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All players die after about 29,000 days.
February 6, 2014 3:02 PM   Subscribe


 
I saw this before and found it a fun and useful read. The author is a bit fixated on entrepreneurship, but this is definitely something that speaks to me more than most self-help blogs.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:07 PM on February 6


Huh. Seems like a combination of Dark Souls, Persona and Dwarf Fortress. I'm intrigued.
posted by naju at 3:07 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


This is actually a neat resource if you're working with kids/adolescents that are into games and want to discuss how to prioritize, decision making, etc..

thanks...bookmarked as a therapy resource....
posted by HuronBob at 3:07 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


I knew there was something to the fact that I am terrible at both games and life
posted by threeants at 3:09 PM on February 6 [19 favorites]


I want to go back and retry the tutorial missions. I'm sure they didn't suck.
posted by mattoxic at 3:13 PM on February 6 [21 favorites]


Speaking as a fucking looser, I hate this guy. Based on this post I might as well kill myself now and save everyone the effort of wasting time thinking of my pathetic self. EDIT: Drinking now.

http://oliveremberton.com/about/

http://oliveremberton.com/oliver-embertons-personality/
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 3:13 PM on February 6 [28 favorites]


I played this game like twice, twenty years ago, and yet every now and again when I win one of life's little victories the word SUCCESS pops into my head.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:13 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


That’s why your strategy is important. Because by the time most of us have figured life out, we’ve used up too much of the best parts.

You know what - I think figuring your life out IS the best part.
posted by helmutdog at 3:14 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


Seems like a bunch of naïve ableist crap to me, but hey if it helps somebody that's great.
posted by bleep-blop at 3:15 PM on February 6 [32 favorites]


Yeah, as far as I can tell this is the just world fallacy restated in cute pixel art and pabulum.
posted by pullayup at 3:17 PM on February 6 [64 favorites]


Benjamin Franklin said it better, and with humor, and less condescendingly.
posted by LucretiusJones at 3:18 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Life begins when you’re assigned a random character and circumstances!

Will you be a white woman, white man, white man, white woman, white man, or a white man?

From behind the veil of ignorance, who knows what kind of circumstances you'll face!
posted by Beardman at 3:18 PM on February 6 [71 favorites]


O, live, remember ton.
posted by michaelh at 3:19 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


In all seriousness, this has a cool premise and good intentions, but parts of it are squicking me out. It's not great to think of life as a series of inputs and outputs that just need to be min-maxed. There are lots of things - IMPORTANT things - that don't fit into that success model of efficient resource management. Empathy. Weird art experiments. Doing things not for their obvious benefits, or despite their obvious negative aspects, but because they just feel right for a given moment. Letting yourself just enjoy things. Burning all your money for no reason and joining a hippie commune. Whatever. Everything has its benefits and drawbacks. It's all "experience" that makes you wiser and "better at life" if you're able to learn from it. On my deathbed I don't want to be able to say that I was a Level 200 Attorney-Parent-Warlock, I just want to be able to say that I lived an interesting and full life and did my part to make things more pleasant for others.
posted by naju at 3:19 PM on February 6 [35 favorites]


a fedora what color me shocked
posted by threeants at 3:19 PM on February 6 [32 favorites]


Beardman: Will you be a white woman, white man, white man, white woman, white man, or a white man?

It's using the algorithm that generates my X-com squaddies!
posted by emmtee at 3:20 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


Seems like a combination of Dark Souls

Were that the case:

All players die after about 29,000 days

Should read:

All players die about 29,000 times per day
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:21 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]


If life is a game I probably shouldn't have min-maxed my stats at character creation by trading all of my WIS for snark.
posted by Conspire at 3:23 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Now, how do I install mods?
posted by ckape at 3:24 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Now, how do I install mods?

You just gotta read books and watch youtube (mostly youtube).
posted by pwally at 3:27 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Reading this leveled my MIDDLE FINGER attribute to 2. Can someone give me a hand in raising that higher?
posted by mikurski at 3:27 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


How tough is the end guy?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:28 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]




This is the worst thing I've read all day.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 3:30 PM on February 6 [12 favorites]


The premise is fine, and well-executed. The problem is that he appears to consider anything that's fun to be a complete waste of time - even though this is a game with no victory conditions.

Life is a game, but it's a sandbox game with no way to win.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:31 PM on February 6 [16 favorites]


How tough is the end guy?

