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How To Create a Cult of Personality Around You and Your Ideas: An Introduction to Continental Philosophizing

Write in such a way that precludes synopsis or abstract. That way, when you are summarized, a highly distorted and digestible pastiche of your ideas will find a broader audience. As a result, those who have read it in the original1 (regardless of whether there is any consensus among them) will become the elite gate-keepers, adding to the mystique of the text. This will create a niche industry of acolytes who are naturally motivated to maintain this mystique as well as necessitate their position as mouthpiece. Admittance to the inner circle may be granted as needed to reinvigorate the cult and to demonstrate that it is in principle possible to ascend through the ranks.

  1. or assume to be an authority otherwise []

The Atheist Delusion

1. I don’t believe in atheists.

‘Atheism’ is a very confused concept and I wish for the universe1 that it is settled once and for all in this essay. I claim that ‘atheist’ has only one coherent sense, and this sense is as metaphysically dogmatic as any religion or ethos that has ever existed. The atheist asserts that ‘there are no gods’2 is true.

If you disagree on this definition of ‘atheist’, then I ask you: What exactly distinguishes ‘atheist’ from ‘agnostic’? The two terms are often contrasted with each other, so we can assume that their concepts lie in roughly the same conceptual plane. Here is how ‘atheism’ is commonly defined:

  1. Atheists are a- theists; they deny the essential tenet of theism: ‘There is a (at least one) god’ is a true statement. Logically, this is equivalent to saying: ‘There are no gods’ is a true statement. The atheist believes what science tells us, and nothing else.
  2. The atheist “doesn’t believe in god/gods”. Atheism is not a claim; atheism is the lack of a claim. The atheist believes what science tells us, and nothing else.

I don’t claim that these exhaust the senses of ‘atheist’, but I claim that these are the two dominant strands. The claims are clearly different: One claims a particular statement true/false, and the other makes no claims. No. 1 are the a/theists, and no. 2 are the agnostics. If you are not making a strong claim (e.g. ‘I’m pretty sure there are no gods’), then you are an agnostic. Atheists are the extremists along the skeptical continuum. Atheists assert that there are no gods (or they’re pretty darn sure).

To reiterate: If you do not assert ‘there are no gods’ to be true or false, then you are an agnostic. If you would not go so far as to say that you know that gods of any description don’t exist in this universe, outside this universe or anywhere else in the vast scope that potentially constitutes all that exists, then you are an agnostic and not an atheist.

2. Richard Dawkins and a Dearth of Evidence

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins presents the atheist/agnostic/theist conceptual landscape according to individuals’ judgements on the probability that a god exists. Dawkins presents a seven-fold breakdown of these positions, from atheist to theist. At the extremes, individuals claim knowledge, not just a degree of belief. In the middle is the “completely impartial agnostic”. This sounds like a cogent scientific methodology for delineating these muddled concepts, but I will argue that this methodology is ridiculous and almost nonsensical. The primary problem is that any such judgment of probability must be completely baseless. I will begin with the brunt of my argument.

The glaring hole in Dawkins’ conceptual scheme is that he presumes that we can have any reasons on which to base such a judgment of probability. To make a judgment on the probability that a god exists, one must have reasons. So, those who say that there is no god presumably have reasons for making this judgment. Correct? My question is: What are these reasons?3 There are really only two angles at answering the question: Science and/or philosophy. By this, I mean empirical evidence or formal demonstration (via proof). It isn’t possible to proove (demonstratively) that god doesn’t exist, so that leaves empirical science. Please continue.

Atheists, this is what I take y’all to be saying. Empirical science has eliminated any recourse to “gods” in its explanation of nature. Extremely powerful equations describe the minutest and the most vast and distant events known to man. All of the variables and constants of these equations refer to natural properties/events.4 As a result of this, god/gods are entirely removed from our highest-level explanations of nature. The atheist might say: Science leaves absolutely no reason to believe in god/gods.

I don’t disagree with the above. But, the atheist does not just argue that we have no reason to believe in gods – the atheist argues that we have good reason to believe that there are no gods. Here, the atheist commits a basic fallacy in assuming that empirical science constitutes any counterevidence to the existence of god/gods. In the next installment, I will fill in this conclusion and consider the concepts of ‘God’ and ‘god/gods’ and the implications of these distinctions.

