Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
I Think You're Fat: The Radical Honesty Movement (esquire.com)
53 points by charzom on Sept 5, 2007 | hide | past | favorite | 42 comments

I resent him for creating a "difficult to learn" lifestyle that conveniently requires people to spend $2,800 per workshop to learn. The reason I resent that is because I'm jealous of how much money he makes.

I upped your karma points because I thought your comment was witty, but mostly because we're applying to YC together and Paul Graham says it might help our odds :).

I'm wrong. I upped your points because it was funny and I know you. Doing it for YC points is just the most shallow pathetic and pointless reason which sometimes seems like THE reasons because it makes the other reasons seem like niceties or excuses.

I don't think we are our worst thoughts. Sure guys think about sex every 3 minutes but we're not a bunch of women clubbing apes. We respect the people we're with and we care about their interests. We treat them as such.

I think honesty in relationships is hugely key, but only constructive honesty. Telling someone only what they want to hear is doing them a disservice. But scratching every itch that comes into your head is equally unhelpful. Criticism is something that needs to be thought out and analyzed before handed out (or received). In my experience initial critical instincts often tend to be based on societal norms, prejudice or other forms of unoriginal thought.

> Sure guys think about sex every 3 minutes but we're not a bunch of women clubbing apes.

I dunno, you can see plenty of women clubbing apes in Sheffield on a Friday night...

True women clubbing apes only think of sex once or twice a year. Thinking about sex every 3 minutes proves you have the restraint to stop thinking about sex that often.

(I probably should have put that as "women clubbing their apes"... oh well.)

This is stupid fucking shit.

(I think the implicit message of the article is that the addition of 'fucking' to any statement makes it inherently more honest, hence the above).


the guy featured in the article sounds charismatic like a cult leader, with a message as easy to sell as bottled water.

I resent you for karma whoring. I wish I'd come up with it sooner.

At least you're being honest.

It was a risky joke. Looks like I am losing some karma for it.

Like I fucking care!


I resent you for being a fake punk. If you didn't care, you wouldn't have mentioned it.

I resent you for karma whoring off your previous karma whoring. I wish I could be as shameless.

Besides the issues you have with how he's popularizing/selling his ideas, what do you think about the concepts he's presenting? Are they useful, dangerous, morally superior/inferior?

Sounds like someone who's watched way too much House, frankly. It's laziness, just as much as lying because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings is laziness; it's a different path of least resistance, that's all. There are ways to tell people the truth that aren't brutal; tact and empathy are hard, sure, but that doesn't make them useless or optional.

Nonetheless, there's a difference between caring about people and caring about people's feelings. The latter is really all about oneself; if you lie to avoid hurting people's feelings, you're really trying to avoid them being pissed off at you. If you don't think someone is able to process the truth, better to say nothing at all.

..or read too much Dilbert, for that matter. They both capitalize on the fact that honesty is liberating and hence fun.

My take on this is that tact should be the default in any relationship, but if you have a true interest in it, you should try and learn to what extent the other person can take honesty, and relax protocols accordingly for a more authentic communication. It takes empathy and tact to do this well.

I tend to gravitate towards people with a sense of humour, esp. an ability to laugh at themselves, and avoid fragile egos like the plague if I can help it. Then again, I expect some prudent distance from strangers until I have somehow cued them/welcome them/asked them to tell me their opinions about my stuff.

> It takes empathy and tact to do this well.

It also takes time.

It depends(TM).

Cf. James Morrow's novella City of Truth (http://www.amazon.com/City-Truth-Harvest-James-Morrow/dp/015...)

I think the whole concept is rather flawed in that the truth is usually not so clear cut. For example, when he sits down with the editor, it might be true that he would like to have sex with her, but it is also true that he doesn't want to piss her off by being rude. So which truth wins? I think the human mind should be given a break here: we are not all of our thoughts. The mind should be allowed to think most of what it wants to think, but we are only those thoughts that we decide to act upon.

Third sentence, first lie. Talking about beautiful women, the author says:

 and maybe if I get divorced or become a widower, I can have sex with them
The truth is, he wants sex with them. Right here. Right now. I didnt read any further.

Yes, because human motivation is always simple and one-dimensional, and humans never find themselves caught between conflicting goals.

There is an acceptable line between a world full of Enron executives and a world full of Diogenes.

Anyway, it is sad that our world is more like the former than like the latter.

