What I’m Reading
The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats by Grandmaster Flash (not everybody famous deserves a memoir)
Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture by Joseph Heath (nice counter to Klein. adbusters having a shoe is the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard)
Winning at Retail: Developing a Sustained Model for Retail Success by Willard N. Ander (basically a book about being “the best in the world“)
The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian by Robin Lane Fox (really long but really good. solidifies a lot of what I read in primary texts but didn’t understand)
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston (the Steve Wozniak one and the one from the guy that started Gmail are the best)
A Short of History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (still above my level but I like it)
When Humans Extend Rights to Nonhumans (NYT) is really creepy and almost a word for word recreation of a scenario I remember Richard Dawkins writing about in one of his books.
So I guess the joke for the NY Times article is that we’re far more advanced than Spain. They’re just now extending human rights to monkeys, we’ve already elected one as president.
Joka Ad Movmam and Clown Warfare
One of the reasons both that Tucker is very brilliant and that people outside of his fans don’t get him is his grasp of the principles of Joka Ad Movmam and Clown Warfare.
Joka Ad Movmam is a mis-root term so don’t worry about the origins for now as it’s a linguitechture thing.
So for example, like I discussed earlier his message board serves partially as a Digital Warfare training ground for his fans, and he obviously has partnerships with people like Robert Greene who is a serious strategy writer, and he aims to take over the Entertainment Industry.
But how did he start off? With ridiculous and absurd comedy stories about himself in which he frequently looks ridiculous.
The principle of Joka Ad Movmam is going from comedy to seriousness, and Clown Warfare is intentionally portraying yourself in a Clownish fashion for long term strategic goals that are anything but Clownish.
So if you tell people about this guy Tucker Max who is a brilliant strategist and creative innovator and then they go to his website, what’s the first thing they read?
The Famous Sushi Pants Story in which he gets blackout drunk and wakes up with no pants on.
I’d say, “Watch out for Tucker Max, he is going to pull a huge take-over like you’ve never seen.”
“Really who is Tucker Max? Better check this guy out…”
> “…And then I woke up with no pants on.”
WTF?!?! How can I take this seriously?
And that’s how no one can get him, because he portrays himself as a Clown of sorts and so they don’t take him seriously because most people have this artificial division in their heads between Comedy and Seriousness.
They feel that someone is either a serious person or a joker, and someone who straddles the line between both in their public image seriously confuses most people.
Tucker’s first initial impression is one of comedy and an entertainer, and only by digging deeper do you realize his longer term goals and his vision. Most people simply don’t get him because they can’t get past his initial impression of a guy who is all jokes and a drunkard and writes funny stories in which he frequently makes a fool of himself.
There’s no Gravitas to shitting your pants in an Embassy Suites, and could you imagine say Harvey Weinstein blogging about how he got so drunk he crashed a girl’s car into a Donut Shop? Or Steven Spielberg telling everyone about the time he jizzed in his own eye?
You couldn’t, and that’s why no one can get it, because no one has ever really seen a guy who uses Clown Warfare and Joka Ad Movmam like this before.
Ultimately what it’s about is a grasp of just true human nature. Real humans joke around and are serious, and Tucker’s presentation is basically a human one where he is about entertaining people and then also power and drive at the same time.
However, in our society, most people are so used to facades and people presenting a one dimensional image, that when someone like Tucker comes along and presents multiple sides of himself like an actual human being, they are completely puzzled.
A lot of times the reason people are confused is because we have been indoctrinated in false views of reality and what it takes to make it so that actual success can be counter-intuitive.
So to tell someone the key to getting college kids to worship you as a hero is to write funny stories in which you look ridiculous is counter-intuitive because we are used to the idea that having people look up to us is about being serious and doing serious things.
There is a thin line between comedy and seriousness, thinner than most people realize.
Sometimes just a phrase can already start the beginning of new consciousness, and “Clown Warfare” is a very good phrase just to understand the existence of, which is that often times being a Clown can be a very effective tool of Warfare and Strategy.
Almost anything could be a tool of a campaign of warfare, even intentionally looking pathetic or getting Pwned in a sad manner.
So for example, in the film The Usual Suspects, they are looking for this Mastermind criminal named Kaiser Soze and suspect all these hardcore looking criminals, but in the end it turns out to be Verbal, this crippled guy who was always getting pwned by being arrested for petty crimes like some kind of two bit con artist, but his whole pathetic looking charade as a crippled small time con man was a cover for his real identity as the Mastermind Kaiser Soze.
Sometimes one of the best techniques of Psychological Warfare is to fuck with social boundaries and expectations in order to get people to underestimate you. So Kaiser Soze in appearing to be a crippled incompetent criminal named Verbal got everyone to underestimate him and think he was a fool, and because of that they trusted him and thought they were helping him and giving him Amnesty, when really he was playing all of them. There are real life people like Kaiser Soze in the world.
So there is Clown Warfare and there are forms of deception warfare where someone intentionally looks pathetic as well, Kaiser Soze style.
So like how Robert Greene said there is always a counter-point to any rule of Strategy, and in the movie The Usual Suspects, Kaiser Soze was a counter-example to the idea that reputation is the Cornerstone of Power.
In his case, he intentionally had a bad and pathetic reputation as Verbal and this was a key to his campaign of complex manipulation because his poor reputation led to people to underestimate him and trust him more easily and that’s how he got them.
[I won’t be publishing anymore of Vincent’s craziness]
I just finished the Bill Bryson [I]The Short History of Nearly Everything [/I] (the illustrated edition). Probably the best science book I have ever read. I’m surprised you say it’s above your level as I thought it explained most topics very clearly as well as raising some interesting questions. I’m going to seek out a few of his other books now.
I’ve got to agree with K. here.
I read the Bryson book about a year ago (ISBN10: 0552997048, ISBN13: 9780552997041), and even if there is a certain overload of detail in that book, due to it’s regular and systematic switching of subject, it is still about an easy read as, wel…. not a book by Rowling, but…. not very hard either.
To me, the system with which he wrote made it pretty easy to read (that said, it still took me about a week).
@K: If you like that book, check out The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams, they have a similar style for describing the craziness of nature and most of Bryson’s other books are about his travels.
And Ryan, come on, Vincent’s craziness is fascinating. At least let him finish his story arc.
Have you finished Hackers & Painters yet? It’s pretty awesome and participating in YC is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.