27 Nov 2020

Adventures in Pacifism: Louis CK Edition

Pacifism 76 Comments

OK kids I’m launching a contest that will run through 2020. For those interested, first watch the following clip (that’s 4 minutes 20 seconds):

Painful, isn’t it? Let’s take a moment to congratulate the acting from all three of the thespians in that scene.

Now here’s the challenge: Entrants can submit their idea (in the comments below) of what Louie could’ve done in that situation to maintain his dignity, but without using or even threatening violence.

On Christmas Day, I will take what I believe are the best submissions and then have my private supporters group (tied to the Bob Murphy Show) vote on the winners. (Note that I personally will submit an idea, under a fake name.)

The voting will run through New Year’s Eve. On Jan. 1, 2021, I will announce the winners, and send $100 to 1st place, $50 to 2nd place, and $25 to 3rd place.

I will render all judgments about whether a submission is sufficiently pacifist to be eligible. Contestants, make sure you include an email address in your blog comment, so I can track you down.

76 Responses to “Adventures in Pacifism: Louis CK Edition”

  1. David R Henderson says:

    It’s Louis, not Louie.
    I’m a master at avoiding fights while maintaining my dignity and you’ve probably motivated me to post some blog posts about how I’ve done that in particular situations.
    But in this case, I would have threatened to beat the crap out of the guy. I would have preceded it by trying to shame him into not going back to his buddies and getting them involved by making it 6 to 1. Nevertheless, I would have, completely justifiably, threatened violence. As you think I know, I’m not a pacifist. Also I don’t admire pacifists.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Gah, I spelled it that way David because that’s how the YouTube uploader spelled it! My instincts were right; I overrode my own thoughts because of the YouTuber…

      I understand your response.

      • Patrick Ready says:

        I would have said, “Hey Buddy, I’m here on a date with a lady. I would prefer to not go back to prison for beating the shit out of a child, so if you could go back home and blow one of your friends and leave us to our date, I’d appreciate it.”

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Oh you know what happened David? Louis CK spells his show “Louie” and that’s where the confusion came in.

    • trevor says:

      David, have you written somewhere about why you “don’t admire pacifists”? Would be interested in understanding your reasoning behind that statement. I understand a rejection of pacifism, but am struggling with your position here. Personally, I think being consistent in one’s principles is an admirable trait in and of itself. I admire many individuals, from orthodox Marxists to neoliberal interventionists, for being at least being somewhat consistent in applying their principles, regardless of whether those principles are right or wrong (leaving aside internal contradictions of that worldview). To be so convicted in your opposition to violence that you reject it wholesale – even defensively – to me seems to be a consistent and principled worldview worth admiring if not agreeing with.

      • Nelsonomics says:

        I don’t particularly admire pacifists either. For one I think it’s in ignorant inconsistency with their principles. This is because typically pacifism is believed, as in RPM ‘ s case, to be a necessary part of Christianity. However this is horrendously false. Take it from God himself, Jesus said sell your cloak and buy a sword. Jesus also was not a pacifist in the temple when the money changers had invaded and were violating God’s house. Lastly and more applicable to this situation, the Bible tells us that a man who would not defend his family is worse than an infidel. Turning the other cheek does not mean putting up with or allowing physical or other types of abuse, it refers to one being mocked for their faith. Jesus said, “greater love half No Man then he lay down his life for his friends,” and the role of the husband is to lay down his life for his wife. This means the father / husband is required by mandate to defend physically or by any means necessary the life and respect for his wife. Persecution for one’s faith may indeed be something he must accept but violence against his wife / family by another individual is not

      • random person says:

        trevor wrote,

        To be so convicted in your opposition to violence that you reject it wholesale – even defensively – to me seems to be a consistent and principled worldview worth admiring if not agreeing with.

        Historical research has shown that people who wage non-violent struggles are overwhelmingly more likely to do so for pragmatic reasons, rather than because of ethical or religious objections to violence. These people are to be admired for their courage and for the effectiveness of their techniques. If people like Henderson and Nelsonomics choose not to admire them, very well, that’s freedom of thought, it just makes them look a bit ridiculous.

        See “Gene Sharp: The Machiavelli of non-violence”
        by John-Paul Flintoff
        https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/your-democracy/2013/01/gene-sharp-machiavelli-non-violence

        • Caleb says:

          Pragmatic use of pacifism vs pacifism as an ideology in the abstract or in hypothetical situations are different things. I admire someone who figures out how to use pacifist behaviors against tyranny, injustice and oppression and I always have. I do not admire someone who wouldn’t, or who says they wouldn’t, protect themselves, or worse their friends or family members, with physical force if necessary. Frankly I find the latter morally abhorrent, but that doesn’t mean I think pacifist strategies in all situations or contexts is always abhorrent.

          • random person says:

            “If necessary”? And by what criteria is it to be determined if physical force is “necessary”? Isn’t that a strategic/pragmatic consideration?

            History records plenty of times when physical force has failed to achieve the intended results. It is not only pacifist strategies that are sometimes guilty of this.

            https://www.historyhit.com/military-mistakes-in-history/

            Most people are not tactical geniuses and thus cannot be expected to have perfect knowledge of what might be “necessary” to achieve any particular goal, and thus making such knowledge a required part of ideology seems doomed to produce nonsensical results. Even people who are considered tactical geniuses still have imperfect knowledge of what may or may not be “necessary” to achieve a particular goal.

    • random person says:

      Well, fortunately, pacifists didn’t need your admiration to win the Liberian civil war. Even without your admiration, pacifist armies of women defeated both the murderous raping government forces and the murderous raping rebel forces in Liberia. Powerful fearsome things, pacifist armies of women are. There was a sex strike and everything!

      You can learn more of the details in the documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”

  2. trevor says:

    I think Louie’s response here is fine – a perfectly utilitarian way to avoid an unnecessary confrontation, and therefore in my mind shouldn’t be seen as something undignified. Imagine someone with a gun to your head, and to spare yourself you must beg for your life or perform other degrading acts. Do these acts inherently mean you don’t maintain your dignity? Surely your life (or in Louie’s case his physical well-being) is worth more than proving to a stranger or a date that you’re willing to stand up for yourself. There are no clear benefits in this particular case for standing up for yourself that outweigh the significant potential costs of doing so. There are obviously examples where this isn’t true, where by standing up for yourself you set an example for others to do the same, or your actions have some other positive externality. But this isn’t one of those cases.

    That being said, if we define maintaining dignity as not capitulating to the bully’s coercive demands, then I think simply saying, “No, I won’t do that” and risking getting beaten up would be the way to go. I have been in a very similar situation, and I did exactly that. I ended up in the hospital with a concussion, but I did not resort to violence and feel proud to have not given in to a bully’s demands despite his imposing physical stature. Was that pride worth a concussion? Not clear to me, which is why I believe acting as Louie did in these situations is not undignified.

  3. Jacob Lovell says:

    I would have done it the same way but got my dignity back by leaving a snarky comment incorrectly correcting somebody’s spelling of something and otherwise lording my sense of superiority over other people on the internet.

  4. Harold says:

    My money is the person entering under the name Mob Burphy. It is a tough one.

  5. Brian D says:

    Sean: when was the last time you got your ass kicked?
    Louis: the last time? About 6 months ago…
    Sean: you got your ass…
    Louis interrupting Sean and pointing outside say “you see that Range Rover, Sean…number 68…from Dillinger High school? That’s my ass kicking prize”
    Sean: you want me to believe you won that Rover in a fight?
    Louis: no no no, Sean…number 68…from Dillinger high, I won that in the settlement from the last guy who I let kick my ass”
    “It was a pretty bad beating. But totally worth it, Sean…number 68…from Dillinger High. Plenty of witnesses like her, and him (pointing at patron) were there…was a slam dunk case”
    Sean looks puzzled
    Louis: hey Sean number 68 from Dillinger High, can I ask you two questions before you kick my ass?
    Sean: what’s that?
    Louis: first, when you lay into me, could you get your buddies to join in….I really want a nicer house…and second, Sean number 68 from Dillinger high, knowing what will likely happen after this ass kicking, and that YOU won’t be the one actually paying for this…when was the last time your dad kicked your ass? I mean really kicked your ass…like costing him hundreds of thousands…ass kicking?
    Sean looks at his friends, breaks out into a disingenuous laugh and says “I’m just f-ing with you Louis, don’t get so serious” and walks off a little less loud.

    • David R Henderson says:

      Pretty good answer.

  6. Steven says:

    My honest answer: I avoid confrontation, so I wouldn’t have even asked them to quiet down. I would have left, or possibly asked the employees to confront them.

  7. Harold says:

    I would like to think I would come up with some great come back, but really I woud just passivley aggressively snark about what a shit he was. Dealing wth bullies in real life is a skill I do not profess to have. My instinct is to appeal to authority, dial 911 and show him I have support of the system on my side. He could beat me up, but he will be punished by the press of one button and I will persue it to ensure he pays.

    If I was convinced I could actually take him on physically, or was not sure he was convinced he could beat me, I could say lets take this outside, you and me. Then I could persuade him not to be physical, lets just go back in honours even. The problem is, we are sure that he is only behaving as he does to impress his peers. It is highly doubtful he would be like this if he was on his own. Once he has raised the stakes and chosen to take a reasonable request to respect others as a challenge, we have a problem of communication. He will not accept a 1 on 1 outside scenario.

    So maybe, get my companion to put 911 on dial, ask him outside if he has a problem, or just go back to his friends with no loss of face. If his friends come outside also, call 911. If they don’t we can then have a chance to diffuse without observation. Without the backup of police enforcement, this is futile.

