A New Game

During the last 30 years, maybe more since that 30 years is my entire professional life, I’ve seen lots of herd behavior in the business world. Herd behavior has always been present in society in general with trends and fads and the like. And I suppose some trends and fads have informed the business world as well to the degree these things could be passed from one organization to another before the advent of rapid communications. It seems though that the nature of the things that proliferate across the business community has evolved, or more aptly, devolved over time.

Some are tangible things that you can touch or have measurable utility, even if prone to being overdone. Take SAP for example. It is a software that became a must have for big companies as the CEO’s saw others getting it and wanted it for their group lest they be caught “short” by the ruler in the country club washroom. It could be the Deming lemmings whose offshoots from SPC grew into ISO 9000 and Six Sigma and everything GE every time, continuously improving. All of these things unleashed an army of seminars and consultants to support them, in that way giving the appearance of industriousness with less actual consideration to PURE tangible productivity. Woe is he who questions the oracles of these systems.

People liked being part of these revolutions. People liked it a lot. When there was a lull in invention of systems like software or a mathematical methodology, the hunger persisted. To feed it, the community turned to peddling buzz concepts. One of the most specious examples of this was introducing and up defining the idea of the simple word……change. A guy writes a book about some mice in a maze and how when the cheese was moved they had to adapt and overcome and this succeeded in taking the simple concept of change and elevating it to beyond Zen. Grown men stumble breathlessly from seminars clutching at three ring binders muttering “change, embrace it” like a mantra. Each acts as if he or she has been somehow cosmically touched by an ancient wisdom, that change will occur and it must be embraced. C level executive jobs under the change banner are now a matter of course in large organizations, mention of change management on one’s CV is de rigueur, and around the conference room table it is not if but when someone will invoke a cliché regarding change.

(As an aside I always wondered how change got so sexy when the thermodynamic principle of entropy is related and actually able to be studied and used. Change is a very cheap substitute. I digress.)

The people I have worked with over my 30 years in professional life who have embraced this type of conceptual mysticism have shared certain characteristics of personality. I imagine there will be one or two of them read this and take exception to what I have already said, let alone what I am about to say. They grab hold with religious fervor, and they end up letting systems run people rather than people running systems. I guess this is for a sense of belonging that comes with the perception that one grasps something that others don’t. To a man, no empiricism, no logic, no evidence can penetrate the veil because the systems are designed to answer all questions, usually with questions. They send the questioner off on tangential inquiry, or as a last resort they fall into wrangling about definitions. They consume, and they perpetuate. Google any of them and see.

That’s how Game strikes me. Setting aside what Cane Caldo has said and continues to say about it (which I agree with and hope he continues) regarding the Christian man and Game, the predictable lines of defense (lacking a better term) have manifested, well,  predictably, like a favored pastime. “Well first we must all figure out what game really is”, or “the reason you discount game is you do not understand it” or “just because you have no Game doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist’ or “I do not accept that what you are talking about is really Game”…so forth.

There is that sense of being an insider that comes through, or possessing something that others do not or cannot grasp. It is not sufficient, oh no, to list off a couple of valid and verifiable facts that are ever present in pretty much all game defining derivation. To allow that someone sees a couple things they like and are easily explained would rob the mystique, reduce the magic, and most importantly it would let the dang pedestrians in on it. We can’t have that.

Is there something to what is described as Game? OF COURSE there is. But no matter how many layers of complexity can be manufactured, no matter how sophisticated they make it, or worse, no matter how emotional or shrill the subscribers become, it is common sense being filtered through some innate need to be involved in something different, something special, something exclusive. This opinion is likely to be upsetting and met with assertions of my stupidity. Someone will find a misspelled word, another, an error in grammar, and still others, just generic criticism of the way this is written. Like that. That line of defense is even beyond the last one.

It doesn’t really matter what the response is because it is no more likely that I can present an iron clad case for what I am saying than it is that Game adherents can for what they  assert. The difference is, I am admitting it through sarcasm. I am not actually arguing anything definitive as much as saying there is really nothing to argue. The proof text of game is akin to Art Bell Coast to Coast proving the existence of extraterrestrial life. Anecdote after anecdote coupled with a sense of a community of the informed under lay the thing.

