The top player (seducer) is an extreme insider or an extreme outsider, but not average

The top players have a paradoxical quality: they’re often extreme insiders or extreme outsiders, rather than being average. Think about why: if you’re too insider, too consensus, you buy into “men and women are the same” and “men and women are totally and always equal” (regarding the latter, men and women have equality of opportunity, and in many ways women are favored today in business, education, and government, but equality of opportunity isn’t the same as equality of outcome). If you’re too insider, you buy too much into “the system is right,” when it frequently isn’t. You agree too much (women like it when guys break rapport intelligently). You think that “going to the best school” is smart, when what you think of as “the best school” is a marketing gimmick and will saddle you with $250,000 in student loans; something like self-teaching combined with Western Governors University is “too weird” for you, the insider, who only does what others suggest you do, and you are pathologically afraid of anything weird, anything slightly off the well-worn path in front of you. You think “the system will take care of you” when in fact the system will use you (think of all the divorced guys out there, paying alimony). You think past returns are indicative of future performance, when they may not be… property values cannot infinitely exceed GDP and wage growth, despite the fact that your fiancée wants you to buy her a house. If you’re too insider, you think chatting up strange women is “weird” and you’re afraid of rejection. You underperform in your sex life because you are too polite and scared. You think you are “polite” when you are actually scared.

If you’re too outsider, though, you have a different set of problems that will stymie you: you think the system is totally rigged and totally bullshit, so why try at all? (A good way to end up living in your parents’ basement or in a share house with four other loser guys). Rebel too hard and you won’t be able to find the better jobs, the more important skills, the most desirable mates (women do care about what you do, they care about whether you have a functional job and economic life). If you are too outsider, you won’t be able to effectively cooperate with other people, which you need to do to build larger social and company structures (in neolithic times, the best hunters work together to take down big game). If you’re too outsider, you don’t think you need friends, and you think pure cold approach is all you need, never mind its weaknesses. If you’re too outsider, you think you don’t care what anyone thinks, including potential clients, customers, or users. You don’t care about having friends, when in fact it’s almost impossible to accomplish anything substantive alone: you need friends, mentors, people to bounce ideas off of. The dirty guy living in the desert is not getting many women. The guy living a marginal existence because he can’t be bothered to work isn’t doing well with women. A lot of college is bullshit, true, but the technical degrees aren’t. And the parties, particularly the frat parties thrown by insiders, have much to recommend them.

A guy who’s interested in game is an outsider, in some senses: learning game and social dynamics is somehow seen as antisocial, a thing that weirdos need but “normal” guys don’t. A guy who’s too insider won’t be interested in these topics, perceiving them to be the domain of marginal weirdos (and the insider guy isn’t wholly wrong). Tom Torero is obsessed with the idea of black sheep and outlaw, calling himself a “black-sheep bandit…” in one of his memoirs he describes himself as a good boy growing up, doing well in school and going to Oxford and Cambridge; he needs a metamorphosis to transform himself into the bad boys he admired, the guys he thought were getting pussy when he wasn’t. As he moves deeper into middle age, though, that outsider frame seems to be working less and less well, and he takes the outsider frame too far, viewing himself as taking value but not giving it: girls are good at identifying and avoiding pure takers, grifters, and con men.

Neither pure insider or pure outsider is right, but average them together will get you to average outcomes, and average is over, especially in game terms. I’m “average” or maybe a standard deviation or 1.5 SDs above average in some ways, but in game terms I’ve managed to achieve at the extreme right tail (which isn’t a bell curve, I should add, because the left tail can’t go below zero but the right tail can go into the thousands, maybe even above 10,000). Instead, often, you want extremes: either far insider or far outsider.

