The origins of the NEET epidemic

I.

I have a special responsibility within my company. I started out by picking up the phone and talking to the idiots -pardon me- customers, but now I cultivate mescaline cactuses in the office and tripsit my boss. I shouldn’t take all the credit for that myself, the company was founded by someone who got a good idea after smoking DMT, so our psychedelic tradition existed before I joined the place. Nonetheless, I’m honored to carry on the torch.

I’ve learned to accept over the years that you shouldn’t try to explain psychedelics to your parents. Your parents hear “psychedelics” and think “drugs”. When they think “drugs”, they think of the local “youth” who sit on a bench somewhere, playing loud music with their scooter and thereby terrifying the elderly into voting for whatever guy promises to send them back to their parents country of birth. I think of Ernst Jünger, Aldous Huxley, the aphorisms of Angelus Silesius, the Bhagavad Gita and the growing body of scientific literature that suggests these substances are capable of healing lingering issues in your brain. I’ve considered telling my brother, but if your life is predominantly happy and carefree then you’re not really going to understand it either.

“No one has the audacity to exclaim: “I don’t want to do anything!” —we are more indulgent with a murderer than with a mind emancipated from actions.” -Emil Cioran

II.

It’s a little awkward when people say their lives are difficult because they’re smart. Besides the fact that it’s always awkward when people beat their own chest, for many smart people life seems relatively easy. Let’s scrap the word smart for a moment. If you’re a young man with asocial niche interests, who can’t genuinely motivate himself to climb the social ladder and who enjoys browsing Wikipedia more than going to a party, your life is going to be relatively difficult. When new phenomena like social media or cryptocurrency come into existence that don’t require Phd’s or four year college degrees for you to participate in them, these are the kind of guys who end up taking up prominent roles in setting up the phenomenon.

I’d like to keep it simple and say that the same personality traits that allow you to pursue innovation and novelty are the same traits that make other aspects of your life more difficult. For one, jumping through hoops becomes difficult. When I talk to these kind of guys, college is typically an experience that seems to have been so nightmarish for them that they don’t want to talk about it. I expect the same thing happened to them that happened to me. These guys managed to jump through all the hoops back in high school simply by sucking up the knowledge spewed by their teachers. Now they’re expected to motivate themselves to study, so it goes wrong. The only courses I personally managed to pass in college tended to be the statistics classes that mostly tested your math skills. These were the classes where all the girls who studied hard and normally got the highest grades suddenly got bad grades. It’s worth noting that some of these guys have fathers who work as college professors. Is it far-fetched to suggest that in a society where college attendance skyrockets, the original core demographic starts to struggle to fit in?

III.

It’s not just education that becomes difficult for a lot of these young men. Relationships often become difficult too. A number of them are my age and never had a girlfriend. I lucked out a bit in that regard so far, but I can perfectly understand why it would be difficult for them. Let me give a simple example. You talk to a girl at a party, you get along well with her and she’s a pleasant charming girl, with a bubbly personality. She’s clearly into you. You look her up on Facebook and you realize she likes Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner’s Facebook pages.

Can you still do it? I’ve had that happen to me and I don’t think I will be able to. I can still see she’s beautiful, I can still notice she is a sweet and caring girl, but now it becomes impossible to make it work. I might try to force myself to continue going through the motions and a lot of guys are somehow capable of that, but I would start struggling to avoid slipping my guard. I can just imagine how it would go wrong. She’d ask me what I did the last weekend, I’d accidentally be honest and tell her I spent a whole day playing Dwarf Fortress, reading on Wikipedia about the Taiping rebellion, randomly riding around outside on my bicycle at 11 PM or comparing different senolytics. It becomes undeniable for her that she’s talking to a socially incompetent weirdo, the connection dies, the hope is lost, we both realize we will never be able to genuinely connect at a meaningful level and we try to end it on a cordial note. Some other guys would just manage to be dishonest and probably eventually sleep with her.

Nothing lasts forever. Everybody you have ever known or loved will someday die. We all die alone in spasms of agony

IV.

You know this, I know this, everyone knows it. There’s a huge demographic of young men whose brains are so devoted to obscure masculine niche interests with very little real world relevance, that they’re going to struggle to relate to other people at a meaningful level. Why do so many young adult men now sit at home unemployed, playing video games and jacking off to anime? They’re not ugly, at least not ugly enough to make them undateable as long as they eat healthy, exercise and go out in the sun. They’re probably capable of forcing themselves into social interaction, although it’s something they generally don’t enjoy. If they consume alcohol, it becomes tolerably easy for them. But connecting with other people, now that’s a struggle.

You might argue that a woman and a man’s intellect don’t have to fuse together like two drops of rain. That may be true, but as someone who experienced something close to that, it’s the closest thing I’ve experienced to spiritual ecstasy in this lifetime. Imagine simultaneously injecting heroin into your vein, while massaging your prostate and rubbing your nipples, sitting in a warm bath after jogging outside in the rain, eating Roquefort and drinking an oyster stout. Now multiply that feeling by one Googolplex and you kind of understand the sheer joy you experience when you genuinely relate to a love interest at a deep cognitive level, when you take delight in the same author, when you realize you have the same traumatic memories, or love the same painter. Now imagine the most gorgeous girl on the planet, who’s into Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Your brain will tell your body to go on strike, it will throw wrenches into the machinery and cause a nuclear meltdown. Your brain will make you stutter and if that won’t work it will probably say fuck it and empty your bowels.

