Let Hard Experience Be Your Teacher


Examine is a 1001 page reference book on using supplements based on stated effects such as increasing power output, increasing muscle mass, decreasing blood glucose levels, and so on. It has compiled research on 200 specific supplements to help you decide where the science stands. If a study receives an A or B grade on affecting cortisol, for example, then the supplement did show an increase or decrease in cortisol levels if taken (you can follow the links provided to review the research yourself). It also tells you how significant the research is with descriptions such as “minor,” “notable,” or “strong.”

The beginning of the book gives a broad summary on which supplements you should be taking based on common deficiencies in our diets, particularly Vitamin D and K:

The RDA for vitamin D is roughly 400-800 IU, and the optimal level is roughly 2000 IU minimum. The only people who do not need to concern themselves with vitamin D are those that live within the tropics and have frequent sun exposure with bare skin (wearing a t-shirt and shorts is not enough).

The RDA for vitamin K is roughly 60-120 mcg, and the optimal level is roughly 1000 mcg. This optimal level is mostly the same for both vitamin K1 and K2. It should be noted that while many sources may claim to hit the RDA for vitamin K, they have poor bioavailability – your body is unable to extract the full amount from said foods.

Two additional examples are zinc and magnesium:

Zinc is not usually a concern for non-athletes, but it is excreted in higher amounts when a person sweats to a higher degree. In instances of high mineral excretion from sweating, then zinc supplementation would be useful. Alternatively, oysters provide it in the diet.

Magnesium does not have a really good single-food source aside from some nuts (the high calorie count of which limits how much can be consumed). If most of the foods in your diet contain appreciable levels of magnesium then you can avoid supplementation, but if too much of your diet is lacking magnesium then deficiency is likely.

The next section alphabetically reviews approximately 200 supplements ranging from 1,3-Dimethylamylamine to Ziziphus jujuba. I picked two supplements to review: caffeine and zinc.


Caffeine has many stated effects. The book looks at these different effects and gives them a grade:


The above screenshot shows three effects of caffeine (the book details approximately 20). Studies are grouped within each effect to help determine an overall grade of efficacy.

From the caffeine portion we can conclude that it helps notably on three fronts: power output (i.e. lifting), anaerobic activity (i.e. running), and increasing wakefulness. If you are using caffeine for another purpose, like improving memory, the research does not support it. Drinking an espresso or two before your workout would seem to help more than not.


Zinc is quite popular in these parts for its effects on increasing testosterone. Does the research support this claim? First, let’s examine what the book says about dosage:

Different chelations and forms have different weights and dosing protocols. Zinc is most commonly dosed in either the ‘low dosage’ range of 5-10mg or the ‘high dosage’ range of 25-45mg. The low dosage is a daily preventative that reduces the risk for deficiency, and the high dosage range is the one used to prevent deficiency in persons who have more than just a dietary deficiency working against them (athletes, diabetics, etc.). There is zinc ‘superloading’ protocol using up to 100mg zinc daily, and while this is confirmed to be safe for short term usage (2-4 months) it is well above the tolerable upper limit (TUL) of 40mg and thus not advisable for prolonged supplementation.

Here is a screenshot which shows the summary of zinc’s effect on testosterone:


It appears that zinc supplementation only increases your testosterone if you are definitely zinc deficient or physically active. If you have normal testosterone levels and are not physically active, these is not yet any evidence to show zinc will help you.

I’m not currently on zinc. I feel that my horniness is fine (though lower than 10 years ago) and I do engage in light physical activity. The research suggests that unless there is a genuine problem with my blood testosterone level, the supplement is likely a waste, but then again I do sweat heavily, which is a way that zinc escapes the body. Based on this information, it seems that a low dosage experiment for one month would by a justified call just to observe the effects, but I shouldn’t expect much in the way of concrete change.

The second part of the book may be more useful for some: it lists the health goal you want along with the supplements that show the most promise in achieving that goal. Most goals are revolved around specific biological gains that weightlifters would be most interested in, but it also has more general outcomes. I looked at cognition and insomnia.


Here’s a screenshot with the supplements that offer the most benefit in terms of cognition, though under certain circumstances (when experiencing fatigue or an otherwise depleted state):


This is the first time I’ve heard of rhodiola rosea. Clicking over to its fact sheet, I learned that studies show it has positive effects with fatigue, subjective well-being, cognition, and depression. If I wanted to improve my cognition, rhodiola would be the logical first supplement to try.


I am a light sleeper with problems staying asleep (I’ve been recently using a white noise machine to muffle city noises outside my window). The guide shows that melatonin is the gold standard when it comes to improving sleep, without exhibiting any side effects.


Who is this book for?

This book isn’t for casual lifters or guys who have no health problems they want to address. It’s more geared for men who can answer yes to the following questions:

1. Are you taking supplements right now? If so, you’ll find this book useful to not only find out whether you should continue taking those supplements but if there are other substances that could be more effective.

2. Do you plan on starting an intense workout program with a goal to greatly increase muscle mass? Instead of relying on anecdotal evidence that you read on the internet, you can use this as a reference guide to develop your own supplementation program.

3. Do you have nagging health concerns that could be treated naturally before pharmaceuticals? Guys in their younger 20’s are probably in tip-top health, but the older guys past their prime would get use from the book’s recommendations.

(Click here to visit the Examine homepage)

How this book can be improved

I’d like to see a section that details likely deficiencies for men based on age range. For example, it could have a “30-35 years old” section that lists the common biological problems that group is having and which supplements make the most sense in taking. Maybe it’s possible my body is lacking in something which I don’t realize.

Another improvement can be in expanding the introduction. I want to learn more about supplementation in general and even read case studies on how men solved their problems with a custom program. For a reference guide of this length, it would make sense for the author to essentially provide a “supplementation for dummies” intro that is geared to beginners, because right now the book assumes you already have some familiarity with supplements.


To say that this book is thorough is an understatement—I’ve never seen substances analyzed in such a meta manner. The main issue is the price versus the reward. It would be a marginal call for me because I’m not a heavy lifter or have significant health concerns, but identifying just one or two supplements that would improve my life would make its cost worthwhile. It also helps that the author puts out free book updates for buyers that reflect that latest research.

