Recommendation: Aaron Clarey’s Asshole Consulting Videos, esp. Video Request reg. a Girl’s Concerns About Majoring in STEM

The best advice is this:
Don’t take advice and don’t give advice.

It’s hard to recommend people on YouTube. There’s little editorial oversight and yeah, sometimes you have to eat your words. But while I do not agree with everything Aaron Clarey says, he sure has some useful advice. And a very interesting way of giving it. For example, take a look at this Video Request about a Girl’s Concerns About Majoring in STEM:

I haven’t been at an US university, nor have I ever been a woman. But I have been both in psychology and computer science classes at a German university. (I did finish psychology, but also learned a lot in computer science.) And psychology is about 8 women to 1 man, while computer science is about 8 men to 1 woman. Which gives me an interesting perspective on being in the minority and majority regarding one’s gender (and a very dim view on affirmative action and other stupid 50:50 crap).

And yeah, what he is saying makes a lot of sense to me. I’d recommend that video to every woman (and man) going into STEM. And he’s right about women being able to brighten the day (I’m pretty sure it works the other way around too.)

He has also written a couple of books. So far, I have only read “Bachelor Pad Economics” and I found it a very useful reading. Wish I had read it in my late teens. But then again, there is something to be said for making your own experiences (and yeah, it can be bitter at times).

BTW, he’s offering his consulting services at which has this gem of a description:

Asshole Consulting
Want to be lied to? Hire a regular consultant. Want the truth? Hire an asshole.
When you’re sick and tired of paying people $400 an hour to spare your feelings and make you feel good, and you finally decide you want to start solving your problems, it’s time to contact Asshole Consulting. At Asshole Consulting we just plain don’t have the patience to kiss your ass and guess what you want us to tell you. Instead, we’re going to tell you what we think and don’t give a shit if that pisses you off. And yes, we’re going to charge you for it.

Which is a very interesting approach to consulting, to say the least. Personally, I think that as long as not giving a shit whether it pisses the person off does not interfere with the person’s ability and motivation to actually deal with the problem it’s a good idea. After all, identifying the problem is only the first step, coming up with a solution is the second, but you still have to implement it. But this “Beat me with the truth, don’t torture me with lies.” approach is interesting — if the person is actually able to identify the problem and get the person motivated to do the necessary changes. And so far, I don’t see the persona (being an “asshole”) interfering strongly with the quality of the advice (although it surely isn’t for everyone).

In any case, while I will never recommend a person without reservations — human beings are too complex and there are some very skillful manipulators who take some time to identify them as what they IMO are — it’s a refreshing view. As usual, take any advice with a grain of salt, or to put it differently:

“Use what is useful,
reject what is useless
and add what is specifically your own.”

And after all, no consulting can provide you with “the truth” and sometimes something that — similar to the Ig Nobel Prize — first makes you laugh, then makes you think (or first pisses you off, then makes you think) can be an interesting stimuli.

You find his channel here. Have fun watching.

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