  1. even if there are other civilizations out there, it has not yet been decided that ours are not insignificant []
  2. of any description (not even one!). And by ‘gods’, I mean any supernatural entities that have/had any hand in the universe. []
  3. Since I am familiar with the debate, I already know the common answers and I am merely setting you (the reader) up for the boo-ya stroke. []
  4. This is false. []

What is Intuition?

(This was an answer on that was sent back for work and I just posted it here.)

The previous answers grapple with clear senses of the concept ‘intuition’, but I will attempt to discuss the concept more broadly.

I will argue that asserting ‘intuition’ to be synonymous with a form of ‘prediction’ is inaccurate. Intuition is at the very least a faculty of the mind. Beyond that, ‘intuition’ refers to a faculty of the mind that we (to this day) find very mysterious (every term I use is a technical term). Beyond that, this ‘faculty’ is undoubtedly very deep and dear to each of us qua person/individual/self. My final conclusion will be that: ‘Intuition’ (qua faculty) can safely be considered synonymous with one’s ‘Guardian Angel’. More details to follow.

If we want to remain safely naturalistic, ‘prediction’ is a form of calculation. If my senses are attuned, most people won’t be happy considering ‘intuition’ a form of ‘calculation’ (neither am I). For all intents and purposes (a tall claim follows), intuition is fruitfully comparable to (what I will call) short-hand thinking. At this rough and ready level, our experience frequently finds analogy in “reading the signs”.

Which leads me to the mystery of ‘intuition': This mysteriousness arises when people (ordinary people) attempt to explain these thought processes. Another will ask, “How did you know that?” and you will reply “I don’t know”. Implicit to this exchange is a pat-on your higher faculties’ backs (howsoever we decide to define ‘higher faculties’). Forgive my mysterianistic treatment, but mysteries must be treated with mysterianism (among other modes of approach).

As I am attempting to breach the physical barrier and discuss each and everyone’s experience, readers may be justifiably speechless at levels of such intimacy. Intuition can also be safely considered an “inner dialogue” of sorts. Some call it a dialog with ones own “Guardian Angel”, some call it “luck”.

On The Illuminati

I’m not interested in determining the existence or evaluating the evidence for The Illuminati. Considering anything as evidence for the existence of The Illuminati undermines the very concept of ‘The Illuminati’ (I will argue). To clarify, I’m talking about a particular sense of the term ‘The Illuminati’: The Illuminati of the conspiratorially minded and the drug culture at large. Academic philosophers have yet to address this topic, but this is not surprising1 as this concept/meme has yet to assume its rightful throne in the minds of the masses.

The Back Story of The Illuminati

As far as I know (and as far as I care to research), the current concept of ‘The Illuminati’ is due to Robert Anton Wilson’s The Illuminatus Trilogy which popularized the Bavarian Illuminati of the 18th century, and by extension all Hermetic brotherhoods prior. More recently, The Illuminati has been the subject of the popular thrillers: Lara Croft, Angels and Demons, and National Treasure.

The Concept of ‘The Illuminati’

Here I won’t be concerned with the metaphysical status of some “Illuminati” but I will rather consider the concept of ‘The Illuminati’ in light of empirical/epistemological constraints. Here I am not ascribing to the following belief, but am rather explicating the popular conception of it. First off: The Illuminati is clandestine; in fact, those at the top probably claim to belong to an order originating with the mythological inventor of covert-ops. The Illuminati is so clandestine that nothing counts as evidence for the existence of The Illuminati. Nothing could count as evidence for The Illuminati: Illuminati investigators could never know (from the outside) whether they were actually discovering members of The Illuminati and they could never know the extent of The Illuminati’s plans. It is for these reasons (which I will detail below) that I am claiming that the possible referent of ‘The Illuminati’ must lie in the realm of the empyrean.

The first thing to understand about The Illuminati is that they are clandestine. Being “clandestine” is consistent with a number of possible worlds. One: The classic Illuminati comprising an organized group entirely removed from the apparent work-a-day world of the people, nations and “news”.  Another possibility is that The Illuminati is to some extent loosely organized. “Loosely organized” itself could refer to any number of possibilities2 that I will leave the reader to sort through. Actually, I am not interested in any of the above possibilities. There is only one possibility that makes any sense out of ‘The Illuminati’ to me: If something like “The Illuminati” exists then it is either essentially beyond our pedestrian paradigm3, or else the term refers to people-in-the-world (organized or not) who probably don’t even think of themselves in terms of The Illuminati as is popularly conceived.

