Tag Archives: How to Think Like a Genius

Wise Sloth Video List: How To Think Like A Genius

I prefer watching educational videos on YouTube more than watching television, but it’s tedious digging for good content, and I’ve already seen most of the good stuff while searching for videos to put in my blogs. In case anyone else is looking for entertaining educational videos on YouTube, I made a series of posts with all the ones I’ve used on The Wise Sloth, organized by topic, with links to the posts they appear in. You’re bound to be enlightentained, and if you need help exploring the 600+ essays on The Wise Sloth, these video lists offer a quick overview that practically summarize my philosophies.

This list comes from my essays on philosophy and focuses on how to think like a genius.

8 steps to becoming a genius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enlightenment through logic

 

 

The map of everything

 

 

10 steps to winning an argument

 

 

 

How to solve a problem with a team

 

 

 

Creativity is logic, not magic.

 

 

 

 

Wisdom I learned working in IT: Nothing is magical

 

 

Wisdom I learned working in IT: Answers come from questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Ways The UCMJ Treats Troops Unethically

Note: I served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2007. My AFSC was 3C0X1 (Communications computer systems operator). My highest rank was E-5 (Staff Sergeant), and I received an honorable discharge.

Many American civilians don’t fully understand that military service members fall under a completely separate legal jurisdiction than civilians. This legal code is known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The existence of the UCMJ isn’t necessarily a sinister thing. In a lot of ways, pointing out that civilians and troops fall under different legal codes is like saying people who work for McDonalds and people who work for Burger King have different employee handbooks. The military is a bureaucratic institution that exists to accomplish a specific purpose just like the United States Post Office. Neither could operate without some kind of guidelines that outline the operating procedures for how they accomplish their purpose.

 

 

This sounds reasonable on paper, but the UCMJ redefines the basic human rights of the people who fall under its jurisdiction in ways that are considered unethical and unconstitutional. It’s literally illegal to treat civilians the same way troops are treated under the UCMJ. Here are five ways the UCMJ treats the troops unethically:

 

1. Bad Conduct and Dishonorable Discharges

There’s effectively no difference between a bad conduct/dishonorable discharge and a felony conviction. No other place of employment has the ability to punish dissenting employees with prison time and felony convictions for not obeying their boss at work. However, the military reserves this right because the UCMJ gives it that right, which is like saying the Bible is true because the Bible says it’s true.

Just like how the Bible causes its followers to carry around the burden of the threat of Hell in their minds every time they commit the most innocent, victimless sin, the troops carry around the burden of the threat of a dishonorable discharge with them all the time, everywhere they go. This is tolerable if you don’t think about it, but once you realize that the rest of your life will be unceremoniously destroyed if you decide not to do a jumping jack when you’re ordered to or you decide not to button up your shirt when you’re ordered to and persist in refusing to do so after repeated orders you’ll come to realize that your life isn’t your own, and your personhood isn’t important to the military. You’re a slave whose worth is measured by your willingness to conform, and you’ll be unceremoniously thrown out onto the street and made an example out of the moment it’s convenient for the military.

You can find ways to justify this, but it’s a legal fact that McDonald’s couldn’t do this to its employees because that would be grossly unethical. So let’s be clear that in justifying the existence of bad conduct/dishonorable discharges we are in effect justifying second-class citizenship for the troops; they have less protection under the law and can be treated worse than other people and we’re fine with this.

 

2. Institutionalized Victimhood/Subjugation

Imagine if you had to salute teachers, police officers, doctors or politicians any time you pass them in the street. Imagine if you had to address everyone who gets paid more than you as “Sir or Ma’am.” Imagine if you had to deliver these gestures of submission to people you don’t work with and don’t know. Or imagine if you had to offer these gestures of submission to individuals who you knew for a fact were dumber than you and had less moral character than you.

Now imagine if I told you that you had to salute all these people and address them with a superior title because you respected them….well, that and the fact that if you don’t then you’ll be demoted, fired, go to jail and/or receive a felony conviction on your permanent employment record that you can’t hide from future prospective employers….but the fear of permanent destitution isn’t why you salute them. You salute them because you respect them…even if you don’t know them or you know for a fact that one of those individuals is a scum bag.

What if I told you that you had to respect these people because they were white, or older than you, or joined the company before you or went to school a little longer than you? In a world where “all men are created equal” does it matter what reason someone tells you to subjugate yourself to another person, especially when the order to subjugate yourself comes with the threat of destitution?