Just try not to be distracted by the way he fiddles with that damn scythe while you're contemplating your next move. Oh, and no, Twister is not an acceptable substitute.
posted by yoink at 3:33 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this is offensively reductionistic to those of us who stubbornly continue to believe that people are not video game characters. I am currently running out the clock at work by listening to a Bach motet and reading Metafilter threads, and I refuse to accept that this makes me a suboptimal human.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:34 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


Beardman: "Life begins when you’re assigned a random character and circumstances!
Will you be a white woman, white man, white man, white woman, white man, or a white man?
"

Maybe he chose the easiest settings?
posted by mhum at 3:34 PM on February 6 [20 favorites]


Oh cool, can I program some things? How about programming? What if I want to program?

I like that "marriage and children" is basically a footnote at the end under the title of "Later Life" that has exactly one graphic in which gray-haired people walk with canes.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:37 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


I thought it was just a cutesy joke, but it turned out to be bad, earnest life advice from a terrible person.
posted by anazgnos at 3:38 PM on February 6 [47 favorites]


Nice bit of fluff, liked the illustrations. I tend to think that something like this is always going to be horribly simplified in many ways, but it's always interesting to mentally shoot the assumption-fish in the barrel (consider that another of the minigames mentioned in the article).

Conspire: ...trading all of my WIS for snark.

I'm proper stumped now trying to come up with a game-style abbreviation for "snark". Not happy with SNK (sneak), SRK (shoryuken!), SNRK (snerk!) or SNAR (grr!).
posted by comealongpole at 3:38 PM on February 6


http://oliveremberton.com/oliver-embertons-personality/

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:38 PM on February 6 [20 favorites]


It's not a game.
It's not a fucking amazing journey, either.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:40 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


There are lots of things - IMPORTANT things - that don't fit into that success model

I guess he does use the word "winning" at the beginning, but I couldn't find any description of what he means by that - and the discussion of different approaches to money suggests that they are all viable strategies. The only thing that sort of seemed like success criteria was at the end:

Your past decisions drastically shape where you end up, and if you’re happy, healthy, fulfilled – or not

This article is about the cutesy style in which it's written. Take that away and all you're left with is simplistic and trivially obvious claims like:

  • How you spend your time will affect your life!
  • Some things are more useful to do than others
  • Borrowing money is expensive (duh)
  • Kids are a lot of work

    Which arguably is part of the gimmick of the article - games use simplified rules to model reality.

    Don't take it too seriously.

  • posted by aubilenon at 3:42 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Kids are a lot of work
    Borrowing money is expensive

    So you sell the kids and it's win-win! Man, this game is a doddle.
    posted by yoink at 3:47 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


    Which arguably is part of the gimmick of the article - games use simplified rules to model reality.

    Don't take it too seriously.


    I guess if it's a satire piece about the trend of gamifying everything, it's really nuanced and clever. I think he's being serious though.
    posted by naju at 3:51 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    Surely this guy is some elaborate practical joke?
    posted by Think_Long at 3:55 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    Get married -> have kids -> sell kids, sell wife.

    Not a bad pump-and-dump scheme for a startup entrepreneur.
    posted by mikurski at 3:56 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


    I want to believe this is a clever satire
    posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:57 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Depending on the RNG, childhood isn't necessarily just the tutorial level, it can also be where you encounter all the hardest optional bosses in the game, many of which you're stuck fighting again with increased stats and AI over the course of the rest of the game. Any tips on beating those, champ?
    posted by prize bull octorok at 3:57 PM on February 6 [19 favorites]


    Don't take it too seriously.

    This isn't a dig at you, but I DO take it seriously, because I see it as a symptom of an awful trend -- the conceptualization of life into discrete, computable data. It's the quantification of existence, "...the price of everything and the value of nothing." Every time an app gets released that lets you rate your sandwich on a scale from one to five, or uses the word "sharing" as a euphemism for you, the customer, providing free advertising of a product.

    Video games are the way they are because of historcal limitations of computing. They can only handle discrete data. So you had to figure out a way of cramming the richness of human experience into a few laughably limited tokens, for the purpose of playability. But after 30+ years of that, life starts to imitate art. We have started grafting the crude videogame token language back onto our real experience, and it's a bit grotesque. It's even more grotesque when others have the opportunity to capitalize on that downgrading of mental and emotional inner life.

