Recently James Altucher hosted a reddit-style AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Twitter. I had a question for him. An important question. A question that if I had the correct answer to, it would bring about global change. I have a solution, a theory of sorts that is so simple, yet has the potential to completely change our world. I was reaching out, honestly, in need of an answer to my question.
The problem I am having is, I am apparently a terrible communicator. Because, a logical person would assume that if there were a simple solution for many of the world’s problems, why would it not be implemented, at least considered, and at the very least not discouraged? I do not know the answer to that question, nor the question I asked Altucher, which was:
Before I jump to his answer, I would like to note a few points.
Again, I am a terrible communicator, I am trying to become better, but in the meantime, I will attempt to occasionally summarize what I have written. Perhaps if I say it two ways, I will be less misunderstood.
My point is, I am trying to make this world a better place. I CARE. Some people think I am on to something. Some people think I am fucking insane. I believe both camps to be absolutely correct. It is unfortunate how both sides of an argument are usually absolutely correct in what they say and believe, but arrive at different conclusions.
I would like to reiterate, my question was not motivated by the desire to secure a round of financing, a strategic partnership, selfishness or surrounded by superficiality, but rather by the desire to make this world better, not just for me, for everyone. EVERYONE. Humanity. An emerging civilization. Not by attacking or competing against, but rather through full cooperation of only those who are willing and able. Not exclusionary in any way, except to maximize the efficiency by eliminating the waste in the system, Capitalism, as it is, Corporatism. Not excluding PEOPLE, just reducing corporate control through some good old fashion competition, although, we should call it cooperation. Corporations, good luck competing with a system willing to forsake profit (inefficiency in the system) for humanity.
I digress, this post is not about the solution. It is about stopping a rogue agent.
My Question – His Response
His response (this is how you quote, James), “@MadeOpen im glad the system is the way it is. but it does mean there is a huge opportunity for the people who choose themselves to break free”.
I have several concerns with his response. In 50 years from now, a response like that will get you put away for further mental evaluation. I am not judging the person making the statement, I just personally have a big problem with his perspective. And when that perspective is shared, in an influential way, how can he possibly say, “Everything I do now, I do because I loved but I didn’t care.”? He claims to not be giving advice, but for some reason, people are hanging on his every word, without critical thought. People are caring about what he has to say, not thinking, caring. The irony in all of this is painful. And at its core, it is divisive and corrosive.
Some people don’t know they are bound by a system, don’t know they have a choice, or think they have a choice, don’t know they are imprisoned, and therefore, how can you put that on them? And you cannot pat yourself on the back for taking something that is truly not yours. Opportunity comes and goes with awareness. Have you ever been at an event and food was served and you didn’t find out until the food was gone? Did you really have an opportunity to eat? My apologies, analogies are like pie charts.
The difference in our underlying assumptions lead to different conclusions. Our perspectives are worlds away, but only a few words from being the identical. I am not sure where our assumptions do not align, but I am sure that they will align perfectly in a short span of time. In an effort to figure out where my assumptions did not align with James, I had to make sure he cared about other humans. Sure it is, as he put it, an “Odd question.” But some people I have asked, honestly will say they do not care about humanity. I was definitely not prepared for his response.
Altucher felt the need to bring our exchange up in a Facebook post about, ironically enough, not caring. Rather than actually quote me, and therefore exposing the faults in his thought process and perspective, he chose to misquote me, without any attribution or source, in order to prove a point, I assume, to deliver an agenda. The worst part was not misquoting me, but misquoting himself and pulling it all out of context to serve his agenda.
Here is the quote, sourced, in context, from Altucher’s Facebook post titled, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T CARE.
My actual response:
Sometimes I react more emotionally than I would like, and sometimes I am not nearly emotional enough to be considered part of, that which I fight hard for, humanity. I should have used the word “ignorance” rather than “stupidity”. Honestly, I don’t even like the word “stupid”, although, admittedly have used it most my life. I too have gone through and continue to go through the same growth process (not path) as everyone else. It is not linear and we can all learn from each other. We stand on the shoulders of giants and walk side by side. It is not that one person has the final say, but rather than we are a collective of knowledge, and knowledge seekers, in its infancy of organizing and pursuing knowledge. Question everything.
Altucher’s response was ignorant and ironic on a few levels. To say that we are insignificant in the universe is to separate anything from everything, which literally affects everything, by definition, it shrinks the whole. You cannot remove something from the whole with affecting the whole. Nothing is insignificant in this universe. The difference in our perspectives is polarizing, but at the same time, so close. Nothing is far off in this world. And to say it is important to him to remember but in the same breath, that we are not special, is circular, ironic. He believes he is not special since the whole is not special, but what he thinks is important to him. Sounds mad.
I have trouble with many points in just this one Facebook post and a few “tweets”. Not just the trickery or tomfoolery, marketing, and self-promotion, but rather the perspective that he is getting others to adopt, unintentionally (to give him the benefit of the doubt).
He says things like:
“Once people realize you have no agenda, I can tell you for a fact they start to trust you. I feel more trust from people than I have ever felt in my life.”
The message is on point, but the problem is, he does have an agenda. The point should not be, to be void of agenda, but rather to have an agenda that is not exclusionary, or exclusive, especially of oneself. The trust James is feeling should be short lived unless he is willing to upgrade his perspective, to evolve. The good thing for these capitalists over the next 10 years or so is, regardless of their true intention, a lot of money is going to be made by people who claim to be serving the people. I suggest The People follow the money trail, if you see profit, you see inefficiency and should seek to eliminate it. Unless you have an agenda, profit perhaps?
Please, James, don’t be a “free radical”, they tend to be carcinogenic to the system.
The system needs you. The system needs everyone. The system is everyone. Don’t separate yourself from the system of nature, separate yourself from the system that corrupts nature, from the system I am trying to disrupt, to evolve.
I am only “following” (walking among) people who I want to derive value from, or get in contact with. I found out about James, read a few articles, listened to a podcast or two, was initially impressed, but then saw the holes. The assumptions that are underlying in his position leave me, well, leaving. Yes, it is “working” for him, for now, and that validation will soon be swept away. If he doesn’t change his measurements of success, he will be back to worrying. I think James may be confusing “worry” for “care”, but I am no wordsmith. The advice on his post should have been more along the lines of: when you decide to do something, do it, don’t worry about anything that comes from it, do it, then move forward. But surely care. Care about the reason you do it. Care about the output of it. Care about its impact that you can see, and most of all, care about the impact that you do not see.
Care Altucher, care.
In the Twitter exchange, I will give Altucher the benefit of the doubt of using a communication tool that suffers severe retardation, as not even god could communicate the intent of his message in 140 characters or less. There are MUCH better ways to solve our own problems. I apologize for digressing to the solution, the thing that drives me, I will stay on point.
James, you have things worth saying, worth hearing. In fact, I obviously respect you as a fellow human, and am not saying goodbye to you in return, but rather, James, I am here to help you, to serve you, in any way I can that will best help humanity. Since we “follow” each other on Twitter, you can message me there.
I don’t want help rocking the boat. I want help violently raising and lowering the seas until there is nothing left of the boat. Then I want help rescuing the survivors. The People. We are all survivors. We will all survive.
– This was my stone. Reaching for another. If you come across this one, pick it up, so you too, will have a stone in your hand.