The Mutual Aid Attitude for Self-Development and Health

Important: This show does not provide professional advice of any sort. You should consult with a qualified professional regarding your personal circumstances before deciding on any course of action.

This trending idea isn’t just for social welfare. Treating the ideas of everyone involved as equal instead of having a power dynamic between recipients and givers of help can create unexpected breakthroughs in your motivation, discipline, health, fitness, and performance. Mutual aid is solidarity, not charity. It is done with both sides together as equals, no power imbalance. Both sides contribute something unique and equally valuable. There is a power imbalance in professional help situations and the professionals often domineer (Dr. Phil for example), which creates less than ideal outcomes for those dealing with oppression or other unique circumstances. The “objective, common sense” ideas imposed by powerful gurus often make no sense in the objective circumstances of those who don’t have privilege. Further, help for personal development can be expensive and less available to people like you and I. Working with others in similar situations allows you to both provide something valuable to each other, with neither party being able to have power over the other.




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High-Performance, Productive…Socialism?


You have probably heard a million times that socialism will make everyone lazy and not move society forward in terms of innovation and delivering the things we need. However, a well-known motto of socialism directly contradicts this and in fact creates the ideal conditions for peak performance, even as compared to a more late-stage capitalistic perspective. It makes so much sense that even in your own life, you can instinctively see this truth.

Referenced in this episode:,_to_each_according_to_his_needs#Debates_on_the_idea


The Old Intro Episode To This Podcast (Where I make fun of Dave Ramsey)

Welcome to anyone coming here from Street Fight Radio. This is the original intro episode to the podcast under its old name: “DIY Tactics, Gnarly Civics, and Reality” where I make fun of Dave Ramsey at some point. It also gives some insight on the thought processes that lead me to where I am today.


Welcome! – Intro Episode

Why Do You Give Up On Your Goals? It may be Systemic Oppression.

Another set of episode preview notes.

Higher Level Functions Prevail: We are exquisitely made by God specifically to survive. Our bodies and minds will prioritize addressing crisis and things we need to do in order to survive. All your energy is going to keeping yourself in a job and in your current apartment. You aren’t saving for a down payment on a home because your money is consumed by the current situation and your stress tolerance is exhausted. 

Oftentimes the survival instinct is subtle and does weird things. You still go to fast food and spend even though you are low-income and trying to save for a home because your survival instinct wants food and you are depleted of energy. Don’t blame yourself! 

Futility Is Apparent: Why work out to get the six pack when you won’t ultimately go on that beach vacation? 

Cognitive Dissonance: Why be positive when it’s so negative? 

The Solution: Know How To Fail and Make Systemic Moves. Programs often tell you not to fail. You need to know how to, because in your case. Accept the situation and work to change the systemic factors, don’t deny them. Use your voice when you need to. Don’t avoid suing over an injury or unionizing because you are trying to be positive. Be positive about overcoming the system in all ways! 

Manufacturing Stoke: Using Anxiety and Negative Emotions Positively

There sometimes can be a benefit to negative emotions and anxiety, and you may not immediately need to suppress them, but only if you know what to do and how to do it right. Athletes, like surfers, often  find peace and have their most meaningful experiences when they are most scared. Using your emotions as a resource for energy and action is a necessary and helpful skill. I call this process “manufacturing stoke.”


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Disclaimer: The host does not provide professional advice. Please consult an independent, qualified professional before deciding upon a course of action.

Implementing Change with Small Habits and Picking Up Where You Left Off

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So much of self-help is focused on doing a bunch of big things based on goals the authors create, which is to say they promote conformity, and that can conflict with your own innate goals and attitudes, not to mention overwhelming you. My approach to personal development in my own life is focusing on smaller things that can impact mindset across many areas, leveraging my past goals and using them as a compass to point me in the direction of what I want to work on (while making changes), and working with others for accountability. This way you make the progress you want to make in a way that works for you, which is what sticks! I also discuss “leveraging stoke” to do bigger, more difficult things situationally.

Positive Mental Attitude and Revolutionary Mental Attitude

This is a preview of episode notes for a future episode and hasn’t been fully edited.


A positive mental attitude believes that you can achieve your goals no matter what is happening around you, just based on your belief in achieving them and not listening to any sort of negativity or talk of bad circumstances from others. It believes in your strength alone. 

A revolutionary mental attitude believes you can achieve your goals and help others achieve theirs by believing that changing the circumstances happening around you is possible. It acknowledges that just being positive is necessary, but not sufficient. It is practiced by controlling your emotions, knowing you are strong enough to stand up against oppression, and taking action while organizing with others. 

Yes, you should be positive and work on yourself. It is a major failure of activists to say that this is pointless and to stay negative while waiting for the perfect form of policy and systems change to occur.

But you should also acknowledge reality. Yes, there is an entire system designed to keep you down. But you are able to change that. You must believe you can cause change. Believing that it’s possible makes it easier to achieve. It’s reality but you can change reality. Look at the problem and see how you can improve the situation. Whatever it is, it’s good enough for you to make stoke from it. (A key lesson from skating.)

Another skate lesson: You must know how to fall and train yourself for it because if you don’t, falling will be way harder and more detrimental to you. Lying to yourself about how these problems people are facing aren’t real, that anyone can just pick themselves up by their bootstraps and always succeed doesn’t make you positive or successful; it makes you a jerk and leaves you stuck in failure when things go wrong because your mind can’t understand it. Understand and accept systemic problems and put your effort toward both working on yourself and working to create a system that promotes anti-fragility, ergo, being able to fall and get back up. 

