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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The benefits of abolishing high school

It wouldn't just help those on the bottom, but quite a few of those on top as well:
[A]bolishing high school would not just benefit those who are at the bottom of its hierarchies. Part of the shared legacy of high school is bemused stories about people who were treated as demigods at seventeen and never recovered. A doctor I hang out with tells me that former classmates who were more socially successful in high school than he was seem baffled that he, a quiet youth who made little impression, could be more professionally successful, as though the qualities that made them popular should have effortlessly floated them through life. It’s easy to laugh, but there is a real human cost.
I think we see some of the human flotsam and jetsam that is the result of high school shipwrecks floating through here from time to time. From the overconfident midwit who has never recovered from the experience of being the smartest guy in a room with a 115 IQ to the deluded ex-cheerleader who is now fifty pounds overweight but still thinks she's as attractive to men as she was when she could fit into her little skirts to the bitter omega who can't accept a compliment at face value for fear that it is another cruel trick intended to humiliate him, the psychological scars of the high school experience are often visible to complete strangers on the Internet.

I tend to include myself in that mix, although perhaps wrongly since my psychological idiosyncracies tend to trace back deeper, which is to say, back to elementary school. My suspicion is that being constantly pushed around and marginalized by one's intellectual and athletic inferiors, and thereby simultaneously finding oneself at the bottom of some social hierarchies and at the top of others at a very young age, tends to leave one permanently unable to take any of them very seriously or place much value upon them, for good or for ill. When one is both king and beggar, how can one find one's identity in either state?

For a while, I thought it was strength of character or innate stoicism that enabled me to so easily walk away from various attachments and obligations without looking back. But eventually, it became clear that it was not a positive attribute, it was simply that I was lacking something normal, in much the same way sociopaths lack empathy, autistics lack social cognizance, and atheists lack an intuition of the supernatural. Specifically what it is, I don't know, but one might describe it as lack of set bonding.

So, I don't think the abolition of high school would have made much difference to me, but I do think it would greatly benefit those who are either oppressed by the social hierarchy or crippled by too much success too soon in it. And, of course, ending the intellectual lobotomization of entire generations by maleducated, intellectually sub-standard propagandists of the State would be a desirable outcome too.

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232 Comments:

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Anonymous CBG March 24, 2015 7:17 AM  

Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 7:19 AM  

Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?

College prep tutorials and apprenticeships.

Anonymous First Rule Is! The Laws of Germany! March 24, 2015 7:23 AM  

"My suspicion is that being constantly pushed around and marginalized by one's intellectual and athletic inferiors,"

Maybe you shouldn't have spent so much time thinking of everyone as your inferior. Not everyone is, you know, and not on every plane or in every dimension. Humans are complicated and surprising. Nominating yourself as Apex Predator don't make it so.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 March 24, 2015 7:26 AM  

For a thousand years an education didn't do much harm. You've reminded me of two things here. 1. Some time after the "great war", which was to end all wars, the West invented Teenagers and Adolescence. The drift to abrogating moral responsibility forever began. It gave us the "moral relativism" objectivity void you skirt the perimeters of above 2. Genuinely bright people could start university whenever talent showed and funds or sponsors were available. At university everyone had to do some theological treatise or dissertation at some point in their career. It was compulsory.

Literally society was singing from the same song book. Education was fundamentally congruent with a Christian civilization. All but gone now. And high schools reflect the eroded pathways.

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 7:28 AM  

Maybe you shouldn't have spent so much time thinking of everyone as your inferior.

Intellectual and athletic inferior.

Maybe you shouldn't have spend so much time thinking of everyone only in terms of their intellectual or athletic ability.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 7:31 AM  

Maybe you shouldn't have spent so much time thinking of everyone as your inferior. Not everyone is, you know, and not on every plane or in every dimension.

That's like telling a tall kid not to think of himself as taller than everyone else in his class. It's absurd to tell a 6-year-old child with an IQ at least a standard deviation higher than the other children, who runs considerably faster than all the other children, not to think of himself as superior. He is superior and he knows it as surely as the tall kid knows he's tall, the pretty girl knows she's pretty, and the fat kid knows he's fat. Pretending otherwise just teaches him to distrust authority and adults.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 7:35 AM  

"Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?"

The problem is likely less high school and more crappy schooling starting to early and lasting to long.

Anonymous kfg March 24, 2015 7:39 AM  

"Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?"

For smart kids one isn't necessary and for stupid kids one isn't needed.

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 7:39 AM  

Pretending otherwise just teaches him to distrust authority and adults.

Don't trust anyone over thirty, man

Anonymous Second Rule Is! Be Nice to Mommy! March 24, 2015 7:41 AM  

"That's like telling a tall kid not to think of himself as taller than everyone else in his class."

You're missing the point. The tall kid doesn't have to go around all the time contemplating his tallness. It's not necessarily good for his development. Just because other kids are shorter, it doesn't mean they don't have their own interesting qualities, and it's a silly barrier to prevent oneself from being friends with them. Hey, look, I was the smartest fastest kid in my school too; but I kept it in my back pocket, and I made friends with regular kids, and it did me good.

Anonymous hygate March 24, 2015 7:42 AM  

Doesn't high school exist so the kids can learn that conformity and popularity are what's really important? I learned that from John Hughes.

