Attack of the Cat Ladies

That was fast. The feminists have clearly sent out the cat signal in reaction to Sigma Game.

Imagine how they’re going to react to the SSH book itself. Last Friday, I answered a woman’s question about female solipsism.

Female solipsism can therefore be described thusly: the female tendency to perceive all things solely as they relate to and affect her.

1st Man: Did you hear that Russia has invaded Ukraine!
2nd Man: Oh, wow, I wonder if they’re going to go for Kiev or Odessa first?
Woman: I had a Ukrainian hairdresser once. She took off way too much so I didn’t tip her.

This female tendency toward self-centric perception is readily observable in casual conversation, so you can easily test it for yourself. Throw in a new topic at random at any point and see how fast the woman being addressed is able to discover a tangent and utilize it in a manner that allows them to turn the conversation back to themselves.

1st Man: Is there a female version of the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy?
2nd Man: Maybe. I don’t know.
Woman: There definitely is! This one time, at band camp, a popular girl was mean to me! I used to play the clarinet. I just love music!

Among other things, this led to a long and unprofitable descent into the philosophical navel-gazing of what some would like to be able to call a “Female SSH”, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s more interesting is the fact that some women from outside the community, clearly sensing the danger inherent to perceptive men accurately discussing their observable behavior in a manner that might inspire other men to knock them off their pedestals, have already leaped into incompetent, and even oxymoronic, action.

This was easily the most amusing attempt at an ad hominem critique, as it revealed the way in which the would-be critic doesn’t even understand the concept she’s trying to criticize, much less the way that concept renders her repeated attempt to attack the author impossible. She was so impressed with her discovery of the concept of “projection” that she underlined her own oxymoronics by repeating it three different times in three different comments.

KAT HIGHSMITH: He’s engaging in pure projection. Males have been projecting their bullshit on women for years. Everything they’ve been saying about us is actually about them because they’re self-obsessed and lack the ability to be embarrassed at their stupid behavior (“trans” is the epitome of this male behavior). Men are crazy, and they’re about to start WWIII as they insist how rational they are.

VD: It struck a little too close to home, obviously. And since you’re too retarded to grasp the obvious, I’ll spell it out for you: One cannot project solipsism, by definition. You are far too short for this intellectual ride.

You’d think people would stop trying to use rhetoric, especially inept and oxymoronic rhetoric, on the individual who wrote what presently passes for the modern book on the subject. But you’d be wrong.

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Castalia Library on Substack

In the aftermath of the extremely successful launch of the Sigma Game substack, I brought up the idea of a substack devoted to Castalia Library with the idea that it might help those who somehow miss out on a) blog posts, b) the monthly emails, c) Gab and SocialGalactic announcements, and d) LibraryThing posts keep tabs on the current state of things with the various Castalia Library books, including Library, Libraria, History, the Junior Classics, and the various one-off editions.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and since Castalia Library is nothing if not responsive to its subscribers, I duly set up a Castalia Library substack. Those who sign up for a free subscription will be kept up to date on the latest production schedules with regular emails, and it should even be possible to allow new subscribers to sign up through the paid subscription option at some point.

It should be noted that this substack is absolutely not a substitute for anything else or any other platform. Rather, it is an attempt to cast a wider net, as the primary challenge facing Castalia Library at the moment is that the vast majority of book collectors, and therefore, the vast majority of its potential subscribers and customers, have never heard of it. So even if you’re on the mailing lists and receiving the monthly emails, it’s probably not a bad idea to widen your net before you get caught in a bounce and your email is scrubbed by the mail service.

And speaking of the Sigma Game substack, I would be remiss if I neglected to mention today’s post on my thoughts concerning a female SSH and the various attempts to construct it. No offense intended to the various men and women who have thus far attempted to formulate one, but the fact is that most of those who do appear to be more interested in relating various anecdotes about their personal experiences than in an objective analysis of the complexities of female social interaction.

