Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Gamma identifier

There were a lot of good guesses, many of which were indeed phrases popular with Gammas, but no one landed precisely on the phrase that I have observed to be most useful in correctly identifying a Gamma early in his argumentative process. Aquila Aquilonis came closest when he said: "I'm pretty sure the phrase is a re-framing phrase that is blatantly dishonest." Slarrow was also in the neighborhood with "I think what you're saying...."

The actual phrase, however, is "You seem to be saying" or its variants "It appears you are saying" or "So you're claiming/telling me"

This is subtly, but significantly, different than what slarrow guessed, as it is NOT a statement about what the Gamma thinks, which would be perfectly legitimate even if incorrect, but rather a dishonest reframe of what the other party has already said. What the Gamma is doing when he uses it is setting up the strawman he intends to attack in lieu of what the other party actually said.

Notice that it appeared in the Gamma example from the other day: "However, you seem to be repeating that claim again, despite having the contrary evidence up front. So, you're pretty close to providing me with adequate support for my earlier claim."

Of course, I did not repeat the claim again, in fact, I pointed out that I had never made the claim in the first place. My response: "You can't repeat that which never existed in the first place."

Then, in another post made after I mentioned how this phrase is a useful early identifier, another Gamma utilized a variant of it twice in precisely the same manner.
  1. "So you're claiming that Iraq attacked Iran and started the war?"
  2. "So you're telling me a coup d'etat that the British used to establish control of Iran during the days of British colonialism is justification for the medieval regime of the Ayatollah?"
Both of these characterizations were false. My response: "I wrote what I wrote. I said what I said. Stop this "so you're telling me" and "so you're claiming" bullshit. If you can't address exactly what I wrote, not some idiotic revision of your own device, then you're not tall enough for this ride and you don't belong here." This led to the customary Gamma verbal deluge.
"Yeah Ok. So the British overthrew the Iranian Government for stealing the oil wells they drilled in Iran by themselves, and the Iranians had no use for without Western Technology like cars and electric generators. Oh no! Those evil oil companies that steal the resources of backward natives that don't even know its there to make those evil industries that feed the world and provide lifesaving medicine and technology! Are you sure you're not a Liberal Democrat? Evil Oil Companies? Really? What the fuck were these Iranians going to do with this oil without Western Technology? Were they going to build another House of Saud like Saudi Arabia?"
I wasn't the only one to notice the blatantly dishonest reframing. As it happens, I never said anything at all about oil companies, evil or otherwise. All I pointed out was the simple, easily confirmable historical fact that the United States was in part responsible for the 1953 coup that toppled the democratically-elected Iranian government.
And here we have another perfect example of a Straw Man argument. Joshua invents the claim that Vox is saying "Evil Oil Companies" were behind everything, then proceeds to flail at the straw man.
And thereby anecdotally demonstrated that the use of the phrase "You seem to be saying", and its variants, is a reliable Gamma identifier, and therefore the individual resorting to it is probably an individual who merits a purely rhetorical dismissal rather than a honest dialectical response.

49 comments:

Mr.MantraMan said...

Sure it is a gamma tactic, but it's probably more devastating to them then to you if turned back upon them. It is not what a leftist really means it is what they say is destructive to them and self de-legitimizes them.

In your environment in front of your audience you have the luxury of intellectual purity, but out in the world where the neutrals are to be won over I think conservatives have to learn how to throw a rhetorical pilum before they begin their spiels of truth.

Paul Bischoff said...

Which should not be conflated with an actual question of clarification so one's interlocutor's position can be surely known, correct?

It looks like the difference is in whether it's a statement or question. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

slarrow said...

Got close. Nice.

Truth be told, I used the " think" term because I searched DrTorch's comments and found that particular phrase, but I did notice it for the reason Vox states. I have used the phrasing " so you seem TO ME to be saying" pretty frequently since I first read Descartes (who didn't trust anything his senses told him). But the troublesome sense is when a guy uses it to speak for himself AND you. It's not a dialogue, it's a monologue where the gamma uses you to set up his winning lines. It's basically a public daydream. No wonder they squeal so when it's shattered.

automatthew said...

Are Gamma tactics, like most evils, perversions of something good?

