The art of the reframe

Heartist discusses the political reframe:

“A commenter at Larry Auster’s accurately imagines what a typical anti-white leftoid (in this case, John Podhoretz) would say to a realist schooled in the facts of intransigent human nature and the evolved preference for tribalism: 

“But humanity does not consist of universal individuals. It consists of various cultures, ethnicities, and races all of which have particular identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas which are different from those of the host society. As a result, the mass presence of those different groups in the host society, far from advancing right-liberal equal freedom, empowers their unassimilable identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas, and thus changes the host country from a right-liberal society into a multicultural, left-liberal, racial-socialist society whose ruling principle is equality of outcome for all groups.”

To which Podhoretz pere et fils would surely reply, “Why do you hate freedom?”

How does a weak-willed, supplicating, betaboy “””conservative””” like, oh, say, Jim Geraghty, respond to this all-too-realistic, imagined Podhoretz coercive frame? Probably something like this: “I don’t hate freedom! Really, I don’t! Look, some of my best friends are freedom lovers. And I promise never again to use the word slut, no matter how applicable it is. Be kind to me?”

Lame. Podhoretz owns the frame, and Geraghty is just playing within its bounds.”

While I agree with the need for a reframe in this sort of situation, the problem with Heartiste’s recommended riposte is that while it avoids acquiescence to the  theoretical frame, it fails to destroy it and permits the hypothetical Podhoretz to claim the high ground.  Yes, it is true that the question concerning Podoretz’s overt intimacy with Capra aegagrus hircus is as intellectually fair as Podhoretz’s question concerning his interlocutor’s imaginary hatred for freedom.  But it sounds less reasonable and will cause said interlocutor to come off looking weak and reactionary by comparison.

A better tactic is a refined version of agree and amplify.  In this case, Podhoretz’s interlocutor would do well to simply respond to him: “For the same reason you do.”  This immediately turns the frame around and forces him onto the defensive, and has the benefit of being absolutely true.  While Podhoretz and his fellow neoconservatives may favor freedom in the form of permitting mass invasion from the Third World, they oppose it in a vast panoply of more important forms.  The right-liberal is far more opposed to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of exchange, and seeks to control the population in a much more coercive manner than the traditionalist right that seeks to protect Constitutional America and the only group with any significant collective regard for it, the descendants of its Christian European colonists.

In the same way that tax revenues are not maximized by maximizing tax rates, as per the Laffer curve, freedom of action and opportunity is not maximized by maximizing legal freedom for everyone on the planet.  Podhoretz, for example, would not be more free if Hamas were legally permitted to set up Jew-baking ovens in New York City, just as Americans would not be more free if 50 million Mexicans were legally permitted to enter the country and begin voting for the sort of policies they are accustomed to voting for when choosing between the Partido Revolucionario Institucional and the Party of the Democratic Revolution, both of which are members of the Socialist International.

Since freedom is not easily mathematically quantified, it is not as simple to construct a Liberty curve as a Laffer curve, but the logic is the same.

This is just an example; the point is that reframe is best done in the direct context of the attempted frame.  Due to psychological projection, in most cases, those who attempt to frame an attack in an unfair and intellectually dubious manner will reliably choose to attack you on their own point of vulnerability.  By way of example, note how yesterday the Neo-Keynesian SK repeatedly insisted that I was a) ignorant, b) didn’t understand anything, and c) needed to read a certain book while simultaneously a) getting most of his basic facts wrong, b) failing to grasp the difference between debt/GDP and federal debt/GDP and trying to discredit the data I’d provided by citing the very source I’d quoted, and, c) believing that I was some sort of monetarist inflationista because he knew nothing about RGD.

So much for “Alpha Mitt”

I told you that Mitt Romney, for all his height, financial success, and executive hair, was a Beta.  One display of dominance in the first debate, the first in what is now six years of running for president, does not an Alpha make.  Recall that before the debate, Scoobious Doobius noted this:

“In terms of “game” theory (as opposed to “game theory”), it’ll be
interesting to see tonight if things turn into the classic “real alpha
versus beta huffing and puffing and trying to look like an alpha” sort
of thing. If Obama takes that bait, then I’ll be a little more
open-eared towards the predictive power of game.”