Furthermore, I’d like to argue that nothing counts as evidence for any such Illuminati (popularly conceived). If the Illuminati is so rich and powerful, and has an endgame beyond the ken of the “ordinary” world, and if The Illuminati are the masters of disinformation and subterfuge as they are supposed to be, then literally anything and everything could be evidence of The Illuminati. What follows from this is that: Nothing is necessarily any more evidential of The Illuminati than anything else.4

The last point I’d like to make with regards to the concept of ‘The Illuminati’ is something I see to be a more recent development of this concept in the publick imagination. I used the world ‘empyrean’ above, but what I mean by this is that ‘The Illuminati’ has achieved a seat among The Great Pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, Past and Present. Considering the epistemological constraints on such a body, it becomes apparent that The Illuminati shares the same epistemological/philosophical problems that Philosophers of Religion have been concerned with for ages. Thus, I will make a final leap to conclude that The Illuminati is a naturalistic embodiment of The Demiurge.

  1. and as I will argue, philosophy professors are often among The Illuminati []
  2. We must talk about “possibilities” exclusively since The Illuminati is essentially covert. []
  3. …and, therefore, of no actual relevance to the lives of men and “history” []
  4. I will leave it up to the reader to determine if that actually “follows”. []

A Message to the Zoophiliacs Who Frequent This Blog

This is not a zoophilia blog. I don’t know how to make that any more clear. I have one post that discusses the movie Zoo where I speculate on extreme psychology. There is a link to an SNL skit about ass pennies which is brilliant. But I’m just afraid this is going to turn into a zoophilia blog if you guys keep trying to comment and email me all the time.

On Improvised Art Creation

Improvised1 creation/performance is not just confined to jazz soloists and modern dance. For example, great performers of classical music improvise through their interpretation of the score: There will be subtle differences in each performance depending on whim and fancy. Improvisation sometimes involves the interplay of a number of agents and sometimes not, but all improvisation comes down to the gap between the artistic (aesthetic) insight and the act of endowing the work with the envisaged properties, as described in Zangwill’s TACTA. This gap between insight and creation can be wide, but in improvisation, insight and act approach simultaneity.2

A very close analogy to improvised creation can be found in ordinary conversation. Ordinary conversations are to a great extent completely extemporaneous: We can predict how a conversation will go, but at bottom the details are messier – we make do with what we have. I don’t mean to sound prosaic, but it is essential to the nature of space-time and experience that we must improvise much of our days.3 A fascinating feature of time particularly is that once an event has passed – only memories and artifacts remain. This ephemerality of time is what is being utilized in extemporaneous art creation.

Artistic improvisation is also consistent with (and usually created within) limitations, such as keys and rhythms in improvised jazz. These limitations are often inherent to the medium and materials at hand: Paint (whatever colors you may have and how you use them), clay, personal limbs, voice, etc. Freestyle poetry such as freestyle rap must also obey key, rhyme and meter. In performance of a composed classical piece, the musician(s) and/or conductor improvise within the limitations (however stringent) of the score. One score may specify passages of actual free improvisation for the performer to get a chance to demonstrate their skills, and another may be note-for-note accent-for-accent composed. The pith of the issue is that there are formal constraints and there are artistic liberties in performance and these can come in many degrees.

In this chapter I want to consider a very particular case of improvisation in art which I will call improvised (or extemporaneous) creation. By this I mean a work that is created on the spot. Consider an experienced improvising musician stepping onto a stage without a particular work to perform, and not necessarily anywhere to even start, but the artist just start playing. There has always been art created undersuch conditions, and a very convincing argument could be made for the actual primordiality of this form of art creation.

I would like to make a broad conceptual distinction between improvised creation and ever more prudent creation. Prudent creation basically means ‘not immediate creation’, but this does not entail that no improvisation was involved in the creation process. As I argued, improvisation can be said to be ubiquitous in experience, but prudent composition is essentially different. Writing (prose, poetry, music, etc.) is the clearest case of prudent creation: It may only take the reader an hour or two to read this thesis, but I spent much much more time on it than that. An improvised thesis could be dictated from beginning to end.

