2557 The HD Management Method.

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I’ve actually thought about sitting down and writing this book, or something like it, a few times. Unfortunately even I have difficulty taking “treat people like they have value” and making it the length of a book. Also the concept seems simple to me, so I have a hard time believing that there are people so maladjusted that it would be difficult for them to comprehend. This in spite of the fact that I know, without a doubt, that they exist. I have stared in to the eyes of a rich sociopath and seen the deep, Lovecraftian, emptiness within. Wealthy people are just like any other kind of person. There are good ones and bad ones. The bad ones are chilling to be around though. You can sense that they see no value outside of themselves. That animal danger sense we have begins to sound in the presence of such a person. If you died right in front of them, by way of their action or inaction, they would simply go about their day with no more thought of the incident then one might experience after stepping on a bug. It is my considered opinion that the American political class is inundated in such people, but we’ll leave that subject for others to worry about.

I naively thought that once I escaped retail I would exist outside of this paradigm, but that isn’t the case. The ripples of that toxic mindset effect things up and down the chain. You might get farther away from the system, but you can never truly remove yourself from it; outside of relinquishing your life. Someone, somewhere, thinks you owe them something and they will stop at nothing to get it from you. If they find they can’t get it from you once they find you they will lock you up, or murder you, out of spite for daring to resist.

Or perhaps I’m just being paranoid.

In any case, I still exist in the system and need resources, so if you wish to share your resources with me, in exchange for my efforts, please use the links above. I don’t know for certain what my weekend holds in store, but my guess is more cleaning. I will, however, meet you back here at the agreed upon time. Until then, whimmy whim wham whozzle.


The YouTube channel “Beau of the Fifth Column” has, a few times, gone into the idea that being a nice person is often less expensive than being a shit. He generally talks about politics, though, so approach with a suitable level of caution.

I had the idea occur to me yesterday of categorizing people as “punitives” or “supportives.” I was also talking politics when I came up with the idea, but it has a broader general application. In a nutshell, how do you persuade people, carrot or stick? How do you help people, by assisting them out of their situation or by making their situation uncomfortable enough for them to be motivated out? The answers to those questions and those like them put you somewhere on that spectrum between punitive and supportive.

In politics, this is more telling than the labels of “conservative” or “liberal.” Although there are definite trends for the political poles to align with the punitive/supportive axis I’m proposing I can’t claim that correlation is firm. I work with a supportive conservative, and his existence demonstrates that the ideas can be separated.

I trend strongly supportive, but I can’t claim to be fully so. You see, I have kids, and sometimes they need both kinds of push.

You really can’t talk about economics without talking about politics, since economics has a very political side to it. People vote with labor and money whether or not a business exists, and they do it for a number of reasons that often coincide with their politics/ethics. It’s weird that trade is a type of democracy, but it is what it is.

Conservative vs liberal is just the cultural/social side of politics. To be fair, being purely “conservative” means is that you stick to tradition over change, maintain the status quo and family* over other groups of people. Pure “liberal” just means you seek progress, seek to adjust society for change and individuals mean more than the group.
Economically, the politics are adjusted to socialism (everyone puts money in, everyone benefits regardless) vs capitalism (investment drives access to personal wealth/ownership).

And then there’s the power dynamic of politics. How authoritarian vs democratic your government is.

That’s why political parties evolve over time. I mean, we have two parties here in the US that are nothing like the parties they used to be pre and post Civil War. If anything, one party adopting the name “Conservative” just recently has polluted the meaning of what that word actually means. Same with “Liberal” or “Progressive.” The problem that exists is when a country is influenced primarily by the economic factor over all the others, which often then determines how power and social policy goes.

Politics aside, supportive/punitive is a very interesting way to approach economics. Typically, everyone benefits from a more supportive economic structure, but then you run into ego and possessiveness that drive the more punitive policy. And still remain a political tool for interactions.

The other shift occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, when anti-civil rights Southern Democrats jumped ship to the Republican party, who, as you allude to, were the anti-slavery party (Republicans) running up to the Civil War. The nuance of this is often lost when some try to tout themselves as the party of Lincoln, despite doing all they could to keep a racial devide, and the status of non-whites as secondary citizens.

I think we need more of a supportive structure at the micro level, but not so much at the macro; you can get more out of employees who are respected and appreciated and feel like they have a personal stake in the company, but you can’t progress the economy in general by being nice and playing along–you need to cut costs, you need to innovate, you need to maximize your market share at the expense of your competition. A company that is being run into the ground by a nice boss needs to be shut down or bought out and restructured, NOT supported in it’s mismanagement out of a sense of charity–that’s just throwing good money after bad.

It pretty much sums up why the political system can never truly represent the people as the people themselves are perpetually divided between a conservative vs liberal approach to certain values and a supportive vs punitive approach to economics. Such circumstances will always clash by the issue to which we as a people are not fully astute enough to comprehend the mutual differences to come to a collective resolution. It’s why I no longer pay attention to political campaigns anymore.

