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Teenagers Guide To The Real World

BookLogging. CompareAndContrast: TeenageLiberationHandbook

<Brennen> A book by MarshallBrain. Chapters are available on the web. The oddest combination of condescension, sometimes common sense, and don't-rock-the-boat-ism. I started off just sort of ridiculing it, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it embodies a whole mindset that's all over the place, and is probably worthy of a few minutes' serious consideration.

Some thoughts on good and evil:

:Is it true that good triumphs over evil? Do people who follow the path of goodness generally succeed? And do those who follow the bad path fail? In general this is the case. Think about Adolf Hitler. He was evil incarnate. The entire world fought a war to stop him and he lost. Think about criminals. Eventually they are arrested and put in jail. Think about drug dealers. They die from taking the drugs they sell. Or they are killed by other drug dealers. Or the police capture them. Think about dishonest people. Eventually, they are caught in their dishonesty and pay the price. People who do the right thing are rewarded. Those who do not pay for it. Either they pay for it directly (by going to jail, for example), or they pay for it when their conscience starts bothering them.

<Brennen> Or, like most of the drug dealers I've known, they make a little cash on the side and eventually graduate from college with less debt than, say, me.


:Why is it that good triumphs over evil? Why is it that this is such a consistent fact of life? Why is it that you can reliably predict the future of a personís life based on his goodness or evilness? First, most people are fundamentally good and they do not tolerate bad. Society as a whole has an interest in promoting goodness, so it does. When someone lies to you, for example, you find you cannot trust that person. Therefore, you stop doing business with that person. So do other people. The lying person goes out of business or loses his job. The second reason is that bad acts often have bad consequences associated with them. That is simply how the world works. You might do something bad once and get away with it. Maybe twice. Maybe many times. But in general the natural consequences of bad acts catch up with you and you reap what you sow.

<Brennen> I don't even know where to start.

And this, this is priceless:

:Get a haircutóThere is nothing more ridiculous to an adult than a person in a suit who has a non-suit haircut. Get a professional, business-like haircut to go with your suit. You may feel silly when you first look at it. Here is a fact: You and maybe a few of your friends are the only people who feel that way. The whole rest of the world expects a haircut that matches the suit. In this same category goes, "Shine your shoes." If you are going to do this, do it right.

Ok, I have got to stop now.

<Brennen> Well, one more - check out Figure 1. Also,

:Why in the world would you want to do any of that? What does it accomplish? Have you ever had a successful adult businessman pull up to you in his Lexus and say, "Come on, letís go bash mailboxes together! I have a bat in the back seat!" Of course not.

You know, that never did happen when I was a teenager, but I do ''so'' wish it had.

:Many of your peers donít have any goals, and that is why their lives are often so random and pointless. Instead of trying to figure out a better way to kill your neighborís cat, you could instead be learning about our society and economy and figuring out a way to build a business or career that will make you a millionaire.

If only someone had mentioned this ''before'' I invested so much in that crossbow...

And, finally:

:Do not hang out with college students; many are clueless.

Fuckin' A right, man.

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last edited June 27, 2005