It’s all Greek to me
October 10, 2012 § 7 Comments
As all three of my regular readers know, I’ve been reading Dalrock recently and coming up to speed on “manosphere” subjects. I don’t recommend the experience for everyone. While I don’t think there is much if any daylight between Dalrock’s critique of the state of marriage and relations between the sexes and my own understanding, and he’s done yeoman’s work on statistics, the style isn’t for everyone and the jackass ratio in the comboxes can run pretty high. So I plan to translate some of the concepts for my own vast audience to spare you the trouble.
One of the things noobs like myself may not immediately understand is the Greek letter terminology used to describe … well, lets step back and talk about what it describes.
Because I have both a business and technical background I have all the liabilities of both the navel-gazing nerd and the slick-and-sloppy salesman. As a result, despite the rebellion of the analytic philosopher in me I do see value in the kinds of social tools and models used by business leaders, consultants, and the like. Instruments like the Meyers-Briggs assessment and lots of other simpler models can actually be quite handy for getting things done with people. The more you get to know particular individuals the less valuable these tools are; but as a way of doing quick-and-dirty categorization of folks you don’t know very well, in order to achieve particular goals, they can really short circuit the process. When you’ve got to grokk the team and get everyone charging up that hill together to the take the flag right now, it can be very helpful to quickly assess where everyone on the team fits.
These models can also help out with self improvement. Because using them tends to be a matter of some structured introspection followed by feedback on how others perceive you, you can learn to get outside your comfort zone and see yourself as others see you in order to further your own goals. Useful stuff.
These kinds of things do run into their inherent limits rather quickly, in my experience. When they become an ideology – I’ve seen people obsess over their own Meyers-Briggs profile in a way that just can’t be healthy – they go from useful-in-context to a kind of mental disease in a hurry. But the fact that a few fruitcakes will take the Meyers-Briggs down the rabbit hole doesn’t make it useless in every context, any more than the fact that a few commenters are off the rails invalidates a valuable blog.
Since the main obsession of manosphere “Game” (as distinct from manosphere critique of the current situation) is how a man can improve himself in a way that makes him more attractive to women, and the main source of knowledge of Game comes from the pickup artist (PUA) community, it makes sense that the basis of Game would be this sort of superficial but useful model. “Game” itself, when it has any stable meaning at all, appears to be a set of social prescriptions intended to help a man be perceived as “Alpha”, the personality type most attractive to women — or, at least, to the shallow and sleazy women who are of interest to PUAs. Given the state of the general population’s sexual mores it is perhaps forgivable to miss the difference between “shallow and sleazy” and “everyone”, certainly while generalizing.
But I digress. Before we can start picking the prescriptions of Game apart we have to understand the basis from which they are made; and the basis from which they are made comes from Game’s assessment of how women perceive men in terms of attraction. As with all things female and mysterious (but I repeat myself), how women actually respond to men is different from what they say they want: I’ve already discussed the appeal of badboys in a previous post.
So the Greek letters in Game refer to a man’s “frame”, or how he presents himself, as perceived by women. If you see a paradox in a man obsessing over how to be perceived by women as though he were indifferent to women as a means to the end of making himself more attractive to women, I’m right there with you. But right now we are working on a descriptive task. So here is my four-quadrant model of the way the manosphere categorizes men-as-perceived-by-women:
And … well, that’s all for now.
If there is a lesson in here for young men, I’d suggest that it is the following: if you are going to marry, marry the virgin sweetheart of your youth whom you know intimately, love intensely, and trust completely. Make sure she knows and agrees without reservation that you are the leader and final decision maker in your household. Act like a man, and don’t let the world convince you that you should be a supplicating whiner. And best of luck to you, because the world is against you in every way.
If on the other hand you need MBA-style four-quadrant models to manage your wife of ten years, you are in serious trouble and you’d better face that fact. That’s OK: you have lots of company. But understand what you are up against.