Monday, June 18, 2012

The Alpha/Beta Dichotomy

One of the more amusing aspects of reading through the self-described "manosphere" (read: "masculinist") blogs is the emergence of the alpha / beta dichotomy perspective. Fundamentally, this is the idea that men can be classified in much the same manner as dogs and wolves - into "alphas" and "betas" (it's well-worth mentioning that anyone who deigns to use the same nomenclature as canine social hierarchy probably hasn't strayed too far from that level of sophistication).

The idea is basically that "alpha" characteristics are those that women find generally desirable or attractive (along with other ideas, such as alphas being more aggressive, confident, etc), while "beta" characteristics are those that women find less so. This has all sorts of different points of focus for a writer obsessed with the classification, usually trying vehemently to demonstrate that *he*, in particular, is an alpha.

My favorite component of this is "game theory," or "playing," or any one of a number of names you want to give it. This is the concept of applying a methodology for meeting women and gaining some measure of "success" in the interaction, politely defined as "getting a date," though you'll find varying degrees of honesty, up to and including "getting pussy."

Self-described blogger alphas (which is quite a contradiction in terms, if not an outright oxymoron, I assure you) are quite obsessed with these methods. They recommend books, give tips, and spend quite a bit of time - almost enough to qualify as flat out projection in even the most conservative of basic psychology courses - trying to convince the reader that they (the writers) embody alpha attributes. This isn't hard to notice, and I don't much see the point in showing off particular examples of this estranged form of idiocy.

The point that I want to make, and the part that I find fucking hilarious... that these methodologies work by emulating or accentuating alpha behavior.

When you're pretending and playing at being an alpha, you're not one. It's as simple as that.

I don't care how much you've read, or practiced, or how good or effective your "game" is; you are simply emulating and copying interactive methods of dealing with people gleamed from observing what you would deem a genuine "alpha."

You might object to this. You might assert that you aren't just some beta trying to play at alpha - you're the genuine article. You just read and practice to get better.

You're wrong. That is all.


  1. It's worth mentioning that dogs and wolves don't follow that hierarchy either. It's complete fabrication on every level it is utilized.

  2. Excellent observations! Also, I agree with the other commenter. The whole nonsense about 'alpha wolves' is made up out of whole cloth. Packs are incredibly complex social units. I digress from my point though.

    I will, however, stick to the lingo for 'gaming'.

    Yes, those guys who swagger around bars looking 'oh so bored' to be there, but willing to allow the 'lesser beings' to adore them are fakers.

    Most rational women (add to that good-looking and capable of getting the real alphas) see it and snicker. So what they bring home, on the scale of 1 to 10, are 6's and 7's. The 'gamers' tell themselves the story that they are BMOC's, but the truth is there staring them in the face the next day. So, dump that 6, and go to the bar and try again. There is no way they are going to bring home an 8, so forget the 9's and 10's. So these 'gamers' jump on a blog and tell the world what a Don Juan they are.

    Dang, pretty obvious when you think about it!

    By the way, my perspective is as a 62 year old female. I was an 8 or sometimes 9 depending upon the society I was in ;-> All us rational types know where we fit in the social strata, that is, if we are honest with ourselves. These 'gamers' are not.

  3. You gave me a scare there for a minute with the title of this post. This was the first post I've read after seeing links to you, & I've seen some otherwise fine blogs ruined by by being flooded with game theory garbage.