You're not fooling anyone

Dick Comments On Alice's Blog - Dilbert by Scott Adams

My Jargon is Better Than Yours!

Anyone who has dipped a toe or three into the Androsphere and its accumulated wisdom will be instantly familiar with the terms Alpha, Beta, and Omega. These words are used to define a sexual, and in certain cases a socio-sexual, hierarchy, wherein each category is characterised by very specific traits.

Thus, the Alpha is usually considered to be the good-looking, sexually and professionally successful, outgoing, highly energetic "natural leader", to whom victory comes easily and often; the Beta is generally marked by personal, sexual, and professional mediocrity; and the Omega is to be shunned and derided at all times, being as he is at the absolute bottom of the (socio-)sexual pecking order.

Eventually, Vox Day came along and decided that the existing binary Alpha/Beta heuristic might work well enough to describe sexual hierarchies, but did not work at all in describing social hierarchies. The Alpha, Beta, and optionally Omega groupings were overly restrictive and narrow.

Hence, from Vox's (quite brilliant) mind has sprung the Delta, the socio-sexual equivalent in his rankings of the Beta described above; the Gamma, the snarky, self-obsessed, intellectually above-average yet stunted loser; the Sigma, the aloof, disinterested loner who also happens to be sexually very successful; and the Lambda, who is best described as a hyper-sexed sodomite fairy.

The Hungarian Version of Sociosexual Orientation Inventory Revised ...
Can anyone figure this out???
When he introduced this new hierarchy a few years ago, he was alternately mocked and praised for it. Personally, I agree with Vox something like 95% of the time, but even I'm willing to admit that the expanded hierarchy looks, at first glance, to be more than a little absurd. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, and waaaaaaaay too many guys have wasted way too much time trying to figure out where they fit in that hierarchy by aiming for Alpha/Sigma status when, really, their problems could be solved much more easily.

(For the record- I also happen to think that Vox's hierarchy is also rather a good heuristic explanation for what we see in daily life. It just takes some getting used to, that's all.)

And as Matt Forney pointed out in his criticism of that hierarchy, the end result was a list of terminology so silly that novice Manospherians ended up sounding like idiots.

The outcome of all of this noodling around with letters and jargon for the novice is that, unless you actually speak Greek or have an unusual tolerance for pain- and the two might be more closely related than you think- your head is soon going to be spinning with all of the definitions and jargon.

Unfortunately, the rest of us in the Androsphere have not exactly helped in this regard. The writers of the Androsphere- myself included, I'll confess- spend and have spent a truly staggering amount of time and energy writing about how to move up the ladder from one's starting position to another, higher level.

We started doing this with the best of intentions; if the Androsphere is about anything, it is about teaching modern men how to improve upon themselves.

To put it another way, I seem to recall an article over at RoK by Blair Naso in which he wrote that the best definition of Hell is to be lying on your deathbed, breathing your last- and in that final moment, to see the man that you could have been had you reached your full potential.

In our pursuit of terminology, jargon, NLP terms, and clearly understood, easily digestible dichotomies, we run the serious danger of losing sight of this most admirable goal.

And it has become a huge problem.

"You Keep Using That Word..."

My Name Is Inigo Montoya
Er... sorry... wrong meme
Certain other Androsphere writers, such as Uncle Bob and Carey, treat the entire concept of a socio-sexual hierarchy with utter contempt. And while I don't exactly agree with their rejection of it, they do have a rather good point.

Namely, we as a group have taken the Alpha/Beta conceptual framework and abused it to well past the point of recognition or sense. And to make it worse, we did so with good intentions.

To understand just why this is such a problem, we first need to understand two things about the entire concept of the socio-sexual hierarchy.

The Captive Hierarchy

Alpha_Beta_Omega_by_bloodhound_omega.jpg
Probably not how naturalists look at wolves
The first is that its beginnings are not quite what you might expect. The whole Alpha/Beta dichotomy was probably first coined by a naturalist by the (awesome) name of Rudolf Schenkel in 1947, using studies of captive grey wolf packs. It was popularised by another guy by the (even more awesome) name of L. David Mech in a book called The Wolf in about 1970.


Forty years after the publication of Mech's book, the terminology has caught on in the imaginations of a thousand Manosphere writers, to the point where we fancifully tart up amoral (though not necessarily immoral) traits like Machiavellianism, sociopathy, and narcissism as a sort of "unholy Trinity" or "Dark Triad" set of behaviours, whereby the perfect proportions of these traits will, in combination, lead to epic socio-sexual success.

After all, who wouldn't want to be an Alpha-wolf with a harem of bitches fawning on his every look and gesture?

Did I forget to mention that this video might be NSFW?

The problem is that this notion isn't supported by actual evidence, at least not among wolves in the wild.


It does, however, apply to human beings, to some extent anyway. If you look at any highly successful, highly admired masculine figure, most of them have these traits to some extent.