This underhanded strawman approach resembles a tactic I use regularly in stressful or confused technical conversations, but with the goal being to improve understanding. "What I hear you saying is..." or "My understanding of what you said is...". Let's gain agreement; let's make sure we're all on the same page.

Similarly, other Gamma tactics and behaviors you've discussed recently have reminded me of things I do intentionally, but with the desire to help, not to hinder; to organize, not to tear down. Perhaps these Gamma tropes are twisted versions of Beta ones?

Vox said...

Which should not be conflated with an actual question of clarification so one's interlocutor's position can be surely known, correct?

That's correct. The Gamma isn't interested in receiving clarification, he's trying to assert that the interlocutor is saying something that he is not, in fact, saying.

Corvinus said...

That wasn't what I was expecting, but now that I think about it, it does seem like another sort of dogwhistling, or appealing to the crowd, of the type that SJW leftoids engage in all the time. "Hey guys! Can you believe this idiot is saying this-and-this? You should dogpile him now! ... Pleeeease?"

cailcorishev said...

An honest request for clarification starts with something like, "Are you saying," not, "You seem to be saying." The former waits for clarification and then responds to it; the latter shifts the meaning and then runs with it.

Vox said...

Are Gamma tactics, like most evils, perversions of something good?

I wouldn't go that far, except to observe that in order for rhetorical pseudo-dialectic to pass for dialectic, it has to actually sound like dialectic.

Noah B said...

The false characterization of what someone said is key, and this was a particularly blatant example of that, but it only makes sense that it's better to address what someone actually said than your interpretation of what they said.

Jack Amok said...

I found the exchange above pretty illuminating. The rant against evil oil companies took me by surprise. It seemed to come out of the blue. So I spend a good five minutes going back over the comment thread looking for some place someone other than Joshua had said anything about evil oil companies, but nobody had mentioned them at all prior to Joshua's bizaare rant. And it's worth noting, Joshua wasn't ranting against Evil Oil Companies, he was ranting against people who, supposedly, used the boogeyman of "Evil Oil Companies" to justify the Iranian revolution. Except Joshua was the only person in the thread who ever said anything about oil companies at all. It had come out of the blue.

Does this behavior remind you of anything? Remember the anti-GG nitwit SuperSpaceDad who forgot to actually post his sock-puppet fake threats before screen-scraping them to tut-tut about how horrible GG types were? I bet we know where he is in The Heirarchy. Of course there have been a bazillion instances of women faking all sorts of outrages, from death threats to rape threats to rape itself, in an effort to gain some sort of moral high ground, but perhaps that's just more evidence of Gamma being associated with female behavior patterns.

Vox said...

I found the exchange above pretty illuminating. The rant against evil oil companies took me by surprise. It seemed to come out of the blue. So I spend a good five minutes going back over the comment thread looking for some place someone other than Joshua had said anything about evil oil companies, but nobody had mentioned them at all prior to Joshua's bizaare rant.

That's the key to understanding how Gammas argue. They are terrified of losing, so the safest thing to do is argue against a strawman of your own device that you are sure to defeat. This is why they don't even directly engage anything you say, but instead talk about it, mock it, and dismiss it without justification.

I first noticed this with Scalzi back in 2005. He'd raise a point, I'd address it, and then he'd go on to something else as if neither one of us had said anything at all. It was totally mystifying at the time.

So, this suggests another strategy to effectively deal with them. Encourage them to go as far as they're willing to go down the strawman road, then pull the rug out from under them by pointing out that they're ranting about something no one has even mentioned. Then hammer their insecurities.

Trust said...

@: . This is why they don't even directly engage anything you say, but instead talk about it, mock it, and dismiss it without justification.
______

It's how leftists argue too. When you tear apart thirty points, they like to shift the topic to motives.

Corvinus said...

It's how leftists argue too.

Most male SJWs seem to be Gammas, with a number of Lambdas thrown in. And after reading Sinistar's comments, I suspect that ardent neocons (i.e., Trotskyite Republicans) tend to be Gamma as well.

Jack Amok said...

Are Gamma tactics, like most evils, perversions of something good?

