Yes, No, Maybe..

A lot of men find the manosphere in search of a magic pill, they want a methodology or a solution for the problem of rejection. The problem of rejection can easily be formulated as “In order for a man to become sexually successful he has to risk and face rejection”, the fact of the matter is that very few of us relish facing rejection. It is to be gazed upon and found unworthy. This is what a questionable element PUA used to sell in their bootcamps, “If you pay $3000 and come to my bootcamp, you eliminate the risk of rejection forever”. Naturally this is tempting for men who are petrified by rejection.

However, it also influenced PUA in a negative direction. A product tends to be developed towards a certain market, and in this case it was men who were petrified of rejection, and frequently suffering from oneitis. The most frequent question I heard asked in the young manosphere started with “There is this girl” and ended with “How do I make her my girlfriend”. In essence, this is like saying “There is this company, how do I make them a customer”. Well, first off you need to have a product that can improve that company, then you have to get them to notice your product, then you have to sell them on it.

This may not always lead to success, but hopefully it leads to someone asking the question “Why are we working so hard to tailor our product to this single potential customer, instead of seeing if what our product already does can appeal to a much wider market who is dying to buy it?” Continue reading

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Red Pill Logic: Dialing It In

Back when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my uncle decided that I was old enough to finally learn how to shoot a gun. So, he grabbed an old 30-06 he had, iron sights and all and we went outside for my first training session. I was exited to learn how to work a gun, but at the same time I was kind of annoyed that he picked the old 30-06 over one of his more interesting guns, that had red-dot sights, scopes, were semi-auto and looked more “military”. When I voiced my displeasure to him, he responded with “Son, you couldn’t hit the broad-side of a barn from 3 feet, you have to master the basics first”. What followed were a lot of sessions where I learned gun safety, we practiced trigger pulls, handling recoil, aiming, loading, unloading and a lot of other basic skills. I did eventually get to fire the guns that I found the most exiting, but I learned the most mastering the basics with that old rifle.

Like many men, I’m a bit of an equipment geek when it comes to my hobbies, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that the underlying principle that my uncle told me when I was a kid holds true for most of it. Master the basics, in simple manageable steps first, then you can move on to more advanced equipment and techniques. A simple example would be that before you can handle the recoil of semi-automatic fire, you need to learn how to handle the recoil of single-shot fire.

I found myself thinking of this after having a conversation in a gym not far from my hotel with a gentleman who was there for the first time. The guy had obviously done his research, because because when we started talking training he started mentioning super-sets, drop-sets, breaking down into body-part splits, isolation movements and the likes. The trouble was that he didn’t know the difference between a deadlift and a dead-hang pullup. He had done all his research, read up on a ton of different routines, and made the error of thinking that making something complex would ensure progress.

This made me think about the 3 stages of self-improvement that I devised a while ago and that I use as a short-hand roadmap for any change process. This is based on the fact that in the beginning just making small, simple improvements will get you great results, but diminishing returns kick in and over time you have to dial in your skillset more and more in order to improve further. In essence, this is about going from the big picture all the way down to little details over time. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: A Diagnosis of Oneitis

This essay was left in the draft folder for a while, but a question relating to it came up in the last 21 convention podcast, so I decided to finish it up.

In medicine, a syndrome is a set of signs and symptoms that are correlated with each other, and the word itself stems from the Greek word meaning “concurrence”. For instance, “metabolic syndrome”, which is rapidly gaining in market share around the world, consists of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels [1]. Normally, I’m skeptical of the pathologizing that takes place in much of public discourse, as it appears to have become quite common to utilize it as a rhetorical gambit in order to paint perspectives different from one’s own as stemming not from reason but from underlying psychological or physiological conditions. However, in this case, I found it to be quite an apt description of the phenomena that this post aims to describe, namely a combination of signs and symptoms that are correlated with blue pill thinking, and especially with oneitis.

Perhaps the most interesting factor in the the oneitis disorder is that actually being in a relationship with the woman is not a pre-requsite to trigger the disorder. In fact, many of the cases that I’ve observed are by men who exist outside the woman’s sphere of awareness, the “secret admirer” type, who builds an elaborate fantasy about a woman who has no idea that he exists. Continue reading

Gendernomics: Untangling Variables

One of the more challenging tasks when doing research is the removal of superfluous variables. In the simplest terms you want to study one independent variable, meaning a variable that you or nature manipulates, and measure the change in the independent variable to the change in the dependent variable. For instance, if you want to understand the relationship between protein intake (independent variable) and lean muscle gain (dependent variable), you want to manipulate protein intake and measure the change in muscle gain.

However, reality is rarely this simple,there are other variables besides protein intake that affects lean muscle gain, such as resistance training, overall calorie intake and calorie expenditure, hormone levels, and various others. Which is why most modern analyses use multiple variables. For instance, if you wanted to determine what effect protein intake had on muscle gain, you would need to determine what effects other variables had on muscle gain, so that you could isolate out how much of lets say a 3 lb muscle gain in 6 months was due to protein, and how much could be attributed to other variables.

These are based on a mixture of our experiences and what we have been trained to do, and in some cases they make perfect sense, in other cases not so much. In some cases a person has intuitively correctly identified relationships between independent and dependent variables, and thus has an innate grasp of influence and outcome. In other cases a person has made a connection that makes no sense, this is quite interesting when observed in people suffering from delusions, in that their logic can often be sound, but is based on a flawed cause and effect relationship.

This is a major challenge for trained and experienced researchers, and it’s even more of a challenge for people who are not familiar with logic and epistemology, because our minds are constructed to make cause and effect determinations on the fly all day, every day. Athletes have a reputation for making sometimes hilarious cause and effect errors that lead to things like a team not washing their jock-straps for the entire season on a winning streak, various pre-game rituals and so on. Continue reading