    *on preview, what naju said.
    posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:58 PM on February 6 [57 favorites]


    From his CV:
    January 2013 – wrote the most upvoted post on Quora ever.
    Shit just got real.
    posted by yoink at 4:00 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


    How many points do I get for hitting the author with a sock full of marbles? Is that at least a side-quest?
    posted by lattiboy at 4:02 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    Where do I input the cheat code?
    posted by mediocre at 4:04 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    My favorite Oliver Emberton quotes, as chosen by me, Oliver Emberton

    I clicked this link and now I have to go soak my entire head in bleach forever.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 4:07 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


    “Inside the Great Mystery that is,
    we don’t really own anything.
    What is this competition we feel then,
    before we go, one at a time, through the same gate?”
    ─Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
    posted by bricoleur at 4:08 PM on February 6 [33 favorites]


    Somebody needs to come up with a word for things often described as "awesome" or "amazing" by people like this, but are usually nothing more than self-promotion or pathetic attempts at bragging.

    Suggestions welcomed.
    posted by lattiboy at 4:10 PM on February 6


    Life begins when you’re assigned a random character and circumstances!

    Will you be a white woman, white man, white man, white woman, white man, or a white man?


    OMFG THANK YOU. That was all I came in here to say.
    posted by sunset in snow country at 4:13 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    Okay... so...

    Where the hell is the reset button?

    Seriously.
    posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:14 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    There are lots of things - IMPORTANT things - that don't fit into that success model of efficient resource management. Empathy. Weird art experiments. Doing things not for their obvious benefits, or despite their obvious negative aspects, but because they just feel right for a given moment. Letting yourself just enjoy things. Burning all your money for no reason and joining a hippie commune. Whatever.

    Oddly enough, this is often how I play computer games. Also why I sometimes get along Very Badly with people who prominently identify as Meyer-Briggs xxTJs.
    posted by sparktinker at 4:14 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Oh, this guy is just great. If he's not the invention of some brilliant satirist then he's a kind of perfect storm of blithe dickishness. How about this from his favorite quotations page:
    “Hard work does not make you successful. If that were true, our soldiers would drive Bentleys and our teachers would take their lunch breaks in gold-plated Jacuzzis.”
    I think he actually doesn't realize that he is saying both that teachers and soldiers aren't "successful" AND that the true sign of success is driving a Bentley and having a gold-plated jacuzzi.
    posted by yoink at 4:14 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


    Hard to argue with such a self-satisfied, well-fedora'd man!
    posted by zscore at 4:14 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Shit just got real.


    Ooh! Ooh! Also from his website:


    "I’m writing a novel.
    I recently wrote a very short story about a man who conquered the world. It went viral. Within 5 days I’m approached by publishers and producers about book, TV and film rights."

    It's almost like he really believes that it's just THAT easy for everyone else!
    posted by polly_dactyl at 4:15 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    I logged into fucking Quora to read the story synopsis. It's straight up Iron Man-meets-Atlas Shrugged.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 4:16 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    Strategy Guide to Life Second Edition -
    Revised for Non-White Non-Cishet Non-Able-Bodied Non-Male Characters:
    1. Hahahaha you didn't think anything you could do would actually make things different did you.
    2. Let me know when you figure out how to skip all of the "White Guy complaining you aren't trying hard enough" cutscenes.
    posted by Conspire at 4:17 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    “Know thyself", Oliver Emberton is

    Very good with money
    Extremely direct and straightforward
    Verbally fluent
    Able to leave relationships without looking back (*note, he calls this a 'positive')
    Able to dole out discipline (*ditto above)
    Tendency to have difficulty listening to others
    Tendency to be critical of opinions and attitudes which don’t match their own
    Not naturally in tune with people’s feelings and reactions
    Can be overpowering and intimidating to others
    Tendency to be controlling


    Looks like we've got a bouncing baby sociopath.
    posted by tula at 4:22 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    Thank you yoink for 'blithe dickishness', because I was at a loss for words.
    posted by lonelid at 4:23 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    It's almost like he really believes that it's just THAT easy for everyone else!

    It's almost like he really believes it's just THAT easy for him. Because there's just not enough goddamn Iron Man fanfic.

    Dickens was a shameless self-promoter, but the sentimental b.s. aside, he could spin a tale
    posted by Smedleyman at 4:23 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    Oddly enough, this is often how I play computer games. Also why I sometimes get along Very Badly with people who prominently identify as Meyer-Briggs xxTJs.

    I do this, too, but I am an INTJ! We can be friends, yes? I will show you my Starbound fluorescent light collection and you can show me your set of spoons in Morrowind! We will be having of the fun all the time! Fun is a time for not having of the logical serious!

