PANDA’s Chairman, Nick Hudson, is an actuary with extensive international finance experience who has transitioned into a career as a private equity investor.

Nick is a close friend of mine, with whom I enjoy chatting about all sorts of things.

And drinking all sorts of wines.

Nick Hudson and Jerm having a serious conversation
Nick and I having a serious conversation

This time, we discussed the importance of rejecting nihilism and ultra-cynicism otherwise known—for the purpose of this conversation—as ‘the black pill’ or ‘black pill culture’.

Nick encouraged a more realistic, nuanced and less destructive outlook.

The nihilist’s fear of deception leads to a monotonous existence, one which he alleviates by making his paranoia extravagant to the point of being entertaining. 

Isaac Cronin

It’s a slippery slope

Healthy scepticism is superior to ultra-cynicism
Healthy scepticism is superior to ultra-cynicism

A nihilist, always fearing deception, leads a dull life because they trust nobody and nothing.

Everybody is controlled opposition.

Nobody can say or do anything good.

Even I am controlled opposition.

Because that’s the logical conclusion, if you think about it. After all, the only person who isn’t part of the evil cabal is the black-pilled individual. Somehow, that person is immune to being deceived.

To cope, they make their ultra-paranoia almost entertaining.

It’s a depressing state of affairs.



There are different ‘pills’ (a metaphor from The Matrix) and we should understand the difference between cynicism and healthy scepticism.

Swallowing different pills

Being ‘black-pilled’ is an ultra-cynical, nihilistic and defeatist mindset. It’s harmful.

In contrast, being ‘white-pilled’ involves a sceptical but constructive approach—using knowledge to find solutions and overcome challenges while appreciating nuance and the potential for redemption.

I’ll retype that very important word: nuance.

The world is not a binary formula; it’s complex and chaotic. There is a combination of design and emergence.

Nick argues for an empowered, purposeful ‘white pill’ perspective over the hopeless ‘black pill’ mentality.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Sun Tzu

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