Anonymous kfg March 24, 2015 7:48 AM  

It's also to keep them out of the job market, but not lose on the streets. A part time concentration camp.

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 7:49 AM  

Just because other kids are shorter, it doesn't mean they don't have their own interesting qualities, and it's a silly barrier to prevent oneself from being friends with them.

No one said they didn't have interesting qualities.

Are you this willfully stupid or is your misdirection intentional?

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 7:53 AM  

". Just because other kids are shorter, it doesn't mean they don't have their own interesting qualities, and it's a silly barrier to prevent oneself from being friends with them."

Yes.... because that is exactly how a very smart elementary school kid thinks...

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 7:56 AM  

You're missing the point. The tall kid doesn't have to go around all the time contemplating his tallness

No, I'm not missing the point. I didn't spend any time contemplating my intelligence or my athletic ability. What I was contemplating was the difference in the way I was treated in one circumstance in which I was objectively superior and in another where I was objectively inferior, being both the smallest and youngest in the class. It is very strange to a young child to find himself alternatively venerated and despised, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with his own behavior.

Hey, look, I was the smartest fastest kid in my school too; but I kept it in my back pocket, and I made friends with regular kids, and it did me good.

Sure you were. What an amazing coincidence! Regardless, being friends with the regular kids was obviously an option to you. It was not to me. I was half their size in some cases and I could barely open my mouth without the other kids looking at me like I was a complete alien speaking an unknown tongue.

It's not that I didn't learn to get along with normal people. By high school, I had mastered it. But the psychological channels were already fixed by that point. I can now go into any group, in multiple languages and cultures, and get along well with people. But it is a learned behavior, not an innate one.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 8:02 AM  

Are you this willfully stupid or is your misdirection intentional?

It's just a passive-aggressive critic who isn't intelligent enough to grasp that he is unlikely to achieve his goal of DISQUALIFY by retroactively attacking a six-year-old child. If he was the smartest, fastest kid in his class, it was one that rode a short bus.

Anonymous paradox March 24, 2015 8:04 AM  

Here in NC, my daughter is in early college. She attends school at the community college. Her course work is high school classes and college courses. It's a 5 year program and she will graduate with an associates degree. When finished she'll pick a trade, probably veterinary assistant.

Completely more efficient than high school and a college associate program.

Anonymous Third Rule Is! Don't Talk to Commies! March 24, 2015 8:04 AM  

"No one said they didn't have interesting qualities."

What are you, a fucking parrot? This is a conversation. It develops. It goes this way and that way, and discovers crescendos and diminishments along the way. I find it annoying to talk to people who haven't spent ten years studying classical piano literature. Your ear --or rather, lack of a ear-- is infuriating.

"Yes.... because that is exactly how a very smart elementary school kid thinks..."

Spoken by someone who apparently was not a very smart elementary school kid, and doesn't know what it was like.

Blogger bob k. mando March 24, 2015 8:07 AM  

Josh March 24, 2015 7:39 AM
Don't trust anyone over thirty, man



why are people over 30 even alive, man? renew motherfucker, renew.

wait.

i'm over 30.



VD March 24, 2015 7:31 AM
That's like telling a tall kid not to think of himself as taller than everyone else in his class.



this is somewhat like my experience.

every school that i ever attended that had a 'Gifted Student' program, threw me in it.

when i would ask, "Well, what is this IQ number you guys keep saying I have?"

they, every one of them, would reply, "Oh, we can't tell you what you test at. You might try to lord it over the other children."

motherfuckers, you've ALREADY told everyone in the school that i'm 'other'. you come to class every day and pull me out in front of the other kids and take me to *GIFTED STUDENT* courses.

i know that you're evaluating me differently.

THEY know that you're evaluating me differently.

the only thing you're keeping away from me is a single specific number.

and that doesn't even get into the massive waste of time and retardation that was 'Gifted Student' ( really just a break period for teachers with no talent themselves ) class.

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 8:09 AM  

I find it annoying to talk to people who haven't spent ten years studying classical piano literature.
Look man, just because they didn't spend ten years studying piano doesn't mean they don't have other interesting qualities.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 8:12 AM  

I feel like I should have some jarring school experience to share... because I really did hate it. But I just don't. I mean I loathed school. But it had nothing to do with the social aspects of it. its was the mind numbing drudgery of what they called education.

I wasn't the fastest... but I was among the fastest. I was average sized... or what a kid thinks of as "normal" sized. and I really really liked to fight. lets face it... few things improve a kids social standing in elementary school like beating two other boys up in the bathroom. Socially it all came easy to me.

It was the actual school part of school that drove me nuts.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 8:16 AM  

"Spoken by someone who apparently was not a very smart elementary school kid, and doesn't know what it was like."

I have no idea what it was like for Vox. For Vox it obviously had more to do with him being small than him being smart and the dichotomy created by that.

Judging by your comments.. you have no idea what it was like either.

Anonymous Eric the Red March 24, 2015 8:17 AM  

Vox, I think you are on shaky ground with this one. Granted I may be misinterpreting. However, the elimination of feelbad is the great meme of the SJW's. I don't think you want to go there. If instead you make a case solely on other grounds such as your last point (churning out maleducated, intellectually sub-standard propagandists of the State) then that can be supported by real-world facts. However, your initial objection seems to be highly subjective, as well as something that in any case must be the responsibility of a family support system.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 8:19 AM  

@Josh
College prep tutorials and apprenticeships.