    I am eager to learn how the real-life version of Gob makes out with his movie script. I'm hoping it turns out to be like the episode of The Office where they trick Dwight into thinking he's interviewing with the CIA.
    posted by winna at 4:27 PM on February 6 [12 favorites]


    It's straight up Iron Man-meets-Atlas Shrugged.

    WHO IS TONY STARK?
    posted by yoink at 4:29 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


    Also I was instantly reminded of this crazy lady that made it onto the blue:

    Susan Hires a Boss

    They could get together and like, totally take over the world, man...
    posted by polly_dactyl at 4:29 PM on February 6


    I think the game designers like to throw guys like this book and movie deals just to ramp up the artificial difficulty for the rest of the players working on the "Pursue Creative Ambitions" side quest.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 4:31 PM on February 6


    Video games are the way they are because of historical limitations of computing. They can only handle discrete data. So you had to figure out a way of cramming the richness of human experience into a few laughably limited tokens, for the purpose of playability. But after 30+ years of that, life starts to imitate art.

    Not that I'd want to disagree with your larger point at all — I think it's the most important thing you could say about this piece and its whole execrable way of thinking — but I think this account has the historical causality a bit oversimplified. The historical limitations of computing as a matter of technology are one piece, but a second big piece is the rise of quantification in the social and psychological sciences and (especially) their managerial and administrative applications. This is at least to some extent independent of the history of the technology itself, and the computer-game version is an outgrowth of it, too (via D&D, which was built on pre- as well as post-computer military-administrative ideas of quantified humanity). The fact that this guy doesn't necessarily know he's drawing on that history doesn't mean it isn't there; there were people writing critiques of this mindset when there were only a handful of computers in the world and essentially nothing like this form of gaming culture.
    posted by RogerB at 4:33 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    I don't care whether this guy has any empathy or not. The general advice to budget your time wisely is sound, even if money isn't your objective. You don't have to want to be an entrepreneur for that to be the case.

    Even if you're playing the game on a harder setting (non- straight white male), budgeting your time and learning skills is a good idea.

    And I thought the presentation was cute. Not too interested in reading his novel though.
    posted by Loudmax at 4:37 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Willpower [...] is replenished slightly by eating, and completely by a good night’s sleep.

    Damn, my version of the game seems to have a bug.
    posted by lollusc at 4:43 PM on February 6 [18 favorites]


    Just reading this page alone

    http://oliveremberton.com/about/

    convinced me that this guy is a crass, insufferable idiot who combines some of the worst qualities of Tim Ferriss and Aleksey Vayner.

    Fuck off, Oliver.
    posted by jayder at 4:50 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


    I thought it was just a cutesy joke, but it turned out to be bad, earnest life advice from a terrible person.

    I think you meant:

    I Thought It Was Just A Cutesy Joke, But It Turned Out To Be Bad, Earnest Life Advice From A Terrible Person.
    posted by pullayup at 4:52 PM on February 6 [12 favorites]


    “Writing a novel is a lot like losing your virginity. You’re naked, you’re hoping to press the right buttons, but there’s an excellent chance your audience will simply laugh and walk away.”

    OK, who's gonna tell him that actually doesn't count as losing your virginity?
    posted by escabeche at 4:52 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


    I think there's something interesting about how this type of self-improvement culture transects our actual values and experiences. I mean, I read plenty of things online about being more "effective" in the world -- strategizing about work, money management, productivity, getting myself to go to the gym, eating healthfully, weightlifting, debt reduction, harnessing my willpower and all of that lifehackery jazz. I love that Radiohead song and laugh in self-flagellating recognition. .. but I would honestly still love to be fitter, happier, more productive. To read this stuff involves maintaining a kind of double consciousness, because on another level I know that "success" along these axes is highly constrained by our situations including race and class and sexual orientation and gender identity and genetics and geography, that "success" is kind of a nebulous and bullshit goal in the first place and that being more successful will not ultimately make me happier or content with my legacy, that my getting (for example) the job I want is actually statistically rather unlikely even given all the advantages I know I have, and that there are lots of objectively worthier goals out there than the ones I am focusing on. It's disorienting.
    posted by en forme de poire at 4:55 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


    The hell of it is that it's exactly the guys like this, with the blithe dickishness and all the circumstances working out in their favor, that DO get ahead. And then their personal self-help mythology (depending completely on blithe dickishness and life on the easy settings) gets artificially reinforced and spread around as gospel, and the cycle perpetuates. It's the circle of dickishness!
    posted by naju at 4:55 PM on February 6 [16 favorites]


    you can show me your set of spoons in Morrowind!

