Mockery Is A Good Sign

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur “99 Problems” Schopenhauer

If people aren’t mocking you, or your idea, initially at least, then you’re probably on the wrong path. Since most people are clueless, most of the people who mock you will be clueless. And if clueless people think it’s a dumb idea, then it’s probably a very good idea and it’s probably going to work.

Do not fear mockery. Fear praise. Fear acceptance.

If someone says: “I wanna learn Japanese. I’ll take a Japanese class”. No one will mock them. Bad sign.

But if someone says: “I wanna learn Japanese. I’ll watch anime all day and simulate growing up in Japan”. They will be mocked. This is good. Anime is gauche. It’s undignified. It’s too low-brow, too pop-culturey. It sounds too fun. “Simulate” sounds too science-fictiony. These are signs of a good idea. Mockery is a tick, a check in the “good idea/good direction” box. Seek out mockery-worthy ideas. All the good, new, fresh ideas are in the mockery-worthy, undignified pile.

Are all mocked ideas good?
Wrong question.
Are all good ideas mocked?
Yeah, pretty much. Initially, at least.


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  5 comments for “Mockery Is A Good Sign

  1. Dan
    December 16, 2013 at 05:41

    I love when people think I’m crazy for doing AJATT, it’s definitely a motivator. What the problem is, is when people actually give it praise and continue to ask you how it’s going and then expect you to be fluent within the first month. Very frustrating. Still in the Kanji phase, about 677 now and people who know about it ask me to say full sentences in Japanese and I just look like an idiot and it can bring demotivation which isn’t good. But, I just gotta trust the system, keep having fun and smile at people who mock 🙂

    • Nate
      December 16, 2013 at 08:05

      Don’t worry Dan, when you get enough input you’ll be saying full length sentences like you were born doing it.

    • Linval
      December 17, 2013 at 07:06

      I hear you… lots of people were expecting me to translate their anime in real-time after 2 month of RTK. Just ignore and keep goind. I finished RTK a week ago, it took me about 4 months during which I kept the immersion going as much as I could. I’ve been doing sentences for about 3 days now, and I’m really surprised as to how natural the “flow” of the languages comes to me, if that makes any sense.

      Oh, and find yourself a supportive japanese friend. The japanese wife of a friend was literaly showering me in praises for reading the instructions (writting in kana only) at the bottom of a ramen cup a few months ago. And mind you, I was just producing the sounds, not even understanding what I was saying. Imagine her reaction when I told her I went through 2200 kanjis. Great support –

    • December 19, 2013 at 06:25

      Dan, keep motivated and you will be at a point where everyone’s opinion doesn’t matter anymore. If now you understand 677 Kanji you will freak out a ton of illiterate Westerners who never learned one.

      You are on the right track.

  2. blackbrich
    December 16, 2013 at 10:52

    Let yo haters be yo motivators yo!

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