At the extreme end of the scale, you have men like Bill Clinton, Gene Simmons, and Hugh Hefner, all of whom embody these traits very well indeed; in President Clinton's case, I would argue that the man is such a sociopath that the word should be substituted for his middle name.

Yet there remain exceptions to this loose rule. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, for instance, are undisputed masters of the tennis world. All three are highly admired and highly admirable. All three are ferociously competitive. All three command huge salaries and rapt audiences wherever they go.

Novak Djokovic , Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are known for their ...
L-R: Blitzkrieg, Grinder, GOAT
And yet, away from the tennis court, there does not appear to a Machiavellian, narcissistic, or sociopathic bone in any of their bodies- not even in Roger Federer, whose ability to play mind-games with his opponents during press conferences is legendary.

For these three Titans of their time are also gentlemen of the highest calibre and devoted family men- Roger Federer is the father of four and appears blissfully happy with his rather rotund wife, Rafa Nadal is unfailingly polite and humble in his press conferences regardless of results and is known for his strong bonds with his extended family, and Novak Djokovic is a new father and appears to have found several new strings in his racquet as a result, leading him to truly crushing dominance of the men's game.

All three are also extraordinary ambassadors for their sport, both on and off the court.

However, just because these concepts apply to human beings, does not give us license to abuse and mishandle them.

The fact is, in the real world, these simple rules and constructs turn out to be... not so simple.

And that's because they're based on flawed, though not necessarily wrong, premises.

The Alpha/Beta hierarchy that Schenkel and Mech came up with only applied to wolf packs in captivity.

It turns out that wolf packs in the wild consist of a family unit made up of a pack leader, his lifelong mate, and their cubs from the last 1-3 seasons. Beta and Omega males- never mind Delta, Gamma, Sigma, or Lambda males- don't exist at all in the wild wolf pack.


the grey alpha
An Alpha male... and a bunch of other guys looking at a wolf
That is not to say that there is no such thing as an Alpha. It's just that the theory doesn't apply particularly well to wolves, or to most wild canines.

It does apply in the case of the great apes, where there is such a thing as an Alpha male who has easy sexual access to multiple females relative to Beta and Gamma males. Yet even here, the divisions are not as neat as one might expect.

What this means for the Red-Piller is that a self-improvement strategy based on an unrealistic, incorrect, and ultimately foolish heuristic explanation of human socio-sexual relations will inevitably lead to failure.

If You Have to Ask...

If you have to ask, you don't want to know

The second thing that newcomers to the Androsphere need to understand is:
If you have to ask whether it's Alpha or not... then IT'S JUST NOT.
The reason I bring this up is related to a subreddit that I read daily- /r/TheRedPill. Now, like any hardcore Androsphere site, this one is full of great information and great stories. It's full of stories about men who have changed their lives through hard work, discipline, mental fortitude, and an unswerving dedication to bettering themselves.

The problem with it, however, is that it's full of newcomers to the 'Sphere who are basically trying to claim their place in the hierarchy of the site and, by extension, the world. And because of this, quite a few users of that site spend altogether too much time posting field reports that contain more jargon BS than a field of cow-pats.

Newcomers don't need to waste their time doing any of this.

It's Simple, Really...


The Androsphere comes down to a few basic concepts:
  • Be strong
  • Be confident
  • Lift weights
  • Understand women
  • Get laid
  • Be independent
  • Be FREE
Notice how I didn't use any jargon there? The rest is essentially just exposition and detail.

The fact is that new entrants into the Manosphere, and plenty of existing ones, who write articles or blog posts and sling terminology around aren't fooling anyone.

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

The Manosphere exists to help men become the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be. That is a most admirable and respectable goal. But if we insist on disguising the simple and powerful concepts and ideas that will help our fellow men become strong, independent, and free, then we do them, and ourselves, a huge disservice.

We face a world that is doggedly hostile to the entire concept of masculinity, and which views that concept as something to be feared and destroyed. In reality, masculine strength is the foundation and protection of civilisation as we know it, and any culture that seeks to destroy it is simply not serious about preserving its own existence.

Given that hostility and the challenges that it poses, what, exactly, is the benefit of using endless jargon to frame our arguments?

We in the 'Sphere will succeed when we keep things simple, direct, and on point. Bear that in mind, and hold Manosphere bloggers- like me- to a higher standard when it comes to what we write, and the way we write it.

Comments

  1. Hey Didact, had you noticed a similar thought appearing in recent paleo postings?

    For example, marks mutterings after paleofx conference:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-community-is-more-diverse-than-you-might-think/#axzz3ZhFsZTJT

    Or this one:
    http://robbwolf.com/2015/05/08/im-back-from-paleofx-now-what/

    Some interesting type of confluence going on, and it's not the first time Ive noticed this....

    We were talking at home the other day about the my family stickers disappearing from cars, then a few days later an article appears saying exactly the same thing.

    Weird, eh.

    ReplyDelete

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