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[P]
Advice to Teenagers

By tbc in Culture
Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 02:31:59 PM EST
Tags: Help! (Ask Kuro5hin) (all tags)
Help! (Ask Kuro5hin)

My son, who is entering high school this fall, has a school assignment that requires me to provide him with my advice to teenagers. I included recommendations that he read the essay that Paul Graham recently wrote, What You'll Wish You'd Known, and Mary Schmich's poem, "Wear Sunscreen." Both of those pieces are entertaining and somewhat useful for all ages. So what advice do you have for teenagers?


Here's some of what I'm telling him.

  • Cultivate virtues in yourself that will counteract the Seven Deadly Sins: cultivate humility to resist pride; be kind and meek to resist wrath; be temperate to resist gluttony; be chaste in all things to resist lust; cultivate brotherly love to resist envy; be liberal with your treasure to resist avarice; and be diligent to resist sloth.
  • One piece of advice from one of my high school math teachers stands out in my mind, and I pass it on to you: "If you can do math you can do anything." He was right. Work to understand math.
  • Learn what your options are before you choose a plan for your life. Pursue the things that interest you the most -- some call it "passion," others "curiosity." You don't have to have long-range plans in order to live a good life. At any given moment in your life, evaluate your options and choose the one that looks to be most likely to open up more possibilities for you. If you do have long-range goals, pursue them with zeal, but be prepared for them to change. As Paul Graham says, "It's not so important what you work on, so long as you're not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you'll take."
  • Expect to have to work hard for what you want the most. You will appreciate your accomplishments more when you strive for things that don't come easily to you. Embrace failure and learn from it. Don't be discouraged. Perservere.
  • Find people who are doing what you want to do, who have achieved what you want to achieve, who behave the way you want to behave, and learn from them. Read their biographies. If they are still alive, write to them and tell them that you want to learn from them. Be prepared to follow-up with them if they want to help you. You just might find a mentor who can open doors for you.
  • Read as many great books as you can stand. Read as many good books as you can afford. Learn to recognize bad books quickly so you can avoid wasting your time reading them.
  • Read How to Read a Book.

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Related Links
o What You'll Wish You'd Known
o Wear Sunscreen
o Paul Graham says
o Also by tbc


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Advice to Teenagers | 234 comments (210 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
Old Comments (3.00 / 3) (#1)
by tbc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:33:56 AM EST

Comments were also made in response to an earlier draft. Not all are applicable to this version of the article, but I'm back-linking in case some commenters still feel that they apply and want to add them to this new thread.

+1FP! (1.00 / 8) (#3)
by spooked on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:03:37 AM EST

IMA TEENAGER!
LOVE ME!

Seriously.
Sure... (none / 1) (#63)
by yamla on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 06:14:48 PM EST

Sure thing, are you cute and female? And past the age of consent in Canada?

[ Parent ]
Two out of three? (none / 1) (#142)
by spooked on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 06:07:28 PM EST

im cute and well, almost eighteen.

Seriously.
[ Parent ]
Every time I see a schoolbus... (2.60 / 5) (#5)
by krkrbt on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:24:57 AM EST

I'd throw in something about how it's okay to dislike school, because very few of the inmates would choose to go if the choice was left up to them.  I hated school, all my friends hated school, and close to 100% of the highschool-aged people I talk to dislike school to some degree.

Every time I see a schoolbus, I have a little mantra that I recite:  "Poor children...", and I get a little upside-down smile on my face.  

I excelled on standardized reading tests growing up, but it was recently pointed out to me (in Mr. Gatto's A Different Kind of Teacher) that I can't really read.  Oh sure, I do fine with K5 or the newspaper, but if the book is sufficiently complex I can't manage.  I never did do any significant amount of assigned reading for my B.S.(hit) degree, and I've never been able to read any of Tolkien's books, though I've tried, and would like to.  Hell, I couldn't even get through the second Harry Potter book.

And while I don't know that I can blame school for preventing me from learning how to read, the institution certainly didn't help in the matter.  

(If you'd like to take Mr. Gatto's simple reading test, have a copy of All's Quiet on the Western Front handy when you start Gatto's A Different Kind of Teacher.  You'll only have to read the first 20 pages or so.  And that's all I could manage in that one, too.)

Every time I see a schoolbus (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by tbc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:34:01 AM EST

I think of that scene in Napoleon Dynamite when the farmer kills the cow.

[ Parent ]
on the contrary (none / 1) (#87)
by SocratesGhost on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:54:53 AM EST

I'd say that it's ok to like school. Whining and complaining about school is a venerable past time among students and school survivors. If someone actually likes it, they shouldn't be ashamed about that. I enjoyed classes and teachers that others hated because I really enjoyed the material. If I had done the popular thing, my enjoyment of it would have diminished to being on par with a guilty pleasure and maybe I would not have gotten everything out of it that I could have. Also, it's remarkable how kind the teachers are to those who don't automatically have a predisposition to hating class. Often they are teaching in a subject that interests them and if you have a shared interest, this makes learning from them that much easier--even from the ogres.

It's ok to dislike it, too. The important thing is that you should be honest in your feelings about it. If you like it, great. If you don't, what are you doing about it?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Stolen from Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie (2.88 / 17) (#8)
by godix on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:28:58 AM EST

Pay no attention to the power and beauty of your youth. That way when you turn old you'll still be happy.

Do one thing every day that scares the person you're stalking

Sing. But don't make an album, especially if you're William Shatner

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Then bury it out in the yard with the others. It's creepy how you keep a body in the house.

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Do not read crossword puzzles, they will only make you feel stupid for not knowing what all those words mean. Do not read carpet sample books, it's not that kind of a book.

Understand that friends come and go but you have to stay here. That's why they call it house arrest.

Remeber, advise is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of dusting off your past and reliving your glory years. And there's nothing more boring than reliving someone elses glory years. So ignore advise.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

My advice for a teenager... (2.86 / 15) (#17)
by Psycho Dave on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 04:54:44 AM EST

Dye your hair green, wear crazy clothes, and pierce every bit of your body. Get it out of your system while you're still young or you will hopelessly limit your choices of employment in the future. A mohawk on a guy pushing thirty who isn't in a successful punk band just looks pathetic.

While this piece of advice applies more to your early twenties, I'll get it out of the way anyway. DO NOT LIVE WITH MUSICIANS. Or at least, do not room up with a musician that doesn't have a steady gig. Beware of the ones that just play their guitar and always say they're looking to put a band together. Be especially wary of the ones that don't even play guitar very well (they're usually aspiring punk musicians). They are always broke, always drunk, and always have to blast their music at all hours of the night.

Remember, the code of the schoolyard is essentially the same as the code of a prison (at least for boys.) If you cower, you lose respect. If people are bullying you, the only way to gain respect is to destroy the ringleader. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.

This is especially true for elementary school and junior high. The last two years of high school are more like a halfway house. College is like being a recently paroled convict; you'll have your freedom, but will be too broke to really enjoy it. Once you get into things like jobs and careers, things revert back to the high school mentality (in other words, an 18th century French court of lying, backstabbing, and forced asskissing that you have to put up with the rest of your life if you want to eat.)

Also, be really cynical when you're a teenager. In a teenager, being a soul-crushing cynic is expected and kinda sexy (and may be able to score you dates with the freak girls.) There's nothing more annoying than "happy" teenagers. Being a happy teenager only means your parents force you to go to some cultlike fundamentalist church, or your shrink needs to lower your dosage of Ritalin. Also, like being punk, utter cynicism becomes less and less attractive the older you get.

Get fucked up a lot when you're a teenager. Drop acid, do ecstasy, smoke weed, and drink as much as you can. Don't go too far overboard and flip your car driving drunk, or end up out on the street sucking dick for crack. Even though you're still living at home and all, it is much easier to go to school with a hangover or coming down off an acid trip than it is to go to work. Get it all out of your system while you're young. You want to have a sort of "been there, done that" attitude towards inebriation by the time you get to college. Your grades will be much better than those of the "good kids" who are just discovering pot.

And avoid military recruiters at all costs. They hounded me and my parents to death just because I was a schmuck and let them sucker me into taking their armed services evaluation test (I only went to their office to see if they wanted to put an ad in our yearbook.) They used every psychological sales trick in the book to try and get me to enlist, called my house trying to set up appointments almost every night, and that was BEFORE we were fighting in the Middle East and the Army was off their latest recruitment goals by ten percent. I'm 27, a fucking pinko Bush hating liberal, and I still get calls from Army recruiters. The only way to get them to fuck off is to tell them, explicitly, that you like getting hard cocks in the ass, that you like it without condoms, and that you wonder if they'll still let you enlist if your T-cell count is above 170. Admissions like that, even if they're false, are embarrasing for a teenager. Just don't give the recruiters the time of day.

Have you heard of (3.00 / 3) (#28)
by wiredog on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 10:35:08 AM EST

restraining orders?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Alternatively (none / 1) (#55)
by trane on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:42:11 PM EST

you could refuse to play the whole fucking stupid game and withdraw within yourself (preferably with lots of drugs, this does require some easy access to capital though).

[ Parent ]
Dealing with recruiters & the military (none / 0) (#164)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 03:00:05 PM EST

The trick with recruiters is to make them deal with you on your terms.

If you're armed with the knowlege that they're lying weasels and not to believe anything they say, you'll be fine. Call them out when they BS you. Go to recuiters from different branches and play one off against the other. Talk to veterans and get their advice.

There are plenty of safe (non-combat) jobs in all the branches, although the Air Force and Navy have a higher proportion of chairborne infantry than the other branches. The military is just like any other large company and needs all the same kinds of organizational apparatus -- human resources, IT, etc. Get one of those jobs and it translates directly into a civilian career, and you have about as much chance of getting shot at as you do in civilian life.

4 years in the military isn't much worse than 4 years in high school if you avoid getting a "bullet catcher" job. Just realize that 90% of the people around you are head-up-their-ass bible beating republican nitwits and act accordingly. Keep your mouth shut, keep your uniform well-pressed and your shoes shiny, do your job and don't cause your supervisor any trouble. Take all the training they'll give you, take college courses off duty, and get as much experience as you can. Hold off on getting married and having kids until after you get out. Yeah, it's a sucky 4 years but then so is high school. You'll appreciate the freedom of college even more when you get out.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Advice that I give to my teenage daughters and son (2.60 / 5) (#18)
by johnny on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:41:38 AM EST

  1. High to the stick side, low to the glove side.
  2. Don't take any wooden nickels.
  3. Always drink out of the side of the cup that is closest to you.


yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
All my advice is negative (2.86 / 22) (#20)
by Kasreyn on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:58:37 AM EST

But that's fitting for a cynic.

1. Pay no attention to anything they teach in High School, except the Math. The History is propaganda, the English persists in useless 19th century teaching, and with the recent inclusion of "Intelligent Design", all High School science courses have been cast under a deathlike pallor. High School is a bullshit machine for shearing the corners off square pegs. Everything taught there can be learned in a week of solo study in a library.

2. Take everything they teach at college with a grain of salt. Professors are academians, which is to say, inhabitors of ivory towers. Their knowledge of real life is extremely limited. Some of them have been behind the walls of educational institutes ever since they were six years old. They may have valuable information to impart but it must be filtered through their narrow perceptions.

3. Pay no attention to anything the government TELLS you. Only pay attention to what it DOES. Let me repeat: train yourself in being utterly deaf to anything a politician SAYS after he is elected. Pay attention only to the concrete effects of his actions and inactions.

4. If you're a Christian: read the entire Bible. I mean it. Every fucking book, every verse. If you can still call yourself a Christian after that harrowing experience, let me shake your fucking hand. I sure couldn't do it.

5. If you're not a Christian, consider moving. In about 20 years, this looks like it will be renamed Jesusland.

6. Do not volunteer for the military. If they reenact the draft, flee to another country. People will jeer. People will call you coward. Here's what you say to yourself: "At least I still have two legs." The greatest lie ever told ends in the words pro patria mori. It's carved on a lot of tombstones of dead dumbasses who thought dying for their country was cool. They got a flag and a hunk of stone and they're fucking forgotten. War is bullshit: avoid.

7. Observe the Golden Rule in all regards. I'm not telling you to believe in Karma, but if you tread heavily on your employees on your way up, they'll turn state's evidence in the accounting investigation. And the kids you beat and rape will select your retirement home someday.

8. Romance: don't seek it. If it's meant to be, it will find you. If you go looking for love, you're going to wind up with the first psycho who catches your eye. Don't look for love. Look for friends. If a friend winds up becoming more, then that's how it's supposed to happen. DO NOT marry someone until you have lived with AND fucked them for at least a year. Think of it as taking the time to read the product label before buying.

9. Don't buy any real estate in Florida, no matter how tempting, unless you get the fishing rights, too.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
knowledge of real life is extremely limited. (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by wiredog on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 10:37:25 AM EST

Depends on the professor and the school. At the school I went to most of the professors I took classes from had worked in the real world and had good advice on what was or wasn't important and why some things that seemed unimportant were actually very important.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
that's pretty rare... (none / 0) (#97)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 05:25:13 PM EST

consider yourself lucky.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Not if you (none / 1) (#130)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 08:44:21 AM EST

avoid the Ivies and top-tier State schools. They attract the academicians, and discourage those who are looking for a second (or more stable) career. The smaller schools get the people who have actually had to work in the real world. Those people may not be tremendously big on the theoretical aspects of their fields, but they have lots of experience with the practical.

Of course, we're talking undergraduate level here. In grad school you want the theoreticians.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Heh. (2.00 / 2) (#154)
by Kasreyn on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 12:54:38 AM EST

I was going to make a snide remark about the Ivy League myself, then I thought, "nahh, I could never defend a sweeping statement like that here at k5."

Though it sure does ring true to me.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
#8 (3.00 / 4) (#64)
by anon 17753 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 06:41:35 PM EST

The University of Denver studied couples over a 15 year period - those who had gone through a premarital counseling/education program had a divorce rate far lower than those who did not.

[ Parent ]
Disagree with #6 (none / 1) (#163)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 02:33:31 PM EST

By all means voulenteer the military, ESPECIALLY if there's a draft.

If your objective is not getting killed or maimed in a war, the military is often the safest place to be. The vast majority of military jobs are non-combat positions, and you have no more chance getting shot at then you do in civilian life. Even if the country is at war, remember that only a fraction of the military is in the war zone; most of the troops (even combat troops) are either back home or stationed in friendly (safe) countries.

By voulenteering, you pretty well get your pick of jobs if you have halfway decent test scores. The Air Force and Navy have a lot more jobs that don't involve getting shot at than the Army and Marine Corp do, so they're a better choice for someone who's goal is avoiding combat.

