Perhaps not for the best.
In spring 2004 I visited California for the first time. It was awesome. I loved San Francisco, the wine country, and seeing Ryan Chappelle's death on 24.
Season 3 remains, to this day, my favourite.
Before leaving for New York, where I met Douglas Rushkoff, saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a couple months before it released in Canada, and fell stupid hard for a girl I never gave my number, I went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. It's there that I lost my fear of roller coasters.
Because what's going to happen? The legal penalties for something going horribly wrong in the US are such that nothing bad will happen if you board a roller coaster in that country. The financial risks are too great.
Have you been to Canada's Wonderland? You know The Bat? It has shoulder harnesses. I rode a version of it in Vienna that had lap bars, and lived, because all it needs is a lap bar thanks to centrifugal force, but safety and my point is you will not die if you ride a roller coaster in North America. Once you realize that... you quickly develop an attitude of wanting to bring the pain.
Multiple loops - who cares? You'll live.
Approaching a woman and saying "Hi, this is kind of forward but I think you're incredibly beautiful and I'd love to take you out for a drink sometime?" You'll live.
Approaching a woman and saying "Hi, it looks like you have a boyfriend, and it's not my place to assume how that's going, but if you're open to the idea of seeing someone else, I'd love to treat you to a night on the town. Interested?" You'll live. If you only try this in situations where you don't think the guy's going to take a swing, and you act as respectful as possible... you won't even get punched.
Being at PAX, and I'll elaborate on why later, has made me feel that I'm pretty awesome, and while I may not be the right choice for a given woman in a given situation, I feel no worse off no having pulled the trigger and making the attempt a few times than I have in the past making no attempt at all. Being forward is neither a sin nor a virtue... it's just a thing we feel, and emotions are horseshit.
To the extent that I never want to hurt people, this feels like a bold new mindset. We'll see how it plays out.