Righteous Rectitude Requires Retained Rationality


The nice thing about the Internet is that anyone can say anything about anything (generally) without censorship or moderation.

This is the obscene power of the web, but also its Achilles’ Heel, because although you get a lot of brilliance in that kind of crock pot, you also get a lot of, well, crock.

Incorrect ‘facts,’ misinformation, and outright lies are pervasive and given more prominence than they would be likely to get on any other platform. The evening news might skew the truth and the Times might get their information wrong, but you’re not not as likely to find the kind of wild yarns you’ll come across in the blogs and forums strewn around the net.

It’s due to this precarious balance that I’m uncertain how to feel about a series of links I’ve been sent over the past few weeks, links that lead mostly to blogs posts (but a few mainstream news articles, as well) that hold grains of truth but are composed mostly of hit-piece wording…the kind of stuff you’d find on TMZ, not The Economist.

One such piece started to make a strong argument about legitimacy in the online world, but then lost me with insults directed toward someone who feels differently about the subject.

The topic under the microscope in this case was that more and more people are offering consulting services despite the fact that the only strong work experience they have is writing a blog (and they consult on things non-blog related).

As someone who worked hard to build up a couple of traditional businesses before entering the blogging world (and who continues to do so now), I can definitely see the point here…anyone with a Blogspot account and PayPal can position themselves as an expert these days and most folks won’t know the difference between a seasoned professional and a well-read blogger with a professional-looking theme.

To each their own, of course, and if the market will bear it, more power to them, but I’m glad someone is bringing it up.

The thing is, in this article especially, entwined with the legit arguments is an unhealthy amount of venom.

I know, it’s tempting to really tear apart ideas and people that you don’t like or agree with, but for the sake of healthy debate and the integrity of your own ideas, keep your wits about you and present your argument without a garnish of disdain.

Piling on that kind of unnecessary bias weakens your position and makes it impossible for anyone except for your close friends and shock-bloggers to support you without having their own image tarnished.

It doesn’t matter if you’re arguing that the sky is blue if you’re also saying that gays are evil and women are inferior to men. I’m going to question every single thing you say more carefully knowing about the inherent bias you bring to what should be a clean, rational debate.

I get why people bring the scorn: it’s easy, it’s satisfying, and it feels like the only way to take people with differing opinions down a notch.

But if you have an idea worth writing about – especially if it’s counter to another popular idea that’s being written about in the public forum – keep the moral high-ground and present your case rationally. With the coldest, calmest, rationality you possibly can, in fact.

Sure, from a marketing standpoint it makes more sense to appeal to emotions, but the people who will respond to that kind of call are not the sort that you want or need on your side.


Travel-Buddies on the Journey Through Life


Traveling with a friend can be a blast, or it can be an immense disappointment.

It all depends on how well you get along and communicate, and how much you each gain by having the other around.

Are you just there because you have to be, or have you chosen to be around this person? Are you benefiting from their company, or are they getting in the way of you seeing and doing what you want to see and do?

This doesn’t just apply to travel-buddies, it applies to the people you surround yourself with EVERY DAY.

Life is too short to spend it with people who don’t inspire you or otherwise make you happy.

Act accordingly.

Blog, Project

Just a Big List of Interesting Posts


I’ve reached a milestone here at Exile Lifestyle: 200 posts on the site since I started.

And though a few of those were guest posts, and I’ve written more than a few guest posts on other sites, I still wanted to commemorate the event with a little roundup of notable scribblings from the history of the blog.

For example, I get asked all the time about how to start up a blog and establish a brand and voice. I want to show you this as evidence that it took me a little while to get my style established, and in fact my very first post was incredibly bulky, tiresome and overly-verbose.

Below is just a big list of other posts that caught my eye as I ran down the archive (for one reason or another), and if you have only started recently reading the blog, you may find something new there.

These are in chronological order, with the oldest at the top, so you’ll be able to see a bit of evolution along the way (I hope!).

The Burden of Ownership

Everything I Own

5 Ways to Be Thrifty Without Being Lame

5 Confidence Boosters for the Confidence Incompetent

Burn Your Resume

Asymmetrical Business Warfare and You

Your 20 Minutes of Awesome

Earning Compound Interest on Your Knowledge

How to Be a Gentleman and a Scholar

Cut Celebrities from Your Mental Diet

The Law of Attraction is Bullshit

How to Throw a Breakup Party

Goodbye LA: You Suck and I’ll Miss You

Missouri: So Long, Thanks for All the Hicks

Today I Exhaled

I’m Writing This to Get Laid

I Punched a Local in the Face

Free Ebook: How to Be Remarkable

All 72 Things I Own

Meat, She-Pimps and Ethical Quandaries

How to Have a Personal Renaissance

Making a Modern Medici

Guys, This Bus Sucks

But Seriously Guys, This Bus is Really Bad

For Real, I’m Going to Die on This Bus

I Got Punched in the Face at a Gay Dance Club in Lima

The Inescapable Enormity of It All

Creatives, I Need to Have a Word with Your Boss

All 51 Things I Own

Taking It In (and Not Tweeting About It)

Tell Me All About Your Sexy Self

New Zealand is So Beautiful It Makes Me Sick

The Business of Throwing People from Planes

31 Posts in 31 Days

OMFG Networking Awesomely Ebook

Number 8 Wire & Why Kiwis Will Conquer the Internet

Tall Poppy Syndrome and the Jealousies

What Would You Do If the Internet Died Today?

Take Pride in Your Beliefs (and Why I Love the Gays)

Tell Me What You Are, Not What You’re Not

4 Heartless, Logical Reasons to Be Happy

Living Life vs Just Writing About It

Dishonest Branding, Coke and Vitamin Water

All 55 Things I Own

Minimalism Explained

The Seduction Community is Guitar Hero for Dating

72 Hours of Pain, Elves and Time-Travel

I Build

We Live in the Frickin’ Future

Fake Freedom Lovers and Ethical Hypocrisy

Secular Blogging Religions and Healthy Skepticism

Got a favorite post? I’d be curious to hear which in the comments.

Time for 200 more!