Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Some people just get it

As many of you know, I’ve long been harping on the PUA community for their absurd claim that “game” would get you girls, instead of looks and money (and status, which is often related). For those of you who have been following this scene for years, you've surely came across countless clowns who pronounced “looks don’t matter” or that anyone could “get any girl”.

PUA culture is one extreme of a fundamentally flawed society. However, what you hear and read in the mainstream is equally damaging. Homely girls get told that “inner beauty” counts, while shy guys are encouraged to keep acting passively, because one day some princess might recognise them after all and realize what a wonderful person they are. It’s rare that anybody bluntly tells girls that if they want to fuck hot guys, they better be hot, too, and guys that if they want to get anywhere with girls, even average looking ones, they better have something going on in their life. Dating is not like primary school where everybody gets a golden star for warming a chair.

This was a long prelude, but what prompted me to write this article was a comment I read on a wholly unrelated blog by a guy named Michael O. Church who writes on Silicon Valley culture and the sociology of pathological organisations. I've been following his blog ever since I came across his astounding Gervais / MacLeod series (look it up!) that analyzes a lot of the problems of corporate culture. I’m not sure how much overlap there is between his audience and mine, so I’ll simply quote the relevant part:
[X] is like being that guy who barely takes care of himself but expects to date a supermodel.
Just look at this wonderful analogy! If more people had that much common sense, the entire PUA fad would never have gotten off the ground. I find it quite telling that guys like Mystery and Style were targeting geeks with money and poorly developed social skills. Presumably everybody else saw through their nonsense right away. They were telling guys that exact same thing, namely that they could all bang models and movie stars. They all told fairy tales about guys who allegedly did so, of course after learning "game", yet were never able show any proof, either that one of their students was dating women outside their league, or that they themselves did.

On a side note, the overly critical among you might want to point out that Michael O. Church should have, more correctly, written “barely takes care of himself and has no money”, but that would be a bit silly. After all, it’s not as if supermodels don’t have any choice. She could chose a sloppy millionaire, but just as well one who looks after himself. This hints at another obvious truth the deluded PUA crowd never acknowledged: you don't meet women in a vacuum.


  1. I'm not entirely sure that Michael O. Church is completely unrelated. Have you heard of Venkat Rao? He's the guy who popularized the Sociopath, Clueless, Loser model. He mentioned once that multiple people have approached him with questions about how it might apply to dating and game. He never has, but I attempted to model it a blog post I wrote a while back. It's not all to terribly hard to model: Sociopaths = women and guys who "get it" (not necessarily red-pill), Clueless = "betas," Losers = feminists and incels. Everything else just kinda falls into place after that.

    Something else worth checking out as it relates to some of your more recent postings is the Scamworld video and article published on The Verge. The article's author goes into some detail about how the PUA scene was eventually infiltrated by internet marketers to develop and promote crappy PUA products to losers in order to make a quick buck. I was frequent lurker on the ASF board back in the early 2000s. Hard to believe looking back that the FREE information that was available back then was several orders of magnitude better than the expensive PUA products which spilled over into the mainstream years later. But there's no money in showing what actually works. It's too simple to be exciting; yet too hard for most guys to implement.

    But getting back to Scamworld. I keep thinking that modern day PUAs are much like the old-school Nigerian scammers. The Nigerians purposely use poor spelling and grammar to scare away right-thinking persons upfront. They only want the biggest suckers to entire their sales pipeline, so they don't waste so much time who'd eventually figure out the scam 3/4s of the way through the process.

    PUAs do the same thing with their claims. Sure... anybody can go from incel status to banging top-tier models in a weekend if they're willing to pay $3,000 or more for "exclusive" access to some super-secret PUA program. Tyler Durden himself, the only one of them that seems to have established any sort of mainstream credibility (whatever that's worth), has said that he makes the bulk of his money off of wealthy repeat customers who keep throwing money at his products but never take any action.

    1. Thank you very much for this insightful comment. I'll probably get back to you in one or two separate articles. Could you give possibly give me a link to the blog post you mentioned? The mapping you propose doesn't seem quite right, though. In the Gervais / MacLeod model, a "loser" is not at all like a loser in the colloquial sense, but someone who is fully aware that he's getting a raw deal and therefore seeks a trade-off that seems favourably to him, even though it might not actually be. Michael O. Church uses the phrase "socially accepted middling effort", if I'm not mistaken. Thus, in the world of dating a "loser" would arguably be someone who settles for the first girl who wants him, if you accept that "middling effort" in dating is getting a girlfriend or wife, just so that you've got someone, because everybody else is pairing up, too. I'll have to think more about this, though.

