Schemes & Scams Pt II

September 8, 2010 — 7 Comments

“The con man does give you something. It is a sense of your own worthlessness. A good question to ask: “Does this event exist without me?” If the answer is no, leave. You are involved in a con game. When the con man tells you that he is about to present you with “a wide range of options,” ask for one thing he will absolutely stand behind. Or beat him up. If he has some authority, you have the right to see what it is. If he is only describing the authority he sense in you, then do as you please.

The idea of choice is easily debased if one forgets that the aim is to have chosen successfully, not to be endlessly choosing.” Within the Context of No Context by George W.S Trow

Ryan Holiday

I'm a strategist for bestselling authors and billion dollar brands like American Apparel, Tucker Max and Robert Greene. My work has been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and has been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company.

7 responses to Schemes & Scams Pt II

  1. Can you translate that into English?

  2. From my understanding this may have alot to do with Robert Greene’s law of changing the turf to your side. Though the enemy may try to lure you to their terms, it is possible to recontextualize the situation so that you use the leverage that the enemy gives you to rise above and become victorious. Others will try to rob you of context in order to take advantage of you in the present moment…I need to get my hot little hands on this essay!

  3. I’m not sure where you’re getting that from Matt – but definitely read the essay.

  4. Actually, I may have overeached a bit with that one. When I read “If he has some authority, you have the right to see what it is. If he is only describing the authority he sense in you, then do as you please,” I thought that it meant recognizing which turf to take when the enemy tries to lure you into tactical hell, like the con-man that presents you with so many options to choose from it makes the choosing more hellish than knowing how to act according to the present moment when considering the context of interacting with a con. However, I admit that I am probably taking the passage out of context.

  5. This seems like a perfect metaphor for any person’s version of a higher being or authority to turn its back on the people that worship it. If the event does not exist without it, then it must not exist.

  6. “A good question to ask: “Does this event exist without me?” If the answer is no, leave. You are involved in a con game.”
    The idea of asking ‘does this event exist without me?’ is one I’ve been borrowing as I read The Image (Boorstin). Because that’s how you tell what a pseudo-event is.
    When Boorstin describes an event which he immediately makes clear is a pseudo-event, I’m caught by surprise. ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that was a pseudo-event, but of course it’s obvious in hindsight’. Because I’m so used to taking it all in together, event and its pseudo’s, that I can’t easily spot the difference yet; all the intuition I have to go on is a vague sense that news is manufactured.

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