Monday, 30 March 2015

Fire Drill

Every day one or other of the office blocks in the City tips its occupants onto the streets. Companies with trading floors leave a couple of traders inside unless they know it's real fire and not a drill or some over-sensitive alarm. Then it takes about twenty minutes or so to get everyone back in and up to their floors.

(I know: I cheated the dates. The last weekend was weird and this week more so, involving cough and fever.)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Ten Dumb... err Clever Programmer Interview Questions

Over at The Simple Programmer (I think), they posted a bunch of questions that recruiters ask programmers and analysts. Here are my answers.

1. "What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?" (Airbnb Trust and Safety Investigator job candidate). More Airbnb interview questions. ME: where did it crash? What that tells you: Like everyone with a tonne of experience, I know context is all.

2. "What's your favorite 90s jam?” (Squarespace Customer Care job candidate) ME: Jam as in music or jam as in basketball or jam as in jelly? What this tells you: You come at me with ambiguities, and I’m going to help you clarify them.

3. "If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?" (Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate.) ME: In descending order of the ability of a non-response to get me fired. What this tells you: I’m political

4. "How many people flew out of Chicago last year?" - (Redbox Software Engineer II job candidate ). ME: This is one of those Fermi estimation questions isn’t it? Actually, I’d probably look up the answer on Wikipedia. What this tells you: I know where to look up information.

5. "How much do you charge to wash every window in Seattle?" (Facebook Online Sales Operations job candidate). ME: Well, what you want me to do is a Fermi estimation. Or are you looking to see how much I really want as a salary? What this tells you: I think you’re playing games.

6. "Given 25 swimmers and a pool with five lanes, what is the minimum number of heats needed to determine the three fastest swimmers in the group?" (CKM Advisors Data Scientist job candidate.) ME: Oh heck. You didn’t say this was a combinatorics job. Not my strength. Nice meeting you. What this tells you: I’m not your guy.

7. "If you were a Muppet, which would you be?" (TicketNetwork Executive Support job candidate.) ME: Mal Reynolds in Firefly. What this tells you: I understand what you’re getting at with this question, so here’s an answer I can live with.

8. "How many gas stations are there in America?" (Zappos Family Senior Financial Analyst job candidate.) ME: What is it with Fermi estimation questions? Call Exxon. Ask them.

9. "You have a 1 mile long x 1 mile wide private island that you wish to turn into a resort. A plane requires a 2-mile long runway to take off. What do you do?" (Riot Games QA Analyst job candidate) ME: You want me to build a circular runway, don’t you? it would be just over 3 miles long. It wouldn’t work though because the airplane tyres and undercarriage wouldn’t take the centrifugal force at anything near take-off speed, not to mention the awful airflow wouldn’t generate enough lift.

10. "Why is the earth round?" (Twitter Software Engineer job candidate) ME: it isn’t. It’s oblate. And it’s oblate because gravity, centrifugal force and liquid core. Or something. What this tells you: I don’t do groupthink assumptions.

I know. I’m not going to get the job. But then, if they’re asking these questions, I don’t want it.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Objects, and Emotions, That Fell Between the Rafters

Every now and then, I think I want a good wallow in self-pity. No friends around me, no girlfriend, no sex, don’t even want to go on a vacation… the list is endless. Who doesn’t deserve a little self-pity on all that? A few old Carol King songs, too much chocolate and some memories of when I thought I had a life.

Except I just can’t be seem to sustain the mood. Not being able to drink makes it more difficult - alcohol is a reliable depressant. Also I have a job to do, or a session in the gym, or cooking, or sleep, or whatever else - I think it's called 'Life'. That, of course, is just avoidance. Because I must really be unhaaaaapy. I'm supposed to be lonely and blue. My health is supposed to be poor, my skin wrinkling and my mind going. Because I don't have... someone.

Hey guess what Oprah? (All therapists and pop psychology pundits are hereby named 'Oprah'.) I'm doing just fine. It helps I grew up around recorded music and books rather than people and sports. That makes it easier to live a life of sober solitude. But that's not a reason, it's a resource I can draw on. The reason is, well, you decide.

