site banner

Culture War Roundup for the week of August 21, 2023

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

14
Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

Came across the following post from the other site. The OP deleted it shortly after posting, so I'm pasting it below (strange that the mobile app preserves the text longer than the web app).

Title: I (29M) got 200 Hinge matches in 1 week, likely because of my job title. Am I wrong to feel some resentment?

I (29M) want to start out by saying I'm not a particularly handsome or good looking guy. I have a high hairline and a very weak chin. I'm a bit overweight, and not muscular. I'm 5'9.

After not dating for 3 years (I got brutally cheated on), in 2020, I finally made my first Hinge profile. I got maybe 20 matches over a month, then Trump went on TV and said he was cancelling all flights to Europe because of COVID and I ended up deleting the app.

During COVID, my career really became a rocketship. I had always been a hard worker (I don't drink and I'm kind of introverted, so I mostly focused on work), but things really came together for me during the pandemic in a really surreal way. Working remotely at my parents house, I spent a year rising up in my firm, and then because of my niche knowledge set, I was recruited to become a Partner at a very large venture capital firm. I'm currently making $350k a year, and depending on how the fund performs, up to $1.5M a year. None of it really seems real because I essentially didn't talk to anyone but my parents for two years and have basically been sitting all day on a computer in my highschool bedroom.

At the beginning of the year, I moved to a big city and started a relationship with a former friend. It was really tumultuous (she had much more experience than me and seemed to relish throwing it in my face) and it ended after half a year. It was my second relationship of my life, and she really hurt me in ways I'm still unpacking. She told me I'm lacking in confidence and inexperienced and immature and hard to love.

A few months after the break up, I decided to create another profile on Hinge just to see what was out there. I put on my profile that I was "Partner at VC firm" and HOLY SH*T. I got over 200 matches in a single week. Not to be shallow but these aren't mediocre people either. Many are beautiful women with serious jobs as doctors, private equity analysts, lawyers, etc and more. Several of them have messaged me first.

I feel absolutely and totally overwhelmed, and I've since stopped swiping on the app. I can't bring myself to message a single person, and over a hundred have already fallen into the "hidden" section because I never sent a message.

On one hand, I am feeling so overwhelmed by this female attention that I don't know what to do. All of these women seem to have their lives together, and meanwhile I'm this introvert with a weird internet job with no dating experience (seriously, I've never asked a woman on a date formally) and I don't know how to catch up. I seriously feel like if I meet in real life, they'll smell my inexperience on me. I also, for some reason, just don't want to be rejected if that makes sense.

On the other hand (and I'm doing my best to unpack this here), I can't help but feel disappointed at how much more female attention I'm receiving as a result of having a more prestigious job and title. I think the person I was 3 years ago was much happier, kinder, less jaded, more fun, more ambitious, more authentic and all around better as a whole - but I could barely get any matches. I literally miss the person I was. I look at these beautiful women in my matches now and I kind of feel a sense of resentment towards them for only showing interest in me now that I've climbed the mountain or become (at least outwardly) a "finished product" so to speak. I can't help but feel like I'm basically just being objectified for my money, and any relationship I start with these women will be tainted.

If anyone could offer some words of advice on how to get my footing or at least help me unpack why the way I'm feeling is incorrect, I'd be very appreciative. Thank you.

https://old.reddit.com/r/amiwrong/comments/161q6df/i_29m_got_200_hinge_matches_in_1_week_likely/

Once you've adequately formed your opinion on this, I would like to ask:

How quickly did you think that the story is entirely made up?

I'm posting this because I'm worried that I am more gullible than I thought. Hundreds of comments on the thread point out fairly convincing reasons why this is a creative writing exercise: some claim to have equally prestigious job titles and/or make more money, but did not experience anywhere close to the reported success here; others say they've temporarily changed their job titles to something made up and far fancier and it didn't move the needle; then some point out that 200 matches in a week would require he swipe 400 times at a 50% match rate, and that seems excessive for one who claims to not have bothered messaging any of them; finally, there are some vaguely incel tropes that make this seem more likely to have a hidden agenda in influencing popular opinions.

In my defense, the majority of comments seems to buy into the OP's story and responds sincerely; they also have more upvotes, suggesting the majority of lurkers tend to agree. But I think most people here hold themselves to a higher intellectual/rational standard than the average Redditor, so I do blame myself for not thinking critically enough. Are there any simple heuristics that I could have employed here to better avoid falling for creative writing exercises? I did think the post had challenged my priors about what drove dating app success rates, so perhaps one strategy is simply to be more faithful to your priors.

P.S. lol @ the new 500,000 character limit on posts. Seems excessive...

Meta-comment: At first glance, this looks like a terrible top-level CW post. "I saw a reddit post. It made people mad. It's fake, right?" It'd get more votes on the other site.

But - it seems to have generated a lot of interesting discussion and long replies. So on the whole, I'd prefer for it to have been posted. And then what does that say about my filter for a bad post?

It generally seems like there's a lot less of ... every kind of discussion ... on this site, generally, because of the toplevel post bottleneck. It's used as a quality filter and a way to keep the place focused and prevent it from drifting away from 'open serious smart discussion', but how much discussion is just lost as a result?

I don’t think it’s entirely unrealistic tbh. But I think you have to have a fair amount of experience with dating apps to know that.

There are a lot of factors that influence your popularity on dating apps, besides of course your traditional ones re: appearance. One of them is that the apps tend to give you a “new user” bump in visibility for the first few days you’re on the app. They show your profile to pretty much everyone, because a) their algorithms need to find out who likes you and who you like, and b) they want to get you a match quickly so that you get addicted to the app. Another factor is the preferences you set in the app. How big of an area range are you swiping on? What age range? Have you set any preferences regarding race, religion, height, etc.? If you keep your preferences set to the default (default being incredibly broad, which I assume this guy did, given he is new to the apps) then that shows your profile to a lot more people than if you set more narrow preferences. Finally, the metropolitan area you are in plays a factor. It’s a lot easier to rack up matches in the NYC area than it is in New Mexico, for example. I remember vacationing in Santa Fe and there were 5 girls in my age range on Bumble within 25 miles. I had to extend the range to like 60 miles to reach Albuquerque to see more matches.

The “new user bump” could explain why people changing their titles to something fancier didn’t experience a boost in popularity, since they were doing it with an existing account and had already been seen by the majority of the people within their range. On top of that, you don’t post your salary on dating apps. These folks claiming they make more money than this guy, kudos to them, but that’s not something you’re able to evaluate from a dating app profile. Most job titles tend to be illegible signals as to how much money you make. “Partner at X Firm” on the other hand, is a highly legible signal that the guy is successful (even assuming you don’t know much about VC, you might assume partner at a law firm and still correctly believe he is successful). “Portfolio manager” or something at a hedge fund is less legible, unless you know something about how hedge funds are hierarchically structured.

Premium memberships also play a role. Every app has a swipe limit; buying premium allows you to bypass the limit and swipe as much as you like. It’s easy to swipe on a hundred people per hour, if not more. When I was in college, I would buy premium and then set the minimum radius to one mile and swipe until I ran out of people. Then two miles, then three. The first two miles would only take me a couple hours of swiping in Boston. So I don’t think “he would have had to swipe right on 400 people at a 50% rate” is really a great argument for saying the post is fake. He could have swiped right on 10k people within a hundred mile radius in a day or two. Two hundred matches is a 2% match rate, which judging by the numbers I used to see from the bumble subreddit seems to be around the average for men (bumble lets you request your user data and see how many people swiped left/right on you). As for why he would keep swiping while not messaging anyone? For starters, I bet he was a kid in a candy store getting all those matches. He probably kept swiping for the pleasure of seeing who else would match with him. But also, he’s never asked someone out on a date before. Would he even know what to say?

Premium also tends to let you see who has already liked you and match with them immediately. When I have signed up for Tinder in the past, it wasn’t unusual for me to get hit with the “99+ people like you, upgrade your membership to see them!” ad after a day or two, seeing as I have lived in major metropolitan areas (Boston/NYC). It’s possible he used one of the other premium features (called Spotlight on Tinder, forget if the other apps have it), to place his card at the top of the in the stack and be shown to more people for a short period of time (30 minutes). This would allow more people to like him first and rack up matches quicker.

The last premium feature I can think of which might have played a role is the concept of priority likes. This is a feature typically reserved for the highest tier of premium membership. How it works is that your card will be shown before non-premium users and lower tier premium users when you like someone. Unfortunately, it’s one of the only ways some guys get matches on Tinder, because they get buried beneath the hordes of other men competing for the relatively smaller population of women on the apps.

