The Alpha Arms Race
90 percent of drivers think they possess above average skills behind the wheel.
94 percent of professors said their own scholarship was better than the norm.
70 percent of high school students reported that they possessed better-than-average leadership ability, while only 2 percent admitted to ranking below the mean.
96 percent of game practitioners are alpha males.
Although I pulled that last example out of my hiney I’d bet the ranch a poll would result in a figure in the same ballpark. Perhaps that’s my own positive illusion speaking. After all, we humans are demonstrably, hilariously inept at self-assessment.
One might wonder, who are the biggest offenders of grossly overestimating themselves in every regard? Get this. It’s the worst performers of all. According to the Dunning–Kruger effect theory, inept individuals suffer from illusory superiority causing them to hyperbolize their own skills while badmouthing genuine competence in others. Annoyance and skepticism aimed at boasters may be a reaction grounded in evolutionary psychology, as a blowhard’s underperformance could cripple the tribe.
Fun fact: the Dunning–Kruger effect also explains why debating with an arrogant prick is an exercise in futility, especially when done on the internet.
The Alpha-Beta-Omega Fallacy
If twenty successful MMA fighters were to intermingle with twenty smoking ring girls, both sides would quickly establish a pecking order. According to the perhaps oversimplified laws of hypergamy, only the top two fighters would have a strong chance with any of the twenty women, assuming everyone was single.
Now, consider a scenario with the two lowest ranking male fighters, eighteen socially awkward Comic-Con attending males, and twenty average women promised free drinks to stick around. Obviously, the women would gravitate towards the two fighters as they would easily maintain alpha status among the geeks.
To summarize: In the right spot a beta becomes an alpha. Out of his element the alpha slides into beta status. Circumstances where an omega achieves an alpha rank, or reverse, is unlikely but possible.
Hierarchy is impossible without context. Males take on a role dynamically, depending on a variety of holistic factors. Referring to oneself or others as an alpha, beta, or omega is a misnomer unless one considers the other players involved and the priority of traits considered desirable in the environment.
When a dude calls another guy a beta or omega, he makes his assessment abstractly in comparison with his self-image and not necessarily based on the other male’s role in a definite group or scenario. Considering that the one making the judgment is susceptible to positive illusions, and draws from limited, superficial evidence, it’s often nothing but masturbatory, self-congratulatory name-calling. I’d be a smug, ivory tower observer if I didn’t admit to this shortcoming in misusing labels myself, so I do.
iPeen 2.0: A Darwinian Pissing Match
Pickup artists arguably hit the mainstream when Neil Strauss released ‘The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists’ in 2005. The movement has since evolved as adherents have gravitated towards game rather than the gimmicky canned material advocated by PUAs in the past.
As long as the worst qualities of pop feminism occupy the minds of Western women, game’s influence among young men will only grow. Bitch shields of ever increasing weight create the necessity for sharper, stronger spears.
Perhaps in less commercialized times, devoid of high-technology, Mystery, Roosh V and Heartiste would have selfishly protected their teachings like priests of the Dionysian Mysteries. Spreading word to the formally uninitiated weakens the cult’s power, as there can no longer be a clear distinction between wolf and sheep.
By definition only roughly 10 percent of men can be alpha males when their behavior is observed as part of a group.
This creates a dilemma in a future in which basic knowledge of game has become common-place. Alpha-up advice will lose a degree of authenticity as every other guy on the block will be fed the same rhetoric. Sure, many are called but few are chosen. Still, an alpha arms race will be the inevitable consequence.
As men push for alpha status en masse the bar will ever be pushed up. Natural alphas aren’t much of a threat compared to the growing factions of try-hard alphabots due to their potential numbers. Gradually enough to lose sight of the changes, more social interactions will devolve into pissing matches as poseurs clumsily attempt to show dominance.
Adaptation for optimal sexual selection is the epitome of struggle. It’s made us the fairly badass, astoundingly complex organisms we are today. Beware of the rise of the alfaux as he’ll always have something to prove.
Sink, swim or crawl onto the shore.