Not only can insight and act be simultaneous but there is also a judgement involved in improvised creation which will become clear in quick comparison to prudent creation. A painter has an insight (or many insights) and performs the requisite artistic acts, but there is still the final judgement that the work is complete – the painter could wait days and days before finally judging the work to be done. On the other hand, by stepping onto the stage, the improvising artist forfeits the power to pause, rewind, edit and revise – what is done is done. The improvising artist accepts these facts (implicitly) as intrinsic features of time and judges beforehand (qua improviser) that the resulting work will have to be complete (upon termination of the performance). In more prudent creation, the judgement that the work is complete is not bound to the length of a particular performance; you can come back to it tomorrow. Thus, it should be clear how this final judgement can be easily overlooked in the case of improvised performance.

Finally, I would like to say something about the fact that the improvising musician is also improvising when they are chatting after the performance (and any other time the artist isn’t “in character”). This is not a problem, but merely points to a difference in the function of one’s behavior at any particular time. Consider the case of candid-camera TV shows containing some number of actors dealing with “people on the street”.4 The viewer realizes this person is an actor and the “people on the street” don’t. The viewer sees a function in the actor’s behavior that the “people on the street” don’t. This is similar to the function that the documentary director sees in ordinary events in the world. So, any particular ordinary conversation5 is not art because of the perceived function of that particular conversation.

I hope to have demonstrated that improvisation, improvisation in art, and improvised creation to be fairly subtle distinctions based on the function of one’s behavior in time. In the next section I will apply Zangwill’s Aesthetic Creation Theory of Art to this case of improvised art creation. Zangwill says that it is necessary and sufficient for only the (putative) artist to see the artistic/aesthetic function of their work.

  1. Thanks to Ian Halloran for providing us with this fascinating analysis. It is part of his MA thesis and he is an incredibly private person, and searches the internet for any and all plagiarizers of his writing with full intent to use all of his powers to shame them. []
  2. The physical-metaphysical possibility of perfect simultaneity is a separate topic. []
  3. Exceptions might be private moments. It is possible that we could be said to improvise in our dreams. []
  4. They become “ordinary” people or “people on the street” because they don’t realize the rouse. []
  5. In other words, one that is not on camera, tape, paper, etc. []

On The-Feeling-That-Someone-Is-Watching-You

Do you know the feeling referred to in the title? It could be your neighbor through a window, or the phone that you forgot to hang up in your pocket, a video camera on a telephone pole, an alien in a spaceship recording through a wormhole, extra-dimensional God-like beings or whatever. I’m assuming that everyone has had this feeling. It is usually a fleeting feeling and we forget about it almost immediately – but that doesn’t overwrite the fact that it is possible1 that someone(s) always watching you, even when you aren’t considering this possibility. In the context of this paper I’m going to adopt the position that nobody actually knows whether this “possibility”2) is actual or not – we just don’t know.3 Assume4 that I’m just adopting this position for the sake of argument.5

Now I want to talk about those possible others and what they might be thinking. You don’t know what those possible others are saying (or would be saying, if they were actual). Granted? You have a lot of ideas of what they might be thinking. If the Other is merely your neighbor at the window, you may already have a subconscious rough psychological sketch of her character, and you project some possible response/reaction to what they are seeing. Maybe your neighbor sees you and wishes she could get to know you. Maybe she sees you and thinks that you are a disgusting pig. Maybe the creator of The Universe is watching in a Tele-Tunnel Time/Spacecraft. What would the creator of The Universe think of what you do from moment to moment throughout your life?6 The point is: You never know if someone is watching and you don’t know what they are thinking.7

When I say that nobody actually knows anything about these others and what they are/might be thinking, I am not denying that many people have a lot of very clear ideas of what these others are/might be thinking. These, ladies and gentleman, are what I am going to call “voices” in your head. I choose the term “voice” for a good reason: Please feel free to connect this usage to the “voices” often spoke of in psychosis. You don’t actually know what your neighbor is, might or would be thinking if she were watching you, yet considering this possibility can (and I would say has) an affect on your behavior. This voice isn’t telling you what to do (as psychosis can often do), but considering these others nonetheless has an affect on your thinking/behavior. If we don’t know what these others are/would be thinking and yet we have a lot of ideas about what they are/would be thinking (voices), then the most likely explanation of this seems to me to be that we project these voices onto the world (our “take” on the world). Hear me out: by saying we “project” these voices, I am not saying that these voices are wrong, irrelevant or insincere – these voices are very often pretty accurate.