In this case, I don't think so. I think the Gamma Strawman tactic is an outgrowth of the Gamma's habit of living in a make-believe world. The real world is - to borrow from Anonymous Conservative - too painful to the Gamma's amygdala, so he constructs a fake world in his head. He exists in a world where he is virtuous, smart, clever, popular, and in control, and his enemies (actaully, probably his friends too) are represented by sock-puppets who obediently follow the narrative the Gamma has constructed to make himself feel superior to them.

So, in Joshua's head, there is this sock-puppet named "Vox" who believes the '79 Iranian revolution was justified because Evil Oil Companies were oppressing the poor natives. The sock-puppet exists because the real Vox is too threatening to Joshua's self-image. Joshua might lose an argument to the real Vox, but he'll never lose one to Sock-Puppet Vox, because Joshua is controlling the sock puppet.

The tactic isn't, I suspect, actually a tactic at all in the sense we would understand it. I think it's actually the manifestation of a psychological problem. That would explain why Gammas continue to use it even after being explicitly called out on it multiple times in the same thread. If it was a mere tactic, they'd stop using it when it was obvious it had been recognized.

Jack Amok said...

An honest request for clarification starts with something like, "Are you saying," not, "You seem to be saying." The former waits for clarification and then responds to it; the latter shifts the meaning and then runs with it.

I wouldn't say "shifts the meaning." I'd say "fabricates." There is a legitimate reframing tactic that shifts the meaning while still describing the same thing, only in a different way. For example, on a recent VP thread, someone said being good at lobbying was no reason to hate someone. I reframed "lobbying" as "getting a mob together" to show why it could indeed be a reason for hatred. Certainly "getting a mob together" carries a different connotation than "lobbying" but still describe the same fundamental activity of trying to exert influence over public decisions through group pressure.

What Joshua did was invent an argument out of thin air. Also worth noting is that Joshua's strawman argument was based on him inputing a certain set of intentions to Vox. He wasn't content to claim Vox was wrong about results, he had to claim Vox had bad intentions.

Noah B said...

"What Joshua did was invent an argument out of thin air."

Same with DrTorch.

Noah B said...

Also, I don't think this rule should apply to the use of skeptical african kid memes.

mmaier2112 said...

Man, I wish I'd read this stuff 20 years ago. I could have freed up a lot of my internet time.

I do like the "rug pulling out / hammer insecurities" idea though. I can egg idiots on in their idiocies just fine.

dw said...

I was kinda surprised that DrTorch went all Breaking Gamma on you, Vox. Hes been here a while and shouldve known better.

Vox said...

I was kinda surprised that DrTorch went all Breaking Gamma on you, Vox. Hes been here a while and shouldve known better.

Socio-sexuality is integral to the psychology. He could no more resist the urge to try to seek revenge for my contemptuous dismissal of scientistry - and therefore him - than I could to quietly follow the disastrous orders of an overmatched Delta. This is a predictive model, after all.

Corvinus said...

I was kinda surprised that DrTorch went all Breaking Gamma on you, Vox. Hes been here a while and shouldve known better.

Porky and Sinistar too. All three of them. I wonder who'll be next...

Hd Hammer said...

Found this series interesting. Always thought the described tactic is merely the result of imprecise thought process....but now I understand that it's actually motivated.

archerfisher21 said...

The irony is, that exact phrase is going to be needed if you try arguing with a gamma, because they're slippery little bastards. You try to nullify one point, they'll claim you don't understand or it doesn't relate. Urgh. So you try to get put down what they're arguing so they can't claim you're off topic when you refute them.

dw said...

"This is a predictive model, after all. "

It's amazing how predictive it is, too. Gamma's seem to have the least variability out of any of the ranks, and they all use the exact same lines when they argue. It's uncanny.

"Porky and Sinistar too. All three of them. I wonder who'll be next..."

Probably Laguna Beach Fogey.

cailcorishev said...

If it was a mere tactic, they'd stop using it when it was obvious it had been recognized.

For the smart ones (especially the midwits), it works because most people aren't able to recognize what they're doing and call them on it. They "win" arguments with it over and over, so it becomes habitual, to the point where they probably don't even realize they're doing it, if they ever did.

automatthew said...

