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A Frame-by-Frame Rebuttal to XKCD's Pickup Artist Comic

The only web comic I read is XKCD. It's smart, funny, and often times educational. I'm a fan. The latest comic is a criticism of pickup. There ARE certainly valid criticisms of pickup, but Randall took a cheap and inaccurate shot at it.  I've shrunken it below, but you can see the original here.

I'm one of the main characters of The Game, have been going out every night since February first (except the last week, where I got caught up on some work), and am friends with most of guys who contributed substantially to the pickup community. In other words, I know what I'm talking about.

All of those guys are either too busy to defend pickup, or just sick of having to do it yet again. But hey, it's Thursday night and I haven't written a blog post this week, so I'll take a crack at it.

The Possibility of Being a Horrific Failure

On The Best of Sett

You can't control definitively whether you'll succeed or fail, but you do get to set the parameters. The way I live my life, I will either be an big success or a huge failure. There are a variety of potential paths ahead of me, and zero of them lead to comfortable success or minor failure. None of them lead to numb mediocrity.

How do you adjust these parameters? You set goals and accept risks. If you set goals low and don't accept many risks, you have no chance of huge success or huge failure. You'll end up somewhere in the middle. Maybe you'll end up a bit better off than you expected, or a bit down on your luck, but you'll be somewhere in the range of "fine". On the other hand, you can set extremely high goals, leave yourself no reasonable plan B, and take massive risks to get those goals. It's the only way you'll even reach them, but you may fall short and crash.

In my case, I've put all of my eggs in the SETT basket. I hope it becomes a huge success that makes me a lot of money, gives me some power to improve conversation on the internet, and all that. At this point I've invested two years of my life into it, with no plans of changing that allocation going forward. I've passed up many smaller opportunities that could have made me money. I do have some money saved up, but it's hard to count it as a backup plan when I know with certainty that if SETT failed I'd use it to start another company and go all in.

I work as smart as I can, I live frugally, and I plan for contingencies-- I'm not reckless, but when a calculated risk presents itself, I'm all over it.

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