The case, she is closed.  Obama not only came out huffing and puffing, but he even managed to prevent Romney from dominating him the way Romney had in the first debate.  The real indicator of Romney’s Betatude was not that he failed to AMOG Obama a second time, but rather the way in which he permitted a woman to not only overrule him, but the rules set out for the moderator prior to the debate as well.

There is no excuse for this failure.  A true alpha would have shut her up and forced her to submit to him without even requiring an appeal to the rules.  But, given how the rules were not only clear, but Candy Crowley openly declared her intent to flout them before the debate, Romney’s failure to shut her up and force her to stick to her appointed role is conclusive proof that he is not, and has never been, an alpha male.

All he had to do, the first time she opened her mouth in violation of the rules, was read them to her and ask her what part of them she did not understand.  Later, when she attempted to play fact-checker, he should have immediately asked her what the score was, then informed her that if she isn’t keeping score, she isn’t the judge of the debate and she should stick to her moderator duties as she agreed prior to the debate.  The fact that Romney’s failure to deal with the woman led directly to him fumbling his best opportunity to publicly drive home Obama’s responsibility for the Libyan debacle is merely rubbing salt in the wound.

Confront, cow, destroy

At times, even people who agree with me wonder why I have a tendency to utilize my superior intelligence as if it were a hammer to be applied to an interlocutor’s fragile teeth. What they fail to understand that this has nothing to do with any personal insecurities or internal need to advertise the readily apparent, it is simply that it happens to be the rhetorical method I have found to be most effective. That doesn’t mean I prefer it to the dialectical method when that is a legitimate option, but here is an example of the costs of eschewing any such technique:

What happened next is what happens every time you depart from orthodoxy: group panic. We’ve all been there. You don’t want to wreck everyone’s good time and you wish everyone could keep cool, but allowing their hysteria to censor you is ridiculous, so you open your big mouth. “I’m dubious,” I said. He didn’t believe me. I assured him I wasn’t kidding. He remained skeptical. I finally convinced him I wasn’t playing devil’s advocate.

Bang! Tony is up on his feet and his finger is in my face. (They always do that.) “Do you realize that 60% of this country believes in creationism? That’s who you’re associating yourself with. Do you believe in creationism, too?” I stood up and tried to explain the logical fallacy of guilt by association, but now his wife and two other people were standing and finger-pointing, too. “Don’t you think it’s strange that the science against global warming is all funded by oil companies?” Then they did this thing liberals do where they make a sarcastic idiot face with their finger on their chin and say, “Hmm, I wonder why that could be? Gee, I guess they care about science. Yeah, that’s it.” I had to yell to be heard at this point and kept saying, “I don’t care who’s saying it or what anyone’s motive is to say anything. John Wayne Gacy can tell me murder is wrong, and it’s still wrong. All I care about is the facts.” I told them Hitler used toilet paper but that doesn’t mean we’re tied in with his shit just because we use it, too. I even yelled, “All cats are mammals. All dogs are mammals. All cats are not dogs.” But I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. This screaming match wasn’t meant to get to the truth. It was meant to wake me up from being an ignorant heretic who’d chosen the Dark Side. They allowed zero possibility I knew what I was talking about. I disagreed with them and therefore I was ignorant.

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle noted that for some audiences, “not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction.” I would go even further and suggest that for some audiences, conviction remains impossible. The behavior that McInnes is describing is indicative of precisely such an audience. Appeals to Aristotelian dialectic – otherwise known as logic – is useless and will accomplish absolutely nothing, as McInnes recounts in his story. If you are reduced to explaining “all dogs are not cats”, you are most certainly dealing with an audience of the sort that Aristotle deemed susceptible only to rhetoric.

The rhetorical audience relies heavily, indeed, almost entirely, upon appeals to authority and emotion. That is why they usually drift toward tangents concerning motivations, because they are attempting to impugn the authority to which they believe their opponent is appealing. (The alternative is emotional appeals, which are self-evident.) This makes little sense when the “authority” is mere factual reality, but since facts rely upon sources, any such sources provided can always be attacked, which in the eye of the rhetorical audience is somehow tantamount to refutation. “I have rebutted it because I said it was wrong” is a commonly heard formulation.