I'm an addict. I want my high. Since I can't get it from booze or drugs, then I'll get it from... chocolate, food, sunshine, music, fiction, non-fiction, solving problems at work, a dozen other things. I'm still not sure if sex ever gave me a high. Maybe one-night stands did sometimes. People don't provide those highs. People provide lows, anxiety, upset. People made me redundant, didn't hire me, re-organised me. People cancel trains and leave other people to die in hospital corridors. A very small number of people give Good Hug. Some of them recognise from the last time I came into their cafe, and I'm always slightly suprised when they do. People expect me to be this-and-that before they even know my name. Apparantly I have obligations towards people, but they have none towards me. People are not, nor should they be, a source of highs. Mostly people are a source of work and obligation, and a few are good company and provide some last lingering sense of connection with a world that fades a little more everyday, and that used to be so vivid.

That vivid sense I had of the world was as the possibility of belonging, rest, relaxation, safety, comfort. Somewhere. Comfort is an armchair. Safety is not jumping in front of traffic. Rest is what I do Saturday, when I leave the world to itself. Relaxation isn't what we ACoA's really do. Belonging? We don't do that either. So the world is fading because it's just a bunch of streets and houses and cows standing in fields. It's fading for me to what it's always been for you.

I'm an addict, and if I can't get my highs, I'd rather be asleep with my eyes open watching a box set. If I want drama, I'll add some weight to the bar. And if I can't have Rebekah Underhill...

(5' 11' Size 0 in a dress)

I'll happily do without anyone. It's an advantage of being grey-haired.

That urge to have a wallow in self-pity is partly an old weakened habit, a last remains of how I used to feel. And it's also caused by the now fading delusion that there is an otherwise that my life could be. That snake-oil sold by therapists and mind-body-spirit authors to disconnected, unsatisfied people everywhere. That somewhere there is a room full of people, and I walk into that room, and I relax, and feel uplifted at the same time. These are my brothers and sisters, my muckers, my team, my boys and girls. That was when we were eight, in junior school. In adult life, there's no such number, no such phone.

This doesn’t mean I am thoughtfully rejecting the self-pity, nor does it mean I don’t want to feel it from time to time. It certainly doesn’t mean I do some hokey gratitude list that convinces me that my life is really much better than I allow. It means the past self-pity was a fake: an artefact of booze, cigarettes, insufficient exercise, and a shit-ton of neuroses and dysfunctional thoughts. All of which have been cleared out, like clearing out the loft. All gone, except an old teddy-bear, the coal-tender from an OO-gauge model train, a school-exercise book and a photograph of the cottage we had a family summer holiday when I was eight. Objects, and emotions, that fell between the rafters.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Yea Free (Dating) Markets

Just because we can extend the market-as-metaphor to just about every human activity, doesn’t mean that every human activity is “really” a market. It’s one way of looking at an activity, but not the only one, and often, it’s not the best one. However, dating and marriage has always been thought of transactionally and as a market. Men compete for women, women for men: women bring dowries and connections, men bring respectability, prospects, money and the inestimable value of taking a daughter off her father’s payroll (except in Africa, where women are valued workers, and her father has to be compensated in livestock). Romanticism was a reaction to that, but it works better when house prices are below three times average earnings, and rents are lower still.

Markets are a mess when the information isn’t available: when nobody knows how to measure the quality of the goods, or gets a chance to, and the costs are hidden and no-one knows what prices other people are paying. That’s how it was in the old dating and marriage markets. Everyone got married far too young for their weaknesses to show and their flaws to turn into cracks. Tattoo Girl never got a chance to get a tattoo and show her true colours, but that didn’t stop her behaving as a girl who wanted a tattoo, much to the puzzlement of her husband. Shrew Woman just came across as a feisty teenager, and developed into shrew to her husband’s dismay: now she can turn into a visible shrew while she focuses on her career.

Paul Feyerabend memorably stated in a footnote somewhere in the original Minnesota Studies version of Against Method that a world in which a louse was free to be a louse was a better world than one in which she wasn’t, and then added that we needed a strong police force to keep the louses from ruining the lives of regular decent people. I’ve always agreed with both parts of that sentiment. A world in which Tattoo Girl can emblazon herself is a better world than one in which she can’t - and it’s an even better world when everyone gets to see her tattoos and can decide whether they want to wife her up. And it’s a truly wonderful world when it’s possible to see, before marrying the crazy sexy girl, that her behaviour is actually full-fledged bi-polar, or borderline, or alcoholic, or coke fiend, or one of an endless liist of dysfunctions and disorders. Because then you’re not going to marry her.