Go for a job that doesn't involve getting shot at and which will translate into a decent civilian career. If you can put up with the military bullshit for 4 years, you'll be fine and you'll reap the benefits that come from being a veteran (GI Bill, VA mortgage, etc), plus you'll have some good experience to put on your resume.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Different if war comes to you. (none / 0) (#170)
by bobzibub on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:45:10 PM EST

This is false for most of the people here (Americans). The US military needs hamburger right now and since US wars are "foreign" you are much safer being a civy. If a war comes to you, then tassach is quite correct. Cheers, -b

[ Parent ]
Military service as a way of avoiding combat (none / 1) (#175)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 11:03:41 PM EST

The total size of the US Military is a bit over 1,000,000. There are roughly 250,000 to 300,000 currently deployed to active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, the vast majority of these coming from the Army and Marines. So only 25% - 30% of the military are technically "in combat", regardless of their actual job description.

What you have to remember is that out of that 30%, actual combat toops -- the guys who go out and do the shooting (and get shot at) -- are in the minority. The rest are in support roles; not the safest job in the world, but at least they're not going out and actively looking for trouble. The reality of it is that if you're not in the infantry or armored cavalry, you really don't have a whole lot to worry about.

Your risks of getting put in a position where unfriendly individuals are shooting at you are pretty well linked to your branch of service. Since it looks like we'll probably be having a draft again soon, it's important to remember that volunteers will still likely get their pick of assignments, whereas conscripts will get stuck in the bullet-catcher jobs.

The USMC operates under the assumption that every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost, and their nominal job is secondary; this means that they have the lowest percentage of non-combat jobs. Of course, anyone who joins the Marines is probably one of those individuals who WANTS to go into combat. It's good we have people like that, and any Marine has my respect; but it makes the Marine Corps the wrong choice for anyone who's primary objective is to avoid developing an acute case of lead poisoning.

The Army is the largest branch and therefore sends the most people into combat zones. The good news is they are organized very differently than the Marines, so even in a combat unit there are a significant number of jobs that don't entail going directly in harm's way, and there are still a lot of Army jobs that really have nothing to do with actual combat. Even still, the Army is probably not the best choice for personal safety and comfort.

The Navy is a pretty good choice for not getting shot at, although there are some pretty dangerous jobs that don't involve getting shot at -- aircraft carrier deck crew is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. There are a lot of Navy ships in the Gulf but in reality there's not much out in the world that's a substantial threat to the US Navy. The downside is that the Navy treats enlisted people, particuarly low ranking ones, like total shit. Officers don't have it as bad as the enlisted guys, but even for them (IMHO) the Navy has the lowest standard of living of all the branches. Not an ideal life, but if you're going to be drafted and can't get into the Air Force, it's better than either the Army or the Marines.

The best branch of service for the combat-averse individual is without a doubt the Air Force. There are really only 3 front-line combat jobs in the USAF: fighter/bomber pilots, Forward Air Controllers, and Pararescue. The latter two are Special Forces units, and pilot training is highly selective as well -- you're not getting in to any of those positions unless you REALLY want to be there. The few enlisted aircrew positions are on non-combat aircraft like AWACS, transports, and tankers -- these planes are usually kept far away from hostile fire, and on the rare occasions when they aren't they are protected like the crown jewels. Air Force bases are almost invariably far, far away from the front lines, so even the ground defense guys (who are technically "combat" troops have essentially zero chance of actually getting shot at. The USAF comes the closest to treating junior enlisted people as if they were actual human beings, and they have the nicest facilities, the best living conditions, and the most jobs that directly translate into civilian careers.

In case you're wondering, I am a USAF vet who served during the first Gulf War. I won't say that it didn't suck, but I can honestly say that it sucked less than some civilian jobs I've had since.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Advice to minors of secondary school age (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by freestylefiend on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:59:38 AM EST

"Be very humble. You are probably wrong." After leaving school for university, I read these words in a brief guide to writing essays by one of my new aquaintances. Of the "deadly sins", pride probably offers the greatest chance for teens to err avoidably.

Keep your head up. One can be extremely intellectually humble without lacking self esteem. Similarly, it is possible to be arrogant and have low self esteem.

Some of the "deadly sins" should be met with balance. Sloth is opposed to the sin of excessive work. (See In Praise of Idleness, which I'll read when I have time). Wrath is opposed to the sin of submission. Aim for appropriate behvaiour in these areas, rather than an excessive avoidance of "deadly sins". (I have been told that a charitable reading of Aristotle takes his Golden Mean as requiring that we should, for example, be appropriately angry). There is a very real danger of too much work and abusive "discipline" at school. It happened to me.

Sins of thought or feeling, such as lust and envy, are unlike some others. The victim of these sins is the sinner. Satisfying envy might be a sin against another person, but how else can the feeling be relieved?

I agree that it is advisable to study mathematics and learn from one's failures. So does entrepreneur James Dyson. (I don't wholly agree with him. I think that he makes too much of national interest and wrongly elevates some sorts of engineering over other services to manufacturing).

Try to understand words such as socialism, fascism, liberalism and anarchy. Don't let them confuse you. Only use them properly.

Make (possibly not accademic) goals of your own, rather than letting others choose for you. Set achievable targets. Succeed.

If your son is not British (I see that you use "fall" instead of the correct God-given British "autumn"), then perhaps some of this won't apply to him.



While we're all at it.. (2.80 / 20) (#22)
by balsamic vinigga on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:19:46 AM EST

...here's a few of mine off the top of my head:
  • Be kind to eachother.  Kids are mean to eachother simply for the sake of being mean.  It ends up making both the bully and bullied feel foul.  Instead of picking fun of someone simply because you can, try talking to them, learn from them, teach them, share good will.
  • You're a kid, fucking relax already!  Some kids get too worked up in school.  They work extra long and hard on some assignment that will eventually be a piece of cake to not only them but the students that didn't bust their ass over some insignificant assignment.  Acedemia is great and valuable don't get me wrong but it's not everything.  Kids, you'll have a whole adulthood full of stress and work.  You're a kid, these are your few years to relax, have fun, and be carefree.  Nothing important is riding on you turning in your A+ paper on time tomorrow, so don't act like the world will end if you don't.
  • Don't get a goddamn part time job flipping burgers for minimum wage!  It's a waste of fucknig time!  Save that shit for hopeless adults who have zero self esteem and ambition.  You on the other hand are a kid and have much more to offer the world.  Be expressive, be creative, you don't have bills to pay so don't chase the paper.  If you want to work on something or achive something do something great instead.  Like paint a mural or make a movie.  Be expressive, be creative, aim high and achieve it, and have fun while you're doing it.  If you experience the fact that you can do anything while you're still young, you'll be able to do it as an adult.
  • Eat the good shit while your metabolism still kicks ass.  I know a lot of scrawny ass kids who hardly eat a thing.  They're picky eaters, they have only the smallest portions, and have absolutely no refined tastes.  Look, at some point in you're 20's you're gonna have to start watching what you eat unless you want to wind up a fat loser!  Enjoy the bounty that mother nature and century's of human culinary arts has to offer!  Don't get hung up on sushi being raw fish, dig in and enjoy my sons and daughters!  Eat until your stomach will explode, you're young and your metabolism can handle it!! Later in life you'll be forced to eat like a picky eater to keep from getting fat, don't waste your younger years on taco bell and senseless veganism.
  • Get plenty of underage pussy while you're still underage.  This is important.  Not only will practicing while you're still a kid help you later in life, underage pussy is a special feast that if not quenched poperly while still underage yourself will come back and plague you later in life.  A lot of the dorks I grew up with who were too timid to get some pussy back then, now will often stare at, or make really tasteless comments to some of the young sweethearts in our town.  They're behavior looks really sad and pathetic.  Pedophiles are simply people who didn't get their underage pussy when it was their time to get it.  They remind me of ghosts who won't depart from haunting the living.  Creeps who just can't move on because they never got what they should have.  


---
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Don't get a job flipping burgers as a teenager.. (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by Psycho Dave on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:40:37 AM EST

But by all means, get a job. And be sure it's a fun one. Working at the record store, skate shop, independent movie theater, used bookshop, or video game store doesn't pay the bills when your older, but will be plenty to pay for coffee with your friends or buying beer from an older sibling when you're a teen.

[ Parent ]
Truth is Contained Within the Parent (none / 1) (#56)
by unknownlamer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 04:42:34 PM EST

I worked at a sub shop through high school. Now I'm a jobless college kid and I can't stand it anymore. I'm doing live sound this summer even if it means I starve.

I wish I had the foresight to jump out on a limb and do it when I was in high school.



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Other more fun/interesting options (none / 0) (#218)
by hatshepsut on Wed May 04, 2005 at 01:39:07 PM EST

I agree that some sort of "job" is a great thing for a teen. Not full-time though, there are plenty of good part-time jobs out there that will give you a little $, but won't eat up all your spare time.

The local Recreation and Parks department (or whatever it is called in your city) will also have interesting jobs (either interesting of themselves, or good for making some $ and still give you time to do other things). Teaching swimming or being a lifeguard is OK (I did that), but the skating rinks frequently hire teens, and with all the new Rec&Parks programs that pop up (dance, music, art, whatever), if you have any interest/skill in any of those areas, you can probably find something to suit. There are also landscaping jobs (with Rec and Parks, or with private contractors), parks maintenance (not as fun, but better than McD's), etc.

A lot of towns/cities also have local bands/orchestras which do paying gigs occasionally. In addition to having a great excuse to learn and play new and interesting music (if you enjoy that, if not then this isn't the route for you), you get the "cool" factor of joining the musician's union. This is probably less of an option in a smaller town.

Other advice from me would be:

  • respect people for who they are, and try to understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • respect yourself for who you are, and don't feel you have to tailor your strengths and weaknesses to suit others
  • listen respectfully to whatever your elders have to say, then go and do/think what you want (some of the advice might actually make sense anyway, and a little respectful attention will make those same adults cut you some slack another time)
  • teachers rarely give you lower grades "because they hate you", don't try to use that as an excuse
  • some "friends" are toxic, some are worth anything and everything, learn to tell the difference (and get rid of the former)
  • (for girls only) that "no one understands him but me" or "he is broken, but I can fix him" martyr complex you have (we all had it at one point) - try to get it out of your system as soon as possible because it can really REALLY f*ck up your life later on


[ Parent ]
Here are some condoms (2.83 / 6) (#23)
by SteveTheRed on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:40:38 AM EST

I know that you will probably have sex.  Always wear a condom (or make him wear a condom.)

You remind me of an episode of South Park -- (none / 1) (#31)
by Exergetic Analysis on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 10:59:08 AM EST

The one where the kids all run around with a condom rubber-banded around their penises for nearly the entire show.

[ Parent ]
Haha (none / 0) (#43)
by JahToasted on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:35:31 PM EST

Mr. Garrison showing the kindergarten class how to put on a condom (without using any hands).
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
My advice: (2.18 / 11) (#24)
by Mittens for kittens on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:00:19 AM EST

  • Don't lose your mittens.
  • Don't soil your mittens.
  • Pie is good.


Learn to cook! (2.92 / 14) (#25)
by j1mmy on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:32:00 AM EST

You'll eat better!

UTBNB [n/t] (2.00 / 3) (#26)
by Big Dogs Cock on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:59:17 AM EST


People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
I feel sticky commenting on this article (2.45 / 11) (#27)
by StephenThompson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 10:35:02 AM EST

What a load a insipid tripe. Gotta be a troll right? For the love of God let this be a troll! Sadly this does sound like the kinda crap parents feed their youth. Good thing they never listen.

My advice (2.33 / 6) (#30)
by Morkney on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 10:40:46 AM EST

The activities you care about aren't actually important. You should concentrate on the activities I care about, instead.

One at a time... (1.42 / 7) (#33)
by mirleid on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:38:36 AM EST

Cultivate virtues in yourself that will counteract the Seven Deadly Sins: cultivate humility to resist pride; be kind and meek to resist wrath; be temperate to resist gluttony; be chaste in all things to resist lust; cultivate brotherly love to resist envy; be liberal with your treasure to resist avarice; and be diligent to resist sloth.
In short, try your hardest not to be human (optionally, you might try spending the rest of your life on Valium, it really gives you that "I don't give a fuck about anything" je ne sais quois
One piece of advice from one of my high school math teachers stands out in my mind, and I pass it on to you: "If you can do math you can do anything." He was right. Work to understand math.
Do you mean learn how to count, or learn topology? Obviously, having a working understanding of maths will probably help your throughout your school years; whether or not it will have any bearing with how well the rest of your life plays out is sort of debatable...
Learn what your options are before you choose a plan for your life. Pursue the things that interest you the most -- some call it "passion," others "curiosity." You don't have to have long-range plans in order to live a good life. At any given moment in your life, evaluate your options and choose the one that looks to be most likely to open up more possibilities for you. If you do have long-range goals, pursue them with zeal, but be prepared for them to change. As Paul Graham says, "It's not so important what you work on, so long as you're not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you'll take."
So, if you are married, fuck around so that your options expand?
Expect to have to work hard for what you want the most. You will appreciate your accomplishments more when you strive for things that don't come easily to you. Embrace failure and learn from it. Don't be discouraged. Perservere.
Basically: do not get hung up on the fact that you weren't born with a silver spoon up your arse. The fact that one of your school friends is having a yachting vacation on the Caribbean while you are having hose showers in your back garden should not be allowed to lead you to reflect on why that is...
Find people who are doing what you want to do, who have achieved what you want to achieve, who behave the way you want to behave, and learn from them. Read their biographies. If they are still alive, write to them and tell them that you want to learn from them. Be prepared to follow-up with them if they want to help you. You just might find a mentor who can open doors for you.
...and never mind the fact that all this will make of you is something of a groupie that will not be able to create something new for yourself...
Read as many great books as you can stand. Read as many good books as you can afford. Learn to recognize bad books quickly so you can avoid wasting your time reading them.
All books teach you something, whether or not a book is bad is a question of perspective (or the lack thereof, but then again, that's something else, see first point)...
Read How to Read a Book.
Never read it. I believe (perhaps mistakenly) that I managed thus far...

Chickens don't give milk
Oh, I forgot: -1 [n/t] (none / 0) (#34)
by mirleid on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:39:20 AM EST



Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
the truth about wealth (1.25 / 4) (#37)
by anon 17753 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:20:57 PM EST

Basically: do not get hung up on the fact that you weren't born with a silver spoon up your arse. The fact that one of your school friends is having a yachting vacation on the Caribbean while you are having hose showers in your back garden should not be allowed to lead you to reflect on why that is...

