from the world's big
3 rules for choosing an archnemesis
Eric Weinstein explains why choosing a nemesis is both energizing and necessary for success.
- Eric Weinstein explains the three criteria for choosing an archnemesis to help motivate you in your career.
- Weinstein chose theoretical physicist, Garrett Lisi, who is working on a similar physics problem as him.
- Rather than hampering progress, Weinstein argues that a nemesis energizes you when you feel discouraged.
There will always be a lot of discussion around who the next Batman will be. Equally important, however, is the nemesis. The Joker is an easy choice, with varying degrees of success. You're always in for a fun ride with Penguin. Few can argue that Tom Hardy didn't nail Bane. Personally, I've long been a Riddler fan, though no on-screen performance will likely satisfy his role in the comics.
There is no hero without a nemesis. Predating comic books, mythology made this point long ago. We continue to honor the love between Rama and Sita, but that story is only meaningful due to Ravana's thwarted attempt to forever imprison the goddess. Rama's epic victory over Ravana was greatly aided by Hanuman; there are many beneficiaries to heroes having rivals.
Mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein takes the idea seriously. In a video posted shortly before he switched offices at his job as Managing Director at Thiel Capital, he points to a drawing of his archnemesis on the window. The baldheaded face staring at him every day is theoretical physicist Garrett Lisi, whose 2007 paper, "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything," proposes a unified field theory based on E8—what Weinstein calls a "248 dimensional beast of an object."
Advice for Beginners: Choosing Your Archnemesis to Last a Lifetime.
Weinstein doesn't believe Lisi's theory works, or will work anytime in the future. The fact that Lisi is not simply playing with the math but actually proposing a groundbreaking idea is what fuels Weinstein. He continues,
"It is clearly an attempt to explain the world we live in using a very complicated piece of mathematical machinery. And despite the fact that I don't think that it works or even can be made to work, it is still a direct attempt at resolving the major puzzles of our time."
This also happens to be Weinstein's goal, one which he is exploring with his new podcast, The Portal. It makes sense that he'd choose someone working on a similar goal to stare at every day; knowing the competition is breathing down your neck fuels your own success.
Weinstein offers his criteria for choosing an archnemesis:
It should be somebody that you want to see in this world. You should want someone competing against you for the "long haul." If they were to perish suddenly, their loss would sadden you. If your life's work is really that important to you, you need to envision that rival walking every step beside you.
It should be somebody that accepts you as their archnemesis. It doesn't really work if it's one-sided. There's already a venue for that: Twitter. Inventing enemies is easy, but if the object of your disaffection doesn't even know you exist, or ignores you completely, they are not a proper nemesis. Without mutual obsession the concept fails.
If you lose, you want them to win. Talk about ego stepping aside. But there's the rub: If you crave glory, you have to be capable of accepting defeat, which implies that your nemesis takes the crown. If Weinstein's "geometric unity" is infeasible, he'd be all for E8 dominating the field.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., left, and Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA.
Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Weinstein debated the validity of scribbling Lisi's photo onto his office window until he saw photographs taken inside of Floyd Mayweather's home. Giant portraits of Conor McGregor were visible. The months leading up to their highly-publicized battle were intense. Mayweather, the victor of that fight, needed those totems for inspiration. In fact, Mayweather continues to battle Manny Pacquiao on Instagram over a fight that occurred four years ago. A nemesis is necessary at high levels of competition.
While Weinstein generally agrees with his friend and boss, Peter Thiel, regarding the dangers of obsessing over a competitor, he feels that an archnemesis is an exception to this rule. A nemesis provides personal motivation. When you get blocked, distracted, or discouraged, knowing someone is working on the same problem as you is a reminder that there's no time to waste.
At the end of the video, Weinstein can be seen erasing the image of Lisi. He couldn't allow the cleaning crew to do the work he had to himself. Whether or not Lisi made it onto the window of his new office is irrelevant: in his mind and heart, the theoretical physicist remains an archnemesis for life. Weinstein would have it no other way.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.
- Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
- More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
- SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis [PDF]<p>Work in understanding the skills at the heart of the new digital economy is leading to novel assessments that allow individuals to prove mastery to faithfully represent their abilities—but also to give weight and stackability to the emerging ecosystem of micro-credentials that make education more seamless across time and education providers. And we are seeing the beginnings of a renewal in the liberal arts, focused on building human skills in affordable ways that are accessible to many more individuals and far more effective.</p><p>Amidst these dark times, there is much opportunity to refresh the nation's education and training solutions to support the success of individuals and society writ large.</p>
Do we really know what we want in a romantic partner? If so, do our desires actually mean we match up with people who suit them?
- Two separate scientific studies suggest that our "ideals" don't really match what we look for in a romantic partner.
- Results of studies like these can change the way we date, especially in the online world.
- "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there," says Paul Eastwick, co-author of the study and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology.
Do we really know what we want in love or are we just guessing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="204859156383d358652fda6f7eadda0f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vQgfx2iYlso?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>More than 700 participants selected their top three qualities in a romantic partner (things like funny, attractive, inquisitive, kind, etc). They then reported their romantic desire for a series of people they knew personally. Some were blind date partners, others were romantic partners and some were simply platonic friends.</p><p>While participants did experience more romantic desire to the extent that these personal connections of theirs (people they knew) had the qualities they listed, there was more to the study. </p><p>Paul Eastwick, co-author and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-romantic-partner-random-stranger.html" target="_blank">explains</a>: "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there." </p><p>The participants also considered the extent to which their personal acquaintances possessed three attributes nominated by some other random person in the study. For example, if Kris listed "down-to-earth", intelligent and thoughtful as her own top three attributes, Vanessa also experienced more desire for people with those specific traits. </p>
Does what we want really match up with what we find?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0NDA4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NjM3NzY5OX0.gdUo-UbjYhKUDOL39BDZseRynbwaK2H5dfJtbV0nw8Y/img.jpg?width=980" id="ff376" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c1e3a1bb9d576872ef5dce39b2e8e80" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="illustration of a man and woman matching on a dating app" />
What we claim to want and what we look for may be two separate things...
Image by GoodStudio on Shutterstock<p>So the question became: are we really listing what we want in an ideal partner or are we just listing vague qualities that people typically consider as positive?</p><p>"So in the end, we want partners who have positive qualities," Sparks explained, "but the qualities you specifically list do not actually have special predictive power for you." </p><p>In other words, the idea that we find certain things attractive in a person does not mean we actively seek out people who have those qualities, despite saying it's what we want in a love interest. The authors of this study suggest these findings could have implications for the way we approach online dating in the digital age. </p><p>This isn't the first study of its kind to suggest that what we find in love isn't really what we were looking for. The evidence suggests that we really are consistent in the abstract of it all: when asked to evaluate what you want on paper, you are more likely to suggest overall attractiveness in accordance with what you've stated are important ideals to you. But real life isn't so similar. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201506/when-it-comes-love-do-you-really-know-what-you-want" target="_blank">Psychology Today,</a> who covered a 2015 study with similar results, initial face-to-face encounters have very little effect on our romantic desire. "When we initially meet someone, our level of romantic interest in the person is independent of our standards."</p><p>While you might have no immediate interest in John, he may fit your criteria of being kind, loyal, and intelligent. Similarly, someone may be attracted to Elaine even though she doesn't have any of the qualities they originally said were important to them. </p><p><strong>What does this all mean? </strong></p><p>The authors of both the 2015 and 2020 studies say the same thing: give someone a chance before writing them off as a poor match. If your initial attraction is independent of the standards you've set out, the qualities which you've listed as important to you, the first time you meet someone may not give you enough information to make an informed decision.</p><p>"It's really easy to spend time hunting around online for someone who seems to match your ideals," said Sparks, "But our research suggests an alternative approach: Don't be too picky ahead of time about whether a partner matches your ideals on paper. Or, even better, let your friends pick your dates for you." </p>