Asian guys, dating, the game, and embracing the struggle

I’ve met Asians guy who f**k lots of girls, of any and all races, and they have a few things in common: they lift or are at least fit, they’ve got good fashion/style, they have good interpersonal skills, they’re not afraid to approach chicks (or they conquer their approach fear)… there are probably a couple other things they commonly do that don’t come to mind right away, but, if you look at that list, you’ll notice that none of it is specific to Asian guys. It’s what guys who’re good at sleeping with lots of girls do. The topic is on my mind cause I’ve talked to Asian guys who’re learning the game, and at the start of their journeys, they often think they have some special stigma around being Asian, when most often they don’t: what they have is weak game, and, like any guys who do poorly with chicks, they have to learn good game, if they want to wildly succeed. And wild success is extremely possible for Asian guys. The topic arises cause of this extremely lame, but slightly interesting, article, “Men’s Rights Asians” Think This Is Their Moment. Asians have men’s rights activists?  I hesitate to call it an “article” cause the writer spent a few hours on Reddit and then boom! calls it research, but that’s what passes for journalism today. Journalists are too lazy to leave their couches.

The article says that there are Asian race traitors who’ve joined the anti-Asian social-justice warrior movement… and that is true. But the article also gives examples of loser brigading Asian guys who’d be better off sharpening their game than harassing randoms on the Internet. A lot of these guys are very interested in what Asian chicks do… “The posts are dotted with contemptuous mentions of WMAF: white male–Asian female relationships. Bananarang refers derisively to an Asian woman who’s previously dated white men but is currently seeking a relationship with an Asian man. PAA, or ‘progressive Asian activist,’ is a pejorative term similar to ‘social justice warrior’ for Asians who ascribe to liberal, feminist values.” Okay, some of these are pretty funny, and I hope to one day accuse a hot Asian chick of being a bananarang. I personally don’t care much what Asian or white or Hispanic chicks are doing unless they’re hot and bending over in front of me… it’s most helpful for guys to focus on improving themselves, not worrying about what everyone else is doing. Asian chicks are chicks, doing chick things and having chick desires. The vital question is, what is any given guy doing to fulfill those desires? Whining about being Asian on the Internet isn’t going to make a guy into a superior player.

In my view, guys who want to f**k more and hotter girls have more in common with one another, regardless of race, than we do with chicks, regardless of race. I believe this qualifies me as an “intersectional feminist.” Chicks are going to want to f**k who they want to f**k… for chicks, telling guys not to prefer big boobs, a high tight ass, smooth supple skin, solid shaving/grooming, etc., is a loser’s game. Guys aren’t going to change our preference in response to chicks telling us we should. Tell a guy he should prefer older, heavier chicks and he might nod along… but he’s still going to seek the hotter chicks. The other way around is also true, telling Asian chicks they should prefer Asian men cause of some kind of race solidarity or whatever isn’t going to work. Chicks like hot, just like guys do, although the average preferences of chicks and guys differ.

If there’s anything Asian-specific to customize in the game for Asian guys, it might be to be a little more aggressive in pursuing girls, to counteract the stereotype of Asian guys as being overly passive. Apart from that, though, the way Asian guys do well in the game is pretty much the same as the way guys in general do well at the game. The challenge seems to be that Asian immigrant parents prioritize scholastic achievement over everything else, driving their kids from an early age to ace school tests. All else being equal chicks prefer “smarter” guys, but chicks really really prefer hot guys who make them tingle. An Asian guy who doesn’t start optimize for generating tingles and flirting until college or later is going to be behind a typical white, black, or Hispanic guy’s stage of social development for a given age, if he’s had that sort of parent. This level of being behind doesn’t apply nearly as much to Asian girls, though, because guys will begin hitting on Asian girls whenever the girls reach maturity. By the time a cute Asian girl is 20, she’s likely had dozens or hundreds of more aggressive guys hitting on her. An Asian guy may have to develop those flirting skills, that other guys learn from older guys or from locker rooms and such.

Life course makes a difference, but regardless of a guy’s age when he learns about the game and how to systematically practice and master it, what’s the alternative? He can’t go back in time and make himself start learning the game when he was in middle school. There are Asian guys who grew up with academically obsessed parents who learned the game later on. Go find those guys and learn from them. Much game knowledge is free, online. Learn it, practice it, tell others what you’ve found. Some Asian guys appear to have mental barriers to success. I don’t know how to overcome those, but I do know that lifting heavy, practicing jiu-jitsu, opening one’s self emotionally with psychedelics, developing positive mindset, and similar strategies are important. Learning to understand and forgive one’s parents is important too.

