Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Universal Cry: Structure the Status Rules Such That I Rank Higher

Contemplating the fate of one of my wife's friends from college, it occurs to me that it is yet another case of the incessant desire of humanity to structure the rules of the status game such that they personally rank higher within it.

This friend of my wife's, who has subsequently drifted away, actually has a fair bit going for her.
She's about 2 sigmas in raw intelligence, probably around 90th or so percentile in terms of income/economics/career success, and slightly above average in the homemaker constellation of skills.  Unfortunately for her, she's also about 50 pounds higher than her ideal weight, significantly overweight although not morbidly obese.

This means that effectively, she ranks around the 30th to 40th percentile among women her age in terms of the marriage marketplace (since about half of women these days are about as overweight as she is, and she'd actually be very pretty sans 50 pounds or so).  In turn, this means that she's largely limited to men who are evaluated by women (primarily on social status) at around the 30th to 40th percentile.  The dislocation between what she thinks she ought to be able to get (men comparable to the husbands of her college friends, who are in the 80th to 90th percentile on the same metrics) and what she can actually attract is profoundly jarring.  I mean, earning around the 90th percentile or so would raise a man's status, so why not hers, she reasons.  I'm about 98th percentile in brains, why can't I get a 98th percentile man in terms of status?  But the marketplace doesn't work that way.  There's precisely one way she can improve her prospects, and that is to get much closer to her ideal weight.

The American marriage and sexual marketplaces are really quite perverse when you think about it---all a woman needs to do to get to the 75th percentile or thereabouts is to be almost entirely average looking, but to be close to her ideal weight.  80th to 90th percentile is honestly not out of range for most women, in a twisted Lake Wobegon sort of way, because nearly half of the competition have effectively taken themselves out of the race.  Avoid the abject failure of short hair and you're even closer to the mark.
The difference between the men who are available in the 30th-40th percentile of status versus the 80th-90th percentiles ought to be all the motivation you need.

What happened to this friend of my wife's, I can hear you asking?  Let's just say it involves multiple cats and 'changing teams'. 


Alrenous said...

Hey! I like short hair. And some 7% of men agree with me, I'm told.

You know, just in case my non-neurotypicality wasn't enough to separate me from the common man. If being non-conformist is truly a virtue I think I've got it covered... Haha, therefore I deserve a top 90%+ mate, right? Like, so virtuous, dude.

Don't cat ladies realize there's a cat lady stereotype? Do they really love cats that much?

Leonard said...

Alrenous: yes, they do. If you hear one talk to her cats, you'll see immediately that it is the maternal instinct displaced.

Jehu said...

I'm a fan of shoulder length or longer myself, along with apparently 93% of men or more, even if we assume no snowflaking on that poll.
Being non-neurotypical is a fairly significant hit to your status, the amount of said hit being governed by how good your neurotypical emulation capability is. For non-neurotypical guys the best advice is to work hard on the quality of your emulation, and since you're running an emulation anyway, make sure it's an emulation of what Vox would call a beta or alpha or what Roissy would call a greater beta or above.

Jehu said...

We've got one (fortunately very toddler-friendly) cat. Of course, when I talk to her, it's usually to praise her for what a good huntress/predator she is---she's in many ways like a small, friendly, clean dog that suppresses the neighborhood mice, moles, voles, and other varmints. I gather most spinster cats get a lot less praise on those sort of things.

Alrenous said...

Thanks for the confirmation Leonard. I feel a bit redundant saying the preceding, but answering question is apparently really hard based on how often I see it done. Especially with a nice 'if' I can realistically go and do if I'm so inclined.

Jehu, I realized really early that I was a nerd, like 8 or 9. Got called smart a lot...and not much else pleasant. I figured if I was so smart, I'd brute-force social competency. Been working at it ever since.

I find I prefer to mess with people than raise my status with them, though.
I wonder if this process is why I find predicting and manipulating people so easy I do it by accident and have to work at not doing it. I wonder if others could get the same prediction results by intentionally revving up the manipulation module.

I lucked out on the alphaness, though. Reading Roissy I find he's just telling me to ignore advice all other advice on women and do what I wanted to do in the first place. Evo psych says most men should experience it this way, so I'm wondering why nobody else reports this.

Jehu said...

People tend to talk less about things that are working for them than things that aren't. Also, people who ignore society's advice on women in practice frequently repeat it in speech---they just don't act on it, kinda like the diversity cheerleaders who live in lily-white neighborhoods :-)

Alrenous said...

That's a good point. I'm convinced, at least.

Jehu said...

Guys, IMO, got much better advice back in the 50s and 60s in terms of how to handle women from their elders (also from movies and popular culture). I talked about this in my post on 'Your Grandfather Had Game' a little while back.