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How do you juggle between your idealism and realism?

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I want the world to be a certain way.

 

As a programmer I like well organized code and by that I mean, code without side-effects everywhere, code without mutable state everywhere.

 

As a professional I like to be appreciated for my competence, and rewarded based on it.

 

As a man, I like women to love me for what I have to offer: my competence, productivity, security, stability, support etc. (I am aware women don't want these, I will come to that later).

 

As a philosopher/political being, I like my ideas to be accepted based on its consistency and correspondence with reality.

 

Unfortunately, the world isn't that way.

 

As a programmer, I have to put up with miles of spaghetti code, and be accused for what my predecessors did.

 

As a professional, I routinely meet people who do nothing productive, nor are they competent, yet they are given positions of power and influence over the competent people.

 

As a man, I routinely meet women who consider competent, productive, stable, supportive men as too boring, and not worth loving. They are after "alpha" men, men who are none of these.

 

As a philosopher/political being, my ideas are either ignored or stolen without acknowledgement. Inconsistent and plain wrong ideas prevail.

 

At what point should I start/stop trying to create the world I like, and start/stop accepting the way it is now?

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There are ideals one cultivates in their mind overtime, those passions and interests that grow with knowledge and experience, but then there is, also, of course, what is, the current state of Society.

If the State will take away a certain percentage of one's income, then why even try to obtain profit? Isn't it all or nothing, black or white, choose the ideal or don't even bother, go big or go home? Destroy one's creation rather than letting a secondhander have a say in it?

 

We all have to choose between Rand's, "Don't let your spark go out spark by irreplaceable spark" and "the question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." It's too simple and easy to say the State will stop one, but it may and may not. Some people lose their spark  and some are able to keep it.

 

I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

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At what point should I start/stop trying to create the world I like, and start/stop accepting the way it is now?

I'm not sure I understand why you consider these mutually exclusive. I think back to Dagny's idea (paraphrased): as long as I choose to live, I can't abondon a battle which I think is mine to fight. To accept the way the world is now is to acknowledge reality. To continue to fight for the world you want is heroic. To live as a rational being, you're compelled to fight for the world you want. At the same time, to accept the world the way it is doesn't require you to give up your rationality.

 

Yes, too many people act irrationally and value the mundane (and evil). I take comfort in now being able to almost immediately recognize them and avoid them. Sure, the world is a lonely place as a result, and that can be depressing. But to give up on my values (i.e., the world I want) because I can't find others who share them is to put the value of others higher than the value of myself. A very hard, painful lesson in life for me: compromising values to be less lonely isn't worth it.

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Even if the world was very rational in net, there would still be those irrational few to get in your way. There would also still be disagreements between rational men with different personal contexts, since knowledge isn't automatic. Or, consider if you were on an island all by yourself. In these scenarios, as in all scenarios, at the end of the day you can only control and only have yourself.

The truth is, even with all the irrationality around you, your life is better because there are many partially rational people being partially productive, on a huge scale, making an endless number of goods and services cheap for you. So, it's not really so bad. If your personal world seems bad to you, again, you only have yourself. Find some people you like or can at least tolerate, and start improving the things you don't like about how you live. Hate crappy code? Find a better software firm, or become an independent contractor, or even start your own business with your own employees where you can direct them to create the code you know is best.

There are many irrational people out there, but existence isn't "irrational." You may not be able to get what you want within certain systems in society because of irrationality, but you will always keep the ability to make different choices for yourself and work toward a better life.

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The truth is, even with all the irrationality around you, your life is better because there are many partially rational people being partially productive, on a huge scale, making an endless number of goods and services cheap for you. So, it's not really so bad. If your personal world seems bad to you, again, you only have yourself. Find some people you like or can at least tolerate, and start improving the things you don't like about how you live. Hate crappy code? Find a better software firm, or become an independent contractor, or even start your own business with your own employees where you can direct them to create the code you know is best.

 

In that case, I think I would be justified then to use, 

  • religious lies to motivate/manipulate religious people around me.
  • altruist lies, to make people run after altruist goals which will end up benefiting me.
  • a sermon designed to induce unjustified guilt, to make people feel powerless against me.

Because they are being irrational by not rewarding my competence, and by trying to make me act irrationally so as to earn rewards from them.

 

Quid pro quo. Agree?

 

Just as we should use violence to retaliate against violence. Why not use weaknesses-es due to irrationality against the irrational? It is just like how we make money of of bad traders in the market.

Edited by Edwin
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Edwin, I totally understand your predicament. The fact is, justice is a result of the recognition of reality. I constantly ask myself, "why keep bothering with these self deluding parasites? Should I just stop trying to be culturally active? ". On your quid pro quo , "Look at how effective predatory egoist are at achieving cooperation from sheeple"..... Culturally, ridicule and "thinking shallow and talking loud" seem to be the way to advance in most environments. I just have that inescapable conscience that I cant disconnect from pride and happiness in my self. I watch other productive folks with integrity constantly be used and discarded when the tribally preferred shows up. How often have you actually seen mature thinkers change their mind?

Edit: I have a quibble with this "alpha" thing. I am what most people would call an alpha and I have the same complaints you mention otherwise.... Especially the pilfering of my ideas by secondhanded parasites who claim them as their own..

Edited by Plasmatic
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I have a quibble with this "alpha" thing.