    That sort of works here, because the adversary is a teenager and maybe you could take him, but what if he was a 6’6 tough looking biker, who you were certain you could not beat in a fight? Offering to take it outside is suicide. That is sort of the point in the scenario, the bully is not able to demonstrate obvious physical dominance, only psychic dominance, although he is backed up by 6 friends. So I guess offering an opportunity to separate him from the friends where not accepting that opportunity would be seen as a loss of face is a good option. However, you cannot make someone go away by words alone, if they insist on hanging around. You cannot make someone go away by caling their bluff, and saying go on then. They can simply carry on harranguing you and not follow through on their threat, refusing your offer of going outside. Also, the whole idea of “taking it outside” for a fight seems distasteful to me.

    One answer is that he did in fact retain his dignity, and his response was a good way to keep the piece with no absolute loss. The guys went away, there was no violence and all was fine. To me this seems like a good answer, but it feels unsatisfactory because a bully was able to coerce a response that was far from voluntary and put him in a humiliating position.

    • guest says:

      “One answer is that he did in fact retain his dignity, and his response was a good way to keep the piece with no absolute loss. The guys went away, there was no violence and all was fine.”

      I agree with you that the response to this challenge must account for worst-case versions of this scenario (what if he wasn’t a teenager, etc.).

      Apart from the one commenter who said the boys should have been left alone to begin with, I don’t see a way to deal with this scenario other than an appeal to violence, even if it’s appealing to the owner’s authority.

      (The reason to leave the boys alone would be because they, themselves, are allowed to enter an establishment and have fun amongst themselves. That may or may not be bad for business, but that’s going to have to be the owner’s call.)

      I don’t think his reponse counts as retaining his dignity, because now his date thinks he’s a p***y – that’s why they put the bit in there where the boys were mock-cheering him on in his date, afterwards.

      Notice, by the way, that the moment the boy walked up to Louis and his date after having been asked to be quiet constitutes a threat on the part of the boy, and threats of violence are acts of aggression which may be pre-empted with physical defensive agression.

      (For example, if someone is standing in front of you and tells you specifically that he’s going to hit you, you don’t have to wait for his fist to move to defend yourself. That’s retarded.)

      Aside: This is also why Johnny is the bully in The Karate Kid and not Daniel. Also, despite what the awesome show, Cobra Kai says, Allie was not Johnny’s girl when Daniel showed up.

      Congratulations to Bob for there being a show based on his Karate Kid theories, though.

      • random person says:

        Notice, by the way, that the moment the boy walked up to Louis and his date after having been asked to be quiet constitutes a threat on the part of the boy, and threats of violence are acts of aggression which may be pre-empted with physical defensive agression.

        (For example, if someone is standing in front of you and tells you specifically that he’s going to hit you, you don’t have to wait for his fist to move to defend yourself. That’s retarded.)

        Except “the moment the boy walked up to Louie and his date after having been asked to be quiet constitutes a threat on the part of the boy” he didn’t tell Louie specifically that he was going to hit him. The boy opened with “How’s it going?”

        By telling them to quiet down, Louie had started a conversation with them. True, his words indicated he wanted the conversation not to continue, but the argument, “Louie had a right to talk to the boys, but they didn’t have the right to talk back to him, just because he told them to be quiet” seems pretty weak. If the right of conversation goes one way, it should go both ways.

        Even when the boy eventually does arguably start threatening violence, it’s deliberately vague, at least initially. What he says could be interpreted as a threat, or it could be interpreted as a hypothetical question. Taken literally, at face value, it’s a hypothetical question. It’s just that it happens to be the sort of hypothetical question that naturally leads one to wonder, “And what are you planning to do?” Later in the conversation, the veil drops off the threat and it becomes explicit. But certainly not “the moment the boy walked up to Louis and his date.”

        These kind of vague threat-like statements (from earlier in the conversation) are a well known phenomena in domestic violence, as described in “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft.

        I worked for a few months with an abused woman named Gloria who was wondering how much longer she would be alive. Her husband, Gerald, would glare at her, drum his fingers methodically on the table, and say: “You have six months left. Things better shape up around here. Six months.” Her head would swim and her heart would race with fear, and she would plead with him to tell what exactly he planned to do to her at the end of that period. And he would answer, with maybe just a hint of a cold smile: “Just wait and see, just wait and see. Six months, Gloria.” Gerald had never laid a hand on Gloria in the five years they had been together, but she was terrified. She started working with me on making an escape plan to run away with their two-year-old son.

        The Terrorist tends to be both highly controlling and extremely demanding. His worst aspect, however, is that he frequently reminds his partner that he could physically rip her to pieces or even kill her. He doesn’t necessarily beat her, however; some abusers know how to terrorize their partners with threats, strange veiled statements, and bizarre behaviors. One of my violent clients cut an article out of the newspaper about a woman who had been murdered by her husband, and he taped it up on the refrigerator. Another man responded to his partner’s announcement that she was leaving him by spilling the blood of an animal in front of the house. Another client would take out his gun when he was angry at his partner but would insist that he was just going to clean it and that it had nothing to do with her.

        Lundy Bancroft describes the psychological problem, but not so much the legal one. From a psychological perspective, the client who “would take out his gun when he was angry at his partner but would insist that he was just going to clean it and that it had nothing to do with her” is doing a terrible thing, terrifying his partner with the gun. From a legal perspective, he could probably continue insisting that he really was just cleaning it and it truly had nothing to do with his partner and she was crazy for thinking that it did.

        The psychological perspective and the legal perspective illustrate a fundamental difference between psychology and law. Psychologically, the the struggle of life and death, living beings are inclined to err on the side of overestimating threats, because running away from (or taking other avoidance action from) a false alarm has less dire consequences than failing to react to a real threat, generally speaking. The law, on the other hand, tends to err on the side of underestimating threats, because of the whole, “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of criminal law, i.e. is is considered highly undesirable to imprison an innocent person.

        Of course, a woman who is terrified of leaving her husband/boyfriend/whatever because he keeps taking out his gun and cleaning it when he’s mad at her is arguably already being imprisoned. Even if, for legal “beyond a reasonable doubt” reasons we are reluctant to judge the husband/boyfriend guilty, there is still an injustice happening, and correcting the injustice would still involve, at a minimum, helping the woman to escape safely.

        • guest says:

          The parts about abused women is the lens through which I view the Karate Kid issue.

          “… but the argument, “Louie had a right to talk to the boys, but they didn’t have the right to talk back to him, just because he told them to be quiet” seems pretty weak. If the right of conversation goes one way, it should go both ways.”

          The argument that the boy threatened Louis by walking up to him and his date is not about a right of conversation – because there was none.

          From a perceived right to remain “unmolested” by the boys’ yelling (right or wrong), Louis was demanding that they stop bothering them.

          Both parties understood that, well enough. Which is why an interpretation of merely continuing a conversation makes no sense, and why when the boy walked up without an apology (which he could have given from where he was standing before), that could only have been based on an intent of confrontation – a threat.

          The offer to introduce ones self in this context was just further, unnecessary confirmation.

          “… because running away from (or taking other avoidance action from) a false alarm has less dire consequences than failing to react to a real threat, generally speaking. The law, on the other hand, tends to err on the side of underestimating threats, because of the whole, “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of criminal law, i.e. is is considered highly undesirable to imprison an innocent person.”

          “Reasonable doubt” (correctly understood, it should be added for the benefit of activist judges and lawyers) is not based on a relaxed perception of danger on the part of a defendent, but rather on a heightened perception of danger from the government to the lives and liberties of innocent people.

          [Timestamped]

          NEVER TALK TO POLICE – HERE’S WHY
          [www]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH_nP8pX4Fg&t=17m25s

          “Ullmann v. United States, the Supreme Court said, more than fifty years ago, eerily prophetic: they said, ‘Too many (Americans), even those who should be better advised, view this privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege.”

          • random person says:

            Guest wrote,

            The argument that the boy threatened Louis by walking up to him and his date is not about a right of conversation – because there was none.

            From a perceived right to remain “unmolested” by the boys’ yelling (right or wrong), Louis was demanding that they stop bothering them.

            Both parties understood that, well enough. Which is why an interpretation of merely continuing a conversation makes no sense, and why when the boy walked up without an apology (which he could have given from where he was standing before), that could only have been based on an intent of confrontation – a threat.

            Making a demand is a way of starting a conversation, and, while the person making the demand may wish to simply be obeyed end of story, since they do not actually have the power to revoke other people’s free will (or if they do, it would take more than merely making a demand), a demand may be met with acquiescence, negotiation, resistance, etc., in other words: a reply.

            Suppose the demand had been for something else. For example, “Hey! Give me that apple pie!” Does the person on the receiving end of the demand have no right to say anything disagreeable back? Is the only acceptable answer, “Sorry, of course you can have the pie,” because verbal confrontation, such as, “Make your own d**n pie!” is somehow a threat of physical violence? I think not. If verbal confrontation were to be interpreted as a threat of violence (which I think is quite a stretch, but let’s follow that line of reasoning), we may as well argue that the person making the demand to begin with is threatening physical violence.

            Guest wrote,

            The parts about abused women is the lens through which I view the Karate Kid issue.

            It was a little later in the conversation when he started making a veiled threat that reminded me of the sort of domestic abuse Lundy Bancroft discusses in the above quote. Not when he walked up to Louie, but when he asked, “When was the last time you got your a** kicked?” The way I see it, the kid started out introducing himself, annoying but so far harmless, then escalated to veiled threats (that is, threats from the psychological perspective, but not necessarily clear enough to be legally actionable), and then escalated to clear threats by the end of the conversation.

            Guest wrote,

            “Reasonable doubt” (correctly understood, it should be added for the benefit of activist judges and lawyers) is not based on a relaxed perception of danger on the part of a defendent, but rather on a heightened perception of danger from the government to the lives and liberties of innocent people.

            Unfortunately, with crimes like domestic violence and non-consensual intercourse, which are, statistically at least, rather gendered (although there are of course individual cases which don’t find statistical norms), the concept of “innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt” is often reversed for the accuser. That is to say, “there is reasonable doubt as to his guilt” is often turned into “she’s lying and we should punish her for accusing him”.

