The half price sale on my podcast on finding good prospects for romance and friendship is ending soon… so now’s the time to buy it! It’s just $10 now, but that sale price will expire on January 20th.

You can find more information about the podcast below, as well as order it. If it’s a gift, just let me know that (and the email address of the recipient) in the comments field on the order form.

About the Podcast

Many people lament the difficulty of finding good prospects for a lasting, deep, and happy romance. Others have trouble finding worthwhile friends. Yet most people who bemoan the lack of prospects could be doing much more than they are to increase their odds of success. Too many people don’t adopt a purposeful approach but instead wait passively… and complain. This 90-minute podcast discusses how to make yourself a good prospect — and how to find good prospects — for romance and friendship.

The structure of podcast:

  • Opening remarks
  • A bit of theory:
    • Types of social relationships, visualized as a target
    • Major axes of compatibility in relationships
  • Practical advice:
    • Make yourself a good prospect
    • Expand your social network
    • Engage with other people
    • Cultivate your social skills
  • Questions and answers from pledgers:
    • How can a person get better at evaluating other people’s characters when meeting them?
    • When should I reveal a psychological problem like bipolar disorder to someone I’m dating?
  • Closing remarks

Remember, the podcast doesn’t just concern finding good prospects for romance but also for friendship. So even if you’re happily attached, you’ll likely find the techniques of use.

Purchase the Podcast

This podcast was originally funded by pledges, and it’s now available for purchase for half-price — just $10 — until January 20th. You can pay online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Terms of Sale: You may share the podcast with members of your household, but not beyond that. Do not ever post the podcast in any public forum.

Name:
Email:
Item:Podcast: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship ($15)
Add a tip? Total:
Payment Method:
Comments/Questions:
I’d love to hear what motivated your purchase in these comments.
 

Once you submit this form, you’ll be automatically redirected to a page for payment. Within 24 hours of the receipt of payment, you will receive an email with information on how to access your purchase. If you have any questions or further comments, please email me at diana@philosophyinaction.com.

To order multiple items from Philosophy in Action, use this form. To create a recurring tip, use this form.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. If you’ve already purchased this podcast, you can access it via its private page with your login and password. If you have forgotten that, just e-mail me.

 

If you’ve been interested in my podcast on finding good prospects for romance and friendship, now’s the time to buy it! It’s on sale for half price — just $10 — until January 20th.

You can find more information about the podcast below, as well as order it. If it’s a gift, just let me know that (and the email address of the recipient) in the comments field on the order form.

About the Podcast

Many people lament the difficulty of finding good prospects for a lasting, deep, and happy romance. Others have trouble finding worthwhile friends. Yet most people who bemoan the lack of prospects could be doing much more than they are to increase their odds of success. Too many people don’t adopt a purposeful approach but instead wait passively… and complain. This 90-minute podcast discusses how to make yourself a good prospect — and how to find good prospects — for romance and friendship.

The structure of podcast:

  • Opening remarks
  • A bit of theory:
    • Types of social relationships, visualized as a target
    • Major axes of compatibility in relationships
  • Practical advice:
    • Make yourself a good prospect
    • Expand your social network
    • Engage with other people
    • Cultivate your social skills
  • Questions and answers from pledgers:
    • How can a person get better at evaluating other people’s characters when meeting them?
    • When should I reveal a psychological problem like bipolar disorder to someone I’m dating?
  • Closing remarks

Remember, the podcast doesn’t just concern finding good prospects for romance but also for friendship. So even if you’re happily attached, you’ll likely find the techniques of use.

Purchase the Podcast

This podcast was originally funded by pledges, and it’s now available for purchase for half-price — just $10 — until January 20th. You can pay online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Terms of Sale: You may share the podcast with members of your household, but not beyond that. Do not ever post the podcast in any public forum.

Name:
Email:
Item:Podcast: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship ($15)
Add a tip? Total:
Payment Method:
Comments/Questions:
I’d love to hear what motivated your purchase in these comments.
 

Once you submit this form, you’ll be automatically redirected to a page for payment. Within 24 hours of the receipt of payment, you will receive an email with information on how to access your purchase. If you have any questions or further comments, please email me at diana@philosophyinaction.com.

To order multiple items from Philosophy in Action, use this form. To create a recurring tip, use this form.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. If you’ve already purchased this podcast, you can access it via its private page with your login and password. If you have forgotten that, just e-mail me.

Ideas for First Dates

 Posted by on 14 May 2013 at 2:00 pm  Advice, Friendship, Love/Sex
May 142013
 

Many moons ago, shortly after I published my podcast on Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship, Stella Zawistowski sent me this set of excellent ideas for first dates, particularly geared toward city-dwellers.

