keskiviikko 29. huhtikuuta 2015

Smarter than 99% of people

I took an IQ test. It said that my IQ is 135, which means that I'm supposed to be "smarter" than 99% of people.

I felt vaguely sceptical, so I started reading about intelligence. Well, it turns out that being smart has very little to do with IQ. People with high IQ's are not any better than other people when it comes to thinking rationally and knowing when you lack knowledge; it seems that in some ways, the average high IQ individual is even more idiotic and irrational than the average person. "Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons."

Turns out that what actually makes people smart is wisdom. And turns out that wisdom has nothing to do with IQ. Wisdom is emotional maturity, empathy, intellectual humility and having a realistic understanding of your own abilities.

My high IQ means that I'm smart in some ways. But I'm not wise, yet. (It's possible, though, that my high IQ could make me faster at becoming wise, if I consciously make it my project.)

The good news: based on this information, making the whole species less idiotic is actually very possible. And this has nothing to do with maths. Let people (especially kids, but also adults) play in an unstructured environment, a lot, every day. Less work, less studying, more play. Also: meditation.
People whose natural reaction after they've done something embarrassing is laughing loudly are very lucky. Freezing and not saying anything is a lot more tragic and intense.

tiistai 28. huhtikuuta 2015

Find your inner psychopath and become part of the 1%

I stumbled upon what is probably among the most disturbing videos I've seen in a while. And I mean, I have seen quite a few disturbing videos, everything from people committing suicide in strange ways to animals being skinned alive.

In the video a young woman apparently named Cammi Pham explains her fantastic business idea: being evil. Yay! Be evil, because that is how you can "become part of the [most successful] 1%". Being part of the 1%, naturally, is the only thing that makes life worth living. There are a few thousand people upvoting her posts on Quora.

The video in itself isn't that disturbing, but rather the things that it represents. So, don't take this post as a personal attack. I'm talking about ideologies.

There are millions of people whose idea of life really is this cold and disgusting. I used to think that only the bad guys in cartoons sincerely identified as bad guys (instead of somehow thinking of themselves as the good guys, as evil people in real life tend to do). But now it's becoming more acceptable to be openly and unapologetically evil. Too many people think that evil = successful = evil = successful.

In reality, evil = empty. It doesn't make you happy. The existence of a psychopath is essentially hollow. Humans are social, altruistic animals, and it's a scientific fact that we enjoy giving more than we enjoy getting. (Being good to others makes us feel better, so we try to be good to others; and there's nothing selfish about this: the fact that being good makes us feel good in the first place means that we are good.) A psychopath can become successful, but it's scientifically fair to say that their souls remain empty; when you're incapable of feeling love, your life is a wasted life.

In one of Pham's posts, she proudly explains that she only pretends to care about other people's problems so that they could somehow benefit her. Other people aren't important because they are human beings, but because they can help her "become successful". Okay. Knowing this, who on Earth would want to be a friend of this person? "Like I've told you, I only pretend to care about the fact that your mother died, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Try to accept that."

Of course, this is not actually the case. I believe that Cammi is, like many others on the Internet, just trying to be edgy. There are many people like this on Quora. Quora is a place where people who think they're smart try hard to seem smart. Faux-edginess happens when a person thinks that the best way to appear smart is to have an "unconventional opinion".

So, then these people start looking for an "unconventional opinion"... and for many of them, it is "I don't give a fuck about anybody! Don't trust anybody lol, nothing matters and there's no such thing as evil, everything is subjective lol". In the end, Cammi and other individuals praising selfishness on Quora are just a slighty more sophisticated version of this kid:

Of course, some people are just genuinely bad. It's hard to know. According to Cammi, she is "of royal descent" and "grew up with the 1%" of her country. Apparently, her parents taught her that the most (possibly, the only) important thing in life is to be hugely successful (rich), so, if you don't have the ability for self-reflection to question what you've been taught from day one, what else can you do than become a bit of a psychopath? She keeps repeating the word "unlearning". Unlearning is nothing but a word if you're not doing it.

I'm afraid that people like this simply never got the chance to develop the most basic parts of human existence; things like empathy, friendship, love, loyalty, etc. Their parents failed. But the parents of their parents probably failed too. And the parents of their parents of their parents of... you get the point. 'Psychopathy' is the culture of some people. They have money. That is all they have. Maybe we should feel sorry for them, but it's kind of difficult to feel sorry for people who are bad and proud of it.

You often see clichés like this. Which is good, because they are true.