I believe apprenticeships have died. If not dead, then very close to dead. I tried looking into HVAC and going for an apprenticeship there, but I was informed that in the past couple of years they only want people who've gone to community college for a couple years and taken the HVAC courses.

I think there may be a couple of fields here apprenticeships are still being used but it appears to me to be closing due to a combination of credentialism and technology creep.

Anonymous Fourth Rule Is! Eat Kosher Salamis! March 24, 2015 8:19 AM  

@VD 8:02 PM -- oh now you're just being a sillykins. You just want to be superior at any cost, and it's absurd. Face it, you have equals. You're a gracious host, so I'm not going to battle you any further on it, because I think that's bad manners. But don't be ridiculous.

@Josh 8:09 AM -- I have to admit, that's a funny retort. Maybe you're not completely deaf, after all.

Blogger republicanmother March 24, 2015 8:24 AM  

What I find interesting is now that homeschooling is becoming mainstream, the parents are forming coops that are mini-schools that operate one or more days a week. We are finishing up this semester in one such coop, and it is socially very much like public high school. My daughter, who reads, codes, and is a geek like her mom an dad does NOT fit in well at all there. I asked her, are you matching their idioms, for I know when you have a high vocabulary, it makes it hard for the Eloi to understand you. She's tried complements, etc., but they just look at her like she's an alien. She asked me if high school was like this, and I said, no baby, high school was never this weird. You could usually get someone to small talk with you out of politeness, before the phones an all. These kids are more trendy and struggling to be hip than the public schoolers we know. It's pretty pathetic.

The homechool parents in my neck of the woods have gone out of their way to recreate high school stuff with cheer-leading, football, proms, formals, yearbooks, etc. It's like a form of Stockholm Syndrome. I'm kind of ticked I wasted time with these people, they are definitely not my guildies.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 8:25 AM  

The tall kid doesn't have to go around all the time contemplating his tallness.

As a tall kid growing up (I hit a growth spurt in middle school and basically stayed that way throughout high school), I indeed did not (often) contemplate my tallness, but that was due to the basic human assumption that others share my point of view. Whenever it did come up, due to simple physical differences of being taller and it wasn't something smaller kids were able to do, or just simple things like leaving something up too high for others, it was a jarring experience that pointed out the difference that I did not notice before, because I subconsciously assumed they saw things from my point.

I have a feeling you don't understand the experiences a small kid goes through. I don't know it personally either, but I saw the results in a lot of smaller kids, and they always seemed to develop a kind of edge about them.

Blogger Hd Hammer March 24, 2015 8:28 AM  

VD - "For a while, I thought it was strength of character or innate stoicism that enabled me to so easily walk away from various attachments and obligations without looking back"
My parents having divorced when I was young, and spending time with both parts of the family, one part being poor miners, the other well-off middle class, I used to think of it as a virtue that I could get along with either set. I thought it a "virtue", and always thought of Kipling's "If".
But your statement makes me reconsider whether I am really that virtuous. Because when I think about it, its not as if I really have any strong bond with any of them (with the exception of one of my much younger brothers, (but then we do think alike on many issues). So what I am saying is that maybe I'm not that virtuous, that its not so much a case of getting along equally with every type, but rather a lack of getting along with either set equally.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 8:33 AM  

@VD 8:02 PM -- oh now you're just being a sillykins. You just want to be superior at any cost, and it's absurd. Face it, you have equals. You're a gracious host, so I'm not going to battle you any further on it, because I think that's bad manners. But don't be ridiculous.

Your lack of analytical skills is not making your case. I spent six years in a full-contact dojo. I ran the 100m in NCAA D1. I have friends with higher IQs than I do and I edit John C. Wright. I have absolutely no illusions of any nonexistent superiority. You are either projecting or stuck on DISQUALIFY.

It's very hard to feel superior when you're picking yourself up off the concrete floor for the third time in a two-minute round. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I certainly never managed the trick.

Anonymous From old Hanoi to East Berlin March 24, 2015 8:37 AM  

"I have a feeling you don't understand the experiences a small kid goes through."

Your feeling is completely wrong. I was very late to develop physically, and I grew up small and scrawny in a rough working-class section of New York City. Getting the snot kicked out of me by gangs of kids was a regular experience. All you guys are just doing internet warfare. If you want to have a conversation about these things, we can; but if you just want to snark and posture, then bring me the check, please.

This place is usually notable for its high-quality level of conversation, which is why I come here. But not always, I guess.

Blogger RC March 24, 2015 8:39 AM  

Current public education is rarely the optimal choice, being operated by mind-numbed feminists with maleducation degrees:

1) The genuinely brilliant kid is often ostracized by his peers with no one at the school capable of developing his intellect.
2) The dumb or ugly or otherwise divergent are teased and ridiculed mercilessly, making their daily existence a living hell.
3) All are trained, regimented, and have parental values undermined on a routine basis.

There are no circumstances under which I would subject my progeny to the beast.