I think it is a healthy practice to consider this possibility that someone/thing might be watching us at all times. I think it is a healthy practice to speculate about what these others are/would be saying. I think that (in general) we should listen to these “voices”, because they are at the very least our own voices and they clearly have something to say. Granted, peoples’ “voices” aren’t always in harmony with each others’ voices, but if we can just acknowledge that they are “voices” and that they are at least possibly true, relevant and sincere then we can at least begin to discuss these different “voices” and their merits/demerits in a sensible8 way.

This article is intended to be as ecumenical as possible, which miraculously leaves a majestically inspiring picture (for me at least). I am suggesting that at least everybody who has read this far through this essay (and by extension everybody else) reflect on the possibility that someone is watching you, conjure up the feelings associated with this possibility and try to fill all idle moments with reflection on this possibility. It may be comforting and it may not, and if it is not comforting, then you should interpret this discomfort as another voice, and you should listen to it.

  1. “Possible” being one endpoint on a spectrum reaching to plausible, likely and certainty. I am saying that it is not impossible. This seems intuitively certain. []
  2. It is at least a “possibility”. Being a “possibility” is not inconsistent with being a certainty. (Know your logical operators. []
  3. All we have is old books and people who claim to walk with the Lord. []
  4. And this doesn’t mean I don’t adopt this view. []
  5. In other words: What if all claims to contact with the actual Divine Other are just the result of evolved psychological mechanisms (of some rough kind)? []
  6. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t “believe” in some Divine Other creator of The Universe. It doesn’t matter if it is your “opinion” that this Other doesn’t exist. It is still a possibility and nobody can deny that. Period. []
  7. This follows from my “for the sake of argument” assumption above that nobody actually knows anything about the Divine Other. []
  8. i.e. rational []

On Philosophers: Part Lawyer, Part Comedian

I must first begin by telling you that I am an academically trained student and teacher of philosophy. Not only that, but I have decided to rough it outside the ivory tower. This becomes an issue because philosophy is thought by many to be of no practical value in the world – philosophy trains one in staring at their own navel. This idea comes from a misrepresentation and misunderstanding of what philosophy is and does. As a result of these misconceptions, the philosopher not pursuing a career in academia enters the working world with a disadvantage and must often defend their skills and expertise. That is what I am going to do right here, but indirectly. Instead, I’m going to argue that it is fruitful to consider a philosopher as a cross between a lawyer and a comedian.

Lawyers are at least experts at The Law. Thus, lawyers are usually in the position of determining and demonstrating whether particular acts are within the bounds of The Law or not. The People commonly find this to be important to society and worthy of protection via compensation. Comedians are usually in the position of provoking mirth in others. These others commonly find mirth to be valuable and something worthy of protection as well. Philosophers are thought to possess none of these tangible skills. In fact, philosophers are thought by many to sow the seeds of atheism and nihilism.1 Philosophy doesn’t advocate nihilism; nihilism is often resorted to (at least temporarily) in order even attempt to make sense out of the world. Philosophy just attempts to make sense out of everything.

To see the humorous in life, often the comedian must view society and culture from the outside; the comedian must “step-back” in order to see the absurdity. Philosophy itself could be described as the science2 of “stepping-back”. Likewise, lawyers often must often contain their private judgments, but lawyers are bound to The Law. As soon as you step-back from The Law and question whether The Law is good and should be upheld, you are doing philosophy. Philosophers are also importantly bound by laws: The philosopher recognizes that he is bound by Truth, and he attempts to divine this. Lawyers and philosophers share another proclivity (or prolixity?, depending on which ones you’ve met): Both are bound to reason-giving and argumentation. Lawyers and philosophers don’t just make arguments, but they must be as good (or even better) at evaluating arguments – determining the good from the bad.