"Porky and Sinistar too. All three of them. I wonder who'll be next..."

Laguna Beach Fogey.


Rabbi B said...

"I was kinda surprised that DrTorch went all Breaking Gamma on you, Vox. Hes been here a while and shouldve known better."

It's only a matter of time: Behold, your Gamma will find you out.

A [Gamma] has no delight in understanding, but only in expressing his own heart . . . a [Gamma's] lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for blows. A [Gamma's] mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

Truly, nothing new under the sun.

Earl Thomas said...

So that line has gamma replacing a fool.

Why not call it lessons on how to not be a fool?

MidKnight said...

In retrospect, that line should have been obvious. The key is that weasel-word "seeming". I often rephrase something to make sure both sides are clear. "Let me see if I understand, let me put it in my own words" - and I make sure they concur with my understanding, or we clarify it until both sides understood what was meant. But "seem?" It's an invitation to exactly the straw man abuse by completely redefining what was said, or simply making shit up.

If you hadn't specified a longer phrase, I'd have voted for "I'm Just Saying".

Really - you're talking just to talk? For no purpose?

No - it's an attempt to leave an escape hatch if someone takes issue with what was said, to avoid responsibility for why they said whatever they did.

Rabbi B said...

"Why not call it lessons on how to not be a fool? "

The behaviors are remarkably parallel. The socio-sexual hierarchy contains a number of observable truths that are simple reflections of greater Truth. And since many of the negative 'Gamma' traits are readily identifiable in the context of this greater Truth, perhaps the path to graduating Gamma and changing these repugnant behaviors may also be discovered within that same context:

"The fear of the L-RD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." (Proverbs 15)

The fool also says in his heart that there is no G-d . . . it is observable that the Gamma often operates under similar delusions of grandeur and is genuinely surprised when he is not accorded the honor and reverence of which he sincerely believes he is so worthy.

As long as humility and self-denial remains anathema to the Gamma, he is condemned to life as a perpetual adolescent in junior high whose glory days are one long series of pissing contests that no one but he himself will remember. For him, being right will always be more important than acting right.





Rabbi B said...

"No - it's an attempt to leave an escape hatch if someone takes issue with what was said, to avoid responsibility for why they said whatever they did."

Spot on and well said. It's all about protecting themselves and most especially the precious image they have fashioned of themselves. Damn anyone who dares to hold up a mirror to their faces and reminds them not to think of themselves higher than they ought.

Desiderius said...

"In your environment in front of your audience you have the luxury of intellectual purity, but out in the world where the neutrals are to be won over I think conservatives have to learn how to throw a rhetorical pilum before they begin their spiels of truth."

Always maintaining control of one's emotions goes a long way.

maniacprovost said...

"Similarly, other Gamma tactics and behaviors you've discussed recently have reminded me of things I do intentionally, but with the desire to help, not to hinder; to organize, not to tear down. Perhaps these Gamma tropes are twisted versions of Beta ones?"

Yeah, a while ago Vox was talking about how gammas won't give the assistance requested of them, but instead start asking why the supplicant wants it, wouldn't they rather have something else instead, etc. Which is a good point, but... typically, to solve a complex problem, you have to start from the complaints and then figure out what people really want. It's called defining the problem.

On the other hand, if its something simple like "jump start my car," then you shouldn't start talking up the Model S.

High Arka said...

Real men always understand what other real men have said. There is no need to ask for clarification. Debating is for sissies like the sissies who built western civilization.

Gunnar von Cowtown said...

I can't remember who first put forth the "women are gammas" theory, but this lends another useful data point.

dw said...

It'd be more accurate to say that Gammas are women. Women are what they are, but men have no excuse.

Jack Amok said...

I can't remember who first put forth the "women are gammas" theory, but this lends another useful data point.

I'll claim credit for it and the thing that first got me thinking about it was the response Gammas had on here and other Game-related sites to advice on doing better with women. After complaining about women (or divorce-rape, or feminism, etc.) they would bitterly attack anyone offering them advice on how to improve their chances and would do their best to refocus the discussion on their complaints. I recognized it as the common female pattern of just wanting to commiserate about problems with no desire for anyone to tell her how to solve the problem herself. Or alternately, the female problem-solving strategy of complaining (aka bitching or nagging) about things until someone fixed her problems for her.