Not that it’s my concern or my interest, but I would point out that anyone who fails to take into account either the fat factor or the sexual availability and experience factor in what purports to be a “socio-sexual” hierarchy can’t reasonably be considered to be serious about the task. And due to the female discomfort in honestly addressing both of those issues, to say nothing of the male ignorance, and inability to grasp the details, of female competition, I find it difficult to believe that anyone will succeed in describing a functional female SSH any time soon.

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A Team of Leaders

A team of leaders is not a team. And throwing in the occasional Sigma doesn’t help. I explore the possibility that an application of SSH may help explain the difficulties in group cooperation historically evidenced by the ideological Right at Sigma Game.

It always struck me as strange that the opinion leaders of the ideological Right have never, for many decades, ever been able to successfully cooperate the way the apparent leaders of other groups, many of whom are considerably less intelligent, are observably able to work together, despite the obvious advantages that accrue to those who do. Instead, they’ve usually been more inclined to engage in internecine conflict on the rare occasions that they’re not simply ignoring each other and going about their own respective activities...

I suspect the answer to this lies in the cold realities of the socio-sexual hierarchy. If you look at the New Atheists, their demi-successors in the Intellectual Dark Web, or the endless continuum of post-Tupac rappers, it is very clear that none of these groups are comprised of high-status men. They might be rich, they might be famous, but their situational roles notwithstanding, their behavioral profiles tend to be in the lower range. And their success, almost to a man, is far more dependent upon their ability to kowtow before the ticket-makers than upon any genuine talent or intellectual abilities.

UPDATE: 104k views in only 14 days! Sigma Game is clearly off to a good start; hopefully it will provide a strong launching pad for the forthcoming SSH book. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to it and joined the discussion there.

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Science Sans SSH

The scientific evidence for the IQ Communications Gap is very nearly as thin as the scientific evidence for high average Jewish IQ. And, in fact, combining the material evidence concerning the success of the two relevant populations will tend to lead the observer to tangential conclusions which have nothing to do with the linked Sigma Game post, and which I will leave to the SocialGalacticians to elucidate for themselves. And yes, this is precisely the sort of thing I consider to be too obvious to even bother articulating, much less attempting to convince anyone else, let alone argue about.

As for the linked post, I should first mention that Kirkegaard did an excellent job of tracing the scientific history, scanty as it proved to be. However, the point is not whether one can talk to another individual across the IQ Communications Gap, much less whether one can genuinely enjoy their company, but rather if one can expect to be substantially understood on a regular basis. Psychological and personal elements such as enjoyment, satisfaction, social isolation, and loneliness are not really relevant to the topic.

I happen to prefer speaking with cheerful people of below average intelligence than midwits with something to prove or morose high-IQ individuals who live for the chance to provide pedantic criticism. Sure, the conversation will be limited to sports and the activities of mutual acquaintances, and while the latter can be tedious to the point of pain, it’s still vastly preferable to inept interpretations of theology or incorrect “corrections” of evolutionary mathematics.

But your mileage may vary, which is why I don’t regard it as being relevant in a scientific sense.

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Sigma Game on Substack

I’ve been working on the much-requested Socio-Sexual Hierarchy book and it’s going very well. Assuming we can get both AH:Q and the first Midnight’s War omnibus out to backers in the next few weeks, which we should be able to do, the crowdfund for the SSH book and the Hypergamous book will probably take place sometime in March, which is also when I anticipate finishing what was originally planned to be a 60k-word book, but will probably end up clocking in closer to 90k.

However, due to the growing mainstream interest in the SSH, particularly in the Sigma and Gamma profiles, I decided it would be a) necessary to have a central site for discussing the concepts that was absolutely not here and b) more immediately accessible to the new readers coming from outside the broader community who aren’t interested in economics, politics, fiction, games, history, or my copious media baggage.

So, I set up a Sigma Game substack. It will last as long as it lasts; no doubt it will come under relentless attack from Gammas and other anklebiters, which should serve to make certain SSH-related concepts readily apparent in a way that no amount of books, posts, and articles written by me ever could. It’s always nice when antifragility is built right into the foundation. It’s a pity that Substack comments can’t be limited to free subscribers, rather than just to paid subscribers, though.

