Archive for category Musings

A pebble in my shoe

I love my RSS reader. It reminds me to read the people who are blogging important stuff. Heartiste had a post today which was simply brilliant, dissecting the three flavors of anti-game men. I commented at some length, and had a realization, and that is why I came back here immediately to write a post. Simply put, it is that Game is still in its infancy. Viewed alone, as a method for picking up women, it is a mature art, but it is only one piece of the puzzle of reclaiming masculinity by men. If men are masculine, which is to say assertive, informed, competent, responsible and mature, game is so thoroughly integrated into their worldview that it isn’t even inner game anymore. It is them. Game becomes a sine qua non for masculinity. If they want to collect notches, they can, but if they are genuinely responsible, their goal will be to create a better life for themselves and for others. They genuinely will leave women ‘better than they found them’. How many PUAs do you know who actually do that?

That said, I still think every man should start studying game at, oh, say 14 or 15. That gives them just enough time to know the kind of frustration that can be spawned by AFC-hood, without getting them bitter. And if they are a natural, then don’t interfere. A man who has relationships that fall into a healthy masculine-feminine dynamic before his personality has fully crystallized is MUCH more likely to be a fully integrated person as an adult, capable of intelligent, informed decisions about commitment, but also able, should it be necessary, to ensure that his partner remains committed to him. Make no mistake, as the half of the species that favors logic and deductive reasoning over emotional reaction, it is Man’s responsibility to give his partner no reasons to stray. There are exceptions. I know this. There are women who would no more cheat than they would saw off their mother’s left arm because they needed fertilizer for their garden. There are women who will even do this for logical reasons. I know two personally. But if you step back from the immediate “Oh NO!  A sexual generalization! He must be a male chauvinist pig!” reaction…. wait, no. If you’re having that reaction, you are part of the problem. The sexes are different. There are outliers, as in any population, but you know what statisticians do with outliers? They ignore them.


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The decoupling

There is currently only one world economy. No matter what people tell you about the economy of the United States, or Europe, or Japan, or China, all of them are connected intimately and deeply. Price changes in food in China affect the cost of iPads in the US, which affects Apple’s bottom line, which affects the tourism industry in France, which affects…. you get the picture. The only reason we don’t see this more obviously is because of the human factor. A human can only be awake, tops, twenty-ish hours a day if he abuses prescription drugs. That still leaves four hours in which he cannot make decisions. Of those twenty hours awake that our Provigil and Adderall abusing business mogul spends, he probably only spends sixteen or so actually making decisions. And he is far and away in the minority of the human race. As computers improve and are entrusted with more and more decisions, second by second adaptations to the market become more and more possible. Arbitrage lessens, and ever more powerful and subtle computers are required to scrape profit out of ever narrowing margins. This effect is being seen already in some markets; the Forex market is almost impossible to make a profit in, unless you are a mathematician and a skilled programmer.

The reason that the world will never decouple into separate physical markets is that we are (justly) accustomed to recompense for creating a product. HOWEVER, our assumptions about compensation are beginning to change. Many people make a full time living on the internet, for example, doing something as their full time job that actually is provided for free. Take webcomic artists for a moment; they create a free product which often amounts to a full time job for them, but they continue to do it. Their profits are provided on the side, as they take already created ideas and put them in books, on coffee mugs and tee shirts. But what about all of the people who do their online job, and work in meatspace on the side? There is an enormous amount of content that is created whether or not people read it. I’ve heard (and my source may well be wrong) that there is more information on the internet than the entire population of the United States could read before their deaths. That is a LOT of content. How much of it have you read? This blog is an excellent example, in fact. I’ll probably write for a year or two, and if I don’t get any readership in that time, I will probably stop. But there will still be hundreds of posts. Tens of thousands of words. Every single word is being put out there for free. I don’t have any expectation of ever making a penny from this blog (which is probably a good thing, since I have no intention of revealing my identity), but I still need to eat. I provide content for free, merely because I enjoy doing it. I may write for ten years, and not lose interest in all that time, even if I never get another reader.