Women respond to contrast: Corporate guy who is also in a band. Jiu jitsu guy who also volunteers in animal shelters (women are superficially compassionate and find the homeless gross, and people who work with the homeless contaminated… notice how some girls will go to chic “Black Lives Matter” protests, or post about it on their Instagram, but none of them volunteer at a low-income school, tutoring poor kids; they find actual poverty distasteful and, again, contaminating). Or, from a girl’s perspective, that guy’s a meathead, right, except he also has a math PhD, what’s that about? That guy seems like a fuckboy, but he is also planning to coparent, and he takes his nephews out most weekends? This other guy makes a lot of money but strongly believes in saving and investment, because he’s read THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR? Another guy is a teacher but also a player, and studying human psychology as he plans his next move in life, and studying to apply what he’s learned about human dynamics.

The guys I’m talking about in the paragraph above are full of layers and intriguing opposites, contained within the same guy. Something similar can apply to girls… the hot party girl who is also a deep reader. The seemingly nerdy girl who is a passionate swing dancer and into consensual non-monogamy. And so on. So there are guys with layers, but then think of guys who lack contrast: the boring corporate guy who tries to “make it” by paying his dues and has nothing to offer women apart from his salary; he watches sports games all weekend. The DJ who’s getting older and doesn’t have any path out of gigging. The cerebral intellectual who is either fat, or skeletal. The bodybuilder who can’t hold a conversation. Many of these guys are okay, but don’t intrigue women the way extreme contrast guys do. Their surface is… it. You can figure them out in an hour, maybe a few hours, and digging deeper yields little result. Higher-quality women will get bored quickly, and look for Mr. Contrast.

In some ways I’m thinking about myself… women are confused by me sometimes. “You like to read, but you also do sports/lifting?” “You like to fuck, but you also spend time with family?” I can think of other apparent opposites like that. They usually don’t phrase it exactly that way, or in the ways I’ve written about above, but I’m pretty sure that’s their underlying model. “x, but also y? Intriguing!”

And I also don’t do the classic male timewaster activities, video games and watching large strangers chase a ball around. That seems to go a surprisingly long way: many guys aren’t doing the fundamentals correctly, let alone anything advanced. Women are starved for quality men and quality male attention. They’ll admit as much, but not be able to articulate where the dearth comes from (often, their own lack of agency and effort leads them to perceive a shortage that doesn’t exist… a topic for another time, and a pointless one, because telling women to take responsibility for themselves doesn’t work). Men, meanwhile, afraid of the real world, retreat to video games in which they are always the victorious hero, sports in which someone else puts himself on the line so that the fat fan can live vicariously through him, or in pr0n in which the attractive woman is always willing and never says no. Truly a situation in which the player is needed, but simultaneously hated. Life and logic are full of paradoxical traps: perhaps consciousness evolved to help us navigate and exit paradoxes.

Some of the ideas above come from Peter Thiel, in ZERO TO ONE (one of the greatest books ever written), as so often happens with good ideas,

But that doesn’t capture the strangest thing about founders. Normally we expect opposite traits to be mutually exclusive: a normal person can’t be both rich and poor at the same time, for instance. But it happens all the time to founders: startup CEOs can be cash poor but millionaires on paper. They may oscillate between sullen jerkiness and appealing charisma. Almost all successful entrepreneurs are simultaneously insiders and outsiders. And when they do succeed, they attract both fame and infamy. When you plot them out, founders’ traits appear to follow an inverse normal distribution:

Extreme founder figures are not new in human affairs. Classical mythology is full of them. Oedipus is the paradigmatic insider/outsider: he was abandoned as an infant and ended up in a foreign land, but he was a brilliant king and smart enough to solve the riddle of the Sphinx. Romulus and Remus were born of royal blood and abandoned as orphans. When they discovered their pedigree, they decided to found a city. But they couldn’t agree on where to put it. When Remus crossed the boundary that Romulus had decided was the edge of Rome, Romulus killed him, declaring: “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall.” Law-maker and law-breaker, criminal outlaw and king who defined Rome, Romulus was a self-contradictory insider/outsider.