I coupled that with what I'd learned about early childhood brain development and some of the differences in how a boy and a girl's brain develop, and suddenly I saw the possibility a Gamma was a guy with some part of his brain wired in a female manner. Not gay, just using female thought patterns.

I initially thought it was hopeless for Gammas to ever change, but I'm less hopless now. The brain is more plastic than I thought a while back. It just takes work.

Corvinus said...

Actually, women aren't quite the same as Gammas. They often argue the same way, but women are more likely to eventually submit and shut up. Gammas keep going like one of those inflatable clowns used for boxing practice. (There are women like that of course, such as insanitybytes, but they're only a subset.)

But otherwise, it's close enough. It occurred to me that maybe this is the rationale for Gamma-lesbian or Gamma-feminazi marriages, like (maybe) Anthony Weiner / Huma Abedin, or that guy who married Jessica Valenti. The women are attracted to their own sex, and a Gamma's behavior is close enough to that of a woman to work. (Lesbians also seem have a soft spot for Sigmas like Mel Gibson for some reason, probably because they are still attracted to men to an extent.)

Retrenched said...

OT -- gonna leave this here because I don't want to derail the new thread. Alpha chaser wakes up at 36 to realize that alpha chasing and freaky circus sex doesn't bring her lasting happiness. Maybe she can find a "nice guy" to wife her up now?

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/23/the_orgy_prude_how_i_finally_admitted_i_dont_like_meaningless_porn_star_sex/

High Arka said...

Women are definitely gammas. Indecisive little wimps like Hillary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher can't get anything done and are always hemming and hawing about what they "believe" in.

Manly men are like Theodore Beale. They spend their time writing blogs explaining their ideas about how other people spend too much time explaining their ideas.

I can't BELIEVE how obvious sissy betas are when they try to "communicate" something.

JCclimber said...

to answer the obvious troll, I haven't seen Hillarious Clinton take responsibility for a single action she took as Secretary of State.

She can certainly get things done. No one ever said the minions of evil cannot advance Satans cause....

Markku said...

Haha, I remember when High Arka was here the last time, but only now noticed she is female from the profile. I imagined a pathological, cantankerous gamma male, in the style of King A.

Jack Amok said...

Haha, I remember when High Arka was here the last time, but only now noticed she is female from the profile.

When you consider how the average woman reacts to the average gamma, it must seem a damn cruel thing to them when we observe that Gammas remind us of women.

SarahsDaughter said...

When you consider how the average woman reacts to the average gamma, it must seem a damn cruel thing to them when we observe that Gammas remind us of women.

It's excellent correction. We've gotten to witness how men respond to other men who refuse to relent, refuse to submit, snipe and snark, and reframe and bloviate. Many women honestly have no idea how disgusting it is to men, her strong and independent behaviors and demonstrations of overinflated sense of intelligence and wit.

Women desire to be able to "fight like a man" when it comes to debating the issues, and as always happens, the men they fight like is the very least among men with the worst behaviors and rapport with high value men.

dvdivx said...

I take somewhat of an objection to the "So your're saying" as I use to argue with liberals by pointing out the absurd conclusions they were coming up with. It stopped not because I felt gamma but because confronted liberals became openly insane and I just felt there was no point in arguing with the insane.

Corvinus said...

@dvdivx

Using it honestly, on a Gamma, is subtly different, because you're not dishonestly reframing what they said. They do not have truth on their side, after all. But it does seem low Delta, as if you're afraid to actually throw a punch, but are getting set to throw a punch by exposing the absurdity of their position. I do something similar more aggressively simply by sneering at them and exposing their position, or the logical consequences of their position, to make them look stupid. Then, I let them go insane and let everybody else see it, and chuckle. Rinse and repeat with the next SJW.

Eric Slate said...

I use this phrase legitimately (without intentional reframe) when I teach math to my more intelligent students. Giving them the tools to criticize their own work is probably more important than any individual skill.

Later on, when I'm more sure of their ability, I'll drop this in favor of answering their questions directly.

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