Next, I would like to attempt to arrange the three disciplines at hand according to the gravity of each, as I hope my point to be a counterintuitive one. On an intuitive level, philosophy would seem to be the most grave and comedy the least, law falling in between. But I want to say that the mood of philosophy is similar to comedy. Philosophy is serious stuff, but it is ethereal (you can’t point at it, that is why many think that philosophers are useless navel-gazers). The philosophy teacher asks the student (or reader) to put aside their “opinions” and attempt to be “rational”, i.e. consider the evidence and reasons for what they are and not what you want them to be. This is the sense in which philosophy encourages a type of freedom: Freedom of thought from dogma and bias. Thus, the classroom is sequestered from the world, as is the comedian?s stage. The courtroom, on the other hand, seems very much “in the world”. Lawyers are always bound to particular cases and their nitty-gritty details. Herein, I am arguing, lies the gravity of (at least the practice of) The Law. So, although philosophy may be the most grave (ultimately), I would like to say that the demeanor of philosophy (at its best) is characterized by its levity. The virtue and grace of the philosopher is in her rigorous ecumenicism.

Another similarity between the philosopher and the comedian is their sensitivity to intuitions. Comedians are sensitive to the audience’s intuitions, whether the audience is one person or one hundred. The comedian pushes buttons folks, and you can’t poke buttons that aren’t there. The great comedian must act wisely, as they have their finger on a wall of buttons. Philosophy is the study of a different set of buttons. In a Philosophy 101 class, these buttons will often be: Your most cherished beliefs. In America these days, the topic of God is the easiest route to this discussion. Many people shy away from challenging dialogues such as God and morality. What makes this discussion especially difficult is that they come down to intuitions and “opinions”.3 So, the great philosopher is able to direct the dialog gracefully into theoretical issues, is able to wallow peacefully with these issues, and is able to return everybody safely to firm ground again with minds limbered (the mind is a muscle).

The role of the philosopher just described also points to performative similarities among the three disciplines. In the public sphere, debate of the philosophical issues of The Law (are they good?) is often done through comedy. American liberty is famous for their comedies. It could even be argued that comedy makes the plunge into philosophical topics go down4 smoother (and without the aftertaste5). Here is a rhetorical question: Why is it that left-wing political commentary tends to be much more comedic? But seriously, trial lawyers must also perform and thus there is an important element of finesse and charisma involved. And the philosopher, whether in person or print, if they are philosophizing they are performing (I would call it „demonstrating?).

  1. There is something to be said for this: the atheist/nihilist/etc. is usually just a stage on the path. []
  2. Yes, “science”, as mathematics is a science. As in the German wissenschaft. []
  3. When people say, “that’s just my opinion”, what people mean is, “my intuition is that X is true”. []
  4. Reference to Nietzsche. []
  5. Comedy actually tends to leave people with a kind of glow. []

On Things Nobody Talks About

There are things that nobody really talks about (I am using the colloquial sense of  “nobody really”  here). I don’t particularly mean the most demonstrably abnormal things you did as a child; I’m interested in the seemingly innocuous things-nobody-talks-about. With that, I’m going to leave the reader with some time to figure out what I’m talking about. I’m not being flamboyantly condescending to leave you with time, because I’m not talking about anything in particular – there are many many examples, and it could take a moment.

Now that you have that list of things, I’m going to talk about them. Your list should not include things like the little sneaky corner-cutting you do all the time; I’m talking about the largely unconscious background social-historical mindset of our culture and any culture. There are things that were never ever mentioned, things that didn’t dawn on you until your mid-life crisis and you can’t believe nobody told you. You never even overheard someone discussing these things to your memory. The ones I’m thinking about in particular are the things that seem to be culturally forgotten or euphemized.

I don’t claim to know what to even say about these things-nobody-talks-about. I could mention them, but I don’t know what to say about them. They are generally unsettling, so even mentioning them is rare. Mentioning them is especially rare because most people in history have never had the time and freedom to think much about them. (By the previous sentence, I am not claiming wisdom (critical thinking check).)

More breaking thoughts on things-nobody-talks-about later.

Ishtar 1987 Funniest movie ever made. Worst?

I feel a little awkward saying this since my only explanation of the events is of cover up and conspiracy, but the 1987 Warren Beatty/Dustin Hoffman/Elaine May Ishtar is up there with Ghostbusters and few others (on my list).

It takes a lotta nerve to have nothing at your age, don’t ya understand that? Most guys would be ashamed, but you’ve got the guts to just say ‘to hell with it’. You say that you’d rather have nothing than settle for less.