Why would anybody want to be ridiculously rich? Why would somebody who's ridiculously rich want to become even richer? Why would that be the main goal in life for anybody? It's absolutely nothing compared to living a full, wonderful, painful, sad, funny human existence as a loving, laughing, working, sleeping, shitting complete human being, someone who sees others and the world around them, loves them and feels things when others are hurting and when others are happy. I'd say that that's the point, the beauty of the whole thing.

How are you going to find meaning, how are you going to find happiness, if you spend all your life focusing on something as trivial as being part of the 1%, and trying to get there by seeing all the other monkeys around you as nothing but dead objects for you to "use"?

What's interesting here is the happiness aspect. Science has fascinating things to say about happiness, altruism and psychopathy. Firstly: the happiest people tend to be the ones who truly care about others around them; and the people who do good things for others tend to be the happiest people. Why? Because like I said, humans are social, altruistic animals. We need deep emotional connection with other humans. Giving makes us feel good for a reason; it's programmed in us. Meaningful relationships in real life, warmth, friendship, love, community, the sense that you're a part of something bigger, doing something good for others around you -> happiness.

Another quote that's surprisingly correct when it comes to the psychology of human beings

Here's the interesting thing about psychopaths. It seems that psychopaths are never truly happy. They aren't necessarily unhappy either; they simply lack the depth to feel anything as strongly as most of us; they're empty. And if you're incapable of things like happiness, you have to replace it with something.

Why do some people want to become ridiculously rich? Because they don't have anything else.


Rationally speaking, this person as an individual is not dangerous; the disturbing thing for me is that there are many more people like this in the world, and some of them are smart, and they are making things really shitty for the rest of us.

All the psycho stuff + "I'm going after my vision!" / "Choose your dream!" / "Choose yourself!" All of this is empty nonsense. Banalities. There's no insight. Just like the majority of all the people doing exactly what she's doing, saying exactly what she's saying, she doesn't know what she's talking about. They use cool-sounding words and ideas that some rich bimbo stole from another rich bimbo but they have no idea what these things might mean in reality, as these people have never really existed in reality. How to become rich? Eh, how could you know? You never had to do anything to become rich, you were born rich, you sillypants. Please excuse my horrendous rudeness and my common sense.

(After reading through stuff CamMi has written on her blog, I'm surprised to see that this evilness thing is clearly something she's come up with quite recently. A few years ago she actually wrote a sweet post about the importance of "random acts of kindness"; how she was lonely and bullied and then a stranger's smile gave her hope. After that something clearly happened and now this psychopathy thing is suddenly in. Why pretend to be a psychopath if you're not a psychopath? I guess she saw all the other people doing the same thing and simply didn't realize that she could do something else, something better. Something much braver.)

Anyway, there are monsters and fake monsters in this world, and I must say that my respect for dirty kids who spend a month living in a park to protest for the 99% is several billion times greater than any respect I might have for anybody who thinks that belonging in the 1% is something so great that to get there you should give up your humanity.

If you give that up... what is left? Seriously? Your shoes?

Wise clichés


People who want to be rich tend to think that everybody wants to be rich. I don't want to be rich. It literally wouldn't mean anything to me. As long as you can afford food, clothes, medication, a home and other important stuff, money is pointless. Buying a boat doesn't make anyone happy. Happiness is other things. People that are sincerely interested in money are people who have nothing else.

When people start talking about money I get so bored that I fall asleep. It's as silly as talking about air and how to get more and more of it. Too much air and you're dead. The same goes for money.

sunnuntai 26. huhtikuuta 2015

A school is a place that turns everything it teaches into something that people hate.

sunnuntai 19. huhtikuuta 2015

I love you and your daughters

I love you, you, you, you, and you

I love your whole gang. Such cute, intelligent, strange people

Our gang's pretty good too

tiistai 14. huhtikuuta 2015

Feeling nervous

"Happiness" can't be the only thing that matters, other deeper things like wisdom have to matter too; because a society where everybody's feeling good but ignorant and indifferent is a society that will perish. Very quickly.

sunnuntai 12. huhtikuuta 2015

Disturbingly sexy lips

I'd already started thinking that I was unable to get what the big deal about Hemingway is, but surprisingly, A Moveable Feast is a pretty good book. The best part is where he meets F. Scott Fitzgerald for the first time. (I think that they are both hilarious, mostly unintentionally. I often find serious historical people unintentionally hilarious. They also have great names, "Hemingway" and "Fitzgerald".)

