Gendernomics: Emergent Strategies

I use the concept of emergent strategy in the Gendernomics book when explaining and to some extent describing the various ways in which a strategy can form as a sum of individual actions.  “Strategy as a pattern” is perhaps the more interesting one, and the one that forms the foundation of the book, “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning“. This book is a critique of strategic management literature, often based in Drucker, Taylor and Porter, the titans of planned strategy, where the chief argument presented by Henry Minzberg is that in a rapidly changing world, long-term strategic planning is destined to fail. Instead he argues that the interactions of the company with outside forces over time will form the company strategy.

The novel approach by Minzberg was a stark contrast to the top-down strategic planning literature in vogue at the time. In the planned strategy camp, retreats where executives buried themselves in a mixture of analytical work and creativity to determine Visions, Missions, SMART goals, KPIs and strategies for how to move the company to new heights were the prescription for how to build a great company. Minzberg’s position was much more simply that in a rapidly changing world, by the time the executives and strategy consultants emerged from their retreat, the data they based their decisions on may already be outdated. Thus, the only way to “do strategy” in a world marked by rapid change and innovation is to train your staff well, set goals and assume that the parts will form a coherent whole.

I’ve on occasion referred to this as “Chaos theory strategy” in that order is expected to arise from chaos, and the actions, choices and thoughts of potentially thousands of people must align in order for the strategy to be coherent. A key factor of emergent strategy is that it can only be identified when one looks at the development of the company over time, historically speaking. This is a much more fluid way to think about human behavior if one takes the vantage point of extreme macro. Our cultures and societies are shaped by billions of individual decisions, chains of reasoning, emotional reactions and actions taken.

Patterns of Behavior

One of the things that was covered in the “On Value” series, specifically in part 3, was the fact that much of economics and thus, much of Gendernomics is based on rational decision theory. Meaning that humans show preferences and are goal oriented in their behavior. This is not much different from the concept of an emergent strategy in a context where there are clear goals, and humans utilize deductive logic in order to best attempt to achieve those goals in alignment with expectancy and equity theory.

A typical example would be how masses of men buy women drinks, due to the expectation that this will result in female intimacy, or how women buy cosmetics and clothing for billions each year in order to better attract the mates they desire. The latter is actually an interesting signalling system, because while the goal is to signal to a small group of men, the lack of calibration means it signals to all men. This demonstrates a preference in that the men and women are both attempting to signal or influence a mate that suits their preferences, they are goal oriented in doing so, and they are doing it based on “if A, then B”.

Such behaviors when engaged in across a group, patterns of behavior that can be analyzed and thereafter utilized as decision making metrics. A man who is a “natural” in the game sense for instance is a man who generally at a young age engaged in trial and error testing of various behaviors around women, and after identifying behaviors that worked just continued utilizing them. This is why both blue pill men and women are so horrible at game, because the first group has no idea that it exists, the latter group have never had to use it. Modern data driven sales and marketing are based off this exact principle, “People like you purchased the following, therefore there is a higher probability that you are also interested in the following“.

If people behave this way with purchasing patterns, why would they not when it comes to other forms of behavior. For instance, the “left-right” pendulum in politics follows much a similar pattern, as demonstrated in the 2016 election, where the companies doing political analysis made the fatal mistake of assuming that a representative sample from a city was a representative sample for the country as a whole. After all, democratic politics is a case of attempting to market a specific product (the politician) to the largest possible audience, while convincing them that a given choice is preferable over all other choices.

Tinder or OKcupid dating likewise, is a case of attempting to convince the buyers that you are the best product on the platform that they should go for, in fact the business model of companies such as OKcupid and Match.com is that “We are the best at matching consumer and product”. If human mating behavior was impossible to figure out based on mathematics, then one would not accept a success rate much higher than random chance, yet we can observe the opposite.

Emergent Praxeology

For the red pill praxeology to exist, it requires discernible and identifiable patterns of behavior that together form a coherent framework of operations. My analysis is that such behavior is rooted in heritable traits , thus, it is a consequence of those hereditary biological and psychological traits that historically have given an individual a competitive advantage in the mating market. Natural selection is the ultimate pragmatist in that it cares nothing for morality, and is ruthless in its experiments to find the combination of genetic code that gives the greatest competitive advantage in the battle to survive and reproduce.

The original seduction community were and still is very much focused on the dynamics that individual women share with each other, and this forms the backbone of game. What one can argue is that the very same behaviors that are effectively targeted in women by game and red pill theory, are those behaviors that through sexual and natural selection have been “bred into” women over thousands or potentially millions of years because they served as advantages in the competition to survive and reproduce.

