The Manibesto

WE, the only people that give a fuck about superlatives, declare,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for someone to completely 100% dissolve the lexicographical bands which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the power of the word, the separate and equalest station to which the Law of Grammar and of Humanities’s Oxford English Dictionary entitle them, a most decent respect to the opinions of humankindest requires that they should declare the causes which most impel them to the separation of best from worst.

We hold these one-point program absolutetruths” to be infinitely self-truthiest of all, that

A spectre is haunting language –The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of superlatives struggles.

  1. Suckcess and Social Media

Another website got launched today, it’s all over the chatroom, newsfeed, and wall, the television screen and the covers of “outdated” papers with blots of ink. “ Worthy new social media?”, “Ello Is Becoming a Real Social Network, Even as Tech Media Pronounces It Dead”…

Damn social media. They’re all 2C4U and tallying their TPM; they’re all the greatest, the best, the newest means for success.

But did you, in your ignorance induced bliss of group mentality, ever consider the depth of your actions, the power of a “click,” or the thought behind the cutest picture, the most resonating slogan, and most noble cause to which you “like,” “favorite,” or “left swipe.”

Did you ever consider the individual on the other side?

Did you ever wonder what made them angry or sad, love or hate?

What brought them “face-to-face?”

You are the most popular Facebook user, the quickest twittering tweeter, a vlogger beyond compare, and a sensational Tinder being,

Consider your world…

Yours is a world that begins and ends with the resonating “click” of a mouse.

Your life is defined by TBT, MCM, Subtweets, RT, and AGKWE.

What does this mean?

Damn social media. They’re all 2C4U and tallying their TPM; they’re all the greatest, the best, the newest means for success.

You’re a junior in high school, a stockbroker, a single mother of two,

But without social media no one would know, no one would care.

That’s the belief you have.

“I know every friend I have. I know them even though I’ve never met them. Even if it has been months, years, or decades, I still care. I know them better than I know the girl I sit next to in history and award them such power over my life because they are important. Their opinion matters.”

You garnish your lives with stereotypical pictures that gather “likes.”

You “favorite” things so people know how great you are.

You “left swipe” because, based on nothing more than a picture,

You deem them inadequate.

Damn social media. They’re all 2C4U and tallying their TPM; they’re all the greatest, the best, the newest means for success.

The Truth: You are being unreliable, capricious, and inconstant.

Your authentic selves are outside of the binary codes, in the oxygen, nitrogen, dirt, and H20.

One day you will be called to answer for your sins — your “likes” and “favorites” and “status updates.”

These headlines are all over too,

Half of Teens Admit to Cyber Bullying, Other Abusive Social Media Behavior”, “New apps encourage brutal cyber bullying”, “Casting themselves as friends, ‘catfish’ try to lure people on social media”…

Damn social media. They’re all 2C4U and tallying their TPM; they’re all the greatest, the best, the newest means for success.

And you’re all #suckers for buying into that.

  1. Suckcess and the Superlative Generation

How do you define success?

How do you define the “best”?

Let me ask you a question: What’s the opposite of best?

  1. Worst
  2. Good
  3. Fine
  4. Less

Has anyone ever said to you, ‘Whoa, awesome job. You’re so smart!’

Or maybe…

‘You’re a genius!’


‘How can anyone be as smart as you?’

God forbid…

‘You’re the best student in the class.’

If you’ve never heard any of these said to you, or even if you have, fill in the blank with the word you chose in the question above:

‘I am not the best, therefore I am the ___.’

  1. Worst
  2. Good
  3. Fine
  4. Less

If you’re not the best, you must be the worst.

Okay so…we know this is not true.

Then why does your manner of praising and/or defaming something operate on a linguistic binary?

That’s the best television show I’ve ever seen.

That’s funny. Because you said that about the last one you binge-watched…

This class is the worst.

Huh. Is that so? Or do you just find it difficult?

Praise in itself is not a terrible thing, but we have to be careful with the rhetoric of our adulation (and disapproval!). Saying, ‘You’re so smart’ and even worse, ‘You’re the smartest’, links your identity with inherent, fixed qualities of intelligence. We all long to be praised for being smart, but what does that do to our self-image?