The first post is an analysis of a 2012 Alpha Game post in which I supported Dr. Helen’s contention that shame was not an effective tool for encouraging single men to marry. And a review of the recent data would appear to strongly confirm that contention.

Twelve years later, as anticipated, shame has entirely failed as a strategy to encourage more young men to get married. To the contrary, men have even begun to demonstrate less interest in pursuing sex as well as marriage. And the marriage rate has fallen another 8.6 percent in the interlude, from 16.3 per 1,000 in 2011 to 14.9 per 1,000 in 2021.

Higher Education and the Decline of Marriage, SIGMA GAME, 17 January 2024

I don’t intend to post more than once or twice a week on Sigma Game, but otherwise it can be reasonably considered a revival of the Alpha Game blog. How long I will actively maintain it, I do not know; if the book proves popular enough, I might even transfer it to its own site on one of the UATV servers. But, in any event, it’s there now, so feel free to check it out and subscribe to it if you are so inclined.

UPDATE: Okay, that was fast. Thanks to everyone who checked it out, especially those who have already subscribed.

UPDATE: Given the surprisingly high level of interest there, I may have to contemplate doing a daily Sigma Game post.

Congratulations! Your posts have been read a total of 1000 times.

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Like Father, Like Son

This is why you should listen to your father. Especially when he knows very well what he’s talking about:

Antoine Winfield Jr. was named NFC defensive player of the week for Week 18.

One of the best defensive plays of the year was made by Winfield Sunday against the Panthers: With Carolina receiver D.J. Chark seemingly set for an easy touchdown, Winfield ran him down just before he got to the goal line and knocked the ball out of Chark’s hands. The ball went into the end zone and out of bounds to give it back to the Buccaneers, a huge turnover and touchdown-saving play.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Winfield was 23 yards away from Chark at the time the pass was thrown. For Winfield to make up that much distance and force a fumble before Chark got to the end zone was an extraordinary effort.

Extraordinary effort runs in the family. His father was my favorite Viking since Fran Tarkenton. Despite being exactly my size – 5’9″, 180 pounds – he was one of the hardest hitters in the NFL. He wasn’t a shutdown corner, but there has never been anyone you would rather have defend the first down marker in the open field. It didn’t matter if it was a slot receiver, a tight end, or a fullback coming out of the backfield with the ball, the ballcarrier would absolutely be cut down hard, with all momentum extinguished, before he could make it past the invisible line. And despite being a starter, Winfield wasn’t too proud to play special teams; look at how he laid the smack down on a Packer’s punt returner.

Winfield made two of the greatest defensive plays I’ve ever seen, in the same game, against the Packers. The first play, facing a big halfback running behind a pulling guard, he dropped to his knees, let the guard fall over him, then popped up and dropped the ballcarrier. The second play, there were two blockers between him and the running back who’d just caught a screen pass. He twisted sideways between the two lineman, then dropped the ballcarrier.

Anyhow, it’s a lot of fun to see Winfield’s son not only following in his footsteps, but even exceeding his NFL accomplishments by winning a Super Bowl. Their relationship is an object lesson in excellence in fatherhood, and they’re obviously close to this day.

Also, his dad is 100-percent correct. Budda Baker making the Pro Bowl over Winfield Jr. this season is a ludicrously bad joke.

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The Case for the Gamma Male

In which a self-styled “dating expert” explains why Gamma Males should be more attractive to women, due to their superior relationship qualities:

In this informative post, I will tell you all about a lesser-known hero – the gamma male.

We’ve all heard of the infamous alpha male archetype; they’re the strong, dominant character who doesn’t take no for an answer. As a dating expert, my take is that the alpha personality type deserves all the praise he’s getting. However, I also believe that the gamma males sure are diamonds in the rough women are missing out on.

A gamma male is a highly intelligent, reflective, and empathic man. To put it simply, he is the epitome of a sensitive guy. Contrary to popular belief, this personality type is nothing short of a man. Although ranking fourth in the social hierarchy ladder, this personality type is first in line for being the most well-rounded.