  • If you live near a college, university, or especially a conservatory for the arts, be sure to get on the school’s mailing list or check posted schedules regularly for free or low-cost performances. You’ll frequently find Shakespeare, dance productions, recitals, orchestra concerts, and sometimes even opera.
  • Ballroom dance studios often offer free or low-price guest nights to attract new students. You can enjoy the free beginners’ lesson, then apply your new skills dancing with your date for the rest of the night.
  • Many pubs and bars offer trivia nights. You and your date can be a two-person team.
  • Some bars and restaurants offer themed wine-tasting nights.
  • Picnic in the park. Bonus points if you make the food yourself and/or have a dog that likes to play.
  • Follow dinner or drinks with board games instead of a movie.
  • In the summer, many cities have food festivals or street fairs that it’s fun to browse with a date.
  • If you and your date are sports fans, try minor-league or college games. Minor-league baseball is a particularly fun date, and usually costs the same or less than a movie ticket! If there’s no minor-league team in your area, catch a game at a sports bar.
  • Go on a hike (but don’t pick too strenuous a trail; you want to be able to converse with your date).
  • Visit your local zoo or botanical gardens to enjoy nature harnessed for man’s enjoyment.
  • If your city has a Time Out magazine, subscribe to it (or visit timeout.com) to find all kinds of events.
  • Many farmer’s markets offer free or low-cost cooking demonstrations. See how a dish is made, then buy the ingredients, go home and prepare it with your date.

Any other ideas? Post them in the comments!

If you’re interested in purchasing the podcast, that’s still available for just $20. You can find more information — and purchase it — here: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship.

 

Earlier this week, a person bought my podcast on finding good prospects for romance and friendship for a friend of his. In the course of our email exchange about it, he told me:

I thought this podcast was really excellent. I liked the way you framed the talk, and I thought you had a lot of really useful suggestions. It got me thinking about how I could stack the deck in my favor when it comes to finding friends and good romantic prospects. I especially liked the section on overcoming shyness.

Hooray! That reminded me that you can give this podcast to a friend or family member — or you can ask for it as a gift. It’s 90 minutes long, and it costs $20.

You can find more information about the podcast below, as well as order it. If it’s a gift, just let me know that (and the email address of the recipient) in the comments field on the order form.

About the Podcast

Many people lament the difficulty of finding good prospects for a lasting, deep, and happy romance. Others have trouble finding worthwhile friends. Yet most people who bemoan the lack of prospects could be doing much more than they are to increase their odds of success. Too many people don’t adopt a purposeful approach but instead wait passively… and complain. This podcast discusses how to make yourself a good prospect — and how to find good prospects — for romance and friendship.

The structure of podcast:

  • Opening remarks
  • A bit of theory:
    • Types of social relationships, visualized as a target
    • Major axes of compatibility in relationships
  • Practical advice:
    • Make yourself a good prospect
    • Expand your social network
    • Engage with other people
    • Cultivate your social skills
  • Questions and answers from pledgers:
    • How can a person get better at evaluating other people’s characters when meeting them?
    • When should I reveal a psychological problem like bipolar disorder to someone I’m dating?
  • Closing remarks

Remember, the podcast doesn’t just concern finding good prospects for romance but also for friendship. So even if you’re happily attached, you’ll likely find the techniques of use.

Purchase the Podcast

This podcast was originally funded by pledges, and it’s now available for purchase for $15. You can pay online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Terms of Sale: You may share the podcast with members of your household, but not beyond that. Do not ever post the podcast in any public forum.

Name:
Email:
Item:Podcast: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship ($15)
Add a tip? Total:
Payment Method:
Comments/Questions:
I’d love to hear what motivated your purchase in these comments.
 

Once you submit this form, you’ll be automatically redirected to a page for payment. Within 24 hours of the receipt of payment, you will receive an email with information on how to access your purchase. If you have any questions or further comments, please email me at diana@philosophyinaction.com.

To order multiple items from Philosophy in Action, use this form. To create a recurring tip, use this form.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. If you’ve already purchased this podcast, you can now access it here with your login and password. If you have forgotten that, just e-mail me.

Nov 072012
 

As some of you might recall, I recorded a 90-minute podcast on “Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship” in June 2010. (Its creation was funded by pledges.) Last week, I moved it over to PhilosophyInAction.com. I’m now offering it for sale for $20.

About the Podcast

Many people lament the difficulty of finding good prospects for a lasting, deep, and happy romance. Others have trouble finding worthwhile friends. Yet most people who bemoan the lack of prospects could be doing much more than they are to increase their odds of success. Too many people don’t adopt a purposeful approach but instead wait passively… and complain. This podcast discusses how to make yourself a good prospect — and how to find good prospects — for romance and friendship.