Scott has such sexy lips that Hemingway finds his company disturbing. (What?) Hemingway can't concentrate on what Fitzgerald is saying because he can't stop staring at Fitzgerald's oddly short legs. (What?) Fitzgerald drinks something and starts looking dead (what?), and later he says that it wasn't the drink that made him look dead, he just felt annoyed by some other customers (what?). I don't know, it's so absurd and nonsensical that it's good.

What's interesting is that Fitzgerald suffered from the same tragic condition that I personally know too well: the one that makes you look either super sexy or really horrible in pictures:

Well hello there handsome
Dude, what's going on with your hair?

If I taught a course on literature, it would be fucking ridiculous. But entertaining.

Why am I always commenting on America and American things and American people? I keep doing this so much that my friends think that I'm American. I don't know. Because for someone who watches television, America is everywhere? Morrissey has a song called "America is not the world". Strangely, I've listened to it only once.

lauantai 11. huhtikuuta 2015

"Just be yourself"

Suddenly, hating Nickelback became something that 'cool' people 'have' to do. Suddenly, thousands of people who previously had no particular opinion whatsoever on Nickelback 'hated' Nickelback. People who are hysterically trying to be cool or normal are scary because they are such idiots. Together they are capable of horrifying things.

I'm afraid that the great majority of humans are like this: not thinking, just imitating.

I just saw a headline The Bravest Thing You Can Do, According to Shailene Woodley (a short article about what actor Shailene Woodley said at the 'Teen Choice Awards'). If it's not "Just be yourself", then I am a walrus, I thought. I clicked on the headline. Yeah, it was "Just be yourself". I am still a walrus, though.

Just be yourself has become one of the most popular phrases in Western culture, but what the hell does it really mean? I think that the idea is beautiful in itself, when you truly and deeply understand it. But is the fact that everybody's repeating "Just be yourself" all the time making people actually "be themselves"?

How many people are capable of "being themselves", not caring at all about the opinions of other people? Maybe 2 or 3 in a thousand? The modern ideal is to be "individualistic", but how many of us actually are individualistic? 5 percent at best?

I don't know, but we are socially dependent animals and "Just be yourself!" is not going to change that. Most people saying "Just be yourself" are extremely unoriginal and insecure. They've heard "Just be yourself" thousands of times, but they haven't thought about what being yourself really means. They just think that it's something kinda good or whatever.

Modern individualism is an illusion. "Just be yourself" isn't making us more independent; for some reason it's just one of those things that sound good in a culture where narcissism has become acceptable. People post pictures saying "Just be yourself" on their Instagrams, and the next fucking picture is a picture of sushi, identical to all the pictures of sushi that their friends are posting all the time. People see other people do and say stuff, and then they repeat that same stuff almost automatically, and never ask themselves why they're doing what they're doing. If everybody's just being themselves, then everybody must be very closely related to each other.

tiistai 7. huhtikuuta 2015

Look bad, be good

When you realize that you're getting more and more ridiculous, just keep going. You're on your way to freedom.

I found two old posts that I never published. I don't even clearly remember writing them. The first one is titled "Look bad, be good" and I wrote it last year:

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
I'm tired of people talking about how inherently "evil" and "selfish" humans are. Every time I hear someone claim that humans are evil and selfish, I think, "Shut up, you don't know anything about humans." Humans are highly altruistic animals.

There's a lot of light and a lot of darkness in most people. And in the great majority of people, the light wins. Would you feel horrible if you saw someone kicking a child, or would you join in? Exactly.

I've never understood people who enjoy being better or smarter than most people. HOW is that possible? HOW can you enjoy that? I don't know anything as painful as being better or smarter than most people.

To find out whether someone is wise or not, you only have to find out whether they're capable of changing their mind when they're wrong. The ability to change your mind is an impressive sign of wisdom.

Why do I have to be an 80-year-old man from the mountains? Why do I have to be a horny 13-year-old?

Surprisingly, one doesn't have to be crazy at all to make great art. Take John Green for example. A major reason for his major success is that he's very sane.

The overwhelming majority of antifeminists have no idea what feminism means.

Marilyn Monroe was an intellectual with dyslexia.

My obsession or whatever it is with James Dean's face has been going on for nearly 4 years now. There's something about the perfection of his face that keeps fascinating me. Normally perfection is boring.

Will I be staring at photos of James Dean's face when it's 2055 and he's been dead for a century? 2055. What a soothing thought. 2055 seems like very distant future, yet in 2055 I'll be just 61. 61 is nothing. I'll still be middle-aged. Probably virile and working. Or dead.

2055 will be a new world. I certainly hope that it will be better than this one. But I know that it will be different from this one.

