Monday, August 10, 2015

The Maps in Our Heads Are Not Reality

There is a philosophical (and psychological, too, for matter) problem known as "concepts and their referents." To what extent do the concepts in our heads refer to reality?

It based on the observation, thousands of years old, that what we think is not the same as reality.

In other words, "the map is not the terrain." What we think - the models (or maps) in our head - is not the same as what is outside our heads.

Unfortunately, some people are confused in thinking their ideas are reality itself. They're not. They're just models we use to explain things.

The better and more useful our concepts are in explaining reality, the closer they are to reality. But they are never reality itself.

To think your ideas about reality is reality is the same thing as someone thinking their ideas about God...is God.

Imagine if your model of reality was that you could jump out of a plane without a parachute and survive...that's a very bad map (the concept "jumping out a plane without a parachute" refers in reality to "getting killed" and not "floating like a soap bubble").

Look at the number of wars about religion and political beliefs...who knows how many deaths and how much destruction, all about differing ideas in people's heads. Which, of course, they are convinced are the absolute truth.

To me this is just common sense that our beliefs are not reality...but to many people it's not.

The Manosphere has certain ideas about Alpha/Beta/Gamma/"Game"/"hypergamy"/Whatever.

These ideas are not reality. They're theories used to describe it.

The Manosphere's concepts are dangerous ideas (bad ideas masquerading as good ones), and only the young and inexperienced think they're good ideas, and so will rationalize and defend them with every excuse they've can think of (mostly they're ad hominem attacks).

For example, the Manosphere's concept of an "alpha" actually refers to a narcissist/psychopath, none of whom have much a conscience (sometimes none at all) and are manipulators incapable of love. And their defining characteristic is envy.

Is that a good map? No.

Throughout history an "alpha" (a word never used) was a man who got married and stayed married, who was the head of his family, and whose wife willingly submitted to him, realizing he was more rational than she was. And he was confident, competent, just, prudent and temperate - the Four Cardinal Virtues, which are thousands of years old.

As for "Game," I've only seen it work on drunken sluts or extremely promiscuous women. I've never seen it work on a decent woman, who are repelled by it. So you can make the argument that the mental concept of "Game" refers in reality to attracting and having sex with sluts, drunken or otherwise.

This is why the older, with more experience, dismiss the vast majority of the Manosphere's maps as close to dangerous nonsense.

In other words, the the Manosphere's concepts of "alpha/beta/delta/gamma/Game/"hypergamy" refer to things in reality that are dangerous delusions, not good things. That's why so many give up those concepts, realizing they're going to end up a head full of tangled wiring (you can say it's a "house built on sand").

There are other models. The Seven Deadly Vices and Seven Deadly Virtues are one. They're been around for thousands of years, have been refined, and so are accurate. That's why I use them.

The same applies to the Four Cardinal Virtues (the Manosphere's obsessions with "confidence" was covered by the Four Cardinal Virtues thousands of years ago).

But they're still models in our heads and not reality. But they work, because they're very accurate predictors of human behavior.

I mentioned in my last post about the Enneagram. The "vices" listed in it are based on the Seven Deadly Vices, so the Enneagram is quite accurate. But again, the whole scenario is just ideas in our minds.

The same thing about the Myers-Briggs. It's explanations about human nature, and quite accurate. For that matter, if the Enneagram doesn't work for you, try the Myers-Briggs. One is as good as the other, each being a partial explanation of the "truth."

By the way, I am a Type 5 in the Enneagram, and an INTJ in the Myers-Briggs, and obviously both overlap. But neither is the "absolute truth." Both are just ways to learn about yourself and other people. Both are just models/maps, and to me just minor tools.

Here's another example. Some people think socialism works, convinced it's perfect explanation of reality. On the contrary, it doesn't work at all. But since some think it's reality, they will never give up their beliefs, no matter how much catastrophe it brings. It is a very bad map/model.

The same thing with libertarianism, or "anarcho-capitalism." Both are basically the belief in no government and borders whatsoever, and the ideologies don't work. Yet the True Believers will never give up their beliefs.