Examine is not a book that you buy and read in one sitting. It’s meant more as a reference guide that you check periodically as your health goals progress. Unless you can answer yes to at least one of the three questions above, it’s safe to skip. Otherwise, I predict you will get value from it.

I’m especially pleased that Examine is involved in sponsoring ROK for May since I can see it offering a direct health benefit to ROK readers who are more inclined to physical self-improvement than the general population. If you’re interested in supplementation, click here to learn more about Examine. ROK readers get a $5 discount.

106 thoughts on “Let Hard Experience Be Your Teacher”

  1. Believe it or not, most of what we do/think or don’t do/think boils down to chemical imbalance. So your secular priests (I like that) do have a point. The mistake they make is in establishing of which chemicals are in imbalance.
    However …. it must be noted that thoughts too can disturb the chemicals balance.
    To live life to the full and to minimise the wasted years, what every young man needs is a male mentor. Someone who’s experienced in diet, exercise and red-pill philosophy. In the Hellenic culture they realised that but the way it’s presented to us today is as if it as a form of homosexuality.
    Life is too short to learn (everything) from experience.

    1. “Life is too short to learn (everything) from experience.”
      Reminds me of a quote by Otto Von Bismark
      “Fools learn from their own mistakes. The wise man learns from history”

  2. The millennial generation has become so disconnected with the term “wisdom” and instead opt for intellect, giving little regard to the source. In hipster/liberal/academia, it is highly accepted to sound “intellectual” and use hollow words and messages, giving off the appearance of being smart, rather than actually applying old school wisdom. The wisdom from yesteryear is often mocked and discredited for lack of sophistication by the pseudo “fact checkers”. The reality is, a good 90% or more of my generation (1980-2000) are bred and socially conditioned blue pill beta fags who dare not challenge the though process of the new age. The few red pill guys and old school generations just listen from a far and shake there heads, as they watch the last remaining glimpse of western civilization decline. We are merely the band playing away, as the Titanic sinks further and further.

    1. I agree, the millennial generation are an epic failure not only to society but the masculine and feminine virtues we have discarded to replace it with rampant narcissism, cultural marxism/feminism and soulless consumerism.
      The millennial man lacks honor and loyalty and let me not get started on the women.
      90% is an understatement, as a red pill millennial myself, I would say a good 99% of us are socially conditioned blue pill beta fags.
      Truth be told, Its hard not to be a nihilist nawadays once you take a red pill.

      1. 99% seems rather high dude. There are plenty of young men joining the military who seem to still hold ideals and some sense of honor of some sort or another.

        1. No knowledgeable red pill guy would join the military in this day and age. Why defend a country that holds you in contempt just because you were born male? That sees you as expendable? To me, red pill knowledge extends beyond ‘game’. The US in its present incarnation isn’t worthy of defending. Same for the EU. Defending decent human beings from invading barbarian hordes would be an exception, but defending the elites? Quite another story.

        2. No, AJameis, that has nothing to do with what my point was. Instead of looking for the quick post snark factor, think through what I was alluding to fully.
          A young man who joins a military voluntarily almost always does it out of some sense of honor, loyalty to country, virtue or other “bigger than myself” set of values. Yes, he may be being used, a dupe, whatever, but the impulse that drives his service quest is normally a benevolent and socially beneficial one (however misguided) that almost always includes some level of honor. That flies in the face of the assessment of the description of millenials not having honor or loyalty that Psqure posited.
          It wasn’t the military I was glorifying, rather the mindset of those who join it. If they were amoral narcissists they wouldn’t sign up at all, especially if they were 99% of the entire generation in that condition. See my point now?

        3. I just answered AJameis, the answer suffices for your question as well. I do not disagree with your assessment of the modern military.

        4. Not to mention who wants to serve under this commander and thief? Lol today’s military allows all types of females, beta males, fags and dikes are allowed to be open, not to mention most just sign up for the free shit…healthcare, college tuition, rent, etc. It’s an insult to my father/grandfathers serving to even compare.

        5. I already answered you, please read my answer so you can see where the breakdown in communication occurred. We’re talking about apples and oranges here.

        6. I saw that, I was replying to Conrad Stonebanks at the exact same time. I agree with your point, but I also branched things out too.

        7. “A young man who joins a military voluntarily almost always does it out
          of some sense of honor, loyalty to country, virtue or other “bigger than
          myself” set of values.”
          Really?! Judging by the morons I see going into the military, I’m quite sure they did it for the money, because no one else would hire them and Mama told them they had to move out of the house. In that situation, an institution that provides all your meals and lodging is one of your only choices. The military is full of losers who ended up there by default because they couldn’t figure out what else to do.

        8. I used to admire veterans (and I still do, just in a different way) but it’s rare to find one that hasn’t had their brain fried. If it isn’t PTSD then it is just the conditioning to be a cog in the machine. I had a great job during college working as a mover/driver/installer for a big box company. It was an all male crew because of heavy lifting requirements. I had to quit about a month earlier than I had planned after getting partnered with the new guy, a 20yr army veteran. This guy could not even bend a rule – we worked for a large corporation and the rules were tedious to say the least – before he got there we all got our shit done in an efficient manner, now everything takes twice as long. The guy calls out management on minor violations; he can’t bring himself to live without complete robotic order. At random intervals he recites military sayings like “fast is slow, slow is fast”, he has really had a number done on his mind.
          I’m glad we have guys like this but it is not something I strive to become.

        9. Not only that, the politicians in Washington D.C. will start wars at the drop of a hat so they can war profiteer. All the members of the Armed Forces are doing is help the politicians and weapons manufacturers make out like bandits.
          Those who join the military should release you are expendable to the politicians and weapons manufacturers. Those people do not care about you at all. If you want a great example of how little Washington cares, look no further than Veterans Affairs, where it takes years to get any sort of treatment.

        10. Ah, I see, this low level threading makes it hard for me to follow sometime, my bad.

        11. Your comment would hold a lot more credibility if it were not anonymous “Guest”.
          Knowing some of those young men personally I can only think that you must be associating with the wrong type of person. Nothing personal.

        12. There are guys like that, and they’re assholes. They’ll get you shot because they’re too busy inspecting their equipment against regs to pay attention to their post. Their best place is as a REMF, and even that’s shaky in my estimate.