V.

Some people accept that their brains occupy different realms. “Well, we both like to travel”, they might tell themselves, purposefully ignoring the fact that the whole fricking world is filled with billions of mediocre people who all like to travel and together transform this world into a giant boring shopping mall. She likes to watch art house movies and you’ll spend every evening making fun of them because you think they’re pretentious and yet you’ll pretend that you had a shared experience.

If on the other hand, you look into the mirror and realize that you are your aberrant awkward anomalous, politically incorrect and mentally unhealthy thoughts, then you probably can’t do that. If it’s a fundamental aspect of your identity that you think Jews faked the moon-landing, Adam Lanza did nothing wrong, Pentti Linkola should be president, you enjoy injecting heroin at crust punk concerts, or believe the Cathars had the only correct interpretation of the Old Testament, then you’ll come to the conclusion that you can’t live a lie to someone you love. And so you’ll be alone. You can’t share the centre of your soul and so you resign yourself to not sharing everything that exists at its periphery.

Anonymous art for your enjoyment. I really loved these back when I was a NEET, the best ones are most difficult to find.

VI.

In my experience, talking to guys like me, that’s what’s happening to us. I’m going to fall asleep the next time my colleague chatters to me about all the obligations the European Central Bank is buying up in an effort to prop up the economy. When you talk about that to a girl? She’s not going to fall asleep, she’s going to slip into a coma for the next twenty years. If that’s the sort of stuff your brain genuinely finds interesting, you’re going to find it difficult to share your interests with others around you. If you spend years unable to genuinely connect to other people, you’ll find yourself becoming depressed.

What do we do when we become depressed? Some of these guys kill themselves. Others turn into NEETS, embarassments for their parents. One of my colleagues disappeared for a few weeks, then returned when his SSRI’s began to kick in. In my case, I looked at what was going wrong in my brain, I looked for ways to address it. I came to the conclusion that psychedelics help with this problem and so I exposed myself to them whenever I had to. The pain was reduced, I became better able to relate to other people and I developed new interests. I also became vocal about the fact that these organisms want to help us and that the cultures that passed on this knowledge for generations and cultivated an intuitive holistic understanding of their environment should be held in high esteem. And so my friends and colleagues visit my house, to trip with me. I like to think they leave happier than when they entered.

I had a really good one where she’s naked and crying in the middle of her room, but I can’t find it, sorry

VII.

How come I’m not a NEET? The answer again, is that I lucked out a bit. I’m chronically lazy, I always show up late everywhere, I fail to make long-term commitments in my life and I can’t code anything more complex than a CSS sheet or a 2D Gamemaker game. It’s the perfect recipe for a NEET. It’s inevitable that a lot of guys with my kind of personality are going to be far less lucky and they’re going to wake up one day in their late twenties, jacking off to My Little Pony cartoons with their headphones on while their mom opens the door, wondering what went wrong in their lives. Eventually they’ll be in their thirties, their parents will die and they’ll be unable to function as independent adults. How do we deal with this?

Technology changed our world faster than our brains could adjust to it. If our brains are not well adjusted to our environment and we’re unable to adjust our environment, we have to adjust our brains. There are different ways to adjust your brain. You’ve heard about the basic stuff. Exercise, go out into the sun, eat healthy, take a vitamin D supplement, take a shitload of psychedelics, etcetera. The most important thing to understand perhaps is that today’s environment requires hypersociality and extreme extraversion. Ted Kacynzki, another NEET hero, always talked about how people become oversocialized in today’s society. Here’s the thing: Your life is a lot easier and happier when you’re oversocialized, than when you’re building bombs by yourself in a cabin in the woods.

VIII.

And when you’re more extraverted, other problems are easier to solve too. Instead of having to completely merge your mind with another person, you become better able of accepting the reality that different parts of your mind connect to different individuals. Your friend enjoys listening to your complaints about the ECB’s monetary policy, your other friend likes to grow carnivorous plants with you, your wife likes to go to Neo-Impressionist art exhibitions with you and your girlfriend likes to sit on your face. You become able to accept that and you stop making perfect the enemy of good. We evolved in tribes, the nuclear family as we know it today is an anomaly from an evolutionary perspective.

Hillary Clinton characterized Pepe the Frog as a “racist cartoon frog”, to distract from the far more inconvenient reality that he is the mascot of a generation of young people who were left to rot away in their childhood bedrooms

 

My conclusions

This is way too long for you to remember the exact points I want to make, so I’m going to summarize them in seven short points here:

-Technology changed your environment much faster than your brain could keep up with through the process of evolution. There’s no shame in tweaking your brain in a manner that allows you to be happy and function within society. Everyone benefits from that.