Normal people aren’t like Oedipus or Romulus. Whatever those individuals were actually like in life, the mythologized versions of them remember only the extremes. But why was it so important for archaic cultures to remember extraordinary people? The famous and infamous have always served as vessels for public sentiment: they’re praised amid prosperity and blamed for misfortune. Primitive societies faced one fundamental problem above all: they would be torn apart by conflict if they didn’t have a way to stop it. So whenever plagues, disasters, or violent rivalries threatened the peace, it was beneficial for the society to place the entire blame on a single person, someone everybody could agree on: a scapegoat. Who makes an effective scapegoat?

Like founders, scapegoats are extreme and contradictory figures. On the one hand, a scapegoat is necessarily weak; he is powerless to stop his own victimization. On the other hand, as the one who can defuse conflict by taking the blame, he is the most powerful member of the community. More recently, Bill Gates has shown how highly visible success can attract highly focused attacks. Gates embodied the founder archetype: he was simultaneously an awkward and nerdy college-dropout outsider and the world’s wealthiest insider. Did he choose his geeky eyeglasses strategically, to build up a distinctive persona? Or, in his incurable nerdiness, did his geek glasses choose him? It’s hard to know. But his dominance was undeniable: Microsoft’s Windows claimed a 90% share of the market for operating systems in 2000.

Extreme insider-outsiders are hard to pin down: they are x but also not-x. Today they are x, tomorrow they are not-x. They understand that the world demands flexibility but are also committed to particular ideas.

The world is full of paradox; that one can succeed by being an insider or an outsider seems like one. Game and social life teaches us to be two or more things, simultaneously, and by being able to inhabit that illogical space, we become greater than we can be otherwise. Thus, the inscrutable koanic sayings game guys pass among ourselves, or the way that we like slogans that are often incomplete to the point of being incorrect. As I’ve gotten rolling on this, it seems like each thought connects to others in my mind, like I’ve been studying and practicing my entire life to write this thing. The insider-outsider is the synthesis of many ideas, experiences, and trends.

It may seem like being an outsider is bad, for game, but women like some aspects of or elements of the outsider. The trickster archetype recurs throughout human history. Think of the recent movie, THE JOKER… THE JOKER speaks to us because all of us feel some elements of him in us (plus, women are always saying they want a man with a sense of humor: the joker must have one, right?). Hollywood is extremely left wing, and pushing a left-wing agenda, but Hollywood often inadvertently taps into mythic elements of the human experience, to produce something that transcends typical political categories. Joker-trickster archetypes are important because even extreme insiders see elements of bullshit in the world: we need some amount of “bullshit” or social and economic convention in order to exist with other people and get things done. Bullshit lubricates; guys who fancy themselves fearless truth tellers are often in reality annoying bores (one of many reasons “red pill” fanatics fail in their evangelism).

To tell the truth, one often first needs conventional social status and capital… unless you are Jesus and will build it from the outside and bottom: the hard way. Social norms are the protocols that allow people to pursue their goals and get their needs met, which almost always necessitate cooperation; they’re the TCP/IP of the human world. Yet if we follow them too assiduously, we get bored (you will never cold approach a woman if you marinate in social norms, leaving her bored and understimulated and reliant on big tech dating apps, and you relying on Internet pr0n and those same dating apps, which are mining your data and your Bitcoin wallet).

The Joker, as a person and concept, punctures that world; in his standalone film, he’s the guy who starts off a niceguy, one word, following the rules and getting nothing for it. Then he transforms into the monster and receives extreme attention. Murder is bad, yet many infamous murderers have groupies and get more unsolicited female attention than the average productive engineer, a dynamic no one in the media ecosystem can address. Why is the murderer (the ultimate outsider) getting more attention than the average engineer, who is productive in the building of society? Only pseudonymous writers can explore that, because the media is afraid of the question and the answers. I’m not advocating murder, but something in the Joker speaks to all of us, including women, and we need to acknowledge the Jungian shadow, or joker, which exists in us all. Women also respond to the call of the void; that’s why they impale themselves, unprotected, on degenerate musicians who can stir the animal within them, handling the animal that emerges.

