Combat Martial Arguments: The Reality Of Dealing With Nitpickers

“Perfect is the enemy of good.” – Aaron Clarey

Special thanks to @consciouscarnivore for the article inspiration, as this started out as a back and forth me and her were having, that I figured would be worth covering here. I’ll be straight with you: Intellectual Openness, admitting that “the more you learn the less you realize you don’t know” and being open to the opinions and facts other have to share, that is a double edged sword.

On one end of the blade, when used correctly it keeps you from being complacent, ensuring you don’t stop and continue to grow. It is the humbleness that not only helps prevent you from thinking you “know enough” since there’s always more to learn and new information to discover, it also grants you the the ability to always find different and even unique ways in which to improve yourself. In that light, Intellectual Openness is a very important tool that makes the rest of your positive life directions possible: it’s pretty hard to, as an example, bench press 300 pounds when you have the mindset that 100 is enough, or worse, your built in maximum.

On the other end of the blade, however, is the “swamp of nitpicking”, where other people use it to tell you you “don’t know everything” and therefore listen to their opinion, which of course is always somehow the “correct one”. This can take many forms (which, since it is a form of sophistry, should come as no surprise), ranging from “well, your philosophy seems well intentioned, but it’s never been tried before”, or “well that’s a nice idea, but it wouldn’t work for [insert reasons here]”, or “I saw a study /anecdotal story that says [insert activity to criticize] isn’t as effective or more harmful than [insert alternate activity here]. Perhaps my favorite one is “well not every person (usually involving some group with whatever traits, whether they were born with or inflicted upon themselves) can do that the way you do it because [insert more reasons].

Sometimes it is a genuine person that really is trying to help you by offering constructive criticism, and that kind of feedback is worth it’s weight in bitcoin. Far more often than not, however, it is someone that is trying to throw sand in your gears and slow you down, possibly even to stop you. There are a few reasons people will do this: the most benign would be erroneously informed about whatever activity (let’s use one of mine, which is wearing weights during my daily*laughcoughs*nightly activities): the sheer amount of statements I got about how bad it would be on your joints or back (it should be noted almost everyone who said this was pretty overweighed themselves with weight you can’t simply take off), how bad it is for my hands (I still think that girl was turned on and couldn’t figure out why), stories of how a guy did what I’m doing and had to get knee surgery, etc. Those I can give a pass to: wrong as they might be, and though the effect is roughly the same, the intent isn’t malevolent.

The other two reasons I believe this behavior happens is, one worse than the other. 1. They want you to stop doing whatever it is out of fear and laziness: if it’s something noteworthy enough for them to get your attention and speak up about, chances are it’s something that requires mental, physical and intellectual rigor and discipline, possibly even a financial investment, some or all of which they are too lazy to do or even worse, makes them uncomfortable that you’re working to improve your life at a degree they’re unwilling to do themselves (True Story: a good friend of mine had one of her childhood friends literally tell her they couldn’t hang out anymore because she was getting in shape and it made her feel bad), and it is far easier to criticize and nitpick from the sidelines rather than take to the field.

Far more insidious than the previous would be reason 2. They have some sort of vested interest that your ideas or activities threaten, whether directly or merely perceived. This is what I would call one of many flavors of evil, because unlike the previous two, this person knows damn well what they’re doing, and would rather stall your progress rather than take responsibility (that’s a curse word these days I know: I’ll wait for you to recover) over what are likely bad life decisions that led to whatever vested interest they’re trying to protect, whether it’s something tangible, or their own damn feelings. Keep in mind that they are working from the opposite premise of philosophy which states that you start with a hypothesis and work towards a conclusion: they “have the correct conclusion”, and their goal is to use your Intellectual Openness to keep you from finding the correct one, or one at all for that matter. And they do this in 3 main ways:

1. Constantly switching arguments, aka the Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. Let’s use taxation as a light easy topical example. Let’s say you had the insane idea of not using a system to pay for various social costs that if you don’t pay into will end with you in jail or 6 feet under, and perhaps using a system where people voluntarily put money towards causes you believe in, like helping starving children. One argument that could be made for taxation is that there are programs available to help needy children, and the counter argument is that ever since said programs, which have been growing in number for decades, have the result of more kids starving than ever before. Do they address that counter argument, or do they jump right to another talking point, almost as if that argument never even happened? A slightly related tactic, usually not even worth pointing out, is when they simply repeat the previous point, as if you hadn’t said anything and that repeating the same talking point you just answered will change reality.

