Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. -- Proverbs 3:7
I just realized that I have been alive in seven decades. I almost didn't get out of my second one. The good die young, but so do the stupid. In my case, they must have cancelled out. I have done a lot of stupid things. What was the apex? It would be hard to pick a single event or action. It was probably the state of mind that convinced me that I knew not only more but better than everybody else. Vanderleun had the thing about the evils of Cool, and what is Cool in this sense except to be wise in one's own eyes?
There are a lot of skeptics, but there are too few good skeptics. The first requirement of being a good skeptic is to be skeptical of my own perceptions, thought processes, and conclusions. A question to ask early on is, does thinking this way and understanding the situation from this perspective benefit me materially or emotionally? When you ask an expert for a solution to a problem, if the expert makes a buck off that solution, be sure that you take that into account in your evaluation.
On OC yesterday I mentioned the boys who play the alpha male games to manipulate women into sex. It's easy for a man to convince himself that playing the game is acceptable because women aren't perfect little angels. If he is not careful, though, the player will end up damaging himself and becoming ensnared in an empty, diabolical system with the only exit an obstacle course of pain and loss. Thus the proverb tells us to "fear the LORD", i.e., let His statutes be our first principles and live with pleasing Him rather than ourselves as our purpose.
Humans tend to "fear ourselves" -- to think that we must have whatever we want whether it is good for us or not. Not wise at all.