That list of dysfunctions and disorders is long, and covers about 20% of the female population. Then it turns out that 25% of women don’t really want to live full-time with a man, but need to marry one before they find out, and then they divorce him. Allowing for co-morbidity, that’s at least 1 in 3 women you really needed to know were not suitable for marriage. Sadly, that includes a large proportion of the small number of women who are above the Pretty Line. And it doesn’t mean that the other 2 out of 3 will be wonderful spouses: it just means they aren’t actually crazy or unsuited to partnership.

The previous markets really did encourage girls to deceive: they didn’t need to keep the deception up for long, maybe a Season, maybe two, and then they could just let all the inner demons go. In this market, only the crazies can keep up the deception for long enough, and that’s because they choose targets who can be rushed into a decision: the other girls don’t even bother trying to be deceptive, because they know they can’t keep it going for a year or more. And let’s not forget that a lot of times in the old markets you wound marrying a plain Jane with upper lip hair and think ankles because your Daddy needed to do a deal with Plain Jane’s Daddy, and guess what? you taking Plain Jane off her Daddy’s payroll was part of the deal.

What’s really happening is that the dating and marriage markets are working better than they ever did. Men have much better information, and women aren’t faking as much. That honesty is saving today’s men from the lifetimes of misery that hundreds of generations of men have lived through, and many still do.

Liking the market isn't the same as liking what's on sale there. But then, I'm a bachelor and have absolutely no understanding about why the legions of young men over at RoK and other sites complain about the quality of women available. You're going to have sex with them and move on, for heaven's sake. You're not going to move them in, and you sure as hell aren't going marry them. I have no idea what twisted feelings would make anyone feel otherwise, or pressure thier sons into marriage. To that extent, the feelings and motives of a large chunk of my fellow men are an utter msytery to me. And it's why I like this market: I get the information I need, more or less in an instant, because it's etched into the girls' faces, and shows their body language and choice of clothes. Yea free markets.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hypergamy Isn’t Quite What The Fable Says It Is

Hypergamy. Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks. It’s a core idea of the Sphere. Women pursue a bi-polar sexual strategy: they want a reliable, low-maintenance, provider to pay the bills, take care of the kids and haul the heavy freight (Beta Bucks), and they want excitement, tingles and random emotions with some sex thrown in (Alpha Fucks). The usual theory, taken straight from the pornographic tendency of echo-psycho, is that women are attracted to men with Good Genes, dominant Alpha male, hunter-fighter-winner types who will breed strong sons and beautiful daughters from them. So they get pregnant by the Alpha and fool the Beta into raising the children.

This fable causes large-scale reality-field distortions in nearly everyone who comes near it.

Because the truth is that most women who fool around, don’t fool around with evo-psycho approved Alpha Males. They fool around with douchebags, losers, low-income musicians and artists, drug addicts and drunks, the local Lotharios of the holiday town, with other married men, and with men who don’t stay for breakfast and even the occasional PUA. Women have sex for two hundred and thirty seven different reasons, many of which barely made sense to them at the time.

They choose losers and abusers for two reasons: first, they can’t hack the competition for the small number of over-subscribed Alphas; second, they don’t want to threaten the relationship that exists in their heads with their Beta Provider, so they don’t have flings with men who are viable partners. They choose losers and douchebags because they don’t want to feel that could be doing better than their Beta, as that would then cause them to regard him with contempt for not being as good as the next guy, and then to regard themselves with contempt for staying with him when they could do better. That then re-doubles back on the Beta Hubby, because it’s his fault she feels self-contempt. Not hers for tasting the forbidden fruit and being an ingrate.

(Not the Alpha she’s fooling around with) 

For additional silliness, add the assumption that women are good judges of breeding stock. If this is so - and the really crude evo-psycho theories assume it - then apparently douchebags, unemployed artists, drug addicts and all sorts of other people whose phenotypical behaviour screams “unsuitable” in fact have excellent genotypes. Which they do, if “excellent genotype” means “breeds douchebags, heroin addicts, bi-polars and low impulse control”. Maybe losers, abusers, drunks and violent men are the true inheritors of the Earth, and this civilised society thing is a dreadful evolutionary mistake.

Or not.

Maybe many women are just dreadful at spotting a good partner - which explains why 30% of them get fed up with their choice within 10 years and divorce him. Maybe many women know a good deal when they see him putting food in the cupboard, petrol in the tank, clothes in the wardrobe and mowing the lawn, and are smart enough not to threaten that for the sake of some sex and cheap thrills, so they fool around with “the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys”, all the unsuitable boys. Maybe female choice is not what makes an Alpha male - after all, in nature for the animals that do the Alpha thing (which is not many of them), the females just stand around and wait for the males to decide who’s the Alpha.