Top 5 Qualities:

  1. He Is Secure In His Masculinity
  2. He Is A Romantic
  3. He Is Compassionate
  4. He Is A Jack Of All Trades
  5. He Is His Cheerleader

And best of all, he is available! Not only that, but once you get him fixated on you, he will never, ever leave you, not even if you want him to.

Now, I have no doubt that there are women to whom the Gamma Male will harbor special appeal; de gustibus non disputandum est. Everyone has their own particular kryptonite, whether it be curvy, hot-tempered Latinas or haughty ice-blondes with resting bitch face. But it is a little startling to see the behavioral pattern portrayed in a much more positive light than one is accustomed to seeing.

This doesn’t mean the picture being presented is entirely wrong, it’s mostly just… incomplete. Then again, it’s not as if women who prefer Alphas tend to spend much time contemplating the fact that he’s almost certainly going to cheat on her, and usually sooner rather than later.

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Beware the Christmas Cakes

First, it’s probably necessary to define Christmas Cakes, technically “unsold Christmas Cakes”, which is, believe it or not, a Japanese term.

“Women are Christmas cakes” because just like how nobody wants to buy a Christmas cake after December 25th, unmarried women over the age of 25 are worthless — believe it or not, this used to be a popular saying in Japan just a few decades ago. Perhaps, the double surprise for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture is that people buy a specific type of pastry to celebrate Christmas here. When I learned about this phrase from my female boss, I was genuinely shocked. As a single woman who just turned 25, I would have been called an “unsold Christmas cake.” The slur implies that a woman is viewed as valuable only if she is either young or married. Although we still have a long way to achieve gender equality, at least we disapprove of such outright insults today. As a growing number of women are postponing or forgoing marriage and pursuing careers instead, the Christmas cake analogy seems to represent outdated anti-feminist and sexist attitudes.

Yeah, so, about that.

Almost all the women I know who are single and over 30 think they’ll eventually find a great husband to take care of them. There is no self-reflection or plan to find out what men want so they would be a better choice over a younger woman.

On average, the whole “I am a strong independent woman who don’t want no man to take care of me” phase so common to young women these days lasts past college and about 18 months into their much-ballyhooed careers. However, once a woman actually experiences, for the first time in her life, how difficult and unpleasant it is to provide for oneself, and how low her standard of living and quality of life is likely going to be for the rest of her life, her opinion about marriage and children often undergoes a dramatic change. This belated realization is very often the point at which a woman suddenly decides that perhaps the traditional life is acceptable to her after all.

Which is why women under 30, who have the intrinsic wisdom to seek a life as a wife and mother in conscious preference to one with a career, are to be vastly preferred to those women who are only settling for a traditional life because they think it will be an easier life than the independent one they previously sought.

And women under the age of 30 would do very well to recall that men possess just as much agency as they do, and that young women who make a strong bid early tend to find themselves married to higher quality men than those who keep waiting for a better option to present itself.

UPDATE: It is educational to observe that even those women who had a traditional life and threw it away to pursue the greener grass on the other side quickly come to realize that the strong and independent life isn’t particularly desirable.

“I told my friends and family I’d never get married again. I needed independence, a fulfilling career, and space to chart my own course, and I didn’t think marriage fit into that vision. I was content to look toward a future without a husband, children, or the trappings of a ‘traditional’ life,’” she wrote.

As she grew older, however, the fun, carefree lifestyle – being wined and dined, going to parties – began to get old. The pursuit of comfort and self became dull, she said. When she turned 38, terror began to take over.

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Thinking Outside the Engineering Box

This story about his experience as an engineer in the dot com era by the late Seamus Young should be extremely enlightening, for engineers and non-engineers alike, as it has the benefit of providing us with not only the communication that took place in the meeting, but also what he was thinking about it at the time. Keeping in mind that this is nominally written from the perspective of “the engineer is the good guy who knows what he’s doing and what he should be doing”, see if you can identify the fundamentally destructive element described in the following vignette.

John Business seems to be the most important guy in the room. He’s also the guy who narrated the pitch video. He’s seemed happy so far. But now he turns to me and asks, “Can we start visitors outside of the mall? We have this grand entryway and we want them to be able to see it before they go inside.”