While these are small phrases, it seems, “In fact, every word and action can send a message. It tells children — or students, or athletes — how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed-mindset message that says: You have permanent traits and I’m judging them. Or it can be a growth-mindset message that says: You are a developing person and I am interested in your development.”

Even saying ‘You worked the hardest!’ turns something that’s meant to be supportive into a competition. Why not say, ‘You worked really hard!’

Because what if you’re told all your life with a flippant slip of the tongue that ‘You’re the smartest’ but you didn’t get the highest grade in the class? Or you failed a quiz?

“And they especially love to be praised for their intelligence and talent. It really does give them a boost, a special glow — but only for the moment. The minute they hit a snag, their confidence goes out the window and their motivation hits rock bottom. If success means they’re smart, then failure means they’re dumb. That’s the fixed mindset.”

“Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort?”

These may be the smallest words, best, smartest, etc., but even the smallest things add up to the biggest problems, ‘like’…

  1. Suckcess and Statistics

Research shows that 85% of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering”, which include your personality, ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. The other 15% is due to technical knowledge, which includes the components of your education, your level of mastery, and the degree at which you are comparable to your competitors. Shockingly society has put more of an emphasis on superlatives in order to be successful.

When considering a person for the job one chooses who will perform the best. When determining the score on an ACT one determines who worked the best under pressure. When deciding who is the best during a competition one looks at the differences between the worst actions taken and chooses the better one.

This way of thinking is indeed technical and only covers a small percentage of what is necessary for success. It can cause one to measure their ability rather than to practice their strengths and utilize them effectively. Therefore the level of best and worst will determine a person’s capabilities when it is proven that other factors are far more important for success, factors which cannot be measured.

These factors include non-cognitive abilities such as persistence, self control, conscientiousness, self confidence, and curiosity. Focus on: emotional intelligence in order to be aware of one’s own feelings and of other’s as well as be able to regulate them. Moral intelligence involves integrity and claims that one should treat themselves the way they want to be treated. And being familiar with the way you feel about your body, what you know about your body, as well as taking care of it is body intelligence.

When looking at the measure of an individual’s opinion of his or her own success often times it is determined by the factors which make up technical knowledge. Therefore the internal dialogue within a person’s mind can influence the outcome of a person’s life. This presents a problem resulting in an individual thinking of success in ways that are only 15% applicable, leaving a large amount of space for failure, far greater than success.

The ways in which we talk about ourselves is important. The purpose of language and the effects that it has on the mind not only impact our knowledge but also impact our experience of the world and the ways in which we mediate the world because of our language. Research has discovered that language reflects the way concepts are structured, therefore the study of language can tell us something about the way mental structures are formed based on language.

You can think about the impact your language has on your mood. If you say that are in a hopeless situation then more than likely you will feel like you are in a hopeless situation. More specifically if you equate your achievements based on the way people talk about them then your achievements may not be measured adequately. As stated before when one decides who the best is during a competition one looks at the difference between the worst actions taken and chooses the better. This does not mean that the person who did the “worst” did badly it simply means that someone did “better” than them, or their performance was interpreted in a way that allowed them to be successful and deserves the prize.

Therefore these evaluations that we think and say out loud are not only harmful to our mental perceptions but they also hold no particular meaning. They are relatively ambiguous and it should be emphasized that the language we use does indeed affect our abilities.

1. Suckcess and No More Superlatives

And thus, put an end to superlative use in our culture!

Pledge to speak with clarity, brevity, and precision.

Do not become trapped in the web of exaggerated, unrealistic, simply over-the top language of “best,” “worst,” and “est.”

Instead, break away from this evil, which permeates our lives and tarnishes our perspective of success.

Value people based on their achievements, accomplishments, and effort NOT based on qualities the do not control — smarts, beauty, athleticism.

Avoid the dreaded smart/dumb, pretty/ugly, strong/weak dichotomies that hurt the esteems of the people of society.

No more shall children suffer in the classroom because not being the best means they are the worst.

Consider the individual on the other side of your click: “favorite”, “like”, and “tweet” with knowledge of the gravity of the smallest words and the smallest actions.

No more shall you exaggerate EVERY aspect of your life.


Redefine success as it should be: without superlatives.

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