Maybe many women are morally flawed, emotionally dysfunctional and, when you get past the glamours, have un-attractive personalities. Maybe there aren’t that many Good Women out there, not now, in the present exact conditions of really existing Capitalism. Maybe there never were, and they behaved themselves in public for fear of shame, inside their houses, they made the lives of their husband and children a sheer hell of indifference, contempt and sarcasm. Maybe it was always like it is now, except now, men don’t have to marry any of them.

(Renton. Mark Renton. Who she really fools around with) 

The practical problem for many men is that they don’t want to be jerks, freeloaders, clowns and drama-triggers, and they don’t want to be around women who choose that kind of second-rate phenotype. They would rather believe they were being rejected because they weren’t James Bond, than because they weren’t Mark Renton. They are being rejected for casual relationships because they are husband material and the girls don’t want husbands yet.

Hypergamy is rarely Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks. Mostly, it’s Asshole Fucks and Beta Bucks. When put like that, it may be even more threatening. It’s one thing to get James Bond’s girl when he’s finished with her, but to get Mark Renton’s girl when he’s finished with her? Not so palatable. And that’s why evo-pyscho sells: it’s much easier on everyone’s ego.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Mandatory Training Questions and Answers

I can't resist this. Every month we have to do Mandatory Training. It doesn't actually train us to do anything, it's a box-ticking exercise so The Bank can say it makes us all aware that we shouldn't e.g. transfer money to anyone in Myanmar at all for any reason. So there's a Whistleblowing Line for when we catch our managers working scams (and in fairness, the scamming managers are always female, which I think is how Diversity should be). So this gives you a sense of what the test questions are like...

What happens to Jack now he’s called the Whistleblowing Line? Select THREE correct options 

1. He will never be able to get another job in the company 

2. His managers will give him unsatisfactory ratings until he leaves 

3. He will be treated as if nothing happened, as the Whistleblowing Line is strictly confidential 

4. He will be shunned by everyone around him

Except for where I'm being childishly sarcastic with the options. Should you choose 1,2 and 4, a pop-up will say something like

That's right! Jack has totally shafted himself by showing everyone in the company that he can't be trusted to keep a secret and let frauds and embezzlers get on with their scams in private. 

I forget what we have next month. Something about leaving wires to trail over the floor and not bothering to ask building services to use detergent to get the oil off the stairs.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Red Bus, Red Bus, Another Red Bus

Every morning I take a break from twiddling my thumbs while my queries run producing insightful analysis by going to Pret A Manger (I know, don't judge me) for a sandwich and a dash Americano. This gives me some fresh air, well okay, air that hasn't been round the aircon a dozen times, and a few minutes of time out. There's usually nothing much going on. Except for last Friday when I saw a line of buses that would have done Oxford Street proud. It went right on up past the overground railway bridge.

Frequent services are tremendous, but as soon as anything goes wrong on the road, this happens. It is the first time since I've been there that I've seen it. The Red Wall of Oxford Street happens every day.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mutton Hash and Turnip Tops

For Rollo at The Rational Male, a man who isn’t his wife's Kind of Alpha is more or less condemned to a lifetime of sexual frustration and thick contempt under a thin layer of civility-in-public. Without Alpha a woman in a relationship is an uncontrollable shrew, who will jump into the arms of the first passing biker with enough of her favourite drug. OK. I’m exaggerating his views only slightly. It doesn’t have to be a biker.

So there’s something Rollo doesn’t understand, and it’s an oversight common to good-looking men. For the majority of the population, who are not physically attractive, sex is a hygiene factor and its mere provision is enough. They don’t need to eat steak and salmon, as Somerset Maugham noticed:
The keenest pleasure to which the body is susceptible is that of sexual congress. I have known men who gave up their whole lives to this; they are grown old now, but I have noticed, not without surprise, that they look upon them as well spent. It has been my misfortune that a native fastidiousness has prevented me from indulging as much in this particular delight as I might have. I have exercised moderation because I was hard to please. When from time to time I have seen the person with whom the great lovers satisfied their desires I have been more astonished by the robustness of their appetites than envious of their successes. It is obvious that you need not often go hungry if you are willing to dine off mutton hash and turnip tops.
A woman with an honest view of her status will settle for the provisioning of sex by an ordinary man. It’s a hygiene factor for both of them, and they are both better off with it. The majority of the human race lives like this.

