I publish words on the Internet. Sometimes readers write me emails.

The Highschooler

A highschooler contacted me. He shook with nervous energy because he was in the presence of Great Blogger Lsusr.

"O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the highschooler, "My teachers know nothing. Please help."

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

"I do not understand," said the highschooler, "How do I parse what you're saying?"

"You are too white, too American and too lazy," I said, "Memorize 150 Chinese characters. This way you will learn discipline, humility and respect for the knowledge of the ancients."

"I now understand. Thank you for your wisdom, O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the highschooler.

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

The Rich Merchant

A rich man with many millions of dollars contacted me. He shook with nervous energy because he was in the presence of Great Blogger Lsusr.

"O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the rich man, "My personal coaches know nothing. Please help."

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

"I do not understand," said the rich man, "How do I learn your true meaning?"

"You are too Chinese, too rich and you work too hard," I said, "Go outside and sleep under a tree. That way you will learn discipline, humility and the value of the Wild American Outdoors."

"Thank you for your wisdom, O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the rich man.

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

The Entrepreneur

An American young man contacted me. He spoke to me like an equal.

"O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the entrepreneur, "I want to cook exotic Asian vegetables. All my life, my dream has been to go to Asia and cook exotic vegetables."

"Go to your local Vietnamese grocery store," I said, "You will find exotic vegetables there."

"Thank you for your wisdom, O' Great Blogger Lsusr," said the entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneur, Part 2

The entrepreneur contacted me again the next week.

"It worked great," said the entrepreneur, "I have been postponing for years something I could have done quickly. The vegetables are cheaper than in my usual supermarket. It has fresh herbs too. I have been cooking all week."

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

"What else can you teach me?" said the entrepreneur, "Are there other things I am postponing because I don't know how cheap they are?"

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

"All I know is I know nothing," said the entrepreneur.

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

The Rich Merchant, Part 2

The rich man contacted me again the next month.

"I did as you said," said the rich man, "I went outside and pretended I did not own a house. It was very cold because I live in Toronto."

"I'm sorry," I said, "I assumed you lived in the USA. Had I realized you were Canadian I would not have recommended you sleep outside in the winter without a tent. That is dangerous. Never do it again."

"I do not yet understand the logic of your teachings," said the rich man, "But you are wise, O' Great Blogger Lsusr. I trust your judgment. I understand how Daoist philosophy first says one thing and then says the opposite. I will ponder your koan until I transcend the paradox you have given me."

"All I know is I know nothing," I said.

The Highschooler, Part 2

The highschooler contacted me again the next year.

"I tried to do as you said," said the highschooler. "It was a disaster. I need to be breaking myself out of the prison that is highschool. I don't have the slack to learn Chinese too."

"I'm sorry," I said, "I assumed your mind functions the way mine does. When I am stressed, copying Chinese characters by hand calms me down."

"I spent eight months thinking my failure was my fault. Then I realized you had just made a mistake. I now know that you are the Person Trying Lsusr and not the Great Blogger Lsusr. You don't know everything."

"That's what I keep trying to tell people. But they never listen!" I said.

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13 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 5:34 AM
New Comment

Oooh, reminds me of a passage:

Warning: also contains spoilers for

Wizard of Oz

Excerpt (after the Wizard has revealed himself to be a fraud):

"I think you are a very bad man," said Dorothy.

"Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit."

"Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.

"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get."

"That may all be true," said the Scarecrow, "but I shall be very unhappy unless you give me brains."

The false Wizard looked at him carefully.

"Well," he said with a sigh, "I'm not much of a magician, as I said; but if you will come to me tomorrow morning, I will stuff your head with brains. I cannot tell you how to use them, however; you must find that out for yourself."

"Oh, thank you--thank you!" cried the Scarecrow. "I'll find a way to use them, never fear!"

"But how about my courage?" asked the Lion anxiously.

"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."

"Perhaps I have, but I'm scared just the same," said the Lion. "I shall really be very unhappy unless you give me the sort of courage that makes one forget he is afraid."

"Very well, I will give you that sort of courage tomorrow," replied Oz.

"How about my heart?" asked the Tin Woodman.

"Why, as for that," answered Oz, "I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart."

"That must be a matter of opinion," said the Tin Woodman. "For my part, I will bear all the unhappiness without a murmur, if you will give me the heart."

"Very well," answered Oz meekly. "Come to me tomorrow and you shall have a heart. I have played Wizard for so many years that I may as well continue the part a little longer."

 

The objection to this is something that could be an interpretation of the original post: the Wizard of Oz can give fake brains to the Scarecrow because his problem isn't really a lack of brains. But "his problem isn't really what he says it is" is a situational thing that isn't true for everyone, just like "writing Chinese characters is relaxing" or "sleeping outside is good for you" aren't true for everyone, so you should be cautious generalizing it.

Great Blogger Lsusr

I was never quite sure whether your username's first letter was lowercase L or uppercase i.

...I'm still not, like, a HUNDRED percent sure.

As a lazy white American, I found this highly relatable. Now to reverse the advice...

I'm not sure why you're downvoted into the negatives. Your comment is perfectly in-character for Nicholas Kross.

All I know is...

This post is amazing, and you are quickly becoming a personal inspiration :) My desire is to be Person Trying Yitzi, although I do not always succeed at it.

It's our ignorance of the things we know that holds most of us back.

The entrepreneur contacted me again the next day..."I have been cooking all week."

Hmmmmmm...

Fixed. Thanks.

Person Trying Lsusr

missing "to be"

I assumed it was intentional, as in person-who-tries named Lsusr (as opposed to Great Blogger Lsusr).

I think it would be more amusing if it were "Trying Person Lsusr", due to the greater ambiguity of the word "trying" in that context.