            For example, Shana Grice was fined 90 pounds by Sussex police for allegedly wasting their time, and then ended up murdered by the man she was trying to report. This opinion piece from the Guardian goes into some of the messed up police thinking that lead up to the murder.

            “Shana Grice was killed by her ex-boyfriend – and thoroughly let down by the police: It is commonplace for women to placate those who may harm or kill them. Until the police recognise this, more women will be at risk”
            by Yomi Adegoke
            https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jul/31/shana-grice-was-killed-by-her-ex-boyfriend-and-thoroughly-let-down-by-the-police

            This sort of thing has rather serious consequences in child custody disputes. Lundy Bancroft gives the following example:

            A mother flees with her children to a shelter for abused women because her house is vandalized. She can tell it was her physically abusive ex-husband who did it, and she takes the damage as a clear threat. Within several days of fleeing, she contacts the court-appointed custody evaluator to let him know where she is. The custody evaluator, however, shoots off a report to the court stating that the woman has no reason to be afraid of her husband, although she has told him of her partner’s history of violence and threats, and recommends that the children be taken away from the mother and given to the father. He does not mention the woman’s phone call to him from the shelter in his report. On the basis of the custody evaluator’s report, all three children, including a girl who is only three years old, are sent to live at the abuser’s home, and the mother is permitted only brief supervised visits, because she is now labeled a “flight risk.”

            In order to have a “heightened perception of danger from [whatever source] to the lives and liberties of [presumably] innocent people” with respect to both the accused *and* the accuser, there would need to be some way to protect the accuser from the accused (in case the accused really is guilty) without actually punishing the accuser in any serious way (in case the accuser is in fact innocent). (Since, in many cases, the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of evidence can’t be reached in favor of either party.) Which is what many domestic violence charities at least attempt to do (help women escape), although they often have severe funding limits, etc, and, from what I’ve seen, never have anything near as sophisticated as a witness relocation program (only for abused people rather than witnesses). If someone escaping domestic violence is very lucky, they might get help with a bus ticket out of town. Greyhound is actually not bad, since, last I checked, it is one of the few long distance transportation services that doesn’t require ID, which can be an issue for someone trying to escape domestic violence whose abuser took their ID. But for the most part, domestic violence charities are more like somewhat specialized services for the homeless. (Or in some cases, they are generalized services for the homeless that happen to have some clients who are domestic violence escapees.) They might provide people escaping domestic violence with a bit of food, maybe some clothing, occasionally some sleeping bags, but nothing like serious protection from violence.

            NEVER TALK TO POLICE – HERE’S WHY

            Sound advice.

            Though one wonders who Shana Grice ought to have talked to. Clearly not the police, given she did talk to them, got fined for allegedly wasting their time, and then got murdered.

            • random person says:

              “Most Domestic Violence Victims Say Police Don’t Believe Them or Make Things Worse”

              http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/most-domestic-violence-victims-say-police-dont-believe-them-or-make-things-worse-151003?news=857555

              Victims of domestic violence are often reluctant to call police for help, and a new survey indicates why: most are afraid police won’t believe them or that calling them will make things worse.

              The survey (pdf), involving more than 600 respondents and published by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, found more than half agreed with a statement that reaching out to law enforcement “would make things worse.” Two-thirds said they were afraid law enforcement would not believe them, or do nothing.

              Twenty-five percent of respondents said they would not call police for assistance, while about half said they had called police to report a problem. Of those, half said they were unsure if they would call in the future. A third of those surveyed said they felt less safe after calling police.

              Forty-three percent said they believed police discriminated against them due to their gender, socioeconomic status or race/ethnicity, among other factors.

              The report recommended that law enforcement officers receive more training on how to deal with victims of domestic violence, establish domestic violence units, provide interpreters when necessary and remove firearms when someone has been threatened with them.

              Makes sense.

  8. Jessica says:

    Okay, so I asked my 260 lb husband what he would do given the constraints, and here was his answer:

    Kid: When’s the last time you had your ass kicked?
    My Man: Are you showing off in front of your friends? If you have the courage to fight all the time, do you have the courage to ask a girl out?
    Kid: Man I [expletive deleted] all the time.
    My Man: Maybe you do this because it’s something that you can do and it makes you feel good and it’s something you can control. Maybe it’s a lack of love in your life.
    Kid: You see this fist? Looks like I controlled that s***.
    My Man: Do you want a hug? I can give you a hug.
    [At this point he stands up and hugs the kid, wrapping his arms, immobilizing him.]
    My Man: I love you, man. Hey Honey, record this and upload it to YouTube. This is a beautiful moment between two men. [squeeze] Wanna sit down? You’re too young for a beer but I’ll buy you an ice cream.
    Kid: Nah [gasp] I’m good.
    My Man: Maybe a soda? I can get some for your buddies too. [squeeze] Unless you just want to go home.
    Kid: [gasp] We’ll just go, man.

    I can attest from experience that this technique works. Maybe not if you’re a small man, but performed by a large guy, it’s pee-your-pants funny. It’s peaceful and lovely.

    • Harold says:

      it sort of seems to me that a much bigger guy immobilising a smaller guy is a form of violence. That you say it only works with a big guy suggests this is a threat of sorts.

      • Jessica says:

        I was thinking the same thing when he first suggested the idea, but then I considered Bob Murphy’s example in one of his talks on law enforcement in which a net is used to immobilize and capture a criminal. So in both cases there’s a disparity of force, only in one it’s based on a tool (the net) and in the other it’s based on superior size. Neither method is harmful and is simply neutralizing a threat, though I guess the little squeeze my husband suggested employing could be considered a threat. Probably the squeeze isn’t necessary to the technique.

        Maybe the challenge rules out any form of physical threat neutralization, in which case my entry would fail.

      • random person says:

        I would call it pacifist enough for practical purposes, but perhaps not pacifist enough for purists.

        But to be fair, a lot of revolutions that are typically classified as non-violent would fail in purist terms.

        For example, when pacifist women in Liberia won the second Liberian Civil War, they physically surrounded the war leaders inside a building and refused to let them out until they negotiated peace. Maybe purists might object to this. But it achieved results, the war leaders deserved it if anyone does, and since they were perfectly capable of negotiating peace before dying of dehydration or anything like that, no real bodily harm was done to the war leaders.

        • Jessica says:

          The parameters were that one must in the situation maintain his dignity without using or threatening violence. I believe this method maintains dignity, but whether it could be construed to threaten violence will be up to Bob’s judgement. Maintaining dignity is also in the eye of the beholder. A good woman may see her date turn the other cheek, allowing himself to be struck without defending himself, and respect him for it, but good women are as rare as good men. I’m sure there’s a clever speech craft that could be employed here that would better satisfy the requirements of the challenge, but for that you have to judge on the spot the kind of person you’re dealing with and adjust your words according to his reaction in real time, so it seems a more difficult technique to plan out.

  9. riotoverlord says:

    I am yet to come to a final position on pacifism, I respect pacifists but I don’t know if being 100% pacifist(like Bob describes it, no violence nor the threat of violence) is really possible in every situation of real life. Moreover I never (intentionally, as when I was Kid I accidentally lost my temper and punched another Kid, for I did not know how strong I was. Maybe this counts but I am not sure) used or threatened violence to anyone, but that is just because I am good natured and was raised Christian.
    That said, if I was in the body of CK when the scene happened, and it happened exactly as it is presented in the video, so he would actually beat me if I did not apologize him promptly, most certainly I would say to him, but not in condescending nor cowardly way but in a stern and serious tone: “I am NOT apologizing, you and your friends were not behaving appropriately and no amount of violence will make me concede” followed by “if you think you are so great and proud for assaulting innocent people then go on ahead and prove how much of savage you are”. But that is just because I don’t fear physical pain at this point of my life, I don’t fear losing a few teeth nor anything of that kind; but this could change at some other point of my life and in that case I would either cower like CK or threaten him back (with the stern voice) but only if I had a firearm.

  10. random person says:

    Like Steven, I never would have told them to quiet down in the first place. Telling kids who are partying to quiet down is almost never worth it, unless they are people you actually know and might care if they are disturbing you. Even if they wake you up in the middle of the night, best to just roll over and go back to sleep. People have a right to free speech anyway, and this was in a public establishment during broad daylight, so they weren’t even waking anyone up. So, if I was trying to have a conversation and they were disturbing it, I probably would’ve just walked out with my friend (or date or whatever) and had the conversation somewhere quiet.

    However, supposing the mistake of telling them to quiet down has already been made, or that the young man got mad at you just for glaring at him and his friends (even if you didn’t say anything), and we skip forward to where the young man is asking a variety of questions such as, “When was the last time you got your a** kicked?” “Are you afraid?”, etc.

    For example, the perfect answer at “Are you afraid?” … “Why not?” in my mind would have been, “No, because no person has ever managed to hit me as hard as I’ve hit myself with my skateboard. The pain lets me know I’m alive.” If possible, pull out a skateboard to prove that you do actually have one. If requested, you could then follow up by showing him that you do indeed know how to skateboard (or at least, how to hit yourself with a skateboard). Note that this answer can be modified to fit people who have other hobbies besides skateboarding that involve (accidental) self-injury. An easy one for this purpose would be poi. Even if you are a beginner at poi, you can still hit yourself with the poi on like, your first day of practice, and if you choose sufficiently heavy-weighted poi, it can hurt. However, these sorts of responses are only appropriate if you do have a hobby that involves accidental self-injury.

