3 Minute Monday – Staring Men, Comparison & Status Symbols

3 Minute Monday

Hi friend,

501 episodes have now been released on Modern Wisdom.

Absolutely willlld.

A huge thank you to everyone who supports me and the show, the messages and goodwill and feedback gas me up more than any number of YouTube plaques or play counts ever could.

If you want to get me a congratulations present for 500 episodes then just share the show link to a friend or in a group chat – https://spoti.fi/2LSimPn

More eyes on the show is the best gift you could give me 🙏

Anyway, I found this quote this week which really resonated.

“If you only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.”

Montesquieu said this 300 years ago. We’re still working on this one. — Tim Urban

This is smart.

Humans are comparative, relative beings.

We don’t just judge what we are in isolation, we judge it as a part of the entire hierarchy of those around us.

It’s not just about being in a good situation, it’s about being in a better situation than we were before, and also a better one than the people we’re around, and also a better one than our parents were in when they were our age.

Also, because everyone usually only shows the world the best of themselves, this means we see our own misery and failings from a front row seat while we watch the highlight reel of everyone else.

This makes us think that other people are doing better than they really are, and we feel the delta between where we are and where we imagine they are.

This is a reason that I don’t think Universal Basic Income is a solution if AI automation takes all our jobs and starts producing better podcasts than me.

As soon as all humans reach an acceptable level of existence, they start wanting to push for more in order to stand out from the crowd.

And a flat hierarchy doesn’t stick about for long.

If everyone earns the same amount of money, people will just find something else to compete on.

Roll on 2050 when we’re all collecting leaves or wives or social credit system points or something.


I do a podcast which has had 60 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Tiago Forte – one of the world’s biggest productivity coaches on the most successful system to deal with information overwhelm and how to have holistic self improvement.

Jocko Willink – 2.5 hours with the retired Navy SEAL Team Leader talking dating, how to get over an ex, discipline, grief, fighting, raising children, business and more. Don’t miss this.

Brett Johnson – the FBI’s most wanted man in America for a while and one of the most notorious hackers on the planet on how he evaded capture and made millions.


Men don’t like staring into each other’s eyes.

“Next time you are at a reception or a party, look for same-sex pairs who are engaged in conversation and make a note of how they are standing.

You will notice that the women tend to stand facing each other, but men almost always stand at an angle of about 120 degrees so that they are looking across each other rather than staring directly into each other’s eyes.

It is not that men can’t stand face to face, because if they are talking to a woman they often will.

It seems to be that they find staring into other men’s eyes discomfiting – probably because the only time men do stare straight into each other’s eyes is when they are being threatening.” — Robin Dunbar

Status symbols only work on people “below you”.

Nobody richer than you cares about your Rolex. 

Nobody with more championship rings than you cares about your championship ring.

Face it: status symbols only impress the people who are easy to impress.

— Nicolas Cole

The Introspection Illusion.

“We think we understand the real reasons why we think & act the way we do, but we think other people have little understanding of why they think & act the way they do.

We assess others as if they’re psychiatric patients and ourselves as if we’re gods.” — Gurwinder Bhogal


Always ask for turn-down service when checking into a hotel.

Since covid, a lot of hotels seem to have changed their policy to only do turn-down service if it’s requested.

Because obviously, we all chose to stay in a hotel so it can be as much of a mess as our houses at home.

There’s usually a 24 hour warning notice they need too.

So when you check in, request a turn-down then and there for each night you stay.

New sheets for everyone!!

Big love,
Chris x

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