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.

Male Variables

As men we are raised to adhere to such codes as being a man of your word, being loyal, be willing to sacrifice your own interest for the interest of the group, be courteous, helpful and hard working. These are things that benefit our social group greatly, in fact these are many of the variables that the military attempts to instill in new recruits during basic training, and which contribute to a man being judged as a good man by his peers.

Very few men are going to want a man who is known for lying, being disloyal, impossible to depend on, is a social loafer and brings no value, to be part of the male tribe. If one imagines an earlier time in our history, one can imagine such men in-fact being the reason for the fall of the tribe. The man who falls asleep while on guard, is too weak to hold his shield or who sells out his peers to improve his own position is a liability for a group of men who have to work together in order to survive.

A man who embodies the right variables is going to be an asset to his group and will be valued among his peers. You need to go no further than gym class to see this manifest, the two team captains innately know that in order to win they have to avoid ending up with biggest liabilities on their team. This is not a view on a person’s innate worth as a human, or innate worth in general, but just on the specific worth for the specific task.

In short, honor, dependability and loyalty are all variables that men expect other men to embody, and which in turn affect your value in a male peer group. However, the variables that we as men appreciate and value in our peer group, are not necessarily variables that add value in intersexual dynamics.

Intersexual Variables

In the essays we write on intersexual dynamics a major focus has been on identifying the independent variables that influence the dependent variable of attraction. As men the starting point will be a mixture of those variables we seek out in a mate, and those variables we have been told to cultivate in order to make ourselves more attractive. This is in a sense natural, as our main source of knowledge about other people will come from ourselves. Thus, all of us make the assumption to differing degrees that other people will think in a similar manner to our own. Thus, we begin by projecting the variables we would like in a mate, and assume those are shared across the human spectrum. As we are socialized we are told that other variables also matter. Most men are raised to be “nice” to girls, which generally translates into being complimentary, generous and agreeable.

The major observation of the sphere on this is that the variables that we have been told influence attraction do not influence attraction in the expected way. It’s natural at this point to point out that we have two distinct outcomes in any argument of this nature, negotiated attraction and genuine attraction. The former is the type of attraction that is dependent on the variables that are inherently social in nature. What I mean by this is that the variables themselves gain value when two or more humans are together in a group, but have little value on their own. For instance, loyalty and honor are not value-creating variables if a man is living alone on an island. The latter is a form of attraction that is primarily driven by variables that are innate to the man himself, and that represents survival value both within the group and outside of the group.

To make an analogy, negotiated attraction is the practical, sensible, reasonable minivan that gets great gas mileage, has low repair costs, and is adequate for covering your transportation needs. Genuine attraction is the 1963 Cherry Red Corvette, with 650 horsepower, that does 0 – 60 in 4 seconds, that costs an arm and a leg to repair and burns through 7 gallons of gas just getting to the end of the driveway.

Thus, when attempting to identify which variables influence attraction, one must first establish whether one is looking for genuine or negotiated attraction.

Variables and Context

One of the reasons why “social construct theory” has gained so much traction in recent years, is because humans tend to think that if something is a social construct it can be changed by human action, while if something is biological it cannot be changed and have to be accepted as it is. There is a degree of truth in this, morality for instance is largely a social construct, even though some of the basis for things like empathy and altruism are likely to be parts of our biological firmware. The impulse to trade likewise is most likely part of our biological firmware, but currency, banking and debt are social constructs.

Thus, when we evaluate intersexual dynamics and attraction, it’s very interesting to split these into the Freudian constructs of Id, Super-ego and Ego. The ID is defined by Freud as the part of the structure that contains the basic instinctual drives of the human, of which mating is one and is thus most likely not very much influenced by social factors. The super-ego is defined as the internalization of cultural rules that we mainly learn from our parents, and is thus heavily influenced by social factors. Finally, the ego is defined as a mechanism that attempts to please the drives of the ID in realistic ways that are dependent on the pleasure principle, which means that it’s part social and part biology. To quote Freud:

“…in its [the Ego’s] relation to the Id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the Ego uses borrowed forces… Its task is to find a balance between primitive drives and reality while satisfying the Id and Super-Ego [see below]. Its main concern is with the individual’s safety and allows some of the Id’s desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal. Thus the Ego, driven by the Id, confined by the Super-Ego, repulsed by reality, struggles…[in] bringing about harmony among the forces and influences working in and upon it, [and] breaks out in anxiety – realistic anxiety regarding the external world, moral anxiety regarding the Super-Ego, and neurotic anxiety regarding the strength of the passions in the Id.”

One could argue that the classical Beta Male attempts to make himself into the man that would please the woman’s super-ego and ego, in practice attempting to access her libido in ways that are acceptable to greater society. We can often see this quite clearly in the classic beta male strategy of “I’m not like the other men, I care about you as a person, your hopes, dreams and mind, they only care about your body“, which is more or less a synonym for “The other men are just out use you as a means to satisfy their ID, I want to satisfy your ego, and super-ego“. This is perhaps also why such men appear to display a high degree of righteous indignation when the target of their affections indulges her ID. In fact, one would be inclined to argue that a man places a woman on a pedestal when he minimizes the effect of her ID, and maximizes the virtue of her super-ego.

Summary and Conclusions

One of the principles I use as a foundation for analysis is the evolutionary principle, which means breaking something down into the single variables that make sense from an evolutionary pragmatic perspective and removing something from a social context. The reasoning behind this is simply that those things that are social and psychological are more malleable than those that are part of the native firmware. If we conduct a thought experience where we break down a human being in the manner that we would a computer, there is obviously the hardware, our physical bodies. Then there is some firmware, meaning permanent software programmed into a read-only memory, which comes with the hardware and cannot be changed. Finally there are many pieces of software, ranging from whole operating systems down to solitaire programs that can be changed, installed or uninstalled.

You are born with your hardware and firmware, these two have a very limited capacity to change. You can improve or damage your hardware (body) based on your choices. If you eat healthy, get enough sleep, lift weights, and drink enough water you maintain and improve your hardware. If you eat crap, barely get sleep, sit on your ass all day and drink nothing but soft drinks and alcohol, you damage your hardware. Your firmware can be upgraded as well, but the basic functions it performs can only be changed to a minimal degree. IQ for instance is largely genetic, as are many facets of behavior such as “The Warrior Genes”.

For clarity I’m going to divide the mental software into two components, operating system and applications. A person’s operating system is dependent on their firmware, and largely comes from their experiences growing up. Whenever you learn a new thing, it can either be an upgrade to your operating system. For instance, a person who internalizes a new religion or belief-system, will over time make it an automatic part of their OS. A new application on the other hand are those things you learn but which are not integrated into your OS. The Mystery Method for instance, is an application that men can run on their operating system to accomplish a limited number of tasks, but which doesn’t change their operating system.

This is where the problem arises, game as a software program has to be constantly increasing and changing to accomplish increasingly complex and novel tasks. Picking up a woman for a one night stand is different from a long term or medium term relationship. Day game, night game, club game, and so on are all iterations on the same software program. This means that a man finds himself constantly having to download or code new service packs for his game software. This is where pure game differs from the red pill. Where game is about downloading an application, then adding more and more code to it until it becomes unmanageable. The Red pill is about upgrading your hardware, firmware and operating system until your default mode includes a fully upgraded and installed game suite that runs automatically.





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