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Results of the Social Skills Survey -- Book Coming out Tuesday

Wow. Over six hundred people responded to my social skills survey and gave really thoughtful and in-depth answers. In retrospect, I really wish that I had done this survey before I had written the book. I think it would have made the outline a lot easier, and I wouldn't be making last-minute additions right before the book comes out.

But better late than never. I've skimmed all of the answers and ready many of them in detail. My main goal was to find patterns. I found some, but I was also struck by just how the diverse the set of goals, strengths, and weaknesses that we have is.

Just under 30% of people were satisfied or very satisfied with their social lives. The largest group was "Somewhat satisfied", followed closely by "Somewhat unsatisfied". That sounds about right to me. Social skills are difficult, but so important that we tend to push until we get right up to that "acceptable" level.

Before I jumped into social skills, sparked by my involvement in pickup, I think I would have answered either unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied, depending on how optimistic I was feeling. I was very satisfied with my friends, but not satisfied with myself. It felt like many people moved with a certain level of social ease that I couldn't understand, let alone replicate.

The Hustler's MBA

On DROdio

I've been saying that college is obsolete for a very long time. I dropped out in 2000, because even back then I could see that it was a really poor value proposition. I didn't predict this because I'm some crazy genius, but because I'm willing to discard emotional attachment and stare plainly at the facts.

School is outrageously expensive, leaving graduates with a debt (or net expenditure) of tens of thousands of dollars-- sometimes even one or two hundred thousand. There are some things that are worth that amount of money, but for many people school isn't one of them. In fact, apart from very specific cases, I think that school is a bad thing, not worth doing even if it was free.

That's not to say that school has no benefits whatsoever. It does, and although I left with zero additional skills after my three semesters there, I had a good time and benefited from the social aspect. The problem is that you can't just compare college to doing nothing at all. You have to compare it to what you COULD have done.

Let's say that when you turn eighteen, it's a good idea to take four years to develop yourself. College is one way to do that. If we were to construct an alternative way to do that, what could it look like? One of the biggest weaknesses of school is how inflexible it is, so one of the greatest benefits of designing your own curriculum is that you could come up with one that uniquely suits you. That said, here's a plan that I think would benefit many people MORE than school would. Let's call it the Hustler's MBA.

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