    Can I? Can I? Because I do actually have a set of spoons in Morrowind.

    And a set of pots.

    And bookshelves with alphabetized books.

    And—

    Oh. You weren't being serious, were you? Neither was I. No. Not at all.
    posted by lollusc at 4:55 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


    The hell of it is that it's exactly the guys like this, with the blithe dickishness and all the circumstances working out in their favor, that DO get ahead.

    Hrmm... I don't know about that. I think for every person like this that gets ahead, a hundred do not. But boy are the winners vocal.

    People like this are almost like a new genre, a new flavor of person: Self-Improvement Objectivist Nerd, maybe. Very LessWrong. They watch Iron Man and really believe that's the way the world works (see his quora answer which I think is more than half serious). They have a kind of adolescent, faux-logical, emotionally stunted, anti-humanistic, ahistorical, techno-utopian, data-worshipping outlook on life. Usually strident atheists, they think themselves uniquely rational, and believe everything can be optimized.

    What is this constellation of attributes, and why is it suddenly prominent?
    posted by shivohum at 5:11 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


    What is this constellation of attributes, and why is it suddenly prominent?

    I have no idea but it has made for some Goddamn Hilarious tweets I tell you what
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:16 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


    lollusc, I would be proud and honored to see your set of spoons and stand in awe of anyone who could be patient enough to alphabetize their books in game. I thought I was doing well to have them organized on the floor by color.

    believe everything can be optimized.

    I do believe this. Here are my secrets for optimizing absolutely everything.

    Is it food? Add cheese or chocolate.
    Is it made of fabric? Add microfleece in winter, linen in summer.
    Is it sound? Add brass instruments.
    Is it a picture? Add more blue of any shade.

    I generously donate these secrets for Maximizing Your Happiness Potential gratis pro bono publico.
    posted by winna at 5:28 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


    What is this constellation of attributes, and why is it suddenly prominent?

    It's a constellation of attributes common to socially awkward people with a background in computing. These attributes include self-aggrandizement, and at present our society backs their inflated self-opinion up in the form of high-paying jobs, reinforcing the beliefs that one is awesome and that if one is awesome enough one's awesomeness will lead to material success. This too shall pass, of course.
    posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:31 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    It's in-app purchases all the way down.
    posted by blue_beetle at 5:38 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Cute idea, terrible implementation. Needed a whole section on difficulty settings. Actually, should have just been a version of Scalzi difficulty settings post illustrated with cute 8 bit screen shots.

    But in reality, all it does is prove how right Scalzi is.
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:41 PM on February 6


    I love his specificity: he recently wrote a very short story about "a man who conquered the world" ... I have no idea what that would look like... Maybe King Leopold in Congo? Geo W. Bush dropping bombs hither and yon?

    And this ambition: to build a software company "from the ground up" "that accomplishes truly amazing things on a global scale (think FORTUNE 500)."

    So, I dunno, will he mine his own minerals? build motherboards from gelatin? and then do Amazing Things on a Global Scale -- which means something like "contribute to global climate change" like Exxon and Mobile; or promote exploited labor all over the world, like Wal-Mart?

    Christ, what an asshole, indeed.
    posted by allthinky at 5:47 PM on February 6


    Meh. It's been done before.
    posted by jscalzi at 6:04 PM on February 6 [31 favorites]


    I have to admit, I'm kind of embarrassed about how he's pinned down my strategy and made it look kind of dumb. xD
    posted by zscore at 6:12 PM on February 6


    I find it interesting that a supposedly successful software entrepreneur like this still needs validation from Quora.
    posted by KokuRyu at 6:15 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    I recently wrote a very short story about a man who conquered the world. It went viral. Within 5 days I’m approached by publishers and producers about book, TV and film rights.

    He seems like he would be an adherent of spacestar ordering.
    posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:26 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Does this mean I'm stuck blowing on the game cartridge?
    posted by HyperBlue at 6:28 PM on February 6


    So, I dunno, will he mine his own minerals? build motherboards from gelatin? Will he raise free-range, or factory-farm software engineers?
    posted by combinatorial explosion at 6:30 PM on February 6


    Somehow I'm just really stuck on the page of his favorite of his own quotes. His sayings, perhaps he calls them.

