The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master

Esquire’s list of things every man should master contains some good advice, and some surprises.
11. Swim three different strokes. Doggie paddle doesn't count.

14. Chop down a tree. Know your escape path. When the tree starts to fall, use it.

27. Play gin with an old guy. Old men will try to crush you. They'll drown you in meaningless chatter, tell stories about when they were kids this or in Korea that. Or they'll retreat into a taciturn posture designed to get you to do the talking. They'll note your strategies without mentioning them, keep the stakes at a level they can control, and change up their pace of play just to get you stumbling. You have to do this -- play their game, be it dominoes or cribbage or chess. They may have been playing for decades. You take a beating as a means of absorbing the lessons they've learned without taking a lesson. But don't be afraid to take them down. They can handle it.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped.

Sometimes the laws of physics aren't laws at all. Read The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone, by Kenneth W. Ford.

30. Feign interest. Good place to start: quantum physics.

Link -via Gorilla Mask

(illustration: Leif Parsons)

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These lists are usually pretty terrible but this one is decent. I guess number one should be "not needing someone to tell you you're a man."

Here's the Heinlein quote mentioned above. I like it very much

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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T.H.O.R.S. Principle


Trust. being true to myself and being true with others, earning trust and learning to trust. Casting away those who constantly violate trust and those who prove themselves not worthy of my trust. Staying loyal to those who are of honor.

Honor. Keeping true to my word and following through on my claims. Holding high in esteem those who are worthy of character and developed of spirit. Maintaining a good work ethic. Remembering the old ways and keeping them true. Calling upon them to maintain order and be the kindest and finest I can be.

Order. Keeping the peace and avoiding conflict. Respecting and following the laws of my state to keep myself free. Abiding by the old ways and casting away those who constantly violate. Remaining aware of the clear demarcation between right and wrong. Regulating my behavior and respecting the rights of others.

Respect. Letting be that which is in order. Being kind with others and heeding the word of others who are trustworthy, honorable, and wise. Letting be those who are not of like mind or tribe, and being tolerant of them. Acknowledging their right to exist freely as I do. From many into one, fraternity of diversity and strength.

Strength. Being of true self-esteem and self-worth. Keeping aware of one's intrinsic value and the intrinsic value of others. Keeping my body and mind in good working order. Acquiring martial and intellectual skill and practicing to keep it true. Willingness to defend tribe and faith in word and deed, in accordance to T.H.O.R.S. principle so the old ways will thrive and survive. Being pure in mind and deed, to strengthen my spirit.
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