I scrunch up my face. “Yeah guess you can. But people like to teleport because it’s more convenient…” I trail off. John Business looks confused. Did I mess up and give him some jargon?

“Shamus means they like to appear and disappear in different places rather than walking.” My Boss is clarifying things for me. That doesn’t happen very often.

John Business nods. He gets it now.

Holy shit. This guy doesn’t know what teleporting is? I guess the whole video presentation he just narrated made him seem a little more tech-savvy than he really is. Okay, I need to step this all the way down to neophyte language. How the hell did someone with such a limited understanding of virtual worlds end up in the deep end? This guy doesn’t seem to know enough to launch a web-based business, and he’s going to oversee the construction of a virtual one?

I nod at my boss. “Right. One of the advantages of virtual space is the way people can move instantly to their desired location. Making them ‘walk’ for a long distance before they can begin using the software will just make them reluctant to log in. And unless we change it every few days, they will quickly tire of the entrance.”

John Business looks annoyed. My boss shifts nervously in his seat. I’ve messed up again. I’m evidently offering guidance above my pay grade. John Business asked me a simple question about a simple task and now he seems to think I’m trying to weasel out of doing it. Possibly he suspects I’m a slacker. They don’t want my artistic input. These guys have already designed the place. They just want me to answer the question.

My boss steps in to smooth things out. “We’ll have them start outside and see how it works out. We can always change it later.”

I nod. Fair enough.

John Business also nods, perhaps ticking off a mental checkbox before moving on to the next question.

It goes on like this for half an hour. He keeps asking me to do simple things that would be impractical, annoying for the end user, or harm usability. He’s trying to make a world not just for people playing “a videogame” for the first time, but people who are overall new to the internet. I want to educate him on why the design is wrong, but I can’t seem to do so without violating some sort of unexplained social order. Usually I pride myself on being able to smooth out misunderstandings and bring people up to speed, but right now I find myself falling into the role of the “obtuse, obstructionist engineer” and I can’t seem to break out of it.

What’s wrong here? Our company is typically good at this stuff. We’re usually pretty adept at bridging the gap between what the customer asks for and what they actually need. But this meeting is running sideways and the power dynamics are all wrong. For some reason, John Business seems to regard me with… is it suspicion? I don’t know. But there’s a communication problem here and I can’t seem to solve it.

Without trust, every time I say “no” or “Yes, but…” it irritates John Business. And that makes my boss nervous, which eventually makes him frustrated with me. So it feels like the room is against me, which makes me nervous and panic-y, which makes me stammer and vacillate, which makes me sound even more untrustworthy.

John Business returns to his printed notes. “When a visitor clicks on an item on a shelf, can we have it fall into their shopping trolley?”

I somehow resist the urge to make a horrified face at the suggestion.

People are going to push shopping carts around your virtual mall? Doesn’t that have the stench of low-end shopping? Will the carts collide with shelves? If so, then people WILL get stuck, frustrated, and log out without buying anything.If not, then expect people to navigate as if the cart didn’t exist, which means they will constantly end up clipping into walls. Everywhere you go, you’ll have the front ends of shopping carts peeking at you through walls and shelves. In addition to being really ugly and immersion-breaking, this will be confusing to people. And don’t even get me started on the ways people might confuse or harass each other with them. What if I leave a store without paying? Does my cart vanish, or is it cleared? Will the items be restored if I return later? We need to figure out what the “expected behavior” is going to be before we know how to design this.

Isn’t the advantage of a VIRTUAL mall the fact that you don’t need to worry about the physical hassles of carrying items? I know in your head you’re picturing people simply replicating real-world behavior, but that’s not going to happen. People will act in ways that don’t make sense. What if I click on an item that’s nowhere near my cart? Should the item fly across the room and land in the cart? If so, then expect new users to be confused by random items flying all over the place. Or you can give them an error message telling them to move closer. That will stop the flying merchandise, but now you’re inconveniencing people trying to buy stuff.