My father knew someone who knew Natalie Wood who knew James Dean.

It's a small world, it's a small space-time continuum.

Another post I never published:

I'm really bad at following people on social media. Currently I'm following one pig and maybe two people. 
People have really strange fetishes. Recently I stumbled upon a short story that had a protagonist that was a cat watching a guy take a shit. Yes, a cat watching a guy take a shit.

I find Taylor Swift annoying. I just do, I always have, and it doesn't really make sense. I can't rationalize it. It feels wrong, but I can't help it. I don't really understand the mechanisms of annoyingness, but I know that I have always been considered generally quite annoying. Annoyingness is interesting, I have to think about it and maybe write about it.

From the subject of Taylor Swift to other related phenomena. There's a 54-year-old dwarf terrorizing normal people in a town in England. He's shitting everywhere and sleeping without his pants on in public, etc.

What's really disturbing are the comments below the article.

People are actually saying that Hitler was right for wanting to "exterminate" "people like this".

This is clearly someone with really severe mental health problems. People don't just start doing stuff like this for no reason. This is very likely someone who has suffered tremendously. From day one.

I realize that the guy's pooping everywhere, but really, the people who wrote those comments are an infinitely worse example of humanity at its lowest.

Day after day I understand it again and again: lack of compassion is the ugliest thing in the world.

I'm the most rational person I know. And I am quite irrational.

There are a lot of people who identify as rational people. Not many of them are that rational in the end. For instance, people can identify as highly rational militant atheist types (I'm not commenting on militant atheism in itself) while they're actually strongly controlled by their own emotional reactions and irrationalities.

The point is that, at the end of the day, even the most rational human being on Earth is rather irrational. Admitting this makes some level of rationality possible. If you're not aware of your own irrationality, it means that you're not capable of looking critically at your own emotions, motives and actions. And that in itself means that you're not rational.

I'm the most rational person I know, yet the stories I write are mostly stories about human irrationality and absurdity. Well, you have to know something about it to write about it.

Isn't it interesting, by the way, that nearly all comedy is based on revealing the hidden immaturity of adult humans?


For some unknown reason I've seen Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery five or six times. Watching Austin Powers movies could be seen as extreme waste of time. Watching Austin Powers movies could even be considered the definition of 'extreme waste of time'. (I don't really care, by the way.)


Writing the book I'm writing has at least doubled my quality of life.


In 2015, believing that animals have the right to live without humans consciously harming them can be fucking harsh psychologically. I can't say I recommend it if your mind isn't strong and sane. I'm not sure if mine is, but I keep trying. The time I live in is not a time where people see animals the way I do. And I believe that the way I see animals makes quite a lot of sense scientifically and ethically. And then the question is, dear Jesus, why didn't you let me be born in 2094 where reality could be brighter? And maybe the answer is, well honey, some individuals have to see before everybody starts seeing.

I heard Aleksi Pahkala and Maria Veitola discuss veganism on the radio. They're giving veganism a try for 30 days. That's cool, but there was something disturbing about the discussion.

Maria Veitola started talking about a restaurant that used to be a regular meaty restaurant, but is now trying to be "ethical" and therefore focusing on vegetables, fish, "etc." Yeah, "etc." This is fucking depressing. I remember watching some lifestyle show some years ago where actor Riku Nieminen was being interviewed about his lifestyle; in the interview, he talked about his ethical vegetarianism... while fishing. Yes, he took the journalist fishing to have a chat about vegetarianism. I don't know what this is. Why does this keep happening? The factory farming of fish is among the worst forms of factory farming, and fish are just as complex as the land animals that people produce, but none of this matters apparently because they are so fucking ugly. We have to change this.

Of all vertebrates, fish are the group of animals that have it the worst; they have almost no legal protection, and people are ready to treat them in ways that would be considered barbaric towards any other vertebrate. This is going to be one of the great challenges for the animal rights movement in the coming decades: how to get people to care about animals that look stupid and ugly. I'll have to write about this more specifically.

How to get people to care about an animal that is not cute? Or people that are not cute?
We must find a way.

Aleksi said that veganism is good, but that in his opinion, people can do whatever they want. I always wonder why people say that. I mean, it's obviously not true. If Aleksi saw someone beating a dog on the street, he'd immediately forget the "people can do whatever they want" thing. The only reason why people say that in the first place is that they know that standing up for the most oppressed groups is sometimes socially inconvenient. But an action that has a victim is never just a personal choice. Am I extreme for saying this? Why is it 'extreme' to say this? Isn't it way more extreme that we're currently producing and killing hundreds of billions of animals a year simply because we don't want to eat something else?