After all, there is that old saying, "By their fruits you will know them." And then there's the one about good trees producing good fruit and bad trees producing bad fruit...

That's how you judge things. By their effects. By what they produce. Bad maps/models produce bad things, and good ones, good things.

For that matter, all economics is just ideas we use to explain reality. They can always be refined and made better, although some certainly don't believe it and will never change their minds.

The problem with being a fanatic and never changing your mind even when proved wrong is that no matter how many people have their lives ruined or die, the fanatic just doesn't care. In their minds it's just their ideas weren't put into effect correctly, so, of course, let's try it again...and again...and again ("Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result").

There is something very wrong with people in their believing their beliefs are reality, and so shut their minds up tight. Part of the problem (and this is in the story of the Garden of Eden) is that since we are self-conscious, we "know good and evil." Animals, not being self-conscious, don't have this problem.

This isn't always such a good thing since a lot of people have difficulty telling what is good, and what is bad, and those who "teach" (as in teaching "false doctrines"), end up being false prophets.

5 comments:

Rusty Shackleford said...

"For example, the Manosphere's concept of an "alpha" actually refers to a narcissist/psychopath, none of whom have much a conscience (sometimes none at all) and are manipulators incapable of love. And their defining characteristic is envy. "

If Roosh, Roissy, et al. want to say that they are alpha at picking up girls in clubs, well, okay, maybe they are. Almost every practical "game" technique that I've ever read begins with the assumption that you're in a club. The club/bar scene, though, is not some nut shell version of human existence. Almost no one begins a serious relationship with someone they meet at a club. So the problem appears when the PUA value system is artificially imposed on wider aspects of life that go beyond the night club scene. Red pill types end up in a grotesque parody of the real world where everyday life is twisted to make it consistent with game, and where the PUA is alpha in spheres of human activity that go beyond seducing loose, drunk girls.

Empirically, it doesn't stand. In the real world, it died a hard, brutal death when Roosh went on the Dr. Oz show. The alpha father of the manosphere couldn't have looked more like a little bitch if he'd curled up in the fetal position and pissed himself. When you feel threatened, you fight or you flee. All of Roosh's years of hitting on girls and expounding alpha male doctrine apparently did nothing to stiffen his backbone or give him courage against a new age guru and an audience of post menopausal women.

Rusty Shackleford said...

"Here's another example. Some people think socialism works, convinced it's perfect explanation of reality. On the contrary, it doesn't work at all. But since some think it's reality, they will never give up their beliefs, no matter how much catastrophe it brings. It is a very bad map/model.

The same thing with libertarianism, or "anarcho-capitalism." Both are basically the belief in no government and borders whatsoever, and the ideologies don't work. Yet the True Believers will never give up their beliefs. "



I was listening to Tom Woods do a commentary about the debate. He was having a fit because Trump had said "a single payer system could have worked in a different age."
And Woods particularly didn't understand what Trump meant when he talked about "a different age." It's a prime example of how clueless all economic ideologies are.

In a society that is high trust and shame based that has a competent, 3 digit IQ population, lots of things will work. A country like Iceland that is all of the above and that is tight knit and very homogenous can more or less successfully be anarcho-capitalist in the middle ages or socialist in modern times. A typical third world equatorial hell hole that has none of the above will probably be a disaster whatever economic system it uses. Whether they are libertarians or communists, economists refuse to consider that human beings are not just fungible, interchangable units. The difference between a German and a Mexican to them is no different than 2 bushels of soybeans from different coutries of origin.

There are a lot of things that could have worked for a country that had the population deomgraphics that the US had 30 years ago. There are going to be a lot of things that won't work in the blade runner version of America that is our demographic future.

Rusty Shackleford said...

I meant to write guilt based in the post above.

Bob Wallace said...

"Empirically, it doesn't stand. In the real world, it died a hard, brutal death when Roosh went on the Dr. Oz show"

I saw that and thought, You pussy."

DeNihilist said...

Yeah didn't we all. "I am shaming you because I care about your health" or some such nonsense.