That effect; people creating content because they like to, without expectation of compensation except recognition, is slowly causing a decoupling of the internet’s economy from that of meatspace. More and more, I suspect, meatspace will be devoted to actual production, or supporting production, and that will be one economy, where tokens of exchange will rule. The second economy will exist in small, specialized cells, where individuals will exchange recognition and reputation for entertainment. There may continue to be a market for mass movies, games, and music, but I suspect it is more likely to dissolve in favor of talented hobbyists. This may take a while; we are only now raising a generation that is accustomed to having the internet in its current “Do anything” form. Anyone born in the eighties and nineties thinks of the internet as something that is still new and amazing, even as we take our livings from it, depend on it, and use it for more and more. For entertainment to truly decouple from production, we need to take the internet for granted. I suspect that it will happen, but not immediately; the oldest of the post-millenial children are just eleven years old this year, after all.

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Checking out

I was thinking about the whole concept of masculinity earlier. I realized that I have not adequately expressed my opinions; to wit, my Sack Up and Deal post could be taken to mean ‘Continue working within the system like good little worker drones’. That is NOT what I meant to say. The system is broken. I know this, you know this, heck, even Occupy Wall Street knows this. Family law is rigged against men, federal law discourages individual innovation, society is DEFINITELY hostile to risk-taking. These forces make it impossible to work within the system in the way we used to. So don’t. The process of reclaiming masculinity has already started; more and more men are refusing to marry. Good choice. I’d make the same one, if it were not for the restraints imposed by my religious beliefs. But that is only step 1. Step 2 is to start checking out completely. I have a major, all consuming goal in my life. I will not share it now; with any luck you will hear about my efforts on the news in the next fifteen or twenty years. Because it will take time. I live in a smaller apartment than I can afford, and do not drive. I am going to attempt to live without ever incurring debt again. Every dollar I can scrape together goes to this goal. And this goal is not one for myself; if I am successful, millions of people who would otherwise have died will live. If I am really lucky, I won’t make any major enemies while doing this, and if I am luckier still, nobody will ever know my name except for historians. That is what checking out means, and that is the only possible logical moral response when society abandons you. Change it. You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

As a caveat; there may be other logical responses, and logical ethical responses, but I reject the notion of a personal morality.

As a further caveat; mine is not the only way of effecting change. There are other ways to do it, but none of them involve mediocrity. Just saying.

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I’ve just had an epiphany, and it doesn’t make me happy.

These are the times that try men’s souls. Never, in my memory, has Paine’s quote struck me as true as it does today. And the operative word here is men. Not humanity, but men. Not even males, but men. Men are under siege. Heartiste had an interesting article yesterday, but the really telling part came in the comments, here. Whether or not you read the article, the gist of the video (and the exchange following) is that an overweight woman’s bridal party sank at the end of the dock, and then she orders around her new husband in a completely (socially, even if you accept it in the bedroom for some reason) unacceptable way. Naturally, the regular readers of CH excoriate her mercilessly, and just as naturally there is a woman who jumps in to protest that not all men are like Heartiste’s readers. We shall return to this.

Following links (shame on me, I’m actually at work as I compose this. I take refuge in the fact that my current project has a lot of downtime, and 95% of my surfing and writing is done during that time), I eventually came across this article, and it finally clicked for me. Humanity is undergoing a sea change. I have long claimed (sometimes at great length, and with much arm waving) that humanity is speciating, into what I call (with no great originality) the Morlocks and the Eloi. This proves it ever more, but I think if you were to take  someone from this day and age, project them even a hundred years into the future, and provide them with a rundown of the 2111 state of humanity, the overwhelming majority would claim that it is the exact opposite of what they want. It gets even worse a thousand or ten thousand years from now. The rest of that discussion is going to be reserved for a later post, however.

These two articles illustrate the current condition of the western man. Painting with a VERY broad brush, I shall claim that there are, fundamentally, three flavors of man extant. The men who don’t understand what is going on in the world (further subdivided into those who then check out to play GTA Dubuque forty odd hours a week, versus those who play along and marry an associate professor of Women’s Studies, versus inarticulately, incoherently and unproductively angry twenty-somethings), the men who do understand, but don’t care (PUAs, players, man-whores, call them what you will) and the men who understand and care, and want to do something about it. This last group is, sadly, the rarest of all. These are the men who women mean when they lament “Where have all the good men gone?” They are the men who will take the plunge into starting a family despite a stacked deck against them, KNOWING that they have just gambled their entire future on one person. They are the men who will put up with incompetent women being promoted over them, because they love their work and find it fulfilling. (As a side note, they will not care about the plumbing if the person being promoted over them is genuinely good at their job.) These are the men who jump in to defend the ‘blushing bride’ in the video above, but who, if they were called an idiot on their wedding day by their bride, would not hesitate a moment to call her out on it. They would do it in private, respectfully and lovingly, but there would be no doubt that that behavior was unacceptable. They would and will do all these things because they are the right things to do in their minds.

