An Article of the Modern Survival Guide, Vol. II

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This series is titled the Modern Survival Guide for a reason — everything here is supposed to help you survive the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. To my mind, one of the most critical components of that goal is to keep acquiring knowledge, as much as we are able. I’ve seen what happens when people don’t, and it’s the same sad story over and over again. I have no wish to see it repeated.

We are currently wading through an epidemic of ignorance. This is a statement of fact, not of belief or conjecture…


An article of The Modern Survival Guide, Vol. II

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I find the whole concept of being a “gentleman” oddly fascinating. That’s a good place to start — you have this image of a man vs. a gentleman, simply by virtue of the language, which in and of itself sets up an opposed structure. A man is not a gentleman at the start; it’s something we earn or achieve. …


An Article of the Modern Survival Guide, Vol. II

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Optimism is generally great, I think we can mostly agree. It gets us out of bed in the morning and helps us to see the positive side of things. I’m all for optimism, as a rule. However, optimism has a dark side. This is a concept that I’ve alluded to in other articles in this long-running series: there is a thing called “Malicious Optimism,” and it is nasty. The people who practice it intentionally are douchebags, there are way too many of them, and a lot of them are in positions…


An Article of the Modern Survival Guide, Vol. II

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Among the many truly awful narratives running around in the US today, there are few worse than this: “The government doesn’t do anything but screw up and take your money.” It’s right up there with “All politicians are lying bastards” as a pernicious falsehood that really ought to be put to sleep, but keeps on living because it gets traction. It gets traction partly because how we think about the federal government is usually wrong.

Almost all of us tend to think of the US federal government as a thing. A singular thing. A monolithic entity. A collected whole. It’s…


An Article of The Modern Survival Guide, Vol. II

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I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. Are you ready? Here it is, and don’t tell anyone — the United States Federal Government employs more than 4 million private contractors. How many more than 4 million? No one knows. But that’s a pretty hefty chunk of the US active workforce right there, so odds are pretty good that someone you know is on a contract working for the feds.¹ And when you figure that federal contracting is a $550 billion industry, it’s easy to see how this topic made it into a series called the “


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“Objectively speaking, we live in the easiest time to be alive that humanity has ever experienced.”

That’s what I opened with a couple of years ago, when I started writing what would become . I still stand by these words, but with some rather pointed caveats as we close in on the tail end of 2020, because it’s been one hell of a year.

I’m no longer as confident in the stability of American democracy.

I’m no longer as confident in the capacity of the average American citizen.

I’m no longer as confident in…


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About two years ago I started a project called the , which was intended to be a series of essays on things I think people ought to know about living in the modern world. It was a project that I’m not ashamed to say I picked up out of frustration.

There’s just so much going on these days, and so many people who I thought desperately needed something like this. I was frustrated with the number of brutally ignorant people who make it to adulthood, and wanted to write something that might help the more open-minded of them.


The Modern Survival Guide #117

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This is the , a guidebook I’m writing for things I think people need to know about living in the modern world. The views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. And as an elder millennial, cis-gender male who grew up in the American south, for much of my life I held the view that there are two genders — male and female — and that the genders naturally do different things. That worldview is very common in the US, and it’s important for our survival in the modern world to realize that it is incorrect.

So let’s…


The Modern Survival Guide #116

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This is the , a guidebook I’m writing for things I think people need to know about living in the modern world. The views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. And before we get any further, let me clear this out of the way: No, I am not claiming to be a sex god or anything silly like that. I consider myself competent, with continual room for improvement, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go in self-adulation.

But I’ve had some fantastic sex in my life, and I’ve had some awful sex in my…


The Modern Survival Guide #115

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This is the , a guidebook I’m writing for things I think people need to know about living in the modern world. The views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. That’s an important caveat for this article in particular, because when I start talking about a “positive relationship,” it is absolutely inevitable that my own personal biases and opinions will creep in. You might disagree, and that’s fine. …

Allen Faulton

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

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