Mandatory gestures of subjugation are reprehensible and illegal in every walk of life except the military, and in that case, insult is added to injury by training the troops to glorify participation in their own subjugation. Military training teaches you that the way to be the perfect human is to be the perfect victim or abuser, depending on which side of the caste system your rank places you in relation to the human being standing in front of you.

Again, I understand that there are reasons for the military caste system and for saluting, but those reasons merely justify the exact same level of institutionalized victimhood and subjugation that was imposed on Negro slaves before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Just like with Negro slavery, many honest, well-intentioned people used similar reasons to justify the institutionalized victimhood and subjugation of those slaves, and the worst part is that from one narrow point of view they were right. If you ignore the inherent value of human beings and only look at the well-being of a nation from the standpoint of its economic and political strength, then a caste system looks justifiable. So feel free to argue that the troops need to or deserve to be held to a lower standard of ethical treatment than the civilian population. Just understand that when you do that, saying “Support the Troops” is as meaningful as saying “Support the Slaves.”

 

3. Inhumane Training Methods

Have you ever wondered why police officers, firemen, lawyers, CEOs or politicians don’t go through military basic training? After all, the commercials say that military training will turn you into a superhuman. If military basic training is such a powerful tool for raising human beings to their full potential then why doesn’t everyone or at least the most powerful people in the world go through basic training?

The answer is because military training doesn’t raise you to your full potential. It uses time-tested brainwashing techniques to break you down mentally and replace your values and beliefs with those that will ensure you shut down your capacity to reason and question. It indoctrinates you to willfully subjugate yourself to external control and kill without question.

Public and private organizations alike regularly produce literature condemning the training techniques used in military basic training. However, these techniques are only condemned when cults use them, not when the military does. I strongly urge you to put this claim to the test. Go look in any brainwashing textbook, and compare those methods to military basic training. Military basic training is copied word-for-word from brainwashing textbooks. This isn’t a subjective opinion you can disagree with for your own subjective reasons. This is a cut-and-dry, verifiable fact.

 

 

Another way you can put this theory to the test is to set up your own basic training camp. Hire ex-basic training instructors to train a group of psychology students using the exact same training manuals and techniques used in military basic training. Then invite the American Psychological Association to monitor your training program for any ethical violations. Your experiment would be shut down before it finished if not before it started.

This raises the question, why the double standards? Why have we taken one group of people and exempted them from the same protections we guarantee everyone else? And does it even matter if there’s a reason? What’s our freedom worth if it’s bought with the blood of slaves and can be taken away from us by our own government with the flick of a pen? Are we even worth protecting if we agree to strip our fellow man of their humanity?

 

4. Pushing the Limits of Contractual Obligation

We justify exempting troops from the same rights and protections every other human being is entitled to because the troops signed a contract and took an oath. Actually, this statement is only half true. In the case of a draft the troops don’t have a choice. They have to take the oath or go to jail. In that case, the government gets to throw all the rights and protections guaranteed by the constitution out the window at its own discretion. In other words, the government can suspend the constitution at will like it did in the Vietnam War (or as the Vietnamese call it, The American War) when there was zero threat to the American public and the troops were sent in (many against their will) to protect American business’s access to the South East Asian economy against the will of the majority of the Vietnamese (and all of the Cambodian) people…but I digress.

The draft sets a precedent that the government can throw out the constitution at will and it doesn’t need airtight justification to do so. It can also throw out the constitution if it can get a person to sign a piece of paper waiving their rights. Before you start screaming, “The troops knew what they were getting into before they signed up!” go visit a military recruiter and tell them you want to sign up for the military. They’ll put a piece of paper and a pen in front of you and pressure you to sign it as fast as possible.

If you ask them the hard questions about the U.C.M.J. they’ll make excuses and dodge the subjects. They’ll reassure you everything is on the level and promise you anything they can to get you to sign that paper so they can meet their recruitment quota. They’ll even flat out lie to you. Any honest basic training instructor will tell you that military recruiters are synonymous with dishonesty.

To military apologists this is all just nit-picking; the bottom line is the troops signed a contract that’s more legally binding than the constitution or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I suppose, from a purely technical standpoint that’s legally valid. But if that’s the case then what the hell are we doing here? If I can just give you a $3,000 kicker bonus and promise to pay for your pregnant wife’s upcoming hospital bills (that you can’t afford because you work for McDonald’s) in exchange for all your civil liberties then why have civil liberties in the first place? The issue here isn’t whether or not it’s illegal to strip human beings of their civil liberties. The question is whether or not it should be legal. The answer is no. It shouldn’t, because as the military says, “A threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere.”