Men insist Game is real and explanations fly off them. Women, possessing a reluctance to challenge it in a manner not unlike complimenting the naked emperor on his cloths, rush in with shaming language to attack men who question Game. They want to plow pioneering ground, to be Condoleezza Rice to Game’s Augusta National. It makes challenging Game a risky proposition, and that serves to reduce the overt efforts toward same.

There is no proof that Game is anything beyond a handful of tips that coincide with some aspects of human nature, some good, some bad, some neutral. It is a religious belief steeped in a faith in something about which two true believers can pontificate and modify all day everyday for an infinite amount of time and never reach completion. This is not a thing, per se, it is not something deserving of its own special unique noun. Unlike say Christianity, about which indeed there is great debate regarding particulars and specifics, the discussion of Game has no centrality, no summary or core principle that can set the topic down and leave it lacking a need for further refinement. It does not happen.

In any case, agree or disagree, it’s my opinion and it is a seemingly narrowly held one, a special one. If you disagree it is because you just don’t get the point. It is immune to, no, impenetrable to critique, and unable to be questioned, for the mere act of questioning demonstrates a mind incapable of understanding any attempt to answer.

15 thoughts on “A New Game

  1. Pingback: Father Knows Best: Big Old Feminist Vaginas Edition « Patriactionary

  2. I saw this coming after reading the first sentence.

    Even though we largely agree: I’m more of an essentialist, I think, than you are. I think Game represents something; it has an author.

  3. I’m familiar with the epiphany at the convention phenomenon, and if you think about it it makes a lot of sense in this context. One of the most important aspects of human interaction has enormously changed in our society, and we have yet to find a good way to adapt to it. Game Theory does work, though I’m wary of it as an absolute. It strikes me that adherents of it can be like people who have bought into prosperity theology or faith healing–if it doesn’t work, it must mean that you did something wrong. I tend to take such theories as being like using a vacuum cleaner. Generally a vacuum cleaner works, but sometimes it doesn’t. For example a cord or string can wrap around the brush and break the band; the band can simply wear out, it can have difficulty with certain kinds of flooring, etc etc. It’s a machine; it’s not perfect. With machines we expect them to be fallible and require our intervention. I see Game Theory as being the same. It’s not a miraculous device that solves everything. What it actually is at its best is a way of deconstructing conventional thought about gender relations so that you can make more intelligent choices.

    One thing that is interesting about it is the theory some have concerning feminism: is it just one massive shit test? Frankly I don’t think it is. History demonstrates that women can have the same naked lust for power that men do.

    David Attenborough did a little demonstration I found interesting. There are these small lizards in the Southwestern US that warm up on piles of rock. Females seem to go for the male on the biggest pile of rocks. These tend to be dominant males. However they are only dominant males because they were able to seize control of the big pile of rocks. If by artificial means you remove the rocks and give them to a less dominant male, the females will go for the new pile of rocks, because what they are after is the warmth of the sun. The bigger the pile of rocks, the more sun hits it, the more warmth. So really, if women can get the State and society to provide them with what a man can, then the confidence of Game doesn’t necessarily matter. It is not that it is not a factor or never a factor in relations with women. And I think that this is a key point: if Game helps men in any particular way it will be as I said in the deconstruction of our views on what is valuable in gender relations. If men can be more confident for their own sake, and make more informed and smart choices and not give as much of a damn about what is thought of them, that’s a good thing, a road to freedom.

  4. Its good that you saw it at the first sentence, it was my intention that it be seen that quickly, and by that I mean to say that it was written especially for and with in mind those that would be able to imagine the connection from the get go given only the title as a Game point of reference.
    Please expand on “game represents something, it has an author” That is so general a statement if I choose to take it that way, then yea, of course it represents something and of course it has an author, so I’d like to know what you are getting at more specifically please because I know you are not making such a hollow statement.