Its time to forget the idea of wealth that you learned from Hollywood and find out the truth. 90% of the millionaires in America today are 1st generation rich - they were born into low and middle class families, worked their asses off, and saved and invested the money they made.

The wealthiest individuals in recent history (e.g. Bill Gates, Sam Walton) were not born into money.

Read The Millionaire Next Door [Google] to learn more.

[ Parent ]

Nope (3.00 / 4) (#45)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:05:09 PM EST

Sam Walton grew up in a middle class family, but Bill Gates came from money. Both of his parents came from wealthy, influential families. His father was a prominent corporate attorney. His mother served on the boards of numerous charities and banks. They were part of not just the economic, but also the political elite.

You'd be more persuasive if you'd get your facts straight.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

point taken (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by anon 17753 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:25:47 PM EST

I'll do my research next time.

The part I should have focused on is that these examples made their fortunes from creating their own businesses and working hard at those business. They didn't get their fortunes from mommy and daddy.

I haven't read BG's biography, so I don't know how much his parents may have helped out in the beginning, but it was his work that created a giant software company, not theirs.

[ Parent ]

It was his dad's lawfirm (none / 0) (#67)
by lurker4hire on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:37:34 PM EST

... that made billy g rich as hell. How many startups can afford top notch representation when negotiating a contract with big blue? Also, it's been awhile since I read the bio's, but I believe his mother was on a charitable board with the ibm exec directly responsible for the decision to allow ms to retain ownership of DOS.

l4h

[ Parent ]

For every new business that succeeds... (none / 0) (#92)
by Shajenko on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 03:28:54 PM EST

...you'll find nine that failed in five years. Starting a business is a big risk, and most people will not make it big. Just because a few managed to do so doesn't mean you will.

[ Parent ]
How about Martha Stewart? (none / 0) (#76)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 12:41:50 AM EST

Wasnt she Polish or whatnot and was a "pauper" in the sence of economic class of the family?

Id say she's does rather well (if not for the evil treatment the authorities gave her).

[ Parent ]

a necessary addition (2.80 / 10) (#36)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:04:24 PM EST

Here's a couple more I'd like to add, as a 23-year-old coming more into the full realization of the world. Yeah, they're all kind of related, but...
  1. Life is short. Very short. Make your decisions wisely, and never with the expectation that you can make up for or forget your mistakes in the future.
  2. As a youth, you feel invulnerable and physically ageless. Physical problems will begin to set in quickly at a relatively young age, even if you take better-than-average care of your body. While not dwelling on it, take care of your body and your mind, always vigilant of what you put in. Your body is your temple, and the damage you do to it is accumulative. There are no second chances. Take care fo yourself
  3. You are who you socialize, what you eat, and what you learn. As trite as it sounds, its true.
  4. Try and be who you want to be 20 years from now, not who you want to be now.
  5. You are at the height of your mental capacity. Put this capacity to good use now by learning how to think logically. Use it to think critically. Use it to absorb as much information as you can, and to form associations amongst that information. In just a few short years, your ability to do so will have drastically decreased, and you will begin to feel stupid in comparision.

--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

learn how money really works (3.00 / 10) (#38)
by anon 17753 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:40:46 PM EST


  • Avoid debt (a house mortgage is fine)

  • If you can't pay for it with cash, don't buy it (cars included)

  • You don't need to "build your credit" - that's a lie told by bankers and credit card companies who are just trying to get monthly payments for the rest of your life

  • Don't get a credit card - use a debit card instead

  • Use cash instead of the debit card whenever possible - you'll spend less money

  • Start investing today, you can easily retire with tens of millions of dollars

I highly recommend reading The Total Money Makeover [Google].

10's of millions? (none / 0) (#51)
by Shimmer on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:38:05 PM EST

I need more than 10 million dollars to retire? Shit. Surely 2 million is enough, no? I'm thinking 5% tax free municipal bonds on $2 million would produce an income of $100,000/yr. Shouldn't that be enough?

Attention, passengers! We are now being attacked by air pirates! Do not be alarmed.
[ Parent ]
more than enough (none / 1) (#58)
by anon 17753 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:20:21 PM EST

Sure, a couple million is enough, however:
  1. Because of the power of compounding interest, the later you start investing for retirement, the more money you're going to have to pay in in order to end up with a million or more. If you only want 2 million, you can stop contributing to your IRA earlier than I will. The key is to start early to get the most return for your investment.
  2. I want to be able to give freely and largely when I'm old - I'll need much more money than what I need to live in order to do that.


[ Parent ]
$100,000 today+30 year dollars (none / 0) (#71)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:52:53 PM EST

$100,000 in 2035 will be worth approximately 45,000 2005 dollars. And that's assuming a moderate rate of inflation and no major currency devaluations.

Given the fiscal state of most of the western world, you may want to gather more cash.

[ Parent ]

I disagree on a few points (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by curien on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 06:07:19 AM EST

# Avoid debt (a house mortgage is fine)

The key is not to have a bunch of debt with nothing to show for it. Houses keep their value, cars don't. But cars are certainly better than, say, computer equipment or clothes.

# If you can't pay for it with cash, don't buy it (cars included)

OK, not a bad piece of advice, on the whole.

# You don't need to "build your credit" - that's a lie told by bankers and credit card companies who are just trying to get monthly payments for the rest of your life

I disagree. You can build your credit just fine without  whoring yourself out to the credit agency. That's what "grace periods" are for.

# Don't get a credit card - use a debit card instead

I strongly disagree with this one. Credit cards offer much stronger consumer protection packages than debit cards. If you pay your bill in full each month, it'll be no more expensive than a debit card (and possibly cheaper if you have a rewards program).

# Use cash instead of the debit card whenever possible - you'll spend less money

Somewhat agree. I like to use the card for planned purchases and cash for unplanned ones. Actually, I have three cards I use a lot. One debit card for use with ATMs (the account is my "expendible income" account, and they pay my ATM fees for me). One debit card for paying expenses (food, gas, that kind of thing) from the account I use to pay bills. And then one credit card that I use as a convenient way to make general purchases (and pay off completely each month).

# Start investing today, you can easily retire with tens of millions of dollars

Yep, but probably "only" a couple million.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

ADVISE: USE A FUCKING CREDIT CARD (1.50 / 4) (#116)
by Cat Huggles on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:26:13 PM EST

They are very convenient and have many benefits: grace periods, no transaction fee, no monthly fee (unless you're got a retarded card), awesome fraud protection, rewards programs, wide acceptance (even on the interweb of all places!), ...

If you can't handle the freedom of a credit card, then go commit suicide because you are shallow and impulsive and you have no soul.

And don't carry around too much cash. You'll thank me next time you are mugged. ^_^

[ Parent ]

visa debit card (none / 0) (#126)
by Fuzzwah on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 02:22:54 AM EST

A visa debit card has all the pluses you list and none of the lows (which you glossed over).

I heavily agree with the previous post; don't spend money you don't have.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

A point (none / 0) (#185)
by nollidj on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:26:46 PM EST

Maybe you can have the limits changed, but the Visa debit card I have through Fleet (now Bank of America) has a $250 limit per charge. That means that, barring cash, I need to write a check or use a credit card if I want to blow more than that much money at once. Getting plane tickets was a hassle.

muahaha. MuaHaHA! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAA!!!!
[ Parent ]

HA! (none / 0) (#207)
by ckaminski on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 08:47:40 AM EST

You made the mistake of being a Fleet customer.  Sorry.  Once that whole Bankboston / FleetBoston merger happened, they went down down down like a crackwhore looking for her next fix.

Go to Citizens or Sovereign.  You'll be happier.

[ Parent ]

well.. times have changed (none / 0) (#231)
by Fuzzwah on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:01:52 AM EST

I was just digging through my old comments and stumbled apon this one. I just wanted to add that I now have a real credit card and it's been rung up to the tune of $10k of debt.

This isn't quite as crazy as it sounds, as it's allowed me to purchase things when they've become available. Once all of these purchases have been made I'll be rolling the debt over into a personal loan. Doing it this way has allowed me to get what I need right now with out having to guess at the amount I need to borrow to cover the costs.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Mostly right (none / 0) (#161)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 02:06:05 PM EST

Rather than saying avoiding debt, you should say to use credit wisely. Generally this means to avoid debt but, as you note with your mortgage example, not all debt is bad.

A house is the most important investment most people will ever make. Everyone needs a place to live, you might as well make your housing an asset rather than a liability. When you're paying rent all you are doing is paying off your landlord's mortgage for him.

The reality of life is that in order to get a mortgage at a decent rate, you need to have a good credit score. To get a good credit score, you have to play the credit card game.

Any decent credit card will have a 1 month grace period, so if you pay it off at the end of the month you pay no interest. However, this isn't the best way to build your credit. You'll get a higher credit score if you carry a small balance from month to month. The trick is to have enough in savings to pay it all off at any time. Yeah, you'll pay some interest -- suck it up, it's the cost of playing the game.

Also, having a large amount of UNUSED credit available to you is a very good thing because Shit Happens. Having a source of funds you can tap in an emergency can be a real lifesaver. The only way you'll get a large line of credit is if you build up your credit score.

Debit cards are good for day to day purchases -- food, gas, and other consumables. But for major purchaces, it's actually safer to use a credit card (as long as you pay it off promptly) even if your card doesn't offer any extra buyer's protection.

Let's say your car needs a new muffler. You go to Joe's Garage down the street and he does the work. Two days later the muffler falls off, and Joe tells you he's not going to fix it. If you paid with cash or a debit card, you're basically shit out of luck -- you'll have to get a lawyer (on your dime) and hope for the best. If you paid with a credit card, however, you can dispute the charges. Because your used the bank's money to pay Joe instead of your own, now it's the bank's problem to resolve the issue, which means they'll sic their lawyers on him on THEIR dime if need be.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Disagree strongly (none / 1) (#195)
by awgsilyari on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:01:22 PM EST

Avoid debt (a house mortgage is fine)

This should be, "Understand what debt is." You obviously don't, because you consider a mortgage to be debt (some magical concept known as "good debt," what the hell is that?) A house is an asset, and an appreciating one at that.

If you can't pay for it with cash, don't buy it (cars included)

Can you justify this? Why should you pay cash for groceries when you can get a credit card that gives you 10% back on your grocery purchases? You're just going to pass up free money?

You don't need to "build your credit" - that's a lie told by bankers and credit card companies who are just trying to get monthly payments for the rest of your life

You don't have to be in debt to build credit. Just pay your bill on time.

Don't get a credit card - use a debit card instead

Again, why pass up the various rewards programs? And what are you going to do if you need a few grand in an emergency and you don't have it?

Use cash instead of the debit card whenever possible - you'll spend less money

I can sort of see how this might be true, but a pathologically big spender will just get in the habit of carrying a few grand in his pocket.

Start investing today, you can easily retire with tens of millions of dollars

Any financial calculator will demonstrate the impossibility of this, unless you are exceedingly lucky. Investing is wise, but tens of millions? Most likely not.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

You've misread him, at least a little. (none / 0) (#223)
by vectro on Sun May 08, 2005 at 10:55:39 PM EST

A mortgage is debt -- specifically a liability secured by an asset. But to pretend that it is not debt at all is foolish, because the value of the underlying asset can change for the better or the worse. This is especially important at present, since house-prices are overvalued worldwide.

Note that the original poster did not say "pay cash for everything", but rather "if you can't pay for it with cash". In other words, "if you can't afford to pay for it with cash, don't buy it".

I have to agree with you about the retirement business -- in order to have 10 million dollars at age 65, you have to invest $110000 annually starting at age 18. If you just made a $3000 annual IRA contribution, you'd have to make nearly 19% annual gains, which can harly be done "easily".

As for all this business about credit cards, I think the original poster is suggesting the importance of avoiding debt, not the particulars of how that is done. If you hav ethe self-discipline to use a credit card properly (that is, without avoiding debt), then by all means do so -- but for many, the temptation is too greate to buy too much, and then hefty interest payments kick in.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Hm. (2.72 / 11) (#39)
by skyknight on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:45:44 PM EST

If you can do math you can do anything.

No, this just isn't true. If you can do math and you can communicate eloquently in both written and oral form, then you can do anything. There are plenty of people who are really good at math who cripple their potential by not being able to communicate their ideas effectively or argue convincingly.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
and vice versa (2.60 / 5) (#44)
by thekubrix on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:04:48 PM EST

although we commonly call them salesman

[ Parent ]
Managers (none / 0) (#48)
by werebear on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:24:10 PM EST

Thats OK, it's actually a useful trade off for sales work. However it also seems to crop up with depressing frequency in PHB's.

[ Parent ]
nope (3.00 / 4) (#83)
by minerboy on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 06:53:49 AM EST

You still can't play a sport well, do Art or Music well, or get laid by knowing math and communication skills



[ Parent ]
Teenagers will ignore you (2.33 / 6) (#40)
by squigly on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:51:27 PM EST

Advice is all well and good, but why would a teenager listen?

The reason adults know what they know is that they have made the mistakes they learned from.  Unless you make those mistakes, it's impossible to fully comprehend exactly why the advice is good.

The other problem is that everyone gives contradictory advice.  There's that scene in The Graduate "I just want to say one word to you..".  And while some of it may have worked for the advisor, some of it may be totally inappropriate for the advisee.  How can a kid only just starting on life know what advice to filter?  

So the only advice I could give anyone, is to make as many mistakes as possible as soon as possible.  And that's totally useless advice.  

advice about women (2.57 / 19) (#46)
by JyZude on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:16:04 PM EST

If a woman says she wants a "sensitive man", she is lying. If a woman says she wants a man with a "steady job" and the ability to "provide", she is lying. Women are prone to lying a lot. I know you might not believe me now, but someday you'll understand.

I'd recommend cultivating at least one vaguely countercultural trait you can use to pick up women. Crotch-rocket motorcycles, DJing, playing electric guitar in a punk band, or becoming a drug dealer often work well.

The easiest chicks to pick up are often your friends' girlfriends, but don't ever pick up these chicks or I'll punch you in the fucking mouth.

Women smell fear. If you want a woman to have sex with you, treat her like shit. Frequently ignore her, or make fun of her. The hotter she is the more merciless you must be. She'll probably jump you, and if she slaps you instead, then it wasn't meant to be.

Always wear a jimmy hat, cuz most of the women you'll pick up will be real skanks.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


IAWTP (none / 1) (#88)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 12:14:21 PM EST

As Bob Dobbs says "Ignore them and they will flock to you."

[ Parent ]
most of the women you pick up will be real skanks (3.00 / 6) (#90)
by cburke on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 02:56:28 PM EST

... if you follow this advice.