 

5. Loss of civil liberties

Many of the laws in the UCMJ are inoffensive and inarguable. For example, Article 128 of the UCMJ deals with assault. Of course, we don’t want people assaulting each other. Article 120 deals with rape, and that’s great too. Nobody should be raped. So I agree with that, but the fact that there are some reasonable lines in the UCMJ doesn’t prove that they’re all reasonable, practical or just. Look at Articles 133 and 134, which say,

Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” and “Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

If those statements sound borderline meaningless, that’s because they are. They were designed as catchall laws to allow the military to incriminate and punish the troops for any reason it subjectively decides. Michelle Manhart was discharged for posing nude in Playboy magazine because it brought discredit on the military. Others have been reprimanded and discharged for moonlighting as strippers even though they kept their daytime job in the military a secret. You’ll go to jail and/or get a dishonorable discharge for publicly speaking your mind about morally questionable things your employer (who won’t let you quit) is doing. You can be demoted at work for cussing at a minor at a grocery store.

You might not have a problem with this, but let’s just be clear about the precedent we’re setting here. The military enforces subjective cultural taboos, and retains broad discretion in its ability to destroy the lives of its service members for not conforming to the military’s narrow perception of morality. Imagine if you were a member of a church, and your pastor found out you cheated on your wife. Then he told your boss and you got demoted at work. Imagine if you got fired at work for marching in a gay pride parade over the weekend. Imagine if you were sentenced to life in prison for whistle-blowing human rights abuses committed by your employer. Would that be fair? Would that be just? No, but that’s everyday life for the troops. The human beings are so un-free that they’re subject to laws that basically say anything you do can be illegal if your boss wants it to. That’s literally the opposite of freedom. That’s totalitarian control over the life of a human being, and there’s no dignity in that.

All of the extraordinary rules/regulations in the UCMJ are supposedly justified because they ensure good order and discipline, but never forget that this good order and discipline comes at the cost of respect for human dignity and equality. These measures aren’t necessary to maintain good order and discipline in the civilian population because civilian employers don’t have the same mission as the military. The military’s mission is to kill people and blow things up without asking why.

This is an unnatural mission that human instincts, common sense, and reason-based morality cannot accept. As a result, the military must use invasive techniques to break its members’ minds and bind them in an unnatural psychological state against their will if/when necessary. If the military can’t break the mind of a troop it will tattoo “failure to conform” on their forehead and throw them in the gutter and make an example of them to scare the remaining troops into submission. To the military, the perfect hero is the perfect slave, and all their benefits and perks are just golden handcuffs. Putting bigger golden handcuffs on the slaves is a hollow way to support them. Refusing to allow open, honest discussion about what the troops are dying/killing for is a hollow way to support them. If you really, truly care about the troops, the best way you can support them is to end the UCMJ and give the troops their rights, their dignity and their freedom back.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Military Mind Control
Military Philosophy
Police Brutality
America is not the good guy

10 Steps To Becoming A Genius

1: Accept you need to fulfill your mind’s potential.

Look at the graph below. Where on the graph would you mark yourself if the far left represented the ignorance of a newborn baby and the far right represented the genius of Leonardo Da Vince?

(Ignorance) 1—2—3—4— (Normal) —6—7—8—9—10 (Genius)

Okay, that was a trick. Without changing your position on the graph, replace the word “Ignorance” with “Insanity,” and replace the word “Genius” with “Sane.”

The definition of the word “sane” is: “having or showing reason, sound judgment, or good sense.”

Think about a baby. Does a baby think or act with sound reason, judgment, and sense? No. If an adult acted like a one-year-old, he’d be locked away in a mental institute. We’re all born insane, and our progress towards sanity doesn’t happen on its own. As we grow up, our brains develop and automatically make us more capable of sanity, but in to grow to your full potential you have to proactively use reason, sound judgment, and common sense.

Genius isn’t a condition you’re born with. It’s the process of pushing your mind to its unique potential. Once you’ve pushed your mind to what it’s capable of, you’ll be the person you’re capable of becoming.

 

 

 2: Accept you’re capable of becoming a genius.