The nonsense starts when women have delusions about their desirability, or profess self-serving rubbish to mask the fact that they have married a man they don’t find sexually attractive, but do find a useful payer of bills. Hypergamy says that all women have ideas above their station, which isn’t true. What is true is that, given the chance on a plate all women would have a night with their favourite male hottie. That’s not hypergamy, at least any more than my willingness to own a Ferrari given one for free plus lifetime insurance and maintenance is a sign of my consumerism. Consumerism is when I sacrifice the quality of my life to get the Ferrari: hypergamy is when she refuses men of her value in the vain hope of landing one way above her value.

So let’s deal with the Alpha thing. Both Rollo and Roissy define in it terms of women. For Rollo, Alpha is a relational concept: X is an Alpha male for Y at time T if there exists a female Y who wants to have unconditional sex with X at time T. So today Rollo can be Alpha for Alice, but not for Barbie, and tomorrow he doesn’t even make the cut for Alice. For Roissy, Alpha is measured by weighted notch count, where the weighting is the SMV of the woman. So Roissy can be Alpha even if Alice and Barbie don’t want to fuck him, because he’s got the notch count to prove it.

As defined by either of them, Alpha is completely independent of a man’s moral character, economic productivity, intellectual and cultural creativity, self-discipline, and even his preference for dressing from Jermyn Street. So if being a douchebag or a drug-dealer is what it takes to get with the 10’s, then maybe a decent man stays away from the 10’s. If some Four with delusions of Eight gives him the brush-off, maybe he should count himself lucky. Self-respect matters, or should matter, more than getting laid and having a woman around the place.

However, a guy gotta get laid now and again, and that’s why English men and women drink so much: so they can take the sharp edges off their judgement and give themselves the chance of some physical intimacy. Game can turn the whole thing into, well, a game, but only if he accepts that he’s not going to be meeting any potential long-term relationships that way, and he’s willing to accept that it does not say anything about a woman’s moral character that she will fall for Game, anymore than it says anything about a cat’s ability as a mouser that it goes crazy for catnip.

So is Alpha something a man should aim for, as he should aim for a 200lb bench-press and deadlift? No. A man lives his life for the approval of himself and his few peers, not for the opinions of women, employers and other people with a vested interest in exploiting him.

But he should bear in mind that women (who aren’t co-dependent or looking for weak men to bully) need attention, excitement, to see that he has a purpose, and that he has thought about what they are doing the next time they meet, and before or after they have sex. (This is the ‘Alpha’ of which I was speaking in a previous post.)

He should also shun White Knighting, Beta supplication and orbiting, thinking that his goal in life is to provide for a wife and children, and also avoid TV and computer games, the use of social media for anything except Game, and thinking that he’s some kind of sad sack if he doesn’t have a woman in his life. What makes a man is purpose, self-respect, independence and permenant self-development. All of us flinch along the way, and all of us compromise some of it from time to time. The point is not to abandon it away for anything: money, fame, power, or women.

Monday, 2 March 2015

What’s Wrong Over At The Rational Male

let me unequivocally footnote here that women are absolutely capable of a learned empathy and sympathy for men. However those sympathies, like genuine desire, cannot be negotiated for. Whatever your misguided concept is about how Relational Equity should merit a woman’s sympathy or respect, those are only valid and genuine when a woman freely gives them to a man she perceives as Alpha, never as something he’s due.

That comment from this post made a rather large impression on me that it’s taken a while to understand. I feel the same way as the commentator who sniffed “seems a self-defeating statement to me”, but I still didn’t know why it got under my skin.

Then I re-read the Iron Laws of Tomassi and got it.

1. Frame is everything. Always be aware of the subconscious balance of who’s frame in which you are operating. Always control the Frame, but resist giving the impression that you are.
2. NEVER, under pain of death, honestly or dishonestly reveal the number of women you’ve slept with or explain any detail of your sexual experiences with them to a current lover.
3. Any woman who makes you wait for sex, or by her actions implies she is making you wait for sex; the sex is NEVER worth the wait.
4. NEVER under any circumstance live with a woman you aren’t married to or are not planning to marry in within 6 months.
5. NEVER allow a woman to be in control of the birth.
6. Women are utterly incapable of loving a man in the way that a man expects to be loved.
7. It is always time and effort better spent developing new, fresh, prospective women than it will ever be in attempting to reconstruct a failed relationship. Never root through the trash once the garbage has been dragged to the curb. You get messy, your neighbors see you do it, and what you thought was worth digging for is never as valuable as you thought it was.
8. Always let a woman figure out why she won’t fuck you, never do it for her.
9. Never Self-Deprecate under any circumstance.