The structure of podcast:

  • Opening remarks
  • A bit of theory:
    • Types of social relationships, visualized as a target
    • Major axes of compatibility in relationships
  • Practical advice:
    • Make yourself a good prospect
    • Expand your social network
    • Engage with other people
    • Cultivate your social skills
  • Questions and answers from pledgers:
    • How can a person get better at evaluating other people’s characters when meeting them?
    • When should I reveal a psychological problem like bipolar disorder to someone I’m dating?
  • Closing remarks

Remember, the podcast doesn’t just concern finding good prospects for romance but also for friendship. So even if you’re happily attached, you’ll likely find the techniques of use.

Purchase the Podcast

This podcast is now available for purchase for $20. You can pay online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Terms of Sale: You may share the podcast with members of your household, but not beyond that. Do not ever post the podcast in any public forum.

Name:
Email:
Item:Podcast: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship ($15)
Add a tip? Total:
Payment Method:
Comments/Questions:
I’d love to hear what motivated your purchase in these comments.
 

Once you submit this form, you’ll be automatically redirected to a page for payment. Within 24 hours of the receipt of payment, you will receive an email with information on how to access your purchase. If you have any questions or further comments, please email me at diana@philosophyinaction.com.

To order multiple items from Philosophy in Action, use this form. To create a recurring tip, use this form.

Praise for the Podcast

The response to the podcast has been very positive, including the following remarks:

I can’t tell you how valuable I’ve found your podcast on romantic relations! To start, and as you mentioned yourself, it was just as applicable and valuable to more ‘ordinary’ relations. Simply thinking of the relations you have with people in terms of acquaintances/friends/close friends and whether the time and effort you spend is in line with your values is a powerful tool.

You mentioned the danger of limiting judgement in romance to a purely ‘sense of life’ level, and I think you struck on the biggest problem most people, myself included, have with romance! Really analyzing your own values and how they mesh, or clash, with others is vitally important in even casual friendships, and not carrying that over to romantic relationships leads, well, nowhere!

And the simplest advice of all, “doing nothing is a recipe for getting nothing!” It’s good to be reminded that identifying ourselves as Objectivists doesn’t automatically make us immune from the dangers of following our guts over our heads, or being passive! We still have to act, so thank you for your work in applying excellent principles to the actions all too many of us leave to chance!

And:

Since downloading Diana’s podcast on Finding Romantic Prospects, I’ve listened to it no less than four times. It’s so inspiring and motivational – I love it!! What’s really cool for me is that it’s about way more than finding romantic prospects (I’m married, so that’s not an issue).

I am an introvert who happily coasts along in her comfort zone by hiding in the background at social gatherings, listening to conversations without jumping in, reading email lists and blog posts without commenting, avoiding speaking with people I don’t know — kind of a more passive take on the world, more observing and less engaging. Once in a while I try to break out of my shell – and Diana’s podcast has given me great motivation to break out of my shell, take some risks, challenge myself, put myself “out there” and get out of my comfort zone! Now I’m implementing ways to push myself to be more outgoing and connected — like signing up for Toastmasters, working on my introduction emails for the OLists, approaching and talking to strangers at parties and in various settings, jumping in on OList discussions and various blogs.

Diana’s podcast is the best kick-in-the-butt I could have imagined to expand my social network, improve myself to get myself together, take control of my and get out there!! That is worth so much more than what I paid, and I’m looking forward to her next one!

And:

I found this podcast very useful in my life. I put it to work at OCON [in 2010] and found that I had Diana’s voice in my head many many many times throughout the conference. OCON was FILLED with social situations where I was surrounded by new people (I have always been an introvert when in comes to environments like that) but instead of feeling awkward, I practically instantly felt camaraderie with so many of the people there. Now I am sure a large part of this simply had to do with the nature of the people attending OCON to begin with, but whenever I was standing in conversation with a group of people, I continually would catch myself doing the things Diana points out NOT to do in this podcast and would immediately correct what I was doing. Usually this was involving my body language such as having my arms crossed in front of me when talking to people.

Additionally, I very much noticed OTHER OCON attendees putting Diana’s advice in this podcast to work as well and I took note of how effectively it worked for them too! I guess the secret is out!

Jul 252012
 

I’ve often said that closets are hot, stuffy, and uncomfortable places to live. That doesn’t just apply to gay closets, but to atheist closets, Objectivist closets, and pretty much any other kind of closet. For a person to hide who he is, pretending to be something more socially acceptable, is deeply self-destructive. How so?