To be clear, I’m not saying he did all of these things. However, a combination of just one or two of these premium features combined with the right circumstances could produce a high number of matches in a short period of time.

Finally, regarding the incel tropes being a tell. Those stereotypes exist for a reason. There are a lot of shy, nerdy dudes out there with not a lot of dating experience. The “red pill” experience of realizing that women are attracted to status is a common enough experience that an entire internet subculture emerged around helping men come to terms with the realization and helping other men reach the same realization. I imagine it is a similar realization for women, realizing men only like them for their bodies. Is it really that hard to believe that this dude with very minimal dating experience suddenly gains some social status because of his job and is shocked by how differently people treat him? We read stories all the time about people who experience dramatic weight loss being treated much differently. Why should this be different?

How quickly did you think that the story is entirely made up?

Here:

Working remotely at my parents house, I spent a year rising up in my firm, and then because of my niche knowledge set, I was recruited to become a Partner at a very large venture capital firm.

This trajectory strikes me as wildly low-probability for a socially reclusive remote 29-year-old, absent some impressive 'extra-curricular' excesses. Also 'very large' seems slightly off as a descriptor for a successful VC.

I recently switched from "Writer" to "Director of Marketing and Media" did nothing... Mind you it's possible that that screams bullshit job... but My impression is you have to communicate through the photos, not words.

Genuinely shocked guys don't do group Tinder days where they just all rent suits and go about taking photos in a major city, then all charter a yacht for the day and take photos on it.

I feel like Writer has its own appeal, despite being associated with impoverishedness.

I recently switched from "Writer" to "Director of Marketing and Media" did nothing

Those both sound like bullshit jobs.

Genuinely shocked guys don't do group Tinder days where they just all rent suits and go about taking photos in a major city, then all charter a yacht for the day and take photos on it.

Guys used to do stuff like this. It was called "pick up artist" or PUA, and there was a whole subculture around in in 2008 or so.

Maybe I should just bite the bullet with "Twitter CatGirl"

I had no idea what Hinge is (except from the context it's clear it's a dating app) but the whole thing read a bit suspicious. I wasn't ready to declare it fake because so much of it was outside of my experience, so I might just have been having entirely wrong ideas about how VCs or Hinge dating works, and I'm pretty terrible in reading people anyway, but also the post felt like having an agenda-pushing vibe so I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's all fake.

Of course it’s fake. But the profile he described would also NOT get 200 likes on hinge.

Partner at Vc firm isn’t even that prestigious. Definitely not to crush dating apps. I’ve had a few friends do well on dating apps but it wasn’t because they had fancy title. I’m better looking than how he described himself. So yes that’s creative writing and it’s from a dude who doesn’t even have a clue what would get a ton of likes on the apps.

My profile pretty much says hedge fund manager and I can attest I’ve never gotten filled with matches. Always had to find girls thru friends.

Also you know it’s fake because his brags aren’t even that much. 350 is like tech bro not vc god level.

It is funny that some version of quant trade is completely a ratosphere type of just yet in the rest of the world extremely niche.

I think ‘rationalism’ became a meme in HF quant circles so - unlike everyone else, who discovered it online randomly - people at Jane Street or whatever were actually discussing LessWrong articles around the water cooler (see SBF/Caroline discourse).

In general almost all the relevant core professions (law, finance, medicine, academia, tech) are well-represented here.

How quickly did you think that the story is entirely made up?

Does it matter if it is? It being real just means something unlikely happened to someone who is nobody to you.

The ability to discern between reality and fiction is important and people don't come to worldviews solely from statistics.

Yeah, it matters.

The ability to discern between reality and fiction is important

Yes, generally, but your ability to discern fact from fiction isn't put at risk just because you think the veracity or lack thereof of an online story is inconsequential.

In fact, a well written story could be more important than a true account from somewhere like /r/amiwrong for the debate it sparks up and the shared frustrations it articulates, even if everyone were aware that it is a story.

The ability to discern between reality and fiction is important and people don't come to worldviews solely from statistics.

Yeah, it matters.

But this isn't, "I gave birth to a Bat Boy."

It's just some random person alleging they got more matches on a dating website because they have a nice job title. I've never used Hinge. I'm not a venture capitalist. It seems perfectly reasonable to me this guy might have significantly more matches than he had before if he's living in a bigger city and using a more appealing job title.

It's like if someone posted, "I used to be ugly and scrawny. Then I hit the gym and got swole, and now all my platonic women friends suddenly want to date me," and we were asked to decide if it was real or not. Why couldn't that be real? It might not be. It could be. It's not a science fiction story.

People should not be able to vote. Letting the ruling class hide behind people's insecurities is unadvisable.

But it's a interesting and useful exercise picking out what actually might be real.

How much somebody saying "some unlikely shit happened once to one person our of 9 billion people" should cause you to update your worldviews? Not an easy question, I think.

Seems real to me. If he was at a VC that did crypto they could have been ejaculating money over the pandemic.

Also his story seems not implausible given my own experience.

I filled out an OKC profile once and was my honest funny cute self. I also included my income, $250-500k and mentioned quant finance. I was getting about 3-4 dates a month. The women weren't amazing but not bad either. I kept this up for a year or so.

Then I came across some OKC blog post about how income is the biggest predictor of dating success for men. I felt crushed, in a lot of the ways the quoted guy did. Surely this didn't really apply to me?

So I removed my income from my OKC profile.

After that I landed two whole dates total over the course of an entire year.

Jokes on me, I'm cute and funny but not enough to cut through the noise the way possibly making $500k does.

Having sizeable income shows much more than just pure money numbers. It shows social skills, certain level of IQ (yes, there are exceptions, but there are always exceptions), likely a reasonably stable job, to some measure your social circles, your available budgets, etc. Having no information at all about any of that creates a risk, and the risk would not likely be justified given how many alternatives there are around.

I mean, it makes sense. If I have friends who don't earn high income I can often point to obvious character flaws, limits to intellect or mental illnesses. I can further imagine I'd probably not enjoy being in an intimate relationship with them.

Which isn't to say you are broken if you don't pull high income, but it's a not bad heuristic.

I find a rhetorical move that makes somebody saying "if you are a chess grandmaster, it's more likely than not that you are smart" into "so, you're saying if I'm not chess grandmaster, I am a moron, and if I don't play chess at all, I probably need to be institutionalized as hopeless drooling imbecile?!" to be very disingenuous and off-putting. I'd appreciate a little less of aggressive bad faith misunderstanding.

I wasn't being that extreme.

But also, chess is pretty superfluous to living a good life? Whereas money often directly affects the quality of your life?

Sure some people achieve enlightenment working as humble ferrymen deep in the woods but that's not the norm by far.

I think there's a question of what the data actually shows, though. For example, some percentage of women are mercenary gold diggers, in that they very much want the richest man they can find who isn't a complete piece of shit or horrifically unattractive to them (and even there there are people who will waive those requirements). I had no idea there were dating apps where you can literally filter for income, but given escorting / 'sugar babying' is a thing, that some women would seek a more permanent similar arrangement is obvious.

But the same relatively modest proportion of serious 'gold diggers' in a city who meticulously screen for wealthy men might then circulate among them, leading those men to perceive themselves as much more attractive to women in general once the latter knows their income even if that isn't the case. By the way, women dating for money is obviously completely a thing, but ime for many PMC type women it's less important because they know they'll have 'enough' either way and so being stuck in an unhappy marriage to a rich man for 40 years is less worth it than it would be to someone from grinding poverty or 150 years ago when her choice in husband usually determined a woman's economic class for life.

I know one attractive, accomplished, PMC woman from a decent family who married a much older (early fifties) uglyish (not hideous, still tall, not particularly overweight) rich guy in her very late twenties. But he's worth many hundreds of millions, is extremely nice and kind (and has a wide reputation as such), treats her like a queen, and she was never the kind of woman who went for looks in men anyway.

You can extend this logic to more famous cases. Larry Page has a beautiful blonde wife whose sister is a model and who has a PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford, masters from Oxford, both parents have PhDs, essentially perfect hotness + intelligence pedigree. But at the same time, they met when she was 27 and he was 34, he's hardly ugly and is 5'11, and he married her within a year of dating. Even billionaires struggle to hit jackpot, many settle for pure looks on their second or third wives.

Larry Page has a beautiful blonde wife

A bit bad to say, but she's rough to look at, which accentuates your point.