        13. QUOTE: “No knowledgeable red pill guy would join the military in this day and age. Why defend a country that holds you in contempt just because you were born male?”

        14. QUOTE: ” look no further than Veterans Affairs, where it takes years to get any sort of treatment.”
          And also a good example of what national health care is going to be like for the civilian sector.

        15. I joined the military because I thought it was the honorable thing to do and serve my country. I also wanted to travel and get free education. I’m sure you’re aware of student debt in this country, and i’m not about being in debt.
          It’s funny though, but the branch of service I was in has gotten so corporate. My unit had little to no comraderie and never looked out for each other. The women were always the center of attention by the men and they kissed up to those in power so they could gain safe office positions (This happens 99% of the time and 100% of the time when they get pregnant). I honestly did not know what i had gotten myself into dealing with such absurdity.

        16. I’ll give you some time to scroll down and realize it wasn’t actually “about the military”. See my explanation of my statement below please.

        17. Had to look up REMF, it is probably the only jargon this hasn’t used, and yes that is what he was.

        18. “Just what are you fightin’ for, boys?”
          Rich girls that own and ride horses of course.
          Only a fucking idiot joins the military.

        19. People that entered the service in the past were just gullible suckers that bought the old myth about honor and duty.
          Just like love, loyalty, respect, marriage, kids, white-picket fences, Santa Claus and apple pie and Chevrolet.
          Thats the stupid shit idiots like Ghost fall for,
          We know smart Kings realize everything in this world is Pure Unadulterated Bullshit revolving around the Three Gods.
          Sex, Power and Money.
          (not necessarily in that order)
          Fuck all of the old ways and old thoughts. Destroy it all.

        20. Instead of “glorifying the mindsets” of those young, impressionable and malleable minds we should be shaming them into reality and teaching them they are no more than worthless pawns of the wealthy and the MIC.
          Your comments do more harm than good here.

        21. To be perfectly honest, I joined the army (2005) so I could go fight in a war. I wanted to learn small unit tactics and see how I would handle combat. I was 19: I had nothing worth sticking around for in my hometown since all my friends had left; I’d just ended a 3 year relationship; and I was totally without purpose. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot in the military but I think the most valuable experience was being shoved out of my comfort zone over and over.
          Still, I’ve been telling everyone I know since about year two of my enlistment that the army is bullshit and not to join. It makes me uncomfortable when people thank me for my service because as I said, I was doing it for me. I wanted a challenge and combat experience. I wasn’t doing it for some higher ideal, and I don’t think most of my buddies were either.

        22. The TRADOC retards drove me crazy. I honestly think that someone coming from a TRADOC billet (drill sergeant, PLDC instructor, whatever) should be put in a support position for at least one full training cycle until they can rewire themselves to place combat effectiveness at top priority again. Few things kill morale in a combat unit quicker than fucking around for three days laying out equipment for inspection and endlessly retying dummy knots so they are Exactly. The. Same. on every single fucking weapon.
          The way these clowns think is illustrated by a simple story. About 4 months into my tour one day my platoon sergeant–an E-7 straight from a drill sergeant slot before deployment–reassigned all equipment so that the serial numbers were sequential and aligned with the alphabetical platoon roster. This happened while we were in sector at an outpost with the potential for QRF actions. His reorganization included switching around sights, PEQ/2s, etc on all the weapons. So every single guy in the platoon instantly lost zero, and we all had to find time to zero again, when we could’ve been called up at any moment to respond to something in the city.
          I’d actually just zeroed my ACOG when I came back to the common area and I was told what was going on. My squad leader (another real prize) told me I looked like I was going to cry when I heard, but I was actually just stunned that something SO FUCKING RETARDED was happening in a deployed combat unit, on a mission out in sector. That sort of incident was typical of the leadership I encountered above team level during my enlistment. A neat excel file was more important to my platoon sergeant than combat readiness in a hot combat zone.
          The major problem in the military at this point (hell, even back in 2008-2009) is probably 90% of the people who stay in are the people who can’t hack it in the private sector. The rest are staying in because they have families and can’t afford to get out. Thus, the upper enlisted ranks are packed with people who really are incredibly incompetent and incapable of proper prioritization. It’s like they don’t understand the why of what is done, but just that certain things are to be done because that is how it is to be done. Because they don’t understand the underlying reasons, they can’t tell when the rules need to be bent to complete a mission.

        23. Your kind perishes when the “old ways” of honor, strength and manliness perish. Which is fine.

        24. Thanks for your input anonymous guest, they mean so much to me.

      2. It is hard not to be a nihlist, eh? I get so freakin’ angry at the crap I see going on that the fear of god is the only thing keeping me from losing my marbles and tearing this whole shit show down myself.

        1. The actual goal of “nihilism” is to gradually stop caring about things, once you have annihilated your desire for hedonist pleasure, you will become an unstoppable force of willpower, which Schopenhauer wrote a book on called “the world as will and representation” he himself was influenced by the philosophy of the east. The reason hedonism is poison, is because it’s all about numbing, about sensationalism, emotions, ETC. Everything that makes men pathetic. OR as Arnold Schwarzenegger famously quoted: Stop Whining!
          The ancients believed Nihilism free’d your mind from seeking worldly existence pleasures, as these were futile pursuits and in theory, this rendered you immortal, the annihilation of “mortality consciousness” and clinging to worldly pursuits, meant, you were now beyond life itself , we realize things which are right, and things which are shite, and unravel the truth
          : It may not be worth doing, and yet it cannot be left undone – this is unavoidable.
          -Chuang Tzu

      3. “The millennial man lacks honor and loyalty and let me not get started on the women.”
        You don’t need to get started on the women. ROK already details them pretty well.