Many stories about heroes overcoming adversity entail physical and mental training, often together… an Asian guy with mental blockages between him and tight p***y may have to undergo those trials. There is no easy way: there is only the hard way. Maybe there’s an analogue here to what some black people think, if they internalize the message that blacks are dumb or violent or whatever. Coddling, though, doesn’t work. One reason the military successfully makes many boys into men is that, whatever the flaws of service may be, coddling isn’t one. Time on reddit complaining about racism against Asians isn’t going to get any guy p***y. Maybe some of these Asian sites and reddits about resentment can ensnare Asians with anger… but to advance, it’s necessary to move past anger and into action. Being mired in anger is like being a mammoth stuck in a tar pit.

Will you be the guy changing the media dynamic by uploading your homemade Asian male, white female pr0n? Or will you be the guy jerking it to someone else’s material? I could be an Asian guy: you don’t know. I am no one, but the voice in your mind, whispering about how to better f**k more and hotter chicks. Will you listen?

Did this random stock photo make you click on the post?
This image is completely gratuitous, but it’s been claimed that posting pics of attractive women increases the number of people who read the article, so here one is, let’s see if it works.

Game and group sex are many things, but boring isn’t among them

Game and group sex, conceived of as hobbies, are rarely (and arguably never) boring. The spikes and crashes are very affecting, creating a lot of turmoil as one succeeds beautifully but also fails hideously. The subject comes up because of:

Marc Andreessen: I think people forget how boring things were before the internet. People really like to be into things. People like to have thing, something that isn’t just like go to work, come home, go to work the next day, change the baby’s diaper today, change the baby’s diaper tomorrow… people like to have a thing.

If you go back thousands of years the thing was the gods, the tribe, the family, whatever cult you were in. If you progress through to the last 2000 years people got super into the big religions, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and so forth. The rise of mass media, they got super into movies, media, and then some fringe political movements and actual cults. People got super into Scientology. But they were kind of these big movements, and a lot of other people were in them. It was never that distinctive or original to be Catholic or something. It was a marker of identity but it wasn’t a marker of uniqueness in the way that modern man looks for.

There used to be a term for activities that people would do to pass the time before the internet. The term has almost completely died and the term is “hobby.” People used to have hobbies. When I was a kid it was like “what do you do when you get home from work or school, you have a hobby.” And if you remember what hobbies were when I was a kid, it was like stamp and coin collecting. [laughs] It was like ham radio, wood-working. Maybe there were a few people who were into wood-working or stamp collecting and after the first couple months, it’s like “ok it’s just a bunch of stamps in a book, this is boring, onto the next thing.”

The internet has just killed hobbies. They’re dead, all gone, the concept doesn’t even exist. It’s funny, the concept of having a hobby died at the same time as the concept of “going online” was introduced, which is a phrase you heard constantly from 1994-2005. You would get home at night and you would go online. The big internet company in the 1990s was actually America Online; this was a big deal, Americans could go online. And starting in the mid-2000s Americans stopped going online because we’re now online all the time. The idea of not being online now is a weird thing.

Hobbies died when everybody went online. So what replaced hobbies? And to your point, what replaced hobbies was basically internet movements. The benign way to put it would be internet communities, the somewhat more intense way to put it would be internet cults, right? Now what are people into? They’re not into stamp or coin collecting. They’re into socialism online or MAGA or QAnon, or the Trump Russia conspiracy or bitcoin or Elon…

Richard: That sounds awful! [laughing] Compared to socialism or MAGA or QAnon or wokeness and Russiagate, stamp collecting sounds like an improvement!?

Marc: Yeah yeah yeah! But I’d say literally that’s what’s happening. You could paint a picture of that and say these are destructive things and everybody is crazy and all that stuff. You could also say it’s not boring! Things were pretty boring, things were pretty dull. And actually, this would be a right-wing argument. One of the right-wing arguments is that man is simply not meant to be an atomized economic function. Man is not optimized to literally be like a drone, just drifting along the waves of history and to not have a principled position on where he should stand, and not have a sense of identity on something greater than himself, a connection to community and society and all these things.