 

I am aware "alpha" isn't like we speak of alpha-males in animals. Our species don't have alpha males. A lot of species of apes don't have alpha males either.

 

I just wanted to describe this indescribable quality of men who are successful with women. Women call it "men who make me laugh", "men who are funny". I mean the bearded guy in this video: 

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Quid pro quo. Agree?

No, I do not agree, personally. Irrational people shouldn't be given any kind of "pass," but I think the solution you offer focuses on the negative. Who cares about those people? You could spend all day getting "even," or you could let them burn out all by themselves, as they inevitably will, and focus on improving things for yourself.

Compare: the time you spend taking advantage of idiots, wasting all this time interacting with their limited value, versus the time you would have spent focusing directly on your own plans for yourself, finding and working with better people who you actually like, and using none of your limited brainpower considering irrational people.

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Edwin, I totally understand your predicament. The fact is, justice is a result of the recognition of reality. I constantly ask myself, "why keep bothering with these self deluding parasites? Should I just stop trying to be culturally active? ".

You wouldn't waste time on parasites. When you discover such a person, what do you do? Continue in your effort, or move on?

A lot of irritation about the less-than-ideal people the world has to offer might be lifted with a simple shift in expectations: expect what is reasonable from someone who isn't very rational/motivated/happy/whatever. And with everyone else, (well, with everyone, really,) I suggest a take-it-or-leave-it approach. Say what you think and what you intend to do, do it, and let everyone else decide for themselves what to do about that. You won't grow frustrated when they don't act like you'd want, because you won't be thinking about it anymore until they actually do something in return. You wind up treating yourself and everyone else as it should be, rational or not: as an independent thinking person who can't control anyone but himself.

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I'm an idealist. But idealism isn't perfectionism. Idealism just means that I know how the world should be. It doesn't mean I need it to be exactly like that for me to function or be happy in it. You can be happy in an imperfect world, and still be an idealist. 

 

My idealism also doesn't mean that I plan on never resting, until the world is exactly what I want it to be. In fact I have no ambition to change the world. I'd be perfectly satisfied to just change a small part of it, and protect that part from the rest. 

 

I want the world to be a certain way.

 

As a programmer I like well organized code and by that I mean, code without side-effects everywhere, code without mutable state everywhere.

 

As a professional I like to be appreciated for my competence, and rewarded based on it.

 

As a man, I like women to love me for what I have to offer: my competence, productivity, security, stability, support etc. (I am aware women don't want these, I will come to that later).

 

As a philosopher/political being, I like my ideas to be accepted based on its consistency and correspondence with reality.

 

Unfortunately, the world isn't that way.

 

As a programmer, I have to put up with miles of spaghetti code, and be accused for what my predecessors did.

 

As a professional, I routinely meet people who do nothing productive, nor are they competent, yet they are given positions of power and influence over the competent people.

 

As a man, I routinely meet women who consider competent, productive, stable, supportive men as too boring, and not worth loving. They are after "alpha" men, men who are none of these.

 

As a philosopher/political being, my ideas are either ignored or stolen without acknowledgement. Inconsistent and plain wrong ideas prevail.

 

At what point should I start/stop trying to create the world I like, and start/stop accepting the way it is now?

How would you describe the world today?

 

What you wrote above isn't a description of the world as a whole. One sentence (the one about Politics/Philosophy) is, but the rest is just a description of a segment of the world. You never said that most professionals and business leaders are incompetent,  or most women don't have rational values, or that there are no jobs where you can program the way you'd like to. You just said that your job sucks, there are some  incompetent people in high places, and that you often meet women who don't have the right values.

 

As a philosopher/political being, my ideas are either ignored or stolen without acknowledgement. Inconsistent and plain wrong ideas prevail.

I can't speak to what you're saying about yourself, but that's not a description of the whole world anyway. Only the second sentence is.

 

And I disagree with it. That statement doesn't accurately characterize the state of the world today. The world is a mix of good and bad political ideas. The good ideas often prevail, that is why there can be so much good in the world. If the wrong ideas always prevailed, the world would be a wasteland of misery. 

 

As for philosophy, doesn't this forum at least occasionally prove that sometimes rational ideas do prevail?

 

P.S. as far as programming, you should consider starting a side-project. A lot of people do it, and they work on it occasionally, while holding down a job at the same time. Just to prove to yourself that you can write code you like. And who knows, maybe some day it will evolve into something bigger (a business venture, that allows you to quit your job).

Edited by Nicky
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"As a man, I like women to love me for what I have to offer: my competence, productivity, security, stability, support etc. (I am aware women don't want these, I will come to that later)."

 

I am sure many women want to be loved for the same reasons. If "women" (scare quotes for a bad, sweeping generalization) don't "really" want that, then "men" don't "really" want a virtuous woman. You're talking about being loved for your virtue. My point is basically you don't really need to fret about how many people don't want to love the virtue in another. Rephrase pragmatism in this context then: what exactly would you be getting more of? Sex probably, which if that was your only end, on its own without valuing the person, doesn't seem to be all what you want. Or if it is what you want purely and only, you are doing what you criticize others for doing. If it's having a girlfriend you have more of you mean, wouldn't it be rather boring and irritating to "lower" your standards? Pragmatism seems to offer no good options either.

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