    2. I consider myself very lucky to be part of the minority in my generation(b. 1987) to escape the matrix that hid the truth from me.
      I spent the last two years of my teens as well as the first 2-3 of my twenties fighting severe depression as well as a confusion about what my life was going to turn into as well as how women factored into my preconceived ideas of happiness. I didn’t know what it meant to be a man. We were simply never taught.
      I didn’t know what women wanted, or how I was to give it to them, I didn’t know what I wanted in a career, or how much money would be needed to give me the quality of life I wanted. But now as my twenties close I am happy to have gained ‘wisdom’ through experience. I no longer consider money or materialism to be a source of happiness. I now respect myself enough to tell even the hottest fox to go back to her hole. Experience has moulded my perspective on life to the point where my 18 y/o old self wouldn’t recognize me.
      I am still having trouble getting over the anger I have at society for not equipping me with the tools I needed to ensure the first part of my adult life wasn’t wasted screwing around(RP being a good example). We really are a trainwreck of a generation, aren’t we?…to the point where I simply can’t chalk this up to incompetance born in the 1960’s, but instead something more sinister.
      Buckle up, boys. The west is going down hard and time is running out.

    3. Many of those who belong to generation Y think they are intellectual heavyweights *because* they are credentialed. It all seems to be about the badges one has. Having followed some dumbed-down 50 min lectures doesn’t make anyone an expert on a given subject. Nor does parroting some professor.

      1. Those types are especially fun to run rings around in conversations. They took a class and have a piece of paper, but have no idea of how rhetoric, logic and critical thinking are to be used in a discussion. Plus, you know, leftist propagandized and such.

        1. And that’s why women are so easy to corrupt. They are the biggest espousers of Cultural Marxism and university leftism. The men on campus may fall somewhat, but the male mind, albeit through nature, God or both still finds the theories they’re being taught somewhat repellant.

        2. Women being easy to corrupt is one thing, the way those tenured professors (which are predominantly male) and university administrators keep spewing the same leftist bullshit and poisoning science is, for me, the biggest insult.

        3. A tricky subject to indeed divulge into, without bringing up the preponderance of YWK in higher academia.

    4. The denial of the spiritual in the West is also something that has become a pop-fad. Not saying you have to be a Billy Joel Osteen faggot propagating feminized religion, but to pretend as if no spiritual consequences exist for what we are seeing, is false. The hook-up and break-up culture that we currently live in, is unnatural. It is unnatural for a society to be subjected to the brutal childish whims of women. Decisions that destroy, family, home and nation. Ever since we’ve liberated them en-masse, we’ve seen who they really are, over 120 million abortions, nearly 50% divorce rate (much higher if you factor out the immigrants and geriatric population) with 95% of them initiated by women. To claim that society has “progressed” since destructive social theories caught storm, is a blatant denial of reality. This generation along with the last two, would rather sacrifice any semblance of civilization, and what really works for “ideas.” Cultural Marxism, as destructive as ever. I don’t know how long it’ll take the storm of steel to arrive to crush it, but when it does, I can’t say they wouldn’t have deserved it.

      1. Times like these, it is vital that red pill takers unite and shame anything that goes against the truth. We must also kick some of these blue pill poppers in the ass and awake an entire generation of men who would otherwise walk around with both hands tied behind there backs. We must preach hard work, strength and honor, and put our balls back on the table. Until then, we are just another group of “extremists” to the mainstream.

        1. Absolutely correct, well said!
          It has to start and end in real life. Instead of gaming chicks all the time, take some time to start bringing that newly heartbroken beta schlub into the fold. Pick your targets wisely and hone your rhetoric and how to gently persuade instead of throw it all in his face, and we get another man on board in time.

        2. I always take the time to share red pill knowledge I’ve acquired from the likes of this site and my grandfather, along with internal truths I’ve always felt but could never articulate, and talk to as many of my fellow comrades as possible, whether it be co workers at my main job, fellow classmates at my communist indoctrination college, the gym, my flag football team, friends, family, etc. I can honestly say I spend just as much time “preaching the gospel” of red pill truth, as I do on self improvement (body, mind and wallet) , in hopes that these betas can see past the feminist wall and know that it is “kool” to be a shameless alpha in today’s day and age. If the gays, the feminists and practically anyone who isn’t a heterosexual male can be “proud”… Well goddamnit I’m proud to be a shameless alpha.

        3. I can see a t-shirt slogan from that, heh.
          “Shameless Alpha – Fuck Yeah! ™”
          Good man, that’s fantastic news, I do the same thing as well. It’s amazing how receptive men are to the message, especially when their girl has just wronged them or they got frivorce raped.

      2. The problem is “ideas” are so easy to sell to people. I know this opinion won’t be popular but – Democracy is the problem. When people vote they feel empowered and instead of revolutions they just hold out hope that the next election will bring change. Anyone with half a brain knows these elections are shams but the masses are not bright enough to figure it out. Meanwhile the puppeteers control most everything a person watches or reads from birth, control education, and direct public opinion as they see fit.
        I flipped on the radio one morning on the way to work; the discussion was females calling in to the station and telling stories about swallowing, cheating, facials, all kinds of stuff. 15yrs ago this would have been considered outrageous, hell remember when Britney Spears kissed Madonna and everyone lost their shit? For whatever reason this is the direction the culture is being taken and it is certainly no accident.

        1. You’d actually be surprised. Some people know that the political system is put in place by the ruling class to serve their purposes. Most people know, but since they feel so powerless, don’t seem to give a damn. They become complacent weak minded consumers that have too much to lose for true freedom. Comfort halts progress and leads to stagnation. Never get too comfortable in life.

      3. You raise a good point. I don’t have any time for the Christians and Buddhists and whatever I meet. Too much mumbo jumbo. But I went to a Catholic mass the other day when my mate died. Don’t know why, neither of us are Catholic. I wouldn’t say it was comforting, but let me just say it was thought provoking.
        You lose me on the ‘cultural marxism’ bit though. I’d like to have quite a deep argument with you about that, some other time. I have some strong opinions on the subject and it would seem you do too. But another day. I look forward to it.
        I study certain teachings that others through history have spent decades learning. Body and mind. Spirituality. Ego. Etc. I might not understand it or accept it. But it is good to know what the other guy was thinking. Hell, sometimes I even learn something and take it with me on my forward journey. It is rare. But why I bother in the first place.
        Lance, you sound like a very well read individual. I have only read a few of your posts, but really, I would like to ‘go into battle’ with you later. I disagree with a lot of what you say. But what worries me is that I actually agree with the rest.
        It’s nice to find a ‘forum’ where men can ‘argue’ with each other without becoming all passive aggresive and butthurt and bitchy.
        I think our starting point for any argument could be your first paragraph. You got that spot on there, sir! I find it is always good to have common ground and move on from there.
        Line the room with lead, and let the sparks fly!
        Otherwise, good post.