To tie into this idea:

One thing I struggle with sometimes is-

being a nice guy involves [work].

To me- being a nice guy/person means I have to do the work to make a conscious decision- to act nicely + politely to other people…and I guess to me as well, instead of taking the path of: saying whatever I want, doing whatever I want, and insulting people whenever I want to, and things like that.

I’m not saying to you that “my life is a big tragedy”…or anything like that, but sometimes putting in the extra effort to smile + be kind to others, when I’m feeling [totally tired], can be a difficult thing.

In my opinion:
being the nice guy, or being the nice person, can be as tough as [beep], sometimes.

You know what I mean? *shrugs*

That actually makes me think of personal trainers; I remember watching some guy (like a reporter or something) record his workouts with one trainer who was like “COME ON, 5 MORE!” and then another trainer who was more “Alright, you can do it, just 5 more to go!” I don’t even remember what the outcome was, but people definitely respond differently. It’s understandable that many people prefer the nice approach be used, but the problem is that it doesn’t always work–folks just get tired of the carrot. And further, I think people get too acclimated to it and their personal Overton window shifts, such that the nice example I gave above is still too mean, and they want “Okay, if you could please do 5 more, that would be excellent, thank you” for absolutely everything, aka, everyone has to walk on eggshells because they think everything besides gentle fawning is aggressive. If someone is ACTUALLY aggressive to them, they would literally break down in tears; I’m not trying to make fun of them, I am saying they have developed poorly and can no longer handle the slightest confrontation or difficulty.

TL;DR We can’t exclusively be supportive and nice, people need prodding. After all, without the prodding of nature, we’d all be indolent and aimless.

I don’t think it’s the notion that people get tired of the carrot so much so as it’s the complacency of being fed with it to the point that nothing else matters.

But you are correct about the need to strike the balance between being nice and being assertive. It’s not about not “knowing” the other person’s struggle that you can’t make a judgement call, it’s about shaping people to deal with the challenges of life in a proper human fashion.

Bigger challenge than you might think. Scott Adams tried to write an investment book once, but it turned out to be like one page. Pretty simple stuff, too. Fund your IRA, fund your 401K, buy index funds and don’t touch them until retirement. But you can’t sell a one-page book. People think they’re paying mostly for the cover.

The kind of person you describe sounds like what I’ve seen referred to as a “functional” or “successful” psychopath. I did some cursory research a while ago, and the best summary, I find, is by researcher Robert Hare, comparing them to “regular” psychopaths (paraphrased, lacking the full, exact quote): they don’t rob banks, they run them. I wouldn’t be surprised if you recognised elements from his checklist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy_Checklist. This book excerpt is also quite interesting: http://www.hare.org/charming.html. Of course, there’s also narcissists, who share the trait of not caring about others feelings. I’ve had the difference explained to me thus: a psychopath needs to harm others in order to feel good.

Having lived through several management trends (a nice word for fads) I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that they are the result of people feeling like they needed to justify their existence. You get a new set of buzz words and acronyms and the paper work changes a little but the end task and the people doing it stay the same. I had a boss that was always wanting me to describe how we “Caught lightning n a bottle” when it was usually just the day in-day out of people showing up and doing the job. Unfortunately that doesn’t go far when you are competing for budget money.
I have met some sociopathic management and can confirm that they have tentacles underneath the glamour.

You mentioned wealthy people that have a Lovecraftian emptiness inside, that you can see in their eyes.

I’ve had the misfortune to meet a few of those who aren’t rich. One was a college roommate. It was especially nerve-wracking because he was studying to be a minister. I sort of wondered if his Professors couldn’t see what was behind his face.

I’m not sure which kind would be more dangerous. After all, the poorer sort can and will destroy you *physically* rather than emotionally or economically.

Yeah, when the last company I worked out decided to sell out to a growing corporate group, I actually met the CEO when he came to the store; he even spoke with each of us privately. And it was sort of uncomfortable–I knew every word out of his mouth was a lie, it was obvious, but he was now my boss, so I just had to sit and listen. And man, that company didn’t even try to stick to the promises that guy made, not even superficially. I don’t know why he bothered with the charade.

Usually, the power hierarchy shows that it doesn’t really matter whether the individual is right or wrong, it’s whether they’re in charge or not. When you work in that hierarchy, it’s the price you pay for a paycheck.

I’d like to add a selfish motive to this hypothetical fictional book. “Their good morale can improve your morale” or something like that. Maybe that’s a little too obviously pandering to actual villains.

Maybe a more realistic contribution would be stories of improving employee treatment leading to them improving the business themselves, and also stories of how other companies that tried being too nice to bad employees *didn’t* end up crashing but instead avoided trouble.

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