Flame Less + Journal More = Win

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Social Resistance

A lot of us could benefit from journaling more. A lot of what we say is actually only for our own personal consumption and satisfaction. It may need to be externalized, but not necessarily to other people.

Next time you see yourself on the precipice of a flame war with someone over whose Japanese method is better — whether in real life or online — open up a text editor write to yourself first. You may find that that will do. No one wants your free wisdom. It may be the best stuff in the world, but no one cares. Stop trying so hard to make swine appreciate your pearls. You’re wasting your life away. Start finding some grateful, paying, human customers ;) . And, as far as possible, make them ask before you give the advice away.

What does it matter whether people agree or disagree with you? Their opinions are irrelevant either way. You’re not trying to be liked or disliked, you’re trying to acquire a language: the only meaningful way you can prove your correctness…is by actually doing it. I mean, it’s nice to be agreed with by random strangers (although I’ve personally found that having someone who agrees with you on an idea but refuses to act on it can be more annoying than having someone who all-out thinks you’re sick, wrong and crazy)…but it’s not worth fighting for or anything like that.

If in doubt, don’t be a hero. Don’t be eloquent. Just shut up and win already. And if you must talk back…keep it between you and your journal.

I’m not saying to be a “good person”. I’m not saying to be kind. I’m not saying “don’t disagree with people”. Do disagree. Be a jerk. Be abusive. Launch expletive-filled ad hominem attacks and counterattacks. Make those caustic comebacks and witty one liners. Take those idiots to school.

…But do it in your journal.

Be aggressive in private (if you must — and I’ll admit, with all the trolling on these Internets, I do sometimes feel like I must!), so you can focus on being expressive in public. That way, you come out looking golden. You come out thinking clearly. You come out appearing to transcend the feces-flinging forum fauna* 1. In short, you win. All because your feces gets hurled where people can’t see it :P . And when you think about it, isn’t that where feces belongs?

Series Navigation<< Reading and RespectabilityTurn Yourself Into A Monster: What To Do When People Around You Are Not Encouraging Or Supportive >>


  1. *You like that? I made that one up ;)

  12 comments for “Flame Less + Journal More = Win

  1. November 25, 2010 at 00:11

    Haha, next advise how to kick the forum browsing habit and we’re golden. \(^_^)ノ

  2. Shoyren
    November 25, 2010 at 02:05

    This. Being the just-do-stuff-in-your-language-and-you-will-progress-hippie I am, I find it incredible how many times I’ve seen all of these people on the forums argue over methodology like it was their opinion on something like abortion. If only they spent that time putting those methods into practice.

  3. Einar
    November 25, 2010 at 07:20

    Ironically isn’t this whole blog an attempt to shower your own wisdom upon everybody else?

    • Marcus
      November 25, 2010 at 07:32

      I think this blog’s purpose is to explain Khatzumoto’s method and not to endlessly bash other methods.

      Instead of replying to these folks posts we should type the response onto a text document. They’ll eventually accumulate over time and we could revise and correct it. I’ve never thought of this. Great advise.

      • khatzumoto
        November 26, 2010 at 13:27

        That’s a genius idea. Compile your journal entries into a blog/book. Constructive, valuable and potentially profitable… :D

  4. November 25, 2010 at 08:46


    “Start finding some grateful, paying, human customers[*winky face*].”

    There’s a difference between forcing your opinions on others in an unwanted setting/place that is not yours and having a place of your own to express yourself where everyone knows ‘YOU’ are what they’re getting. If it’s yours, you can do whatever you want. :]

  5. Amelia
    November 25, 2010 at 11:35

    Thanks. I needed to be told to stop trying to be a 菩萨 and save people from themselves. If they enjoy boring classes and slow learning who I am to stop them? Everyone needs a pointless hobby and it’s less destructive than drugs.

    That being said, I’ve successfully pulled 2 people into Heisig who thought they were too old/dumb to learn characters…

  6. November 25, 2010 at 16:51

    But sometimes it’s just so difficult to not post something you’ve written to yourself ;-). It’s funny though; people spend so much time arguing about what method is better, they forget to actually use the method they’re a fan of. Even if they were using a sucky method and not discussing stupid stuff, they would learn more than propagating “the perfect method”.

    That’s actually the reason I quit blogging for about 5 months. Not that I’m back I mostly ignore the haters and just write my advice down. For people that don’t like my advice I only have one message: “don’t screw yourself, but just be aware I’m ignoring you right now”, and then I laugh. Not in public, no, just to myself.

    Heck, I’m not even arguing on forums or other blogs anymore. I just post my stuff, answer e-mails, answer comments whenever I can and just enjoy the next language I’m learning. There are more important things in life, you know.

  7. November 26, 2010 at 12:05

    I once belonged to a forum that use to argue methods till people were non stop people bashing. I fell into the “theoretical” side of language learning logic trap. Then one day I realized that no one there spoke/used Japanese fluently at all. That was the day I stopped all forum activities and starting doing whatever I wanted. Because in the end, even if it is “inefficient”, I have fun learning Japanese.

  8. Mattholomew III, Esquire
    November 27, 2010 at 04:18

    I once belonged to a forum that used to learn languages till people were completely fluent. I fell into the “application” side of language learning logic trap. Then one day I realized that no one there method bashed at all. That was the day I stopped all language learning and starting forum arguing. Because in the end, even if it is “efficient”, I have fun people bashing.

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