    2. Aaron,

      The original blog post I wrote on this topic was never published. I was guest posting on another blog, and the blog owner that thought my post was too "heady" for his audience. Makes sense I guess. You're probably right in that there is very little overlap between Michael O. Church (or in my case, Venkat Rao) and your typical dating/pickup website.

      In his original series of posts on the Gervais Principle (which underlines much of what Michael O. Church has written in this area), Venkat Rao described the Gervais Principle as this:

      Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.

      In re-working it to fit the dating world, I wrote it this way:

      Women, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers (Betas) into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths (Alphas), and leave the average bare-minimum effort losers (Vox’s Deltas) to fend for themselves.

      Betas in this since are the hard-working blue-pillars who go to college, get nice jobs, and marry well, but he go through most of life never having learned of women's "true" natures and the fact that you can more easily find success in dating by following a script that has very little overlap with the "traditional" western model of courtship and dating.

      Alphas are the guys who figure out the true nature of courtship and dating early, either through dumb luck, persistence, or the realization that the were never going to find much success trying to follow the traditional model anyway.

      Losers are essentially what's left: the undesirables. They might get lucky and find a girlfriend of f* buddy on occasion here and there, but they have no way of guaranteeing consistent success with it. They are very likely to just settle for one of the first girls that makes it easy for them.

    3. I'll also add this: Having grown up in the black community, it's easier for me I think to see how this all plays out in real life.

      I think a big part of the reason why marriage rates are so low for African-Americans is because blue and white-collar black guys don't get respect at the same level that middle-class whites do. Too many blacks have an all-or-nothing hustler mentality. So there is no great disparity between poor and middle-class blacks are far as general attractiveness goes. Middle-class black men might marry at slightly higher rates than poor blacks, but I don't know that they're any more sought out than poor black men are. They are generally the very epitome of the "Clueless" path.

      On the other hand, you do have a lot of poor and working-class blacks who are Losers both in real-life and in the Gervais hierarchy. But if they gamble and become respected athletes, entertainers, or social influencers, then suddenly they'll have more success than they can handle. They win an immediate promotion from Loser to Sociopath.

      I guess the thing that makes this most interesting to me is that it helped me make sense of how black men get thrown into this weird sexual dichotomy: we're seen as either hyper-sexual super-studs (re: any famous black athlete or entertainer) or losers who can only settle up with fat white chicks and white trash ghetto girls. It's because blacks are overwhelmingly sorted into the Loser and Sociopath categories. Outside of urban centers that are large enough to support a healthy black middle class, it's rare to find a black man who's not firmly in the Sociopath or Loser category.

    4. Isn't the underlying enabler of all of this the socialization of black women? Forgive me if I now paint in broad strokes, but my perception is that there are a lot of 'wellfare queens', and that women consequently grow up with the belief that there are no negative consequences for fucking around, and getting knocked up by different men, since there will always be Daddy Government to bail them out. Thus, it seems relatively easy for men who figure out how those mechanics to game the system and consequently turn into MacLeod sociopaths. I'd guess that the situation among whites who are used to living off welfare is quite comparable to that.

    5. I think your analysis is spot-on.

      I think one could one could make a very convincing argument that the MacLeod hierarchy is a class-based thing. To give an example, whenever I think of what the female equivalent of Clueless behavior is, the first thing that comes to mind is a young, attractive, white or Asian girl who marries an average income earner who is at or below her SMV. This is clearly a Clueless strategy, since they're trading their SMV for a safe bet rather than trying to maximize their chances at success. A smart choice in my opinion, but still Clueless in the Macleod hierarchy.

      Upper-class and poor women of all races tend to be a bit more Sociopathic in my experience. Your theory about socialization plays well into that. Upper class women can afford to gamble, since their family connections and wealth will likely protect them from the worst mistakes. Poor girls have nothing to lose, so they hold out for the best they can get (even if it means they often shoot way too far out of their league).

      It's the middle-class girls who have the most to lose. If they gamble and come up short, they may find themselves saddle with a kid they can't afford and a severely compromised future. The smart ones play it safe and pursue a middle-of-the-road Clueless strategy.

      I'm divided in my feelings about this, honestly. The honest truth (that no one seems to want to acknowledge any more) is that the black middle-class is largely non-existent throughout much of the U.S. It makes sense for these girls to play the game this way since most middle-class blacks are just one bad career move away from the poorhouse. But it still doesn't bode well for the future of country, especially when now that we're seeing the same type of behavior starting to spill over into the dwindling white middle-class.


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