  3. As somebody ten years your senior, and who went through the same thoughts and ideas, I’ll pass along a word of advice for free: Just as you point out that everything you thought was right at 21 turned out to be wrong at 27, thus now you’ll see the same thing when you hit your 40’s about this article.
    Nihilism and defeatism are not the answer. People are possessed of self interest yes, but most by and large are harmless to even benevolent on a day to day level. If everybody ignored all social convention and customs and left you laying in the street bleeding if you were thrown from a bicycle, if all forms and traditions were ignored or irrelevant, we wouldn’t have governable roads to drive on, let alone such abstractions as “city” or even “village”. Of course people are not always cookies and cream and sunshine, but it’s not as bad as you make it out to be. So you couldn’t make a career in academia, well guess what sunshine, life’s like that and there’s nothing wrong with that which points to anything new under the sun. I wanted to be a multi-billionaire bass player in a super rock band that was so stinking wealthy that it could hire the Rolling Stones to clean our hotel rooms, but guess what? Life didn’t work out that way, so I improvised, adapted and overcame. So there are feminists and half-men in academia, well whoopty fucking do, who hasn’t known this since the 1970’s forward, brother?
    So much defeatism for no cause. We still have the entire legal system intact (though being used for entirely the wrong ends) that we can easily use to regain most of our rights and dignity, but everybody “enjoys the decline” instead of getting off of their lazy arses and doing something about it (seriously, what have you done to advance men’s rights in the real world? Sign any petitions lately? Started any even? Financed some commercials for the media? Anything? No? Didn’t think so). We still have some liberties that no other nation on earth can boast which allow us, if we really wanted to, a way to permanently end this entire state of affairs and we clearly have the manpower and firepower to do it – but no, “enjoy the decline by the poolside with the other defeated guys”. This kind of attitude, in 1941, would have seen everybody saying “Man, they hit our base and most of our old ships are gone, no need to sign up to fight, just sit back and wait for the inevitable invasion”.
    Such a dearth of character and strength, it’s rather off putting.
    There’s a saying in my family, when things get bad and you feel like whining and complaining and making yourself a victim – “Suck it up, buttercup”.
    So there you go. Suck it up, buttercup. Stop complaining and moping, dust off your boots and get to fixing these problems. The only victims in life are people who accept that status.

    1. I’m close to your age, and incidentally a big Thomas Jefferson fan. However, I disagree pretty strongly with a few of the points you made.
      People are largely benevolent and harmless? Yeah, only when they can be that way and still get everything they want out of you. As soon as you stop being their doormat, you see their fangs come out. People only put on a front of being nice because it helps them get what they want, in a world of phonies and pollyannas.
      On the part about our legal system still being an avenue of major change, with all due respect I can only say you must be dreaming. The politicians have cynically figured out that if they merely give people the illusion of freedom and democracy, they don’t actually need to provide the real thing. How many petitions have made a shit’s bit of difference? They are laughed at and then thrown in the garbage. There is strong evidence to suggest that even our votes are not counted – they are electronically manipulated in Diebold machines to make the preordained winner come out ahead. The only two things that would make a difference at this point would be taking up arms in revolution, or spending mass amounts of money to fund a major media campaign, enough money to rival what Bill Gates and George Soros are spending to manipulate us.
      Finally, the whole thing about never allowing yourself to feel depression or weakness, I think is bull. Every time someone has told me to “suck it up buttercup” I’ve wanted to smash their fucking face in. People have a right to feel pain, bitterness, resentment, anger, and even self-pity. The key is to not dwell on these feelings, to let them pass over you, and to let them steel your resolve to make changes. Telling someone whos been kicked in the balls a thousand times to “suck it up” really just makes you look like an insensitive asshole. There are very real problems in this world, and very unfair circumstances facing the average guy who is trying to make it. If he can’t feel outraged, bitter, hateful, and vengeful, then he will never have the proper motivation to change the situation. Fake positivity is for cowards.
      Where I agree is that defeatism is not the way to go at all. But it is proper and natural to first get fucking pissed, and brood for a while, and THEN formulate a plan to defeat your oppressors.
      I don’t mean this comment as an attack on you personally, I just think there is a lot more nuance involved in reality than what your comment suggests.

      1. As to “not dwell on those feelings”, I agree, but what do you think most of the manosphere is dedicated to lately? Dwelling on their own victimhood without a plan of positive action to change things (“enjoy the decline”, “we’re all forced to do XYZ because of feminism oh woe is us”, etc), ergo, suck it up buttercup. If they were knocked down, angry, a bit depressed but not acting defeated and resolved to change things then I agree with you and saying such a thing would be condescending and not paying them the proper respect due to the progress they’d need to experience to come to that resolve. Look around, it’s defeatism 101 in most articles dealing with society here and on other sites. And honestly, the “suck it up buttercup” should get you mad, stir up your emotions, make you resent your own weakness, that’s the whole point of sayings like that.
        As to “how many petitions”, I’ve told the story and won’t belabor the point, but we fought this same nihilist mindset when it came to gun rights here in Ohio and went from nearly New England levels of stupidity to being nearly on par with Wyoming, gun law wise, in the course of 20 years. So yeah, petitions do help, as does jiggling the reigns of power smartlly, but you have to DO IT and not resign yourself to defeat before you lift a finger to try.
        Where I was being falsely positive I just don’t know, I think most of the whiners are acting exactly as they describe millenials of acting, as self defeating mangina mopes. The only positive I hold is knowing that change can be made to happen if you work at it, because I took part in a very long campaign here in my home state to make it happen, and it worked “against all odds”.

        1. Funny thing is, that there’s a lot of people responding exactly the way females do to your posts:
          Taking it as a personal insult and responding with an emotional outburst.