She has a goofy smile, but I think she's pretty (and would be at least to most men).

It was an interesting experience in a few ways. None of the women I went on dates with struck me as gold diggers really. That was the biggest part of the head fuck I guess. Maybe they know to play it cool, but my pop culture impression of gold digging is that women drop hints constantly about wanting expensive gifts and going to exclusive places. Man always pays. Etc

I think they just generally found men less attractive if they didn't earn high income.

I feel like gold digger is the wrong angle to come into. I've been in a similar position dating, managed to date a bunch of professional high-flyers I met through various apps, and it's more of a 'I want a partner who's a financial equal' thing than a 'I expect my lifestyle to be subsidized' thing in a lot of cases

From my experience 'equal' is a lower bound. Just as a woman wants a man at least her height (but ideally taller) she wants a man earning at least her salary (but more is better).

Still I think the suggestion of gold-digger comes with an implication that the girl is contributing next-to-nothing financially

Yeah I don't use the term myself for the reason that basically every woman cares about how much a man earns. If we define that as gold digging, then every woman is a gold digger.

Similarly, if we define gold digging as women pretending to be attracted to a man because he's rich, then I would say there are very few women who meet that definition. My experience is that a man having wealth, fame, power etc makes him genuinely more attractive to women, in a way that is pretty alien to male sexuality.

Money is an imperfect representation of social status, but it is somewhat correlated. And honestly status is probably the main thing women go for, far above looks or money(tell me, how many successful scrap metal entrepreneurs pulling million dollar incomes and able to provide a vacation condo in the Caribbean, a mansion and a lake house in the US, etc, etc have wives who are beautiful and intelligent and good breeding etc? Probably few of them, they have bimbo model or eastern euro wives, or else marry smart women with serious family baggage).

Did you list how you got such a high income in your profile? I’m guessing that ‘surgeon, makes $350k’ is far more attractive to non-explicitly golddigging women than ‘owner of a plumbing business, nets $400k’.

I immediately thought it was fake because it's structured way too closely to a female experience, which is to become hot and suddenly get a lot more matches - too many to manage. This is probably bait to get people thinking about double standards. Of course, there is no believable male analog to that experience.

Of course, there is no believable male analog to that experience.

As the song says, girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money. While I doubt the story about getting hundreds of formerly way out of his league replies, I can well believe that a guy who upped his earnings to $350k a year found he was getting a lot more positive responses than when he was the same guy on half the money.

Men are simpler*, in that they're wired "fuck hot chick, big booba" so a woman who manages to lose weight and is averagely attractive will get a ton of responses (including the infamous dick pics). So while a man who increases his attractiveness via "he can spend money on me" won't get the same volume of responses, I think that analogy does hold: same guy, more money, more women considering him (especially if it's 'well he's ugly but so long as he takes me out to fancy places and buys me expensive stuff, I can put up with it' attitude). After all, escort services aren't selecting which clients they'll see on the basis of "is he good-looking enough?" but "can he and will he pay top dollar?"

*Apologies, gentlemen; I'm not scorning your sensitive and poetic souls which yearn for love and companionship and intimacy, we're talking on an evopsych level here.

For me it was more educational: when I got my PhD, a lot more women got the D (and the Ph, because I'm rather didactic). It was comparable to the increase in female attention I received after losing about 40 lbs of fat.

I can believe that going into five-figures salary territory would result in a lot of female attention.

I don’t think anyone is getting excited about 10,000 or even 99,999.

Hah! I missed two digits. Shows how much I make...

How quickly did you think that the story is entirely made up?

Around this point: "I feel absolutely and totally overwhelmed, and I've since stopped swiping on the app."

Scrolling up, there were parts of the story that looked suspicious, but none of them was really a red flag.

It's may not be real but it doesn't really have to be.

I have several friends who are doctors. The amount of attention they get from women is actually unbelievable to me. It's so much attention that it becomes a problem, and they have to start hiding things on social media to prevent women from basically stalking them.

So depending on the city, I could absolutely see this as being true, since I've seen a version of it be true first hand.

If this is true, this is why the AMA will forever be a cartel. Fuck over an entire profession and many many QALYs for the bitches.

I'm posting this because I'm worried that I am more gullible than I thought.

Are there any simple heuristics that I could have employed here to better avoid falling for creative writing exercises?

Sure, you could practice being cynical:

cyn·i·cal /ˈsinək(ə)l/

adjective

  1. believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

There's a reason rationalists are sometimes accused of being quokkas. There is also a reason why, at a certain threshold, open-armed rationalists can be seen transforming virtually overnight into hardened black-pilled culture warriors. The transition from Jedi to Sith portrayed in the Star Wars prequels is sometimes mocked as too abrupt, in a way that is arguably responsible for all the Jedi lore that has developed since (though it did give us a wonderful bit of flash rationalfic from Eliezer Yudkowsky). But the strongest counter is that George Lucas just had it right to begin with: the most sensitive are the most vulnerable. A mistrustful misanthrope who is constantly on guard against being tricked, lied to, and abused, is rather insulated against betrayal from the beginning.

By contrast, a tendency to simply believe what people say, until you have a reason to believe they are lying, is the kind of attitude that is difficult to maintain in the face of persistent exploitation. But if it is your "nature" (insofar as any of us has one of those) to be a quokka, you probably aren't going to change the first time you get burned. Instead, repeat burns are going to accumulate until it is simply no longer psychologically possible for you to ignore them, and then the whole quokka edifice is going to come crashing down all at once.

I would like to suggest that the question you've posed is complicated in part because there is a good reason for you to continue falling for creative writing exercises: that you fall for them at all suggests you still have faith in humanity, or at least in its potential. There are explanations for every objection raised; the story as told is not literally impossible (I think--I've never used Hinge--but any given lie may also be an exaggeration, or an attempt at infosec, rather than proof that a story is entirely false). And even false stories may communicate truth, else why ever touch fiction? Presenting fiction as fact is problematic, of course, but there are also times when a carefully crafted lie is instrumental to uncovering truth.

The question that has faced careful thinkers since time immemorial, then, is whether your love the truth is so strong that you are willing to be stripped of human experience as a result. Socrates died for the truth, and Plato preached the virtues of the solitary mind. The original Cynics, including Diogenes of Sinope, were ostracized from polite society over their commitment to the truth. But there are others--Aristotle, the Epicureans--who thought that socialization was crucial to human flourishing. They, too, were committed to truth, but the Epicureans at least recommended against participation in certain kinds of conversations (most especially, politics!).

It's probably good mental hygiene to maintain a healthy skepticism against anything you read on the Internet; anonymity and inaccountability present a different incentive profile than face-to-face interactions, after all. But "gullible" is not quite the same thing as "open and trusting." Aristotle might say that "gullible" is having too much trust, while cynicism is having too little. I don't know what the relevant virtue-mean is ("credulous?" maybe just "trusting?") but striking the right balance is probably the pursuit of a lifetime. Falling for a somewhat-plausible work of creative fiction is a far cry from, say, getting bilked out of your life savings.

Trust but verify as the golden mean?

Trust but verify as the golden mean?

That seems right to me, yeah. Thanks for pointing it out!

What's the difference between "trust but verify" and "don't trust"?

The post is fake. Reddit users write far more than they need to on their story, including useless details that a real person being bothered by their problem wouldn't include. However, it appeals to a real, observable phenomenon: a dude is worth as much as his stacks of paper.

Like everyone else, I assume most posts like this on reddit are fake more often than not. Others have mentioned a lot of the reasons to doubt its veracity. A few things that stood out to me:

  1. Too many details that are just too perfect for the agenda it's pushing. Incels really hate that high-status women chase high-status (wealthy) men, so "Ugly loser living in his parents' basement attic suddenly gets lots of matches when he advertises that he makes a lot of money" is candy for a certain type of redditor.
  2. I'm not all that familiar with the financial world, but the idea that his career as a "VC partner" "skyrocketed" while he's working from home in his parents' house in his jammies seems... unlikely.
  3. $350K is a very decent salary, especially if he has occasional $1M+ years, but it's not mega-rich, super-high status, it's not Hollywood star or decimillionaire-level success, of the sort that would have literally hundreds of hot doctors, lawyers, and private equity analysts (whatever that is) flocking to him. Especially if he's as homely he describes. That sounds like a number someone who's never made anywhere near that pulled out of the air as "makes a lot of money."
  4. Someone who lists himself as a "VC Partner", especially if he doesn't look like one in his profile, I would assume raise alarm bells with women viewing him. Women know just as well as men do that people lie on the Internet. I'm sure he'd get some hits, but I doubt he'd get that many VC-chasers credulously sliding into his DMs.

I came to the same conclusions. The chances of someone being a VC Partner and living in mom’s basement are basically nil. The people hiring him would have noted signs of low status (and not having your own place and car are extremely low status.

Some of the richest people I know still live with/at their parents' place, but their parents place is like a $20m Manhattan townhouse or 14-room co-op in a top building where they have a chef, a live-in housekeeper, and their parents are away 8 months of the year so they essentially live 'by themselves'.

That still wouldn’t be “living in mom’s basement.” He’d have a whole wing of the house, and a nice car that would advertise status enough to overcome the perception of poverty. Especially if the family is obviously rich.

Bill Burr has a funny bit about men not being prepared for the kind of female attention that comes with becoming rich/famous...

Eh, it could go either way. My feeling was along the lines of a guy who make a hinge account as a "partner at vc"; Was surprised at the reaction and continued larping.

A lot of women go for fame, but fame is different from wealth. Fat middle-aged guys who sell their family's tools business might have $30m in the bank, but they're not famous, they don't get into the good parties, they don't have famous friends, they're not 'cool'. A low-level rapper, mediocre club DJ who occasionally books big clubs in Myokonos or Tulum, a singer in an indie band that achieved regional success and plays to crowds of a few hundred people, and an artist you'd only have heard of in the Dimes Square scene but who is known in NYC art circles are all much, much poorer than the above, but they also undoubtedly do better with women.

Burr is famous. He knows a ton of Hollywood celebrities, he gets invited to all the events. That's a different kettle of fish.

You're arguing different points.

Burr is famous. He knows a ton of Hollywood celebrities, he gets invited to all the events. That's a different kettle of fish.

That has nothing to do with the clips. Why comment on something you didn't listen to?

As if most women would know that Partner is an order of magnitude more prestigious than "Associate" and the thousand other job titles that are floating around nowadays.

I think it's pretty well known that "Partner" is the shit and "Associate" is just shit. The ambiguous ones are things like "VP" or "Director".

Nah, Partner is good at a good firm and literally nothing at a small firm. So these women would have to have knowledge of the VC scene, which strikes me as... Unlikely.

If you're bright enough to know what VC is but not inside baseball enough to know which firm is which you're more likely to reject all VC claims than to give credibility to every one of them because "Venture Capital" is also the job claimed by a hundred thousand morons online.

If you're bright enough to know what VC is but not inside baseball enough to know which firm is which you're more likely to reject all VC claims than to give credibility to every one of them because "Venture Capital" is also the job claimed by a hundred thousand morons online.

Similar for people claiming to be a trader, since 99.99% of the time it's somebody yeeting around their Robin Hood balance on memestocks for a few months before going broke

"Executive" is ambiguous as well

Yep, you need that "Chief" in front of it to really mean something, hence the term "C-level".

29 year old ain’t lateraling into partner at a very large VC. Also generally the carry is a lot more complex (and profitable) compared to 1.5m.

Yeah, even if he did make it into the job by 29, it would be quite a few years before he was making real money given the startup cycle these days.

Exactly. Post made a mockery of how carry works for the partners making the deals.

Money, job and education matter far less for dating than what people think. I know plenty of people with fantastic careers, high levels of education and high income who are reasonably looking and decent people who barely get any dates. Some end up dating women who are clearly unattractive. I have friends who have low paying jobs, failed high school and are broke but date women noticeably more attractive than them.

The factor that correlates the most with dating success for men is being the guy who would be the one who would stand out the most at a party. Not counting clownish behaviour or someone who stands out because they are a freak but stand out in a more positive way. The guy doesn't have to look that good, he just needs to be the center of attention at a party.

A real estate agent with average looks probably has a far hotter wife than a similar looking man with a masters in engineering who makes three times the money.

As long as you aren't completely broke, unemployed or have a terrible job or a hideous face the main correlate of your dating success will be skills most associated with car salesmen. Rich men aren't more successful for being rich, they are successful because they can buy themselves the attention. If the party is on your yacht it is difficult not be the center of attention.

I have seen too many men optimize their career thinking it will give them an attractive wife. It doesn't. They end up being 29 with a masters in statistics/CS and guys with similar backgrounds think they are cool. For women they are just the same guy drinking the same beer. I have asked guys in this scenario what it would take for them to have met a women. No women rejected them on a night out because of their job and few women even know what they do. Getting the next promotion or increasing their salary wouldn't matter since few women even know what they make or what they do. Unless they become spectacularly rich it won't matter. Most women don't know the difference between tech support or graphics engine developer nor do they know how much you make.

Money, job and education matter far less for dating than what people think. I know plenty of people with fantastic careers, high levels of education and high income who are reasonably looking and decent people who barely get any dates. Some end up dating women who are clearly unattractive.

Not to harp on again about it but this is once again a symptom of modern Western social norms. Back home "fantastic careers, high levels of education and high income" are like the top 3 things families look for (definitely all three are in the top 5 once you remove dealbreakers like religious compatibility) when suggesting men for their daughters. Long term I expect that valuing these things is beneficial for society as a whole compared to the current modus operandi of the West.

It seems totally possible to me that the typical woman in western countries would go down a bit in terms of handsomeness/height to date a man with a good, stable job and a strong intention to commit to her, but has no idea how to go about making that bargain.

From talking to girl friends/watching them swipe on dating apps, I'd beg to differ. Plenty of guys who are pretty stable, nerdy vibes get instantly dismissed for being boring.

I’ve always thought this was a mixed bag. In the ‘old country’ rich men typically weren’t just set up with the prettiest possible woman either - there were all sorts of family ties, dowries, possible commercial or political links and so on to consider, plus temperament and who seemed likely to be a good wife and mother. Many a rich man was married to a plain rather than beautiful woman whom his family considered a good match.

In the ‘old country’ rich men typically weren’t just set up with the prettiest possible woman either - there were all sorts of family ties, dowries, possible commercial or political links and so on to consider, plus temperament and who seemed likely to be a good wife and mother.

And it's the same for us right now. Recently my mother talked about finding me a wife, and the number 1 most important thing she said was that the girl must have a "good heart", in fact she didn't even mention looks at all until I told her that was important as well and that I would just staright up say no to any woman below my personal looks threshold, so she should keep that in mind when finding people.

I actually think this is a good thing. If you want a marriage to last long term and be successful, your wife having a good heart at 50 will be a lot more important than how she used to look at 25.

Looks need to pass a certain threshold but beyond that are less important compared to other traits.

This has always been my thinking. My greatest preference is a slim, tall model type (my height or taller) but that's a very limited category of women, many of whom regard me as too short or otherwise unattractive. I've only dated one woman like that. However, there are still plenty of great women out there for me.

Yep, I was doing decently well with women back when I was making essentially poverty wages for the city I was living in doing part time work and my living situation was such that I had almost no place to bring a girl back to.

What I did have a lot of back then was free time! Time to go out and try to meet women, time to think about improving my skills with women.

If you have a great job but it means you only have enough energy left over to spend maybe just a few hours a week trying to meet women, well you might not get good success unless maybe you get really focused on apps or match-making services or something. Although I don't know, I haven't tried much on those.

I should probably qualify this post, though, by saying that it's not unlikely that women would find, say, a 35 year old man who is almost broke and does not have his own place to be less attractive than a 25 year old man with the same characteristics. But I don't really know, I am only speculating there.

It could be totally fake, it could be a fictionalised version of the truth. What makes me go "Huh?" is "Trump went on TV and said he was cancelling all flights to Europe because of COVID and I ended up deleting the app". What has that got to do with presumably American guy looking for dates with American women in America?

As to the rest of it - it may well be a guy going "Women only like me for my money, not for myself" and that part about the ex rings true for this: "She told me I'm lacking in confidence and inexperienced and immature and hard to love". Sounds likely, if the rest of the story about being introverted and asocial and not asking any women out is correct.

So it's probably someone who got hurt by the brutal truth and is now picking at the scab with "look at all these women who would never give me the time of day if they knew what I was really like, and they only care about my money, I knew it".

The details are probably heavily fictionalised, but people are self-hating enough to do the emotional equivalent of cutting, which is what this is.

"Trump went on TV and said he was cancelling all flights to Europe because of COVID and I ended up deleting the app". What has that got to do with presumably American guy looking for dates with American women in America?

I remember exactly where I was when this happened. It wasn't just that Trump canceled flights. This was the same night that the NBA canceled it's season, and Tom Hanks tested positive. This all happened within a few hours. Everyone knew things would never be the same after that.

At the third sentence, I was leaning strongly towards fake. No one self-describes as having a weak chin. But my priors are rather high that all of these subs are filled with creative writing exercises and wish-fulfillment. If you're going to read these subs, you have to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride or there's no point in bothering.

Plenty of people on 4chan and incel forums would freely self-describe as having a weak chin.

No one self-describes as having a weak chin.

If you're in a particular self-lacerating mood and ruthlessly picking at all your flaws, you may well list out all the things wrong with you like "my chin is weak". There do seem to be sites where people are obsessed with tiny increments of "my jaw is the wrong shape, my forehead is wrong, my face isn't masculine enough".

I quickly suspected that this was fake, although the particular kind of fake I guessed was the moderately common "swap the gender and see if Reddit gives the same response" experiment.

For an example experiment, in the original post a man says "I stopped being attracted to my wife because she got overweight, and divorced her; my beautiful new wife is thin, but my ex makes snide comments about it, saying she's probably anorexic. Am I wrong to be offended?" The experiment post purports to be from a woman who says "I stopped being attracted to my husband because he was underweight, and divorced him; my handsome new husband is ripped, but my ex makes snide comments about it, saying he's probably on steroids. Am I wrong to be offended?" The author of the fake post then compares the responses to see what kind of double standards people apply.

Other folks mentioned the details that ring false, but the obvious one to me is getting matches on a dating app without changing your appearance. Absolutely nothing matters as much as the man's photographs. Even a man with a prestigious, high-paying job needs to prove it with photographs that depict him doing prestigious things, in or around expensive objects he purchased; changing the job title won't do it.

I suspect a gender-swap double standards test because the reverse post - "I'm a woman, during the pandemic I changed, now I get way more attention from the opposite sex, but for a superficial reason, so I have mixed feelings" - could be plausible if changing the right details. In the original post, she doesn't get a new job - she goes on a pandemic diet-and-exercise change that makes her much thinner, and the quantity and quality of dating app attention goes way up. I can imagine that other details that don't apply to men-looking-for-women on dating apps come from transliterating, rather than translating, similar parts of the original woman's post.

At no point did I think this was made up, perhaps I'm just gullible. I also made a lot of money during COVID, so that part seemed believable. The equity boom going on then seems like the best time for people with niche skillsets who sit in their bedroom (crypto people) to be getting high-paying jobs. There are all sorts of possible regional variations too. There might be many venture capitalists in San Francisco, but far fewer in smaller inland cities, so he'd get more attention there. This might also explain the prestigious lawyers who would most likely be in NY or LA complaining that they don't get attention.

Then again, I don't use dating apps and don't really know how they work.

I know nothing about dating apps, but the writing style tells me it’s fake.

I thought it was made up at the Title.

I would be shocked if anyone is reading anything in the profile at all. Other than swiping purely based on pictures. See: all those tinder experiments where the bio literally talks about being a child predator and a laundry list of other felonies with pictures of a male model and still gets 100s of thirsty chicks in the dm. I'm sure all those women are lovely folk who don't want to associate with a child predator.

The simple heuristics you should have known are just the mechanics of dating apps. Namely Rules 1 and 2. Applies to just about anything, The more you know about something, the more fine-tuned your BS detector, its not that complicated.

I mean that’s very consistent with the ‘different women have different preferences’ hypothesis- some women are looking for an underwear model(we can assume these women are overrepresented on dating apps) and probably don’t read the bios, but lots of women do read them.

I would be shocked if anyone is reading anything in the profile at all. Other than swiping purely based on pictures. See: all those tinder experiments where the bio literally talks about being a child predator and a laundry list of other felonies with pictures of a male model and still gets 100s of thirsty chicks in the dm.

Even more black-pilling: Many of those chicks did read the profile and were still more than down to get railed.

To be fair, are you really going to swipe left on this? or this?

In a vacuum, both would likely be “woulds” for me.

However, I actively screen out women who’ve had a child or children, even for casual flings, so the former would had been out.* The upper limit of my OLD age settings is generally quite a few years younger than when the latter did her infamous needful, so she wouldn’t had appeared for me to swipe in the first place.

Especially knowing what they allegedly did, even if they were younger and childless, I’d definitely pass. I’m not Captain Save-a-Hoe and I can’t fix them.

I’m also not indestructible: chloroform, drowning, stabbings, and bullets hurt me too! (To borrow from the Bill Burr bit).

To be fair2, the point is that it’s fairly well-accepted that men, for the most part, are thirsty coomers who will take what they can get. A lot of men will readily admit that they’re weak for female youth and beauty, and it’s morally agnostic just like how apples fall from trees. They don’t pretend their preferences have some sort of moral underpinning.

In contrast is the mainstream view that women are Wonderful, and that women’s attraction for men are but moral litmus tests for men who have the “correct” attitudes and behaviors, a view that in mainstream and online discourse many men will whiteknight and women will fight tooth and nail to protect and insist. It’s evergreen Just World insistence.

* Interestingly enough, I could had sworn she used to have a long and extensive Wikipedia article that appears to have been deleted; only an article for her daughter remains.

In contrast is the mainstream view that women are Wonderful, and that women’s attraction for men are but moral litmus tests for men who have the “correct” attitudes and behaviors, a view that in mainstream and online discourse many men will whiteknight and women will fight tooth and nail to protect and insist. It’s evergreen Just World insistence.

Yeah, this is the thing thing that stuck in my craw as a young man and still does when I run into it; it kinda vanished into the "Boo Straight White Male" background noise ~2017.

If you had been keeping up with the dating discussions on here, ACX, and /r/slatestarcodex, you would have known this is false from signaling economics.

If there were any possible string of text characters one could put in one's profile to increase one's match rate this much, then dudes would be doing exactly that. Getting the date, hoping to click, and then hoping she becomes attached and doesn't care that you're not rich is a much better strategy than getting zero dates. Perhaps you have ethical hangups that would prevent you from doing this (as do I), but there are plenty of desperate or overly horny guys out there who would be willing to do this.

Of course, women are agents, and thus would change their behavior after getting ripped off constantly. Most likely by disregarding text on male dating profiles without a credible signal to back it up.

EDIT: Actually, a much simpler way would be by looking at his baseline Hinge matches. I've never used Hinge, but if it's anything like Tinder and Bumble, 20 matches a month for someone overweight, not particularly handsome, and 5'9" is almost an order of magnitude higher than what I would find likely.

I wouldn’t claim to have particularly great bait detection relative to the modal Motte user, but there were three main things that tipped me off beyond the Bayesian prior that all things on the internet (especially Reddit) are of questionable veracity and sexuality:

  • Women messaging first
  • Partner at 29
  • Private equity “analysts”

Any story involving anything other than Bumble that mentions “several” women messaging first instantly makes me skeptical. Women are coy, and insanely passive and devoid of initiative when it comes to making the first move—especially beautiful women.

Normie chicks aren’t going to know what “VC” stands for—and even if they do and/or know what venture capital is, they don’t know if “partner” is a senior title is not. Eww what’s a “partner”? Is that what they call ranch-hands in “venture capital”? Ick. Thank u, next. And chicks that are familiar with venture capital (say, private equity "analysts") usually won't hold it in high esteem. Venture capital is like the greasy snake-oil sector of the "high-finance" realm.

Beautiful and not-so-beautiful female doctors, private equity “analysts,” and lawyers are constantly surrounded by high status, rich men who are generally taller than 5’9”: Other doctors, more senior men in private equity (including partners), more senior men in law (including partners). 5’9” can be a steep hole to climb out of, even with a robust income. Jamie, Table 5.5 of Height/Income Trade-offs, pull that shit up. And crickets are still a common experience for tall, high-income men in online dating and social media.

Furthermore, 29 would be an incredibly young age to make partner at a “very large” venture capital firm, regardless of a “niche knowledge set.” Multiple articles would be written about this person on Business Insider or whatever, and gossiped about in various online spaces. If a 29-year-old told me he was partner at a very large venture capital firm, I’d assume the firm was him and a few buddies in one of their parents’ basements. This is something most private equity “analysts” would suspect too, perhaps even some lawyers. Although I imagine many female “analysts” and lawyers would be willing to overlook such a technical detail if he’s sufficiently tall, good-looking, and/or famous, teehee.

I repeatedly put quotes around private equity “analyst(s).” Private equity “analyst” is a fairly uncommon position, so this aspect also rustled my Spidey senses. Sometimes there are private equity analysts (interns or straight-out-of-undergrad hires), but most junior private equity front-office personnel generally have the title of “associate,” having already served their sentencing spent at least two years or so as an analyst in investment banking.

Wealthmaxxing can certainly work in online dating and social media. However, that generally requires harder-to-fake signals like photos with exotic cars, expensive mansions/hotels/apartments, travel in exotic places. Photos with hot chicks are always helpful for the usual preselection and female mate-choice copying reasons, further confirmation that your wealth signals are credible. And that still wouldn’t boost one from crickets to 200 matches a week. Additionally, from an efficient markets perspective: A market as crowded as OLD from the male-side shouldn't have many $[X] dollar bills to pick-up.

The “let’s not forget that men bad” and “female hypergamy doesn’t exist, but if it does it’s only because men are so shitty and insecure”-type comments in that thread were all too predictable. I just made a reference to the quote “man who thought it was all so tiresome finds he is more tired than previously thought possible,” but it’s also quite pertinent here.

Agreed on analyst, good catch although people who aren’t in finance don’t know or understand the distinction between analyst and associate and so that alone doesn’t prove it’s fake. What does prove it’s fake is the VC thing which is 100% bullshit and that, as you say:

“Beautiful” and not-so-beautiful female doctors, private equity “analysts,” and lawyers are constantly surrounded by high status, rich men who are generally taller than 5’9”: Other doctors, more senior men in private equity (including partners), more senior men in law (including partners).

Rationalist or otherwise autistic online dating metrics obsession (of TRP, ‘cel and ‘normie’ variety) assumes class and social circles aren’t real and the market is efficient. In reality almost all mating is assortive, working class men aren’t competing with rich men and vice versa, dating down in terms of class is very low status and dating up in terms of class is more rare than at any time since the early 20th century. If one is an affluent white PMC, one is competing in the pool of this class. Even on apps, most people date in the same class, a working class makeup artist is subconsciously more likely to respond to the same guy with a good blue collar job, tattoos and a truck compared to in a suit or in khakis at the country club and with a generic PMC job, in part because she knows the former is more who she’s ‘supposed’ to date.

Rich women mostly don’t have to worry about losing on marriage to men of their social class to pretty working class girls who work as hairdressers or airport check-in agents. PMC men likewise need not fear handsome plumbers even if they make more on paper than they do.

Wealthmaxxing can certainly work in online dating and social media. However, that generally requires harder-to-fake signals like photos with exotic cars, expensive hotels, travel in exotic places.

Doesn’t this usually mean petty, low level crypto scammer / hustle bro now? It’s always funny how the drive of the Du Cap in Antibes is full of American and English tourists staying in some cheap shithole in Nice but getting the ‘iconic’ shot they must have seen on some rich person’s page that they follow for themselves. Every Ferrari is rented, every first class seat was bought via churning / points, travel is cheap since airline deregulation etc. The only way you know is when you get their full name and can look them up on LinkedIn, that tends to have enough to predict pretty accurately.

Rationalist or otherwise autistic online dating metrics obsession (of TRP, ‘cel and ‘normie’ variety) assumes class and social circles aren’t real and the market is efficient. In reality almost all mating is assortive

I don't think rationalist or other spaces that discuss online dating metrics assume markets are efficient, nor that social circles aren't real, nor that assortative mating isn't real. After all, dating and relationships come with tremendous search costs, transaction costs, switching costs, information asymmetry, conditions that introduce substantial friction and make markets less efficient. I'm quite certain such spaces are familiar with the notion of assortative mating, far more so than the complement of their union (i.e., mainstream blue-pill spaces).

I view dating market efficiency (or lack thereof) and assortative mating as completely orthogonal; one could just consider assortative mating as another factor in an agent's utility function just as one could allow assortative mating when setting up a population genetics simulation (instead of assuming random mating).

Rich women mostly don’t have to worry about losing on marriage to men of their social class to pretty working class girls who work as hairdressers or airport check-in agents. PMC men likewise need not fear handsome plumbers even if they make more on paper than they do.

I mostly agree that people tend to pair-up assortatively when it comes to marriage. However, mostly is doing a lot of work here, likely too much. At some point, pretty hairdressers and handsome well-earning plumbers do pose a sufficient source of competition, even if we're talking about competition for rich women vs. PMC men (I parse "rich" as more elite than mere "PMC", PMC women tend to be much more threatened by working class women than are their male PMC counterparts and working class men). Plus, someone from a working class background can always re-brand via some Russell Conjugation as they make the up-jump. The hairdresser becomes a stylist, the well-earning plumber becomes a small business owner.

As a side note, "airport check-in agents" (and flight attendants) can be PMC-adjacent, depending on country and perhaps airline, with multilingual and education requirements, de facto or de jure. I know in many countries they're basically like glorified fast casual restaurant workers.

Doesn’t this usually mean petty, low level crypto scammer / hustle bro now?

People have varying levels of naivete and cynicism, so you can fool some of the people all of the time, and some people will accuse you of being a fake poser no matter what you do. Of course, it helps to manage the lifestyle in their profile(s) to be consistent and authentic in a way that's perhaps reminiscent of the Diderot effect. There's also a notion of faking it until you make it: If you're the type of guy who can minmax your life to consistently and authentically fake being actually rich, at some point the hindbrain of a sufficiently large quantity of young attractive women will just view you as actually rich. You might actually have became the mask and are actually rich. Having evidence of other hot chicks in your life reinforces the illusion/reality.

Yeah, he became a partner at a large VC firm by working from home at his parent's house, big eggs dee. Something that is the career level achievement a very select few get to experience. This guys career trajectory is almost as believable as 200 matches a week whilst having a small chin.

It’s immediately fake because “partner at VC firm” isn’t an impressive title to PMC women who are actually familiar with job titles (ie those he seems to discuss in his post). VC almost universally pays worse than other ‘front office’ finance, and while a handful of people at top firms or who found or join good firms with significant capital of their own (that they bring from their own exits) can make real money, the average “Partner at a VC” isn’t working for Sequoia, they’re working for some third-tier shop with a few million that does very little and fails at most of it but technically affords them the title of ‘VC Partner’ despite making much less than many comparable PMC professional.

And that’s if he actually works in real VC. The average person with that title on LinkedIn (and by extension Hinge) is literally one step (or no step) above a ‘hustle’ crypto influencer and hangs around their city’s startup coworking scene selling ‘networking services’ and asking for 5% in exchange for ‘marketing and connections’.

It’s immediately fake because “partner at VC firm” isn’t an impressive title to PMC women who are actually familiar with job titles (ie those he seems to discuss in his post)

This.

Normie women (secretaries/hairstylists) don't get the reference. Lumpen-PMC women (librarian, administrator) are woke and actively hostile to capitalists. Haute-PMC women (like he says he is dating) see right through him and aren't impressed.

He's a bit of a type - fake "finance" hustle-bro, usually Desi. His $350k/yr $300k managing his uncle's gas stations (which all goes his uncle), and $50k driving a leased base model Tesla for Uber. He's got pics of himself in a thin gold chain leaning on his Tesla too. The 1MM comp? He'd be lucky if he had 1MM AUM. Job titles and wealth got women in the ancestral homeland, so he thinks that it will get him some here. Unfortunately, it's not. Also he's not 5'9", he's 5'6" and lying.

I actually dated Haute-PMC women before the Great Awokening, and as you say, they see right through it. 350 is no big deal to them, and they filter ruthlessly on class. I'm not PMC myself, but I did go to a PMC school and live in a PMC city, so young residents/associates/etc. were willing to date me, even though I was a line cook (at a restaurant that was trendy ten years before I worked there) and I spent most of my time training with my cycling team.

The average person with that title on LinkedIn (and by extension Hinge) is literally one step (or no step) above a ‘hustle’ crypto influencer and hangs around their city’s startup coworking scene selling ‘networking services’ and asking for 5% in exchange for ‘marketing and connections’

Roman criminals weren't nailed this hard my god

I’m thankful this is fake. When we start the truth and reconciliation commissions, false blackpills will be a docket item.

Some mean people go (used to go?) to some reddit asian subs and post obviously fictional stories from the point of view of an Indian or East Asian man learning that his wife who doesn't much want to have sex with him used to be wild fucking white guys before she met him and settled down. It's ragebait targeted at an insecurity some asian Americans have. Some bad people manufactured horrible fake black pills for these men.

I got suckered. In my defense, I'm not familiar with modern dating apps, and on older sites I've seen A/B testing of seemingly trivial things make a huge difference. On one old site, my friend had profile pics get rated around 4/10 when it was just him visible and around 8/10 when his brand new sports car was in the background.

I wouldn't have jumped right to the "gold diggers" conclusion in either case, though. In fact, IIRC my friend's experiment was when "hotornot" wasn't yet a dating site, just a gimmick whose default setting was "show men and women", so his ratings might have been mostly from straight men. When OKCupid found a strong effect of narrow depth-of-field on profile picture ratings, I wouldn't have assumed that people were thinking "A-ha! This person is wealthy enough to afford prosumer camera equipment!" Maybe in some evolutionary sense everything bottoms out in "would this person provide well for our children", but at least at the conscious level I think most people stop at points like "is this person ambitious and responsible" or "is this person exciting and fun" without overanalyzing past that.

How quickly did you think that the story is entirely made up?

Pretty damn quickly. Back in the old days I tried out these dating apps, first without stating anything about my job, just my education. Didn't get many matches and those that did were mostly not interested. Then I added my job (quant at a prestigious firm), it did not make one whit of a difference.

I've never consistently stated my job nor education on OLD or social media, aside from the occasional times when I was doing A/B testing. Doing so always struck me as poor opsec, just more material for a potential psycho-chick to latch onto.

When I did, job/education made little difference relative to height, looks, and photos for preselection/female mate-choice copying. A lot of jobs are just also simply illegible to normie chicks.

Quantitative Developer at Renaissance Technologies would be an extremely elite position to hold, both in terms of difficulty and compensation (likely much more than that of all but the most superstar roles in professional sports). Yet, all of that would just be random word-noises to the modal young attractive woman, even those who nominally work in finance or tech.

Same here. Tried a a few variations of Data Scientist/ Data Engineer/ML Engineer at a well-known company and it made fuckall difference from when I was a college student. (I only swipe on women who probably make a fraction of what I make)

Worth taking into account how these apps work though. If you go an extended period with no one swiping right on you, your profile's mmr drops, eventually into a bracket that has no real women in it at all, and your profile simply won't be seen. At that point you could change it to "7ft NBA star + astronaut" with pics to match and you wouldn't be able to match.

Same with me when I added my height (6'4"). Girls are just picky across the board.

Pretty much thought it was fake based on the title alone. When he described his appearance I was about 100% sure it was fake. Even male models would likely struggle to get to 200 matches/week and looks matter more than job title in online dating. And the job title on Hinge is not displayed that conspicuously. He didn't mention anything about pictures in a ferrari or a nice beachview apartment.

The Saga of Jaime Reed continues

For those who haven't followed it:

  • Part one was Jaime Reed blowing the whistle on the St. Louis Children's Hospital by submitting an affidavit, and Bari Weiss' Free Press publishing an article about it.

  • Part two was the aftermath, Missouri Independent's and the St.Louis Post Dispatch doing an investigation that contradicted Reed's statements, summed up by @PmMeClassicMemes, focusing in no small part on the ridiculousness of the claim that one of the patients identified as an attack helicopter.

  • Part three was Jesse Singal doing an investigation of his own, pointing out the statements contradicting Reed were made by members of a group called TransParents, some of who actually co-founded the clinic in question. He also got documentation from her about the attack helicopter kid. I summarized it here.

Now the New York Times has also investigated the issue. As someone following trans issues for a while I found it to be a bit of a slog, but it could be interesting to someone out of the loop. The short of it is they've corroborated many of Jaime Reed's claims, though they claim to have contradicted one of them:

It’s clear the St. Louis clinic benefited many adolescents: Eighteen patients and parents said that their experiences there were overwhelmingly positive, and they refuted Ms. Reed’s depiction of it. For example, her affidavit claimed that the clinic’s doctors did not inform parents or children of the serious side effects of puberty blockers and hormones. But emails show that Ms. Reed herself provided parents with fliers outlining possible risks.

For what it's worth Reed responded to it on Twitter:

I provided parents fliers, no disputing that. And I emailed these. I also made many of them (I am not a doctor). Getting a flier emailed does not equal informed consent. Getting a copy of a flier handed by a doctor also does not equal informed consent.

The question of NYT's bias is an interesting one. A lot of people from the "anti-trans" side of the issue are praising the article as very nuanced. I'm also firmly on that side, and personally I feel like they're pulling a lot of their punches, if an "anti-trans" version Cade Metz wrote that article they'd have many opportunities to go wild on this particular subject, to the point that the article on Scott would appear like a fluff piece. On the other hand I do recognize they're constrained by their audience, and even writing the article in it's present form is probably about as much as they can get away with at the moment.

Indeed, GLAAD got maad, and unleashed The Truck. This is actually the second time they did this, the first was after NYT published a profile on detransitioners. I think this might a strategic mistake on their part. The first time they protested the NYT, their action carried some energy, even if it didn't result in anything. The problem is that doing the same thing again after their original protest had no effect, makes this one feel rather impotent. With responses turned off it's hard to gauge people's reactions, but it feels like they aren't having it anymore, at least on this particular issue.

At the beginning of the year I made a prediction that something's up with the trans issue. The debate rages on, and we're probably still years away from a resolution, but I'm growing increasingly confident that this year is a turning point.

I think we're about 3-5 years out from a "the Science changed, idiot" with a side helping of blaming repressive conservative gender roles for the prevalence of transition between 2014-2025. 40 years from now kids will learn how the election of Republican Donald Trump coincided with a large surge in transitions, so obviously it was a Republican phenomenon. Some internet pedants will conduct statistical analysis of congresspeople to demonstrate that the evidence is more blurry.

It’s clear the St. Louis clinic benefited many adolescents: Eighteen patients and parents said that their experiences there were overwhelmingly positive, and they refuted Ms. Reed’s depiction of it. For example, her affidavit claimed that the clinic’s doctors did not inform parents or children of the serious side effects of puberty blockers and hormones. But emails show that Ms. Reed herself provided parents with fliers outlining possible risks.

What gets me about this is that these surgeries are being declared as helping kids six weeks after, when the full weight of the decisions made may not happen for 5-10 years later when they become full adults and can understand the life-long effects of these decisions. Most tattoos would be considered great if you only asked about it in the first few month when the person is still experiencing an after-tattoo glow. The same tattoo might later be a cause of grief if the location or content proves embarrassing or limits their options. That facial tattoo might feel cool at 19 when you’re young and in school and only need to worry about looking cool to your peers. At thirty when you’re turned down for jobs and can’t get serious dates because you look like a circus freak, it’s not so successful. I want to see a study that at least follows the same kids from transition to middle age, because I think a lot of their opinions on the subject will change as they mature.

Not to mention there are all kinds of biases and social pressures against even considering the downsides of life-changing decisions you already made.

I have a strong prior that trans is going to, long term, have trouble overcoming the personally unsympathetic nature of its protagonists and their constant shitflinging and temper tantrums are mostly going to hurt them rather than get what they want.

Indeed, GLAAD got maad, and unleashed the truck.

That seems like a mistake on their part, because usually the kind of people who put messages on vehicles and drive around or park them outside the place they have a beef with are, not to put too fine a point on it, loo-lahs. There was a guy fighting with the cops in my town (he probably still is) who did exactly this - closely written placards fastened onto a car parked outside the police station. It didn't convince anyone of his sanity, much less that he was in the right in this argument.

What's fascinating in this is that the NYT is even being anything like even-handed on the issue; the newsroom revolt and crackdown does seem to have shifted the power balance back from the younger, activist journalists to the older editorial staff.

What's fascinating in this is that the NYT is even being anything like even-handed on the issue;

My theory is that they figured out this issue is a dead end, or at least came to believe there's a real chance it might blow up in the progressive's collective faces, so they're covering their asses to preserve credibility.

Also she probably was told sometime on the way, that trans kid is better than dead kid, and if there's any questioning of the program would be happening on the way, it's a direct way to the kid committing suicide. So given that, would you dare to criticize anything about what is happening? Like telling "hey kid, we thought it would fix you but turns out you're screwed for life, not only once, but twice" - to a supposedly suicidal kid? What parent would do anything like that? Of course they'd say everything is peachy and going great and we are supper happy and those idiot relatives could please just shut up before they make my kid suicidal again?!

This seems like excellent evidence for exactly what Reed described: a climate where the beneficence and effectiveness and necessity of these treatments was just assumed, no matter what happened.