[ Parent ]
Thanks, JyZude! (none / 0) (#112)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:55:03 PM EST

Now all I have to do to get laid is get a Harley and a... huh? what's this "dj" shit?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

hahahah (none / 0) (#203)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:59:37 PM EST

Witness the dork pick up trash and then tell himself he's a ladies' man.

[ Parent ]
Read every issue of Transmetropolitan. (2.00 / 3) (#49)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:27:23 PM EST

You can find it on the Internet. It will teach you all you need to know about politics.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Best advice is to you, friend (1.66 / 3) (#50)
by GenerationY on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:30:40 PM EST

stop interfering and stop confusing truisms with wisdom.

If you go to college (2.90 / 11) (#52)
by ShaggyBofh on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:53:49 PM EST

1. Avoid student loans.  They'll hurt more when you've graduated than help while your attending.  One exception, consider large loans during your last year.  If you made it that far, you'll probably graduate.  Student loans are low interest and you have 1 year to start paying them back (1 year?)...check on that.  

2. Get a campus job that's in your field.  Personally, I worked in the computer lab while gaining my degree in Computer Science.  If your biology/chem/industrial, teach intro labs.  It's low pay, but your not going to college to get rich, that comes after and you'll have related job experiance to add to your resume.

3. Don't get a "hobby degree".  Theater, Art Appreciation, Theology, English, History, and the like are interesting, but not highly employable unless your going to teach.  Consider them a for a minor.  *Note about 8% of all fortune 500 CEO's have a major, minor, or grad degree in History.  Release the flames.

4.  Don't let a "high" paying job side track you.  A job paying 50-100% above minimum wage is nice, but is several fold less than the possibilities later in life...think 401k and health insurance.

5.  Never buy books before the first class day.  Attend the first class and determine 2 things: 1. Do I really need this book? 2. Am I really going to take this class?  Books are outrageously expensive.  Your Science classes will really hit your hard and you must have those books.  But, the majority of classes have books assigned that are merely for reference and you really don't "need" them.  Also, about 10% will drop after the first week, buy their books used or check online book stores.  You can save hundreds of dollars/pounds every year.

6.  Attempt to have one "fun" class every semester.  I personally enjoyed Photography and Metal Working.  Although both have labs, see next point.

7.  Never have more than 1 lab class per semester unless your a really dedicated student.  I'm not/wasn't.  Labs are usually 2-4 hours and count for 30-60% of your grade.  Taking a Chem/Bio lab 2-3 times per week will really cut down your social/study time.  Computer Science labs are an exception if you have a computer with the proper software.

8.  If your just moving out of your parents house, try not to lose your mind.  I can't tell you how many people I've seen get kicked out because of grades because nobody was around to tell them, "don't do that or go to bed or be home by 11:30".  Go to parties and have a good time, but remember you must show up for that test.  You could screw around in High School, but these people don't force you to be there and will decide to not let you attend. Point one really nails these people.

9.  If you like sleeping till noon.  Don't sign up for an 8am class.

10. Above all...study.  It's nice knowing the answers.

Remember, your going to college for a degree.  A degree won't guarantee you a profitable career, but it shows one thing, "you can see a project through to completion".  That's what gets you the job before someone with more experience and no degree.  Also, unlike a High School deploma, a real college degree means something and you'll be supprised how proud of yourself you'll be.

I'm missing several important things, but it's been a few years.

Just say NO to negativity.

Thats so wrong (3.00 / 8) (#53)
by GenerationY on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:03:38 PM EST

Remember, your going to college for a degree.

If nothing else your lack of extracurricular kudos will impact your chance of getting a job. Also, way to waste three or four years of your life. I've got three degrees and I very much enjoyed what went with them. To have concerntrated purely on the academic aspects would have been stupid.

Also its "you're" not "your". Perhaps you should have more respect for English majors huh.

[ Parent ]

"its" is possivie (none / 0) (#168)
by justo on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 06:55:32 PM EST

"it's" is the contraction. ironic, eh?

[ Parent ]
Almost as Ironic... (none / 0) (#192)
by virg on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:04:33 PM EST

...as mistyping "posessive" in scolding him about his comment.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
retorts :) (3.00 / 6) (#59)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:21:51 PM EST

Avoiding student loans may or may not be a good idea, depending on the circumstance. My student loans allowed me to go to a 4-year university instead of a community college; that allowed me the freedom to explore and find a career, resulting in a significantly larger income than I would have had otherwise, and more than compensating for the payment on the loan.

I disagree about "hobby degrees"; yeah, they aren't lucrative per se, but a degree in something you love is going to be far more valuable for your development as a person than a degree ins omething you aren't interested in.


[ Parent ]

There is no such thing... (3.00 / 7) (#62)
by tthomas48 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:32:33 PM EST

There is no such thing as a "hobby" degree. It's important to remember this. What many engineers like to call "hobby" degrees are actually the most employable degrees. You won't get a job out of school directly in the field, but one of the things employers want to know is that you can talk and write. My degree in Theater has been useful in everything from customer support (acting) to technical writing and coding (playwriting). The most important thing to remember is that college is a place to learn how to think. Many Engineer types too often see college as simply a vocational school. These are the same engineers who right now are currently still unemployed, while I have no trouble getting a Computer Science job with my theater degree.

[ Parent ]
Funny you should say that (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:55:56 PM EST

My B.A. (yes, Bachelor of Arts) is in Physics. The only way to get a job as a physicist is to get a PhD, work as a postdoc, and become a professor. One can also do research for large private companies like IBM.

But I've worked seventeen years as a programmer, and it didn't take too long before I could beat the pants off most of my colleagues who had computer science degrees.

My wife has a B.S. in biology, and more work in chemistry, and lots of biological lab and field work experience, but she just today had her last day of her first year towards a BFA in art school. She wants to be a fine artist, because that's what she loves, and I support her, have been supporting her, every step of the way, because I want her to live her dream.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Federal student loan repayment (US) (none / 0) (#84)
by acceleriter on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:44:04 AM EST

Stafford loans have a six month grace period from the time you graduate or otherwise stop attending college at least half-time. Perkins loans have a nine month grace period.

[ Parent ]
btw... (none / 0) (#94)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 04:55:12 PM EST

1. Know that there's more to life than going to college.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Come out of the closet (2.25 / 8) (#54)
by communistpope on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:25:59 PM EST

being gay will make your high school fun!

Advice: Step away from the computer (2.50 / 8) (#57)
by enthalpyX on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 04:44:38 PM EST

Make some friends. Play a sport.

no lust? (2.50 / 14) (#61)
by Goerzon on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:31:24 PM EST

be chaste in all things to resist lust
This is probably going to come out sounding like a joke, but if I could tell my teenaged self something I would tell him EXACTLY the opposite. I'd be a lot better off today if I spent more time trying to bed young colleagues with low self-esteem when I was young.

why you wanna (3.00 / 4) (#91)
by tetsuwan on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 03:04:30 PM EST

bed collegues with poor self esteem? Is taking advantage of people a virtue these days? Is it understood here that the confident ones would never touch you?

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Some corrections (2.76 / 13) (#66)
by MrHanky on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:35:49 PM EST

Cultivate virtues in yourself that will counteract the Seven Deadly Sins: cultivate humility to resist pride; be kind and meek to resist wrath; be temperate to resist gluttony; be chaste in all things to resist lust; cultivate brotherly love to resist envy; be liberal with your treasure to resist avarice; and be diligent to resist sloth.

You can't avoid sin without avoiding education. Pride in your academic work, indulge in reading and thinking as well as partying (you can meet lots of interesting people at parties, at least if you avoid parties at a college of commerce). You're going to feel lust for your assistant teacher of the opposite sex unless you're gay, and it can probably be a worthwhile pursuit. You can do without wrath and avarice; sloth is for sundays.

One piece of advice from one of my high school math teachers stands out in my mind, and I pass it on to you: "If you can do math you can do anything." He was right. Work to understand math.

If you believe that, you probably know neither math, nor anything else. Having said that: Knowing math is good, as is knowing everything else.

Find people who are doing what you want to do, who have achieved what you want to achieve, who behave the way you want to behave, and learn from them. Read their biographies. If they are still alive, write to them and tell them that you want to learn from them. Be prepared to follow-up with them if they want to help you. You just might find a mentor who can open doors for you.

Don't be a fucking ass-licker. Learn your field of study and how the science is done. Think critically about it, and improve it. If you can't think of a way to improve the discipline, just do you best.

Read as many great books as you can stand. Read as many good books as you can afford. Learn to recognize bad books quickly so you can avoid wasting your time reading them.

Learn how to recognize a library. It's often completely free, but you have to return the books. Wasting time on bad books might improve your critical thinking, and passing harsh judgement eloquently is rewarding in many ways.

Last but not least: Don't listen to your parents.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.

Agreed (none / 1) (#70)
by Hegi on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:50:46 PM EST

Now this I'd prefer to see posted.

[ Parent ]
More importantly (3.00 / 5) (#78)
by Spendocrat on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 02:26:08 AM EST

Learn *when* to not listen to your parents.

[ Parent ]
all good, but here's some more.... (none / 1) (#134)
by Morphine007 on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:41:55 AM EST

....don't resist Wrath. The world is *not* a caring place, and will roll over the weak. There *is* a time to get pissed off about things, and there *is* a proper time and place for grabbing someone and "persuading" them that they should attempt to screw over someone else. The trick is to be smart enough to know if you're at the right time and place.

You will hear the phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know" about a million times. It's only partially correct; it's both. Know your sh!t, and have enough social graces (or lack thereof depending on the crowd you're with) to have the right people ready to back you in your endeavours.

In the business world, if you are able to walk around telling yourself that you are *THE SH!T*, then you will project this. You can have the best laid plans in the world, but if, in presenting them, you appear weak and unsure, you ARE SUNK. If you come across as completely confident (not cocky... just confident) then you will be taken seriously. THE MOST IMPORTANT time to exude confidence is when you are UNSURE. An expression that gets hammered into you in the military is "lead your troops confidently to failure." Even in clearly defined social hierarchies, if the "leader" looks completely lost, someone else will step up and take their place.

Do NOT be afraid to take advice from people, in fact, seek it as often as possible. Credit people for their ideas, and use them if they're good.



[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 0) (#141)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:55:50 PM EST

About two years ago I was unsure about everything, questioned myself constantly, was careful never to overextend my skills, and didn't get angry at anyone, because that was mean. I had a "best friend" who didn't have the strength to make hard decisions (for example, "don't invite my ex-girlfriend over to our house without at least warning me") and I was lonely.

About a year and a half ago I got fed up, moved out, and yelled at said best friend ("what the hell were you thinking?"). I lost that friend, and a lot of other friends. I got new friends. I got over it.

About a year ago I realized that, essentially, I rocked. And I reminded myself of that, whenever I felt inferior or insecure.

Now I've got a badass brilliant geek girlfriend and a job that many people would kill for. Life is good, and I owe it all to speaking my mind and being confident.

(And I still question myself, and make sure I'm not being an asshat, and admit when I'm wrong. And that's part of the reason I'm so confident.)

[ Parent ]

In other words, (none / 0) (#202)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:55:31 PM EST

you went from being a loser to being fairly normal.  The fellows at the country club would probably think that your girlfriend sucks, though.

In other words, while it's understandable for you to be proud you got out of being a loser dork, it's a mistake to project it beyond being like most other people.

[ Parent ]

A good book tor ead: (2.00 / 3) (#69)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:06:38 PM EST

Especially if he's going off to college: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein.

He advises that one spend time only on activities that advance on in some way towards one's lifetime goals.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


that sounds like a good way (2.50 / 2) (#93)
by Altus on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 04:30:19 PM EST


to have a really boring life...

unless of course you choose a particularly good set of goals...

but still... who really has that much forethought.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

That has flaws (3.00 / 3) (#99)
by cronian on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 05:43:32 PM EST

So, suppose somone decides their goal in life is to watch dumb tv shows. Then, they spend their whole life watching dumb tv shows. By doing this, they never think of setting any other goals.

Following through on pursuing goals is a good idea. However, it also helps to engage in activities that help you define goals. While I suppose you could happy without knowing the possible goals to set in life, I'd prefer to be aware of all the goals to set.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Listen to Chris (2.70 / 10) (#74)
by Hillgiant on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:22:56 PM EST

No matter what a stripper tells you, there is no sex in the champagne room.

-----
"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny

You are going to the wrong clubs (none / 0) (#160)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 01:27:30 PM EST

Try the Block in Baltimore, if that's your thing.

Of course, strip clubs are overpriced. A good massage parlor is a much better value for your entertainment dollar.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Resist pride, wrath and lust? (1.83 / 6) (#77)
by evilmeow on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 01:25:44 AM EST

Go post your son in a catholic school. The world doesn't need any more "harmless" fucking people. -1.
"[O]ne thing is certain: people are certifiably historically myopic"

Whatever. (none / 0) (#201)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:51:28 PM EST

Go around yelling and screwing everything in a misguided effort to feel more attractive.

Oh yeah, and try to show off how smart you are at every opportunity.  What pathetic symptoms of broken people.

[ Parent ]

You could but you won't (none / 0) (#204)
by evilmeow on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 05:03:14 PM EST

You could perfectly infer the point I'm trying to make but apparently you chose not to. Score.

Instead, you resort to ad hominem. Score.

"[O]ne thing is certain: people are certifiably historically myopic"

[ Parent ]
What is so special about your post (none / 0) (#205)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 06:29:10 PM EST

that I should automatically know to ponder it for more than two seconds and 'infer' the story behind the story?

Are you a Perl coder?

If I jumped the gun on you, I apologize, but just speak plainly.

[ Parent ]

Wear black (1.80 / 5) (#79)
by IceTitan on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 03:11:40 AM EST

And take a gun to school.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
On the subject of black clothing. (2.75 / 4) (#80)
by Resonant on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 03:52:32 AM EST

I have to say, this always bothers me just a little. Black is by far the most practical color: it blends well, "goes with anything", is hard to stain, etc. Moreover, a good black set of clothes is often free of idiotic logos. Granted, I am a bit of a pessimist, and have been accused of being goth, emo, and psychotic, but most people who actually talk to me realize I am not crazy, and I don't think that life is terrible for no reason (I have reasons, do your own research), and basically I wear black because it happens to be a color that suits me, not because I am homicidal. While I realize you were making a (ultimately) idiotic joke, it truly frustrates me when black clothing is instantly associated with pagan rituals and homicidal teenagers.

