Pre self-authoring thoughts

Now that Jordan Peterson is out of vogue, it seems like the appropriate time for someone in the 3rd percentile for Agreeableness to buy his overpriced Kool-Aid. I’ve been wondering for a while if it’s any use, and if so how much use for $30 and a 5-hour time investment.

Unfortunately, it appears no one has successfully posted the Self-Authoring program writing prompts online for free. Though I’m strongly of the opinion that creative work should NOT be compensated, I’ll admit that it may be for the best here since most people probably wouldn’t put in any effort if they hadn’t paid $30 for the privilege. As in self-directed behavior research,

People do not fail at self-modification because the techniques don’t work; they fail because they don’t use the techniques (Gould & Clum, 1993). For example, in one study a manual was developed for people who have a strong fear of open places–agoraphobia (Holden, O’Brien, Barlow, Stetson, & Infantino, 1983). The manual described the techniques that subjects could use to lessen their agoraphobia. The subjects in one group were simply given the manual and invited to change themselves, but the manual was not effective because the subjects did not use the techniques suggested. Similarly, when therapists gave their depressed patients homework assignments involving self-modification, the only patients who improved were those who actually did the homework (Neimmeyer & Feixas, 1990).

These results are not surprising: If you want to develop a skill, you have to practice it, and if you don’t practice, you should not be surprised if you don’t learn the skill.

(You can argue this point with a fatalist all you want, they are epistemically closed to comprehension that there’s more to basketball than the genetics for height. My motto, on the other hand, is “outperform your genetics”.)

I looked through some reviews and this one addresses my unspoken questions the most precisely:

Overall recommendation

To be honest, I didn’t expect the self authoring program to be very useful – not because I thought it would be junk, but because I’ve already spent the last year navel-gazing like crazy (lots of reading and thinking and writing). I’d already put in place lots of systems to guide me through life, with highly specific goals, and lists and spreadsheets coming out my ears.

With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to finish with a list of actionable things to do. I also have a much clearer sense of where I’ve come from, and where I’m going.


What’s the Secret Sauce?

As far as I can tell, there is none. The questions and exercises are simple, and nothing you couldn’t have come up with yourself. What matters is the act of writing. I already knew this, in the sense that this is how I crystallise my thoughts about complicated things. But it would never have occurred to me to sit down and write about myself at length. It would feel a bit weird, or self-indulgent. To have someone not only give you permission, but hold your hand through a logical progression of exercises with a clear endpoint – that’s why it works.

-Richard Meadows on Reddit
Self authoring review: Is the program worthwhile?

From the rest of the review, it sounds like this program is not merely a retread of better self-improvement programs or goal-setting exercises like Brian Tracy’s. There is (by reputation) real depth in this process of clarifying what exactly you want and why, whereas most self-help programs assume you already mostly know what you want and it’s just a matter of writing it down as a SMART goal and a plan.

As I pointed out to MM, his rant about the importance of choosing the correct thing to do before doing anything should have been the intro and chapter one of the GUToW, versus the tired old “get angry get good” bit. There’s a real deficiency in the books out there on this subject of knowing yourself (try googling “knowing yourself for dummies” to see what I mean). Everybody agrees you need to know yourself, but there are far fewer books than there are for much less important subjects like phrenology. I know because I’ve tried to compile lists of resources for both subjects.

For my part, I think we should start judging ourselves by using the same empirical benchmarks as we would for judging other people- in order of importance: Trustworthiness, IQ, dark tetrad traits and autism quotient traits, racial and family background, Seligman’s resilience metrics, Fussell’s classes, religiosity, Haidt’s moral axes, actual religion/ideology, the Big 5- before consulting insights from the privileged perspective of a subjective internal observer. Incidentally:

Trustworthiness: High
IQ: Approximately 140
Dark tetrad traits: Very low
Autism quotient traits: Very high
Racial background: German Irish
Family background: Standard Midwesterners
Resilience: High (may post questionnaire later)
Fussell class: A mix of lower-middle background and upper-middle taste
Religiosity: High
Haidt’s moral axes: Very libertarian by nature, i.e. balanced except being overly fond of fairness under the law and averse to cheating (low ethnocentrism, anti-double standards, special pleading, etc.)
Actual religion/ideology: Protestant, Ethnocentric One-nation Toryism (until the next thing)
Big 5: Extremely open, introverted, and disagreeable, average conscientiousness, moderately low neuroticism, high honesty-humility in HEXACO (Ref:,,

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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16 Responses to Pre self-authoring thoughts

  1. Obadiah says:

    Birth month?

    • Obadiah says:

      Astrology sign, I mean?

        • Obadiah says:

          Really? Or are you just playin wit a nibba

            • Obadiah says:

              That actually is surprising, I had you figured for an Aquarius or something.

            • Aeoli Pera says:

              Sagittarius in the traditional 12-sign system.

            • Obadiah says:

              Yep, I’m also Sagittarius in that system. My birthday is Dec 8, putting me in the exact middle point between where Ophiuchus starts (Nov 29) and ends (Dec 17), with exactly nine days on either side of my birthday. Though I think these start-and-end dates shift a bit with different calendar and astrological interpretations and whatnot.

            • Obadiah says:

              I was also born at 1 PM, so one hour earlier and I would have been at the *exact* midpoint.

            • Obadiah says:

              >I was also born at 1 PM, so one hour earlier and I would have been at the *exact* midpoint.

              I realized today that 12+1=13! Effectively making me “peak Obadiah”

          • Aeoli Pera says:

            Don’t let that play with your head too much, astrology is garbage. There is actually one interesting prediction in it that works that I found in an old book about how to judge character…something about Mars and athletic ability that was statistically significant. I’ll take a pic sometime and post it. Otherwise garbage though.

            • Obadiah says:

              IDK, I really do embody the Obadiah sign/archetype as outlined on the red thread and elsewhere to a bizarre extent, right down to the plaid clothing; it does have something to do with racial memory or psychic connection to the collective unconscious/etheric realm/supernatural realm.

  2. Obadiah says:

    Notice how we also have the same blood type? Me = Jacob lineage, you = Esau lineage. Have you done a 23andme? Need to look at your trace DNA (ancient DNA)

    • Obadiah says:

      “In time Jacob married and prospered in Haran as a laborer for his uncle Laban, while Esau’s household moved to the nearby land of Seir, also called Edom. Then, in a visit from an angel of the Lord, Jacob was commanded to return to his birthright land (see Gen. 31:11–13). Supposing that his brother’s former frame of mind still prevailed, Jacob sent messengers to Esau with a friendly greeting. They returned with word that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 armed men (see Gen. 32:6). “Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Gen. 32:7). Since God had given the direction, Jacob appealed to Him in fervent prayer for protection. Jacob then instructed his servants to divide over 550 of his animals into many groups and to drive them in a staggered formation toward Esau. Each servant of Jacob presented his group of animals as a separate gift—gift piling upon gift. Jacob hoped this manner of presentation would soften his brother’s heart (see Gen. 32:13–21).

      As Esau drew close, Jacob went out with his wives and children to meet his brother, bowing seven times as he went—a sign of respect for his older brother. None of this was lost on Esau, who “ran to meet” Jacob (Gen. 33:4). “How sincere and genuine is this conduct of Esau,” writes a commentator, “and at the same time how magnanimous! He had buried all his resentment, and forgotten all his injuries; and receives his brother with the strongest demonstrations, not only of forgiveness, but of fraternal affection.””

      ^It seems Esau never really cared too much about the actual birthright itself. He was “indifferent”, as Tex says. “He is content to play with treestumps all day”, to paraphrase certain others. What probably made Esau initially upset was Jacob’s act of betrayal/trust and the fact that he’d been deceived out of what was his by right. The actual birthright/position of power over Israel itself or whatever seemed to be unimportant to Esau.

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