I don't think it was just assumed. I think somebody worked hard at impressing on the mother that if she assumes something else, the potential deadly consequences are on her.

Also, when Wash U investigated itself, it reported zero adverse effects.

That would be a huge achievement if they could have a medicine that literally overhauls the whole body's biochemistry, against how it naturally supposed to work, and had not little, not insignificant - but zero adverse effects. Either they are superbly lucky geniuses or they are liars. But I guess it gives the usual suspects the base to say that the science is settled, and anybody who pushes it further is a bigoted conspiracy terrorist.

For example, her affidavit claimed that the clinic’s doctors did not inform parents or children of the serious side effects of puberty blockers and hormones. But emails show that Ms. Reed herself provided parents with fliers outlining possible risks.

That's a novel argument, there can't have been a culture of silence because the whistleblower was able to allege that there was one.

For example, Cassandra claims that nobody warned the Trojans about the Greeks in the horse. But the record shows that Cassandra herself provided Trojans with this information.

This is what the New York Times is doing when they write "nuanced" articles.

Indeed, GLAAD got maad, and unleashed the truck.

So they parked a truck displaying a complaint on 41st street across from the NYC Sports Club? (The NYT building is on the corner; it starts where that metal grating over the windows is) Oh yeah, that'll do it. Come on, now, when the unions want attention they use a GIANT RAT. And they put it on the avenue. A truck on the cross street? Nobody cares. I don't know what you'd use for gender issues, a giant snack cake or something?

I don't know what you'd use for gender issues, a giant snack cake or something?

Autumn Scardina has got you covered on that, and will throw in the lawsuit for free.

but I'm growing increasingly confident that his year is a turning point.

There is precedent for the LGBTQI2 movement to overreach. Decriminalization of child molestion and destigmatization of pedophilia were once positions which were tolerated by its majority, but today they go as far as deny any historical association. But when the rift between the majority of gay and assocated advocates and pedophiles emerged, the former lacked the institutional support they now have. When the senate threated to withdraw funding of UN unless NAMBLA is ejected, the Sixcolour was a partisan symbol, not a second national flag as is today.

How big do you figure was the movement at the time? If the "LGBTQI2 movement" went from being 1% of society of whom 50% were pederasts to being 50% of society of whom 1% are pederasts - as one may expect to be the case if the movement could be modelled as providing a home for all that are sufficiently far from the conservative ideal of sexual orientation, with the distance threshold steadily going down - then this simultaneously call into question the "wokes are crypto-pederasts waiting for their time to strike" narrative many right-wingers seem to want to get out of this historical observation, and whether we can generalise to assume that the movement will step back from another putative overreach, given that there is now much less room for further growth and hence dilution.

It's not that "wokes are crypto-pederasts", it's that the genuine paedophiles will use any movements around loosening the 'conservative ideal of sexual orientation' as stalking horses and useful idiots, see the push on now for MAPs instead of paedophiles since that term is stigmatising, etc. There probably are genuine people with this perversion who want to change, but given that we've had it hammered into us that conversion therapy doesn't work, is a fraud, is torture, and should be illegal, then are we supposed to believe "it doesn't work at all except in this one instance of a new sexual orientation" and the real child-rapists who don't want to change and have no intention of doing so will use these organisations as a cloak and protective colouration - 'how dare you slander me by accusing me of being a paedophile, I'm taking you to court! I just have this particular orientation that is not my fault, ask the psychologists and social scientists!'

Look at trans rights movement - for whatever genuine people are out there, isn't it strange how all of a sudden male-identifying violent rapists suddenly found their true inner womanhood when it was a question of going to jail and which prison they'd be put in? And such people used the force of law which was intended to protect oppressed minority to get their way about being put in women's prisons.

we've had it hammered into us that conversion therapy doesn't work, is a fraud, is torture, and should be illegal, then are we supposed to believe "it doesn't work at all except in this one instance of a new sexual orientation"

I think this understanding fails to model low-decouplers properly. A high-decoupler might indeed see the $currentyear belief system and think that there's a glaring unprincipled special case ("conversion therapy doesn't work... except for pedos") at work that is only waiting to be regularised. Meanwhile, I think, for the low-decoupler, the principle has never changed: things are either simultaneously evil, in violation of principles, wasteful, ineffective and fraudulent - or simultaneously good, in line with all principles, efficient, effective and honest. You could consider this an instance of the just-world fallacy, or simply affect-loading as the main and only way to make pronouncements about the real world. "$orientation conversion therapy doesn't work" was never intended to be the scientific statement, orthogonal to questions of morality, that you imagine it to be: it simply means that $orientation belongs in the good-effective-honest cluster and interfering with $orientation belongs in the bad-ineffective-fraudulent cluster. Any social debates being had, and any shift of public opinion, is not about eggheaded technical arguments regarding techniques but only about where the line between good and bad is drawn, and there I don't see any significant qualitative shift having happened in previous years. The last big Chesterton Fence that broke down in the western theater of the good-bad assignment battlefield was the loss of Christian authority, and I don't think we're getting back to that anytime soon; if you are serious about stopping pederasts, you probably should be more concerned with fortifying a new line. (I think that the liberal principle of bodily non-compulsion - which seems to have stood strong enough that the push for "you must sleep with trans women" fell completely flat - and some reinforcement of the idea that unrelated adults are by default sexually exploitative towards children and so children can't consent would be sufficient.)

Look at trans rights movement - for whatever genuine people are out there, isn't it strange how all of a sudden male-identifying violent rapists suddenly found their true inner womanhood when it was a question of going to jail and which prison they'd be put in?

I reckon this to be a sideshow entirely driven by the circumstance that approximately nobody actually has the slightest stake in what happens in women's prisons, and so the whole issue is a convenient side-stage to fight proxy wars for the conflict that actually matters (similar to how so many people with an opinion on Trump appear to have a strong opinion on Orbán, without necessarily even being able to point out Hungary on a map). I don't think the pederasty case has the same potential: many more people actually have a stake (by virtue of having children), and at the same time it doesn't have the shape of any live CW battle that it could serve as a substitute for (since all "can A have sex with B?" battles are currently cleanly resolved in favour of yes or no). (During the brief heyday of NAMBLA, the latter condition was not yet met, which is why the pedo question managed to get some air.)

The problem with non-compulsion is that it’s quite gamable. You can convince the public that kids are capable of “wanting” sex with adults (which was a line NAMBLA pushed at one point, and via trans-activity at present) and then the age of consent is pushed downward. Likewise, it’s fairly easy for a determined person to manipulate others into consenting to sex through drugs, alcohol, social or physical pressure.

Kids are undeniably capable of “wanting” sex with adults. Parents, caregivers, and (to a lesser extent) members of society at large have a responsibility for recognizing when kids shouldn't get what they want and preventing them from doing so.

and then the age of consent is pushed downward

The age of consent for sex has been consistently rising over time and was much lower in the centuries before either NAMBLA or the "trans-activity at present", so I think you'll need a bit of evidence for this claim.

Oh, I never thought it was anything to do with science but was purely for the "homophobia! bad!" sloganeering. But the thing is, when they're going to be dragging MAP into the spotlight as the new 'homosexuality is not a perversion or mental illness, but it is a disorder, but they can't help it and so should not be persecuted or prosecuted', part of that will be the useful idiot psychologists et al. going on about therapy to help them deal with these impulses.

And we'll all be expected to forget that this boils down to conversion therapy, which we were all told never works anyway. Because that will be the politically convenient take on it.

I'm sufficiently autistic/OCD on details like this to want them to pick a story and stick to it, and I know that makes me a fool. There is no objective truth, there isn't even any subjective truth, there's just whatever line is the most convenient to get them what they want, and Science has replaced Religion as the moral arbiter and setter of rules for society. "The science is settled" is the secular progressive version of Roma locuta, causa finita est. And "the science" changes according to the whim of the day.

useful idiot psychologists et al. going on about therapy to help them deal with these impulses.

Ugh, I hate useful idiot psychologists. Probably the single most disappointing group of elites in the past 50 years in my personal opinion. The legacy of Freud, Young, Piaget, and so many other brilliant men has been absolutely squandered by the cowardly, stupid, contemptible and frankly just lame breed of psychologist we have nowadays.

At least Peterson is still showing a bit of the potential the field once had. I hope it can be saved before the damage is irreparable, but I'm frankly skeptical. We'd probably be better at this point burning it all down and having Peterson & co. create a new discipline from scratch.