"I answer, 'This is _quantitative_ religious studies.'" - glor
[ Parent ]
why associate yourself with clothing at all? (none / 0) (#173)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 09:04:04 PM EST

and build a persona even loosley based on your aesthetic prefrences. What do you mean it "suits" you. I don't associate black clothing with pagan rituals, i associate with thoughtless trendiness and vanity. Wear whatever is comftorable, practical, and cheap.

The best thing you can do is buy a 12 pack of plain shirts. White is better because you can bleach it to  get rid of all stains. Also, if you live in a sunny area, it keeps you cooler. Saves time dressing too, with no choices to make.

[ Parent ]

I actually agree with you (none / 0) (#193)
by Resonant on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:35:33 PM EST

That is exactly what I meant by "it suits me". Black is perhaps the most practical color bar temperature because it doesn't stain easily, blends in well to most surroundings, and is generally made of better products due to social structure.

I currently have 10 white shirts for specifically your cited reasons. Not to mention they at like 5 for $12.

"I answer, 'This is _quantitative_ religious studies.'" - glor
[ Parent ]
But I'm Fat (none / 0) (#213)
by unknownlamer on Sun May 01, 2005 at 08:31:09 AM EST

White shirts make me look like even more of a lard ass.

:-(



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
my List of Advice (2.60 / 5) (#86)
by minerboy on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:06:03 AM EST

Since everyone seems to be jumping on this bandwagon

  • Stop listening to my generations music, It's ours, and better than anyone else's. When your old, how are you going to tell your kids that their generations' music sucks, and your's was better ?? You should have your own music, that you can embrace and be proud of, even if it sucks
  • Don't listen to old hippies. Our generation was wrong about mostly everything. The old hippies are still wrong.
  • Your generation is too group oriented, try spending some time by yourself, maybe read "on the Road"
  • Don't feel guilty about masturbating
  • get a tattoo, particularly one on your butt, or just above your butt crack. When your old they will provide amusement for the health care worker giving your wrinkly old butt an enema


The article asks for advise... (2.25 / 4) (#111)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:50:17 PM EST

for a teenager, not from a teenager. To quote the Firesign Theater, "everything you know is wrong."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Is this (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by minerboy on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:58:15 AM EST

McGrew's teenage Daughter, using his account to flame people again ? (probably ticked off by the tattoo comment)



[ Parent ]
Never Trust a Hippie... (none / 0) (#222)
by shinnin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:49:21 AM EST

...and even less a profiteering Situationist.

We mean it, maaaaaaaan.

[ Parent ]

More Advice from the Article's Author (1.38 / 13) (#95)
by tbc on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 04:55:27 PM EST

I could tell while my first draft submission was still in the edit queue that this article had no chance of being published here with the following advice, which I actually put at the top of my list:

  • Seek God and all else will follow. Memorize Matthew 6:33.
  • Study the Bible throughout your entire life. It is the most important book that exists. There is no close second. It is your "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth."

After reading 93 comments and only finding 8 worth rating (less than 10%), I understand a little better the value of one other piece of advice: Don't cast your pearls before swine. Maybe it's my nostalgia coloring my memory, but I seem to recall the s/n ratio at K5 being a little better than 10% in its earlier days.



Hey asshole (1.29 / 17) (#96)
by ant0n on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 05:08:39 PM EST

you feel really good and reliefed after you posted this comment, don't you? Go read your motherfucking bible and wank off while you imagine sucking Paul Graham's cock.


-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
[ Parent ]
The s/n ratio just got even worse. [nt] (1.00 / 2) (#103)
by tbc on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:10:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Agreed (1.44 / 9) (#110)
by ant0n on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:49:15 PM EST

You being the noise, me being the signal.


-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
[ Parent ]
The bible is not the best (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by cronian on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 05:36:58 PM EST

Euclid beats the bible.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
LOL, more good advice... (none / 1) (#109)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:47:49 PM EST

If you mention God at K5, some people will accuse you of trolling. There are a few confirmed fanatics of the athiest faith here.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I kind of agree with this (3.00 / 4) (#119)
by nurikochan on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:14:12 PM EST

Everyone, especially Christians, should read the Bible. My personal favorite edition is the Skeptics Annotated Bible. All the inconsistencies (and my God are there many of them) cross referenced and linked. While we're on the topic, what does the SAB say about Matthew 7:6?
"Pearls before swine" Jehovah's Witnesses are told that it is OK to be hide the truth when speaking to those who are not entitled to it (all nonJWs). They call this the Theocratic Warfare Stategy. This verse is used to justify their deceit.
Truly enlightening.

[ Parent ]
meaning (none / 1) (#152)
by falderal on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:08:46 PM EST

Although I don't agree with the method of this advice I can agree with the result.

One thing that would have made my teenage years much easier to bear is if I had realised that I needed to seek meaning. Most of my dissatisfaction, my discontent, and that persistent feeling of pointlessness and alienation was because of a lack of meaning.
Of course, that much seems obvious now.

It's not a description of how to live, or how to 'get ahead', etc. But I think that the thing most teenagers (even most people) are looking for is an understanding of 'the point', so to speak.


Pragmatism is the convenient conclusion reached by those who lack the patience or intelligence to formulate a consistent ideology.
--Mark G. Hanley

[ Parent ]
Welcome to the 21st century (2.33 / 3) (#159)
by tassach on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 01:22:31 PM EST

Study the Bible throughout your entire life. It is the most important book that exists.
Bullshit. Complete, utter, unvarnished bullshit. Pull your head out of your book of superstitions and try living in the real world, the one goverered by the laws of science, mathematics, and logic.

There is no credible evidence whatsoever to support the hypothesis that there is a supreme being. If God exists and wants us to fawn over him, why did he hide his existance so completely?

There is no credible evidence whatsoever to indicate the existence of an afterlife. When you die, it's over; your conciousness ceases to exist. The only real immortality comes from the legacy of your life's work and your children. If you spend your life preparing for a non-existant afterlife, you've wasted what little time you have.

There is no credible evidence to support the assumption that the Christian bible was inspired by a supernatural entity, or that it's even an accurate transcription of the teachings of Jesus of Naserith.

If the creator of the universe wanted to give us some instructions, why not actual useful advice like "don't build your privy too close to your well" and "wash your hands before you handle your food"? If Jesus of Naserith was a devine being, how come he was illiterate? Surely the physical incarnation of the the most powerful being in the universe would want to write down his own teachings instead of relying on some fanatical follower to do it for him.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Poor critique (none / 1) (#184)
by OpAmp on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:37:49 PM EST

There is no credible evidence whatsoever to support the hypothesis that there is a supreme being.

And this is why we have that concept called faith.

why not actual useful advice like "don't build your privy too close to your well" and "wash your hands before you handle your food"

Hygienic etc. rules you are referring to had already been laid out in Leviticus, no need to repeat them.

If Jesus of Naserith was a devine being, how come he was illiterate?

Flatly incorrect. There is a passage referring to Him reading a text in the temple (Luke 4,16-18).

[Jesus] would want to write down his own teachings

How do you know? Given the literacy level of the society He acted in, preaching on the streets seems to me a much more effective method. Besides, even if such texts existed, the originals would have been lost long ago anyhow, and the content possibly combined with other writings.

And, if such texts existed, we'd have claims questioning if they are genuine. Such claims would probably have merit, because a large collection of fakes would have soon been produced.

[ Parent ]

Welcome to Hell. Here's your accordion. [nt] (none / 1) (#187)
by tbc on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:20:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
So we have (none / 0) (#200)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:46:58 PM EST

a zealot MIT grad who quotes The Far Side.

Is it your opinion that in matters of faith you should simply just state your beliefs or are you supposed to defend or explain them also?

[ Parent ]

Not to toerags like tassach. (none / 0) (#209)
by tbc on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 02:39:58 AM EST

So what about you, Harvey? Are you looking for a defense or an explanation?

[ Parent ]
I'm looking for consistency. (none / 0) (#212)
by Harvey Anderson on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 11:07:39 AM EST

The main of goal of Christian groups as far as I know is to evangelize and spread the light of Christ.

So, you are presented with what are common objections to faith.  Your response is basically to turn your nose up and tell him to go to hell.

That you are at MIT and quoting the Far Side (not to mention that you are posting here on K5 :) ) increases my suspicion that you are into Christianity for reasons of bitterness and jealousy, and is more of an aside.

I could be wrong.

[ Parent ]

I am under no obligation to satisfy you. (none / 0) (#226)
by tbc on Mon May 23, 2005 at 01:55:31 AM EST

You seem to be implying that I am a bitter, jealous hypocrite. The basis for your judgment appears to be my refusal to respond to a hostile screed against the Christian faith. Your idea of consistency would be to share a little "light of Christ." But I don't know where you're coming from. If you have your own light to share with tassach, then do so. I chose to shake the dust off my sandals. I already put one strike against K5 members who hide behind pseudonyms. (St. Tassach was close to St. Patrick.) Second strike is a K5 account with no "depth" to it. No stories. No diary. Not so much as a link to a personal Web page. Third strike is hostility. That was enough for me, so I fired off a one-liner that was a play on the "Welcome to" opening. That's not telling him to go to hell. We have yet to establish even that a real person -- and not a troll -- is behind the K5 account at this point. And still tassach remains silent. So don't second-guess how I should spend my precious time, Harvey.

If you want to engage for yourself instead of standing up for the hit-and-run tassach, then I'll try to make time for discussion with you. But you're not off to a good start: What do MIT and the Far Side have to do with this? What is your impression of MIT? Why whould you bother to make a connection between Christianity and an MIT education? Do you think anyone "smart enough" to graduate from MIT should be "smart enough" to not be a Christian? You seem obsessed with that Far Side cartoon. Why? In particular, how do those factors lead you to a conclusion that I am bitter and jealous? What do you think I'm bitter and jealous towards?


[ Parent ]

overanalysis. (none / 0) (#228)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:23:58 PM EST

You were extremely quick to write off someone who does not share your spiritual beliefs as not even worth engaging.

As for your comment about your 'refusal to respond to a hostile screed against the Christian faith', I'm at a loss.  If someone is in agreement with you, no response is required.

What you have done in regards to tassach is you've reduced a discussion about what is (presumably) of extremely high importance to you, spiritual belief, to the level of teenagers trying to one-up each other.  Way to go.

Tassach may be a troll, it is true.  I might be lying to you also.  You might be lying to me.  Where does that leave us?  Do we assume that everyone online is lying?  Non-starter.

MIT and the Far Side have to do with you.  Socially awkward smart guy (Far Side humor appeals to this group quite a bit) finds solace in religion, which helps him cope with his perception that everyone else is having way more fun.  It's a common story.  Of course I don't know that this applies to you for a fact, but it's a good guess based on what I know so far.

[ Parent ]

underanalysis (none / 0) (#229)
by tbc on Wed May 25, 2005 at 11:52:49 PM EST

I should have paid more attention to your K5 page. You seem to have a pattern of hit and run comments. And like tassach you have no diary, no stories, and no Web page, user number 58383. Who are you? Is Harvey Anderson your real name? tassach uses blasphemy to express his hostility. You're merely insidious. By my reckoning, you and tassach have the same three strikes against you.

[ Parent ]
All I can say to that is (none / 0) (#230)
by Harvey Anderson on Thu May 26, 2005 at 08:58:34 AM EST

my comments reflect what I really think and I am not trolling you.

[ Parent ]
Don't give up! (2.40 / 5) (#100)
by gidds on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 06:15:20 PM EST

I have a printed sign in my house that says "You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying."

Yes, it's glib, naive, simplistic, and a little pompous -- the sort of thing I usually hate -- but it's such an important message. It applies to small things (individual tasks) but even more to big ones. In particular, if you have a dream, follow it! You may take years or decades to get there, but if you keep it in mind, don't give up, and take opportunities as they present themselves, you might be surprised what you can do.

For example, when I look back, I think I've always wanted to be a composer and musician. But I encountered little interest, and after sending a few demo tapes off around the time I went off to college and hearing nothing back, I pretty much gave up on my hopes. And yet, a decade later, I find I've recently fulfilled several dreams: a local choir has performed some pieces I've written; I've written and performed songs at my church; I play in a couple of local bands; I've sung solos in classical works with a choir and orchestra; I've been in a theatre band; I've taken lead parts in stage shows; and others too. Now, none of this is quite as I might have foreseen it -- it's all amateur level, and I'm not the megastar I might have hoped for. But if I could tell my teenage self anything, one of the major things would be to persist -- have big dreams, and don't be discouraged!


Andy/

The lesson? (none / 1) (#194)
by X3nocide on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:41:32 PM EST

Never start trying and you'll never fail!

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]
Don't be religious (2.14 / 7) (#101)
by Apreche on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 06:55:11 PM EST

Being religious, meaning beleiving that there are one or more omnipotent/omniscient beings or that there is some sort of life after death will ruin the rest of your life. Here is why. 1) You will not live this life to the fullest as you will only use it to prepare for the next life which does not exist. 2) You will blame deities or fate for all your problems and give them credit for all your triumphs. Your life will be plagued with problems you do not solve because you blame them on non-existent outside forces, and your self worth will be nil as you credit all your accomplishments to the same. 3) By living in a mindset in which you can beleive things without evidence you will fall scam to multiple things that will make your life worse to some degree ranging from not noticeable to disasterous. The lady on the train this morning was reading about talking with ghosts, she could have saved the cost of that book and some false hopes if she was logical. And another man fell for the Nigerian e-mail scam because the Nigerians played the god card. 4) Being religious will cause you to hold beliefs based on nothing other than your choice of religion. You may end up voting for someone who does not have your best interests at heart because of something intangible and unreal. In other words, you will allow things that are fake to have a very real, and usually negative, effect on things for yourself and others. That is not to say that religion is all bad. It can provide consolation in times of sadness, i.e: funerals. It an also serve as guidance to the morally depraved. Just don't bet your life on it. Now, for other advice to teenagers. Don't drink, smoke or do drugs. But fuck your brains out while you're young, as long as its safe.

For the exact same reasons, don't do organic food. (3.00 / 3) (#115)
by Cat Huggles on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:12:50 PM EST

Don't get caught up with organic crap. Homeopathy too.
  1. You will not live life to the fullest.
  2. You will assign triumphs to your gay "medicine", and blame all your problems on that one time you forgot to wash a supermarket apple.
  3. You will fall scam to COUNTLESS fads set up by the giant organic food/homeopathy conglomerates.
  4. Organic foods are more likely to have harmful effects. Even if the food itself is the same, your obsession will take away a little bit from all the other parts of your life. Time and money. You're not playing it safe, you're just stupid.