Men who are naturals have fallen into a methodology that works, in essence they are from nature “sexy sons” that embody those traits that women have been bred to appreciate in men. However, what is expedient from the perspective of evolution from the perspective of the individual organism, is not always what is optimal for human societies. For instance, in nature a capacity for violence and brute force is both a defensive and offensive advantage, within a society it can often be a destabilizing force if used “inappropriately” thus, it was necessary for human groups to govern use of force through law.

Such governing of behavior was a core element in permitting us to establish larger social groups and gain a greater degree of cooperation. The total effect of which was to subdue or change our natural behaviors that fall into the camps of “anti-social” and “pro-social”, into purely being pro-social. This is the early variant of an illusion where the goal is to make people live as they ought to be, rather than as what they are. We are flawed creatures and while we must aspire to be greater than we are from nature, we cannot forget our lowly origin.

Furthermore, the behaviors that the blue pill illusion attempts to instill in men, form a pattern that Rollo Tomassi refers to as the “Feminine Imperative“. In essence, the boxes entitled “Blue Pill Thinking” and “Red Pill Thinking” represent underlying presuppositions about how the world works, and they have underlying methodologies associated with them.

Summary and Conclusions

When I first read the term “feminine imperative” it reminded me of the same way feminists use the patriarchy.  However if one views it from the perspective of emergent strategies, it is in fact quite logical. An emergent strategy is formed through independent individual behaviors forming a cohesive pattern towards a goal, that one can identify when analyzing the history of a company or situation. For instance, if one makes the initial assumption that each sex seeks to maximize their own competitive advantages in terms of reproduction and survival through their actions, not as a conscious, deliberate acts, but subconsciously as part of their native firmware. Then it follows that if one sex were permitted to define the “truth” over a long period of time, that reality would slowly be altered to reflect the goals desired by that sex. Not necessarily as a deliberate, planned strategy, but rather as a natural consequence of consistent actions towards that goal.

Thus, if women consistently elect to mate with men who reach the top of the male dominance hierarchy, then it follows that those heritable traits that permits each generation of men to climb the hierarchy will become not only more frequent in the population but also at higher levels. To exemplify this, if women only mated with men with a testosterone level above 800, the men who impacted the gene pool of the next generation would only be those with a testosterone level above 800, thus the frequency of high testosterone men would increase, this means that having a testosterone level of 800 becomes the next median, and in this generation only those men with over 900 will be chosen to reproduce, in the next generation only those with above 1000.

However, if one holds the perspective that reproduction, and thus sexual selection is a cooperative scenario, not a competitive one. In that while the sexes may compete intragender but cooperate intergender, then it follows that women compete with women, men compete with men, but men and women cooperate. However, this appears to be a rather challenging hypothesis, because that would require that the optimal outcome for both sexes would have to be aligned in terms of evolution. A man maximizes his genetic impact on the gene pool by impregnating as many women as possible, a women maximizes her genetic impact by bearing the children of one or more very high value men who will have “sexy sons”. Thus, from a male perspective permitted that he can find enough willing women, he will always be better off by investing minimal time and resources in parental care and maximal time and resources in finding new mates.

However, from the female perspective, being able to find a low number of very high value males, and have a couple of children with each, thus ensuring the maximum chance of having sexy son offspring, to represent the upside, and female offspring that serve as a reproductive hedge to limit the downside. While retaining investment from both men in parenting represent the optimal female outcome. Now some may ask, “Why not just have many children with the highest value man she can find and raise them cooperatively?”, which is a sensible question.

There are two major arguments, first of by having all her children with one man, this reduces the genetic diversity of her children whereas having children with two or more fathers means they will be more genetically diverse which serves as a risk reduction. The second is that by having multiple fathers, she can potentially gain access to more resources for her children, for instance if one man dies she will be less negatively impacted if she has two or more men providing for her.

When both compromise their optimal evolutionary strategy for one where the man gives up quantity for quality, and the woman gives up her risk-hedge (multiple children by multiple men) there is a degree of symbiosis where goals are aligned through the fact that both the man and the woman have a mutual goal of ensuring the future of their mutual children. However, this is a conscious strategic choice by both the man and the woman.

In essence the question becomes whether one regards mating as a zero-sum or non zero sum game.

Sources:

[1] http://www.nber.org/papers/w14969

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One comment on “Gendernomics: Emergent Strategies

  1. Han Fengzi says:

    Choosing between zero-sum and cooperative is itself a strategic choice, with systemic consequences.

    Compare with sellers and buyers in some market. Sellers, who always want to maximize the price / value ratio, can go zero sum and become what we call “scammers”. Buyers, who want to maximize value / price, can go zero sum and become what we call “freeloaders”.

    If a system has too many scammers and freeloaders, it breaks down into an out of control arms race, since everyone starts defending against their opposite-side non-cooperators, and returns start to diminish for everybody.

    A stable market can only be one where buyers and sellers both actively and dynamically seek to find a reasonable exchange of value and price such that each side ends up only a little bit unhappy.

    Like

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