    Well, spoiler alert, it ain't exactly zarathrustra sprachin' here. I can't quite get my head around it... these are things he's said. That he remembers he said, as being somehow wise or clever or even vaguely interesting. The lack of self-awareness that must take- has he read nothing, ever? Are the people he talks to really that much dimmer than he is, that someone's given him positive feedback for this kind of soggy banality? - is really kind of epic.

    I mean hell, I've probably said more clever shit than that in random Metafilter comments, but at the very least I lack the vanity to go back and check. And I'm also far from the cleverest person here. Dude doesn't seem, though, like he'd be the cleverest person on Yahoo Answers, even, but yet, there he is, dispensin' the life-changing thinkifyin'.

    I guess it really isn't that unusual, I'm not a big fan of the genre but it's my impression this is what a lot of 'how I did it' business-class crap comes out. But usually I thought you have to be, like, Donald Trump to have someone shovel these kind of ramblings into a book and sell 'em by the carton to other half-bright executives.

    Probably it's the internet's fault, because it's giving him a platform despite his unTrumplike levels of pointless (alleged) prominence, and now it's also making me know about him. Stupid internet.

    I just wonder... have we reached Peak Insufferability yet? I mean, hell, it's only 2014, so I doiubt it, but we can always hope...
    posted by hap_hazard at 6:39 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    He's talking a lot, but he's not saying anything.
    posted by Redfield at 6:49 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


    I have known at least one other person who had an unironic quote wall of his own quotations. It is more than a little hilarious, but also deeply uncomfortable.
    posted by en forme de poire at 6:54 PM on February 6


    How To Connect Deeply With Anyone In 5 Minutes! Only, the entirety of the post is just a copy-paste job of what's commonly known as "The Cube," and is a cold-reading personality test touted by the Pick-Up-Artists community to be "Chick Crack," a.k.a. How To Impress Someone Superficially Enough To Sleep With Them. Ugh.
    posted by pedmands at 6:56 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    He really is giving ol' Chuck Nadd a run for his money in the race to be the worlds biggest self promoting cockhead.
    posted by mattoxic at 6:56 PM on February 6


    The lack of self-awareness that must take- has he read nothing, ever?

    The tech world is full of self-possessed Type A personalities who think that because they thought of something, they must have thought of it first.
    posted by KokuRyu at 6:58 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    How To Connect Deeply With Anyone In 5 Minutes!

    It makes sense that that test was cribbed from elsewhere, because out of all of the Oliver Emberton posts I've seen so far, that one was the most entertaining and least about-Oliver-Emberton.

    If anyone cares, my horse was Pinkie Pie and my storm was Operation Desert Storm. Now you are all deeply connected with me.
    posted by Metroid Baby at 7:11 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    Free idea for Oliver Emberton to write about: "How To Deal With Imposter Syndrome (When You Actually Are An Imposter)"
    posted by naju at 7:16 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


    I think that he is worried that he doesn't know what love is. That he has never been in love and that no one has ever loved him. That he feels some things sometimes but he isn't sure if any of them is love. That he is trying to make all of the movements that people make when they say they are in love.

    "Is that part of love, making these movements, saying these things?"

    I think that's how your life gets like this. I hope he finds it.
    posted by Kwine at 7:22 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    Can not unread.
    posted by polymodus at 7:27 PM on February 6


    If your state gets too low in one area, your body will disobey your own instructions until your needs are met.

    Feinting is your bodies way of saying, "stop doing stuff."
    posted by StickyCarpet at 7:31 PM on February 6


    I'm ISTJ, myself.* But even I have enough self-awareness to be disgusted with this Stephen Covey, 7 Habits bullshit.

    --------
    *According to Myers-Briggs, this means "dedicated minion."
    posted by SPrintF at 7:32 PM on February 6


    a fedora what color me shocked
    Hard to argue with such a self-satisfied, well-fedora'd man!

    That's a trilby.
    posted by yeolcoatl at 8:32 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    I read up on Silktide on Wikipedia.

    For its first ten years, it was a web design company.

    Since 2011, it has been promoting Sitebeam, a product for testing and reporting on websites.

    Setting the world on fire, this kid.

    :-|
    posted by jayder at 8:33 PM on February 6


    I found it interesting and insightful... must be something wrong with my bs filter.
    posted by MikeWarot at 8:34 PM on February 6


    That How To Connect Deeply With Anyone In 5 Minutes thing is hilarious. It reminds me of some sort of game third-grade girls would play with each other. so basically A++ would have aspects of my life personified and interpreted again
    posted by threeants at 9:12 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Wrote my own million-line Windows-like GUI aged 16 for my A-Level coursework. Among other things, this included my own video codec, web-like browser and graphical editing tools (I hadn’t seen the Internet yet - it was 1995).