It isn’t the end of men alone; it is the end of society as we know it. For every two men that graduate with a bachelor’s, there are three women. Whoop dee do. Five percent of college graduates are engineers. About ten percent are pure scientists (harder to estimate, since what colleges call science varies hugely. Some colleges even have courses called Gender Science…. isn’t that just Reproductive Biology? At least, that is what it should be.) So about fifteen percent of graduates have a genuinely useful degree. (My numbers may be off on that part, but the next part is what is actually important.) Of those, how many are women? I don’t know, but I do know that 7% of tenured faculty in the engineering department of four year colleges (on average) are women. Prejudice alone cannot POSSIBLY account for that difference. I know too many engineers to believe that.

Okay, so my epiphany has turned into a disconnected ramble on gender politics; that is what happens when you take three hours to write an 800 word article, I guess. I may clean this up later, though.

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Twice before I have attempted to start a blog. Twice I have failed. Maybe three times is the charm. To start with, I give you a few (mostly) disconnected thoughts. I make no apologies for the eclectic nature of what I have to talk about; I am an eclectic person.

I read a lot of PUA blogs. Well, okay, mostly Heartiste (formerly Roissy; a name I rather think I prefer) and Rational Male, but I skim a lot of others. One theme that keeps coming up is the concept of Oneitis. I agree with them that it is bad, but only because of its manifestation. I think most PUAs would agree with me that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be in exclusive relationships, but that the attitudes that go with pursuing exclusive relationships are the dangerous part. When a man decides to pursue a woman to the exclusion of all others, he almost always immediately starts giving off a desperate vibe. That is bad. One very dear friend of mine, shortly after meeting the woman who would later become his wife, told me that the secret to meeting a great woman is giving up on meeting women. He’s probably right, because the point of inner game (or even outer game, although outer game is more concerned with how you seem) is to stop caring whether or not any specific woman finds you attractive. Ergo, you become attractive. Of course, the converse is that you cannot come off as desperate, which is the flip side of the same coin.

Continuing along the same lines (don’t worry, I have no intention of turning this into a game blog. It is just what is on my mind right now), about ten years ago I was sitting with a group of women and a couple of guys when one of the guys started pontificating (even truth can be pompous, and his was) about how women don’t know what they want. I certainly believe that his choice of venue was… erroneous, but he was speaking truly. At the time, I was obsessed with one of the girls in the room and when she and her friends jumped to object, I jumped with them. However, I never considered the implications of what he said, versus what I believed and accepted. I believed that women would genuinely tell men what they wanted out of a relationship (and to be fair, some do, but almost never up front), and that being the guy your mother wanted your sister to marry was the secret to finding a relationship. However, there was one huge flaw in my thinking, that didn’t occur to me until much later. If there are two competing models presented – say, model A and model B – of a person’s behavior, and model A calls for that person to act in a certain way, while denying that they act that way, whereas model B calls for a person to act a way that they don’t actually act, but claim that they do, it should not be a hard choice for a thinking person to choose between the models. This is as much to say, who do you trust when it comes to predicting the behavior of women in response to your actions – the woman who tells you precisely what to do, then LJBFs you when you act that way, or the man who seems to have his pick of women?

And now for something completely different…

Although I have studied a certain amount of game, and had some success with it (enough that I feel like I can actually say something useful about it), I’ve found Plate Spinning, or even serial monogamy, to be singularly unfulfilling.  I want marriage. I want children. I want a family.  I am, of course, aware of the risks concomitant upon the first, especially in light of the second, but surely there are women out there (where, I don’t know) who are trustworthy. It is, naturally, only appropriate for a Christian to engage in certain behaviors (not limited to intercourse, I think) within the bounds of marriage, and it is possible that being willing to have sex with a series of different women would make serial monogamy more fulfilling, but I somehow doubt it.

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