Anonymous Stickwick March 24, 2015 8:41 AM  

My bro and I were intellectually and athletically superior to most of the kids in our high school. The thing is, we both remember high school rather fondly and went on to be successful in life.

One reason, I think, is that we were separated from the other kids, both intellectually and athletically. We were in the IB program, and so were around the same 25 intellectually superior kids all day, every day. We had no sense of being superior within that group -- we were solidly in the middle, which kept us pretty grounded, while at the same time providing a stimulating enough environment that we couldn't coast.

Athletically, we were around superior people, as well. My bro was on the football team with other large, talented boys -- and, most importantly, my father arranged for him to weight train with one of the B.C. Lions, who worked out at our family's gym. Training with a 6'7" 300-lb professional athlete will give you perspective. And, as a developing powerlifter, I was in our gym all the time after school, training with the serious weight lifters and fitness freaks, so, again, perspective.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 8:41 AM  

" I have friends with higher IQs than I do and I edit John C. Wright."

What's Big Chilly's catch phrase? "I keep forgetting you're a little slow..."??

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 8:43 AM  

I have a feeling you don't understand the experiences a small kid goes through. I don't know it personally either, but I saw the results in a lot of smaller kids, and they always seemed to develop a kind of edge about them.

When you are small at a young age, you quickly learn that many normal people are petty, cruel, and desperate to impress others. Whether it is the boy who goes out of his way to check you into a locker for no reason or the girl who looks at you in complete disbelief for daring to speak to her, it's a lesson that can't be unlearned.

Anonymous Alexander March 24, 2015 8:44 AM  

Smartest, smallest...

It's so cool that guy who keeps changing his name just happened to go through all the exact same experiences as Vox, only came out of them better than Vox for them!

Blogger Josh March 24, 2015 8:52 AM  

When you are small at a young age, you quickly learn that many normal people are petty, cruel, and desperate to impress others.

Yup. I was always the smallest and smartest kid and was a full year younger than everyone in my grade. Things only changed when I gained forty pounds the summer between freshman and sophomore year and became a starter on the football team.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer March 24, 2015 8:53 AM  

The majority of our children's intellectual development takes place in our home, including math, science, history, philosophy, etc. We are farmers but we have a library the size of most small town bookstores, so there is both the book end and the hands on part taht takes place ona day to day basis.

We also send them to public school for a specific reason- to learn how to deal with the low-brow, bureaucratic, false doctrine of the world at large. They are going to encounter it every day of their lives henceforth, from local laws and compliance to dealing with customers in the future, to meeting and speaking with the general public. Raising them in isolation from those effects is- in my opinion- as foolish as sending them to public school without the other supplementary parts I've outlined above. They are going to have to register a motor vehicle, get pulled over by a cop, pay taxes, negotiate the sale of a property, etc. In almost every case the person they will have to deal with will be the product of public schools almost 90% of the time. The more they learn how to deal with them now- mand the more you are able to neutralize the false messages by discussing what they've "learned" while at school at home where there is intellectual discourse as opposed to dogmatic preaching, the better chance they'll have in the long run.

Of course that's our prefered strategy, YMMV.

Anonymous Alexander March 24, 2015 8:54 AM  

This guy has more names than Tad.

More names = more hardcore.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 8:56 AM  

Yeah, he's just a troll. I spammed him. It's a strange form of "conversation" that involves little more than him repeating the same false accusation.

I will say that he did a good job of making me feel superior to him, at any rate.

Blogger David March 24, 2015 8:57 AM  

One benefit of abolishing the crowded social hothouse of HS:
I observe that girls who are quite attractive at 15 are, in that year, usually corrupted by and ruined forever by being the center of constant male orbit.

Three conditions seemed to prevent this:
1. The very attractive girl was a late bloomer (at 15 unnoticeable, at 17 Homecoming Queen.)
2. The very attractive girl was sick/injured and sat out HS while 15.
3. An attractiveness-quashing attribute was surgically corrected near or after 15.

Bottom line: 15 years of age seems to be a locus for when Lord Acton's famous dictum applies to young women, and HS is a crucible from which most beautiful girls emerge with shriveled personalities.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 8:59 AM  

All you guys are just doing internet warfare. If you want to have a conversation about these things, we can; but if you just want to snark and posture, then bring me the check, please.

Disagreement is a part of conversation. If your first instinct is to declare all disagreement as "snark" and "posturing", then what you're saying is that only people who agree with you are being truthful, and by extension you are never wrong.

I wrote what I did without any snark or posturing. If you saw any there, it is because you placed it there (i.e. you assumed I was operating in bad faith). Or are you saying that you obviously know my intentions better than I do?

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 9:00 AM  

Oh, he got spammed. Nevermind my response then.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 24, 2015 9:03 AM  

Oh come on, it was me, scoobius dubious, who's been visiting this place politely for ages. All the weird monikers were lyrics from the Ramones song "Commando," and if you don't know the Ramones, you don't know they were being deliberately ridiculous.

Come on, relax, there's lots of different flavors of ice cream and spumetti. Try a few.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:03 AM  

"When you are small at a young age, you quickly learn that many normal people are petty, cruel, and desperate to impress others. "

I'm a little surprised there weren't kids willing to stick up for you.. just because that was my experience. In elementary school I had a class mate that was seriously tiny. He was tiny his whole life.. but he was actually one of the more popular kids. The a couple of the big kids ended up looking out for him a lot and no one really gave him shit.