The thing that must be kept in mind when dealing with a rhetorical audience is that it doesn’t know very much and isn’t very intelligent. That’s why rhetoricians usually rely upon others to do their thinking for them. Establish that you are not only more intelligent than they are, but more intelligent than their precious authorities as well, and they have literally no recourse beyond the usual game of evasion and aspersion.

The first step is confrontation. Being accustomed to groupthink, this throws them immediately off-kilter. They will respond with all the sarcasm and heated emotion that McInnes describes. This is where many conservatives make a mistake and back down for fear of social disruption, but the important thing to remember is that you have not caused it and you are not responsible for it. Barring job interviews, there is no situation wherein etiquette that demands mindless acquiescence to every provocative assertion. But don’t meet heat with heat, meet it with ice, although calm words combined with a slight half-smile can be useful if you wish to entirely emotionally discombobulate the rhetorician.

The next step is to cow them. This is best used through application of the Socratic method. Don’t make any assertions, simply ask questions that will reveal, to them and everyone else, how devoid of actual knowledge they are. This is frightfully easy because most rhetoricians are prone to instinctive lying. If you are sufficiently well-informed, you can simply methodically expose each of their lies as they are presented. Credentials can be useful at this point; remember, you’re not dealing with a dialectical audience here that is capable of recognizing logical fallacies. I occasionally find it more amusing to “win” an argument using an argument I know to be fallacious because my interlocutor is too inept to spot the flaw in it than by using a correct one, but then, I am an Award-Winning Cruelty Artist so I don’t recommend this to the average dialectician.

Finally, once they have been sufficiently cowed, it is time to destroy them. This comes in three forms, the Implosion, the Submission, or the Run Away Run Away. I am always impressed when a rhetorical crowd is able to submit, because it indicates that they have at least understood that their position is wrong and they are theoretically capable of learning. The Implosion is probably the most satisfying, simply because it is funny. I enjoy few things more than watching an arrogant and overmatched individual publicly go into a complete emotional meltdown because he simply cannot bear to admit that he was wrong. Of course, the point isn’t the pleasure one might take in it, but rather, that everyone who witnesses the Implosion will recognize that the position was untenable.

And then there is the response we see so often on this blog, which is the Run Away Run Away response, which in its Internet form is better described as the Retreat Into Silence. PZ Myers is a good example of this response, which involves leaving your stunned well-wishers grasping at ever increasingly improbable explanations for your failure to even attempt to defend your position.

Anyhow, the next time a clueless member of the rhetorical crowd is emitting sarcastic commentaries, casting aspersions about your motivations, or showing signs of wanting to wave a finger in your face, just remember the acronym CCD. Confront, Cow, Destroy. The additional benefit, in addition to peace of mind, is that not only will rhetoricians soon become reluctant to so much as cluck any absurdities in your direction, but women also tend to view everyone else’s intellectual fear of you as social dominance, which naturally enhances your attractiveness to them.

Sure, they may well complain to all and sundry that you’re a jerk and so forth. But remember, translated from chickspeak, all that means is that they wish you’d hit on them.

Why Game interests me

The Responsible Puppet puts forth eleven reasons:

Top Eleven Possible Reasons Why Vox Day Likes Talking About Game

1. Maybe after the rigor and math and Statistics and consistency and evidence required with his posts about the economy, debt, football and atheism – it’s nice to kick back* and not worry about that stuff.

2. It’s fun to be a role model. Every Game post makes him a hero for every guy who’s ever been hurt or turned down by a woman . . or made to look like an idiot by one.

3. Let’s face it. It’s a great way to stick it to the Woman, if that’s your thing.

4. Game comes in with a built-in instant defense. Does someone disagree with you? Call them a white knight, a snowflake or a Gamma***. Argument over!

5. Everyone wants to think they’ve chosen wisely when they got married. Perhaps Game helps him believe he’s got pretty much the only decent lady** out there. Or as he describes it, “A diamond among lumps of coal”.

I think he omitted a few obvious possibilities.