Having been in longer relationships with women, the longer and deeper relationships can feel stable and comforting, but they’re often boring, too. That’s why chicks are constantly hassling their boyfriends for expensive, out-of-country vacations, because the chick is bored and needs entertainment (which chicks derive almost exclusively from men).

Game is rarely boring though it can be alienating… alienating, because it can facilitate many short-term, shallow relationships, and those come at the expense of long-term relationships. For almost all of human history, virtually all relationships were long term… it should not surprise us that a sudden change to numerous, short-term, successive relationships is jarring to our psychology. In my own life I’ve been in long-term relationships and felt the call of the wild. 

Consensual non-monogamy, which is a primary topic of the work you are reading now, tries to be both exciting (new sex partners!) but also grounding (you can have new sex partners while having a primary relationship)… so, you can do some relationship building and some stranger-sex having. This ties into the Internet because “online” of course organizes and facilitates game and non-monogamy: game, in something like its modern form, comes about from guys networking online to trade ideas about how to seduce and f**k chicks. Non-monogamy has gotten more popular because people interested in having intense sex experiences can now find one another, which wasn’t practical pre-Internet. Strangers can go on dates, and a bunch of strangers can converge on a spot for meetups and sex. The Internet facilitates niche interests and communities: it helps people become more extreme, by letting us create mutual reinforcement loops. Whether this is “good” or “bad” probably depends on the community and topic… but it does mean that things like game and group sex can happen.

I disagree with Marc A. in that internet movements didn’t replace hobbies for most people: instead, most people are passively scrolling social media. Maybe that is “the” hobby, but I think of hobbies as being active. It’s easier than ever to learn how to lift weights, but the average person is fatter than ever. Information about how to get laid is easier to acquire than ever but most guys don’t seem to care, preferring, it seems, pr0n and video games, letting the machine become a substitute for the real. The social media thing is so bad that I developed bits about how Instagram is lame, and I’ll use those bits on dates, and the girls will usually agree, and some will even agree that they should stop… but they often say they “can’t.” Sex parties forbid cell phone use, which give them a very “in the moment” feel compared to most of what passes for social life today, in which people are maybe 30% in the moment and 70% waiting for something to happen on their phones. Seriously, talk to girls about what their phones are like, and if you’re close to the girl, you’ll see that she gets like 10 notifications per minute… she is incapable of thinking about anything for more than a few minutes without her phone going off. On some level she knows that’s bad, but she mostly won’t stop herself. And, if she’s hot, she doesn’t need to.

It could be that, before the Internet, a lot of people had sex for lack of anything else to do. Now it’s a more affirmative choice, so there’s less of it, because we can watch other people get laid on Netflix instead. A lot of people choose boring.

Action matters, yet we’ve lost the habit of action. The problem today is almost never a shortage of access or information. We are most often our own worst enemy. 

Compassion and empathy for chicks

A guy on Reddit says to me, “I just want to say thank you. You helped me,” but I was a little confused… how’d I help him? I asked, he says “A lot of the prominent voices in this community seem to be motivated by hate, but I don’t get that at all from your blog. It showed me that there is an intelligent way to approach the goals I have.”

I also read The Evolution of Desire because you had mentioned it, and that book is pretty illuminating. Its easier not to get stuck in anger when I at least understand what is going on.

Evolutionary biology is key to understanding human sexual dynamic fundamentals… evolutionary biology is the difference between trying to calculate the area under a curve with calculus versus without. Calculus is the difference between the modern world and everyone living in sod huts and being covered wit shit, and there is no substitute for fundamental understanding (a common theme around here).

Read evolutionary biology and spend a lot of time with chicks, and a normal guy will develop/have some compassion and empathy for them. Chicks have their own problems, many imposed by their evolutionary path. The male path is simple, “hot chick -> want to fuck -> try to fuck.” More & hotter are better. Men who didn’t pass up sex opportunities with fertile chicks left more children than those who did.

Continue reading “Compassion and empathy for chicks”

The Internet fantasy bubble: the gap between the responsible and the spectators

The Internet lets people indulge in wild fantasy, and Twitter is more like World of Warcraft than is commonly assumed: this effect might also be more pronounced in “smart” people than dumb ones. Being smart, or high IQ, isn’t a shield from this effect either, and if anything it may make you more susceptible to these effects. Being rich also insulates a person from the effects of excessive fantasy: the richer we are, the more we seem able to indulge fantasy, because our base human needs are met.