[ Parent ]
you're getting worked up over nothing (none / 0) (#172)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:55:18 PM EST

what the fuck is so hard to grasp that about a chicken living outside, eating grains, being healthier for you than one raised in a wire cage, kept alive with drugs. Yeah don't take it as a life philosophy, but some things are so obvious you'd be a fool to argue against them.

[ Parent ]
Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty nt (1.50 / 2) (#102)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 06:56:09 PM EST


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Hippie! ....actually, its true... (none / 0) (#108)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:45:43 PM EST

but you should never trust anyone under 31, either.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Only one thing to recommend (none / 1) (#104)
by rpresser on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:20:41 PM EST

Think for yourself. People who make lists of things you should do should be laughed at.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
No, that wasn't two things (none / 0) (#105)
by rpresser on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:21:45 PM EST

the second sentence was meant to give my motivation for believing the first. But go think for yourself; don't believe me.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
My contrarian advice (2.77 / 9) (#106)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:33:32 PM EST

I'll give the advice I wish I was given, but absolutely never was.

No one is looking out for you with the possible exception of your mother.  I certainly hope that your mother looks out for you but some people's don't.  I hate to start out with such a downer.

Discount the future steeply.  You can't predict the future.  Have reasonably modest plans but you should mostly do what feels good now.  Maybe you'll be able to make a life out of it or maybe you'll die tomorrow.  I thought I'd be making a lot of money now with my degree in computer engineering.  I just have a lot of debt.  My sister has commented that no one would finish high school if they knew how easy the G.E.D. is.  Remember every investment is a specualtion with a risk of not panning out.

Be cynical  Most people are trying to bullshit you, control you, or take your money.  Question everything you hear in an advertisement, everything the government tells you, everything you hear from the media (even "respectable" sources), and the very value system you were raised with.  It's all there to make you serve powerful interests, rather than yourself or people who are worthy of your assistance.  It's okay to ignore all conventional morality.  Personally, I will help the less fortunate because I have compassion and because I want to screw over their exploiters.  But I'll lie and steal when I can get away with it.

Develop good social skills and learn how to bullshit people.  Hard work can be a good way of getting ahead, but bullshitting people is much easier.  Failed attempts at bullshit leave much less bitterness than failed efforts born of hard work.  In reality, you'll have to combind bullshitting and work to get somewhere.  However, if you have to pick one bullshitting is more effective than hard work.  If you work hard but never bullshit people you'll be taken advantage of horribly.  Try to only work hard when it is in your interest.  You'll conserve energy and your emotional reserves that way.

Remember, you'll never succeed on a job interview if you can't bullshit.  Your competition will bullshit hard.  And when you finally get a job you'll have to see through their bullshit and do plenty of your own.

Also, if pretending to like bad music helps you get laid then pretend to like bad music.  Who cares?  Being "true to yourself" is a bunch of crap.  It's just something unpopular musicans say so you'll keep buying there records.  Your friends perpetuate this notion that your music is better out of a pointless tribalism.

Personally, I was born with horrible social skills but I've been able to improve them and you can improve yours too.  Also, I'm becoming fairly good at bullshitting because I'm pretty cynical.

Be detached.  I bring you the wisdom of the Buddha!  There's a lot of crap in this world.  Don't get too worked up about it.  If your boss asks you to do something the least effective way, do it that way and explain that you were just following instructions.  Don't care about a company that doesn't care about you.

To end I'll give you a list of possibly helpful characteristics in life.  I have put them in the order which I percieve their usefulness.  The first being the most useful.

Social Skills and bullshitting
Being physically attractive
a strong work ethic
intelligence

There's your advice.  Good luck!

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Close, but 'intelligence' goes on the top (none / 1) (#124)
by IndianaTroll on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:48:47 AM EST

Intelligence is court-vision.  It's the ability to discern the difference between when to bullshit, and when to work hard.  It's the method by which you navigate the maze of attention-grabbing stimuli in your life.

I'd re-order your list as follows:

Intelligence
Social Skills and bullshitting
Being physically attractive
a strong work ethic

But I think that #2 and #3 are somewhat interchangeable.  They form a conjoined pair of related weights...move one too far down and the other becomes so much more vitally important.

Your personal experiences don't mean diddly in a nation of 300 million people. jubal3
[ Parent ]

words of caution for bullshiting (3.00 / 3) (#136)
by cronian on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:13:13 PM EST

There are two kinds of bullshit. The first kind is the kind, where it is just necessary for things to work, and so everyone just goes along with it, unless they are a complete idiot. The second kind is where someone else is actually supposed to believe it.

For the first kind, it is often more convenient if people don't believe it too much. For the second kind, it is better to seem honest. I mean some of the best bullshit is things like "I don't understand all the complexity of these sophisticated..." The other trick is that people expect you to bullshit them, and you are honest, they won't believe you. The most skilled bullshiters don't lie, they form ideologies. For instance stealing is just eliminating excess waste, that needs to be gotten rid of. Violence against someone is a less psychologically stressing form of communication. Sleeping on the job is just applying innovative means to improve efficency by better addressing employee's biological needs.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
do you wear your baseball cap backwards? (none / 1) (#171)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:50:13 PM EST

I bet you were president in highschool too. The only thing this advice will lead to is a heart attack at 50, that and a hummer if you can afford it. Being a shark won't get you much in life worth having.

[ Parent ]
Sad (none / 1) (#211)
by der on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 04:36:29 AM EST

Also, if pretending to like bad music helps you get laid then pretend to like bad music. Who cares? Being "true to yourself" is a bunch of crap. It's just something unpopular musicans say so you'll keep buying there records. Your friends perpetuate this notion that your music is better out of a pointless tribalism.

Yes, clearly banging shallow dumb sluts whose opinions you hate is a much more noble goal than appreciation of music, being 'true to yourself', and not being a fake piece of shit in general.

Pathetic, shallow little man...



[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#225)
by Qwaniton on Tue May 17, 2005 at 02:32:07 PM EST

angry nerd can't get none
I don't think, therefore I
[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#227)
by der on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:09:39 AM EST

Shallow fucking idiot assumes that since pussy doesn't dictate my entire life I "can't get none".

[ Parent ]
Work your ass off at something you love doing (2.42 / 7) (#107)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:42:53 PM EST

I don't think much of your first three pieces of advice. Sorry.

First, there aren't seven deadly sins, there are ten. And none of the seven you listed are on my list. They aren't wise life choices, but neither are they sins.

"If you can do math you can do anything" isn't a universal. It works for me, but some people take to math like fish take to water. He could have as easily said "if you can write a symphony that doesn't suck," but Mozart showed that to be false. Different people are good at different things.

"Learn what your options are" would be good advice, should you actually have a crystal ball. Few know what their actual options are, and none know where they will lead.

The rest I completely agree with.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Advise for a teenager's parent: (2.57 / 7) (#113)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 07:59:11 PM EST

Teenagers are contrarians. If your daughter brings home a nice kid, hate him. Hate him with all your heart. Let your daughter know how much you hate his guts. She'll marry him.

If she brings home some punk you'd like to punch out, make him your best friend. Buy dope from him. Even if you have to later flush it. She'll dump him so fast he won't know what hit him.

My youngest is 18. I speak from experience.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Re: Advise for a teenager's parent: (none / 1) (#122)
by drsmithy on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:22:00 AM EST

Note that eventually most women grow out of this phase (as with their needs for self-loathing and always having something to worry about). So it probably won't work forever :).

Unfortunately a lot of them don't do so until well into their late twenties, if not early-mid thirties. Some never do.

If you can raise a daughter who has managed to do so by her late teens/early twenties, you've done an excellent job as a parent. Of course, if they signal this change in their live by settling down with someone you don't want them to, it'll suck ;).

[ Parent ]

My dad thinks this (3.00 / 4) (#133)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:38:40 AM EST

and he is so wrong. He really thinks I choose my relationships based on his approval or disapproval. He is wrong. I couldn't care less what he thinks because I don't trust his judgment on these matters.

He also thinks my sister got her tattoo because he hates it and I got my navel pierced because he hates it. It didn't matter how many times we told him, "You didn't cross our minds at all, not once, in the decision process. If you like it, great. If you don't, it makes no difference. We did it because we like it. Nobody else figured in our decisions at all."

He doesn't believe us. Now we let him think that we did those things because we knew he wouldn't approve. It makes him happy.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

I am (3.00 / 3) (#199)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:41:47 PM EST

sorry to hear that you have such a bizarre family.  

Unfortunately this means you will be broken in some ways, such as having a desire to get tattoos and your navel pierced.

[ Parent ]

Very wrong (none / 1) (#143)
by vadim on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 06:21:28 PM EST

I'm not a teenager anymore, but I do remember being one. I'm not very standard by any means, being a huge geek, however:

I didn't give a damn about whatever anybody thinks. Believe me that my parents were VERY annoyed with me. They plainly told me they didn't know what they should do, because nothing was working, they were that desperate.

Of course they would also completely miss that besides a few major disagreements I agreed with them about many things. But what is more memorable, the day they spent one hour yelling at me, or the day nothing of interest happened? Think about it.

I did the same with teachers. I annoyed every physical education teacher I had. I didn't like the subject. I would refuse to play soccer because I didn't like it. In almost every team sport I'd rarely do anything at all. I would avoid running and walk if I could manage it fast enough.

On the other hand, I didn't have anything against gymnastics or speed competitions, and found volleyball fairly enjoyable. Of course nobody ever noticed that because they were busy grumbling about how they just couldn't get me to play soccer.

It is very simple: I didn't give a damn about what they wanted. I don't like soccer, so I wouldn't play it, but I didn't mind volleyball so I would. That's all there is to it.

Why would your daughter like the punk? Well, perhaps because the looks cool. He probably looks good, is very confident, experiments with drugs, and appears to be very interesting. Why would she dump him? Because in the end it turns out there's more about people than the thin exterior and he was probably just a moron.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

Worst. Advice. Ever. (2.00 / 4) (#114)
by Protagonist on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:05:30 PM EST

Seriously. I don't see how you could come up with worse advice if you tried, the only exception being the "perservere" point, which is too obvious to be of any redeeming value.

Even if you somehow think these are the best possible advice to give teenagers, at least put yourself in the place of your audience. Would any self-respecting teenager even consider them twice after reading the first one? If not, what purpose do they serve?

Oh and... How to Read a Book and why it's about the last book I would suggest to any teenager aside, this is simply hilarious.

----
Hahah! Your ferris-wheel attack is as pathetic and ineffective as your system of government!

little too early (none / 1) (#140)
by kangman on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 03:19:14 PM EST

that amazon review was a few sentences to long. The punch line came a little too quick. After the hit it just falls flat.

[ Parent ]
I would pigeon-hole it as... (none / 0) (#157)
by LadyChatnoire on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 06:56:20 AM EST

an interesting attempt at juvenalian satire.

[ Parent ]
Advice from my dad (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:50:14 PM EST

Never point a gun at anything you don't mind shooting, and never shoot anything you don't mind killing.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

and always eat what you kill [nt] (3.00 / 4) (#118)
by ChiChiCuervo on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:06:46 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Unless you kill rats for a living (1.50 / 2) (#135)
by Riviera on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:56:46 AM EST

That's an exception.

[ Parent ]
well..... yeah (none / 1) (#145)
by ChiChiCuervo on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:32:03 PM EST

But coming from a rural hunting-oriented family, that tidbit alone kept me from poppin every little animal i saw

[ Parent ]
As I teenager... (2.85 / 7) (#120)
by LittleZephyr on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:03:48 PM EST

...I am completely ignoring this article.
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

My advice to you (3.00 / 2) (#189)
by Stick on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 11:11:04 AM EST

Get a sturdy rope, attach one end to something high and the other to your neck, and then jump because the rest of your life will be shit.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Gee.... (none / 0) (#191)
by bgarcia on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 10:18:14 AM EST

As I teenager...
Looks like you also ignored English classes.

[ Parent ]
When it comes down to making out, (2.44 / 9) (#121)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:05:53 AM EST

whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

Damnit! (none / 0) (#139)
by miah on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 01:53:51 PM EST

That's what I've been doing wrong all these years!

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
nothing beats Floyd. (none / 0) (#169)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:44:44 PM EST

Shine on you crazy diamond I & II, is guaranteed satisfaction.

[ Parent ]
When making out with other men, (none / 0) (#182)
by MMcP on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:26:34 AM EST

Right?

[ Parent ]
no. teh women. (none / 0) (#186)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:28:59 PM EST

but if it works for you...go for it.

[ Parent ]
my advice (3.00 / 13) (#123)
by urdine on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:24:55 AM EST

Don't take advice from strangers on the Internet.

Score 3, logical contradiction! [en coffee] (1.50 / 2) (#183)
by vadim on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 11:46:15 AM EST


--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]
Learn how to spell, and where/when to use: (1.50 / 4) (#125)
by drsmithy on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:53:16 AM EST

Its.
It's.
Your.
You're.
Lose.
Loose.
Then.
Than.
Their.
There.
They're.
Definite.
What (more when to use (HINT: rarely) than how to spell).
Couldn't care less.

This will ensure they appear far more literate and intelligent than at least 90% of their peers in any written communication.

My chief advice to anyone, especially the young (1.75 / 4) (#127)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:32:59 AM EST

Protect your liberties, and the liberties of others.  If you fail to do either, you'll lose them.
-- Daniel Benoy
The first point is a joke right? (2.66 / 3) (#128)
by boxed on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:33:53 AM EST

Ok, I can accept it if your kid is some kind of christian fanatic, but otherwise that just sounds silly. Not to mention the fact that you missed "do unto others", which is the only piece of preaching Jesus did that is without question a Good Thing, no matter how you interpret it. Leaving that out and putting in some bullshit catholic shit that was made to enforce the idea of inherited sin and move focus away from the good things Jesus said.

platnium rule is better (none / 0) (#146)
by Rhodes on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:52:15 PM EST

do unto others as they would like to have done to them

not

do unto others as you would like to have done

of course the former requires communication, or mind reading!

[ Parent ]

My advice: (2.33 / 3) (#129)
by nanobug on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 05:51:27 AM EST

Networking is everything.

The people who go places in life are the ones who make friends with other people who are going places in life.  Sure, your mates from primary school that still live in their mom's house might be fun to go out bar hopping with, but chances are they won't give you the inside lead on a job that will signifigantly improve your income and resume.  Make it a point to improve your ability to socialize with people in a higher station in life than you are, and you will go places.


