Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Via Karol, confirmation of what you already knew, although quite a few folks have been telling you the opposite, or something calculated to slow your absorption of reality’s lessons. Females especially…Karol included.
NICE guys knew it, now two studies have confirmed it: bad boys get the most girls. The finding may help explain why a nasty suite of antisocial personality traits known as the “dark triad” persists in the human population, despite their potentially grave cultural costs.
The traits are the self-obsession of narcissism; the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths; and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. At their extreme, these traits would be highly detrimental for life in traditional human societies. People with these personalities risk being shunned by others and shut out of relationships, leaving them without a mate, hungry and vulnerable to predators.
But being just slightly evil could have an upside: a prolific sex life, says Peter Jonason at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. “We have some evidence that the three traits are really the same thing and may represent a successful evolutionary strategy.”
When the article says “nice guys knew it,” I expect what it’s talking about is the same personal experience all us guys have had at one time or another. You give some attention to a cute girl and you think it’s reciprocated. Maybe you actually go out with her a time or two. Then you find out your rival for her affects gets more affection…then more…then more…and pretty soon, she isn’t returning your calls. Meanwhile, he’s treating her like dirt. He doesn’t know she exists, she doesn’t know you exist.
And then your momma and your sister and your ex-girlfriend and every single other female you know, comments knowingly on it as if it’s an isolate incident. But in the years that follow, you learn it isn’t. And all the other guys you know, seem to have the same story. Huh. It’s like reading the National Enquirer — everybody refuses to buy it, only glimpsing at the cover while waiting in line to pay for groceries, but someone must be buying the damn thing, right?
Jonason and his colleagues subjected 200 college students to personality tests designed to rank them for each of the dark triad traits. They also asked about their attitudes to sexual relationships and about their sex lives, including how many partners they’d had and whether they were seeking brief affairs.
The study found that those who scored higher on the dark triad personality traits tended to have more partners and more desire for short-term relationships, Jonason reported at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this month. But the correlation only held in males. [emphasis mine]
I have a few ideas about this. They all blame the ladies. But that’s fair, isn’t it? Someone’s making the decision about whether these guys do or do not get some.
First of all, women tire quickly from having to make all the decisions, and with only a moderate level of experience, that’s exactly what a well-mannered gentleman is going to force them to do. It’s quite a simple thing to offer the time-honored advice, “Take charge!” But then what? You take her out someplace, there’s a choice to be made, and then the fella makes the choice so that his lady doesn’t have to. That gives rise to the possibility that maybe she would have preferred something else. So he asks, right? Just to make sure?
How far does he take that? If he checks with her about every little thing, he’s essentially placing the burden on her to choose everything. Feminism or no, women find that exhausting. Partly because it customizes every single choice to be made, with the profile of the woman’s preferences; partly because it deprives every choice to be made of the emotional imprint of of the man.
Simply put, such a considerate gentleman removes his unique signature, incrementally, until there is nothing left. At that point, she might as well be with someone else.
So of course she’ll be more attracted to the guy who doesn’t check. His list of preferences may not be the one that she would have picked, but at least it’s there. This is a metaphor for what takes place inside, after the genes have been spliced. She has an evolutionary instinct to look for the patriarch who will leave the most indelible signature.
I have another theory, inspired by the comment about “the three traits are really the same thing.”
What Jonason has discovered, I think, is what we’ve been exploring in these pages under the Yin and Yang theory. The Yang enter into a two-directional pact with those around them, benevolently manipulating others and at the same time, being manipulated. The Yin abstain from this, usually because they’ve been discouraged from it during childhood development by a lack of success — they’re what you’d call “nerds.”
Because of this natural emotional resonance that can only be developed from an early age, the Yang are more approachable even though they may be so manipulative as to qualify for the first trait in this triad, the narcissism. You see this in all kinds of people, men and women alike, who tend to obsess over “feelings” — they obsess, without thinking too much about it, about their feelings. The feelings of others usually don’t factor into it too much, and at that point you’ve reached the very definition of narcissism, and you’ve fleshed out much of the definition of the second trait as well — the psychopathic behavior.
So that’s two strikes in favor of the Yang; you have the easygoing emotional resonance, and you have the drive to get What I Want. It’s an intoxicating combination for the woman who isn’t consciously trying to avoid it (which, giving Karol the benefit of the doubt, is probably her).
The article closes with an interesting dissent:
“They still have to explain why it hasn’t spread to everyone,” says Matthew Keller of the University of Colorado in Boulder. “There must be some cost of the traits.” One possibility, both Keller and Jonason suggest, is that the strategy is most successful when dark triad personalities are rare. Otherwise, others would become more wary and guarded.
Yes, that’s my thinking as well. If everyone possesses this triad in abundance, the social order breaks down.
Another thing to consider is that society itself can’t continue if everyone’s a narcissist, psychopath and Machiavellian genius. You’ve got to have your celibate Teslas, so that things get built. Sure, an advanced society builds great things when there’s an egotist around to build them; there are very few Federation Starships being constructed “for the common good.” That’s what the Yin are for — they’re the egotists. But egotism is a completely different thing from narcissism. Narcissism tends to pull the trick involving Tom Sawyer and the whitewashed fence, and trick others into doing the work. And over the long haul, nothing really gets built that way, therefore society can’t endure.
Like the doctors said in Jurassic Park: Life will find a way. And that, in my theory-notebook, is why we’re still here and why we still have both kinds. And always will.
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