To hide who you are creates feelings of shame, often wholly unwarranted. It causes massive anxiety about being found out. It trains you to cowardice, betraying your values rather than standing up for them. It encourages you to focus on how others see your values, rather than why they’re your values. It creates strong incentives to lie, by implication or explicitly, to preserve the secret. It assumes the worst about other people, namely that they’d condemn or even disown you if they knew who you really were.

Closets, in essence, erode a person’s moral character, trust in others, and emotional well-being.

In a blog post for the Harvard Business ReviewCome Out of the Closet at Work, Whether You’re Gay or Not — Dorie Clark makes some interesting remarks about how social media destroys the pretense of closets. Basically, the connections forged by social media mean that “the boundaries are breaking down, privacy is a shimmering mirage, and we’re stuck in a world where you’re expected, and required, to be yourself.”

That isn’t merely good for a person’s integrity. It can help a person succeed:

While it’s not always easy to share personal news at work, it can have an unexpected payoff. As Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Karen Sumberg reported last year in the Harvard Business Review, it actually pays for GLBT employees to come out of the closet. They’re more likely to be promoted because they spend less time worrying about secrecy and hiding and more time focused on their jobs.

That’s hardly not surprising. The mental energy, effort, and anxiety required to keep yourself a secret from people that you’re interacting with on a daily basis can be overwhelming.

Does that mean that a person should share everything? Are people wrong to value their own privacy? No, of course not! A person being reserved is very different from a person stuffing himself into a closet. The reserved person will not share his thoughts, feelings, values, and activities with strangers at the drop of a hat, but he will share relevant information with people in his life. Moreover, he doesn’t quake in fear at the prospect others knowing him, nor actively work to hide himself from others. The closeted person does not share relevant information, does quake in fear of others knowing him, and does actively conceal himself.

Yet even for the reserved person, to be more open might be of benefit. Dorie Clark writes:

Many people still argue there’s a fundamental right to privacy. But post-Zuckerberg, that illusion has evaporated — and, as I wrote in a previous HBR post, that’s a good thing: closing the gap between one’s public and private images results in more people being honest about themselves and their lives.

Whether you’re gay or not, it’s likely that you’ve faced complicated privacy issues: should you friend your co-workers on Facebook? How about your boss? How should you present — some would even say “curate” — your social media persona? As [Anderson] Cooper’s example reminds us, the best answer may be simply to open up and erase the division between public and private. You certainly don’t have to share everything, but it makes for a better world if you share the most important things.

In my experience, my sharing more about myself and my values means that I’m much better able to find and connect with people that I like — and that’s a huge win for me.

Apr 252012
 

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed poking fun at friends’ ideas online. The question was:

Is poking fun at people’s ideas on social media rude, offensive, or otherwise wrong? For example, is it proper to make jokes about Jesus, Obama, or environmentalism on Facebook – knowing that some of your Facebook friends are Christians, Democrats, or environmentalists? Should those people be offended? Should a person limit himself to serious arguments?
My answer, in brief:
Facebook and other online media are like a large cocktail party with everyone talking. Don’t rush around seeking out conflict, but rather seek out positive values.
Here’s the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

Illusion in Social Media

 Posted by on 23 February 2012 at 8:00 am  Ethics, Friendship, Technology
Feb 232012
 

Earlier this week, Trey Givens, Paul, and I discussed the questions of the upcoming webcast over dinner. (Trey was visiting us, which was super-lots-of-fun!) In our discussion of the differences between online and in-person relationships, Trey told us about a horrifying case in which an unfriending on Facebook led to a double homicide.

Obviously, that particular case wasn’t really about Facebook: something like that only happens because some people involved are unstable and depraved. However, this general observation on social media in the article struck me as quite insightful:

Facebook crystallizes the dynamics of our friendships and social interactions — bringing them a clarity that can be measured by clicks, visits, and comments. Having our social interactions brought into that level of focus means that a relationship that might have once ebbed over time naturally through avoidance and ignored phone calls can instead be cut off in a dramatic and confrontational way. Perhaps laying bare the end of a relationship in such a deliberate way means an intensified emotional reaction for those involved, or a sense of finality that one wouldn’t usually get. (When I blocked an ex-boyfriend on Facebook years ago, he was angrier about that than at any other point in our breaking up.)

I’ve certainly found that to be the case, and I think that’s why social media has the potential to cause so much disruption in online communities. (I’ve got a question on that topic in the webcast queue that needs your votes!)

