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I’ve been much maligning the “pissing contest“, but i should say that i am only not on it because it is a poor performer in the long run.

I, for one, do get sometimes involved in pissing contests. Being an overly cerebral boy, it tends to be on the form “look, i’m smarter than you!”, but sometimes i even end up caught in contests that i am less likely to be on top. Not only that, i’ve been doing that for aeons, like in school i would inadvertently embarrass people by using difficult words or solving problems that where seen as difficult without showing my strain or things like that. In fact, that brainy sort of violence sometimes is automatic to me…

That is, let’s spit it out: the pissing contest is not a bad thing. In the following sense: it is a means that people have of achieving happiness. Or even of becoming who they are. It is kinda cool to put everybody else down just to be on top, at least some times. And this can even be done in a healthy manner. But.

If you do it too much, or if you can be predicted to do so, or if you rely on doing it, or even if you do it blindly, it will blow up in your face.

First of all because it puts down collaboration. That is, if everyone is just putting everyone else down, they can never work together and working together does pay back big in the long run (even if it is a pain in the short).

The second reason is that it does not foster intelligence. Because to be intelligent you have to have some measure of security, some slack to take a step back and look things in perspective. And that, again, will cut your long-term revenues.

And finally, pissing contests have side-effects. They tend to get messier, and repeated mess just gets messier.

What all that means is that a moderated level of aggression automatically directed towards everyone else has both a good side and lots of complications. For example, when i said that a brainy sort of violence is almost automatic for me, it also ends up making people somehow scared of me. Not that people think i’ll do bad things, it is just that normally people will not relax with me around.

So, no, the “pissing contest” is not a sin. But it would be a fairly good advice to say: be wary of entering pissing contests.

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