The Joker realizes that the egalitarian impulse is a lie meant to keep guys like him down. He responds violently. Wrongly, but one can see where he’s coming from; that mix of right/wrong is what makes a movie, or any work of art, interesting. Women are often attracted to the fighter who directs his destructive energies outward, away from her, leaving her protected and aroused in his shadow.

How much of the Joker do we want to incorporate? “All” is the wrong answer, but so is none. The trickster archetype persists through history because he (he is almost always “he:” women are more inclined on average to follow the herd, even though average is over) is needed to refresh, change, and alter society. At the same time, the trickster’s message is often hated: he’s put to death if he says the wrong thing, observes the wrong social truth. Today, death is less often literal and more often figurative and social: “cancellation” is one term for modern social death. Online predators are eager to cancel guys who write about the game, male-female dynamics, female sexuality, and the truth about feminism: many of the guys writing on these subjects are also fools… most outsiders are wrong, consensus is usually right. To win big you have to go against the consensus and be right (Bitcoin, buying Amazon stock back when).

Most guys learn just enough “game” or sexual strategy to do all right, or below average. Seduction as a practice and set of ideas was developed overwhelmingly by outsider guys talking to each other online… and outsider guys still seem to be the overwhelming majority of writers and speakers on these topics. A lot of guys hew to the “insider” practices and narratives (“get a job” “be nice to girls” “be a gentleman” “do well in school”)… until the guys realize that those things don’t really and fully work. It’s not that getting a job or doing well in school are bad, it’s that chicks mostly don’t care about them. Chicks care about the worlds of feelings and emotion. Most guys don’t learn to elicit either (drugs like MDMA, used correctly, can be powerful because of their ability to heighten emotions and emotional feelings… psychedelic drugs are still very outsider right now, despite movements to legalize them). The system works well enough for most guys, until a guy realizes he’s underperforming or that other guys are doing better than him. Often, a breakup or divorce is the signal, but it can be something else, too, that triggers him to realize, “Wait a sec, things aren’t as they appear.”

In THE GAME, Neil Strauss presents himself as an outsider: but in truth, he’s also a celebrity journalist, familiar with Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, Mötley Crüe, and others. He’s not just asking girls, “Who lies more, girls or guys?” He’s saying, “Oh yeah, when I was talking with Britney about getting together this weekend…” One of those is going to have a higher hit rate than the other. I’m not denigrating Strauss or saying he doesn’t have game or saying that he doesn’t have some outsider qualities.

A guy who masters himself and the game can reap a cornucopia of sexual fruits available in the past only to the greatest emperors and conquerors. Most guys never realize this path is available, and, of those who do, most turn from it or are turned from it. Only a few can traverse the rainless plain, scale the high mountains, endure the bitter cold, persevere through the wind and lightning… to reach the valley of plenty. Most of us are too average, and, if we become not-average, we cling too much to being insiders or outsiders, when doing both is the way. Purity is folly. To deny any value of association with institutions, and the power that can flow from them, is foolish; to be captured by them is equally foolish. The university can yield a cornucopia of knowledge for a modest outlay, or it can waste years of your life and leave you with no skills. Which is it? Both, and neither. To quit the game that women construct is to renounce the sweetest pleasures, and to cut off the future that comes from having children. No man is an island, few can survive in the wild alone, and none can thrive or reproduce there. We are group creatures, social animals, constantly conceiving and generating and executing narratives meant to steer the group and the social reality of the group. Many of the dominant narratives about men and women are wrong, but they persist, serving the purposes of some. A man needs to seek outside the dominant narrative. For him to maximally succeed, and to find the valley of plenty, he must search outside the dominant narrative. Most men’s attention has been captured by video games and other video media to think and act, and he is too engrossed to create a map of his own rather than follow the one given to him by society… which means more women for the rest of us. Become a map maker. Master yourself, or be mastered by others.

Author: The Red Quest

How can we live and be in society?

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