-Technology now allows you to pursue your own niche interests, thereby making it much more difficult for you to relate to other people than it would have been for you fifty years ago. That’s going to make you lonelier and will make it more difficult for you to relate to other people. You need to take a conscious effort to maintain the kind of personality and at least some of the interests that help you to properly relate to other people. This isn’t just an obligation of boys, it’s an obligation of girls too. Hint, if you spend every evening updating your make-up blog and that’s your main interest in life, you’re going to be as boring for a guy as he is for you when he offers his uninformed opinions about monetary policy.

-You need to take a conscious effort to accept that you’re always going to struggle to completely relate to another person. That’s one of the prices we pay for infinite knowledge contained in computers that are always within the reach of our hands. Ever notice how dumb people seem perfectly capable of relating to other dumb people? That’s not something to envy. Human beings adapt their minds to each other when they frequently interact with each other. It’s inevitable when you meet someone you’re attracted to, that they’re more dissimilar from you than your previous mate was, especially when you just left a long intense relationship.

-There’s a difference between dishonesty and not sharing everything you think. Some forms of knowledge are referred to as “occult” for a reason: They’re traditionally hidden from the public because they’ll inevitably alienate their adherents from other people. Differences between people become irreconcilable when we decide that they’re irreconcilable. I will probably never become able to accept during this lifetime that a girl I’d like to have a meaningful relationship with likes Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, but I was perfectly able to come to terms with the fact that a girl I liked is into drag queens.

-Things don’t have to be eternal to have value. Nature evolved a flying dinosaur with wings on its hind legs. Was this a mistake? No, this was a temporary optimum for  conditions in its environment that did not last permanently. You’ll meet people who are well fitted for your present state of mind, as your minds change you’ll inevitably come to the realization that you’re no longer as well suited for each other as you used to be.

-Don’t make perfect the enemy of good. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, it helps you to make misery and failure more tolerable. But misery and failure should be temporary experiences in life, not a lifelong condition you try to make peace with. Set small, realistic goals and accept the fact that you’ll reach them in ways that are not perfect. When I allow my mind to pursue perfection, I end up fantasizing about a future where I set up my own company, becoming a millionaire before the age of thirty by selling a product that sequesters CO2, then I start feeling miserable because I see no way to get there. Hint: That’s not a proper lifegoal! If you look at yourself and feel frustration about all the ways you’re not perfect, then look at others and feel frustration about ways in which they’re better than you, you’re setting yourself up for misery.

-Trying to succeed in a new environment by doing things that worked for people in an old environment is a great way to set yourself up for misery. For this reason, I can’t stand conservatives. Why are you implicitly telling young people that they’re failing at life when they can’t afford to buy a house, have sex before marriage, or don’t have children before they’re thirty? We’re a generation of young people who came into existence in a new environment, where new ways will have to be pursued that will allow us to live happy functional lives. The only people dumber than conservatives are reactionaries, who try to become happy, not by clinging onto old things, but by resurrecting dead things! The reactionary mindset occurs in many different ways. Consider for example, the habit of conservationists to become upset when species invade territories where they did not originally live. In some cases, animals are extirpated in regions they invaded, while they’re nearly extinct in their region of origin!

I hope that this advice helps people. I’m happier now than I was five to fifteen years ago. The reason I’m happier is because I try to be more cognitively flexible and aim to live in accordance to the above general principles. NEETs are canaries in the coalmine, a symptom of a society that is struggling to adjust to a modern technological context. I hope that nobody will have to live out his entire life in such misery.

7 Comments

  1. So this observation is pretty insightful: intro-extraversion axis correspond roughly to the tradeoff “know some people better/know more people”, or something artists have to think about: “niche vs broad appeal”. Never looked at it this way.

    Also, could it be that your description of intellectual closeness with your gf is a bit motivated or rationalized?

    • >Also, could it be that your description of intellectual closeness with your gf is a bit motivated or rationalized?

      That’s a valid suggestion, but I can assure you that it’s incorrect.

  2. i disagree with everything you put forward in this article and i found this embarrassing to read. very disappointed

    • >i found this embarrassing to read

      Why do you think I write anonymously? Because I want to be able to write embarrassing things.

  3. There are some things I disagree with, but on the whole, I really appreciate this article. Thanks for writing it. Of the seven short points, some of them were ones I’ve realised or am currently working through, and others, such as the second one, are things that didn’t occur to me.

  4. some of this cuts pretty deep *closes taiping rebellion wiki*. the illustrations are like a gallery of my exes too, lol (minus the first one, which i don’t really get).

    i’m a postneet as well. doing much better than five years ago, fortunately (finished school, got a shitty job, tricked a girl who could do better into a ltr), but it’s reassuring to see someone else who got through it. clinging to a normal life still feels like a fluke that’s going to fall apart to me, and i could definitely do well to internalize what you said about unrealistic expectations.

    i think a really important part of escaping the trap is to stay out of online spaces dominated by hikis. i would link the post about toxic subcultures if i didn’t just remember you wrote it.

    really fantastic blog, btw

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