Anonymous Rabbi B March 24, 2015 9:05 AM  

"And, of course, ending the intellectual lobotomization of entire generations by maleducated, intellectually sub-standard propagandists of the State would be a desirable outcome too."

That drum can never be beaten loud and often enough.

http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 9:06 AM  

Oh come on, it was me, scoobius dubious, who's been visiting this place politely for ages.

Remember Poe's Law. It may have been deliberately ridiculous to you, but it seemed like the standard modus operandi to me.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:08 AM  

"Oh come on, it was me, scoobius dubious"

we know.

you told us yesterday.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 24, 2015 9:09 AM  

Student in Blue @ 8:59 makes a fine point. I apologize if I've come off as sounding annoying. I have no doubt that I must have been at fault to a large degree in order to convey that impression, and I apologize for that. But I also think that the people hear would benefit from listening on a wider range, and not dismissing a thing the first second it makes them itchy. It's not a healthy intellectual habit.

And no, I'm not Tad.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:14 AM  

" I apologize if I've come off as sounding annoying. I have no doubt that I must have been at fault to a large degree in order to convey that impression, and I apologize for that"

The trouble is you sounded like some new guy on a manic episode.

Blogger David March 24, 2015 9:14 AM  

I consider it criminally stupid to warehouse large numbers of proto-adults whose personalities are still somewhat malleable together from 11 or 12 to 17. Adolescents should be primarily around adults, or at least a full spectrum of ages, from the time they leave true childhood. The way it's done now is nearly full "Lord of the Flies," facilitating much of the worst kinds of development in young people.

Blogger thimscool March 24, 2015 9:15 AM  

Lack of set bonding? Hmmm.

How about a lack of interest in the drama, or other behaviors that cannot be objectively measured and ranked?

An emphasis on competition or mastery for it's own sake, rather than for social status...

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:19 AM  

" You could usually get someone to small talk with you out of politeness, before the phones an all. These kids are more trendy and struggling to be hip than the public schoolers we know. It's pretty pathetic. "

Homeschool coops sound great but generally speaking they end up being cesspools. That's out experience anyway. They tend to be run by Nazis and insanely cliquish. No thanks.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 9:19 AM  

I also think that the people hear would benefit from listening on a wider range, and not dismissing a thing the first second it makes them itchy. It's not a healthy intellectual habit.

That's not a problem that requires you solving it. It was annoying and a waste of time. Had I known what you were doing, I would have simply ignored you. There is already enough rhetorical shit scattered throughout the comments that we don't need to pile up more of it.

Blogger JDC March 24, 2015 9:19 AM  

As I was preparing for a medical procedure yesterday, the wife read me THIS article about "Techies Hacking Education," (e.g. techies homeschooling their kids).

It contains some of the usual anti-homeschooling propaganda, "Feel free to roll your eyes at this point. There’s something inherently maddening about a privileged group of forward-thinkers removing their children from the social structures that have defined American childhood for more than a century under the presumption that they know better."

But now that non-fundamentalist Christians are homeschooling their kids, this author is open to new ideas. "And yet, as I talked to more of these home-schoolers, I found it harder to dismiss what they were saying. My son is in kindergarten, and I fear that his natural curiosity won’t withstand 12 years of standardized tests, underfunded and overcrowded classrooms, and constant performance anxiety."

H.S. does uplift the overly aggressive and vane, it does place a crushing social hierarchy on the child and destroys the creative and free-thinking men and women who have actually done something in our country.

And for the record I was both short, quite athletic, and often miserable in H.S. My problem (which I believe stems from having a father who abandoned his family at an early age), was that I never thought I was good enough to belong to anything. H.S. was a constant reminder for me of what I didn't have, and it led me to covet those things on a daily basis.

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 9:19 AM  

This is one of many reasons my children are home schooled, though we have started the co-op this year. My experience with public schools was less than stellar, and I have a distrust of most formal school environments since then.

I had an experience somewhat equivalent to you, VD. I knew I was different long before high school, which definitely impacted my developing personality at that young age. I was pulled out of normal classes to join the "special ed" kids, right up until they did enough testing to figure out I was the smartest person in the (relatively small) elementary school. I had trouble concentrating on mindless repetition when my school bordered a state park with some of the most delightful crayfish filled brooks, and quiet, temperate New England forest paths. Here, a +2SD int becomes a liability, I was bored throughout my time in school, and burned out on education very young. It took joining the Army to become more socially graceful for me though, and now I can fit in with almost any group in which I find myself.

I am taller than >95% of the people I meet, but no, I don't quantify how much shorter everyone else is. I do virtually the same same with intelligence. I'm also stronger and faster than most people, I don't really feel superior though. My abilities, physical or mental, have been both good and bad to me at various points in my life. I'm already a 6'3" 250lb red head, I stand out virtually everywhere anyway, no need to belabor the less obvious differences.

VD, I wish I had the opportunity to sit down with you over a beer to discuss your theoretical socio-sexual hierarchy, I find nothing ever falls in to categories as neatly as you would have it.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:20 AM  

"How about a lack of interest in the drama, or other behaviors that cannot be objectively measured and ranked? "

He's not an apsie.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 24, 2015 9:20 AM  

"you sounded like some new guy on a manic episode."

