How To Be a Human

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by James Altucher: Nine
Ways To Light Your Creativity ONFIRE



altucher is a f’ing idiot on parade” someone wrote on
a message board the other day.
I don’t really like parades.
But it got me to wonder about the psychology of people who take
valuable time out of their day to write things like that. Not just
about me but about anyone.

In general
people get angry at me because I say in various ways that the world
is not falling apart. That we’re not all going to die at the
hands of some obscure European debt crisis or whatever the latest
crisis of the week is in the media.

Many people
feel very strongly against some of my opinions. One woman wrote
an article “James Altucher is an idiot” and then when
she was getting zero views she emailed me the article so she’d
have at least one view. To guarantee one view you can email me an
article titled “James Altucher is an idiot” and
I am sure to read it at the very least out of curiosity.

Other people
replied on various message boards about what a F****ng loser I was,
etc etc.

They seem to
care more about my opinions than I do.

If my daughter
comes to me and says, “I’m sad because I’d like to
have more friends” then I would care about that. If my wife
were sick I’d care about that. If I was sick I would VERY much
care about that. I’m selfish. I’d care about my own sickness
more than I’d care about my daughter’s ability to make
friends. I also care if I am writing interesting things. Or if I’m
reading books that will make me a better writer. Of if I’m
winning more at chess now that I’m taking chess lessons. I
care about these things. If people write to me and ask for advice,
I care a lot about the advice I give. But about the rest of the
world, I don’t care at all. How big can one head be?

Why do I sometimes
care about the stock market?

First off,
I can’t put this more bluntly: I’ve been ass-fucked repeatedly
by the stock market for the past 15 years.

I’ve written
before 10
reasons you shouldn’t buy stocks
(even though I am very
bullish on it). Nobody should. I give ten reasons but the main reason
is: you buy a stock, then the media has people all over the place
saying, “the end of the world is here so you better get out
of stocks”, then everyone sells stocks, then the stock market
goes straight up. Why does the media do that? The obvious reasons:
fear and greed sell papers.

I’ve seen
this happen every time, the exact same pattern: summer 1997, summer
1998, summer 1999, 2000-2002, summer 2004, summer 2005, late 2008/early
2009, summer 2010, and now summer 2011. Oh! I almost forgot: summer
1995 (“irrational exuberance”). But I wasn’t in the
stock market then so I didn’t care.

October 1987
also. The market collapsed, everyone thought the world was over.
FOOLED YOU! The market went straight up for years after the big

But if I try
to remind people of this simple pattern that happens over and over
again, a lot of people get angry. I’m not upset at them. I
don’t blame anyone for being angry at me. But I can tell you
exactly why they were angry.


  • Their fathers
    or mothers didn’t love them.
  • Other kids
    beat on them.
  • Girls (or
    guys) didn’t like them or called them names.
  • Their friends
    backstabbed them.

So now they
want to do the same to other people. So rather than working at their
jobs they go from article to article and whatever message boards
they can, then anonymously spew their hate.

Many of these
people would like to kill themselves. I hate to say it but it’s
true. I feel bad for them. How do I know they would like to kill
themselves? How can I possibly be so psychic as to know this, particularly
since in most cases they are anonymous so I don’t even know
what sex, age, race, religion, location, they are.

I know this
because they want the world to end. They keep blaming their problems
on how bad the world is. How the world is falling apart. How we
“borrowed too much” or how “the United States is
going to fail” or how “Europe is going to take us down”
or how “China is going to take over the world”. It’s
an easy excuse so they don’t have to blame themselves on their
own failures. They can blame me instead because I don’t think
“China is going to take over the world”.

the rest of the article

24, 2011

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