        2. I’m not down with the “enjoy the decline” meme either. I’m also not down with the notion that our country is hopelessly fucked and nothing will ever change it. I totally agree with you on those points. But I think things move in stages. Right now, only 5 or 10% of the population even seem to have the slightest grasp on the problems we are facing. The average moron out there thinks everything is just fine! So, there is a long campaign in the beginning to point out the ugly realities, the negative crap that everyone hides from. After the ugliness of our predicament is brought to light, then there can be a rallying of the troops to make change. Right now, we are facing a country that is 90% against us and our ideas. We need to make major progress in the “Info Wars” through media and internet, before we have a prayer of enacting any widescale change. Look at the MRA movement for example. They are dedicated and they put money behind it but not a single thing has changed yet. Why? Because not enough people have gotten righteously pissed off yet, and realized that there is a group they can align with that will fight for change.
          I guess I’m trying to say that all the negative emotions like anger, bitterness, nihilism, and self-pity are necessary as the first step in the war. The next step is one of positive action.

        3. Good post. I disagree about the percentages awake (thank you divorce industry for that), but overall agree with the gist of your post.
          Right now I think we still need a plan of action though, albeit with small numbers. And this is where evangelical work comes in, which addresses your points I’d think. I’m big into real life “conversion” of men to red pill. Gotta grow the numbers as you state. It was the same with the gun rights battles we had, we didn’t start with a sympathetic state, so your point is well taken. My real concern here is honestly the outright *constant* defeatism across the manosphere that doesn’t seem to be “get mad, get even!” but is drifting quite uniformly along the lines of “get depressed, give up”. Time is short and I honestly don’t think we have time to mope about for a few decades, ya’ know?
          Appreciate your response, thanks.

        4. Guest, it’s not 5 – 10% of the population. You’re being way too generous.
          At best, .0000000000000000001% of the population even remotely grasps the problems with this country. Most people are interested only in bread and circuses. The philosopher Juvental got that one right thousands of years ago. Just look at the media in this country: All they cover is Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.
          America is 19 trillion dollars in debt and going bankrupt, the Government routinely spies on its own citizens, even has the IRS targeting political opponents, and all the media can do is talk abut celebrities. The media does this because they are shills for both parties and have vested interests in keeping the people ignorant.
          As George Orwell said, “He controls the language controls the people.”
          Moreover, our public schools are an absolute joke. They don’t even teach Civics or the U.S. Government’s REAL motivations for foreign wars (i.e. money and power, as opposed to “Freedom” and “Democracy.”) This is intentional, as what schools really want are nice little obedient drones who do as they are told, which goes along with the feminization of young boys at an early age in the public schools. “Don’t Question Authority, Little Boy.”
          The enemy we are facing has near total control of the schools, media, and government. At least in the foreseeable future, I don’t see how we can fight back with our ideas when they have that kind of power and influence.

    2. Like your half-literate writing, your vulgar and insulting way of addressing me (“well guess what sunshine,” “suck it up, buttercup”) makes it obvious you are not worth engaging, but I will make a few clarifications. 1. I am a cynic, not a nihilist. 2. The essay is very clear that my modified expectations and sensibility stem not just from my experience in academia, but from my knowledge of human nature in general. 3. I am not some sort of “whiner” or “victim” who has given up on life–I am a person who says we must learn from the dark knowledge that experiences furnishes. This is quite different from your silly caricature of me. 4. I did not say “everything I thought was right at 21 turned out to be wrong at 27.” I said that as we age there’s a sense in which we seemed not to know much after all. This is quite different from saying I was “always wrong.” 5. Your charge of “defeatism,” like the rest of your tasteless harangue (which jumps from left field to field with talk about the legal system and all the rest), is nothing but a weak misreading.

      1. I see, well, self reflection takes time I suppose. When you settle down and realize it isn’t a personal attack I invite you to contemplate my post(s) with a bit less of an emotional eye.

        1. “Well guess what sunshine;” “suck it up, buttercup.” Such language is insulting, in my view, but that I think so is no reason to think I need to “settle down” or am being “emotional.” I simply find your manner stupid, unwarranted and tasteless.
          And talk about “self-reflection” in this context is similarly irrelevant. Arthur Schopenhauer–who, you may know, was mentioned in the comments section of my article–wrote The World as Will and Representation at 26. Will you reduce the philosophical resignation which that book argues for to the ignorance of the man’s youth? Perhaps the philosopher lacked the self-reflection of your own profound 40s?

        2. Honestly I’m not going to engage you in your current state C.Contrary, sorry man. You present little but ad hominem from your first post to me and extend it into your second post, which clearly stems from emotionalism and a need to beat down an opponent with personal attacks. You seem like you can do better, and when you do I’ll be happy to talk to you. Criticism received on one’s writing by an ally shouldn’t cause such a visceral response, we’re all on the same side here. Sometimes a guy needs a pop on the jaw to get him out of his current state, hence my original post, which I stand by. Defeatism, which is the core of your article (“people are generally untrustworthy and selfish”, “better to just retreat into ongoing constructive work”, your fellow man is the “vulgar majority”, etc). Some of us don’t cotton to defeatism, and I’d like some time, in the future (not today), to try to bring you out of that mindset.
          Catch you on the flip side brother.

        3. Actually, GhostOfJefferson, it was you who (right from the beginning) went the ad hominem route–see, again, the language I have already referenced. My opinion concerning the manner of that language–“stupid, unwarranted and tasteless,” as I wrote–concerns your language itself, not you yourself, so it is obviously not ad hominem.
          I have no desire to “beat down an opponent.” I have tried–in vain, as it were–to clear up your misunderstandings of my work. Now, once again, my article has to do with certain unpleasant features of human existence. I say that we should recognize these, deal with them, and find solace in ongoing constructive work. Far from being defeatist, this approach amounts to confronting things as they are, and doing our best to live accordingly. To interpret this as “defeatism” seems to me highly implausible. Not to see things as they are and do our best in response is what would be defeatist.
          Besides, there is much in my article that has already been said (and far better, to be sure) by writers and thinkers before me: Hobbes, Hume, Dr Johnson, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Emerson, and Freud among them. I suppose these men you would also find “defeatist” or constrained by “emotionalism,” much in need of a “pop in the jaw;” but anyway, I am simply not interested in your opinion here, because you seem to misunderstand most of what I say: and to be clear, that last sentence is not intended as an ad hominem remark.