To be good with women, you should be able to suspend disbelief and create an alternate reality, for women to step into, but that skill can be dangerous in regular life. Or useful. Along with suspending disbelief, rock-solid frame helps a lot with women, and thus the emphasis on bringing the woman into your world and worldview. Some guys seem to forget that that frame is a creation, and they carry it through on everything, even when it’s not correct.

Continue reading “The Internet fantasy bubble: the gap between the responsible and the spectators”

How to build communities and find tribe

XBTUSD shines a light in the darkness of the cave, revealing what guys are missing as the scramble around in the dark, cutting their hands and mistaking pain for enlightenment.

Most sex happens in a highly social context, and most “highly social contexts” involve some kind of community—yet no one writing online talks about communities, how they form, what sustains them, how they splinter, or what value they have.

Let’s take a simple example: when I was an undergrad, I joined a fraternity. My path to joining wasn’t certain, and I didn’t plan to join until the week the decision had to be made. Initially, I saw fraternities as a way for people without social skills to “buy” a group of friends: frats had dues, and if you paid, you had a guaranteed set of dudes to get drunk and try and fuck girls with. I was lucky enough to live in mixed-age housing my freshman year and became friends with one of the BMOC (“big man on campus”) seniors who lived in my dorm. He was in one of the “cool” frats (one of the ones hot girls spent time at), and over a number of conversations he convinced me that I had it all wrong, and that I should just join, as there was little downside. He correctly pointed out the downside of joining was that if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to spend any time there, or could de-pledge if I felt strongly enough. I’d lose the frat dues, which weren’t zero, but that wasn’t a great loss for me at the time. I decided to join and a lot of what I know about community comes from that experience. Most Americans live alienated, isolated lives, and frats are the exact opposite, which explains why so many guys have a great time in school and an unhappy time after. Continue reading “How to build communities and find tribe”

My perspective on investing and financial security is super vanilla

A reader asks my thoughts on financial matters,

Hi RQ. With the GME short squeeze/bubble (whichever term you prefer) making headlines, it made me curious what your perspective is on investing and financial security. Obviously one of the best ways to improve your finances is to not get married, something you have espoused all the time, but I would love to read a whole post about the subject.

Don’t have a unique view or expertise here… a lot of finance advice is pretty wasteful because there are only really two or three ways to really achieve financial freedom:

  1. Spend less.
  2. Earn more.
  3. Invest in assets that earn more than inflation.

That’s it. Numbers 1 and 2 are both hard (if they were easy, we wouldn’t have a $10 billion finance industry trying to sell us on ways to do them).

Re: #1, I rely on Mr Money Mustache for ideas, so start there… he has a nice philosophy too, where he says, “What are you really on this planet to do?” Money is usually a way to achieve other goals, e.g. make friends, create things, etc. The advertising industry is there to convince you the way to have a better human existence is to buy shit (hint: it’s not).

Re: #2, that’s good as well, and you should develop valuable skills, but many high performers spend whatever they make, cause the hedonic treadmill is real, and it’s also not easy to make a lot of money, in most cases (if it were, more guys would do it). A lot of guys who focus on making a lot of money forget why they want to (to live a better life). I’ve not maximized earnings in my life, and have spent more of it than I should have living on the edge, partially due to some choices that, from a finance perspective, haven’t always been the best. Okay and worth it, but I’ve taken a lot of risks with sex.

Re: #3, see John Bogle’s books on index funds. See A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and other finance classics that extol index funds. Efficient markets hypothesis is mostly correct and most people don’t beat the market, sorry. The math behind lower fees and dollar cost averaging is sound, unless you are RenTech or someone like that (extremely rare).
Continue reading “My perspective on investing and financial security is super vanilla”

Roasted at Thanksgiving this year, and the legend of Ms. Slav

At Thanksgiving this year I got roasted… hot young Ms. Slav was the main topic of conversation… even though she wasn’t there and I’ve not seen her in a while, and none of the participants were present for her presence at Thanksgiving two years ago. Word gets around, and a jealous relative brought her up early by saying, “Whatever happened to your girlfriend Ms. Slav anyway?” From there, others took up the theme, and I think extensive snide commentary and questions about her were an attack on my current arrangement, and haters love revenge.