  5. First, your last statement pasted here is exactly what I believe also. It acknowledges A benefit, if we all disagree on what THE benefit(s) is so be it.

    “Me importa un juevo” as they say.

    And I think that this is a key point: if Game helps men in any particular way it will be as I said in the deconstruction of our views on what is valuable in gender relations. If men can be more confident for their own sake, and make more informed and smart choices and not give as much of a damn about what is thought of them, that’s a good thing, a road to freedom.

    But more, one poster at Dalrock , and I forget which, asserts that on game…..it depends. While it depends is always an easy answer for almost anything and can mean nearly nothing at times, in this case it means that game is not going to work on all women. And that’s a fact. There may be A game for each woman, but there is not A game for all women, this I believe firmly.

    The tools and subsets, like shit testing, are extremely useful to understand. I like Elspeths statement that its frame….not game. That also fits your comment about men being more confident for their own sake, in a sense men gaming everyone, gaming the world, spouse, kids employers everything, to the utmost he can do by way of confidence.

  6. I think the best answer is: The World, and all that encompasses.

    You’re a scientist (right?), so this might rub you the wrong way, but it’s an elevation of science over God’s order. God made the world, and in that sense He’s it’s author, but he also made Adam, Eve, The Serpent, and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The problem isn’t the existence of these things, but The Serpent deliberately uses hypergamy (the desire for superior mate) to tempt Eve with Science (you will be like God), with the intention of corrupting Adam by his desire for his wife (because you have listened to the voice of your wife). Corrupting Adam is the key to corrupting the whole world (Because of you the ground is cursed). This Makes the World the Kingdom of the Serpent; who is Satan.

    So, we got the K of G&E; good and hard, too, so it’s here to stay. The Bible says strive to enter in the narrow way, and to seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be added unto you.

    But there is a little hypergamy in all of us, so we don’t want to wait for the right time to eat the fruit: we just want to know how to pluck it.

    In short: Game is a philosophy of scientism; scripture teaches the theology of marriage.

  7. Sorry
    Way too clear a line you draw…..massively way too clear a line, jumping from what you call science to….well, to something else.
    Indictment of me or anyone who thinks as I do by way of suggesting a sort of closed mind to things metaphysical (and that is not intended as any slight to my faith at all, I use metaphysical as a catch all)and a resulting handicap in spiritual matters is fallacy Cane.
    I was with you until you tacked down this path sir.
    Then your last sentence makes a ton of sense.
    Maybe I misunderstand because sometimes I read parables in your posts and I would like to better understand.

  8. I think I understand you, but I’m not sure. Your syntax is…unorthodox…sometimes.

    I did not mean to offend with the “scientists” statement. My point was that I’m not attacking the study of science, or saying the sciences themselves are evils. That’s what I meant by “rub the wrong way”: that I might sound like I’m attacking science, but mostly the sciences (physics, biology, chemistry) are not what I mean by science when I speak of it in a negative sense, or in a sciencism sense, within my comment.

    It appears that by trying to circumvent a misunderstanding, I ran smack into it.

  9. A comment I’d like to make on the biblical model of marriage when it comes to game/frame.

    Contrary to popular belief, Christianity and Game fit very well together, as Dalrock has said too. The thing is, our Christianity is far more about character than it is about satisfaction. Distorted beliefs about ‘sacrificial manhood’ and marriage have messed with people’s heads. I’ve said before that Ephesians 5 needs to be understood more clearly. It is implied that if men are Christlike, women will want to submit. This is utter nonsense. Christ was perfect, and people for the most part did not submit. Why then should women submit to even the most perfect man?

    Because of this, it seems clear to me that Game is merely an aspect of understanding how a man can choose to behave as he wants to regardless of what others think of it. While some Game theorists talk a lot about evolutionary theory some of them also miss the mark. This is not surprising because most people misunderstand how to apply evolutionary theory. What they’re really talking about are general behaviors as observed by anthropologists which are interesting, relevant and worthy of note but need to be generally applied rather than specifically applied in every case, as emps says above. Science shouldn’t be incompatible with theology in every case.

