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Being good to be bad: skills

Hello Lucio,

you wrote this excellent article about being good to be bad. I agree with everything you said. I would translate as being bad as "capacity or willingness for aggression/anti-social behavior" and good as "capacity or willingness for collaboration/pro-social behavior" for the sake of the conversation.

I agree with everything you said in this article, like:

naively cooperating environment are at high danger of being invaded and taken over by opportunistic cheats.

Mathematically indeed, it’s impossible to infiltrate a cheat-only system with a collaborative strategy (unless many collaborative players enter it at once).

By mastering evil I am referring to:

  1. The ability to recognize evil when you see it
  2. The strength, and skills, to withstand it (avoid it or destroy it)
  3. The ability to act evil, when needed

the higher you aim, the more you will have to contend with evil.

you cannot spread love at scale if you cannot destroy the evil that stands in the way.

So regarding to your comment on mastering evil, I understand it is an important topic. To learn it:

  1. Recognize it: Power University coupled with the forum for asking questions does it very well when faced with real life situations.
  2. Withstanding/Avoiding it (I would not put destroying it here): I think it's based on emotional resilience, self-esteem and real life situations. Avoiding it is easier. Withstanding it is being able to withstand the emotional pain of the aggression without submitting or fleeing.
  3. Act evil: I would say that it would be to learn about martial arts and manipulation.

I want to increase my dark side. I do. But in the sense of my capacity and willingness for aggression, according to Yoda ("use the Force only for defense").

How would you go about it?

I directed this question towards you since you're the author of the article. However, I'm curious about what @Kellvo, @JP and @Stef and other contributors have to say on this topic.

Hey John,

Yeah, that "be bad to be good" concept is one of the major "founding principles" behind ThePowerMove's philosophy.

How to go about it?
I think you've already listed great options in there.

A few more could be:

  1. Accept your dark side: a major obstacle that stands in the way is often that people try to repress, or pretend that their dark side doesn't even exist
  2. Accept that people differ in their levels of Machiavellianism / dark side, and assess them: sure, the environment and situations play a huge role, so you also want to take environment and incentives into account. And still, people still differ in their general levels of base behavior. Accepting and assessing people around you will help you pick the best people around you, and be prepared for the not-so-good ones
  3. Lok for the unspoken, darker truths: this is about learning to look at the Machiavellianism behind's the "manipulative facade". For example, when I read that Trump "wanted to let the homeless people in one of his building to help them out" that didn't make sense to me. And when I looked it up, he was actually trying to push out the last hold-outs owners to sell. When I read Starbucks' founder talking about his activism on fair trade and "treating employees so well they didn't need unions", that also smelled like manipulative facade to hide some darker truths
  4. The cold-blooded new persona: sometimes it can pay off to being able to switch off your empathy. Imagining yourself entering a different state of cold-blooded operator can help. In milder forms, this can also be done when competing for promotions or personal success. In this latter case, it doesn't mean you will operate to harm your competitors beyond the scope of the competition, but it means that you are able to compete without feeling bad for their losses

A couple more interesting books on the topic:


Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?