    However, you could also go for the more Stoic answer and say, “Because I will still be just as good a person after you kick my a** as I am now.” For an extra-strong Stoic response, follow that up with, “And I will still love you as my brother, for all men and women are brothers and sisters.” (But only use that if you really mean it. It has to be authentic to work.) For a more religious variation on this, you could try, “Because God (or Jesus) will love me just as much after you kick my a** as he does now.” The religious answer has the benefit that you can follow it up with, “And God (or Jesus) loves you too, and he’ll be there for you when you’re ready.” (Again, only use this if you really truly believe that God (and/or Jesus) loves this young man. It has to be authentic to work.) These answers do not require having any hobby that involves self-injury (even accidental self-injury).

    For a more Monty Python-esque approach, you could try, “Because by beating me up, you’ll just be showing the violence inherent to the system.” As long as you’re taking a meaner (but still nonviolent) approach, you can use whatever insults you feel you need to to vent your anger, as long as they fit within the theme of “using violence would make you a bad person”. Anyway, if you use this one, then when you get to the part where he asks what you’d do if he kicked your a**, tell him you’d scream, “Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Look! Look! I am being repressed!” However, using the Monty Python-eque type responses might be a bit hypocritical, given the earlier mistake of telling the young people to be quiet. (If you recall, in the Monty Python movie, the man takes offense when King Arthur tells him to shut up.) It might be more appropriate, if, as I suggested earlier, you had merely glared, rather than telling him and his friends to be quiet, and this still offended him to such a degree.

    You can mix and match these. For example, “No, because no person has ever managed to hit me as hard as I’ve hit myself with my skateboard. The pain lets me know I’m alive. Besides, God (or Jesus) will love me just as much after you kick my a** as he does now. And I will still love you as my brother, for all men and women are brothers and sisters.” Or perhaps, “No, because no person has ever managed to hit me as hard as I’ve hit myself with my skateboard. The pain lets me know I’m alive. Besides, by beating me up, you’ll just be showing the violence inherent to the system. If you actually try it, I shall scream, ‘Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Look! Look! I am being repressed!” (Note that you should only mix and match things that actually work together.)

    Also, if you are feeling particularly courageous, another possible reply would be, “Why don’t we go outside and find out?”

    Anyway, if after using any of these responses, you end up in the fight (which is exceptionally likely if you suggested going outside and finding out), first thing is, ask your friend/date to record the fight with a camera. If the young man objects to the camera, simply tell him he shouldn’t do anything in a fight he is ashamed to be seen doing in front of a camera. (If going the Monty Python-esque route, you could explain that you want as many people as possible to see the violence inherent to the system.) Assuming he still wants to fight, then, the thing to do is just turn your back, or adopt some non-fighting posture, let the young man attack, don’t fight back, and every time he knocks you to the ground, stand up again (at least for so long as you are strong enough). If the guy objects on the grounds that he expected you to fight back, simply state that you did not agree to fight back, because you don’t consider beating up kids (or beating up other people more generally) to be honorable, but you will allow him to beat you up, as agreed. (Assuming you agreed earlier. If you didn’t agree, you could just leave it at not considering beating up kids to be honorable.) If you threatened to scream, “Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Come and see the violence inherent to the system! Look! Look! I am being repressed!” earlier, then you should do it once the young man starts hitting you.

    If the situation escalated to a fight, in which you did not fight back, and you used the “And I will still love you as my brother, for all men and women are brothers and sisters” line earlier, then, assuming you can still stand after the fight, you should prove it by offering to hug him. (If you don’t think you’ll have the heart to do this after the fight, then you shouldn’t use that line to begin with.) Don’t force the hug, just offer. If you used the, “”And God (or Jesus) loves you too, and he’ll be there for you when you’re ready” line earlier, then you should pray for the young man who just beat you up. (And again, if you don’t think you’ll have the heart to do this after the fight, then you shouldn’t use that line to begin with.) If you didn’t use either the “And I will still love you” line or the “And God (or Jesus) loves you too” line earlier, another option to follow up the fight with is, “I don’t even remember being hit.” Also, if you used the Monty Pythonesque response earlier, you could try walking around asking people if they saw the young man repressing you.

    Demonstrating a willingness to self-injure, as a way of showing how little you care about being beaten up, can be seen as an effective way to combat threats in the story of the Roman hero Gaius Mucius Cordus. Gaius Mucius Cordus had attempted to assassinate the Etruscan king Lars Porsena, but failed and was captured. When brought before Porsena and threatened with torture, Gaius Mucius Cordus is recorded as saying, “Watch, so that you know how cheap the body is to men who have their eye on great glory.” He then thrust his right hand into a flame and let it burn. This allegedly shocked the Etruscan king so much that he offered peace to Rome. Afterwards, Gaius Mucius Cordus became known as Gaius Mucius Scaevola, Scaevola meaning left-handed, in honor of this act of bravery. However, thrusting your hand in a fire would be out of proportion to dealing with this specific situation involving the young man at the restaurant. Mentioning that you hit yourself harder with your skateboard than any person has ever hit you is more in proportion. Also, unless I am greatly mistaken, the young man seems like the sort of person who would appreciate a boast about hitting oneself with a skateboard.

    The acts of love and compassion I listed as options are advanced pacifist techniques. They are potentially very effective, but should only be attempted by someone with enough love to do them effectively. An example of the effectiveness of such tactics is the story of Christian Bethelson and his meeting with members of a peace group called Everyday Gandhis.

    As told by Charles Eisenstein in Chapter 29 of “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible”,

    My friend Cynthia Jurs met Christian Bethelson while she was doing peace work in Liberia, which had suffered a horrendous civil war in the 1990s. A rebel leader known by the nom de guerre of General Leopard, Bethelson was infamous in a milieu of massacre, child soldiery, and torture. If any human being is evil, it would have been him; he was, in his words, a man with “no conscience.” Eventually the war ended, and with it Bethelson’s livelihood: he had no skill other than killing. He decided to go to the nearest war, in Ivory Coast, where there might be demand for his gruesome services. On the way his car got stuck in the mud. Who would have guessed that another car would be stuck in the mud on the same stretch of road at the same time, and that that car would be bearing members of a peace group called the Everyday Gandhis? Intrigued by their conversation, he announced himself as a former rebel general. He thought they would vilify him, maybe even beat him, but to his astonishment the group gathered around him, hugged him, told him they loved him. He decided to join them and dedicate his life to peace.

    You can also read about the story of Christian Bethelson in “A warrior turns peacemaker in Liberia: Former soldier Christian Bethelson’s only job skill was killing – until a meeting on a muddy road in Liberia changed his life, and many others” by Seth Biderman, published online by the Christian Science Monitor.

    While the more Monty Python-eque responses (in memory of a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”) are not likely to be the most effective in changing the young man, they might be the most appropriate for a pacifist who has a lot of anger he or she needs to vent. At the same time, if you use these, you need to be prepared for the increased probability that the guy will actually decide to beat you up, compared to some of the other possible responses. That said, if you’re screaming “Come and see the violence inherent to the system!” I doubt he’ll continue beating you up for very long, especially if in a public place.

    Entering into the fight (especially if done on purpose), but then not fighting back, would essentially be the equivalent of deloping in a duel. Deloping was when people entered into duels but then fired a shot into the air that was clearly not directed at their opponent.

    Kwame Anthony Appiah explains the point of deloping in “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen”,

    It was clear enough what the point of deloping was. A gentleman’s presence at a duel indicated willingness to die defending his honor and this established that he met one of the criteria for being honorable. Though risking your life might show you cared about honor, actually killing in defense of your honor showed only that you were a good, or, at the least, a lucky, shot. A man who put himself at risk while making no effort to defend himself established his courage all the more clearly.

    In the case of a fisticuff fight, it is somewhat less dramatic, since you’re probably much less likely to end up dead. But in any case, allowing someone to hit you is sufficient to demonstrate courage. Not fighting back demonstrates your morals. While some of the above-mentioned suggestions might avert the actual one-sided fight from occurring, and some probably wouldn’t, people committed to pacifism do need to accept that they might end up in the situation of letting someone else throw punches at them while they don’t fight back (at least, not physically).

    As for asking the friend or date to record the one-sided fight (if it comes to that), cameras are powerful fearsome weapons. Consider the short documentary “Grand Theft Congo” by Journeyman Pictures. In that film, the soldiers who grab cassiterate “at gunpoint” from the miners when the film crew isn’t there, hide their guns and uniforms before the film crew gets to the mine. (Although there are still people who testify to the misdeeds of the soldiers.) Terrifying weapons of non-destruction, cameras are. Simply threatening to film the one-sided fight might be enough to prevent it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1FQmUQ1-mM

    • random person says:

      Another thing someone could try if they have a competitive hobby they are good at (or even one they aren’t good at) would be to answer the initial “When was the last time…” question with an answer like,

      “Last week, when I lost a chess match to […]. What about you?”

      It’s uncertain how the young man would react to this, but “getting one’s a** kicked” is a term often used metaphorically rather than literally, and taking it metaphorically is a way of showing that you believe there are skills more important than beating up another person. It also gives the young man the benefit of the doubt, in case he’s willing to let the situation be defused. If he clarifies that he didn’t mean it metaphorically, you can still use the suggestions I made above.

    • Keegan says:

      Well said Bob. I like your answer better than mine.

  11. Nelsonomics says:

    I find Louie’s response somewhat though barely acceptable for him but it’s not a response that his date should or possibly could respect and thus she would not respect him for it. Caving to bullies and bowing one’s knee to them is not an answer.
    The best possible response in this kind of situation without reverting or even threatening violence would be to simply call the man’s bluff and refuse to apologize and especially refuse to grovel like Louie did with the apology It’s unlikely that this kid would have attacked him if he had clearly not been fighting back in any way so again I think the best pretty pacifist response would have been to call the young man’s bluff and tell him that he refuses to apologize and he’s not going to gravel But he’s also not going to fight him. If he attacked and Louis could defend himself without actually fighting back then that might be exactly what would have to be done but groveling and begging for mercy is not the answer

  12. Harold says:

    WWJD. The model is there. Offer the cheek, and then offer the other cheek. Maybe you get punched once, maybe you don’t, maybe you get punched twice, but in no instance does the bully look good.