Social media like Facebook and Twitter enable people to easily connect with others with similar interests — more easily than ever. That capacity to find the kinds of people I like is one reason why I’ve been active on e-mail lists for nearly two decades, why I’ve maintained a personal web site for almost as long as the web has existed, and why I’ve blogged for almost a decade. I use those venues as a filtering mechanism, so that I can find the kinds of minds and souls that I enjoy knowing. However, those older internet venues tend to be more one-way than social media: it’s too easy to be seen but not to see others. I like social media because people are more apt to speak out in large and small ways that reveal their personality, character, and values. That enables me to see others, and them to see me. So I can come to understand acquaintances better, as well as find likely potential friends.

However, that transparency comes at a price, as the article indicates. That price is not that people see the stupid, ignorant, annoying, and/or mean facets of distant acquaintances. Often, it’s a bonus to see that from afar because then people know to keep their distance! Rather, the price is that that online interactions make people within a far-flung community seem closer than they really are. Then, when people in those communities conflict, as they inevitably will do, people often fail to recognize the true distance and insignificance of the relationships involved. As a result, minor annoyances and disagreements between people who barely know each other turn into nasty public conflicts. That level of social drama used to be saved for bitter divorces, not people who’ve never even met.

These problem will sort itself out with time, I think, as people come to a better understanding of the nature and limits of these new social mediums. Certainly, I’ve made mistakes myself, most notably in fostering some unhealthy acrimony in the debates about the 2006 election. My attitude toward that is “Yippee Mistakes!” I’m not indifferent to my mistakes, not by a long shot. However, since Paul has yet to build me a time machine, I can’t undo those mistakes. I can apologize and make amends as needed, but mostly, I can use those mistakes as prime opportunities for discovering how to do better in the future. I can’t control what others do, but I hope they adopt the same approach.

Mostly though, I’d like to see a warning sticker on social media — something like the warning on passenger-side mirrors on cars: “People on your screen are further than they appear.” Taking that to heart could do a whole lot of good for online communities.

Aug 262011
 

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed two questions on maintaining friendships despite philosophic disagreements.

The first question was:

How can I maintain my integrity in friendships with people of opposite philosophic views? I struggle to keep good relations with family and friends who support our current political system in which some people are helped at the expense of others, which I regard as slavery. They support ObamaCare, EPA restrictions, and welfare programs. Through years of caring discussions, I realize that they do not hold the individual as sacred but instead focus on what’s best for “the group.” At this point, I often feel more pain than pleasure being with them, even though we have many other values in common, yet I hate to cut them off. How can I maintain good relationships with them — or should I stop trying?

Here’s the 9-minute video, now posted to YouTube:

The second question was:

Should I terminate friendships with people who steal music and other intellectual property from the internet? I don’t know a single person who doesn’t steal something off the internet. I used to do this myself, but stopped when I realized it was wrong and why. Normally, I would cut off contact with anyone who violates rights, because that’s worse than just holding wrong ideas, but the activity is so prevalent now that doing so would end my social life. Even now, my clear moral position strains my friendships. So what should I do?

Here’s the 7-minute video, now posted to YouTube:

Questions on Family, Rational and Otherwise

 Posted by on 12 August 2011 at 9:00 am  Ethics, Family, Friendship
Aug 122011
 

In early September, I’ll be speaking at the MiniCon of the Chicago Objectivist Society on the proper egoistic approach to family, rational and otherwise. The conference is already sold out, but even if you’re not able to attend, the lecture likely will be available later for purchase.

To help me prepare, I’d like you to tell me what kinds of problems you’ve had with your family that you’d like me to discuss.

Basically, I’d like a series of case studies to analyze, and I hope that you’ll contribute them! If you have one, please post it in the comments. Please give some — but not too much — detail about the particulars, perhaps a paragraph or two.

Or, if you have some general topic regarding family relations that you’d like me to cover, feel free to post a question. Also, if you like someone else’s scenario or question, hit the “like” button.

Here’s the abstract for my talk:

Family, Rational and Otherwise

Many people struggle to maintain ties with destructive family members, often sacrificing their own values and interests in the process. As rational egoists, Objectivists reject that “family-first” moral ideal, instead seeking mutually beneficial relationships based on shared values, including with family. Such egoistic family ties are often an invaluable source of visibility and support. However, family relations are not always easy: many are fraught with difficult and persistent conflicts.

In this lecture, Diana Hsieh will discuss how to be consistently rational and selfish in your dealings with irrational, altruistic, and/or religious family members. She will answer questions such as:

  • When should you tolerate people you dislike or that you judge immoral?
  • How can you make those people more tolerable — or even acceptable?
  • When and how should you cut off relations with a destructive family member?

In short, this lecture will help you to better understand how to extract the most value from your family.

Now… comment away!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha