Zen Game, or, you can only frame pictures and pictures aren’t reality

September 3, 2013 § 37 Comments

Part of the jargon of the manosphere is the notion of maintaining “frame”.  As with many ideas this one has both a good incarnation and a bad incarnation when it encounters the world of Internet discourse.  In its good incarnation maintaing frame on the Internet means that you don’t allow someone else to change the subject out from under you and declare victory.  In its bad incarnation maintaining frame means becoming that well known paleolithic Internet creature, the ferrous cranus.

What brought all this to mind was a horrendously long thread at the blog Sunshine Mary.  The blog hostess posts in reaction to a guy who claims to be an authority on female psychology – his main credential being that in the past he (by his own account) opportunistically used large numbers of women as a sexual toilet.  Mr Tomassi made the (apparently unintentionally) ironic statement that “men love idealistically, whereas women’s love is rooted in opportunism.”  This contrast statement is patently false under any reasonable, unequivocal interpretation of the words “love”, “idealistically”, and “opportunism”.  Any sane person would simply retract it, and move on to crafting true and valid points.   But I won’t rehash all that here — it is in the thread, and masochists are welcome to explore it in all its glory.

What occurred to me in the course of watching some folks defend the statement despite its … well, despite an irony so thick you could cut it with a knife, is that, as with “Game” more generally, there is an aura of acting, of playing pretend in the face of contravening reality, in the notion of “maintaining frame”.  I frankly hope to “maintain frame” when I am right, and make course corrections when I am wrong.  When it comes to attitude, authority, etc in real life I suppose I do “maintain frame” in a sense – but there really actually will be Hell to pay if I am crossed when I shouldn’t be in a domain where it is important, so there isn’t any play acting involved.  Standing your ground is good, when — well, when it is good.

That picture in the frame might look nice, but it is just a picture.  If you’ve set your frame up to reveal what is true, to reveal actual reality, the frame falls away.  The only true frame is no frame.

But as jargon “frame” is still useful shorthand for “don’t change the subject, wise guy”.

§ 37 Responses to Zen Game, or, you can only frame pictures and pictures aren’t reality

  • sunshinemary says:

    Maybe maintaining frame just to maintain it even if what one is framing is poo-poo is some kind of game technique?

    Called it! Maintain frame game. hahahaha

  • Zippy says:

    Ferrous Cranus is sexy.

  • Elspeth says:

    You need a *like* button Zippy.

  • chris says:

    For a like button he has comments. That maintains the frame of his blog.

    I missed the point that his N is approaching Solomon’s. PUAs know seduction, which they see as a proxy for knowing women.

    On a more serious note — Game is a Kludge because the society looks at the image — measuring what is easy instead of finding the facts on the ground, which is hard, and involves taking some emotional and physical risks.

  • Zippy says:

    Chris:
    For a like button he has comments. That maintains the frame of his blog.

    Hah! Well played.

    I turned off the WordPress “like” button because I was getting a bunch of ‘likes’ that looked spammy to me, and because a number of them linked back to things I definitely didn’t want to link back to. Somehow I still manage to get some “likes” – probably through apps, crawlers, etc – but only I see them in the admin panel.

  • I suppose the saints and martyrs were all masters at holding their frame. If “Turn me over, I’m done on this side,” isn’t ALPHA, I don’t what is.

  • buckyinky says:

    My method with reading the manosphere consists of cutting away (ignoring) the most of it as slag with the intent of finding truth in choice proven places, all the while being aware of the possibility still of picking up black lung. Exercising that method for me means pretty much avoiding Rollo’s blog entirely, so I have only cursorily read his very long post relating to this discussion, relying much more heavily on my understanding of the facts as gained by Sunshine Mary’s objecting post. With these limitations in mind, I’m ready to count myself as among the ignorant needing instruction.

    However, my view of things as such is that clarification by Rollo might be warranted, but that a demand for a retraction puts him in an impossible situation because his point has validity. He does not appear to be saying that the male concept of love differs from the female as perfection differs from imperfection. He is acknowledging the incompleteness of both concepts of love. When I read the phrase “men love idealistically,” the concept of love is present but incomplete. A man who loves this way, without anything to compensate for the incompleteness, will get caught up forever in the clouds of unreality, pining away for his Immortal Beloved without ever actually making contact with a true object of love in living flesh and blood. As for the irony of Rollo’s statement in light of his many dalliances, would he say that he truly loved these, or that they were merely objects of carnal pleasure? My guess is that he would say he was practicing a kind of opportunism, but not love, and so his (male) life does not appear to be inconsistent with his idea.

    It’s easier to see the imperfection of the concept of female love that he theorizes because it more readily appears to be incomplete. It’s easier to see “opportunities” as being absent, and therefore the love being absent therefore incomplete. Perhaps I’m out of line, but I read his word “opportunity” as having a similar meaning to the word “particularly.” Women’s love tends toward the particulars and, yes, does need to be balanced by the male and masculine style of larger-picture love lest it be too whimsical, fleeting, and fickle. But then the masculine style of love needs to be balance by the feminine lest it become too abstract, too idealized, and not actually engaged with the here-and-now.

    Overall I saw in his argument an apology for the complementarity of the sexes, but then maybe I’m reading something that was not actually there, and giving him too much that he did not already possess.

  • tz2026 says:

    The most obvious definition of “frame” is context”.

    Words are ambiguous without other words to provide them resolution.

    In the context of “Game”, reality is (unfortunately) so beta. It IS about her feelings, or to put it more specifically, how she feels about something particular. The tingles for the bad-boy v.s. the utter lack of desire for the nice guy. Reality? The latter is just as real. Emotions aren’t unreal.

    Our fallen natures are equally real. If the frame is utopia, it is false when applied to this world and those who occupy it.

    Nuclear fission and fusion are real. They can be used for good or evil. It depends on the context. The frame.

    The nature of man and woman are the same.

  • Dalrock says:

    @buckyinky
    As for the irony of Rollo’s statement in light of his many dalliances, would he say that he truly loved these, or that they were merely objects of carnal pleasure?
    Packed in with this is an assumption that romantic love is purer than sexual desire. This is a profound mistake. I am convinced that many (probably most) pickup artists prefer their sexual dalliances with romantic love. Roissy for example makes it clear that falling in love with the woman is an important part of what he enjoys. Most observers are quick to reject Roissy’s statement that he falls in love because they mistakenly take this as Roissy seeking moral cover for immoral activities. The reality is that romantic love doesn’t make sex more moral, marriage does. Romantic love and sexual desire have an appropriate place, and that is within marriage. Pursuing either one outside of marriage is where the sin lies, and therefore the PUA who practices romantic love with his fornication is misusing both.

  • Dalrock says:

    Typo. I should have removed the word “more” from: The reality is that romantic love doesn’t make sex more moral, marriage does.

  • buckyinky says:

    @Dalrock

    Packed in with this is an assumption that romantic love is purer than sexual desire.

    Call me obtuse but I don’t follow how I made that assumption here. I agree with you when you say: Romantic love and sexual desire have an appropriate place, and that is within marriage, and I agreed at the time I wrote my comment above also.

  • Dalrock says:

    @buckyinky
    Call me obtuse but I don’t follow how I made that assumption here.

    How could you argue that you didn’t? You set up a contrast between true love and mere carnal pleasure:

    would he say that he truly loved these, or that they were merely objects of carnal pleasure?

  • buckyinky says:

    I wasn’t intending it primarily as a contrast in and of itself. It was in the context of Zippy’s assertion that Rollo’s talk of a man’s love was ironic since Rollo’s “love” was so opportunistic. I was guessing that even Rollo wouldn’t consider these activities expressions of the sort of love a man has that he is speaking of, therefore Rollo himself is not being obtuse, and there is no irony in what he says.

  • Zippy says:

    buckyinky:
    I was guessing that even Rollo wouldn’t consider these activities expressions of the sort of love a man has that he is speaking of…

    Well, yes. That is because Rollo equivocates on the term “love”.

    Dalrock:
    Romantic love and sexual desire have an appropriate place, and that is within marriage. Pursuing either one outside of marriage is where the sin lies…

    That’s one way your own writing has been quite helpful to me. All this “dating for fun” stuff – importantly, even if one stipulates chaste behaviour – is morally wrong in itself, because (like all sin) it rests on a fundamental lie: it involves treating another person as one should only treat a marriage prospect, when in fact that person is not a marriage prospect. Holding hands, kissing, etc are lies if they are not oriented toward potential marriage to one’s “date”.

  • Zippy says:

    Equivocation is a form of lie, and the lie is plain to see by simply parsing Tomassi’s actual words. This should be obvious to everyone, and I can’t help but get the impression that the blindness is a phenomenon of “team manosphere”, or at least “team Rollo”.

    “Men love[1] idealistically, whereas women’s love[2] is rooted in opportunism.”

    This is a flagrant lie because (among other things) love[1] cannot refer to the same thing as love[2], if the statement is true, unless we don’t mean opportunism and idealistically by “opportunism” and “idealistically”. The rest of the discussion involves chasing the equivocations around like wrinkles on a beadspread.

    We could force the statement to be true in a number of ways. One way is by admitting that love[1] isn’t love[2]; but that spoils the histrionic effect of the statement, and the whole purpose of making the statement is its histrionic effect. Another is by treating “idealistically” and “opportunism” as arbitrary labels into which we can pour non-standard meanings.

    If love[1] = love[2] = attraction, then “idealistically” must mean “a nice body”, for example. The meaning would be true; but because “idealistically” doesn’t actually mean “a nice body” the statement is a lie.

    There are many possible permutations here: that’s how equivocation works. But the point is that the statement is simply a form of lie.

    The comeback to this is generally some form of “oh, but we know what Rollo means”. That just makes it all the more ironic: men who constantly are congratulating themselves on the use of logic, reason, straight talk, etc, in contrast to the histrionic exaggerated emoting of Team Woman, are rallying themselves together to support histrionic lies in support of Team Manosphere (or at least Team Rollo).

  • Cane Caldo says:

    This is a flagrant lie because (among other things) love[1] cannot refer to the same thing as love[2], if the statement is true, unless we don’t mean opportunism and idealistically by “opportunism” and “idealistically”. The rest of the discussion involves chasing the equivocations around like wrinkles on a beadspread.

    Bingo.

    The comeback to this is generally some form of “oh, but we know what Rollo means”. That just makes it all the more ironic: men who constantly are congratulating themselves on the use of logic, reason, straight talk, etc, in contrast to the histrionic exaggerated emoting of Team Woman, are rallying themselves together to support histrionic lies in support of Team Manosphere (or at least Team Rollo).

    Shades of Slumlord/Social Pathologist’s “cognitive miser” series.

  • Alte says:

    “involves treating another person as one should only treat a marriage prospect, when in fact that person is not a marriage prospect”

    I share this view and I also am against remarriage, so my dating advice tends to send everyone into fits of apoplexy. It’s like… okay, let’s go back a step and re-imagine your present relationship as one where you’re spending more time examining their fitness for marriage and less time breathing heavily in a horizontal position, and then what I write might make more sense.

    BTW, made it over the Atlantic and still breathing, in case anyone cares. Also made it here and still breathing if nobody cares, of course.

  • Zippy says:

    Glad to hear you are safe and sound, Alte.

