T Nation

The Cyborg Complex (Fitness Related)



I realized when I woke up after marrying my HS sweetheart, with a mortgage, 2 kids and 3 jobs (a couple of which I loathe) that you really can just become your father if you’re not mindful. That is to say example is 1000% more powerful than spoken lessons you teach your kids.


Well said man!


Why don’t you try it an find out?

Said the man listening to Tom Jones.


There are also men who are workaholics and spend virtually no time with their kids. They’re working all the time.

Both lead to the same result, I think.

The best solution is to show your child that you are paying attention to them and interested in what they do. You’ll need the foresight and ability to recognize how your child responds to that and adapt accordingly, but I get the feeling that this is easier said than done.


I think I should have titled this thread Grotesque Individualism instead of The Cyborg Complex to avoid misinterpretation.

As I said, much social media posts showing such individualism follow a trend that I mentioned before, the trend of scoffing at or denigrating other people.

Some examples again:

“Don’t let anyone tell you what to do!”
“Work like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”
“In order to live like this, you have to outwork everyone else”.
“F— the world.”
“I didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t do it.”

Notice the common theme: a disdain, disrespect, and/or comparison for the next person.

And although many think that such a individualistic mindset leads to success, although it does in some cases, in the vast majority of cases of success, whether that success be a milquetoast, quiet, but high-quality life, or the success of a highly ambitious and capable person in a difficult, high-paying profession, teamwork and collectivism was in effect!


Not seeing a problem with this one. If you want uncommon results, you have to do uncommon things. It’s not about the other people, it’s about keeping your goals front and center and not being swallowed up by the quicksand of mediocrity most people settle for.

I think these statements (while cliche) are expressing anger and disdain for nay sayers and back biters. The people who actively hate on and try and tear down anyone winning more than them.

“I didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t do it.” Is obviously aimed at people actively trying to stop or dissuade him from pursuing his goals. Those people have no problem if you want to have a w2 9-5, a mortgage and a debt load you can never hope to repay. Try to do more or live different… those same people come out of the woodwork to “warn” you out of “concern”.


There seems to an implicit “holier than thou” attitude to most of these motivational sayings.

[quote=“Basement_Gainz, post:148, topic:253629, full:true”]
Those people have no problem if you want to have a w2 9-5, a mortgage and a debt load you can never hope to repay.[/quote]

Given that you also wrote about most people settling for a “quicksand of mediocrity”, I’m not sure about the above quote.

What defines success anyways? I think a wall street banker who makes millions yearly will think that people who don’t achieve that kind of financial success are losers.


Exactly. And what is mediocrity? I mean, who is a mediocre person. I hear that word almost as much as I hear the word success. There’s no particular definition.

And a high debt load for middle class people living in extremely expensive coastal cities is usually not from overreaching or buying things they don’t need. It usually is due to the outrageous price of real estate despite having jobs that pay decently.

In all seriousness, a high level of “mediocrity”, likely what people refer to as average or ordinary is actually necessary for any civilization worth a damn for the required allocation of labor and is a result of widely varying abilities and intellect. I am assuming that mid-skilled people are the ones referred to as average; you know, teachers, cops, firemen, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals, 9-5er’s. Most people who enter these fields likely have capped levels of intellectual or physical abilities that match the job or have resources and backgrounds that don’t allow them to do “better”, whatever that means. I’m sure they’re aware they are not designed to be scientists, engineers, financiers, actuaries, and surgeons.

Most of the aforementioned mid-skilled workers didn’t settle; they picked careers that they liked, felt they were the appropriate fit for, or appreciated the benefits, title, and nature of the jobs.

People have to do these jobs anyway, along with lower skilled ones. I don’t see them as “settling” by filling such spots.

Though I like @Basement_Gainz, he seems to be hung up with monetary gain and uses no other factor in quality of life as a measuring stick.

Anyway, the people who spew the statements I posted above usually aren’t aware that they aren’t as unique as they think.

My own mother is an example of a “mediocre” person who now lives good. She worked over 30 years as a teacher, has no debt, receives a pension and annuity many would envy, works part time as she pleases, goes on vacations–all that with enough leftover to spoil me, my son, and wife (well more like voluntarily help). I’m sure she was aware of her abilities. So are others. Many other mediocre type of people have accomplished such. Nope, they weren’t and aren’t rich or extraordinary talented and weren’t grinding and crushing and killing. But they did what they were supposed to do and took care of their families.

Anyway, do people really try to hold others back. I’d find it weird to say to say or imply some talented and ambitious guy to hold his ambition back.


I don’t see these catchphrases, when used as a source of internal motivation to push one through shit, as any different from “Eye of the tiger, Rocky! Eye of the tiger!” lol.

You’re all taking these things far too seriously.

How about looking at it this way.

You are slooooowly grinding out a max deadlift. Your grip is slipping and you’re scared shitless of your back snapping mid lift, then “FUCK AVERAGE! AVERAGE PEOPLE SUCK DONKEY DICKS!!! I’D RATHER DIIIIEEEE!!!” pops in your head and you get that extra push to complete the lift. After that you go back to your normal self working as a counselor for orphan kids with nothing else but a lasting high after hitting a PR. You don’t literally think someone else’s mother or best friend sucks donkey dicks. It’s just how you push yourself internally when needed.

People think extreme thoughts all the time when they’re pushing themselves through shit. Some really need them to push themselves. Some of these thoughts can even sound really unexpectedly horrific if you make them tell you what these thoughts are. But most people aren’t one-dimensional. They can drop these thoughts when they’re aren’t needed and go about their lives. If they need them to push themselves through things most of the population won’t be able to do, then they should go ahead and use them.