    Ghandi offers a similar solution. Hit me, I will not fight back. Beat me senseless, I will not fight back. If you do it, you will look a fool to your peers, but that does not matter. You will appear a fool to yourself (unless perhaps you are a psycopath, which is not that unlikely).

  13. trevor says:

    Ok my official entry into this contest is: “If you don’t stop harassing me, I will capture you in a net and release you very far away from me without harming you.”

    • guest says:

      Heh. You win.

      We also would have accepted: “When was the last time you got shot?”

  14. Kieran W says:

    In these situations you cannot show fear.

    I would not break eye contact with the person, and I would stand up so I am not at a lower position than they are. I would not do anything they ask, or answer any questions. Make the situation awkward for them until they walk away.

    People like this are usually easily out psyched, they are used to people not wanting to deal with them and take that as fear. They generally fear losing a fight and the dominant position so avoid someone who isn’t showing signs of fear.

  15. Zac Wendroff says:

    Louis should shake Shaun’s hand, while looking him in the eye keeping his other hand concealed under the table. Louis should offer Shaun his seat as he stands up and backs his chair out. As Shaun goes to sit down he should pull the chair out from under Shaun. As Shaun fell himself on the floor, this is pacifist.

  16. Edmund says:

    Offer to take this disagreement outside. Sean will likely say yes as it sounds like you are willing to fight. Once outside and out of sight of your date offer Sean some money to leave you alone. Pay him half on the spot and promise him the other half at the end of the date if he fulfills his promise. Tell Sean that you will leave the other half in the bathroom if by the end of the date he has fulfilled his wishes.

  17. Enrico says:

    (I guess) I would point out that there are security cameras all around. The aggressor’s face is recorded: if he touches me, he’ll go to jail (regardless of who “wins” the fight). Anyway, I’ll report him to the police even if he leaves without a fight, so that his criminal record will be dirty thereafter; any future complaint against him will be stronger.

    • Enrico says:

      PS: to be clear, in the last case I would report only the threats received from him.

    • random person says:

      Why is it that certain people seem to assume that just because an assault is caught on camera, the perpetrator will be held accountable by the legal system?

      A woman referred to by BBC as “Lucy” (although a footnote notes this is a false name to protect the identity of the victim) was raped on camera.

      “‘The police said it wasn’t rape it was rough sex’”
      by Hannah Price
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/e3662eca-ded4-4d31-b728-1553cef7eae8

      “In the video from that night. I’m saying, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this.’

      “You can hear him saying, ‘you need to do this before I get angry with you, just do it.’ I’m literally screaming, I’m crying, I’m pulling away. And then he hits me really hard.”

      Six months later, Lucy says the police informed her they would be taking no further action in her case and it would not be passed onto the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) because of the “rough sex” defence.

      So, this rape was literally caught on camera. It was quite clear. The woman was crying and saying, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.” The rapist is shown on camera using physical force in spite of these protestations.

      And yet the rape wasn’t prosecuted, either because the police weren’t intelligent enough to understand the difference between “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” and consent to rough sex, or else, the police did not expect the judge and/or jury to be intelligent enough to understand this difference.

      What the hell does that say about English-speaking culture?

      • Enrico says:

        There is plenty of evidence about people arrested after being caught on cameras (e.g. https://abcnews.go.com/US/private-surveillance-cameras-catching-criminals/story?id=18315023 ). Therefore, having cameras all around is a credible deterrent.

        Your counter-example involves a couple. The woman (allegedly) raped was the girlfriend of the (alleged) raper at the time of the (alleged) rape, and they used to film their sex. The video used to support the rape allegation comes from one of those recordings. I’m not saying that she is lying, of course, but it this example clearly has nothing to do with the Louis scenario.

        In fact, a more proper example is this one ( https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/up-men-caught-on-camera-dragging-woman-arrested-in-rape-case-police-2170982 ), where two strangers where caught on cameras while raping a woman, and later arrested.

        So…the assumption is correct.

        • random person says:

          The counter example I provided shows that violence against women, and in particular violence against girlfriends and wives, is not taken as seriously as violence against men by the legal system, or at least by specific people who are part of the legal system. It hearkens back to the time when rape was considered not as a brutal crime against the woman, but as a violation of men’s perceived property rights in women. Because, from a “men own women” perspective, a man cannot be guilty of raping his wife or girlfriend because from a “men own women” perspective, a man is simply using his property as he sees fit. The “rough sex” defense and it’s continued use even when the rape is caught on camera, where the woman clearly and explicitly states ““I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” shows that many men, including those involved in the so-called justice system, apparently still believe, intuitively at least, than “men own women”.

          Since the view that “men own women” apparently persists and continues to be used to let men get away with violence against women, even when the violence is caught on camera, it stands to reason that a woman who has noticed this problem might be less inclined to see a camera as providing safety (or at least justice) than a man might be. But of course, the whole men versus women thing is just an example, and perhaps only even relevant in situations where either a) the local police, or at least the judges / other legal officials, are misogynists or b) the woman, because of reading about cases of police and other legal officials being misogynists, fears that her local police and/or legal officials may be misogynists, even if they aren’t.

          There are almost certainly other examples where the police do not prosecute certain crimes because of their prejudices against the victim. So, to make a more general statement, we might say, “Crimes are sometimes not prosecuted, even when caught on camera, because of prejudices the police or other legal officials have against the victims. Potential victims who are at the receiving end of such prejudices, or who fear they might be, may have less confidence in safety/justice provided by cameras than people who are either not targets of such prejudice or who are unaware that they may be targets of such prejudice.”

          Journalists can help counteract the blunders of the legal system somewhat by reporting on them. For example, the rapist caught on camera raping his girlfriend may not have been prosecuted but was at least called out by the BBC. Not by name, but, presumably, he knows he is the person being called out as a rapist by the BBC. And perhaps we can take some satisfaction in that.

  18. Mike says:

    Sean: When’s the last time you had your ass kicked?
    Louis: What?
    Sean: C’mon you heard me. When was the last time you had your ass kicked? Just curious. What? Are you scared right now?
    Louis: [Standing up] Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Thanks for coming over and introducing yourself, Sean. It was nice to make your acquaintance.

    [Maintain eye contact. Don’t answer any more questions.]

  19. Harold says:

    Threatening jail backed by police force is a kind of threat of violence. Sort of “my Dad’s bigger than your Dad”

  20. Alan Forrester says:

    I’d take a photo of him and post it to Twitter. Then I’d tell him what I’d done and say he has three options. If he kills me, people will be able to work out who he is from the photo, the tweet and their location data and people will treat him as a murderer. If he beats me up I will tell everyone on Twitter he’s a thug who beat me up and they will act accordingly. Otherwise, he or I can make up something interesting or witty to post about the photo, or say nothing at all about it, depending on what he prefers.

  21. Todd Baker says:

    When the kid asks when was the last time I got my ass kicked I say “I don’t get my ass kicked when I can dance like this.” and then I start dancing around the restaurant. Like the romantic guy that I am I get the lady in on it and we start dancing together. Nobody is going to beat up a dancing couple. Maybe this fails the “maintain his dignity” stipulation, but if my dude dances well then doesn’t that only enhance his dignity?

    • Jared says:

      This is a better response. Paying, apologizing, threatening legal action loses major face. Dancing pivots the conversation better. Bonus points if you start dancing with the kid.

  22. Ryan G says:

    The question is pretty open ended, I’m not sure where we are supposed to insert our hypothetical.

    First, demanding they quiet down was a mistake.
    He could have moved spots or asked them to move/quiet down without attitude (they may still refuse or even escalate)

    Second, assuming the bully still becomes aggressive there is no guarantee that any argument or apology will avoid violence.
    The only options at this point are to ask the restaurant owner/manager/worker if they are willing to handle the issue or leave.

    Scenarios like these are why schools are so pernicious, the bullied students have no option for self-removal.

  23. Big Dipper says:

    DAK (dumb ass kid): when was the last time you got your ass kicked?

    LCK (not skipping a beat): hmmm… that is a good question uuhhh….. hmm gaaah yeeeah I really couldn’t say for sure. It’s been a while… if I had to guess, 10-12 weeks ago?? NOW let me ask YOU a question (Pointing, Sitting up straight and projecting confidence, leaning forward etc). Imagine this – you are on a fist date with a really cute girl – and it’s going ok. Only one red flag so far, and that is the fact that she is going out with a shithead like you – anyways you are trying to impress this girl and have a nice time and a bunch of middle age drunk loser bald guys like me come in and start causing total chaos and killing your vibe with this girl. Now listen up – here is my question: Do you confront these assholes – ask them to tone it down, and risk getting in a brawl? Or do you ignore it, and risk wrecking your date? What do you dooo??? it’s a tough call isn’t it!!?? 

    DAK – I don’t give a shit – only thing I know is that you need to apologize or I’m gonna break your face. See these knuckles?

    LCK – You aren’t getting it DAK – apologizing is not an option!!! I’m too dumb and stubborn!!!. You and me DAK are in a pickle here – because we have BOTH initiated confrontations – and we are BOTH Alphas, and both unwilling to lose. You getting it yet tough guy? 

    PROCEED WITH THIS CONVERSATION UNTIL KID GETS BORED AND LEAVES. MAINTAIN DOMINANTE POSITION IN CONVERSATION BY ASKING THE QUESTIONS AND NEVER DIRECLTY ANSWERING ANYTHIG FROM DAK. 
    IF THIS IS NOT WORKING AND KID WONT LEAVE I WOULD TRY SOMETHING LIKE THIS. 

    LCK: Ok tough guy here is what I proposed – I have an idea that can get us both out of this here? You wanna hear it? 

    DAK – lets hear it Louis. 

    LCK – ok listen up:
    (lowering voice, leaning forward and making very direct eye contact) 
    I buy you and your idiot buddies a pie, from that carousel over there – of your choice – if you get the F__K outta here – and let me try and salvage my night. 

    (lowering voice one more notch) 

    It’s either that – or you and I go outside – you commit felony assault on me, my date records it,  and I spend the next 3 years suing you, your friends, your parents, and your grandparents out of house and home. 

    If DAK doesn’t take the bait LCK has to stand up – and with massive voice say – excuse me everyone – this kid would like commit felony assault on me – the show starts in 10 minutes when I’m done with my coffee here. Then spend 15-20 minutes with date shrugging at ridiculousness of the situation, sipping coffee, and saying it was nice to meet you i’m guessing this will be a first date horror story for you, etc.

    There is a possibility that LCK gets his ass kicked in this situation but it is unlikely if he executes the negotiation properly and with total confidence and treats the kid with respect. He could also get some respect and points from his date. 

    Ok that is all I got – this only works is LCK can 100% get control of the conversation and energy. No more sitting back acting passive and weak. He has to be confident, assertive and generally ack like an ass kicking is not the end of the world.

  24. Tel says:

    Great puzzle Bob … but I feel like I have solved your fiendish conundrum.

    I should start by saying that these days no one starts bar room brawls. There are cameras everywhere, most bars have professional security, and the cops do bother turning up to arrest people (because they know that security do the frontline work, and the cops will get an easy arrest at low risk to themselves).

    The days of bar room brawls are in the past … the kids of today probably won’t even understand the concept and maybe that’s a good thing. But we respect the historical genre and the appropriate context and we consider that this should be treated in the spirit of the skit (no cameras, no mobile phones, small business, only the innkeeper as security, lazy bum cops) and we call this “The Old Rules” for clarity.

    The strategy works like this: you apologize, you stand up and apologize, you apologize profusely, you gesticulate and flourish while apologizing … clearly the bully watches you like a hawk thinking you are up to something … but what he doesn’t see is your woman cracks his skull cold from behind with a chair. Job’s done … his mates won’t do anything they never do.

    There’s a lot of advantages to this approach. Firstly, if it works you know you got a good woman and that’s one of the best results possible. The two of you obviously work as a unit and your powers are multiplied tenfold. On the other hand if she doesn’t follow through then you learned a valuable thing about your date and you can keep apologizing and then slip out of there because she probably isn’t quite the right one.

    Now you want the pacifist angle: because I’m concerned about fairness, I’m going to exploit a legal technicality and point out that when a woman strikes a man in a bar that is not considered violence under “The Old Rules” because woman hear me roar, and all that deep social responsibility. Thus, since no official violence happened that day, we must have been non-violent. It makes sense, right? Can’t beat logic.

  25. Pete says:

    I don’t know. Many good answers here allready. The lawsuit-move was good, but using that could maybe be considered as invite/acceptance (don’t know the exact rules in US). The kid would probably not know that, though. So, it could work.

    If Luis happen to know the rigth (i.e. wrong) guys or willing to fake it, Luis could take the pacifist approch himself, but then give the kid a friendly offer in the end. Luis could say that doesn’t like his ass kicked, but knows some guys really interested in a voluntarely accepted fight for training or entertainment-purposes, and that he would be happy to connect them. Hopefully, the kid would back off (at least if Luis had faked it).

  26. Richard says:

    Louis should throw his hands in the air and yell “Serenity now, serenity now!”

    This approach has two major benefits:

    1. It diffuses the anger from the high school kid. The high school kid will most likely not recognize the reference, and will think Louis is mentally unstable. This will result in either pity or fear. While there is a possibility of fear, this is not even an implied threat of violence, since, based on the evidence we have, the phrase “serenity now” only leads to violence against computers. The high school kid is not a computer.

    2. It screens the compatibility of the date. If Louis’ date is a fan of Seinfeld, then she will think he is funny. If she is not a fan of Seinfeld, then she will think he is weird, and the high school kid will have done Louis a favor. Any date who is not a fan of Seinfeld is obviously not “sponge worthy”.

    • Harold says:

      ““sponge worthy”. Another Seinfeld reference?

      I am not very familiar with Seinfeld, but before you condemn me, it was back in the day we got our TV depending on what was broadcast, and it wasn’t really much over here. The little I have seen seems quite good, and now we have the ability to watch almost anything from almost anywhere. Is Seinfeld the thing to prioritize?

      • Richard says:

        Yes, it is another Seinfeld reference. I believe it should be prioritized, at least among other TV shows,

  27. Andrew says:

    SEAN: Whens the last time you got your ass kicked?

    LOUIS: *deadpan while looking the kid straight in the eye* Listen kid, you’re what, 15? 16? You’re talking to an ex-Navy SEAL with 23 confirmed kills. Trust me when I tell you, you dont want any of this.

  28. Tom says:

    I guess would tell him that since he’s just a kid adults can’t seriously fight him, and that therefore what he’s doing is not really tough/brave at all.

  29. Keegan says:

    Too many unknowns. You don’t know what is going to escalate violence and what won’t. But I would just start to question the motivations like a psychologist. “Of course you’d probably win a physical confrontation, but what do you get out of it?” “Why do you think you like physical violence?” Engage the cerebral cortex, it quiets down the lizard brain. The problem is that this kid was engaging his cortex while making these threats. He was well spoken and calm. With such a psychopath I’m not sure there are good solutions.

  30. Sandy says:

    Surely the true pacifist would not have yelled at the youths in the first place. That was likely to be seen as a hostile act and it is foolish to initiate a confrontation if you can’t or won’t follow through if necessary.

    My best advice would be along the lines of the reply my father got in Ireland when he asked for directions – “Well, I wouldn’t be starting from here”. Either Louie/Louis should have taken his date to a more upscale establishment, or he should not have yelled at the youths. Walking into a dubious diner and yelling at strangers is just asking for trouble.

    • random person says:

      Surely the true pacifist would not have yelled at the youths in the first place.

      Mostly agree. In theory, a pacifist might still wake up on the wrong side of the bed, metaphorically speaking, and forget that they support free speech before they yell at someone for being loud. But at least, a pacifist in his or her right mind wouldn’t do it.

      That was likely to be seen as a hostile act and it is foolish to initiate a confrontation if you can’t or won’t follow through if necessary.

      Definitely agree. If he’d toned it down and asked politely for them to be quieter, it would be different, but just yelling out orders as if he owns the place is hostile.

      • Harold says:

        He did say “Hey, guys, could you keep it down please. Thank you”, Which is sort of polite. Shouting is not polite.

  31. grane peer says:

    When he asks when the last time I got my ass kicked I would say when I went to prison and some of the inmates found out I was in there for raping some high school jock in front of his mates, then I would pinch his bottom and wink at him.

    Alternative scenario: I would travel around with Harrison Ford in my buggy.

  32. JSL says:

    I’ll start with the assumption that in order to be respected, you must earn respect.

    Unfortunately for Louie, that’s not what he did when he’s been shouting to the kids to shut up.
    From this time on, a humiliation vicious circle began, by which the strongest is always the winner. In our case, the high school kid(s).

    To earn respect from others, you need to show respect for others and for yourself.
    I propose to use the NVC (NonViolent Communication) to reach this goal.

    //////////////////////////////////

    Scenario 1 : Louie not shouting them to shut up

    Here’s who Louie could have done, using the NVC :

    Kids are rumbling in the background.
    Louie decides that he doesn’t want to leave the café, so he stands up and walks towards the kids.

    “Hey guys, excuse me, I feel annoyed because I came here to talk with a friend, but since you’re rumbling we can’t hear each other well. Could you please do whatever you’re doing a little less loudly ?”

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Scenario 2 : Louie having shouted them to shut up

    Here’s what Louie could have done, using the NVC :

    Louie shakes hands with the kid, Shawn.
    Shawn : “So Louie, what was the last time you got your ass kicked ?”
    Louie : “Well… never. You want to kick my ass ?”
    Shawn : “The hell I want. What’s up ? You’re afraid ?”
    Louie : “Yes. Yes, I’m afraid. First, because you’re 6 young guys against me, and second because I don’t even understand why. Why do you want to kick me ?”
    Shawn : “‘Cause nobody tells me to shut the hell up.”
    Louie : “You felt humiliated because I shouted at you, am I right ?”
    Shawn : “I kick the ass of anyone who shout at me.”
    Louie : “So you want me to apologize, right ?”
    Shawn : “Sure.”
    Louie : “Alright, I think you’re right on this point. I didn’t respect you guys shouting at you in this way. Listen, I’m sorry for having shouted at you. You’re right, I shouldn’t have. I’m ashamed having done it. I’m sorry for that.”

    Now, all depends on the unpredicted reaction of Shawn to this apology.
    The best cases are :
    – that Shawn fells heard, and so he comes back to his friends (then we’re back to scenario 1).
    – that Shawn fells heard, and so he leaves the café (problem solved).
    The worst case is :
    – that Shawn doesn’t feel heard, then
    Shawn : “It’s not enough, Louie. I REALLY didn’t like the way you talked to me. Kneel down to tell me you’re sorry.”
    Louie : “You’re feeling ashamed because you think my apology were not sincere ?”
    Shawn : “I want you to kneel down ’cause that’s what you owe me, Louie. Then all will be fine.”
    Louie : “Why is it that I owe you that ?”
    Shawn : “‘Cause nobody shout at me.”
    Louie : “Again, you’re right. I’m really sorry for that.”
    Shawn : “Kneel down now.”
    Louie : “I feel ashamed when you’re asking me to kneel down because, just like you, I want to feel respected. It won’t make my apology more sincere to kneel down (actually, quite the contrary). What do you want, if it’s not sincere apology ? Please, help me understand.”

    At this point :
    – Either Shawn only wants to ashame Louie, meaning that Louie can’t do anything but to kneel down if he doesn’t want to be beaten (it’s then sadly the only pacifist solution) ;
    – Either Shawn can feel listened, and THEN ONLY, can he listen to Louie :
    Shawn : “Yes, I want you to be sincere. Prove me you’re sincere, Louie.”
    Louie then stands up and look at Shawn right in his eyes and says : “I feel really embarassed that you remind me about having shouted at you, because you’re right, you, like me, are a human being, and we both need respect. I’m truely sorry for having done that. You and I both deserve more than being talked to like animals. We’re both above that. Sorry, man.”
    Shawn : “OK, fine, Louie.”

    //////////////////////////////////////////////

    My main point here, using the NVC, is that even if Louie finally kneel down, at least he didn’t do the bully thing, namely “I’ll have the last word because I’m not afraid, I’m a big guy, I can kick your ass if I want”. Being a bully IS losing one’s dignity. By using the NVC, Louie avoids that, and remains in a pacifist framework AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

    • Harold says:

      Nice. I think there is definitely something in NVQ we could all learn. The path is observation, feelings, needs, request.

      ” he’s been shouting to the kids to shut up.” Sort of, he did shout but he said “could you keep it down please.” He did not explain his feelings or his needs so his request comes across as dominance, triggering the reaction.

    • random person says:

      Good answer.

  33. Bitter Clinger says:

    Colon Wilson, the English Philosopher, in his book The Criminal History of Mankind (1985) proposed a method to identify the criminals in society. Human beings have bicameral minds, one mind is how we believe the world should work (what Wilson calls OUR REALITY) and the other is our observations on how it actually works (he calls this OUR IMMEDIACY). When our belief in how the world works is in conflict with our observations, we get angry and say, “That’s not fair!” People who believe what they observe is wrong, and not what they believe is wrong, are the criminals.

    By Wilson’s definition Louie is the criminal. Louie is just another liberal progressive who believes their comfort and convenience takes precedence over everyone else’s. Maybe the loud roughneck behavior is accepted and encouraged in the establishment, I have been places where it wasn’t kids but adults (drinking drunken) who were displaying this kind of behavior. It wasn’t his problem and he shouldn’t have gotten involved. As soon as he said anything it became his problem and he deserved what he got, good and hard.

    Steven, Random Person, and I all agree that the optimum solution was for Louie instead of yelling at the kids, to whisper to his girlfriend (I assume it was a first date) “Lets go someplace quieter to talk, maybe your place.”

    In my generation (or the generation I date) no woman will ever go to a man’s place on the first date no matter how hot, handsome, or skilled he is. At best you go to her place, second best is a motel, and the break even is a peck on the cheek and her saying something on the order of “I would like to see you again.” As is obvious a second date, a priori, is not a first date so the odds on a second date of going to your place where you can pamper her with breakfast in bed the next morning are infinitely increased.

    But what do you do as Random Person pointed out if she says, “Tell those jerks to shut up!” I would take a deep breath and reject the “Biden” method of telling the Ukrainians to fire the prosecutor, or else Barack would kick their ass. I would adopt instead the Trump method and say, “Excuse me, I would appreciate it if you would do me a favor and hold it down a bit.”

    Then it would be game on, as the kid came over to the table I would have stood up, not for the reason suggested by Kieran W, but so that I could help the woman from her chair to use her as a shield as we left. I would say, “Lets make like a tree and leave.” What’s the kid going to do, run after us screaming how he is going to kick out asses? If the woman had “situational awareness” instead of using a chair as Tel suggested, she would scream at him, “You pervert, you just groped me, you squeezed my breast and it hurt!” That would certainly change the dynamic, but if she was that aware we would already be a quarter mile down the road, holding hands, and laughing at each other’s stories.

    To Summarize:

    1. Louie was a criminal because he though his comfort and convenience gave him the right to restrict other’s behaviors.

    2. Louie was a coward, irresponsible, and lazy because being unwilling to share out bruises, blood, and broken bones; he didn’t walk away with the woman but sat there and ate that kid’s crap.

    3. Louie was a misogynist because he never saw the woman as a friend or ally. He never consulted her or asked for her advice. He saw her not as a person but strictly as a sexual object, to be used and discarded.

    • random person says:

      I am not familiar with Colon Wilson’s work, and it’s possible that perhaps his work was more nuanced than what you describe here, but, at least, as you describe it, it sounds like a variant of the Just World Hypothesis.

      The Just World Hypothesis is a very very dark side of so-called “positive thinking”, and is often used to justify atrocities such as rape, genocide, etc. And, unfortunately, on some deep psychological level, the “just world bias” seems to infect a lot of people’s thinking (psychological experiments have demonstrated it), which might help explain the widespread prevalence of atrocities such as rape and genocide and why smaller injustices seem to get more attention (in many cases) than larger injustices.

      See for example:
      “This column will change your life: the just world bias: ‘Deep down, and whatever our political opinions, many of us seem to believe that life is fair – that by and large people get what they deserve'”
      by Oliver Burkeman
      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/nov/11/oliver-burkeman-just-world-bias

      This annoying but by now well-substantiated finding is known as the “just world hypothesis”, and the most famous demonstration of it was a series of clever experiments by the psychologist Melvin Lerner. In one, he showed people what appeared to be live footage of a woman receiving painful electric shocks for making errors in a memory test. (She was actually his accomplice.) Some groups of viewers had the option of ending her ordeal; others didn’t. The latter – forced to watch suffering with no chance of relieving it – formed far lower opinions of the woman, seemingly to “bring about a more appropriate fit between her fate and her character”. Those opinions were worst when they were told the woman got no financial reward for her pains. The greater the injustice, the more people appeared to need to believe the victim brought it on herself.

      What’s going on here, it’s suggested, is a quest for a feeling of security. The suggestion that victims of rape were “asking for it” is a case in point: if you can convince yourself that victims deserve to be victimised, you don’t need to fear that you and yours – who don’t deserve it, and would never ask for it – might have to endure the same fate. In a sense, it’s the opposite of the “Ben Franklin effect”, mentioned here before, which states that if you want to get someone to like you, you should ask him or her to do you a favour: to eliminate cognitive dissonance, the favour-doer will come to think of the favour-receiver as likable, since likable people are the kind for whom he or she does favours. The just world hypothesis sees suffering and concludes that people who suffer must be the kind of people we disdain.

      In nastier corners of the positive-thinking world, this bias is explicit: victims of crime and even of genocides, certain dodgy gurus have said, must have caused their own victimhood. That’s easily rejected. The more troubling thought is that the bias might influence us unawares: while consciously feeling bad for the less fortunate, are you subconsciously seeking to rationalise their fate? Maybe this also explains some people’s tendency to blame themselves for all that befalls them, even though that redoubles their misery. At least “I’m a terrible person” makes for a coherent explanation; “I’m a good person, but life is randomly cruel” is much scarier. But it’s truer. To quote that famously perceptive life-coach Clint Eastwood, as William Munny in Unforgiven, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

      All that said, Louie was not responding to a genuine injustice like rape or genocide, or advocacy of such injustice (unless there was something I missed, I couldn’t really hear what the kids were being so rowdy about at the start). He was responding to an annoyance. So, in this particular case, he should have adapted his expectations to reality, even if it would be inappropriate to do so in the case of genuine injustices like rape and genocide.

      Bitter Clinger wrote,

      1. Louie was a criminal because he though his comfort and convenience gave him the right to restrict other’s behaviors.

      Unless we’re in Manners Court, I think criminal is a bit of a strong word, and I wouldn’t convict him based on the evidence shown in the video. However, it was certainly rude of him, and rude to a degree that might suggest he could be capable of violence. (For example, it turns out that in domestic violence, controlling behavior is actually a better predictor for homicide than actual physical violence by itself.) I would therefore accept it as evidence of bad character, especially if there were a large number of similar incidents an a lack of recognition on Louie’s part that he may have gotten carried away and overreacted, but would not convict of a crime (if I were on a jury) without more substantial evidence.

      And if it was Manners Court, then a proportionate penalty for his rudeness might be to just ignore him or shout back at him, “You shut up!”

      Bitter Clinger wrote,

      Steven, Random Person, and I all agree that the optimum solution was for Louie instead of yelling at the kids, to whisper to his girlfriend (I assume it was a first date) “Lets go someplace quieter to talk, maybe your place.”

      In my generation (or the generation I date) no woman will ever go to a man’s place on the first date no matter how hot, handsome, or skilled he is. At best you go to her place, second best is a motel, and the break even is a peck on the cheek and her saying something on the order of “I would like to see you again.” As is obvious a second date, a priori, is not a first date so the odds on a second date of going to your place where you can pamper her with breakfast in bed the next morning are infinitely increased.

      I mean, I honestly think a lot of women might feel safer in a public location, a park even (lots of nice parks around), than at anyone’s hone or motel, but the general idea is that there are plenty of places to be in the world other than right where a bunch of kids are trying to party loudly.

      Bitter Clinger wrote,

      But what do you do as Random Person pointed out if she says, “Tell those jerks to shut up!”

      I think maybe someone else pointed that out?

      Bitter Clinger wrote,

      If the woman had “situational awareness” instead of using a chair as Tel suggested, she would scream at him, “You pervert, you just groped me, you squeezed my breast and it hurt!” That would certainly change the dynamic, but if she was that aware we would already be a quarter mile down the road, holding hands, and laughing at each other’s stories.

      I don’t think false accusations are exactly the best way to respond to such things. However, she could stick to true accusations, such as saying, “Perhaps I misheard, but it sounds like you are threatening us,” very loudly.

  34. NB says:

    OK so I don’t think this kid actually wants to fight, especially inside the diner. He just wants to humiliate Louis in front of his date to impress his buddies.

    So Louis needs to show the kid that he’s truly not afraid, but also give the kid a way of saving face and leaving the situation without Louis having “won.”

    When the kid starts making overt threats, Louis says, “So just to be clear, Sean, you’re going to fight me right here in the diner because you didn’t like me asking you guys to quiet down when you first came in?”

    Presumably the kid answers with some version of, “That’s right a-hole.”

    Then Louis says, “OK well if you and I are going to fight, let’s at least make it fair. You’ll need a weapon…” Louis looks around and holds up a butter knife. “Eh, this is decent but not really enough…” he says almost absentmindedly.

    Then Louis picks up a plate (I can’t see in the video but let’s assume there are plates within reach), holding each side with his left and right hands, and head butts the middle of it to crack it into pieces. Then he takes the most jagged piece and hands it to Sean, rotating it so the smooth outer edge is near Sean’s hand for safe handling.

    Up to this point, Louis has obviously called Sean’s bluff. I can’t say what he should do next, because it of course depends on how Sean reacts to this initial play. But from this point forward, Louis has to give Sean an out. E.g. if Sean says, “What the hell you crazy old effer” then Louis can just accept that like, “Yep, mental illness runs in my family” to allow Sean to stride away and say to his buddies, “You see that crazy kook?”

    But everybody deep down will know what happened.

  35. Dan says:

    I had a similar incident occur in 2006, I believe. It was the year the Tigers lost to the Cards in the WS. I was at a bar with a couple friends watching a Tigers playoff game. These two dudes just kept talking shit to me out of nowhere. They were with two girls and for some reason set their sights on me to put on a show.

    So I turned around a couple times and looked at them to make it clear that I was getting irritated, but outside that was ignoring them completely up to that point. They kept it up. So the third time I turned around, I got their attention and said “This is the third time I’ve turned around because you guys are running your mouth towards me. If I turn around again I’m going take this (big ass glass mug) and smash over your fucking head. If you don’t believe me, just keep talking and I’m going to embarrass you both in front of your girlfriends.”

    They laughed awkwardly, but didn’t say another word to me. Obviously not a pacifist threat, but resulted in no violence. And to be clear, they weren’t simply talking shit in a fun sports way. It was in Los Angeles and there are just a number of kids out there that think they can cross lines without consequence at bars. Usually they are right, but me and my friends were not the right guys to threaten if you didn’t want to actually fight. Most times the threat of real violence was enough to get the loud mouths to slink away.

    I’m not sure on a pacifist response. Probably would’ve just ignored them if I didn’t want the threat of violence, but once I feel threatened my instinct is to fight.

  36. Fred G says:

    I wouldn’t exhibit any sign of noticing the boys as they passed by. Then, as they continued their boorish behavior, I would gently shake my martini, ask my date to excuse me for a moment. Then, get up from my seat and go back to where the group of boys was congregating. Thus, removing my date from any interaction and avoiding any direct embarrassment before her eyes.

    LCK: (Preferring to be standing than sitting while the exchange takes place) Excuse me, gentlemen, but do you mind keeping it down? The rest of us are just trying to have a quiet dinner here.

    Sean emerges from the pack and extends hand.. “Hi, I’m Sean. How are you?”

    LCK: Shakes his hand firmly. “I’m Mr. K.”

    Sean: “Were we bothering you?”

    LCK: “Yes, you were. So if you don’t mind, keep it down, please.”

    Sean: “Sure thing Mr. K. But let me ask you one question first. When is the last time that you had your behind kicked?”

    LCK long pause. Slightly bemused look on my face. “Let’s step outside and talks.”

    Once outside. “Listen Sean, we both know that you can give me a good thrashing so I am not even going to pretend that I’m going to fight you. And you aren’t going to impress anyone by kicking some middle-age guy’s ass. Any one of you could do it. So what’s the point? Why don’t you move along and find someone tougher to fight? Now, Sean, I don’t think you are some punk ass sissy, so if I head back into the dinner now, you won’t sucker punch me from behind. You guys have a good night now.” Turn exit stage right.

  37. Rob Weir says:

    At the risk of expanding the parameters of the scenario, I wonder whether it is worth considering how historical and prevailing norms have led to alternating rounds of advancing offensive and defensive technologies.

    For example, the castle walls were the ultimate defense, until gun powder brought them down. The battleship ruled supreme as an offensive weapon, until the aircraft carrier showed them to be vulnerable. And so on. This competitive process, to try to get the better of the offense-defense balance, has occurred within a prevailing norm of violence being a permissible means of self-defense. It has been funded by nation states, in an ever-escalating cycle of weapons development.

    But if you change the ethical norm, you change the course of technology. Consider, for a moment, how we “defend” buildings today against fire, earthquakes, and storms. These are threats that permit no violent remedy. No army can defend a skyscraper against an earthquake. By necessity, engineers are pacifists with respect to problems of this type. They have no alternative but to innovate with non-violent measures. So, instead of a wasteful violent competition, offense versus defense, the investment has been made entirely on defense. Again, this was not a decision made because of moral qualms, but the technological development does not know this. It developed in a certain way because of consumer preferences.

    Now imagine a world where pacifism was the norm. We don’t need to claim that pacifism is universal, mind you. There would still be aberrations, but the prevailing view in society would be that the use of violence was a deviation from the norm, and this would drive consumer preferences. So, we would not have a militarized police force. We would not have a large firearms industry. There would not be competition in private violence — fist, stick, knife, gun — as Geoffrey Canada’s book put it. However, since no one wants to be hurt by a norm-breaker, we would expect there to be a greater investment in personal defensive technology. What form that would take is impossible to say. (Who would have forecast today’s anti-earthquake technology in skyscrapers 50 years ago?) But this might range from immobilizing foam, non-harmful devices that distract an attacker, ones that provide a smoke screen suitable for your own retreat, etc.

    So, I don’t think the Louis C.K. problem has an easy solution today, since prevailing norms have steered investment away from non-violent personal defense. The solution comes more easily, however, in a world where the prevailing norm is pacificst.
    In a sense, this is an economic problem, and incentives (still) matter.

  38. Adam B. says:

    If I’m Louie, (I assume I can’t use my 6’8″ frame to intimidate, like I’m actually Louie) it’s really simple. I pull out my cell phone and take a picture and send it to my brother. I explain that I’ve taken a picture of him and sent it to my brother. Then I remark that he’s got a letterman jacket so I know he’s probably a pretty popular dude that is well known, and based on how big of a bully he seems to be, he probably has a sizeable amount of enemies, happy to point the finger at him. I’ll explain that I’m a grown man, and though I’m not afraid, I’m not going to fight him. I’m a pacifist. I won’t punch back. [yelling to friends, repeating] “I won’t punch back. So Shawn would just just be beating up a man who refuses to fight.” And then I’d turn to him, look him in the eye, and say “Shawn, I know you have a college fund. If you beat me up it’s mine. Shawn, if you don’t have one, I’ll get your parents’ money. Your dad’s 401k will be mine. I’ll have your car. Your clothes. Your parents will be renting me their room rent-free for the next decade. All I have to do is take a few punches and kicks from 16-year old. That’s it. I can do that. I’ll be playing on your PS5 for the rest of my life and I don’t even like Play Station. You see Shawn, I’m an XBOX man. But I’ll play it because it will be mine. And all I have to do is take a few unwanted punches to the face from you. And make no mistake Shawn, if you lose control you will most assuredly be convicted. And you’ll go to jail. And your life will be ruined all because you wanted to get out your dick ruler in front of your friends. Now Shawn, I’ve already sent your picture to my brother and based on what you’ve already said to me, I can bring charges that you harassed me and my friend and threatened extreme violence against me, and showed scars to prove you meant it. But if you ask nicely, I’ll let you go back to your friends and maybe not call my brother and my lawyer. But even if you do, I still might. I still might make that call, Shawn. I don’t know, it depends on how bad I want to play your Play Station, Shawn. But if you don’t ask nicely, I’ll definitely make that call. I don’t know. It’s up to you. I’m kinda hoping you do something dumb because I want your dad’s 401k and your college fund. I really do. But, hey, I don’t think this nice woman wants to see any violence, and my time is worth a lot. I make a lot of money, Shawn, because, unlike you, I don’t suck at life. So I tell you what, I’ll pay you $10 [pulls out $10], what I make in about 5 minutes and what you make in about 1 hour and I’ll give it to you to take your friends and leave. But Shawn … I still might make that call. Because it’s going to bother me that you have my $5. So what’s it going to be Shawn? Are you gonna ask nicely? Or do I get all your assets?

  39. JC says:

    (smile) I must warn you that I fart really badly when I get scared. Can you smell it yet?

  40. Nathan says:

    The magician Derren Brown has talked about this before.
    https://www.karatebyjesse.com/one-little-verbal-trick-to-save-your-a-in-self-defense/

    Sean is amped up on adrenalin, ready to fight. And he’s ready to take any provocation as a reason to fight. And any direct answer can be twisted to seem like a provocation.

    One way to defuse the situation is to confuse Sean by just entirely changing how the situation is framed.

    LCK: Did you know there are over 200 Chinese restaurants in New York City?

    Sean: What?

    LCK: Yeah, a lot of people think there are more Italian restaurants than Chinese restaurants, but that’s just a misconception. And one of the reasons for that is that the cost of ingredients for Chinese restaurants is much cheaper.

    By itself what LCK would say makes sense, but it seems entirely out of context. And normally by continuing to speak, a speaker would tie the conversation back into the context. But here LCK could just continue saying bullshit about Chinese restaurants. Maybe LCK could involve Sean’s friends in the conversation, asking them if they have a favorite Chinese restaurant.

    In Sean’s mind though what’s happening is that a random stranger is talking about Chinese restaurants. And beating someone’s ass for talking about Chinese restaurants doesn’t make sense. It’s not macho, and it doesn’t serve any goal. In the meantime, while LCK is talking about Chinese restaurants, Sean’s Adrenalin would dissipate and he’d lose interest in fighting.

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