If you f**k with the social order of things, the social order of things will f**k with you back. Women hate seeing older guys with hot young chicks, not just because the older guy is unavailable but because seeing an older guy with a hot young chick will give other guys ideas, which is far worse than the one weird outlier guy who gets the girl every other guy wants. Guys hate seeing older guys with hot young chicks because the other guy is envious. Not all guys… some guys are past bullshit envy and will be genuinely happy for another guy getting one over on society and knobbing a tight young girl… but the majority want to be the hammer pounding the nail that sticks out.

For most guys I think Thanksgiving, yesterday, would’ve been uncomfortable… for me it was a bit annoying to see the social order fighting back, with the representatives of the social order behaving like zombies, not even realizing who or what is pulling their strings… but it is what it is, and I knew that I was pulling a social ret**rd move by bringing Ms. Slav into that part of my life. I should’ve “accidentally” put some pics of me f**king her on my phone and then “accidentally” had them on the screen, when I was supposed to be showing cute dog or apartment pics. If you want to be a player, some bad things will come from it, and it seems to me that most guys who’ve truly been players and written about it don’t emphasize the bad parts. It can be lonely, and it can be alienating, and it can cause intense envy and jealousy. Older women are jealous they’re not young and hot any more; guys are jealous that you’re going to take home a hot slut and they’re going to take home no one, or their heavy wife who doesn’t like them any more anyway. Few women love men more than sugar. Few women love men more than sloth.

Continue reading “Roasted at Thanksgiving this year, and the legend of Ms. Slav”

There’s no money in it

The coronavirus world must be creating desperation because multiple guys have, independently, been asking why I don’t sell the book or hawk coaching, and I think the subtext is, they’re thinking about giving one or both a go. I’m not opposed to other guys doing either, but from what I can tell almost no one is making money from books or coaching, and in my view most guys are better off going to coding school or learning a skilled trade, depending on their underlying IQ, because those are the fields where the money is… go where the money is, not where it isn’t. If you doubt being a skilled tradesman has some money involved, call a plumber or electrician, or a general contractor, and get some bids/estimates.

Compared to a real job, I don’t think I can make real money selling books, and I’m not convinced any one is making real money at game coaching. Maybe Tom Torero and/or Krauser did at one point, or do, but Krauser in particular has written exceptional material. For me, sex clubs + game is niche within niche… they’re both niche… and don’t have, from what I can see, a larger addressable market… I also think most guys don’t (really, actually) care much about getting laid. If they did, their lives would be different. At any given moment, a tiny number of guys are really improving their lives and getting laid… the rest are watching TV, playing video games, on social media (with nothing to show cause their lives are boring), etc. etc. Me trying to make money from the book, or from a memoir (I appreciate the encouragement, don’t get me wrong), is like a young girl thinking she can make real money in pr0n. She probably can’t, though she can go through the industry wringer for a couple months, and in the process destroy her real-world reputation. Smart girls, meanwhile, are becoming nurses or teachers. Maybe it makes sense for a pretty girl to do some light escorting while she’s becoming a nurse or teacher… that’s deniable later on.

There are a number of career/finance posts scattered amid the moral carnage of this blog, like Don’t end the week with nothing, and I’ll offer that advice when I see it, but the best advice is almost always hard to implement and takes many years to pay off. Continue reading “There’s no money in it”

What does “quality girl” mean?

Online, there is endless discussion of how to seek out and identify “quality” girls, whatever that means… “quality” in a girl is tricky, since most girls, like men, have some good and some bad points. A lot of guys who think they want “quality,” who say they want “quality,” really want to convert a hot sexually adventurous slut into a housewife (rarely works well, but give it a go if you like… please don’t come whining to the Internet if it doesn’t). If you go for girls who are -1 or -2 relative to you in sexual market value (SMV), you can probably get a girl who will invest heavily in you… if she’s not that hot, though, you won’t want her, and you won’t care about how she returns your texts promptly and does other “nice” girl things. A lot of guys “want” a girl who is hot, a sex fiend (for him and him alone), absurdly loyal (perhaps not demanding fidelity in return), mentally stable, has an even-keeled personality, and perhaps has other desirable traits too. Girls who combine all those qualities in a single slender body are not that common… and they tend to have a lot of suitors to choose from. Supply and demand, mate. A guy who wants all those things is the male equivalent of women who want a guy who is over six feet tall, makes a lot of $$$, has good social skills, prioritizes her and her attention needs, etc. etc. These guys too exist, but in small numbers, and they tend to have lots of options, which they often like to exercise, vigorously and horizontally.

