if there's a tribe of 150 people and you want to be king, or friends with the king, it might be tempting to think that you should just go straight to the king. but that's not actually a smart idea IME, unless you have something truly remarkable to bring to the table–
and even then, like, what do you know about the culture? what if people who have the audacity to talk to the king are killed by the kingsguard instantly on sight? you don't know. the first thing you need to actually do is collect info. best thing to do is talk to little guys
if you see anybody that needs help in some small way, it's typically worth helping them out. everybody appreciates being helped in a pinch. if you're generous/abundant about it without being clingy and needy, people start to like you and trust you and they'll tell you stuff
you can learn this stuff from video game stories. you start by doing the small sidequests. Aloy was a literal Outcast, but she saved a boy's life, and so she earned his loyalty and respect. she basically repeats this for like a dozen other people and bootstraps her own gang
people will tell you things as an outsider that they don't discuss with their own peers, and if you talk to enough people you can begin to develop an understanding of the people that the people themselves don't have
the point is that you want to have a better understanding of the king's people than the king himself does. and unless the king is truly excellent at his job, this is actually often achievable – because in a way the incentives are stacked against him. bad news does not travel up
at this point I think it's interesting to point out that... the path to serving the king and the path to usurping the king can be remarkably similar. you need knowledge. you need a network of relationships. the real difference actually boils down to the king's own fitness to rule
an important thing to know as early as possible and as well as possible is how the king is going to respond to your growing power and influence. realistically you should probably assume the worst
so there are a few paths

1- can you stay hidden from the king until you have more power than him? (stealth mode, lol)

2- can you persuade the king that you want to serve him, and that you are not a threat? (depends)

3- should you try to usurp him early-ish? (very risky)
I mean, the whole thing is infinitely complicated depending on the circumstances, the people's assessment of the king (if they love him then you basically gotta wait/serve), your own goals (why do you want power or proximity to power, anyway? like, really interrogate this)
oh yea an entire alternate path is that sometimes you can marry the king, lol
in contemporary life, most status games aren't as austere as "you win or you die" – you can often fail quite gracefully, lick your wounds and rebuild your network/wealth/etc and start over with something else, somewhere else. Jobs got fired from Apple and returned stronger for it
the critical thing is that when you fail, when you lose, you have to accept the L and then set about to learning, recovering, rebuilding. Your biggest defeats can be the sources of the renewal-rebirth that leads to your greatest triumph

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More from @visakanv

23 Feb
it's amazing how, in the absence of Having A Job, I somehow find a way to put myself in a position where I have at least two important sets of things to do, so that I can procrastinate anyway
it will be interesting to eventually become Fully Financially Independent just to see how I figure out creative new ways to avoid my work
(currently torn between "I have an ebook that's due on Feb 28" and "I have a salon I want to prepare for on Mar 13", both entirely self-inflicted)
Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
possibly the most interesting usage of the word "but" I have ever seen
you can simplify the second half of the sentence to be, "I also believe we must... do science"

which then translates to

"I believe in following the science, but I also believe we must do science" 🙃
which suggests to me that "following the science" is a euphemism for kowtowing to the scientific establishment, which perhaps might occasionally have a cursory and incidental interest in doing a little science
Read 6 tweets
23 Feb
btw supplying these bins was/is my family business so I kind of have feelings about these bois
sometimes my dad would drive me to school in one of these Image
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
periodic reminder that my youtube channel has one of the best comments sections around and is a great place for thoughtful people to hang out Image
"wait, Visa, are you writing full-length responses to every comment you receive?"

yep glad u noticed

I have always been like this, which is why I get everything I want in life

well, part of why.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
a thing i've gotten very good at that I just helped a friend in DMs with is de-escalating other people, eg someone DMs you a massive wall of text, how do you respond to that? I'ma try and share what I can without being too specific
if I get a huge wall of text, I tend to start by laughing and acknowledging ("haha wow this is intense!") – this punctures the solemnity somewhat

if there are lots of intense questions, I try to give short, breezy answers
(fictional eg)

"> should I quit my job and dedicate my life to becoming a therapist"

"yooo that's a big decision. i would take my time with it, talk to more ppl"

> "what does it mean when a lover abandons you?"

"oof that's rough. idk. everyone is running their own diff BS"
Read 9 tweets
22 Feb
i think a lot about all the harsh and critical things people have said about me over the years. i don’t have an actual thread about it because that would come across as psychotic, but i kind of have an informal thread of threads about it in my head
A bit of conventional wisdom i dont agree with is “ignore the haters”. i try to keep tabs on my haters with the same sort of general curiosity that i use to keep tabs of everything else. its a kind of dark and dangerous knowledge but so is learning about people, i think
the danger of immersing yourself too long in your worst thoughts is that you lose all sense of proportion and mistake it for reality, but my antidote to that is to simultaneously immerse myself in the best things, and also to periodically disassociate/depersonalize entirely
Read 10 tweets

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