    Don't be shy, just own up to writing FreeBSD already.
    posted by benzenedream at 9:34 PM on February 6


    Don't be shy, just own up to writing FreeBSD already.

    Bob.
    posted by maxwelton at 11:04 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    I came in here only to say "Christ, I hate this so much." and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'm not alone in this. There are many things wrong with Emberton's blogpost, and looks like we can all have a go at eviscerating it!
    posted by barnacles at 11:21 PM on February 6


    I do this, too, but I am an INTJ! We can be friends, yes? I will show you my Starbound fluorescent light collection and you can show me your set of spoons in Morrowind! We will be having of the fun all the time! Fun is a time for not having of the logical serious!

    Well, my BFF is also an INTJ. (I'm an INTP. Possibly I am the personification of INTP.) We have kind of a buddy cop show dynamic -- "He makes bullet points! Ze makes off-the-wall metaphors! THEY FIGHT CRIME." So it's by no means hopeless.

    The thing that seems to happen with, say, this guy is that there's a certain sort of hyper-rationalizing human that really grabs on to an TJ identity (the ones I saw being mostly INTJs) and rides it for all it's worth. That sort of min-maxing approach to life where there is the optimal path and then there is inadequacy and the speaker is the unfailing oracle regarding this is typical of the genre.

    One could write out a whole function analysis thing about how that behavior fits into the M-B system, and lord knows I have, but it more or less reduces to: uncertainty is scary, I will beat it to death with processed logic product (*contains 1% actual logic), observe the stick permanently installed in my ass and my utter inability to comprehend anything that falls outside of my whackadoodle system for the entire world and everything in it.

    I have a way of sniffing out these people like a mongoose sniffs out a snake, and throwing bananas at them. This tends to go over badly, and their resulting reaction likewise causes me to blow flames out my ears in frustration. So I try to save the bananas for my friends instead, who appreciate them.
    posted by sparktinker at 11:26 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


    I came in here only to say "Christ, I hate this so much." and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'm not alone in this. There are many things wrong with Emberton's blogpost, and looks like we can all have a go at eviscerating it!
    posted by barnacles 10 minutes ago [+]


    Looking through his website I found myself thinking "I should have found the book equivalent of this guy for the mefi marginalia project."
    posted by jayder at 11:35 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Life is like an RPG, but one where the DM is kind of a hardass for realism, so the odds are very good that you will roll up stats only appropriate for a peasant, and then the DM will make you play that peasant through to the bitter end.
    posted by Mitrovarr at 12:05 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


    Doleful Creature's Strategery Guide for My Children, v.0.81


    01. Life is not a game.
    02. Many people don't realize this, or vehemently deny it (see also: just world fallacy).
    03. Because of #2, you'll find yourself in situations where #1 is temporarily void (i.e. work, i.e. your shitty boss who believes everything is about "winning" and that he is your boss because of boostraps/grit/can-do/entreprenFUCK WHATEVER I DON'T EVEN)
    04. Feel free to despise #3, but recognize this may not work out in certain domains, like work, school, etc... (unless you are already independently wealthy, in which case hey I've got this really great investment opportunity...)
    05. It's NOT a guarantee, knowing when to engage in the game and knowing how to play it according to your personal strengths can be very useful.
    06. #5 is not very easy, and will probably take the rest of your life
    07. So don't get too hung up about it
    08. Seriously
    09. In fact, you know what
    10. Fuck This Shit
    11. Go find some friends
    12. Maybe find a lover
    13. Re-connect with your family or create your own found family
    14. Just don't dwell on this stuff, because it doesn't do any good.
    15. Just do your best. And if you need help with that, ask someone you trust.
    16. If you don't trust anyone, make some changes so that you can (seek therapy, or join a support group. You're not alone!)
    17. Finally, I love you.

    posted by Doleful Creature at 12:06 AM on February 7 [18 favorites]


    Where's that Flash game that looks like a fancy Mario Bros. clone, but all the coin [?] boxes are juuuuust out of reach, and at the very end when you can reach a [?] box you end up bashing your head open?

    THAT'S life.
    posted by Evilspork at 1:41 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


    The concept of the piece was good, but executed far, far, far better here on MeFi in a comment by aeschenkarnos.
    posted by klarck at 5:25 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


    Well, my BFF is also an INTJ. (I'm an INTP. Possibly I am the personification of INTP.)