Sometimes vertically, too, for the sake of variety.

A lot of girls aren’t honest about what they really want… superficially they say they want a “relationship” (with a top guy, which is unstated), but in reality their behaviors indicate they want to get f**ked a lot (by a hot guy, or when they’re horny). “I got drunk and it just ‘happened'” is not the statement of a girl who really wants a relationship. Thing is… a lot of guys aren’t honest either. A lot of guys aren’t truly working to improve themselves, and their results are consistent with that. I tweeted a while ago, “most guys don’t really care that much about getting laid.” If they do care about getting laid, they’ll quit video games, prioritize the gym, eat no sugar, and do the other things common to guys who get laid, as opposed to guys who don’t, or guys who say they want to but don’t align their behavior with that stated want. Continue reading “What does “quality girl” mean?”

Why you can’t trust drug claims, and what that says about the ability to trust in general

This is an even nerdier piece than usual, and it’s fundamentally about trust, verification, and science… try reading the Peaches saga for something fun, sexy, and actionable…

Game is an open field: it has few definite answers and doing it poorly has few short-term consequences. Drug development is different: it has more definite answers, although the answers happen amid a lot of noise, and has many important short and long-term consequences. Politics is closer to game than to drug development, but it’s not a perfect overlap, since failing or succeeding at game has a strong impact on a given individual… while most political opinions are meant to signal tribal allegiance, and being wrong has little impact on the individual. In the last three+ months there have been lots of dumb claims about how hydroxychloroquine “obviously” works.. and yet we’re still looking for that evidence, which seems less and less likely to exist. The more interesting preliminary commentary was out there, best summed by Derek Lowe… April 6, March 31, April 16… no bullshit and written by someone who knows a lot about drug development… his comments about preliminary studies with small sample sizes are accurate… the early studies showed that hydroxychloroquine didn’t seem to badly hurt anyone (good), but we have law of small numbers problems. The smaller the sample size, the easier it is to find a significant effect through chance. An early and bogus French study was done by a guy who is, to put it uncharitably, frequently full of shit. Yet a lot of guys writing in the game / red pill / right wing worlds went for him. Why?

Those guys often don’t know anything about the field and, in addition, they don’t know what they don’t know. Lots of drugs look promising in vitro or in murine/ferret/etc. models, then fail in humans. Evaluating data from coronavirus is tricky, because most people do recover. It’s possible to give 20 patients the drug and then see most of them recover, because they were at the stage in the disease where they were poised for recovery anyway. These kinds of problems are how and why double-blind trials showed up in the first place, to distinguish cause from effect. These are also the kinds of problems that lead many people to falsely believe in all kinds of cures for colds and flus that were on the verge of clearing up anyway. By now, we know that a large and real trial from the UK with 11,000 patients found no benefit to hydroxychloroquine. France has also suspended trials like this one. A trial of 821 patients didn’t show hydroxychloroquine acts as a prophylactic. Yes, there was a study published in Lancet that was withdrawn due to phony data: but other data is consistent with the “no benefit” hypothesis. In other words, the guys you read on Twitter proclaiming that hydroxychloroquine is an easy win were all wrong, and they were wrong in predictable ways.

A little knowledge is dangerous and most of the people on Twitter know zero about statistics or the history of drug development… they make the same mistakes homeopathy people do. Their conspiratorial mindset flares up. They have no skin in the game: they’ve heard of Nassim Taleb but failed to internalize his lessons. If their recommendations turn out to be correct, they announce how right they were. If their recommendations turn out to be false, they say nothing, or cite the one “maybe” weasel word they used, somewhere. If you can’t trust them on something that has known correct answers, how can you trust them on things that don’t?

Meanwhile, people with skin in the game know that most drugs fail. Twitter has its uses but taking drug recommendations from it is nuts. Then there are Twitter exchanges like this one:

Stedman may know something about men and women (a field with limited opportunities for falsification… he’s also posted some goofy shit like this), but he doesn’t know shit about complex systems or about drugs, and he too doesn’t know it. He doesn’t want to learn, either. People have been trying to get Vitamin C to do something for decades (seriously, Linus Pauling initially made up the idea that vitamin C helps the immune system). Chaga is fine but it’s also been relentlessly studied. He’s a sort of Gweneth Paltrow and Goop for the red pill set: mostly harmless but also overconfident and making unbacked medical claims, relying on the ignorance of his followers. But if he’s wrong about something that can be falsified… what else is he wrong about? He’s also a conspiracy theory guy. And he has a large enough platform that he should try harder not to mislead his readers.

