Why Smart Guys Have Trouble With Game

I was looking through the collection of files I’ve saved about game over the years, and came across one that I have to share. It’s a comment left somewhere by T. of The Rawness – I’ve lost the exact link. The Rawness, by the way, is an excellent blog, especially the “31 days of game” series. T’s comment explains perfectly why it took me so long to implement basic game advice, and I think it does the same for a lot of smart guys, especially those in STEM fields.

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“This thread has been pretty enlightening. A few threads ago people were discussing why smart people do so badly socially, especially those in the hard sciences. After this comments section it’s hit me: information snobbery.

“The same rigorous information standards one does (and should) apply to the hard sciences high IQ nerd types try to apply to fluid soft concepts like female morality, sexual attraction and human nature in general. It’s a very binary mindset for them, 0 or 1, if you can’t conclusively prove something with a double-blind, randomized study with a flawless methodology or the finding isn’t from someone who has impressive enough IQ, peer-reviewed or Ivy credentials, all the findings must be tossed out, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Extremely smart people, if they can’t make exact logical sense of something and understand exactly WHY something is true, then they refuse to believe it’s true, which kills them with social understanding where things are often illogical or counterintuitive or contradictory, especially in the minds of women.

“Look at all the people who are naturally good with people and women. They usually are not the type of people to be high IQ genius study-reading brainiacs. If they needed to nitpick and get 100% foolproof feedback with airtight, rigorous scientific testing and Ivy league citations before adopting every belief that helped them with people and women in particular, they wouldn’t have the social success that they do. If they get a notion about women that seems plausible enough, even if just based on anecdotes, they just try it out for themselves and see if its true or not, or whether it works. They examine their past life experiences to see if it rings true with their own experiences. They talk to other guys with game and run it by each other. Nerds sit around debating if the credentials of the messenger are impressive enough to open their minds to the information and waste energy demanding better and more impressive studies or publication sources before even moving on to evaluating and seriously engaging content and field testing. Is it any wonder nerds are always playing catch up?? BY the time any social concept would ever satisfy such rigorous criteria, the intuitively socially savvy people have already long adopted it and moved on.

“To me this is the beauty of the pickup game, it took long-accepted player and mack truisms and gave it enough scientific plausibility and reverse-engineering to let a large enough group of high IQ types willing to accept it, since they can’t accept things on faith alone but only after the case is airtight and the concept has been totally reverse-engineered. The problem is, even many people who accept pickup concepts that have been validated through evo psych keep hitting stumbling blocks when introduced newer concepts that are validated only by anecdotal information and non-scientists.

“Think of every naturally gifted person with women you’ve ever seen. Ask them how many of their beliefs they validated through the same scientific verification methods people use for testing pharmaceuticals and other areas. Ask them whether they intensively screened their mentors for top academic and career credentials, racist beliefs or exacting objectivity before considering every new piece of information they came across, or whether they treated all new info with an open mind.

“This need for bijectivity, airtight logic, emotion-free detached analysis as the prerequisites to understanding something inherently subjective, illogical, counterintuitive, emotional and involved are the exact reasons why nerds are the worst at and most bitter at the game of love. The people who excel at this are willing to make leaps of faith, go against conventional logic on hunches and accept anecdotes and personal experience to a degree.”

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The only thing I have to add to that is this: if you’re afraid that what he says forces you into an anti-intellectual outlook, you’re wrong. As Aristotle wrote in the Nicomachean Ethics “We must be content, in speaking of such subjects [i.e. real world, practical subjects, concerning humans and their actions], to indicate the truth roughly and in outline, and in speaking about things which are only for the most part true and with premises of the same kind to reach conclusions that are no better. In the same spirit, therefore, should each type of statement be received; for it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.” STEM guys are often poorly educated outside of technical fields, but our superiority in those technical fields makes us arrogant, and we imagine that everything everywhere should be done by the same standards as our own work. STEM guys tend to unconsciously adopt an epistemology that denies the possibility of attaining knowledge outside the hard sciences. This is a mark not of intellectual strength, but of weakness, and it limits one’s ability to pick up certain practical arts.

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About Pechorin

A Hero of Our Time
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