  • donalgraeme says:

    That’s one way your own writing has been quite helpful to me. All this “dating for fun” stuff – importantly, even if one stipulates chaste behaviour – is morally wrong in itself, because (like all sin) it rests on a fundamental lie: it involves treating another person as one should only treat a marriage prospect, when in fact that person is not a marriage prospect. Holding hands, kissing, etc are lies if they are not oriented toward potential marriage to one’s “date”.

    This. The whole concept of “dating” is incompatible with Christianity. The proper thought process should always be Courtship: marriage needs to be the goal, otherwise there will be sin in one form or another.

  • Anymouse says:

    What about Dating Sims?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ..

  • Zippy says:

    Anymouse:
    What about Dating Sims?

    Hah! I’m not familiar with the game, but I’d guess it stands in relation to actual dating in much the same way that Modern Warfare stands in relation to actual war.

  • 7man says:

    This is like the poor man arguing there is no such thing as money, since all he has seen is fiat currency.

    Frame Control? Wha…..?

  • Zippy says:

    7man:
    Please don’t tell me that you write analogies for the SAT.

    The point of the post isn’t that the idea of frame control is bad, any more than (say) crutches are bad. We are all works in process, and sometimes you have to fake it till you make it.

    The point of the post is really twofold. First, if frame control becomes a kind of ideological commitment on the part of cognitive misers (HT Cain), it interferes with self improvement. The second is that the closer one gets to standing on the truth rather than fakery the more the whole notion of frame falls away. You are who you are because that’s who you really are, not because you are trying to “maintain frame” to impress chicks.

    If you don’t agree with those things for some reason, or want to say something in any way obliquely related to them, feel free.

  • 7man says:

    As for me, I will maintain my frame because I use System 2 reasoning.

    http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2013/08/half-wit.html

  • Zippy says:

    7man:
    As for me, I will maintain my frame because I use System 2 reasoning.

    If that leads you to a full apprehension of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, then more power to you.

  • 7man says:

    “You are who you are because that’s who you really are, not because you are trying to “maintain frame” to impress chicks.”

    So if I stand on truth and maintain my frame rather than letting dumb bints change the topic because they want me to pander to them, am I engaging in fakery?

  • Zippy says:

    7man:
    So if I stand on truth and maintain my frame rather than letting dumb bints change the topic because they want me to pander to them, am I engaging in fakery?

    Notice that you can eliminate “and maintain my frame” from that question without (I contend) changing its substantive meaning.

  • 7man says:

    So are you conceding that standing on the truth and maintaining frame are synonymous? If so than maintaining frame in service of truth is good.

    Too many neo-cons try to be nice so as not offend. The truth is offensive to those that twist it, so maintaining frame is a valuable skill.

    Of course it is possible to maintain frame to serve falsehoods and evil, but that does not make frame a bad thing. I can use a hammer to build a house or to injure people, but neither use makes the hammer bad. Either use can be wielded by a skillful man.

    Therefore it is not a man’s skill nor is it the tool that determines properness, rather it is his intent and his core moral principles.

  • Zippy says:

    7man:
    So are you conceding that standing on the truth and maintaining frame are synonymous?

    Not at all. Once you are standing on truth, the concept of maintaining frame becomes superfluous and fades away. Thus the post title, etc.

  • 7man says:

    Then maintaining frame is neither good nor bad, but very necessary tool for a man standing on truth since otherwise the man motivated by evil intention would establish that frame which would be to the detriment of the good man and society.

  • 7man says:

    Many men internally believe truth but then waffle in order to not offend others. Such men practice tolerance, which has never been a masculine virtue.

    I contend that such men should learn frame control.

  • 7man says:

    View this to see what happens when a man does not have frame control. He is on the defensive and the result is totally wacked.

    The solution is not for him to go on the offensive rather the solution does lie in frame control and an orthogonal approach. (I will explain this to anyone that sincerely seeks truth.)

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  • […] a fundamental problem with his philosophy and, rather than abandoning his philosophy as false, he “maintains frame,” ups the ante, and embraces the […]

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