And FTR, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these phrases other than “Fuck the world”, but I’m gonna just agree to disagree, But just for your info, I wouldn’t be sitting here having the luxury of communicating with you all on the internet while doing my work and other stuff I do for leisure if I hadn’t lived by these “principles” earlier in life.:


[quote=“dt79, post:151, topic:253629, full:true”]
I don’t see these catchphrases, when used as a source of internal motivation to push one through shit, as any different from “Eye of the tiger, Rocky! Eye of the tiger!” lol.

You’re all taking these things far too seriously. [/quote]

You’re probably right. It depends on your perspective of things and what you’ve done personally and how you feel you achieved it.

To your deadlift example- I am was an incredibly weak and thoroughly unathletic person. I’m bad at every sport I’ve done in my youth.

So I’m pretty pleased that I’ve done a ~2.5xbw deadlift with no belt. That gives me full confidence that I can hit my desired goal of 3xbw deadlift eventually, and when I get to that there’s no particular reason why I cannot get a 600lb deadlift. It will be my own failure if I fail to hit that number.

In this case I think all those motivational stuff applies.

But this is just me and the barbell. It’s a personal struggle for something that is ultimately meaningless to others.

I think this is different from what Brickhead is trying to talk about with the “cyborgs”.

A cyborg doesn’t necessarily do what those things in a desire to succeed, but rather because those things have become a way to show the world how awesome they are.

In simpler terms- they become judgmental. If you’re not doing biohacks to sleep less and become more productive, then the unstated assumption is that you must be lazy relative to the guy who does those biohacks and not want to achieve the same level of success.

At least, that is the impression I get from what Brickhead wrote.

Lastly- I dislike motivational posters now because I feel that they’re just a way for people to feel good and say “hurrah”! Posting those things and talking incessantly about them is a form of virtue signaling in my opinion.


Oh ok, you guys think they’re “alpha signaling” lol. I can dig that.

So you don’t necessarily disagree with the catchphrases these guys are throwing out, but rather, you take issue with these guys and the way they use these catchphrases? Because I’ve been trying to look at it from different perspectives and I still don’t understand the problem with the last few catchphrases that I quoted in my post.


We’re speaking past each other on this one. I never said that everyone had to have 10X goals and try to reach the 1%.

Your mom is a smart lady and SHE is exactly the type of person I would ask for advice and listen to. Because she avoided the stupid that infects most people’s finances and “lived like no one else so later she could live like no one else.”

Do you realize how rare your mom is? I’ve seen so many people work their entire lives with only poverty and stress waiting to embrace them in their golden years. I would like to shout a hardy “do not want” at the thought of that being my fate.

I know my chances of being a billionaire are near zero, and I don’t even want that. I would like to leave my kids something, take a few vacations, give to charity and be prosperous. I can tell you the sort of “average” or “mediocre” results I don’t want (below).

The gist of those sayings that annoyed you was twofold. On the one hand @dt79 point was spot on. They are for internal monologue/motivation. The other for me, you don’t ask broke people their opinions on wealth (broke in this context means people who make dumb choices not just a small net worth). You wouldn’t ask a 20% fat weekend warrior accountant like me for a Bodybuilding prep diet would you?



  1. of only moderate quality; not very good.


I literally lol from some of your posts! You’re hysterical!


OK, you are right. I guess I wasn’t thinking of what bad shape the average American is in. However in many cases I believe it is so because of socioeconomic forces beyond their control at this point, which can go in a whole other thread.


That’s definitely a statement that can be very fraught, and can consume a thread. The American Dream is built on the idea that anyone can succeed with enough effort. The problem with the system is that it’s only true to an extent. ANY ONE can succeed, but there’s no way EVERY ONE can succeed. For everyone who works hard and ‘makes it’, there’s someone who works just as hard or harder and fails. And that doesn’t even get into the discussion of those who have the deck stacked against them to start with…


Valid points. To @BrickHead 's point of all you want is a nice middle class life and to play with your grandkids, for her that’s successful.

I would counter that the poor and middle class here do better than in most other places on earth. I also think this is the best time ever to be born poor or middle class. The opportunities abound for those with initiative.

More importantly, where we as a society fail our kids (and adults). We don’t teach them anything about money and how it works. There’s no personal finance classes in Highschool. Which is retarded, because whether you’re a janitor/welder/unemployed/surgeon/lawyer you will have to deal with finances.

We should at least teach kids how to budget. Teach them that there’s never a good reason for a payday loan, they’re usury at levels that make mob loansharks blush.

Teach them that if they use a credit card as a safety valve, that’s fine. But once there’s a balance on that fucker you should treat it like cancer or a house fire. Sell the dog, deliver pizzas, donate plasma… etc. Whatever it takes pay that sucker off. 18-30% interest will kill you.

No you shouldn’t pay DOUBLE for the exact same degree just for the out of state experience. That experience isn’t worth an extra $50k+ in debt.

And other lessons of course. We just send these 18yo’s off into adulthood with no idea of how incredibly screwed they are if they make dumb choices.


A lot of kids don’t even know what questions to ask. I see some questions pop up on here every so often, usually with a relatively simple but significant answer, and can’t help but think “Smart kid! That’s a good question.”.


Wouldn’t this destroy the U.S. economy?

Legit question.


If everyone were educated in personal finance and acted prudently? I’d bet no. You’d lose jobs in banking, credit cards and payday loans. You’d gain jobs in real estate, asset management and luxury goods when everyone isn’t JOB (just over broke).

Also just because you teach people about something doesnt mean they’re going to have the discipline and sense to apply it. It would probably be < 25% of people. At least then it’d be a conscious decision.


I think one decent move would be to abolish fractional reserve banking. There are other ways to make living more affordable for ordinary Americans but I’ll leave that to people’s understanding of world dynamics.