  10. I wanted to add here, women and the church created The Personal Jesus (TM) so that they could claim to submit to a perfect Christ as evidence they would to a husband if he was good enough. As we know, they are submitting to self, as the Personal Jesus is the person who has one , one and together they represent the woman

  11. I’ve been studying Ephesians 5 and I know that the way marriages are taught in some places are not biblical at all. Right now I’m on the top and will be digging into matter by reading Christ’s story and how he treated the church. I believe the true meaning of these versus and within the story of Christ.

  12. > It is immune to, no, impenetrable to critique, and unable to be questioned

    Just like feminism is. Two related points in agreement, if I may:

    1) Any prefacing statement of the form “game/feminism is X”, by a critic, is met with:

    a) Denial via the anti-anecdote: “That’s not *my* game/feminism!”. (NAGILT – Not All Game Is Like That)
    Personal experience is not a prerequisite for knowledge, though that is a prototypically feminine mode of thought.

    b) General denial: “The fact that you believe that just shows your faulty understanding of game/feminism, thus disqualifying you from being one of the self-appointed who are allowed to comment on game/feminism”. Eg, “Men are not allowed to discuss feminism. … Usually it’s women discussing what happened to woman and feminism, and what’s happened to men as well.” (Walter Fox)

    c) maybe there’s a (c), (d), etc.; this is not necessarily an exhaustive list. (I’m just doing this on the fly.)

    2) Both game and feminism are expert at capitalizing on their failures. (Devlin has emphasized this aspect of feminism in one or two of his essays.) Thus, the cure for any alleged problem(s) with either is always more game/feminism, which sets up a feedback loop (death spiral, “ant mill”, etc.).

    Both game and feminism initially prey on the generosity on the part of the mark (the first seducee), the natural tendency to “give the benefit of the doubt” or “give it a chance and see what happens”, which is contingent on future rewards. (In the case of feminism, the promise to men was that we’d get better women.) Otherwise admirable qualities under different circumstances become weaknesses which are exploited.

    Once people are sucked in they have a personal, psychological investment in the ideology to protect, and so they defend it. In poker or investing this is called “throwing good money after bad”, it happens all the time, and it’s virtually impossible to talk anyone out of it until it’s pointless to do so. This becomes a second form of feedback, and is why #1-a above is so frequently seen. #1-b then constitutes a defense of the tribe (I mean, “community”) which one latches onto for mutual defense against a world gone wrong. Typical herd behavior.

    The game crowd is locked into a view of men as the perpetual victims of women and feminism who are in need, first and foremost, of Game the Savior. (I’m not even an xtian and I can see this, but it’s especially peculiar to see xtians themselves falling for it.) Behind all the exhortations of game for men to be confident/dominant/alpha-male-ish/etc is the idea that those qualities are difficult if not virtually impossible to attain. The whole philosophy involves a kind of perpetual anxiety. This is one way to end up back at the start of #2. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  13. Martin
    Thanks for the comment. I agree with these points completely. As a Christian man I do not just struggle with the obvious conflict between PUA and Christian men….that particular struggle is allowed to rage even at the most active game supporting Christian MRA sites.
    I just marvel in the overt demonstrations of the dissembling you aptly described and yet complete lack of self awareness of same.

  14. I think Game is particularly interesting because, for many people, the “common sense” in not common, but worldshattering. The idea that you can chose how you act, and that your current way of acting, talking, and feeling is suboptimal for your goals, and can be modified with intentional effort, is not always obvious to people (or not in this particular area of life). That is the meta-message, the details are just the various ways people have taken that and done something with it.

    Additionally, there is the idea that social activity can be a skill, just like playing an instument or learning to write well, that is honed through practice, with only portion being determined in some way by innate talent. This, again, seems obvious to some, but is a very strange idea to others.

    Game, as a whole, seems to me to consistantly teach these ideas at some level. Usually, however, it then goes much further and starts teaching all kinds of details which may or may not be true, and often take on a superstitious quality, but can have an overall positive effect nonetheless.

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