they pyramid scheme

Things that have happened to me since moving to Chicago
  • Accidentally joined a pyramid scheme for a week
  • Listened to some yestergay give me a 20 minute lecture about becoming my drag sugar daddy
  • Became addicted to sushi while on a ramen budget
  • Got so shitfaced in front of some visiting RuGirls that I slurred on and on about how much they meant to me and Trinity said “Don’t die.”
  • All in all I’m extremely stressed about job hunting and book publishing but I’m having a lot of fun, dammit
Unfucking Dungeons & Dragons

The concept of some humanoid or near-humanoid species being naturally inclined to evil is a racist one, and, unfortunately, a prevalent one in Dungeons & Dragons, exacerbated by the fact that these “evil species” are frequently the “ugly” ones. Drow are a particularly glaring example - “made black because of their ‘evil’”?! Fuck you - but the duergar - “the slaves … learned only to enslave, really makes you think don’t it” - and the orcs - “they feel the CALL to evil in their Gruumshy HEARTS” - are also super not good. (There’s also a fair degree of ableism, with “insane” monsters - in such cases, I honestly think “unaligned” would be a better description for “too far gone to understand morality”. Evil implies a choice.)
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind so much if these weren’t supposed to be naturally-occurring species - always evil demons or fey are fine, because they’re made of magic and stories, although care should of course be taken not to make them look like naturally-occurring species - but elves are really just fragile pointy-eared monkeys, and they have excuses.
However, these evil humanoids are also genre staples and often quite aesthetically good. To that end, I offer the Unfucking D&D Guide, which provides what I think are solutions to this problem. (It should be noted that I am whiter than plain yogurt, so my ideas should be taken with a grain of salt and definitely not take precedence over the ideas of non-white folks. If I’ve said something fucked-up in this, please let me know and I’ll fix it.)

  • Duergar. Keep the “enslaved by illithids, made grim & psionic” bit, toss the “learnt evil from them” part. The duergar are joyless, or can appear so - you can play them either as gloomy and fatalistic or as eccentric and unreasonably concerned with “corruption” - but despite whatever mood they possess, make sure that they are thoroughly dedicated to making sure the horrors of the Underdark stay in the Underdark, and are as righteous and honorable as their hill and mountain cousins.
  • Derro. The derro are an “insane” species; I bring them up only because I saw them confused with duergar in one post about racism in D&D. Their lore has not been constant - the current lore is “dwarves enslaved by illithids, tortured into madness, and now they’re eeeeeeeevil”, which is ableist, not racist - but their metatextual origin is among the detrimental robots, or Deros, of pulp author Richard Sharpe Shaver’s stories (or possibly delusions). “Born from the dreams of a mad author” would actually be good lore if you can make that author a tragic sufferer of schizophrenia in a time before it was understood rather than an ~*~eViL mAdMaN~*~, but in any event, change their type to construct, fey, or fiend, and, most importantly, don’t take them seriously. The derro are pulp villains, and their evil is grandiose and nonsensical. They ought not to be seen as realistic; they ought to be seen as Snidely Whiplash, Commander Claw, or Heinz Doofenshmirtz. “Reasons” are for other genres.
  • Drow. Return drow to their mythical roots as trow, nocturnal hunters, tricksters, and magical artisans dwelling in the hollow hills. There’s high and wood elves; dark elves can find a niche. Lolthite culture is good villain fodder, but make sure that you can handle an “evil religion”, and make sure that all types of elves participate.
  • Goblinoids and trolls. Make them fey, and abandon Tolkien for Rossetti and folktale. Goblins make cruel bargains; hobgoblins attend faerie courts; bugbears hide in closets and create electricity from feed on children’s screams; trolls lurk under bridges and love riddles. As fey, they’re not evil, simply alien and lacking in empathy towards mortals.
  • Gnolls. If you use the Volo’s lore, change their type to fiend and be done with it. If you want to have them be natural humanoids, go read Ursula Vernon’s Digger for the best-written hyaena-furries in literature and base gnolls off that once you’re done crying.
  • Kobolds. Kobolds are already draconic cleaner wrasses in lore; there’s no reason that metallic dragons can’t enjoy them as well and influence some populations to good.
  • Illithids. The mind flayers certainly have great potential as villains. However, there is nothing about their psychology that impels them thither. Their biological requirements could easily be met by feeding on those close to death, whom I might imagine would willingly donate their brains as food or tadpole incubators in exchange for a painless death and the surety that their memories would live on in the illithid. Also, create food and water spells exist.
  • Ogres. Ogres are wilderness-dwellers who prefer to maintain their personal territories through fear instead of actual force of arms; the idea of the monstrous, anthropophagous ogre is a deliberate sham. They are actually capable of great heroism, even if they aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the shed and okay to be honest I started out trying to build up to a Shrek joke but I think I’d take this over canon lore.
  • Orcs. Orcs are an easy fix; all you need to do is remove Gruumsh from the equation and they don’t have a bullshit “call to evil”; in Eberron, without objective gods, the people of the Shadow Marches believe that half-orcs are the proof that orcs and humans are one people, so there’s even in-game precedent for orcs as members of society.
  • Yuan-ti. There are two ways to do this. One is to dump all the lore and just have sexy snake cults, although don’t dress them like Asian or Aztec stereotypes like a lot of the art does. (The 3.5 Monster Manual yuan-ti pureblood looks like she’s constantly accompanied by an inappropriate bamboo flute riff, I swear to Istus.) A sexy snake cult (and I am including malisons, abominations, and anathemas in the term “sexy”, not just purebloods) should be fun for everyone.
    • The other way is to keep their personalities and dump everything else, because if you keep that, you get truly excellent villains. I mean, these fuckers. How dare they drag something as pure as snakes into their Ayn Rand bullshit. Villain yuan-ti should be something transformed from willing or deluded humanoids (histachii raise the sacred snakes and the children of the yuan-ti, who possess their parents’ original race at birth). Couple that with the fact that since snakes very definitely have emotions, yuan-ti logically should as well, which means that they only think they’re above emotions. Now you have Objectivists roped into a magical pyramid scheme, which should offend no-one who doesn’t deserve it. You can mourn for the beings they once were, or just laugh in their dumb faces. Also, the sexy ones all look like Ayn Rand.

jake so could have told charles he was proposing to amy when charles betrayed him. charles would have betrayed the tramps and freed his best friend (and probably done plenty more) without a second thought.

instead, jake paid $8,000 he didn’t have to a pyramid scheme so that his proposal to amy could belong to them and only them, so that this moment he planned could be special and personal and soft and so that he and amy could own this moment, this memory, forever.

Pyramid Scheme scammer ends up paying in the end!

(very long story)

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was trying to enlist into the military. I ended up not joining but that’s a story for another time. At this point, I was led to believe I was about 4 months away from leaving for Boot camp. I was running out of savings, and needing a part time job for some spending cash while I waited around.

So I did what any enterprising 20something would do, and searched craigslist for jobs. I normally hate sales jobs, especially those based on commissions, but figured it would be a great way to earn some extra cash short term. Found a few job listings that looked promising, and put out some applications. A few days later I received a call from David. He was opening up a new store and needed associates. He liked my resume and asked if I’d be available for an interview on Friday morning. I was very up front with him, and let him know that the distance was a bit more than I’d normally drive for a retail job, and asked what he was offering for an hourly rate, to see if it was worth the drive. He told me that they were planning on offering an hourly rate in the mid teens, along with commission. Seemed like an ok deal, so I agreed to be there Friday at 8am.

Keep reading

Only bad things happen when a con-man decides to pull off a con at Elsewhere U.  Y'know, the sort of people– charlatans– who deal in stuff like pyramid schemes and getting people to pay them for something they won’t supply?

If he’s lucky, no one will participate.  Many people at Elsewhere U are very savvy, even though their experiences pertain to deals that will absolutely hold true to their promises.  If he’s luckier still, someone will warn him before he even starts trying to trick anyone: “Get off these grounds if you value anything other than money, or even if you value that.  Do not try to go through with your schemes.  Get far, far away from here.“  If he’s the luckiest of all, he’ll listen to them.

If he’s unlucky, on the other hand… oh boy.

If he’s unlucky, he will get business.  Business from something with too many eyes, and business from something with no eyes at all.  Business from something with too-long arms, from something with teeth serrated like a steak knife.  Business from something with teeth for arms and arms for teeth.  Business from something dripping wet and possibly wrapped in sealskin.  Business from something pretty much made out of flowers.  Business because he’s, somehow, offering something They want.

If he’s unluckier still– the unluckiest of all– then he won’t even notice his clientele’s abundant… oddities, and will just think that the ‘students’ at Elsewhere U aren’t good at distinguishing when a deal is a bad one.  He’s wrong, of course, in thinking that: not one of his clients is a student, unless they’re covering for one.  But if he’s unlucky or just a fool, he’ll accept every deal with a fake smile, a hidden laugh, and a promise he has no intention of keeping.

And the one he is dealing with will accept the deal as well: with a genuine and genuinely terrifying smile, a not-so-hidden laugh that could grate concrete, and a promise that they know, the way They do, will be kept or the consequences will be more than anyone– the con-man included– could hope to pay.

x

Why do people join cults?

Today, there are thousands of cults around the world. It’s important to note two things about them. First, not all cults are religious. Some are political, therapy-based, focused on self-improvement, or otherwise. And on the flip side, not all new religions are what we’re referring to as cults. So what exactly defines our modern understanding of cults, and why do people join them? 

Broadly speaking, a cult is a group or movement with a shared commitment to a usually extreme ideology that’s typically embodied in a charismatic leader. And while few turn out as deadly like Heaven’s Gate, which ended in a mass suicide of 39 people in 1997, most cults share some basic characteristics. A typical cult requires a high level of commitment from its members and maintains a strict hierarchy, separating unsuspecting supporters and recruits from the inner workings. It claims to provide answers to life’s biggest questions through its doctrine, along with the required recipe for change that shapes a new member into a true believer. And most importantly, it uses both formal and informal systems of influence and control to keep members obedient, with little tolerance for internal disagreement or external scrutiny. 

You might wonder whether some of these descriptions might also apply to established religions. In fact, the world “cultus” originally described people who cultivated the worship of certain gods by performing rituals and maintaining temples. But in time, it came to mean excessive devotion. Many religions began as cults, but integrated into the fabric of the larger society as they grew. A modern cult, by contrast, separates its members from others. Rather than providing guidelines for members to live better lives, a cult seeks to directly control them, from personal and family relationships, to financial assets and living arrangements. 

Cults also demand obedience to human leaders who tend to be highly persuasive people with authoritarian and narcissistic streaks motivated by money, sex, power, or all three. While a cult leader uses personal charisma to attract initial followers, further expansion works like a pyramid scheme, with early members recruiting new ones. Cults are skilled at knowing whom to target, often focusing on those new to an area, or who have recently undergone some personal or professional loss. Loneliness and a desire for meaning make one susceptible to friendly people offering community. The recruitment process can be subtle, sometimes taking months to establish a relationship. In fact, more than two-thirds of cult members are recruited by a friend, family member, or co-worker whose invitations are harder to refuse.

Once in the cult, members are subjected to multiple forms of indoctrination. Some play on our natural inclination to mimic social behaviors or follow orders. Other methods may be more intense using techniques of coercive persuasion involving guilt, shame, and fear. And in many cases, members may willingly submit out of desire to belong and to attain the promised rewards. The cult environment discourages critical thinking, making it hard to voice doubts when everyone around you is modeling absolute faith.

The resulting internal conflict, known as cognitive dissonance, keeps you trapped, as each compromise makes it more painful to admit you’ve been deceived. And though most cults don’t lead members to their death, they can still be harmful. By denying basic freedoms of thought, speech, and association, cults stunt their members’ psychological and emotional growth, a particular problem for children, who are deprived of normal developmental activities and milestones. Nevertheless, many cult members eventually find a way out, whether through their own realizations, the help of family and friends, or when the cult falls apart due to external pressure or scandals. 

Many cults may be hard to identify, and for some, their beliefs, no matter how strange, are protected under religious freedom. But when their practices involve harassment, threats, illegal activities, or abuse, the law can intervene. Believing in something should not come at the cost of your family and friends, and if someone tells you to sacrifice your relationships or morality for the greater good, they’re most likely exploiting you for their own.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why do people join cults? - Janja Lalich

Animation by Globizco

Pyramid Scheme

Our party just made level 3, and Cragak, our ranger, has convinced Davor, our barbarian, to join in with him on a business venture. So the barbarian takes a point in Profession as Multi-Level Marketing CEO of “Cragak’s Hides and Skins.”

We stop at a nearby town for a few days, so Davor sets up shop and attempts to draw in some business. He rolls a 2 for the first day.
GM: An elderly, crazed-looking dwarf approaches you. “Hey… do you have any elf skins?”
Davor: “Um… no, but we could find one for you! Would you like to put down a deposit as investment?”
GM (as dwarf customer): “Sorry, my wallet’s in my other pants…” (He’s not wearing any pants)

The next day, Davor tries again. Another 2.
GM: The same dwarf comes back again.
Davor: “Hey!… Did you, by chance, happen to bring your other pair of pants?”
GM (as dwarf): “Sorry… but do you take lizard guts?”
Davor: “Ah… no.”

The dwarf proceeds to follow Davor around for the rest of the day, staring uncomfortably at him.

On our last day in town, our barbarian tries again. Nat 20.
GM: The dwarf returns AGAIN, but this time he’s brought ten people with him! Apparently he wouldn’t stop pestering them until they came by the booth. Each person gives you 5 gold.
Davor (addressing the crowd): “Thank you! We’ll bring you product after our next hunting session. In the meantime, spread the word about Cragak’s Hides and Skins! I admire your loyalty, and we will hold an all-staff meeting the next time we’re in town where YOU WILL BE ENERGIZED and you will be ready to GO OUT and make TONS OF MONEY! Trust the process! INVEST IN THE DREAM! I love you all!”

ff-sunset-oasis  asked:

Heyyyy Andrea so I'm just wondering what are your thoughts on Blaise Zabini's mom? Like, I'm always love how you occasionally slipped her into your stories with Blaise, usually just some passing mention but the descriptions always got me very intrigued - so just want to ask what's your thoughts/views about her? Thanks <3

HA HA it’s not like I’ve been waiting my entire life for someone to ask me about blaise zabini’s mother or anything that would be dumb that would be i ns a ne im fine let’s do this:

  • for nineteen years, her name is elizabeth.
  • lizzie, her father calls her, with the same sort of simple, incredulous affection he directs at her mother—her mother, the witch, who brews potions that smell like anise and cinnamon, who wrinkles her nose at the rolling green hills of the english countryside, who wears a gleaming silver scorpion pendant around her neck and tells elizabeth bedtime stories about hot desert nights and crumbling pyramids and brilliant, scheming queens who spilled blood and conquered continents and stole thrones—and all with small, secret smiles on their faces.
  • elizabeth isn’t lizzie.
  • elizabeth goes to hogwarts; lizzie does not.
  • elizabeth is sorted into slytherin; lizzie is not.
  • elizabeth slinks through the halls, learns how to listen and how to lie and how to levitate a peacock feather; lizzie does not. elizabeth collects lipsticks she’s too young for, slick crimsons and glossy violets, highlights the arches of her cheekbones with burnished bronze powder and lines her eyes in liquid, velvety black; lizzie does not. elizabeth speaks and says nothing, lowers her gaze and sees everything, enchants as effortlessly as she entraps; lizzie does not.
  • instead, lizzie goes home for the summer, braids her hair into two neat plaits and picks wildflowers with her father, laughs pretty and easy and loud, loud like she can’t when she’s at school, because the dungeons have high ceilings and long memories and an alarming tendency to produce variables she knows she can’t control; not like elizabeth can.
  • elizabeth doesn’t make mistakes.  
  • lizzie does.
  • lizzie is eighteen and punching her time card at the ministry and dreaming about palm trees swaying in a heavy summer breeze, about pillows of sand slipping through her fingertips, about crystal blue skies and sheer linen dresses and skin tanned a dark, silky brown by the heat of the sun.  
  • and she meets a boy. a man. a visiting diplomat with a lilting accent and a fan of laugh lines around his eyes and a luxuriously appointed suite at the savoy that starts to feel like home—too much, too soon.  
  • “you’re beautiful,” he tells her, and it’s elizabeth whose mouth curves up slyly, invitingly, as she replies, “i know.”
  • “you’re perfect,” he tells her, and it’s lizzie whose heart races, whose breath skips, whose lips tremble as she replies, “i know.”
  • “i love you,” he tells her, and she doesn’t know where elizabeth stops and lizzie begins when she replies, “i love you, too.”
  • and he buys her extravagant gifts and he makes her extravagant promises and then he unceremoniously leaves; goes back to italy—to his wife, to his children, to his peach-pink villa on the mediterranean coast with the sweeping balconies and the sparkling turquoise swimming pool—the day before she realizes she’s pregnant.  
  • the ensuing rage—it’s quiet, really, a low, sad, gentle simmer deep in the pit of her stomach that could rock her to complacency if she let it.  
  • she doesn’t let it.
  • instead, she considers her options. she sends a letter. she opens her own gringott’s vault. she calmly answers, “morning sickness,” when her nosiest coworker asks why she’s been late all week. she sends another letter. she moves into a nicer flat, the kind with a doorman and a concierge and a lot of wealthy neighbors. she develops a strange craving for candied dates. she bides her time.
  • elizabeth calls it justice; lizzie calls it blackmail.
  • the day after she discovers she’s having a boy, she sends one last letter, dusts the slow-drying ink with a gold-tinged powder that smells like anise and cinnamon, and she thinks about hazy, blistering sunsets shimmering red and yellow and orange, about wide-open limestone palaces and gods that expect you to start wars for them and buttery leather sandals caked brown with old blood.  
  • elizabeth calls it justice; lizzie calls it revenge.
  • five months later, she’s gritting her teeth and squeezing the midwife’s hand and desperately wondering if the pain will ever end.  
  • it does.
  • and then she’s staring down at a baby—hers, hers—and he’s impossibly tiny and impossibly warm and impossibly helpless. his mouth relaxes into a pout, and his eyes slit open, glassy and unfocused and so dark they might as well be colorless.  
  • she names him blaise.
  • she names him blaise because blaise is a name that can’t be cut in half, and she watches him sleep while the midwife lectures her about feedings and nappies and the bare spot on her finger where a wedding ring should be. there’s a tightness in elizabeth’s chest, fierce and fearful, both, that does nothing but multiply the longer she looks at him, her son, and she understands—suddenly, and with a perfect stab of clarity—why her father had wanted her to be lizzie.
  • no one has ever hurt her twice.
  • no one will ever hurt him at all.
Enneagram Asshole Archetypes

@humanarchetypehouse - I’m reposting them, because they’re hard to access.

5-1-2 Combos: The Insufferable Know-It-All. They think they know everything there is to know about everything, and they cannot contain their urges to share their knowledge with absolutely everyone. They correct people over the tiniest mistakes with no concern for any self-consciousness this may cause and then act disingenuously confused when others get upset.

5-1-3 Combos: The Neurotic Over-Achiever. These are the students who cry over getting a B+ or not being the best at their extracurricular activity of choice. They tend not to do very well outside of school unless they get to become doctors. Even then, they usually end up overly competitive and have hollow social and family lives.

5-1-4 Combos: The Ivory-Tower Prophet. Think they have a perfect vision of what’s best for the world based on nothing but untested theory and fantastical introspection. Needs to actually get out and talk to people in order to actually refine their ideals, but they are often unwilling to because that might involve admitting they are wrong or dealing with people they consider less than them.

5-8-2 Combos: The Armchair Shrink. Read a Psych 101 textbook once and now thinks they are qualified to give drive-by diagnoses and overly impersonal life advice. Tends to be very overbearing about it and generally refuses to listen to further information from their “patients”, particularly if it goes against their assumptions.

5-8-3 Combos: The Cult Leader. Has some bizarre philosophy that they propagate using hollow social influence and brutal aggression. Speaks in pyramid-scheme language and literally never shuts up until you are brow-beaten into submission because your own mind intimidated itself trying to figure out what the hell they were trying to say.

5-8-4 Combos: The Self-Important Jerk. Like the Cult Leader, but lazier and with fewer social skills. Turns their nose up at any preferences or modes of living other than their own and resents anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with them 100%. They’re very bossy, but their instructions are often terse and unclear, and to make matters worse, they just get mad at you when you tell them to explain because they’re over-sensitive about being misunderstood.

5-9-2 Combos: The Unsolicited Mediator. They hate conflict, but they can’t stand to stay out of it, either. If you’re having a dispute with somebody, expect them to show up spouting inappropriate objectivity and some sterile, by-the-book advice about using I-statements and whatnot. This is actually pretty effective in resolving the disputes, but not in the way they want it to - instead of being mad at the person you were initially disputing with, now you are both mad at The Unsolicited Mediator and must unite against the common enemy.

5-9-3 Combos: The Amoral Monster. Not much seems to bother them, which is nice at first until you realize their “tolerance” stems from the fact that they have no sensibilities to offend. They lack conviction and will use flimsy, pulled-out-of-ass logic to dodge responsibilities and defend their selfish decisions.

5-9-4 Combos: The Pretentious Hippie. The most reclusive of all the archetypes. You aren’t good enough to be their friend, so don’t even try. You’re not on their level and you harsh their vibes, man. They tend to be very unhappy unless they’re living in a sustainable homestead in the middle of nowhere. Bitches about how the Internet is destroying our minds but spends most of their time online anyway.

6-1-2 Combos: The Sanctimonious Sap-Addict. They talk as if they live in a Hallmark card, chain e-mail, or cheesy coming-of-age film. They probably feel really guilty about dumb things, and then you start wondering if you should, too. They tend to be religious and intolerant of those who don’t share their views or ways of life. Thankfully the ways they tend to show this intolerance are pretty harmless - panicking and crying. Nobody can stand to listen to them because, despite the motivational tone of their messages, they make everyone around them feel awful for not being as wholesome as they are.

6-1-3 Combos: The Thought Police. Similar to The Cipher (6-9-3 Combos), but more prone to forcing their boringness on others. While the Cipher avoids personality clashes by either blending in with or withdrawing from those with different priorities, those of the Thought Police archetype wage a crusade against them by asserting the moral superiority of their way of life. They have convinced themselves they are perfect so to avoid the emotional pain of having to re-evaluate their lives, but in order to maintain this illusion, they must live in an echo chamber. Don’t put them in the same room as the 6-1-2, it’s not a pretty sight.

6-1-4 Combos: The Ball of Self Hatred. Nobody wants to listen to these people, no matter how good their ideas might be, because they can’t even listen to themselves - even when they want to. They certainly have minds of their own, unfortunately, they don’t tend to use them unless it’s convenient (Spoiler Alert: it rarely is.) They ruin their own lives by repressing positive emotions, ruminating on wrongdoings (both theirs and those of others), and being unable to trust or feel good about anything unless it is completely beyond criticism.

6-8-2 Combos: The Overbearing Meddler. Anything they wouldn’t do is a bad idea that you need to be scared and bullied out of. This also goes for many things they WOULD do, because they are hypocrites. They say it’s for your own good, but they wouldn’t know the first thing about that if it bit them on the nose because they live with their heads in their asses. They tend to have plenty of their own issues, which they chronically avoid by micromanaging others. More projection than a cinema multiplex.

6-8-3 Combos: The Overworked Grouch. These are people who cannot wind down for the life of them. This tendency would generally not affect anyone other than themselves, but it does because they get mad at other people for relaxing. They see others’ satisfaction with less as an affront because it means that maybe all their overwork was for nothing, but instead of giving relaxation a chance, they choose to act like arrogant dicks in hopes that others will change to suit them instead.

6-8-4 Combos: The Extremist. Fiercely and belligerently loyal to a set of beliefs that no one else shares. Believes their pet issue (frequently something that directly affects them) to be the center of the universe and ridicules opposing viewpoints. They might be nice to you if you agree with everything they say, but even then, they probably won’t - you come second to the crusade.

6-9-2 Combos: The Martyr. No will or interests of their own. Gives their entire life up for the sake of an individual or a group - and it’s usually a dysfunctional one. They don’t even complain if they aren’t appreciated or thanked (they don’t expect it), but Heaven forbid there comes a time when they are no longer needed. They will plunge into depression and impotent rage as they search desperately for another object of their overly-submissive affections.

6-9-3 Combos: The Cipher. Your next-door neighbor who thinks the street you live on is the center of the universe. It’s not completely certain that people of this archetype actually have personalities or if their attitudes and behavior are just absorbed from their surroundings and upbringing. They may be rigidly set in their ways or they may be a perpetually-shifting chameleon (depending on the order of the numbers) - there isn’t much in between, but either way, they’re unbelievably boring.

6-9-4 Combos: The Special Snowflake. They at least try to be interesting, if only on a superficial level, but can’t keep it up for very long. They might seem endearingly quirky until you meet the people they hang out with, who are all pretty much just like them. To their credit, they’re usually pleasant enough company in that they couldn’t be cruel if they tried (though they are plenty judgmental in their thinking), but their flakiness and squirrely behavior usually prove too annoying for anyone to really keep them around for long.

7-1-2 Combos: The Wack-tivist. Thinks they’re hot stuff because they’ve helped out in a bunch of Third World countries. That’s great, of course, but it would be a lot better if they could shut up about it for five minutes. Excessively smug about all the different charity groups they participate in through their church and/or university while you just wonder where the hell they find the time and what you’re doing wrong with your life.

7-1-3 Combos: The Tweaker. Okay, so they may or may not actually use speed, but one thing is for sure; this archetype never sleeps. Ever. They have a full time job and several different hobbies, clubs, and volunteer groups, and they feel the need to excel and gain recognition within all of them. They are always on the go, but unlike the Overworked Grouch (6-8-3 Combos), they’re eerily chipper about it. In fact, they’re very sad when there’s nothing to do, because then they are forced to think about their feelings, which they are notoriously bad at. And it should be obvious how they feel about being bad at anything (Hint: it isn’t positively).

7-1-4 Combos: The Fanatic. A obnoxious mass of scatterbrained and stubborn behavior. Has their own personal brand of ethics and spirituality, which tends to involve a lot of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. They at least practice what they preach, so that’s one good thing about them - unfortunately, they don’t ever really talk much about anything else. They just find a million different ways and contexts in which to talk about it.

7-8-2 Combos: The Bootstraps Idealist. Like the Overbearing Meddler (6-8-2 Combos), but with an extra dose of irresponsibility. They think the answer to all your problems is for you to do extremely difficult or extravagant things without considering whether or not you have the time or resources. Often refuses to acknowledge health issues (both mental and physical), as well. Any reason why you can’t do the things they are telling you to do is because of your lack of positive attitude instead of actual reality. Usually has more than a few terrible habits, but will try and fool you into thinking they have all their ducks in a row by giving faux motivational speeches.

7-8-3 Combos: The Inconsiderate Douche. It doesn’t really get any worse than this. Loud, obnoxious, and hopelessly shallow, a person of this archetype may seem very popular, but their circle of friends is a revolving door because they just won’t stop screwing people over for the sake of their ambitions or disregarding their feelings. Stay far, far away.

7-8-4 Combos: The Conspiracy Theorist. Being paranoid and accusing the government of hiding all kinds of scary, exciting things from us is fun for them. Imagining that there is at least one conspiracy that targets them personally is even more fun. What they don’t understand is that it isn’t as much fun for everyone around them. If you tell them you don’t believe them or even that you’re just sick of hearing about it, they flip their lid and go off about how you’re an idiot and just want to remain ignorant.

7-9-2 Combos: The Walking New-Age Store. This complete knob of an archetype has a saying or quote for everything, but never really seems to think critically about or have anything of their own to add to the words they are repeating. Hardly anyone has the heart to tell them how canned-corny and downright unhelpful they are, because they just seem so blissful and earnest. It would be like popping a hot air balloon, on every possible level.

7-9-3 Combos: The Goldfish. Completely without any self-awareness, this archetype flits perpetually from one superficial interest to the next. Unsurprisingly, they find very little satisfaction from anything, no matter how enthusiastically they may dive into it. The creepiest part about this is that they are so numb and hollow, they barely even notice how unsatisfied they are - they’ve fooled themselves into believing this is a happy existence.

7-9-4 Combos: The Entitled Vagabond. Goes on long road trips for no real reason, couch-surfing all the way. Quite possibly has no permanent address or bank account, and they are okay with this. Does a lot of odd jobs and possibly illegal things; has never had an actual job in their life, because it just isn’t their style, man. They’re actually not too insufferable as long as you don’t expect much from them and don’t mind their mooching. Unfortunately, whatever positivity they may bring to your life will be short-lived; as soon as they pick up and leave (which they will), they will all but forget you even exist.