Manic episodes are a part of life, they can tell you things, the way anything can. If you go back and read what I wrote, you might disagree but it's not possible to say it was stupid or invalid. You just didn't like it, and you disagreed, which is your right. But I spoke from experience, and not without intelligence, despite your Greek alphabet-soup taxonomy. Look, it's not the end of the world, it's just a discussion on a blog thread.

Anonymous kfg March 24, 2015 9:23 AM  

Separating adolescents from from the full spectrum of ages, and particularly from adults, facilitates the operation of the memory hole and furthers the cause of the Cultural Revolution.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 9:23 AM  

How about a lack of interest in the drama, or other behaviors that cannot be objectively measured and ranked?

That's insufficient. It's not a positive trait. There is definitely something that normal people have that is missing. Sometimes, when people are attacking me, it reminds me of the end of Serenity and the assassin poking at the nerve that just isn't there.

You sort of stand there and wonder what they are doing and why they think it will work.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:24 AM  

"it's not possible to say it was stupid or invalid."

The first comment on the Yemen thread was stupid. Now.. from a crotchety old timer... we'd accept it and move on because past contribution makes up for it.

If you'd said it under the name scoobius doobius I wouldn't have commented at all about it. But when a new comes along and says something like that... the assumption is "great... another retard".

Which is largely the result of a large influx of retards lately. I mean... you read thordaddy's comments right?

Blogger JartStar March 24, 2015 9:25 AM  

scoobius dubious,

Stop being a jackass.

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 9:27 AM  

"Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?"

My grandfather and his brothers graduated from eighth grade and then got jobs as farmhands or carpenter's apprentices, and went on to have good jobs/businesses in those fields with which they raised families.

Oh wait, can't do that anymore, because foreigners need those jobs and will do them cheaper.

Blogger thimscool March 24, 2015 9:29 AM  

Aspergers may imply a lack of interest in drama, but the converse is not necessarily so.

Blogger thimscool March 24, 2015 9:32 AM  

Your givadamn is broken?

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:33 AM  

Vox...

In the past, and I could be mis-remembering this, you described Sigma as Winning without Trying.

But doesn't this indicate that you did try? You weren't winning when you were young. You had to adjust and change he way you did things and figure out how to get along... and then you started winning.

I don't know... this brings me back to introvert - sigma and extrovert alpha... People have this misconception of the badass sigma that is really the epitome of the Super Special One that everything just falls into place for. Zaphod Beeblebrox if you will. But that's not your story. You tried. Which means on a basic survival level at least back then... you cared. Maybe you were shooting for anywhere in the black and you hit the bullseye... but still you took the shot.

it also goes to the Omega - Sigma relationship. Omega is a sigma that never figures it out?

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:34 AM  

"Aspergers may imply a lack of interest in drama, but the converse is not necessarily so."

its not the drama.. its the interest in quantifying and measuring things.

Blogger darkdoc March 24, 2015 9:40 AM  

Thanks. Your commentary opened a window for me.

Anonymous Princess of Justice March 24, 2015 9:41 AM  

If you abolish ANY public schools...

Then black kids don't eat.

Black kids get 80% of their calories at public schools thanks to free breakfast and free lunch. That is a scientific fact.

In fact, very soon I expect black kids to soon get 3-square meals thanks to the public school system.

This is just a conspiracy by the far right wing to starve little black kids to death.

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 9:48 AM  

I didn't spend any time contemplating my intelligence or my athletic ability.

It's not like you have to anyway, because the other kids will keep reminding you. Every school I went to, my classmates immediately elected me class president, because kids think smart=leader, even though I was shy and wanted nothing to do with it. The other kids can tell and will treat you accordingly.

One thing the midwits don't get is what it's like to be really smart (or really athletic, or artistic, or whatever), +2SD or more above the mean. They think they were smart because they got good grades without working too hard, but they have no idea. At +1SD, maybe you can blend in and keep the other kids from noticing that you're different. Try that when you walk into kindergarten and you can already read a newspaper. If you tell that kid, "Keep your mouth shut and pretend to be just like everyone else so they'll be your friend," you're only teaching him to be dishonest and resentful, not to mention incredibly bored.

Yeah, I know that sounds like bragging, or humble-bragging, but I don't know how else to talk about it. I'm not saying it sucks to be smart; that would be stupid. But it sucks to be smart in the artificial environment of egalitarian age-segregated schooling, especially if you're also not very good at more socially important skills like kickball.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 9:50 AM  

Then black kids don't eat.

Kind of a hilarious argument, really, because this assumes black incompetence. That if we do not feed them, they literally will not feed themselves, and that they are incapable of feeding themselves.

And that line of thinking is verboten in modern America. Oh you anti-American, you!

Anonymous scooby doo March 24, 2015 9:51 AM  

"scoobius dubious, Stop being a jackass."

Being a jackass is part of the whole fun of the internet, sillykins. As Samuel Johnson famously said, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

"it also goes to the Omega - Sigma relationship. Omega is a sigma that never figures it out?"

Oh, Christ, more alphabet soup. And you're telling me I'M the one who's stupid?