Tyler Joseph’s “Platforms” Joke and Black Lives Matter – A Consultant’s Analysis

Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots was ill-advised to make his “Platforms” joke, but did not act maliciously and was likely frustrated with implementing appropriate discourse. Communicating about political and social issues in a way that is relevant, appropriate, and in line with the creative tone and voice of an artist is challenging. Simply “canceling” someone or dictating what they say does not work and deprives society of the unique value that creatives bring to the political and social discourse. Creating a collaborative relationship with those who understand political communication is key.

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Notes on Anti-Fragility, The Skater Way, and Social Change

One of the core differentiators between skateboarder philosophy and conventional doctrines of social and personal development is that constant failure is not only acceptable, but desirable. This concept is given lip service and overcoming failures is admired by conventional wisdom but is effectively made impossible and rejected by the systems of society. Systems in society and in the methods used to develop individuals are generally designed to avoid any and all such failures, and specifically to punish these failures in a manner that compounds them beyond their natural consequence and even the principles of ethics would dictate. We create fragility such that the most minor of incidents can end a life, whether in physical death or in the death of one’s future. This fragility is called punishment or getting what you deserve, without knowing that it is fragility or what that means. We have been led to believe that breaking people irretrievably will prevent bad things from happening, not realizing that it destroys the chance of good things happening except for those who have been immunized from the force of punishment. See pretty much every aspect of the criminal justice system, especially that part which punishes crime by brutality (that can become a death sentence as shown in examples like George Floyd) before a trial can even happen. Even in less dramatic ways, the bias of society against resiliency and anti-fragility is evident. You lose your job, you wind up on the street, you become homeless, and can die from illnesses caused by that. The nobility of the risk you took is of no effect, and taking a risk in a workplace makes you an enemy. You are a machine and if we break the power cord, the money we give you, you are broken. You are stigmatized for your failure and its consequences. You are a bad person now. Even if explicitly otherwise stated, implicitly and through the material feedback loop created by society, you are given the message that cannot get up from this fall. Or at least they want you to believe that.

This is done deliberately instead of promoting these failures to a controllable, mitigated extent and then finding the best path to reduce their impact, or better yet, convert them to outcomes superior to or not achievable by the conventional path. I use the term “deliberately,” because it is known that these failures do create superior outcomes. It is known because that is what is done by those close to those who make the rules.

This is the essence of anti-fragility.

The kind of resiliency attained by a skater is possible now in our society for an elite few, whose impunity has created unjust power and repressed the potential that could be unlocked by the anti-fragility of the masses, but if the ecosystem is changed to allow this for as many people as are willing, the potential for progression will become limitless. This path, of course, is not for everyone. But right now, we create fragility, irretrievable hopelessness, as a means of social control and as our primary means of promoting better behavior. Don’t do this or you are screwed forever. If that happens to you, nobody will help you and it will be a downward spiral, so don’t do anything you can fail at. However, some defy this. This is what skaters do. They defy the very DNA which has been imposed on society, that which tells everyone to not do great things, to just obey. Or to only do great things if you are already powerful in the eyes of the system itself, or on its terms. And they do this not to prevent others from joining them, but rather to bring more.

A key to anti-fragility on a societal level is seeing all parts, all stakeholders, all people as having value to be protected against the risks inherent in a changing society. To not do this for everyone, every marginalized group, is to keep society fragile and cause weakness. Support and protection do not cause weakness. They do not always cause strength either. What they do create is an atmosphere where either of those is a possibility. If a single failure breaks down everything forever, then why would one try something that risks that? Why would we imagine a new future when at the blink of an eye it would all be gone? When any part of the ecosystem we live in breaks, all of it can break at a moment’s notice and it can harm anyone, even the strongest person. The weakness and the lack of ability to learn to fail can make everyone fail at once. This “ability” is created by not being fragile, anti-fragility is a matter of deliberate practice and discipline, that like those trying to kickflip, may or may not be practiced to success or at all. The state of not being fragile is not anti-fragility, but this bare minimum of security for the entire system allows those parts which pursue anti-fragility to do so effectively.

We have made our society prone to fragility. This is a decision we can continue or end. We can make it capable of anti-fragility. We can help people learn to fail, so that they can fly.

Everyone must be able to, if they will to do so, fail and get back up in order for anyone to fly continually.

This is the key truth missed by those who push an adversarial and superiority-based form of strength. Being above someone else, or believing so, is a really good way to avoid confronting your vulnerability. This avoidance creates the appearance of strength and can make one appear less fragile and momentarily can even make one, in fact, less fragile. But the underlying truth is that fragility still exists, even out of sight. All forms of dominance fail when the dominance is over a system that is itself falling apart. They fail faster when the dominance is applied heavier, because though dominance shows results in the immediate term, it is done by depleting the limited resources of the system more quickly, hence making the problem worse.

Skaters prove that this is not the only kind of strength possible. Strength is not defined by the ability to beat others. It can be defined by creating. It can be defined by the will to fly.

What then is the solution? Stopping the feedback loop that turns people into permanent failures and prevents learning how to fail. Allowing the processes of nature to run among all people while protecting all people from its worst consequences in the way the powerful have been protected. This is an endeavor for a society, by avoiding as best possible forms of authority and oppression that temporarily quell problems while making them worse, providing resources that make it possible for communities to be resillent and not dependent upon those resources which may be taken in the process of pursuing that which may be taken by risk, and training its people to do the things that make it better. It is for the community and the individual to determine their best role in the process, their tolerance for risk, their ability, and their method of contributing to the collective creation.

We need a society that is able to learn to fail. We need a society where more people can be like skaters.

// Inspired by the Tony Hawk quote: “In order to fly, you must learn to fail.”


George Floyd and Black Lives Matter: More on Signaling, Community Consent and Game Theory

One of the articles mentioned in the podcast:

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Killer Mike’s post:

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