I cannot take “the red pill”, and I will not dispense “the red pill”.
The term originated in The Matrix, where it was given as a choice to discover a way out of (title), a vast fake virtual reality system designed by machines to have dominion over men. People who are told about it laugh it off, and some even defend the system’s legitimacy. Many activists use this metaphor for their many ideas because it is easy and hip to talk about their pet idea as something which will overthrow “the” system and grant freedom and greatness to all who desire it.
The fact that it is given to somebody who is currently in The Matrix means, clearly, that it cannot work on someone who has never been in The Matrix.
English was not my first language. I spoke Cantonese everywhere straight through second grade, spoke Cantonese and English interchangeably in third, and had occasions through fifth grade where I’d want to communicate to someone but ended up saying it in chinese and then have to repeat myself, embarrassingly, in English. I’d say random things without thinking. Once I called for a teacher by saying “Mommy”. I asked a friend while in line for the water fountain, “Why is that girl so fat?”. A teacher once said that someone was transferring over and they had a disability and asked for all of us to not talk about it, and I talked about it. I didn’t like the music the others liked. Couldn’t watch the shows; didn’t have cable TV. Didn’t join any clubs, parents wanted me to go to class and come home. No allowance. Some of this may seem smart in retrospect, but at the time they prevented me from seeing any of my fellow students as friends.
And thus, I have never had anything to relate to, “fake”, “meaningless”, “real” or otherwise. No identity, no world. Just wandering. (Up until recently, but the principle discussed still holds.) People have told me things, and I have gone “oh okay” or “no I don’t think so”. No real emotional attachment. I’d be disappointed sometimes when I found out I was wrong and would have to correct a larger-than-usual amount of things, maybe frustrated at myself for not seeing it until that point in time, but that was that.
I deal with things mainly in this “cold” and “calculating” way, but it seems a non-insignificant portion of people like to deal with it in “red pills”. We need to FIGHT the system, they say. It is OPPRESSIVE they say. OVERTHROW it, WAKE UP and SPREAD THE TRUTH and whatever. I do not know how it is for those who have grown up in a Matrix-like environment, but I see little point in emphasizing things in such a manner. When you are discussing with someone your or their ideas, show the facts, point out what you disagree with, learn what you can, say thank you and be done with it. Repeat, if they would like. But none of this online hundred comments on forums, blogs, and videos doing back-and-forthing motivated by this obvious desire to beat the other guy into submission. They think they’re engaging in some kind of battle where each commands their divine entity “ideas” to fight the other, but it’s really just people yelling at each other.
If anything, red pilling seems to reliably screw up higher probabilities of low gains in favor lower probabilities of high gains. Those who actually just talk about why they think what they think are very stable, even if they just end up repeating themselves and their posts or lectures are like doing another math problem in the same lesson of the textbook. If their ideas spread, it is because the ideas are actually applicable and appealing to many people. Contrast this to the red pill method, which explicitly aims to change as many minds as fast as it cans, and in any way it can. It is the viral marketing and almost literal selling of ideas – you too can have enlightenment, if you can admit “to yourself” for a moment that all you’ve ever known is a lie.
It is said that for every YouTube and Yahoo there are a hundred other different guys who tried the venture capital route and didn’t make it. I believe this is true for the red pilling of ideas. Tons of people talking about their crazy idea out there. Why do you believe you’re going to be The One, again?
There’s also the problem of creating enemies. “Self-Help” style doesn’t really do much. “Red Pilling” is, quite literally, picking a fight. It explains to a large degree why many ideas and communities even exist (the manosphere can be seen as a reaction to the red pilling of feminism, resurgent belief in race to red pilling of equalitism, etc.).
I have taken
the red pill red pills more times than I can count, but it has not really worked out for me. Everything from atheism to anarchism, insert random conspiracy theory here to environmentalism has used this formula and each time I end up bored and feeling I have wasted more time than necessary. Yes, the things I learned in there are definitely things I wouldn’t have found from the mainstream. No, it did not need to be packaged with the encouragement to throw myself into the time and energy hole that is arguing with people who don’t care and aren’t interested. If anything I want to get away as far as possible from people who just randomly start talking to me about how this or that is true, because I quickly realize that these guys are pretty crazy. Most people who I’ve met who explore ideas agree. It seems to follow a pattern:
[The Red Pill of some idea] was important once, because it was new and, relative to my worldview at the time, significantly different. I went ahead and read up on older literature, followed up on more modern speakers and writers. Sometimes, I even began participating in it myself. But before too long it seems, it was gone again. It was just something else I had experienced. I might have thought of it as interesting, other times I ended up disagreeing and disgusted. It may even truly have been a red pill for me, and I changed my beliefs and way of life since learning what they had to say. But, since I did not become an activist, do not particularly talk about it except maybe as a memory which seems to fade into oblivion and back again every so often, I did not become part of the Movement. On a whim, I might go back and read up on some of the new things my old favorite blogger started writing about, or my old favorite YouTuber started making videos about. But all in all, it was simply something else that came to pass. I took what I needed, ignored what I didn’t, and moved on.
So, in the interests of actually discussing truth, not making a bajillion enemies, nor being a casualty statistic shoved back into oblivion after being a posterboy for some thing, I’m not doing it.
Getting linked by both Jack Donovan and then Rational Male, both people I highly respect, had me considering changing things up. The amount of pageviews I used to get in two weeks, now in a single day? WOO TIME TO GET FAMOUS POST MORE USE BUZZWORDS GET VIEWS But nope. Can’t do it, and don’t want to do it. My favorite people, both online and offline, didn’t get to where they were by stuffing me full of pastel colored drugs. Imitate the masters; gonna take a long and steady road instead.
I’m all for intensity and doing things balls to the wall, but this red pilling position is a death trap that is as-if designed specifically for my type.
I’m not gonna nail myself to selling some idea. Jesus Christ how horrifying.
Happy 200th post, blog!
(Note to future self: Original “planned” post literally took all day. Couldn’t finish, too much of a headache. Then rewrote in 90 mins because da razor be 2 stronk herp derp derp. See if you can find which parts are copypasta’d.)