Advice (3.00 / 5) (#131)
by IAmNos on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:10:58 AM EST

Never be afraid to admit you were wrong. You'll actually appear more intelligent if you're willing to admit that you were wrong when provided with evidence. Being wrong isn't a crime. It took me a lot of years to learn this, and some people it seems, never will.
http://thekerrs.ca
A few good things to impart (2.66 / 3) (#137)
by DarKNighT on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:26:58 PM EST

Here are a few things I got from a wonderful book I have called "Children's Companion":
  • Keep good company.
  • Observe silence. Think carefully before you speak.
  • Patiently listen to the words of others even though they are not interesting. Patient listening develops the will and wins the hearts of others.
  • Do not be stubborn. Be willing to change.
  • Let the thoughts agree with the words. Let the words agree with the actions. Let there be harmony among words, actions, and thoughts.
  • Be ever cheerful in whatever conditions you are placed. A cheerless mind is a diseased mind.
  • Keep the mind occupied in some useful work.
  • Time is valuable. It is more precious than money. Money can be earned again if lost, but if time is lost it cannot be regained.
  • Good health is the best of all possessions.
  • Serve the poor and the sick. Serve the needy. Serve those in sorrow and distress.
  • Never look to the faults and weaknesses in others. Always appreciate the good in others.
  • Do not be timid. Be courageous. Be bold. Be cheerful. Walk like a lion. Talk boldly. Do not be shy. Be ever active.
  • Preach less, practise more. Hoard less, give more. Talk less, listen more.
  • Be serene and calm under all conditions. Cultivate this virtue again and again. Serenity is like a rock; waves of irritation may dash on it but cannot affect it.
I got this book a long time ago, definitely before I turned 10. At that time, and through most of my teenage years, I thought it was all useless junk. Today I'm glad that I was told these things, because even though I haven't lived up to all these ideals, I know that they helped me to become a better person.

Here's some I wish I'd heard. (1.75 / 4) (#138)
by Trevasel on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:39:50 PM EST

  1. Learn how to understand statistics. They are a powerful tool for gauging risk, but easily misused.
  2. You are not important. Sure, you're important to your parents, your friends, and possibly to your teachers and employers. Pretty much anyone else doesn't give a shit about you, or worse, detests and works against you because of your beliefs.
  3. Have fun. Get laid. Stay out of debt.
  4. You live in an unfair society. Be pragmatic. Develop and use social connections. Learn about evolutionary psychology. People are animals and evolved in a much simpler environment. They still act like it, and knowing this will give you a lot more insight into how people behave. Your entire life will be spent working with and for people you don't like. Learn to manipulate them, but try to be just less manipulative, to raise standards :)

-- That which does not kill you only makes you stranger - Trevor Goodchild
Oh no. (none / 0) (#198)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:35:06 PM EST

Learn about evolutionary psychology.

This will certainly be the worst piece of advice you can possibly give to someone, especially if that person thinks a lot.

#3 is good.

#2 is good, but I'd rephrase it as "No one's contributions are irreplacable."  A decent amount of humility is good.

#1 is good.

But if yer going to go quoting Mr. Goodchild, it's 'us' and not 'you'.

[ Parent ]

My list (none / 1) (#144)
by jefu on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:15:20 PM EST

A while back I spent quite some time talking to students just entering college, and a few still in high school. I also sat through several very dull graduation speeches and ended up writing this fantasy graduation speech (self link, I know, but I could just copy and paste it all in here) which (I hope quite fervently) no one will ever ask me to deliver. But it does cover some of the same ground - and not every suggestion (even those that look serious) are meant to be taken entirely seriously.

prefer reason (none / 0) (#151)
by falderal on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:55:08 PM EST

Very humourous, but perhaps a bit too disjointed for a speech. I think an audience would drift off because of the lack of a 'path' (there's some term that I can't think of right now). The other side of this is that they'd be able to tune in again at anytime.

I presume you took a lot of inspiration from the "Wear Sunscreen" poem/song.

I prefer to have a reason rather than a list. When given a thou shalt or a thou shalt not I always need to ask "Why?"

Why should I leave ice-cream in my shopping cart? What is the personal or social benefit of such an action?


Pragmatism is the convenient conclusion reached by those who lack the patience or intelligence to formulate a consistent ideology.
--Mark G. Hanley

[ Parent ]
Wrong (2.42 / 7) (#147)
by trhurler on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 08:40:27 PM EST

Math people think that the ability to do math translates to everything else, but anyone who has ever worked with a useless theory wanker at a real job knows better. Math is important, but it is NOT the only important thing, and ability to do math does not directly translate into ANYTHING except ability to do math.

Also, my advice to teenagers: don't get caught. Everybody does the things you want to do, or at least most of them do, but the cop who busts you for drinking will think NOTHING of getting staggering drunk at the end of his shift, and if you point out the hypocrisy, he'll just hit you again. Don't do stupid shit pointlessly, but obviously you will do things you can't admit to. When you do, DO NOT GET CAUGHT.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

at the end of his shift (3.00 / 5) (#150)
by Norkakn on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:46:57 PM EST

woah.. your cops wait till their shift ends?

[ Parent ]
Here in Indiana.... (none / 0) (#158)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 12:54:17 PM EST

Its the doctors.

Yeah, one recently was recanted by a nurse who saw him down a half a fifth. And then he did surgery....

[ Parent ]

My list, has one item (2.80 / 5) (#148)
by coljac on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:11:16 PM EST

  • Laugh at yourself.



    ---
    Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

  • Advice from a new adult... (2.40 / 5) (#149)
    by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:18:29 PM EST

    Enjoy your work.

    If it means you're a carpenter, pulling down $25,000 a year, that's fine. If it means you're a nuclear physicist who talks daily with the brightest minds in the country, that's also fine.

    But enjoy your work. It will inevitably consume a vast majority of your waking life, so if you can tolerate the accompanying salary, do what you love.

    Never stop learning

    The biggest mistake you can make is to think that you know everything. You don't.

    Read

    Every book you can get your hands on. The bad ones, the good ones, the mediocre ones. The bad ones will teach you how to rip apart poorly constructed arguments. The mediocre books will help you identify the good books.

    Don't watch nature shows on the Discovery Channel

    Look out your window instead. If you live in the city, take a bike/car/train/camel/rickshaw to nature. Enjoy it while it's still there. If there's one thing we're good at, it's ruining it.

    Realise that there's no one you can't learn something from

    Everyone can teach you something, even if it's what not to do. The miserable fourty-something year old drunk who is in and out of halfway houses can teach you how *not* to live.

    Don't attach wealth and happiness

    There is often a correlation between the two, but it's not a causal relationship. Some of the happiest people I know never owned anything better than a used car, and a crumbling house. Some of the saddest surrounded themselves in luxury.

    Love your family

    You don't have to like them, but love them.

    ---

    I realise this isn't really guidance through the teenaged years. It's more long term. But the sooner you start, the happier you may find yourself. Of course, you may find yourself miserable just the same. This is how one person tries to live. It may not work for the next.

    Generally, the best piece of advice I can give you is about advice. Take what you believe, and use it for as long as it works. Don't discard the rest, because when what you thought was right turns out to be wrong, you may need that which you thought was rubbish a short time ago.

    my advice (things from here and there) (1.50 / 2) (#153)
    by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 11:51:25 PM EST

    do better than we did and raise your kids to do better than you

    no one ever said on their deathbed that they should have spent more time at the office

    don't sleep with anyone you don't love

    follow a path with heart

    you don't have to do shit but die

    listening is more important than talking

    what goes around, comes around

    the meaning of life is to learn

    there are no mistakes, only lessons

    love will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no love

    on the other hand life is like a shit sandwich - the more bread you have the better it tastes

    the things you hate most about people are the things you hate in yourself

    insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting different results

    you cannot control others ... and you don't control yourself as much as you think you do

    there's no one so stupid and hateful that you can't learn something from them

    god usually speaks through other people

    forgiveness isn't something you do for the benefit of others, it's something you do for yourself

    we're all making it up as we go along

    people are just as worried about what you think of them as you're worried about what they think of you

    the most dangerous people are the ones who are certain they are right

    random things happen ... and yet, we chose the lives we have long before we were born

    if you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you

    discover your purpose, we all have one

    sometimes things have to fall apart before they get better

    fear is useless ... hope is everything


    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.

    cliche fu (none / 0) (#224)
    by yonyonson on Thu May 12, 2005 at 02:30:36 PM EST

    Come on man, that was the biggest load of cliche crap since High School. I understand your intention, but some trademarked "fuzzy" scriptural passages don't inspire the youth masses. I would really like to hear *YOUR* story. yon Y.
    Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
    [ Parent ]
    Read Don Quixote (2.50 / 2) (#155)
    by MarlysArtist on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 01:29:35 AM EST

    by Miguel de Cervantes. If it isn't in there, it probably isn't worth the trouble. --But not the Cliffnotes! Read the real damned thing, every summer (and never in the winter).

    Marly's Artist

    "Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10

    Brings bad memories (3.00 / 2) (#162)
    by vadim on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 02:06:51 PM EST

    I live in Spain, where this is basic reading. I don't know anybody who actually likes it, though. Definitely NOT teenagers.

    It's got the smell of "mandatory homework" all over it, which makes it even less pleasant to read. If you did happen to read it on your own and like it, then your interest in it will end when you have a few of the soul sucking literature classes where you'll have to analyze it.

    I'm glad we never studied anything that great in literature. I shudder to think of what would it be like to have LOTR as an assignment. I think that whoever came with the idea of that class should be shot.

    It was in those classes where I fully understood what Gandalf meant by "And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom".  I can hardly imagine anything as horrible and unpleasant as having to spend several hours taking apart several pages of a nice book, until you don't even realize what it even means anymore.
    --
    <@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
    [ Parent ]

    School is discouraging (3.00 / 4) (#167)
    by MarlysArtist on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 05:59:30 PM EST

    Sadly all too true. The lessons of the Sire of La Mancha's quest--keep your head up and honor your dulcinea--are beaten to death after several weeks of boring classroom discussion. I live in the US, where we are still tortured with nineteenth-century British literature. The Mayor of Casterbridge nearly did me in, but literature teachers didn't stop there; next came such gems as "Mary Barton" or "Oliver Twist," or some other such 19th century drudgery novels where a combination of the corn laws and textile mills are grinding the hapless poor under their bourgois heel. Might be goods books to someone, somewhere, but they're lost on me, now. It all reminds me of a costume designer in Buenos Aires a few decades ago, who, when criticized for making the poor people's carnival costumes to bright, colorful and happy, replied to the effect that "the ordinary people love a party; only intellectuals love misery."

    Marly's Artist

    "Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10
    [ Parent ]

    Lost in translation? (none / 0) (#181)
    by MMcP on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:23:51 AM EST

    I thought that was the most repetitive and depressing book.  

    [ Parent ]
    Advice In Latin (1.00 / 2) (#156)
    by nymia_g on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 03:29:57 AM EST

    1) beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam et qui affluit prudentia --proverbs 3:13

    2) Nihil Sine Labore

    3) Cogita ante salis

    4) Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur

    5) Cogito Ergo Sum

    6) Intellego Ergo Credo

    7) Errare humanum est

    8) Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis

    9) Nemo dat quod non habet

    10) Fama volat

    11) Fama nihil est celerius

    12) Nullum Gratuitum Prandium. (There is no free lunch!)

    Latin Sayings

    And most importantly... (3.00 / 2) (#165)
    by jabber on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 04:26:56 PM EST

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    And (3.00 / 2) (#166)
    by naitha on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 05:38:28 PM EST

    Accept the fact that you're going to die. Then get on with living.


    "To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also."
    -Igor Stravinsky,
    My advice: ; ) (3.00 / 4) (#174)
    by bobzibub on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 09:31:49 PM EST

    1. Know that the world is truly as crazy and psycotic as you suspect.
    2. Also know that the world truly does not wish to hear this fact, not only because of who you are but whom they are.
    3. Understand that most adults would not be successful in your world.  If a boss mis-treats an "adult" most would get all pissy and quit if they could.  If they had two parents, grand parents, teachers, principals, police, politicians all treating one like crap, the average adult wouldn't be able to take it for fifteen minutes.  Such is the unfairness of life.  It does get better when you can vote and buy.  Buy votes even.
    4. Your Success or failure depends upon others.  Hence success or failure depends upon the approval of others.  Hence success or failure depends upon buttressing of their value system or ego on a subtle level.  This will help in school and work.  All levels.  Know this and you can choose the level of "success" that you are happy with.  Join a political party.  Nothing buttresses one's believes like others joining same political party.
    5. You exist.  Don't feel as though you have to justify your existance.  Nobody else does.  It's all good, or it will pass.
    6. Your parents put up with a lot crap and spent a lot of cash on you.  Take it easy on them.
    Things I've done that I have really appreciated in my early 20s are: Travel & Education.  They will make you less happy.  They will make you more tolerable to good people and less tolerable to bad  people.  This is a good thing, so get marks/money to ensure that you can get to that point.

    Cheers,
    -b

    You've been sigged (none / 0) (#206)
    by MrLaminar on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 05:39:24 AM EST

    k thx

    "Travel & Education. They will make you less happy. They will make you more tolerable to good people and less tolerable to bad people." - bobzibub
    [ Parent ]
    Advice to Teens (3.00 / 3) (#177)
    by OldCoder on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 01:32:05 AM EST

    1. Your Dad's advice is too Calvinistic. If you really listened to him you'd never have any fun. Also, if you always resist lust you'll never have any children.
    2. Just because you can get into Harvard doesn't mean you should go there. That is, not absolutely everybody should build their lives around maximizing academic achievement.
    3. Get a girlfriend. Tell her she is beautiful.
    4. Get married at 15 but don't have children yet. This way you won't have to sleep alone. This advice is somewhat impractical, but it may put important issues in perspective.
    5. Have faith in your own judgement. If you think somebody is a jerk or a tyrant they probably are.
    6. Your Dad's advice on books and mathematics is correct.
    7. Protect your health.
    8. Everything you do as a teenager is constructing yourself as an adult. If you spend all your time skateboarding you'll grow up to be an adult skateboarder. And probably have knee trouble.
    9. It isn't enough to go to college anymore, you have to get a Masters Degree in something practical.


    --
    By reading this signature, you have agreed.
    Copyright © 2004 OldCoder
    Married?! (none / 1) (#210)
    by der on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 03:36:37 AM EST

    Get married at 15 but don't have children yet. This way you won't have to sleep alone. This advice is somewhat impractical, but it may put important issues in perspective

    Oh my god - Worst. Advice. Ever.

    Marriage is the end of freedom to do as you please with your life. Assuming you actually want to accomplish something, delay it as much as possible.

