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English / 12.06.2019 / 51

Rule of Thumb

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

For many years, we on the Dark Side have been repeating the same advice to our female readers: if you want to woo a man, just give him the scarcest commodity of the modern world – a compliment. The ladies nod in response. They tense their facial muscles and hiss something approving through their teeth, but they can never keep it up. Invariably they end up flinging mud and criticism at their beloved, and with passion at that. And then these fair ladies stroll through their respective cities and see a striking picture:

love can exist in personal relationships, it can exist in business, and it can exist at any point of contact between you and the world

A beautiful, handsome fellow. And by his side, a fat, ugly, short…

“But what about me?” the reader bawls, sniffling. “I tried so hard! I worked out my butt at the gym, I went on a diet, I posted pretty pictures on Instagram. I shared suuuuuch smart thoughts on there…”

What was that Russian song?

“Under the pine tree, chewing a blade of grass. Why was it his path that I chose to cross? He's on a date now, with another girl…”

One beautiful evening on Cyprus, a self-proclaimed “psychologist” (for lack of a better word) friend of mine declared to me:

“I can’t give the gift of love. I don’t know what that means. And I don’t want to know.”

As my sexist friends and I like to joke:

“Chicks aren’t dumb because they’re dumb, they’re dumb because they’re chicks.”

But we say that out of love. And you know, there are men who are dumber than that “psychologist”… Really, I’m the most consistent feminist there is. I firmly believe all my girlfriends are geniuses, each in their own right, and each unique. Like that line from a Russian poem:

“...God doesn’t repeat his mistakes…”

This knowledge gives me confidence that my next girlfriend, too, will be genius and unique. Maybe even in love. But that is, alas, a rarity…

Because I know why there’s such trouble with compliments, both for men and for women. I even got the idea to organize an evening of compliments. The people in that company had just recently met. They’d spent a couple days together in the same villa. They demanded I give them a lecture, about love, naturally.

“What good will a lecture do for you, especially a lecture from me… I don’t know anything about love… Let’s do something else… We’ll play a game. Here are the rules: everyone get into pairs, one guy and one girl, and you each have to give a complement to the other person. ”

It was a sorry sight...



The Student

I’m watching time grinding big businesses to dust. Some of them I know quite well. Just yesterday, their owners used to think they were rich. Today they find out: a couple more months of quarantine and only dust will remain of all their treasures. And not golden dust — gray dust. Tomorrow, those who used to be held up as an example to all will be forgotten. New heroes will appear. Looking at these stories, I remember the words of my Teacher:

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The story of the clubber-programmer, kinesiologist-cyberneticist, and writer-investment banker

— I need to self-determine myself! — our interlocutor started with a banality. Ilya and I experienced a toothache. From the depths of memory rose the shadows of businessmen who had lost their lives in attempts to determine themselves, or rather to put a label on themselves. In the meantime, our vis-a-vis was throwing the names of the great ones on the table:

— Nassim Taleb — this is the second writer after Nikolai Mokhov (Nikolai Mokhov's ego is growing like the bitcoin exchange rate during a hype), John (well, of course, Grinder, co-founder of NLP), Castaneda (no wonder our interlocutor practiced tensegrity)...

And then he told his story. And his story refuted the theories of many respected authors, including those mentioned. I would write this story down with a pen, roll up the paper, and put it in a bottle, go out to sea on a yacht, and throw it into deep waters. But I don't have a yacht, and I don't have a pen, so read the letters electronically...

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Corporations and Attempting to Escape Them

If you think there’s no one behind the success of the latest star, rich businessman, or even talented writer... Then you should probably go to the eye doctor. There’s definitely something wrong with your eyesight.

“We are dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants,” as a very wise man once put it. It’s never been more true: all modern achievements resulted from joint efforts, not from prideful individualism.

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In the times of Father

My father played a mean joke on me. Our discussions, though rare, always left me in a state of slight to heavy confusion. For example, when I was five years old, he told me: “A man could never imagine two things: infinity and eternity”. My mind, young and inquisitive as it was, decided to test that statement. I sat down in my room and tried to imagine the supposedly unimaginable entities. This led to intense drooling.

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