Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Relative Perception and How We Act

Relative perception can be used for designing games, casinos, and web pages, sure. I have found it to apply to a much wider range of things, however.

Here is a blog entry. It's just a blog about how to be rich - same advice as everyone else on the matter - but this particular entry is interesting. It's about barriers, and how to deal with them. And use them.

Barriers are very much a relative perception concept, as my post here shows. The act of removing or creating barriers to change your daily life is simply an application of relative perception.

Don't want to watch TV? Don't have a TV around. Obviously, right? However, most people think like this: "I'll just watch less TV." They should be thinking like this: "I need to get rid of the TV," because the human mind is shaped by its environment. Controlling your environment is the first step into controlling your mind, and it's easy to understand which parts of your environment need to be modified if you think in terms of relative perception.

Darius is running a series on networking, which you can find here. Darius is the best networker I know, so the series should be very high quality. My point here is that networking is a simple application of relative vision: Darius is shaping his environment by exposing himself to as much up-and-coming mojo as he can.

This not only puts him in the "in" crowd, it shapes him into a more successful person personally: when you know and are measuring yourself against successful people, you will push yourself harder than if you weren't. This will make you more successful even if your goals and resources are exactly the same.

You navigate the patterns which are avilable to you. Every pattern you can sense exerts a pressure on you, depending on how well you understand that pattern and how much emotion you've invested in it.


That was the ending. This is an appendix.

I'm far more brutal than Darius. At least, if he's as brutal as I am, he hides it better than I do. But, that said, his lesser brutalities are on a scale I can't hope to match.

What do I mean? I had better explain, since he'll probably read this.

I'm talking about networking.

You only network with people you think have a future. Or, I suppose, you think are of some use to you. You don't network with the naive kid, you don't network with the "losers" - however you choose to judge it. They suck up time and often money, without offering any possibility of anything of value in return.

My discarding of people I don't see any reason to associate with is quick, pre-emptive, and thoroughly brutal. However, I don't really meet very many people I need to disassociate myself from, so it's relatively rare to see me perform my "asshole dance". I'm sure if you keep your eyes on this blog, you'll see it eventually.

Darius, on the other hand, is a networker who meets hundreds of people every time he goes to anything. He makes friends with a very specific subset and "discards" the rubbish. Unlike me, he doesn't actually discard them, he simply never approaches them or brushes them off when they approach him. Man, he's more patient than me. Still, even if they don't realize it, they have been judged and found wanting.

Both of our behaviors can be easily explained using relative perception.

We are both expanding our vision. Imagine your brain is a casino, and each thought and opportunity is a customer to your casino. Every contact, every friend you have, is a slot machine or other gambling device.

The thing is, not all slot machines are equal. Darius and I, along with 99% of everyone else out there, want to use the best slot machines we can find. We want our thoughts and opportunities to put their quarter in, pull the lever, and get a rush of money.

If a slot machine has a shitty chance of paying off, we won't use it. The only reason we would ever have it would be for ambience.

Darius has a lot of slot machines, and is constantly acquiring more.

I, on the other hand, don't much like to gamble. Therefore, I don't go looking for slot machines. Occasionally, someone comes to peddle me one. 99% of the time, it's someone trying to peddle me one with really bad odds.

Therefore, I take preventive measures. It isn't worth my time. Darius has a different set of priorities, so he doesn't have to take preventive measures.

That's the way it works. I can even show you the math. :)


Darius Kazemi said...

Actually, even the naive folks I will approach (if there's nothing else I should be doing). I'll give you an example of why I do this.

If there's some kid with not much experience, and I go out of my way to talk to him, and to coach him, he becomes my friend. I've done this at many a Boston Postmortem. At the same time, if I go a step further and help land this kid an interview, or an internship, this is even better. This person will always, forever, be on the lookout for me, and maybe in five years he'll call me and tell me something I want to know. Or maybe in five years I'll call him and ask him to quit his job and come work for me. Who knows? It never hurts to be friendly. Especially if you try to make your friends more competent. Then, given time, you won't have any friends who aren't worth something.

I'll probably respond more formally on my blog.

Craig Perko said...

I understand that. I believe my use of the word "naive" means something slightly different. I mean the kid that goes, "I'm gonna make a really awesome MMORPG! Someone give me money! Why isn't anyone excited?"

Darius Kazemi said...

Okay, I can see that.