Compare these to Roissy / Heartiste's Sixteen Commandments of Poon (edited text):

I. Never say ‘I Love You’ first. Women want to feel like they have to overcome obstacles to win a man’s heart.
II. Make her jealous.
III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority
IV. Don’t play by her rules. If you allow a woman to make the rules she will resent you with a seething contempt even a rapist cannot inspire.
V. Adhere to the golden ratio: give your woman 2/3 of everything she gives you.
VI. Keep her guessing. True to their inscrutable natures, women ask questions they don’t really want direct answers to.
VII. Always keep two in the kitty. Never allow yourself to be a “kept man”.
VIII. Say you’re sorry only when absolutely necessary
IX. Connect with her emotions
X. Ignore her beauty: the man who trains his mind to subdue the reward centers of his brain when reflecting upon a beautiful female face will magically transform his interactions with women. His apprehension and self-consciousness will melt away, paving the path for more honest and self-possessed interactions with the objects of his desire.
XI. Be irrationally self-confident: no matter what your station in life, stride through the world without apology or excuse.
XII. Maximize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses.
XIII. Err on the side of too much boldness, rather than too little
XIV. Fuck her good
XV. Maintain your state control: you are an oak tree. You will not be manipulated by crying, yelling, lying, head games, sexual withdrawal, jealousy ploys, pity plays, shit tests, hot/cold/hot/cold, disappearing acts, or guilt trips. She will rain and thunder all around you and you will shelter her until her storm passes. She will not drag you into her chaos or uproot you. When you have mastery over yourself, you will have mastery over her.
XVI. Never be afraid to lose her: you must not fear. Fear is the love-killer.

Rollo is all about the warning. This is the advice of a man who has seen too many bad things happen, and doesn’t trust women, or the law. It’s all about avoiding the downside. And Iron Law 6 is just utterly bleak - unless it’s a point about men wanting something unrealistic from women. When we dig into the details, however, it isn’t. He really is saying that men love romantically, and women love opportunistically. Which is a fancy way of saying that the love a wife has for her husband is the same as the love a shepherd has for his sheepdog. Every now and then he has to issue a remark like the one at the start of this post. Which convinces exactly no-one.

Roissy the player who loves the game. He thinks women need to be treated in a certain way (twenty-five words or less: “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen”) and will respond with sex and affection for the men who do so. His post on the different types of game needed for women of different ages is a masterpiece in its analysis of white Anglo women-with-jobs-in-large-urban-areas, and the tone it adopts. There’s nothing about marriage, children, birth control or anything else here, because it’s quite clear that Roissy is just not in the long-term relationship business, and given that, certain things are just simple consequences.

Rollo is “you can’t trust them, and all your love is in vain”, while Roissy is “love them, but don’t commit”. For Rollo, being in a relationship is a constant fight against her attempts to diminish and control a man: for Roissy, being in a relationship is until she gets tiresome. Rollo’s women are scheming, opportunistic, contingent, calculating, relentless and inexhaustible in their campaign to reduce their men to sexless servants. Rossy’s women are confused, emotional, game-playing, sexual and contemptuous of men who lack confidence and purpose. Rollo’s is the world of the failed marriage, the unfaithful wives of serving soldiers, the gold-digger and the manipulative shrew. For Rollo, women are a burden to be borne: for Roissy they are a pleasure to be enjoyed while they last.

There is a miasma of distrust of women in The Rational Male. It’s never obvious, from the pages of that blog, why men would bother getting married or even have short-term relationships. It’s an endless recital of the thousands of ways that women can behave like assholes, ungrateful bitches, shrews, deceivers, liars and traitors. And that’s just ugly. However true all the examples may be.

And there’s not an element of resistance about it. It’s always about how the Feminine Imperative and hypergamy are protean and invincible, never about how to trick it, avoid it, or generally fight back. And I have to think that part of the reason for this is that Rollo is married, and married men are, unless they can afford the divorce (and from what he’s said about his job, Rollo would get reamed by the Family Court), pretty much hostage negotiators for life and limited to damage control. As a single man, Roissy can walk away. As can all the single men. It's why you will never hear an older lifetime bachelor regret his decision to stay single.

What got under my skin is that the quote is way too bleak, and way too inaccurate. It just doesn’t describe the situation of a lot of people. And that’s for the next post.