If you’re smart enough to graduate high school, then you’re smart enough to become a genius. How many song lyrics, movie characters, book titles, sports statistics, telephone numbers and street names will you memorize in your life?  How many books/magazines/news articles/websites/blogs have you/will you read? When you add it all up, the number is astronomical even if you score low on a traditional I.Q. test.

You’ll never reach the limits of your mind. Therefore, the limits of your mental potential are defined more by what you believe they are than what they actually are. You have the potential to become an expert at just about anything if you would only allow yourself permission to become what you’re capable of becoming and push yourself as far as you can go.

 

 

3: Accept you’re ignorant.

Everyone is born insane, and we become saner by learning. But no matter how much you learn, you’ll always be an ant on a speck of dirt in an endless universe. Nobody knows shit about shit, and we’re all so lost we don’t even know how lost we are. So conceit is a delusion, and humility is sanity. The smarter you think you are, the less room and motivation you give yourself to grow. The more humbly you accept your ignorance, the more room and motivation you give yourself to grow.

 

 

4: Accept everyone is ignorant in different ways to different degrees.

Humanity doesn’t have life figured out. Our entire history has been a slow process of clueless adults raising clueless children. The younger generation always takes it for granted their parents’ generation has it all figured out. So children devote their lives to mimicking their elders only to waste their lives re-enacting primitive, obsolete customs invented by pompous monkeys.

Take everything you learn with a grain of salt. Even if someone teaches you something true, it’s probably still incomplete. Questioning people and their belief systems can only help you arrive at a clearer perception of the truth. Blind faith can only result in blindness.

 

 

5: Decide what you want to learn.

Nobody can know everything. The end goal of genius isn’t to master every field of learning but to master the one/s that are most important to you. The only way you’ll have the motivation to master anything, is to love doing it. Find something you love, and excel at that. If you try to master something you aren’t terminally passionate about, you’re either going to quit or be miserable, which would defeat the purpose.

 

6: Develop a systematic plan to understand life.

Imagine it’s Sunday afternoon, and you don’t have to go to work, but you’ve got a ton of errands and chores you need to get done. If you just wander around the house and do a chore here and there when you just happen to find yourself in a room that needs something done it’s going to take forever to get all your chores done. Imagine driving around town aimlessly and hoping you run across the store or business you need to get something done at. You’ll never accomplish all your goals.

Becoming a genius (aka growing up, aka becoming sane) is the same way. You’re not going to be able to wander through life aimlessly, casually doing the things you feel inspired or hungry to do and hope to make the most out of your mind. You need to plan out what you want to learn and how you’re going to teach it to yourself.

 

 

7: Learn as much as you can.

If you want to be smarter, then learn more. If you want to be exceptionally smart, then learn an exceptional amount of information. You’re going to run out of time before you run out of storage space in your brain.

 

 

8: Learn and practice rational, logical thinking.

To understand the information you learn and make the best use of it, you have to be able to process the information effectively. You can memorize the encyclopedia, but if you don’t know how to think, all your good for is reciting information. The better you are at thinking, the more valuable conclusions you can draw from your knowledge.

 

 

9: Ask the right questions.

You might be able to cram enough knowledge into your brain to win every quiz game in the world, but that doesn’t make you a genius. What separates the savants from the geniuses is meaning. Is the knowledge you possess and are the questions you ask meaningful? Do your intellectual pursuits make a difference in the world? Do they help people? Do they advance humanity? If not, then it doesn’t matter how many credentials you have or how many people pat you on the back. Your efforts are meaningless.

You don’t have to be smart enough to figure out why E=MC2 to be a genius. The world doesn’t need 7 billion astrophysicists anyway. We need geniuses from every walk of life. We need people who can solve meaningful problems in the fields that they’re suited for. Solve a meaningful question and that will be an exercise in genius, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels for the rest of your life. Just because you did something genius yesterday doesn’t mean you’re a genius today. And just because you performed one stroke of genius doesn’t mean that you’re a genius in every other facet of your life. In fact, nobody is a full spectrum genius. Every genius is a complete idiot in other ways.

 

 

10: Question your answers.

Let’s suppose you questioned your personal beliefs and the foundations of your culture and found them lacking. So you went back and rewrote the rules and applauded yourself for fixing them. Then you lived the rest of your life by those new rules and taught them to other people. The only problem is you’re Anton Lavey, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Timothy Leary or Charles Manson. If you don’t question everything, especially your own answers, you’ll end up acting on irrational conclusions that will cause harm to you or others.

Question your answers.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

How to Think Like a Genius
Knowledge and Learning
The Meaning of Life

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