Anyway, good for you, Maria and Aleksi. Thanks for trying to do a good thing. I'm just kind of serious about this animal thing.

Interesting. I haven't been thinking about fish for a while now, but I haven't forgotten them. Yesterday I woke up feeling surprisingly happy, and then I turned on the TV and saw this guy

Max Forsman

say that he wouldn't even want to know what fish "think" (because fish are ugly -> fish are stupid, you know the logic). Then I thought, thanks a lot Max, I was feeling surprisingly happy and now I'm going to have to feel irritated for at least 30 minutes. I'd love to know what fish "think". Why must I know what Max "thinks"? So then I felt irritated for at least 30 minutes or maybe more. Thanks a lot, person named Max Forsman, you dreamy teddybear.

sunnuntai 5. huhtikuuta 2015


The truth is that the world of Harry Potter means so much more to me than this nightmarish hellhole, but now that I'm stuck here the only thing that makes sense is to try and help fix this place.

There's too many Dudleys, too many Malfoys. There's something wrong with this generation. Really. I'm not just saying that, there are people studying this and what they've found is frightening. Too many of us are rich, heartless bastards, or at least pretending to be rich, heartless bastards, because for some reason, that's the new ideal.

But some of us don't share that ideal. This is going to sound weird, but something that many of us have in common is that we were (are) Harry Potter fans. You should never underestimate the power of weird things. A lot of us were Harry Potter fans, and we identified with the losers and the heroes.

When you think about it... the losers were the heroes.

The losers are the heroes.

Listen, this is what the world looks like

Russia is fucked up, for instance. China is fucked up. Most of Asia is fucked up. Africa is fucked up. India is fucked up. The Arab world is fucked up. So is Israel. The Western world is quite fucked up and getting worse.

I believe in nonviolence, peace, compassion, equality, solidarity, rationality, trying to find objective truth, freedom and responsibility, human rights and animal rights, patience and self-awareness.

Maybe you do too. Now look at the world around you. Look at the history of human societies. Look at the world outside ‘the democratic, rational Western societies’. And if you live in a 'democratic, rational Western society', look at the people around you. If you believe in the same things I believe in, you are something extraordinary.

Because so far it's been about who kills faster and what this god says and what that god says. So far power has been the only thing that mattered. It’s been about hairy men telling other hairy men to kill other hairy men. Now we’re trying to let things like solidarity, equality and rationality win. We're not always good at them, but at least we see them as something worth striving for. This is something new. This is one of the most amazing steps we’ve ever taken.

Naturally, humans are highly empathetic and altruistic animals. I know that I am, and I know that I'm not a freak of nature. You can already see this in young babies; in studies, most of them prefer the good puppet to the evil puppet. So you'd think that our societies would be empathetic and altruistic too, but unfortunately, we are also capable of violence, ignorance and indifference; we're very good at rationalizing all that in our heads. Especially when we form groups and stop thinking for ourselves. We lie to ourselves to make the problem go away, and that's the reason why it's even possible for the world to be so fucked up in so many ways. "Well, God thinks that..." "Well, that's how it's always been..." "Well, people are selfish so..."

The scary thing is that ‘the democratic, rational Western society’, the whole idea is very new. The fact that people see that as something worth striving for is extraordinary. In many places, the vast majority of people simply don't get what's so special about democracy and equality in the first place. Ancient Egypt existed for 3000 years. The Western world with ideals such as human rights has really existed for about 70 years now, if that. It’s such a fragile concept that when people stop thinking, it disappears.

I don't know. Argh. Most people of my generation think they know who's "too fat" and who's "too skinny", because for some reason they think that that's their business; at the same time, they couldn't give a fuck about the world's problems, because for some reason they think that those are not their business. NOT GIVING A FUCK has become the coolest thing to do, but there's two types of not giving a fuck, and you must always know the difference:

the bad one: not giving a fuck about injustice and the pain of others.

the good one: not giving a fuck about the pressure of social norms and the looks in the eyes of idiots.

Most people of my generation know who Harry Styles is, but they don't really know what happened in the 20th century. And that's why nothing's stopping us from making the same mistakes again.


Jesus was eccentric and rebellious and good. Jesus was a wise man.

It would be great if people paid some attention to what he was saying.

But for some reason the people who say his name the loudest are people who are mainly obsessed with the horrors of the Old Testament. Like all that horrible stuff was more important than all the beautiful stuff.