12. Vox and Spacebunny have embraced polygamy and he is working on obtaining his second and third wives.

13. Vox and Spacebunny have an open marriage and Vox is simply polishing his moves.

14. Vox hates Gammas and this is his way of torturing them.

15. Vox hates women and this is his way of torturing them.

16. Spacebunny doesn’t exist and Vox is a hapless Gamma attempting to learn enough Game to actually get a date.

Alpha Mail: alpha watching

In which a woman interprets her friends’ fascinated reaction to a young buffoon:

Jill: Still bragging! This guy is out of control and he can’t swim for shit though he is totally talking like he can. His buddies were laughing at him behind his back. Its ok, a girls swim team just showed up, all business. They make him look like the chump he is. Girl power! Haha. I think he just joined the army, lmao, no wonder John is getting out, I would too after I saw this jackass joining.

Kari: Love the Douche Bags they let in! And most likely he’s an officer lmao!

Me: A kid with that kind of confidence will land himself a hottie.

As an added bonus, Susan notes how female hypergamy shapes modern film and fiction and confirms its trans-cultural nature in addition to sharing her thoughts on the USC rooftop sex scandal, complete with a video of a hilariously futile attempt by two women to somehow shame Tucker Max. Tucker’s effortless domination of the two women is an object lesson in Displaying High Value; note how they get increasingly bitchy, but submissive as the “debate” continues.

Behind the tests

In which Susan Walsh explains the female rationale behind s-tests:

Dream Puppy got exactly what she wanted in that exchange, which was to know that her husband could stand up to her emotions. She felt comforted, even relieved when he thwarted her attempt at control.

It’s a tremendously informative post. I would merely add one caveat and note that it is most, but not all, female histrionics are designed to test your masculine stoicism. In the event the woman concerned is legitimately psychologically fragile, it is important to learn to distinguish between normal dramatic posturings and when she is genuinely in the process of going off the deep end. If there is sufficient craziness indicating a clear and imminent threat to herself or others, even the alphiest alpha should feel free to not assume she is bluffing.

Yemen and the art of dream-crushing

Here is a Game maxim which some may regard as controversial, although it really isn’t. Men who want a strong and lasting long-term relationship should crush a woman’s dreams without hesitation, if those dreams are not entirely consistent with her primary role as a wife and mother.

Also at Alpha Game, a lightbulb goes off in the mind of the resident Omega regarding his fear of approaching women. Thinking further about the subject of fear I had an insight. I began to ask myself why I was afraid. I started looking for the source of the fear, going beyond facing it and rather trying to understand it. What I found was that I am not afraid of girls. If I was I would not be able to go out in public. Really, why would I, a 6’2″ guy be afraid of a tiny 5′ girl? Nor am I afraid of conversation with a stranger. While I prefer my own company, having a pleasant chat with someone is not that difficult. What, then, makes me nervous when I approach?

RM contemplates how much of his desire to wait until marriage was the legitimate Biblical teaching versus Churchian custom and his own mask of delta. When I was a younger delta, I believed I had strong convictions about waiting for marriage for sexual intimacy. This was the result of my many years of churchianity morality training. Some of it was Biblically correct… other parts not so much. What I have come to understand is that this was more than a belief, it was a convenient mask for my delta ways.

And finally, the first Alpha Mail post.

Fear and the dead dragons

Alpha Game’s intrepid omega is bold enough to tell the tale of how he attacks his fear of approaching women:

The biggest obstacle to success with women, or success in anything, is fear. The first time I cold-approached a girl it took me three hours to actually talk to her. When I finally did approach, I was a mess: my hands were shaking, my face was hot, my palms were sweaty, and when I spoke I sounded like a lost lamb my voice was shaking so much.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Nate does his best to belie my assertion that alphas have little to contribute to Alpha Game apart from idiotic braggadacio:

An insightful blogger here pointed out that the alpha ego, enormous as it is, is based in reality. The alpha’s positive self-image and confidence are the direct result of what? It comes from success. But success at what?

I have to say, I am suddenly beginning to feel a rather delightful sense of superflousness. Of course, being a well-paid professional not-writer, I see no reason why I should not succeed in becoming a hugely popular not-blogger as well.

Developing sigma

Although it would not be unreasonable to suspect me of snowflaking in developing the concept of the sigma, this was not the case. Its development came about as a direct result of the observation that there was a significant distinction between the attributes and behavior of Roissy’s sexual alpha and the socially dominant alpha male, and it was the contemplation of the various distinctions and similarities involved that inspired me to come up with the concept of a socio-sexual hierarchy.