It's not entirely without value, but it works better in art criticism than it does in real life. Look at a movie like "How to Train Your Dragon" --- Hiccup is the alpha motherfucker Captain who gives all the orders; even though he's a scrawny one-legged runt, he has a ferocious look in his eye, and he always, always has an Evil Plan. Astrid is the beta badass Lieutenant who understands her job is to follow orders, but to kick ass in the process; the rest of the kids are the Delta squad who bond together as a unit.

In contrast, in real life...... When I go to work I'm an alpha most of the time, but sometimes a beta lieutenant when that's called for, and sometimes I'm a gamma when somebody has to do some weird solitary deep thinking that pulls up ideas nobody had thought of before. It isn't a rule-book, it's a continuum. You guys need to read a little more deeply in Taoism, and less of Roissy.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 9:56 AM  

@scoobius dubious
Oh, Christ, more alphabet soup. And you're telling me I'M the one who's stupid?

He wasn't even talking to you, and you interject with that? It's Vox's theory, why wouldn't Nate offer thoughts to Vox on that theory and how to improve it?

Anonymous Smokey March 24, 2015 9:57 AM  

it also goes to the Omega - Sigma relationship. Omega is a sigma that never figures it out?

I figured Omegas were Sigmas who can't stop giving a fuck about what others think.

And outcast, but one who desperately wants to belong.

Come to think of it, I recently went through the Alpha Game thread where Vox compares Gamma to Sigma and Omega to Sigma, and says that the reason Gammas and Sigmas hate each other even more than Gammas and Alpha in some cases might be because of similar traits clashing. But since Omegas tend to be bullied the most by Gammas, I figured it would make more sense that once they get to Sigma, they still loathe Gammas with a burning passion.

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 9:57 AM  

Vox, I think you are on shaky ground with this one. Granted I may be misinterpreting. However, the elimination of feelbad is the great meme of the SJW's.

There's feelbad, and then there's the endless, grinding, abuse of school. I don't think Vox or anyone else here wants to protect children from every negative experience; a certain amount of suffering breeds wisdom and toughness. But that doesn't mean you'd send your five-year-old off to boot camp or prison to start learning to be a man. School is like that. Something that might be a learning experience if it happened at a one-week soccer camp becomes abuse when it goes on day after day for years.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:58 AM  

"It's not entirely without value, but it works better in art criticism than it does in real life"

/facepalm

Vox and I discuss the minutia of the classification system to create a more effective way to communicate it as a tool for those who can use it to improve their life Scoob.

Its like bitching that the length of an inch isn't objective. We know. It doesn't matter. It still provides a tool that people can use.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 9:59 AM  

"I figured Omegas were Sigmas who can't stop giving a fuck about what others think."

No... because you can not give a damn and still lose. Badly.

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 10:00 AM  

Scooby,

Right, because scrawny, one legged runt alphas with ridiculous nicknames are so common outside of fiction. Perhaps not the best example?

That said, your point about a continuum makes more sense to me than a set hierarchy.

Blogger JDC March 24, 2015 10:02 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous RedJack March 24, 2015 10:02 AM  

High school was different for me. By the time I was a freshman, the whole scene bored me. My Dad couldn't walk for six months when I was in 8th grade, and I had to take over the farm. At the same time, we were the first to get a new pig virus. It was a rather horrible time.

When school started again in the fall, I literally couldn't understand my classmates. It was years later that I realized I had grown up that summer. It also didn't help that I was the first National Merit scholar in my rural Nebraska High School. The majority of my class mates looked at me like I was some sort of alien. Not hostile, but different.

But, unlike Vox, I did have a core group of friends. Guys I still see and talk to. I had a bunch of guys I could hang out with, who while they may not have been as smart as me, would accept that "Jack is just being Jack" and listen.

In short, while I didn't hate high school, it seemed like a bother to me. I had already grown past it by the time I was a freshman.

Blogger JDC March 24, 2015 10:03 AM  

It isn't a rule-book, it's a continuum. You guys need to read a little more deeply in Taoism, and less of Roissy.

I think Vox has always asserted that it is a socio-sexual hierarchy - so that would lend credence to your description of different identifiers based upon environment. I don't think I've ever heard the assertion that it is an absolute identifier, or as you say, "a rule-book."

Anonymous scooby doo March 24, 2015 10:04 AM  

"He wasn't even talking to you, and you interject with that?"

You don't really know how a group conversation exists, do you. Have you ever attended a Thanksgiving dinner? I was willing to give you cred before, for some of your legitimately insightful observsations. But now, I fear, you're back on Double Secret Probation for saying something that stupid.

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 10:06 AM  

Homeschool coops sound great but generally speaking they end up being cesspools.

It seems like a good idea on paper: efficiency in combining efforts, and parents able to teach subjects they're good at. It could work if done well, but it's naturally going to draw the more authoritarian parents who think they have the One True Way to run a school and need to share it with the benighted, so it's not hard to see why it doesn't tend to go well.

Many people who homeschool simply don't like the schools as they exist now, but have an image in their mind of the perfect school, generally something from their childhood or a movie with a 1950s setting, and they're just itching to be the principal so they can recreate that. Only a small minority are aware of the problems with schooling in general.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 10:07 AM  

RedJack, I think that difference of experience between you and VD in high school also springs from the difference in school systems, quite literally. Rural schools are different than urban schools, and if I'm remembering right, VD went to an urban Minnesota school.