This is why people like dogs better than other humans. They have more tact.

I myself like dogs better than most other humans for the opposite reason: they're more transparent and less full of it.

I like cats better than humans, because they know to leave each other the fuck alone.

Most cats have no empathy for anything. I don't like these any more than lizards or flies. They're cute and fun when they're young and playful though.

As a devoted owner of three of them, I can tell you that you're quite wrong about that; cats are highly sensitive creatures, and have plenty of empathy. They're also amongst the most conscientiously polite creatures around; if one watches cats interact, there are precise and elaborate manners around interaction, and stepping out of line earns a claw in the nose regardless of hierarchy. (Indeed, one of my lads seems to be personally offended by feline rudeness.) I believe that the former traits lead directly to the latter - to be honest, sometimes I think felines have more highly evolved social interaction than humans.

Don't confuse prey-defeating behaviour with cruelty, either. Cats rely on their senses and have less-than-wonderful immune systems; getting bitten in the face by a mouse could potentially knock out their ability to successfully track their next prey for longer than they can survive without. The elaborate batting/playing is actually defensive behaviour - she needs that mouse to stop moving before she severs its spine.

++ Indeed, I believe that empathy varies inversely with preferred proximity, both between species and within them. Dogs are pack creatures, and the members of the pack will often treat each other abominably; the incidence of sociopathy in humans skyrockets in inner cities; sensitive beings tend to be more empathic, but also to be introspective, shy, reserved...

I'm landlord and feeder of (let me count...) 5 cats atm- it got as bad as 8 at some point. Actually one of them is much like a dog- that's why I specified I was talking about most cats.

Intricate etiquette and highly evolved social interaction don't imply empathy. Bees and ants have the former but AFAICT not the latter. I'm of the opinion that the adherence of cats to social rules comes from enough claws on the nose, rather than for any appreciation for the feelings of others.

You can be sensitive and not empathetic. You can feel very intensely about what is of selfish interest to you, while being mostly blind and deaf to the feelings of others. I think this the type of sensitivity that cats display.

Their behaviour to mice was never a factor in my opinion. Empathy for one's prey is not much of an evolutive advantage for any species, so I never expected that.

I see no contradiction in observing that the species which are most capable of empathy are just as capable of evil and cruelty. Indeed, I think the ability to feel/understand the pain you're inflicting on others is necessary for true cruelty (as opposed to instinctive viciousness, which can be explained in evolutionary terms, as you did).

You have a point in the grandparent post that cats are low maintenance. But then again, so are cacti, and they have a positive oxygen to CO2 contribution. :>

Low maintenance? Huh! sometimes they can be positively exhausting...

Anyway, I think we'll have to agree to differ here, since both of us appear to have have reached our conclusions through observation. All I will add is that I have no doubt that my love for my cats is reciprocated... you can draw your own conclusions about my objectivity thence. :)

Two points:

1) You don't own the cats, it is the other way around. The cats own you ;)

2) Cats are the most advanced civilization on earth, and we are all their slaved. Only that we don't realize ;)

> You don't own the cats, it is the other way around. The cats own you ;)

I know that, and you know that, but try explaining the concept to a dog lover. ;)

If it weren't because this radical honesty joke is getting old already, I'd express my resentment at your toxoplasmosis-induced stereotype parroting.

In my case, the toxoplasmosis didn't have anything to do when it got there. :-P


Well, I pay for the board and lodging... but yes, strictly speaking, they own me. :) Seriously, the word that best encapsulates my relationship with them is probably "guardian".

aka: The Life Going Nowhere Fast Movement.

as opposed to the conventional: The Life Going Nowhere, Slowly, Movement

This shit is fucking truth. I am no saint, but i tell the truth most of the time, when I know it will get me in trouble. I cannot stand fucking liars. It's like being scared of someone or what they are going to do. What you will realize is that by always telling the truth everybody around you will envy you for it.

> I cannot stand fucking liars.

Keep your trousers zipped and you'll be fine...

Everybody lies. The most successful liars are the ones who can hoodwink themselves - if you can convince yourself that you don't lie, you have carte blanche to foist off any other bullshit you can dream up on anyone gullible enough to swallow it. As a corollary, one should direct most of one's suspicion at the conspicuously honest...

As far as I know, I think that you don't need to use the verb to fuck to tell the truth.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact