Solo Dolo

Tomorrow’s events:

  • Live Journaling w/ Peter Limberg. Daily @ 8:00 AM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins

  • Stoic Breath w/ Steve Beattie. Every Sunday @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins.

An event to (maybe) get excited about:

  • Apex Aliens w/ Patrick Ryan. June 4th @ 8:30 PM ET. RSVP here.

UFOs are here, but are aliens with them? Pat Ryan explores the possibility, along with the terrifying implications.


May 29th, 2021

Listen good, I don't have nobody

That is the opening lyric of Kid Cudi’s song Solo Dolo, and that lyric was basically me for a good portion of my life, until Camille found her way in. The term solo dolo means doing things on your own, secretly. Here is the definition for “dolo” from …

Put simply, dolo is “solo,” e.g., I’m rolling dolo into the club, or going alone as opposed to with friends. Dolo can also mean “secretly” or, to use another slang expression, on the down low. Dolo often appears in the phrase solo-dolo, which can mean doing something alone but, apparently, being chilled about it.

I used to roll solo dolo all the time, as I was kind of a loner. I remember going to my first movie by myself, which felt weird, but it offered a strange self-intimacy. Rolling into the movie theatre solo dolo with some extra butter popcorn, allowed me to get all romantic with my lonely-induced sadness. I still am kind of a loner, and I am sad when I am alone, but I weirdly like the sadness that comes with being alone. 

I am happy that Camille found her way in my life though. I would have gotten extremely depressed without her. The two of us can hang out forever. Last night we were two goofballs, celebrating the day we first started dating, which was thirteen years ago. We ordered food and decadent cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory, and I was making her laugh by putting stupid notes under each item on the online order, such as: No onions. I hate dem things. Love you. <3

I have some close friends as well, but I do not hang out with them as much as I could, perhaps because of my proclivity for rolling solo dolo. The reason for my solo dolo proclivities can probably be sourced to when I was socially beaten up when I was young, which I wrote in a previous entry

In middle school, there was a series of events, where it felt like one social rejection after the other. It was large scale as well—like getting beaten up by the whole school type thing.  It was humiliating, and created social trauma, and I wrestled with pretty serious social anxiety for years after.

The things that happened around middle school probably invoked a social trauma and anxiety that stayed with me for a long while, but these things also encouraged me to get comfortable enough with rolling solo dolo. I did do a lot to ameliorate this though, and got incredibly fixated on learning social dynamics, as I mentioned in the same entry …

To get over social anxiety I took public speaking classes and was a member of Toastmasters, and became a competitive public speaker. I took lots of acting and improv classes, and read every single book I could on social skills and relational dynamics. I also self-experimented with a slew of psychotherapeutic practices, and even had Jordan Peterson himself as my therapist for two years.

I think the reason why I was so fixated on learning social dynamics was because I wanted to have social optionality, and not settle for involuntary loneliness anymore, and I wanted to protect myself from the cruelness that a crowd can bring. Coupled with a natural intuitive intelligence, this afforded me pretty decent social understandings, probably more than most people have. 

It also afforded me the ability to grok something I will call “invisible social languages.” I want a cooler phrase for that, but it will do the job for now. I have been talking to Alex Ebert about these lately. Alex came to The Stoa recently, and delivered a presentation on coolness, and it was so good, Dark Stoa level good. 

I asked Alex to give me his cool assessment of The Stoa, and he said we are doing pretty well ... 

Btw I should mention you’re already the coolest philosophy platform by a mile… The Stoa maintains this perfect sort of balance. The disaffected view-from-afar 90’s shoegazer music over the simple illustration. The DIY stoically giving no fucks anti-production of hosts. You’re crushing it. 

Coolness is one of these invisible social languages that one can learn. I already have some skill in speaking this language, but there is a lot for me to learn if we are going to “seduce the artists,” so I will be leaning on Alex’s wisdom, and hoping he can serve as The Stoa’s unofficial cool shaman. 

I am called to mention some of these languages I am aware of, and have some sophistication in, but I will take a crack at a clean definition of what invisible social languages are now: 

A structured way of communicating socially, which is common but often not consciously performed.

Just like you can with reasoning, perhaps we can bifurcate invisible languages into two aspects: the object language and the metalanguage. The former is an “object” that is under study (in the case of these social languages: words, actions, feelings), and the latter is the language used to talk about an object language. 

To use the language of reasoning as an example, here is the classic argument example found in most reasoning 101 books ...

P1: All men are mortal.

P2: Socrates is a man.

C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

The object language of the argument is the “objects” of the propositions expressed, e.g. men, Socrates, mortality, and the metalanguage is what prefaced those propositions, e.g. P1, P2, and C, aka first premise, second premise, and conclusion. It is good to become aware of the metalanguage, because it helps one better understand what is going on with the object language, and it also helps one teach the language, or demystify it.

Also, knowing one metalanguage of the various invisible social languages is good, but being aware of many metalanguages is better, because it will afford a “metalinguistic awareness.” This allows for the capacity to socially code-switch rapidly, and I would argue, authentically. Here are some of the invisible social languages I am aware of, and somewhat knowledgeable in …

Status, power, chimp (and bonobo) politics, the sexual marketplace, eros, narcissistic abuse, the emotosphere, elephant whispering, cool, aesthetics, impression management, reality tunnels, rhetoric, humour, stigma management, -ism spotting, and a language that belongs to the old Gods. 

I may write about these in upcoming entries, but I need to sense into how best to do this. I am realizing that the combination of my metalinguistic awareness of all of these invisible social languages, along with my comfort rolling solo dolo, and the virtue associated with my Stoicism, is engendering a strange character mix.

Perhaps it is a mix that is well suited for this meta-sangha whispering thing.


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