2. Death by a thousand nitpicks. It is far easier to destroy than it is to build. It is even easier to criticize an idea or argument than it is to conceptualize and analyze. For the “starving little Timmy” example, you could point out that when we actually had charitable organizations worth a damn, they would help families that have fallen on heard times. The nitpicking would take the form of “well “not all” (more on this in a moment) kids were helped, and they had to work as newsies or in coal mines where they were underpaid by the robber barons, and what about the kid whose parents dies or were terminally ill, you get the idea. The aim, of course, is to intice you into countering each and every single point individually so that you’re on the defense and therefore you can’t hold them to their own standards of an idea being perfect in order for it to be implemented. The aim, of course, is to hinder your argument to the point that it isn’t worth entertaining, if not to you, to any audience watching the debate, and certainly the person doing the nitpicking.

Alternatively, though related, they’ll try to get you to pursue perfection in your idea, usually in what seems like an encouraging tone. Your idea of voluntarily helping deserving families would miss some that deserve it, or they might not get enough to help “end childhood hunger” (more on that in a moment), therefore until that problem is fixed, we must use the tax system. The intent, of course, is that is a ever moving goalpost meaning were you to take this seriously you’d never get your idea out there, which leads to:

3. Using vague concepts instead of real world examples. This is a very tried, very true way of convincing people to vote against their best interests. For example: the phrase above “ending childhood hunger”. What exactly qualifies as a child that is indeed starving? Is this a kid that’s homeless, one of a littler of 13 kids by 19 fathers in section 8 housing, an orphaned evil genius, or even a child within a nuclear family in the middle of a recession? Or is this simply a term designed to evoke feelings of sympathy and shut down the part of the brain that uses critical thinking (which I bet is actually being bred out of humanity), so you are more agreeable with whatever social program proposed to save the “starving childwen”?

Alternatively, usually if the above tactics don’t have the desired effect, or the person really is that intellectually lazy, they’ll simply use labels in lieu of arguments, often labels preestablished as negative to society. If you’re against taking that rich white guys income to feed those poor kids, you must be pro big business and therefore hate the poor! And since you’re defending those evil white capitalists, you must be a far right wing fascist nazi that wants minorities to be slaves again. If you other people that voice the same arguments and bring data and evidence to back it up, and they committed the original sin of also being born with a pink penis that wants to ejaculate inside of a pink vagina, their arguments are also invalid because of a lack of melanin and a surplus of testosterone, whether they’re right or not. If someone comes to the same conclusion and either aren’t white or not male, they must be some kind of rare unicorn to have those views, because there’s no way they can think things differently from the culture they grew up with.

Side tangent aside, all of these tactics aren’t to help you or debate from a philosophical stance, but to push an agenda that most likely serves their best interests at the expense of yours. Now that you know how to spot them, how do you respond effectively? There’s a few I’ve either adopted or came up with that have served me well, the idea being akin to Combat Martial Arts rather than Movie/Sport/MMA Martial Arts: Rather than a cinematic visually appealing hand to hand duel (or these days, rolling around on a mat in an octagon) that most people associate with fighting, you quickly and effectively defeat and drop your opponent, because you don’t know when the rest of his buddies are coming with weapons.

Minding The Details: Let’s say you face the first tactic of getting machine gunned with different arguments. First, you have to nip that in the bud: I wouldn’t let it go beyond 3 examples. Once they give an argument or example, you counter it with whatever argument, and they attempt to move to a different one, stop them right there and say “excuse me, but I just answered your previous case: are you acknowledging my point as valid, or are you ignoring it completely?” If they have any integrity this will give them a mental jolt, because it’s likely they’re aware they’re even doing it. If they continue to try moving along, you can move along as well with your day because it isn’t worth your time, or you can use Aaron Clarey’s patented Betting Tactic, where you pick whatever point and you have them put money on whether they’re right or not; keep in mind it needs to be an objective provable fact. I personally haven’t had any takers:most either try to squirm out of it and eventually back off, get angry that I’d dare to charge them, or try another talking point, at which you can rinse and repeat the above.