On Twitter, the ignorant are often loud and the most knowledgable often quiet. The ignorant have nothing at stake. Sometimes they are right, too, which is gratifying, when it happens. But what general lessons should we draw?

People are susceptible to showmen. Arguably the game is about becoming a better showman (Mystery was literally a showman: a magician). But the natural world doesn’t care about the show, like the human world does. It’s very reality-based. When dealing with women, some men fail to realize that the show can be more important than the reality, under current social and cultural conditions. When dealing with the human body as a system, the show doesn’t matter… the reality does.

There is a problem, I forget the formal name of it, in which people who have expertise or intelligence in one field, think they know all fields. Their knowledge or expertise doesn’t transfer, though. It’s limited. That’s one way people who are otherwise smart, make stupid mistakes. Stedman doesn’t even realize that what he’s pitching has a long history… he’s making a common mistake but doesn’t know it, and, when I pointed out that he’s wrong, he ignored and muted me. Fine. In terms of the drug world, politics makes people stupid and, oddly, people who know that then accuse others of it, not realizing that they themselves are subject to the challenge.

Meanwhile, here is yet one more piece, an older one, about HCQ not working in late-stage patients, which matches doctors’s anecdotal evidence. That HCQ wasn’t working well in moderate and severe cases became apparent by late March/early April, yet we still saw many on Twitter touting its efficacy… how many docs are writing to game, red pill, or far-right twitter… probably not a lot.

There is an interesting question in why otherwise smart people fall for myths, conspiracy theories, etc. I don’t think the whole answer is there, at the link, and I don’t have a full answer, but self-deception seems to be super common. Stedman falls for it. So do many others.

A gear switch. In game: it’s very tempting to lie to yourself first, but guys do well if they do one of two things: lie to themselves to the point of incredible, delusional confidence (“frame” if you prefer that term), OR be relentlessly honest with themselves about their strengths and especially weaknesses. The human propensity to lie to ourselves seems strong, and in medicine this seems like a particularly powerful tendency. We like to see patterns in randomness. Small parts of humanity have spent the last few centuries trying to learn how not to lie to ourselves. The internet does lots of good things, but it also allows the ignorant to be amplify their ignorance, without realizing their own ignorance.

One logical counter is to say, “Experts have their own problems,” and that’s completely true: but experts being wrong is notable and intersting, while non-experts being wrong is the norm, and many of them don’t even know what they don’t know.

It’s possible that the thousands of people wrongly amplifying their messages will learn something from this… but more likely they won’t. We have centuries of knowledge about how to test drugs already, and one more example of being wrong probably won’t convince anyone, anymore than the homeopathic holdouts can be convinced. Ignorance is the human condition, knowledge the exception. Game is one kind of knowledge, but it’s an imprecise kind. You can be great at game, or a great showman, and know nothing about scientific or technical fields.

There are problems with how to test drugs and other health treatments in the United States… but the noisiest people haven’t been repeating them, mostly. Their knowledge level doesn’t extend that far, and something closer to the truth, doesn’t make it to tweets.

We probably won’t learn much from the hydroxychloroquine debacle, since the people falling for it mostly aren’t or weren’t doctors prescribing medications. Everything I wrote above about statistics and drug development is well-known to people who work in drug development or have learned about drug development and how it works. Everything I wrote above about those topics will probably never be known to people with no skin in the game, no knowledge of statistics, and no downside to being wrong. They were wrong yesterday and will be confidently wrong about something else tomorrow.

Knowing what is really true is hard, which is why it took humans so long to build the civilization we have today. Most of our existence has been spent in superstitious blather. That tradition continues in homeopathy, anti-vaxers, and Twitter.

Most people who think they have secret knowledge are deluding themselves.

In some fields, there is a definitively right answer and a definitively wrong answer. When guys wander into these fields and say things that are likely wrong, or at least unwise, there is a tendency, maybe unfair, to denigrate their knowledge in all other fields.

It’s good to know when you’re part of a show and when you’re part of the study of reality… and a lot of guys online don’t distinguish between the two. Trusting noisy Twitter has its dangers.

Update, January 2021, see The most stridently asserted opinions will disappear down the memory hole