  4. Hardship?
    I am 24 and the average person my age can barely withstand having their feelings hurt. Faced with any kind of toughness, they resort to blaming other people, playing victim, and whining to authorities. We’re a generation of soft, entitled, emotional, touchy-feely bitches.

    1. That’s why y’all need good mentors to kick you in the ass and stop you from telling us all why the color yellow makes you sad. You jackwagons. heh.
      Seriously, you do, you need male mentors, badly.

    2. Right? Take responsibility for my own actions/in actions? That’s crazy talk! Who needs accountability when you can just be a victim and blame your upbringing, race, gender, sexuality.

    3. You know something is wrong when guys partake in deranged female behavior like scheming, backstabbing friends, flaking and even gossip. Anything for the pussy I guess…

    4. And it doesn’t change much in your 30’s I’m afraid to tell you. Men and women have become weak and we’ve all become to PC it’s cringeworthy. No one wants accountability for anything. Your life sucks? Well it’s not your fault, the game is rigged, life’s not fair, blah blah blah.

  5. Let me share what I think this world is (using the analogy of the Matrix to explain) as a man on red pill is myself. This world is run by EVIL redpill men (sentinels), who have programmed 90% of the world’s population to work as bluepill men in the matrix of the modern world. These evil red pillers do not want the blue pill majority to take red pill to see the world as it, (like how the good red pill men have taken), so the brainwashed blue pill men (Agent Smiths) take on the good red pillers to prevent them from escaping the matrix. Either ways, red pill rules the world, either in a good or bad way. The bad red piller doesn’t want the matrix to end because he wants to continue to dominate the misguided blue pillers. The good red pillers represent the actual threat to the bad red pillers. Good and bad people exist in every race, religion and country.
    When it comes to the older generation today, they don’t have much to teach us because they themselves have been plugged into the matrix all their lives. How can someone who’s plugged into the matrix into his/her virtual world show the actual reality to a red piller who’s unplugged, seeing the real world? Thus for the red piller, self reliance, self experience are the true mentors in today’s world.

  6. Let me do the shortest post I can on why defeatism is wrong.
    The country = your house
    Women = your wife
    Feminism = Shit Test
    Blue pill response to a married shit test he cannot handle = “I can’t stand this, I’d rather go to my man cave and build model ships than put up with that nagging bitch always on my ass! Hope she dies in a car accident!”
    Blue pill response to feminism = “I can’t stand this, I’d rather retreat to my own career and the gym than put up with nagging feminists always on my ass! Let it all fall down for all I care!”
    Know who your biggest allies will be if you can start organizing men en masse to get legal shit changed? Women. For the same reason that a bitch who is shit testing you responds positively to shows of dominance.
    Want proof? How many women do you know, and I know a lot, who say “But, why aren’t men standing up and doing something about Obama!?!?”. Married women, not single, but married women make up a big voting block.
    Ponder that.

    1. Why should men do anything about Obama? It was mainly the bitches who voted him in, not that their votes really count anyway (the game is rigged). If women want him out, they should go and do something about it themselves.
      And no, men and women can NEVER be allies, you are talking out of your ass. If men start to orqanize it’s because men want to, not because some fat cunt want it.
      Women should just shut the fuck and leave thinking to those who do it far better (men) than them.

  7. Although I’m quite young still i notice a trend, especially in politics, that people are getting into quite high ranking positions at younger and younger ages. I also think a society can be partly judged by how it treats its elders and judging by what i see in the UK we are in big trouble. The elderly are routinely left to die alone crying for food and water in care homes. If the elderly represent experience and tradition then we can take their mistreatment not just as a sign of cruelty but also as a kind of metaphor for how society as a whole treats the experience and tradition that helped build our civilization.

    1. “in politics…people are getting into quite high ranking positions at younger and younger ages”
      Psychopaths that try to outdo each other.

      1. a lot of them are left ideologues as well with ready made ideas they can’t wait to put into practice. Ideology doesn’t need experience, or the ability to think for yourself

  8. “There has never been less of an appreciation for wisdom in our culture,
    or fewer old people who actually have much to teach the young. Moreover,
    facile psychiatrists are on hand to provide us with quick fixes for the
    problems of life: by simply swallowing some pill or other, we can
    become numb enough to endure.”
    I am a college student at a fairly highly ranked university, and I can tell you from experience that, in this subculture, psychological illness is the norm. Studies have shown that one quarter of our student population gets depression every year. This is appalling, considering that some human cultures do not even have a word for “depression” since all the members are happy!
    The counseling and wellness center of my university is overflowing. Transfer students and older people have commented that the students at my university are the most miserable people they have ever seen. The students, however, drudge on with their lives, fooling themselves into believing that it is their individual fault, or the fault of their genes, that they and one quarter of my university is psychologically ill. Yet they still are convinced that our social order is perfectly fine, that our values and ideologies are correctly calibrated. The ignorance of my generation!
    It is obvious to me that the real disease is the classism, consumerism, and individualism that has infected society, and that causes anxiety in the students. It is also of interest that my university is unique, in that it is 60-70 percent female, many females here are overachievers who “ain’t got no time for no man,” and the feminist/progressive influence is stifling.
    If our culture keeps going down this road of feminism, classism, individualism, and multicultural (read: anti-cultural) progressivism, we can expect rates of psychological illness to skyrocket. This is a very sad problem, because psychological illness does not usually heal. My university is the harbinger. This is why I go to sites like RoK, because at least here I see men who have the guts to challenge the status quo, whether it be about feminism, marriage, or jews.

  9. “Ongoing constructive work.”
    Quite a conundrum that. For therein lies the Achilles heel of the wise and principled man. Every diamond he extracts from the rough the swine soon sully. The reward for his “hard work” will be regret, perhaps even death.
    So what is a wise man to do?
    Said a wise man once, it is not the thing itself that troubles the man, but his very judgment of it. Thus, a wise man learns to expect the worst as a return for his noble effort, leaving him tranquil when he earns the goodwill of men.

