3 Minute Monday – Churchill, Women & Brainwashing

Hi friend,

I’m back after a huge week recording in Vegas and LA.

The first new Modern Wisdom Cinema episode of 2024 is with… Alex Hormozi.

Back on for his 4th time on the show with a 3+ hour long episode as we go through some of his best lessons, insights and harsh truths.

Full episode goes live one week today!

In September 1893, Churchill was admitted, on his third attempt, to the Sandhurst military college.

He wrote to his father, “I was so glad to be able to send you the good news on Thursday.”

His father, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commons, wrote back a week later:

“You should be ashamed of your slovenly, happy-go-lucky, harum, scarum style of work.

Never have I received a really good report of your conduct from any headmaster or tutor.

Always behind, incessant complaints of a total want of application to your work.

You have failed to get into the 60th Rifles, the finest regiment in the army.

You have imposed on me an extra charge of some 200 pounds a year.

Do not think that I am going to take the trouble of writing you long letters after every failure you commit and undergo.

I no longer attach the slightest weight to anything you may say.

If you cannot prevent yourself from leading the idle, useless, unprofitable life you have had during your school days, you will become a mere social wastrel, one of the hundreds of public school failures, and you will degenerate into a shabby, unhappy and futile existence.

You will have to bear all the blame for such misfortunes.

Your mother sends her love.”

Churchill was 19.

This story hurts me a lot to read.

I don’t know the inner texture of Churchill’s mind but I’d bet that even after defeating Nazi Germany and winning WWII he almost certainly still didn’t feel good enough.

One of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, trapped in insufficiency purgatory.

And yet we can’t deny that something drove Churchill to become the man that the world needed, perhaps it was his father.

What is the point of success if there’s no satisfaction in the succeeding?

Beware of envying successful humans.

The price you would need to pay to be the people you admire is often one you would not foot the bill for.

— h/t All Pro Dad


I do a podcast which has had 450 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Rory Sutherland – one of the greatest ad executives of all time and one of my favourite humans back for his 5th episode. Psychology, human nature, creativity. Don’t miss.

Dr Paul Conti – a fascinating insight into the unconscious mind from Andrew Huberman’s smartest friend. How our experiences impact the rest of our lives in ways we don’t see. Fascinating.

Dr Karan Rajan – a ton of stuff about how the human body works. How holding in farts means you breathe them out. Why you should never pluck your nose hairs. Important stuff.


Milgam Questions.

“What makes a woman attractive?” is a Milgram Question.

In other words, the social penalty for an unflattering answer is much higher than the reward for telling the truth.

Because of this we simply can’t trust the answers we receive, even if they’re coming from friends.

The best-known trick question is “When did you stop beating your wife?”

Any conventional answer to the question confirms its assumption.

To escape the trap you need to call out the question.

This type of question isn’t that common in practice.

It’s really just a rhetorical gimmick.

The most important and common type of trick question sounds more like “Do you love Big Brother?”

It’s a question where an unacceptable answer, regardless of whether it’s true or false, will be punished, and the punishment is greater than the reward for a true answer.

Some milgram questions are intended as genuine questions.

But often they only pretend to be a query on the semantic content of the words.

The question “Do you love Big Brother” is actually asking “Do you submit to my power?” Or more generally, “Will you agree with me, or suffer the consequences?”

These are Milgram Questions, named after the famous psychology experiment where electric shocks were administered for wrong answers.

When punishment for what people say becomes widespread, people stop saying what they really think and instead say whatever is needed to thrive in the social environment.

Thus, limits on speech become limits on sincerity.

— h/t J. Sanilac & Gurwinder Bhogal

Child rearing gurus come from a questionable background.

John Watson (the behaviourism guy) was one of the first child-rearing gurus, popular through the 1930s.

His book, Psychological Care Of Infant And Child, sold 100,000 copies “within just a few months”.

Watson himself had four children: one died of suicide, and two others attempted it.

An odd duality.

“If a male enjoys dressing up and behaving like a woman, he was born that way.

If a female enjoys dressing up and behaving like a woman, she was brainwashed by society.” — Rob Henderson


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Big love,
Chris x

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