Setting Hard Limits: The best way I’ve found to end it is to ask “how much is enough”. Back to Starving Tanner and the Nitpickers, let’s say the increasing pile of criticisms is starting to get to you, and it’s clear this person has an endless supply of them. What you can say is “O.K., so let’s say that voluntary charity won’t work so we need taxes: what percentage level of taxation would you be O.K. with to “end hunger”? Because it’s been increasing over the decades while the problem is getting worse: at what level would you feel better knowing that Landon will be able to eat?” Again, this usually catches them offguard, so they might throw a random number like 20%, which in the U.S. you can immediately counter with the fact that public spending per GDP is closer to 40%, so it’s already double what they think is enough. That should be all you need to end the debate, though they’ll likely try to squirm to some other figure or another argument, in which case you do what previous paragraph laid out.

Define Your Labels: again going back to the “calorically challenged”, you will commonly get concepts and labels of various vagueness that don’t tie into anything concrete. So you call them out on it: “so you’re all for spending other people’s money to “end childhood hunger”, how exactly do you determine that?” If they’re honest they might quote some statistics about household poverty or other sources of data, in which case you can have a conversation and tackle that directly. More likely is you’ll get more subjective pablum like “well 4 our of 10 households have to choose between their next meal or getting the kids a new jacket for the winter, and we believe no mother should have to make that choice.”, which sounds nice but dodges the question. Here you can ask where they got those numbers, which I wouldn’t recommend: instead I would press them harder on actually defining “childhood hunger”, and whatever answers they give for that you question them as well. Not only does this give you the image of actually being inquisitive, but it turns the tables and put them on the defense instead of you.

Against Me Argument: Coined by Stefan Molyneux, this is reserved mainly for Thanksgiving table arguments. The idea is to accept that whatever argument they have is correct, and whether they’re O.K. with living and let live with yours. The example being taxation: ” So you believe taking money from these groups of people to help out the children, and I accept that. Can we agree to disagree, and let me help out the needy in my own way? “No, you must contribute to my system to help the children!” ” So you’re willing to watch me get dragged off to jail or shot to death because I disagree with your system?” There really are only two responses to this: 1. they agree, in which case you can accurately call them a horrible person in front of everyone and disavow them, since why would you want to associate yourself with them. Or 2. if they value their relationship with you, let alone those around them, the reality of their system will set in, and they’ll be forced to reconsider their position. That would be the time to counteract, and reason with them if possible.

Short Circuiting: one of my favorite tactics to date, reserved for when you know reasoning will be a circular journey. Essentially you tailor a response designed to throw the conversation into a hard left turn that the opponent wasn’t expecting and therefore likely has no defense against, mine heavily favoring comparisons. Examples: this last family gathering one of the kids got into some lotion prompting the mom to spank her. I was standing with one of the family friends and said “yeah, hit the kids, because you can’t figure out how to explain that lotion isn’t food”, to which she replied “oh you know, it’s just a little boop”, doing the little swatting motion. Realizing early on reasoning was off the table, my immediate response was “yeah, just a little unwanted finger up the vagina isn’t so bad, it isn’t actually sexual assault and certainly not rape….” The intellectual discussion ended rather quickly, with her backing out with fan favorite phrases like “we just agree to disagree”, “we’re entitled to our opinions”, etc. It was really punching down with a well placed reverse punch, but since the nice conversation I had the last time didn’t exactly get through, switching to armor piercing rounds was justified to me.

Agree and Amplify: also a fan favorite, though not one I came up with. This is a style of responding to a loaded question, and one you can have a lot of fun with: essentially whatever statement or argument they make you take it and turn it up to 11. “How do you feel about women making $.85 for every dollar a man makes?” “I think that’s rather generous: they’re usually worth maybe $.63 for every dollar a man makes, and that’s if they’re not on the rag!” “So you agree with a system that promotes white supremacy!?” ” Damn straight, I love living in a pro white society that ended slavery: Have you seen what black people are doing in South Africa? We should have white people rule everything!” The true beauty of this tactic is that it takes whatever verbal weapon they were hoping to tag you with and turning it back upon them with even greater force; a true Aikido method of mental submission.

Humoring The Argument: this one can be a bit tricky to pull off, but the idea is to let them go along with their line of logic, and ask questions that pick apart their narrative bit by painful bit, to the point that it becomes ridiculous even to the most basic outside observer, or even them. “Do you believe that climate change is real?” “Well yeah, I thought the climate is always changing, isn’t that called seasons?” “You don’t know of anthropogenic catastrophic climate change? Fossil fuels are warming the atmosphere so fast the planet is in danger of exploding!” “Really? How are fossil fuels warming the planet?” “It puts co2 in the air which acts as a greenhouse gas that threatens all plant life!” “Really? Tell me more, because I was under the impression plants breathed co2 and do better in warmer climates, which is one reason greenhouses are a thing; are you saying that’s not the case?” “Well if the temperature goes too high parts of the earth will be uninhabitable!” “Wouldn’t that mean the colder climates would then be more habitable?” This one is also scalable, but if I’m using it I prefer to let them dig their own grave as deep as possible before adding nails to their coffin.

Mockery & Ridicule: For example, when someone, usually a woman, uses some phrase that blames men for whatever, like “well the man should/should’ve done _____”, the response is “yeah, put the responsibility all on men, because women are children; you can’t trust them with something like that!”. If someone is talking about banning whatever the next hot item is for firearms, “wow, why do you want women to get raped? I thought we wanted them to be equal and be able to defend themselves without relying on men.” “We need to ban plastic straw because environment!” “Yeah, we need at least 90% of the population wiped out via super world wide war/collapse of the economy so resources are scarce again, if that’s really worth complaining about.” “[Insert any complaint women have today about men]” “yeah I can’t imagine why I don’t take women seriously anymore: must just be because I’m sexist and evil or something….” You can deliver these with many kinds of structure and inflection, each giving it’s own spin to it, and while they may seem like just tactics to incite a negative response, I’ve found it can bring out an intrigued impression, as often that style is totally out of left field for them. And finally:

End Game Reasoning: similar to mockery and ridicule, but reserved for the ones that are sand in the engine and know it, there’s no getting through to them because of whatever reason, so you might as well have fun at their expense. There’s a few routes I like to take. One is to completely call out the argument and send it down in flames. “Would you please sign my petition to end childhood hunger?” “You mean vote to take other people’s money to pay a bunch of worthless parasites so maybe some of the money can get Little Timmy some applesauce? No thanks: if I’m gonna waste my time, it’ll be on something fun. Cheers!” “Did you know that Latina women make $.57 for every dollar a white male makes?” “Yeah, and half that number is probably earned by one lovely Latina in San Antonio, and the rest by lazy housekeepers and janitors that barely speak the host country’s language. That answer your question for you?” They might call you names or accuse you of some -ism, but most will know not to fuck with you further. And again, depending on how you tailor the response, you might shock them out of their routine and get them to inquire further.

There are other styles of tackling the nitpickers, naysayers, and otherwise slothful and dishonest people seeking to waste your time, but the idea is to use the weapons you have now, rather than the perfect ones you don’t. Best analogy I’ve heard so far is Stefan Molyneux’s, where he compares it to training a soldier to hit a melon at 30 yards to be considered ready for combat, then a golf ball at 40, then a marble at 50, then a live dragonfly at 75, and oh crap: either the enemy has already overrun your position or he’s too old to fight because his vision is gone. So the question is this my friends: are you willing to run with what’s good enough and learn along the way? Or will you forever be in argument purgatory, arguing until your finite time is gone?

Harassing Instagram Models: Laughter At Humanity Show July 4th Postmortem Special

“The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.” -Rich Cooper

Did you guys make it through the 4th Of July Weekend without losing any digits or in desperate need of skin grafts? I did, and had some delicious wagyu bavette steak strips to boot! Can you tell whether a girl puts in the work at the gym from pics alone, and can guys act like women and be retarded enough to spend money on the dumbest things imaginable? Take yourself a couple shots of 100% agave tequila and listen, down below!

Download Here: July 4th post mortem 1

Direct Listen Here:

Models: @daretaylorofficial, @daniellachavezofficial, @sugartabi.

Link To Article Here:

https://www.insider.com/instagram-star-belle-delphine-sold-used-bath-water-2019-7

Pics of Taylor’s Comments:

Impossibly Unfixable Stupidity: Laughter At Humanity Show Fourth Of July Special

‘Those unable to learn through reason and evidence will have to learn through painful experience.” -Stefan Molyneux/The Goddamn Bacon

Happy Drunken Barbecue And Explosives Day Motherfuckers and Fuckingmothers! While all of you are preparing all of the sides of food that’ll make you fat which you’ll blame the meat for and calculating how many gallons of burn cream and finger splints you’ll need for the 5th, I was right here producing content for your enjoyment and aggravation! Is it worth saving people from their own impending misfortunes, and is the date of the founding of the eventual American empire anything more than a holiday akin to the superbowl? Head right on down below to find out!

Happy Fourth! fourth of July special

Direct Listen Here:

Links to articles so you don’t have to look for them:

Following Rome’s Footsteps: The Reality of America’s Freedom

Producers Over Parasites: The Simple Path To Save The United States

Bonus Patriotic Eye Candy:

 

 

 

 

 

Wiccan Dog Walker: Laughter AT Humanity Show Never Take Women Seriously Spectacular

“See, I just can’t see why I  don’t trust women anymore….” – The Great One, Himself (paraphrased)

It finally happened: the script of the “we can be friends afterwards” has finally concluded, and I give quite the debriefing. on the matter! Am I just a sexist misogynist that’s salty that the priestess moved on to a guy with a bigger wallet, or are there more examples in the real world that makes me have such a low opinion of the female contingent of humanity? Scroll on down below and hear the full story for yourself!

Episode 1: Wiccan Dog Walker: Wiccan Dog Walker !

Episode 2: Not The Father: Wiccan Why I Dont Take Women S

Direct Stream Player:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Pic Credit to Stephanie Marie who, though even she has bigger boobs than her, is the closest I could find to the dog walker as far as she looked when she took me to her bedroom.

Do Nothing Normal: The Laughter At Humanity Show HAO DOO EYE GET DA GURLZ Spectacular!

irl, dating advice, life advice, dating, relationships, relationship, relationship advice, “So what do you have going for you besides your looks?” – Mystery

Millions of boys and men ask this question in a million different forms: How Do I Get The Girls? This jamoke running the site compiles some of his experience, research and painful/pleasurable experience into one episode! Is there really a secret formula to getting laid by the lovely ladies, and did a special guest cast a few doubts on the advice and experience dispensed here? Tune in down below to find out!

How To Get The Girls Here:

MP3 Download Here:

Salacious Sex Stories Laughter

Ah yes, one of the episodes I have been looking forward to recording, at least the second half! Didn’t even get to any articles, but it’s nice to go free form and talk about your own experiences for an hour. Is a devestating heartbreak a requirement to becoming a strong man, and is it possible to get taken home by an post menopausal lesbian and a hot 21 year old within a year? Pour yourself a few glasses of scotch boys and girls, and put in the ear buds!

More Lessons Learned and Fun Sex Stories Here:

MP3 Download Here:

sex stories

Pic Credit: The Lovely Marijo!

Big Isn’t Beautiful: The Reality of the Fat Acceptance Movement

“The number one commodity today behind female beauty, are lies.” – The Goddamn Bacon
The following is an edited conversation with a good friend of the program here on Instagram, who has also provided a lot of the content that’ll be coming up on the next Laughter At Humanity Show. I thought it was good enough to be a good short article here; hopefully you find this enjoyable and insightful:
“Yeah I’ll definitely go a bit deeper into this on the show. But think about it logically: 1. Physically, it’s not healthy, for reasons we don’t need to get into, and 2. Guys aren’t attracted to fat. You can make the case for really destitute times in DurkaDelhiStan where a bit of extra body fat was a good thing (because it meant you were royalty and had excess calories around), or the “exception to the rule” who really is so solipsistic she only cares about her own opinion and likes being “curvy”, even though she feels the need to “broad”cast it (GET IT!?) to the world like that Tacoma chick; we can safely leave those discussions amongst the children to nitpick over while the adults have an actual conversation.
Anyway, here’s the truth of the matter: 1. If they REALLY cared about “body positivity”, there wouldn’t be a need to broadcast it all over the place, and there wouldn’t even be a term like “bodyshaming”: the vast majority of the movement is over something in their control such as being fat or being tatted up everywhere or other bad body decisions, and even if it were for things outside of your control such as a facial deformation or a missing appendage, most people already look down on someone mocking them. And 2. All women know DAMN well what other people want, especially guys. You know one of the reasons I post pictures of hot girls who may or may not be the league of entering my bed? Because those girls, who could be mocked for offering not much else of value, at least acknowledge what other people want, keep themselves in shape, and fucking deliver it. These “body positive” fucks also know what we want, and instead are trying to feed us a fat sandwich when we clearly want lean meat.
That which is a lie has to be propagandized and repeated. Again, those girls I post, some of them barely have to do any advertising, and they’ll headline on here just on clicks alone. These lying sacks have to shout “BIG IS BEAUTIFUL AND IF YOU DON’T LOVE OUR CURVES YOU’RE A FAT SHAMING SEXIST!!!” from the rooftops because they damn well know it’s a lie, both to themselves and to everyone else, and you wanna know why they do this? There’s a deeper reason for this, but the short answer is that they’re lazy. It’s easier to eat like shit and not hit the gym than it is to stay in shape and maybe put down the Hot Pockets every other day. And they’re so pathetic they can’t even do that, and they know it!
Of course, the instant response to this will be the “model” argument. “You just want all women to be skinny twigs!” “Real Men like women with meat on their bones!”. And my favorite: “Well we can’t all look like that!” The whole “Model” argument, as you might start noticing, is just another pivot designed to draw you back to their conclusion and not to convince you of what is true because again, these sacks are lying and they know it: they’d rather control your thoughts than face reality. Just as an aside, you know the reason guys have posters of super fast exotic cars, or when they grow up and become mechanics, signs outside their shop (or, if you’re Rich Cooper, doing podcasts in them)? Because their rare and they stand out. This is also why beautiful women don’t really need to advertise: they stand out. Of course not everyone can be a model: if that were true, there could be no such thing as a model, because they wouldn’t have the rarity to stand out. But you CAN actually keep yourself in shape and eat relatively healthy, since clearly we’re not exactly wanting for food here.
But again, the reason these people are deadset on telling you that they’re beautiful, rather than actually working on being beautiful, is because they’re lazy, and it’s easier to complain and convince the weak minded than it is to put down the ice cream and do some squats. Fine, not every woman is going to look like Danielle Chavez or Gabrielle Union, just like not every guy is going to look like Idris Elba or Chris Evans. But you can damn well at least put in the effort and try! Who knows, maybe to whoever you end up partnering up with might find you even hotter because guess what? The models barely have to work for it: you, by actually working for it, have the extra value of hard work and experience behind whatever good looks you get from hitting the gym and not being lazy, AND it’ll make you appreciate the hard work other people you’re around put in. Not to mention the sheer amount of benefits it gives you down the road of facing reality, rather than running from it.
So which one do you think is going to be the easier path down the road: lifting heavy shit, eating healthy, and putting the effort into giving other people what they want? Or sitting on your ass, subsisting on chocolate cake, and whining about how people don’t believe your increasing number of curves are beautiful?

Homelessness And Cigars: The Laughter At Humanity Show Double Special

“I love it when people suffer. Because if they don’t eventually we all will.” – The Goddamn Bacon

Man, Saturday was so jam packed with fucktardery I didn’t even get to the seafood sickness stories I had in store, which in retrospect is probably a good thing! Part One is the recording about the human manifestation of bubonic plague that is the homeless population here: one about how just one of them costs untold thousands of wasted hours, another detailing why I was up until 5am and not involving a woman in bed. Part Two is the late night bourbon fueled story telling about the misadventure of bringing a cigar to the smoking area populated by cigarette smokers and why an off duty police officer got involved. Did accidentally raise more hell than I actually solved, and were any homeless encampments mysteriously set ablaze? Find out, down below!

Part One Here:

MP3 Download Here:

Hating The Homeless Laughter A

Part Two Here:

MP3 Download Here:

drunk fighting show

Article here:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-hampshire-cafeteria-student-free-meal-job-offer

Downloadable Eye Candy Pic Here:

How to make decisions

This is a test article I am running at the moment. It will likely be changed or updated at some point, but for the most part, it should still prove helpful to you.

There are two proven ways to assess whether doing something is worth it, along with one way I have narrowed down for myself.

Cost/Benefit ratio: how much will this cost versus how much will it benefit you. Example: Buying a candy bar: $.50 for a few moments of delicious satisfaction? Probably worth it. Living on candy bars: $70 a week on one food you’ll be sick of in 3 days and will quickly rob you of your teeth, waistline and dignity? Not a very savvy investment.

Reward/Risk ratio: what the payoff for doing something is compared to the potential backlash. Example: Giving the finger to someone that cut you off in traffic: could cause a newsworthy story of road rage, but will likely do nothing but piss them off and make you feel just a little better. Ramming their car off the road? That will certainly let them know you’re angry at them, but will also damage both vehicles (which you’ll be liable for financially), possibly cause bodily harm to you both, and will certainly cause you quite a bit of legal trouble, amongst other problems.

They do have a key difference: the first emphasizing a known cost, the latter a potential cost. But both are fairly similar, in that both highlight a payoff for yourself, whether material or not. The method I like to use is two-fold:

1. Does the real world reward/benefit outweigh the risk/cost and effort?

2. If not, will it be entertaining enough to justify it? For example, I once bought a drink for some loser at a bar I was sitting at. Waste of $7 in an investment sense, but the show I got watching him stumble around and make a total ass of himself was the most hilarious thing I had seen all week, so in my head this was totally justified. Had this cost me, say, more than $50, or had somehow gotten me into legal trouble, I might sing a different tune about this, but it cost me very little for quite a show.

How does this apply to you? Obviously this isn’t to say you should treat your choice to grab those Reese’s cups at the checkout line like a life or death dilemma: that’s trading a dollar for a treat. But many decisions you make, or are told to make, tend to be very high on the risk/cost side, but with no guaranteed benefit/reward. A few of the things I am against, like marriage, kids, owning a home, getting that doctorate in sociology, etc., happen to be the highest risk for what is arguably a widely varying field of reward.

In your life, you will be faced with many choices, some more important, others more trivial. How you approach those choices will more or less dictate how your life will end up, so it’s very pertinent for you to work out how to make these choices for yourself, and more importantly, learn how to remove emotion from the more important ones. It’s understandable to impulse buy a bacon wrapped Snicker’s, because you only spent like $2 and an hour on the toilet is probably the worst consequence you’ll face (and let’s face it: a bacon wrapped Snicker’s is goddamn worth it).

It’s much harder to take out a loan to buy a Lamborghini and a pet tiger with the same logic. Both are probably awesome to own for a while, but the $2000 oil changes and the regular child maulings aren’t an expense you want to have in the future. And to throw in one that’s both high risk and reward: you could be in dangerous territory, and choosing to escape means you may die, but staying means you will certainly die; choosing to escape is high risk, but the reward is getting away from guaranteed death.

I can’t tell you which each and every single choice is right for you; that’s for you to decide. But, in no small part of watching people take every choice like “it’s destiny” or it’s “meant to happen” or “they deserved it”, and the suffering that comes with it, I implore you to at least figure out for yourself how to make a judgment call to tell whether what you’re about to do, or buy, or participate in, will benefit you, or your future. And in the end, you’re the only one in control of what you do in your future; you might as well pave part of that path for yourself. Hell, if nothing else, make that choice entertaining. You owe at least that to yourself, right?

Right?