, but the way they’re doing it is, IMO, the opposite of grotesque individualism.






#93

Great points! :+1:


#94

As a massive non-fan of humanity, I can understand the desire to not want to be like others.

However, one has to appreciate the irony that, in wanting to not be like other people, they seek to directly emulate another person’s approach to not being like other people.


#95

Can you explain not being a fan of humanity? I don’t get it. I’m a HUGE fan of a SEGMENT of humanity.


#96

This would be akin to wondering why I don’t like Neapolitan ice cream considering I’m a big fan of strawberry, haha.

Humans, by and large, are absurdly self-centered and terrible. And don’t get me wrong; that’s simply a byproduct of necessary survival skills, because all things in nature operate in a similar pattern. What is upsetting is that we possess the cognition to rise ABOVE that, and have consistently failed. The wasted potential is far more upsetting.

Consider the fact that every time you’re on the road and you see someone texting and driving, that individual is conveying a message that “I believe that the message that is on my phone is more valuable than your life, and I’m willing to risk your life so that I can check my phone.”

Then look at how many people in your daily life engage in that behavior.

And those are simply crimes of apathy, to say nothing of when a human dedicates themselves to the task of malice, of which no other animal can possibly top us.


#97

Weren’t you talking about learning how Asians parent? That’s probably the phrase their kid is going to hear the most lol.

But seriously, that phrase can be applied to anything. The idea is to expect more of yourself and push yourself above the norm when it comes to pursuing your chosen goal.


#98

Believe me, I know.


#99

I’ve never really idolized anyone to begin with, but I now find idolizing or otherwise saying that someone is a good person and actually meaning it to be misguided.

Simply put- I feel that you only know a certain aspect of a person, and you will build your judgment of that person based on those aspects you’re familiar with. If you’re familiar with only the good aspects, then you’ll have a good opinion of them. If you’re familiar with only the bad aspects,then you’ll have a bad opinion of them.

Either way, once you learn that a good person has some decidedly negative aspects, or that a bad person has some decidedly positive aspects, you will hem and haw and, in my view, generally become a hypocrite.

To me, it makes a lot more sense to recognize that everyone is a human being and, generally speaking, be very wary of all people I meet.


#100

I have 2 differing thoughts on this.

My first is that there is the analogy of the surgeon, wherein, when we decide that a person is a good “X” (in this instance, surgeon), it’s not that we say “They are a morally sound individual that is also a surgeon” but that “That individual is good at the art of surgery, irrespective of their moral qualities”. This makes idolization a little easier, if one wishes to go that route. I’m a fan of boxing, I’m thinking about picking it up again, and I idolize Mike Tyson in that regard. Mike, in his prime, was a fantastic boxer, his style resonates with me, and I’m a big fan of watching him fight. As a human, Mike was a massively flawed individual. To idolize Mike Tyson, the human, is misguided, but to idolize Mike Tyson, the boxer, as a boxer makes sense.

Second semi-related thought is I have a crackpot theory regarding humanity that we all basically possess the same baseline level of evil; it’s merely a question of how it gets expressed. There are people out there that are clearly evil and get it all out at once (tyrants, murderers, etc), and then there are people that just let out evil in little spurts (not returning their shopping cart when they’re done shopping, walking on a running path, minor infractions). In turn, what tends to terrify me the most are those that appear to be the most upstanding, because time and again we find that they have some horrible hidden evils.

My go tos in those cases are Bill Cosby and Jared Fogle of Subway fame. The latter especially so. Prior to his findings, if you asked me to provide you a definition of the most white bread suburbanite human on the plant, he would be it.


#101

[quote=“T3hPwnisher, post:100, topic:253629, full:true”]
I have 2 differing thoughts on this.

My first is that there is the analogy of the surgeon, wherein, when we decide that a person is a good “X” (in this instance, surgeon), it’s not that we say “They are a morally sound individual that is also a surgeon” but that “That individual is good at the art of surgery, irrespective of their moral qualities”. This makes idolization a little easier, if one wishes to go that route. I’m a fan of boxing, I’m thinking about picking it up again, and I idolize Mike Tyson in that regard. Mike, in his prime, was a fantastic boxer, his style resonates with me, and I’m a big fan of watching him fight. As a human, Mike was a massively flawed individual. To idolize Mike Tyson, the human, is misguided, but to idolize Mike Tyson, the boxer, as a boxer makes sense.[/quote]

Oh absolutely; that’s perfectly fine. Admiring someone for what they’ve achieved/accomplished is perfectly fine in my opinion.

I will say that I respect and admire many for what they’ve achieved in their field. It clearly takes a lot of effort and skill to reach those accomplishments.

But I feel that it’s misguided to go beyond that and attach some value to their character on top of that. As you’ve mentioned, that Tyson is an amazing boxer doesn’t mean that he’s a good human being.

I’ve judged a person’s character on the basis of what they’ve achieved before, and I feel that many people who attempt the route of becoming a cyborg are doing the same. I now believe that is a misguided thing to do.

Those two are great examples of what I mean.

I think most people aren’t evil, but simply believe that their actions aren’t that bad.

People are very good at rationalizing their actions while judging the crap out of the actions of others.

And, of course, there are some truly evil people out there.

The scary part to me is that even normal people can commit truly evil acts.