    (Note the assumption. If all you want out of life is a wife, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence, [and a midlife crisis] by all means - wed away)



    [ Parent ]
    Freedom ends when your perceive freedom to end NT (none / 0) (#221)
    by shinnin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:38:03 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Uncle nlscb's Advice to USian college bound teens (2.60 / 5) (#178)
    by nlscb on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 02:13:58 AM EST

    The secret to USian college is to graduate as fast as possible in as little debt as possible with a degree in Math/Stats/Physics/CS/Engineering/Finance/Accounting/Chem/ or maybe Econ from a decent school. Doesn't have to be an Ivy, just someone employers can trust nationwide.

    So, get as many AP 5s as you can

    Go to a school that will accept them.

    Take as many summer courses in required courses for your subject in your freshman and sophmore year - they don't offer many 300 and 400 level courses in the summer.

    Buy some good guides from vault.com to get a job -> profit!

    Also, try to go to a state school that is at least 60% female, even if it has a lower reputaion. You'll have a much better time.

    I learned all that, especially the last point, the really hard way.

    Yeah, it's a repost.

    Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

    IAWTA (3.00 / 2) (#180)
    by MMcP on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:19:56 AM EST

    A++++ Advice giver.  Would take advice from again.

    [ Parent ]
    What a bunch of paternalistic bigots !!! \nt (2.50 / 8) (#179)
    by bob6 on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:28:08 AM EST

    I truly pity your children...

    Cheers.
    My advice to teenagers (3.00 / 3) (#188)
    by Stick on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 11:05:57 AM EST

    Grow the fuck up!


    ---
    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    "Seven Deadly Sins" !? (2.33 / 3) (#190)
    by flaw on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:17:26 AM EST

    What the fuck are you on about!?

    --
    ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
    One piece of advice: (none / 1) (#196)
    by sudogeek on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 07:47:33 PM EST

    Learn how to surf.

    Go surfing whenever there are waves.

    Travel for waves.

    Teach your kids.

    Drop Out ASAP (1.25 / 4) (#197)
    by ShiftyStoner on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:36:13 PM EST

    Always resist athority with a passion. Never Lose It. DONT LET THE REBEL DIE! DON'T YOU DARE LET THEM KILL THE REBEL!

    THEY WILL TRY! DON'T CRY! NEVER LET THEM SEE YOUR PAIN NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU BLEED! THEY WILL TRY BUT YOU MUST NOT LET THE REBEL DIE!

    DON'T WHINE YELL YOU CAN ALL GO TO HELL!

    Do it, just get mad and do it, do it cause you want it, cause you need it, not cause your told to do it, just do it, IF THEY SAY JUST DO YOU SAY YOU DO IT! IF THEY SAY SAY DID IT! JUST SAY IM NOT YOU YOU STUPID FUCK! WHAT ELSE DID YOU DO! YEAH, ALL THOSE NAUGHTY THINGS YOU DO! FUCK YOU!

    Know your to kewl for school. Know, KNOW THEY CANNOT BREAK YOU! DO NOT! DO NOT BE BROKEN! DO NOT BE A SLAVE !

    DO WHAT YOU DO CAUSE YOU WANT TO NOT CAUSE THEY DO OR TELL YOU TO! REMEMBER TO SAY FUCK YOU ALWAYS FUCK YOU!

    Fuck i don't know, or why, there excuses their lies dont matter, just FUCK YOU!

    Sayn fuck you is the best thing you could ever do.

    Years don't mean shit, respect your elders right, tell them to respect their elders, dont take comands give demands, wtf they gana do, beat you? BEAT YOU THEY WILL MAYBE THEN IT'S TIME TO KILL! CAUSE IT AINT YOU THATS ILL! THEY GET A THRILL OFF GIVING YOU THE PILL! OFF BEATING YOU STILL! sAY FUCK YOU STILL TILL THE LAST HIT! TILL YOUR LAST BREATH ALWAYSFUCK YOU! DON"T BE TO SCARED TO KILL! THEY WILL! THEY WILL KILL YOU INSIDE! TEKING YOU FOR ONE FUCKED UP RIDE! IF YOU MUST HIDE! BUT YOU CANNOT BE DENIED! DENIED YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE AT LEAST ON THE INSIDE! IN A CELL< IF THEy PUT YOU THREW HELL! ALWAyS STAY FREE! FREE OF MIND!

    CAUSE BEING IN A CELL CANT COMPARE TO THE HELL OF A HELL IN YOUR MIND! DONT LET THEM MAKE YOUR MIND A PRISON!

    THEY CAN IMPRISON YOUR BODY BUT NOT MAKE YOUR BODY A PRISON UNLESS YOU LET THEM! DONT LET THEM KILL THE REBEL! THE REBEL MUST LIVE!

    WHY DO THEY ALL WANT THE REBEL TO DIE? NOW ASK WHY! WHY DO YOU WANT THE REBEL TO DIE! THEY FEAR THE REBEL! THEY FEAR THE REBEL! WHY DONT ASK THEM ASK YYOURSELF!

    FUCK THEM! FUCK THEM ALL! FUCK ME TOO! FUCK THEm IF THEY WANT TO FUCK YOU!

    That's my advice. Tell that to your kids I dare you. lol. Why do you fear the rebel daddy? Cause the rebel inside you is dead? Cause your weak now? Or are you really so far gone, so brainwashed that you think doing as you are told is more important than being bold. More important that doing WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT! INSTEAD LIVING IN FRIGHT!  Living by what what they say is right. HOW THE FUCK DOES A PSYCHOTIC BRAINWASHING MASS MURDERING CHILD DRUGING CHILD ABUSING ENSLAVING GOVERNMENT KNOW WHATS RIGHT MOTHERFUCKER! HOW DO THEY KNOW! THEY CANT FEEL THEY ARE DEAD INSIDE! DEAD BEAT AND BROKEN! BREAD TO BREAK YOU! FUCK YOU!

    STILL SAYN FUCK YOU! I KNEW I WAS SMARTER THAN SOME OLD BRAINWASHED FUCK THEN! I KNOW NOW CAUSE I DIDNT LET THEM HAVE ME! I DIDNT LET THEM KILL ME INSIDE AND MY GOD THEY TRIED!

    Oh yeah, more kiddy advice, even though its uncool to think, to gain knowledge that isn't tainted, hand selected to control your mind, think kid, cause if you dont think, you'll lose yourself, think and seek knowledge, and it aint found in school, it's found in life, everyday life, it's found in others lives, but not from those paid and highly trained to brainwash you, to program you. YOU ARE NOT A ROBOT TILL YOU LET THEM CONFORM YOU!

    K, im done.
    ( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

    Live for the important things (3.00 / 2) (#208)
    by twh270 on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 12:36:53 PM EST

    There's a lot of inconsequential, unimportant or even useless crap you have to do in school and in life in general. Homework needs to be done whether you already understand the subject or not; meetings that serve no purpose (or worse, serve only to give the manager/owner an opportunity to show and exert control and dominance).

    And some things that maybe are boring or really difficult and seem useless, but have a longterm benefit. Like, you study so you can get good grades so you can learn something useful so you can earn enough money to pay the bills and have a little left over for fun. The payoff is way down the road, but you gotta do the legwork up front.

    Last and most important. Keep things in their proper perspective, and live for the important things. You gotta do the grunt work, but remember what you live for. Spending time with people you care about (and who care about you), and doing things that you love to do.

    -Thomas

    Wisdom cannot be taught (3.00 / 2) (#214)
    by P funk on Sun May 01, 2005 at 02:39:46 PM EST

    As a 22-year-old in the midst of a period of intense self-discovery, I think I am in a position to say that all of this advice is very nice, but not going to do much good. I've heard it all before, or something like it, when I was a teenager, but it didn't really MEAN anything to me. I recently read a famous book called Siddartha by Goethe. It's about the meaning of life, with an emphasis on the Buddhist perspective, and was very popular with hippies. There was one very important theme that I think everyone should take to heart: *** Wisdom cannot be taught, only gained through experience. *** So the only advice I would have is to try to experience as much as possible.

    Right (none / 0) (#216)
    by shinnin on Tue May 03, 2005 at 06:18:31 PM EST

    Won't change the high probability that you'll think "I should've listened to my dad" 10 years later. ;>

    Siddhartha is good. In hindsight, I should reread it, but I felt the final chapter of Siddhartha actually negates the entire "experience everything" quest of the rest of the book, bringing it into a true Buddhist perspective. Buddhism has little to do with doing whatever the fuck you want as many interpret the book, and the more I read and learnt about Hesse, the more I realised what an egotistic, indecisive, irresponsible and immature geezer he was and this was precisely the point in Siddhartha. Of course, this is a perfectly healthy attitude for a 22 year old, it just strikes me as wrong for someone with Hesse's shortcomings to preach such a paedagogic ideology as he did. Nevertheless, you should read Glasperlenspiel by Hesse next - it's far better than Siddhartha IMHO.

    [ Parent ]

    "Values" alert! (none / 1) (#215)
    by shinnin on Tue May 03, 2005 at 10:39:25 AM EST

    Cultivate virtues in yourself that will counteract the Seven Deadly Sins

    Come on.

    Don't read too much into it. (none / 1) (#219)
    by An Onerous Coward on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:24:05 PM EST

    If you want to read that bit as "give yourself the gift of shame",  I won't argue with the interpretation.  But try reading it as "give yourself the gift of self-discipline."  I think it's a good thing to carry a certain amount of humility,  to be able to control your temper,  and to not let greed lead you off a cliff.  

    Even the bit about "resisting lust" carries some weight.  I personally hold little love for religious attitudes towards sex,  nudity,  porn,  and all that.  The vast amount of mental and emotional energy expended on self-flagellation would be funny if it weren't so sad.  However,  I also see sexual appetites as something that need to be properly controlled.  For example,  the guy who gets fired because he constantly surfed for porn on company time,  or the guy who never gets a second date because he spends the bulk of the first one staring at his date's chesticular region.  Whether you're a committed monogamist or a bachelor committed to getting a new woman into bed every night,  on some level you have to have mastery over your sexual urges in order to avoid doing stupid things that sacrifice your long term happiness.

    All the people I know have values.  Values are a wonderful thing,  and our society would be hopelessly screwed without them.  I think the reason "values" talk rankles sometimes is because one political faction has somehow managed to convince a certain number of people that they own the idea.

    [ Parent ]

    Comment vastly superior to article... (none / 0) (#220)
    by shinnin on Sun May 08, 2005 at 07:24:32 AM EST

    I'm not against "values" or even "virtues" - in actual fact I strongly support them; what I am against is the undifferentiated way that they are discussed against a - IMHO antiquated - Christian canvas in our western society/ies.

    If you want to read that bit as "give yourself the gift of shame"

    Obviously, my interpretation is implicit in the way the sentence is written.

    "give yourself the gift of self-discipline."

    Better, but self-discipline is a two-edged sword - on the one hand it can lead to pride and on the other hand, self-repression. I won't go into the details, I'm sure they are apparent and debatable.

    I'd rather advise prudence.

    The vast amount of mental and emotional energy expended on self-flagellation would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    This applies to both slaves to lust and to asceticism.

    mastery over your sexual urges

    Very easy to explain without resorting to religious tenets - and you have yourself given several examples of how to do so.

    Mastery is a fine thing, indeed, it would seem all of your virtues aim at mastering urges. Which is where prudence comes into play. One must know when to control oneself and when to allow ones urges to take action.

    Example - controlling ones temper. Wholly denouncing anger and aggression in oneself will quickly find one either at the bottom of the social ladder lacking the edge needed to succeed, with a psychological problem and immense latent aggression. In any case, it's prudent to know when and how to apply aggression in society, for one's own defence as well as perhaps for advancing "virtuous" goals.

    Mastery and prudence, though, are acquired through life experience - trying, failing and adapting. It is true that it can't be bad to pass one's wisdom down to one's children, and to act as a good example.

    [ Parent ]

    What good is school? (none / 1) (#217)
    by Sebastian Felis on Tue May 03, 2005 at 09:13:14 PM EST

    What I _really_ wish somebody had told me, instead of leaving me to figure it out much later: It's where you get to learn a lot about getting the world to do what you want. People have learned a lot of this, the hard way. Here's where you get it the easy way. If you don't want to just take their word for it, take what you're being told and work through it for yourself; see whether it really does stack up. Why are you being taught stuff that doesn't seem useful at all? Nobody knows which bits are going to be useful to you in the future, so they teach you a reasonable spread of the most useful stuff. You'll learn things that you'll never use; try not to sweat it, because you'll also learn a lot of stuff that yo will. Also, get in the habit of making up your own mind about things, by thinking them through for yourself. It'll annoy people, but it makes you harder to fool.

    Well here's my advice (none / 0) (#232)
    by ableakfuture88 on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 11:07:31 AM EST

    As a white male teenager (17) fixin' to enter manhood (seriously, i lost my virginity and joined the marines all in the same month!) i'd say be patiently persistent. u have to know your goals, embrace them, take the steps to achieve them, and sometimes give them room to become tangible. read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Start thinking about careers that interest you now. I know sex is on your mind 24 seven ( Im not sure you grow out of that until your senile) but make sure your choosy with who u share 'yourself' with, and always use protection. I smoke, so i'd be hypocritical to tell you not to do that, but try not too, i know life can be stressfull, but it really does get better! Also, contrary to popular belief, u should talk to strangers, it's called networking, and while 83% (roughly) of the world is pretty freakin' bonkers, there are some great people out there. Remember your responsibilities to family nd society, but also remember at the end of the day your the only one responsible for your happiness! look both ways before croosing the road, though, definately!
    And Justice for All...
    Well here's my advice (none / 0) (#233)
    by ableakfuture88 on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 11:08:04 AM EST

    As a white male teenager (17) fixin' to enter manhood (seriously, i lost my virginity and joined the marines all in the same month!) i'd say be patiently persistent. u have to know your goals, embrace them, take the steps to achieve them, and sometimes give them room to become tangible. read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Start thinking about careers that interest you now. I know sex is on your mind 24 seven ( Im not sure you grow out of that until your senile) but make sure your choosy with who u share 'yourself' with, and always use protection. I smoke, so i'd be hypocritical to tell you not to do that, but try not too, i know life can be stressfull, but it really does get better! Also, contrary to popular belief, u should talk to strangers, it's called networking, and while 83% (roughly) of the world is pretty freakin' bonkers, there are some great people out there. Remember your responsibilities to family nd society, but also remember at the end of the day your the only one responsible for your happiness! look both ways before crossing the road, though, definately!
    And Justice for All...
    Sorry (none / 0) (#234)
    by ableakfuture88 on Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 11:09:32 AM EST

    accidentally posted twice
    And Justice for All...
    [ Parent ]
    Advice to Teenagers | 234 comments (210 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
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