How will they get items back out again? Physics engines that operate in a shared space are years away, so making them rummage around a pile of loose items won’t work. What if they want to remove an item from the cart and it’s buried under others? What happens if I go to the other side of the store and then remove the item? Should it fly across the store to where it belongs, or should we replicate the real world where fickle shoppers constantly scramble your inventory by abandoning items in random parts of the store? Or should it just poof away?

What I actually said:

“Sort of. We can show an object falling into the cart.”

“But will the object disappear off the shelf?” This point seem to be awfully important to him.

You… you want to create a virtual store with scarcity? WHYYYYYYY? Madness! If this is possible, people WILL try to empty the shelves into their cart so that nobody else can buy anything.

What I actually said:

“No.”

The actual answer would be “It depends”, but it would be long and complex and I sense everyone is just looking for simple answers to complex questions. We could make shelves that deplete of stock and need to be refilled, but this would create all sorts of interface headaches and the need for a bunch of new coding, because we’d need to create a program to track the position of all items and handle restocking them. I can spend ten minutes explaining that the timetable is already WAY too tight and there’s no way we have time to code experimental new features with unknown challenges for purely cosmetic effects.

The meeting drags on like this, with John Business casually asking for monumentally difficult things that will make the store less useful in order to re-create the limitations and frustrations of the physical world.

Crash Dot Com Part 3: The Meeting, TWENTY-SIDED

I’m convinced that one of the reasons engineers are correctly viewed as needlessly obtuse and obstructionist by the rest of the business world is that too few of them have ever played team sports and the concept of “do your job” is therefore intrinsically foreign to them. Or, to be more precise, “don’t do what is not your job”.

Did you see what the fundamental problem with the engineer’s attitude is? Here’s a hint: it’s a fundamentally Gamma action.

What’s remarkable is the way that the engineer unconsciously elevated himself into an assumed authority that he flat-out does not possess. He’s not only “managing from below”, he’s actually taking it upon himself to “design from below” on the basis of a) his opinions about user preferences and b) his preferences about what he works on and how to work on it.

Even if he is 100-percent correct about the ultimate consequences, he’s 100-percent wrong to attempt to assume that authority, because he does not have the responsibility. Moreover, he doesn’t even want that responsibility; the best way to shut an obstructionist engineer up is to threaten to put him in charge of the project, including the sales and marketing.

But the most important thing for an engineer to grasp is that he does not have the whole picture, and that what makes zero sense in one context might make complete sense in a more significant context. Maybe the company wants to lose money. Maybe the company just needs to get something out the door to maintain its patent or its trademark. Maybe it’s not really supposed to be a working product, but a proof of concept that is a milestone on a corporate merger. Or maybe the executives are technologically ignorant and the lead designer is a lunatic with an insane and impossible vision.

Regardless, if someone asks you a question, it is literally never your job to infer from it what might be, unknown to himself, the unconscious motivations of the asker, then answer the question on the basis of your own interpretation of those hidden objectives and goals. Answer the question asked. Then, if necessary, talk to your boss later about your opinion that the nature of the questions indicated a high probability of future project failure from your technical perspective.

What’s remarkable about Seamus is that he eventually figured out the problem on his own.

Personally, I HATE the e-commerce / distance learning stuff. It’s dumb and boring and lame. One afternoon I’m standing in the aisle complaining about this when Roger takes me aside and explains that while the e-commerce stuff isn’t sexy, it’s actually an important revenue stream. Those business people might be boring and tedious to work with, but they have tons of money they’re willing to spend on this stuff. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to serve those aspiring game designers I love so much. The game designers are interesting people, but they’re broke as hell.

I slowly begin to realize why so few of my feature suggestions make it into The List™. I always argue for things in terms of how “cool” it will look and how intensely people want it, but I rarely make a business case for my ideas.

Crash Dot Com Part 6: The List™, TWENTY-SIDED

Business Lesson 101: You don’t make money by doing what you think is cool. You make money by giving other people what they actually want, whether what they want makes sense to you or not.

SSH Lesson: The more special and unique and technical you are, the less your opinions matter to everyone else. Unless asked, keep them to yourself.

PS: DM of the Rings is absolutely hilarious and the Remaster is worth re-reading.

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