    When I did the Myers-Briggs test I was classified as NNTP and consequently the modern internet confuses and scares me.
    posted by MartinWisse at 6:08 AM on February 7 [8 favorites]



    http://oliveremberton.com/about/

    http://oliveremberton.com/oliver-embertons-personality/


    HOLY SHIT. I'm sure he's the "there's no such thing as bad publicity/obviously my strategy is working since you're talking about me"-type, but WHAT AN INSUFFERABLE PRICK.
    posted by Dr-Baa at 6:48 AM on February 7


    the discussion of different approaches to money suggests that they are all viable strategies
    Yes, but he didn't include "Burning all your money for no reason and joining a hippie commune." on the list of viable strategies, and this is apparently an actual heavily upvoted criticism that Metafilter has, not just Poe's law in action.
    posted by roystgnr at 6:56 AM on February 7


    My "burning all your money" comment was a half-sincere nod to the KLF, for what it's worth!
    posted by naju at 7:15 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


    The point of that comment is that only a grasping idiot would quantify life so thoroughly and then measure their "success" based on how much "success" they accrued before death. The point was not that people should burn all their money and join a commune. It's clear naju meant that as an extreme.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:16 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


    What he misses is that life is one of those vast exploratory-type open-ended games that has no set win condition. It's up to each player to do whatever they want and set their own goals, if they desire to have goals at all.

    The insidious part is that a lot of those early training missions will either strongly imply or outright state that there is a specific goal to the game—and what that goal is depends on the particular training missions. (Everyone gets different training missions. Some subtly different than others, some vastly different.)

    Then, because one spends so very long in those training missions, it's difficult for some people to break out of the mindset of having the particular goals that their training missions have instilled, and never realize they can choose their own goals (or lack thereof) for themselves. Some players never accomplish this. Emberton makes this mistake himself, in one way or another—either he's never questioned the goals which his training missions instilled, or if he has he seems to believe that the goals he's chosen for himself are suitable goals for all players.
    posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:31 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


    The part that frustrates me the most, I think, is that I too really do believe that everything can be optimized, and I have exactly the kind of programming background that you'd associate with that attitude.

    It's just that I want to optimize happiness, and fun, and I recognize that "optimal" means very different things for all kinds of people. That's what makes life-optimization hard - not just the willpower part, which is a "solved problem" as we like to say, but that the actual details vary so dramatically between people that a different 'optimization algorithm' exists for every one of the 7 billion of us.

    I guess what I'm saying is, You can be data-driven and optimization-oriented and still not be a dick about it.
    posted by Tomorrowful at 8:03 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


    I seriously thank my lucky stars that somewhere along the way I learned that everyone knows more than I do about something. I have no idea how I was taught that, but it is one of the most important things I've ever learned, second only to knowing that the biggest obstacle to learning something is not having faith that you can.

    It means that I can't believe that I have the secret to how everyone else should live (except when it comes to issues that affect other people by their actions), because everyone knows things I don't and those things I don't know might matter more to them.

    I don't always succeed in strangling altogether my outrage that THEYRE DOIN IT WRONG when people don't obey the traffic rules in the grocery store or fail to live the way I think they should, but it's usually followed pretty quickly by the thought that I must be missing something about what they're doing that makes it work for them. Well, not the people who break the grocery store rules. They should be blasted with fire and cast into the outer darkness.
    posted by winna at 8:15 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


    MAN MARRIES VAGINA-HAVER

    HAPPINESS PLUS ONE
    HEADACHES TIMES TWO

    LOLZ
    posted by duffell at 9:44 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


    Willpower [...] is replenished slightly by eating, and completely by a good night’s sleep.

    Damn, my version of the game seems to have a bug.


    Interestingly, willpower is actually "replenished" by having a slightly full bladder.
    Inhibitory Spillover: Increased Urination Urgency Facilitates Impulse Control in Unrelated Domains
    posted by stoneweaver at 10:40 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


    Ah, this explains why acquiring the Bladder of Holding gives you unlimited willpower. I always thought that was just a bug.
    posted by prize bull octorok at 10:52 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


    Things I learned about from following the link and reading more pages at the same site:

    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton
    Oliver Emberton.
    posted by reynir at 1:13 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


    My diagnosis is that he has a personality type: WNKR
    posted by quarsan at 10:58 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]


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