Aug 15, 2012

Altruistic egoism

(it's ferragosto. Everyone is at the beaches. The cities are deserted. The espresso-machine is operated by some students from Australia. It is too hot to think, let alone write. Period.)
What do you think when you see such a twitter-profile "Researcher, therapist, artist, writer..." - decorated with a lascivous-looking long-haired chick? Well: You believe because you doodled some almond-eyed fairies on a piece of paper that you are an artist? Your "dear diary..." makes you a writer? Endless chatter with your girlfriends about their messed-up relationships made you a therapist? And clicking through wikipedia warrants the title "researcher"?
The net is full of those characters.
People seem to want to label themselves. We all want to stand for something. We want to brand ourselves:"Researcher, therapist, artist, writer...". But even if it looks like it: life, even life on twitter, is no computer-game. No matter how much energy is put into self-branding, it has to be backed up by hard facts at some point. On the net you can survive a bit longer with the usual smoke-screens. There are simply some billion people around. A few hundred or thousand will always follow you. It is the quantum-noise of the social fabric.
A wonderful example for the opposite approach is James Altucher. He seems to strip himself of any labels that might be interesting for the outside world, simply produces a deluge of rather egoistic thoughts - and leaves the branding to others. I have my difficulties with his blog - I actually started reading it instead of drinking 12 Espressi, just to get my pulse up and flood the systems with adrenalin.
This was when I had him in the advice- and self-help-drawer, which I, frankly, can't stand. At all. No matter, who writes them. But I learned to read Altucher as an individual. Ignoring, what I'd rather not read and enjoying his biting and hilarious style. I understood: he is practicing altruistic egoism.
And just as I type these lines, James comes up with an article on 'un-labeling'. In his very James-Altucherian style. Enjoy the last lines there:"what is left? You. You're left. I'm right"

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