  10. Well, I’m old enough now for it not to matter anymore. We lie to ourselves more when we are younger because ironically we feel as if we have more to lose, but we don’t. We have less to lose. We have more to lose as we get older. That is the sound of your reason hitting the wall. Splat. Pick yourself up. What’s left of you. Dust yourself down. And start fighting like it is for life or death. Coz it is.
    Yes. Hard experience. It is easy to be wise. It is not so easy to be clever.
    Study theology. Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism – the Eastern philosophies basically. Skirt over Christianity and Judaism and Islam and the Abrahamic religions. But do not discount them. Treat them with respect.
    The Eastern philosophies will teach you about levels of the mind and ego. Deconstruct it all for you. Teach you how wrong you are. About yourself. About other people. About the world. Lap it up. Alchemy, too if you can. The Philosopher’s Stone is very real.
    Learn MMA. Learn about the lizard brain and the monkey brain. That should teach you about the higher human brain. To walk away in a fight. To be utterly humiliated and eat shit, lose the respect of your so called peers. This is what real men do. Real Alpha Men. They don’t spend 10 years of their prime in an 8×8 cell for quickly settling a score in a pub, to save face. It hurts. Yes it does. But, you don’t need me to tell you what you already know, deep down inside, experience or no experience.
    Even better, don’t let hard experience be your teacher. Learn from other people’s mistakes. You have a brain.
    But when you do make your own mistakes, reflect, meditate, contemplate. Realise you are nothing. Ego is nothing but a facade. But you still need one to function. So you must construct it. Duh, that is what an ego is, a construction of your own making. And that is what makes a man more than the image that is presented to the outside world.
    Me, I’m not much of a man. A shell really at the moment. That’s ok. From little tadpoles do ugly frogs grow. And we all know what happens to ugly little frogs, don’t we? They get kissed by the lonely little forlorn Princesses and transmogrified into Princes, soon to be Kings, themselves. So the story goes.
    Know your limitations. No one is coming to save you. There is a cut off point with all of this and degrees along the way. Make life worth living? Bearable?
    Know when you have missed the boat. Cut your losses. Wait for the next boat if there is one. Build one if there isn’t, and you can. Friends and family are the greatest super powers a human can truly have. Fathers with Sons, Mothers with Daughters, Brothers, Sisters. And true friends. So rare. I had some once. Not any more. But I am lucky, I do have family. Some people have nothing. I will have true friends again.
    And never forget. Money is nothing compared to other factors. Time is the greatest gift one human being can give to another. The time it took C.Contrary to write this post. The time it took me to write this reply. And the time it took you to read it. The time that others will spend responding to it.
    This is not the most coherent of responses I must admit. Forgive me. Sometimes it is just nice to rap on a muse.

  11. Nice job. This is a great piece, and would serve as perfect introductory red-pill material.

  12. Why would you wanna learn things through your own experience when you could learn through the experiences and mistakes of others? I’m sorry, but the fundamental idea of this post is dumb. First of all, there’s way more people on the earth than ourselves, so if we learned from the mistakes of others, you can learn a lot more lessons in a much shorter period of time. Secondly, you don’t have to go through all that shit yourself.
    “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”
    I just saw a post this about wisdom being lacking in the millennial. You can’t talk about being wise if you’re advocating people to use hard experience to learn–that’s not wise. What is wise is using the mistakes of other people, including those that came before you and has been passed on through tradition and culture.

    1. social learning theory is important but has limits. You might want to learn from others that ‘war is hell’ for instance, but you can’t outsource some kinds of experience, particularly types of experience that shape you as an individual, of which obvious examples might be hardship, endurance etc. There are different types of memory; different ways of encoding experience. The experience of others, and learning from them may be also be more about what to avoid, how to evaluate etc rather than some equivalent to first-hand learning. What it comes down to is the limits of ‘school’ versus the university of hard knocks / life. They’re not mutually exclusive, but neither is one a substitute for the other

    2. there are many concepts where you’ll say “yeah that’s nice and all”, but won’t fully grasp until you’ve experienced them yourself.

  13. This is solid stuff. Thoreau was right, any traditions, rites of passage, or social conventions have been swept away by the thought police over the last century. It is nice seeing so many young dudes take interest in finding out the “truth” about who they are and where they stand in the scheme of things.
    As for academia though, my experience has been that anything you learn from someone who sits in a room and talked for a living, is probably something that THEY learned from someone who sat in a room and talked for a living.
    The best I can offer on experience is: GOOD JUDGEMENT STEMS FROM EXPERIENCE, AND MOST EXPERIENCE COMES FROM BAD JUDGEMENT….so make your mistakes early.

  14. I feel sorry for men these days. They have no positive role models, raised by households with no father, dumbed down in school and made to feel uncomfortable if they express anything that is against the sheepies.

  15. Good piece. Took the red pill at 29 and realized how little I really knew about how things actually work. More and more men are getting burned by the system, and I think this is a good thing because they’re talking about it. The hardest hitting thing for me was the truth about women. I’m 30 now and women my age are fucked up in the head, to say the least. It took getting burned by someone I really cared for in order to wake up, and I’m glad I did because my path would have for sure led to divorce rape with these fucked up millennial women.

    1. I’m near enough the same age as you (30 in June) and got burned by my ex a few years ago before finding the red pill 2 years ago.
      We’re actually not in a bad position. We now know our true value.
      What I find most disturbing and amusing is girls in our age group scurrying to meet some loser to settle down with in order to pop out kids, and putting on a massive act by being decent and wifey material.
      Like we can’t ever figure out how slutty they all actually were by the way she naturally holds herself and how experienced they are in the bedroom.
      I would have been so easily duped a few years ago, but i’m so glad I know better now.

      1. Its so true man, watching them panic for marriage while the baby rabies take hold of them. Another thing that was tough was the realization that I may never have children. Maybe it was my bluepill upbringing that made it so, however I’m now more adamant than ever about not wifing these skanks up.

  16. Once again this author gave quite and eloquent and concise breakdown of what life is like as a legit person in modern society. As much as people try to polish that veneer to a high mirror shine, I’ll always have that x-ray vision that see’s straight through into the dirt. This why philosophy is necessary. It was meant for the people most honest to themselves. It’s fair to say the author has a very firm grasp on reality and what it takes to navigate these treacherous and duplicitous waters. I tip my hat to you sir. Ft1x.

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