What topics do you think the average dude needs a better understanding of?

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Imagine you have a teenage son (or don’t, if you actually do have one or more of those frothing beasts): how would you prepare him to avoid being taken advantage of by the tens of thousands of examples of bullshit that he’ll have to watch out for on his own the minute he’s no longer living under your roof?

We have a lot of smart people here (and a few idiots) mostly the former though—which puts us in a decent if not unique position as a community across the internads. As such, even if it wasn’t a part of the site/community’s reason for existing, we have an obligation to help ordinary folks, “normies”, and especially meatheads who are prone to violence, not get taken advantage of.

So help me brainstorm here, about some ways in which that happens that we don’t normally consider or even talk about. Spitballing some examples: literally everything in the world of personal finance or credit, consumer products and marketing manipulations (eg. fake sales/discounts/Black Friday bs), even manipulative but widely accepted narratives like a job being “a calling”—which means they’re going to underpay you to do it.

Imagine the average knucklehead out there is your kid: what do they need to know?

Choose your parents wisely about sums it up.

Choose where you live and your kids to to school, wisely.

However, as a proud co-parent of two fine young men, I will elaborate in a bit.


It is bullshit (not true), that people without capital or without formal education or who are disabled or who are women or who are minorities cannot start and build successful businesses in the United States.

Also, being male is inherently dangerous.
Being male is more impactful than race, regarding police stops etc, that may go wrong, or getting arrested.
Likewise, males die earlier, and in much greater numbers in accidental deaths than females.
So, being male is dangerous, and males have to be extra careful not to die from accidental deaths or from getting murdered (likewise even more so for poor black males in poor areas, regarding getting murdered).
Males are also subject to false claims of sexual assault, or false claims of being threatening, so males have to be very careful about those things.
In Western cultures, people will often interfere with a male being violent or threatening violence against a female (unless both the male and female appear Arab / Muslim), but will often cheer on or ignore a female threatening violence or being violent against a male.

How to recognize pyramid schemes.

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“Shrinkflation” is another one now that I think about it. A decade or so ago there was a great blog called The Consumerist which tracked brands that tried to sneakily cut serving sizes/quantity while selling at the same price.

Most people don’t notice it consciously, just that something is wrong with the box of cereal or whatever…

except when Toblerone pulled this bullshit:

Have you watched an ABC series called the checkout?

Off the top of my head …

Life isn’t fair, don’t whine about it not being fair, change your situation.
Ultimately your are responsible for your own life, not your past, not your parents, not how you grew up, the sooner you own it the sooner you can make changes.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, don’t trust the sales guy, he just wants to make a sale.
There is no such thing as easy money or a free lunch.
If you don’t understand it don’t get involved until you do.
Be curious about the world
Treat facts, and peoples opinions with skepticism, even your own.
When people create a sense of urgency, take a breath and think, don’t act in a panic

I guess that’s more principally, not subject / content wise, which is where i think you probably want to go.

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They need to know how to make decisions.

That starts at birth, or closely thereafter.

"Do you want read Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Horton Hears a Who ?
Do you want orange juice or apple juice?

I’ve covered this before somewhere…

They need to know they are loved and cared for, and also given as much freedom as they can safely handle.

The list goes on, of course.

Once they are fucked up adults, positive changes become more difficult.

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Am I one of the clever ones or one of the stupid ones?

As a new father this topic is one that’s important to me.

I like BKRs approach to start encouraging decision making.

I also want to encourage my son to reason effectively from a young age. Make him aware of the faults that can exist in our reasoning, perceptions and planning as people.

Topics include;

Fear of Failure.
Confirmation bias.
Results based bias.
Fixating on outcomes and not the solutions
Over Exaggeration.
And Scapegoating.

Probably more to add to the list.

I’m still working on a good way to go about this. And introduce him to some important concepts in an intuitive way.

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Scientific method.

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What do you think?

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That’s too detailed.

Just make sure they have choices, and consequences.

Then their brains get wired that way.

Don’t treat them like little adults.

I’m serious.

Of course, I have a sample of 2.


Again, choices…

From the start.

These things will come up, of course, but the kid(s) won’t really know what they are in adult terms.

Be the example. Actions speak louder than words.

AS you know, I’m sure.

Yes dad… my plan didn’t involve treating him like an adult or prepping a lecture. Just trying to find ways to engage him in critical thinking. I just want to get the gears working.

That’s a trick question

You just demonstrated your sense of humor, congratulations!

Making simple choices is a start.