I went to a more rural area, like you, and I also found it to be a waste of time, not necessarily a bother and abuse, but just a waste. I think it'd still be better for the majority of people involved if it was wildly changed however, whether abolished or voluntary attendence only.

Anonymous Mike Mike March 24, 2015 10:07 AM  

My observation from having attended my 20 year HS reunion recently (and seeing people on Facebook) is that the well-rounded kids are the most successful in life. Well-rounded being the participation in multiple activities. You didn't have to necessarily excel at everything or anything for that matter but being good at school, play a sport or two, do a club, Eagle Scouts etc. pays great dividends. The one-trick ponies seem to be the ones who failed to live up to their HS social stature. The average student that just went to school, participated in zero extracurricular activities and made average grades tend to live the average life. Also, the hot girls in High School for the most part are still better looking than the non-hots. The ugly duckling blossoming into some beautiful adult who is the envy of all the cheerleaders is a rare exception. The cheerleader falling from grace meme is a little bunk from my small sample as well... they all still look pretty good (for a 40 year old that is).

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 10:09 AM  

You don't really know how a group conversation exists, do you. Have you ever attended a Thanksgiving dinner?

So when you're at Thanksgiving dinner, and you see a group of people having what looks like a serious discussion about something important to them -- even including mentions of childhood trauma, for cripes sake -- your response is to walk up and start throwing in jokes and insults?

Wait, you're my uncle, aren't you?

Anonymous Trimegistus March 24, 2015 10:10 AM  

Homeschooling really opened my eyes to the uselessness and downright pernicious nature of public schools. We taught eldest kid at home for three years (equivalent to grades 6-8) — partly because of external constraints and partly because we thought it would be fun. Eldest then went to the local high school and literally coasted for three years. The only thing that school taught Kid which we did not was chemistry.

The result was that Kid had a great GPA and was one of the school's Official Smart Kids, which meant that Kid got into a good college and can study the highly technical subject Kid has been interested in since childhood.

I've often thought that since middle and high school are really nothing but glorified daycare, we should turn that into a virtue. Convert some classrooms to libraries with online access to MOOCs and video lectures, so the kids who want to learn can do so. Outfit the remaining classrooms as either game rooms or with large comfy beds and privacy curtains so they can get on with fucking. I guarantee the educational outcomes will be no worse than they are right now, plus we save money by not paying teachers.

Anonymous Thales March 24, 2015 10:16 AM  

Agree that middle school is where all the children who come from bad homes reveal themselves.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 10:16 AM  

Being a jackass is part of the whole fun of the internet, sillykins.

Stop being a jackass, Scoobius. Now. I find your posing and posturing tedious in the extreme and I am far from the only one. This is not a conversation, this is you seeking attention and trying to be the class clown.

Now sit down and shut up.

Anonymous Trimegistus March 24, 2015 10:16 AM  

Having recently attended my own 30th reunion, I can attest that the girls who were in the 6-8 range have aged better than the 9-10s. I think that's because the 9s and 10s had further to fall. Plus they focus on staying skinny and tan, which makes them look like Somali grandmothers in expensive shoes. The 6-8s all seemed to understand aging gracefully.

Anonymous dantealiegri March 24, 2015 10:17 AM  

The worst thing in my opinion is that all that time is lost where you don't learn study habits, and transitioning to an environment where it is required is very tough.

Blogger JartStar March 24, 2015 10:22 AM  

But since Omegas tend to be bullied the most by Gammas,

Gammas are especially cruel and horrible to other Gammas. They have no one else to dominate so when they find another Gamma even a 1/8 of a step in lower rank they seize upon them and beat them down mercilessly. Gammas can create Omegas out of weaker Gammas. It’s another reason Gammas are so contemptible, they pick on the most vulnerable without mercy while claiming superiority to Alphas.

Anonymous hausfrau March 24, 2015 10:25 AM  

There is precious little academically valuable information taught in highschools that couldn't be taught to kids by the age of 14 if the schools were doing their jobs. Highschool just re-enforces the myth of teenagers being children instead of young adults. Those who are capable of going on to calculus and harder pursuits should go on to college or community college to get what they need. Other should go to trades school or just get full time employment. I predict a huge drop in diagnosis of depression, ADHD, and other disorders if this approach was ever implemented widely again. It was pretty standard a century ago. My Grandpa had a 4th grade education and still managed to support 10 kids and a wife.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 10:25 AM  

"In contrast, in real life...... When I go to work I'm an alpha most of the time, but sometimes a beta lieutenant when that's called for, and sometimes I'm a gamma when somebody has to do some weird solitary deep thinking that pulls up ideas nobody had thought of before. It isn't a rule-book, it's a continuum. "

The best part of your posturing Scoob.. is the fact that you so conclusively demonstrate that you don't understand what you're attempting to minimize.



OpenID genericviews March 24, 2015 10:27 AM  

I am very amused at how an intellectual argument on the value of High School turned into so many grown adults whining about their childhoods.

--Hale

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 10:27 AM  

@scooby doo

It'd be a 'group conversation' if it was directed toward the group. Instead, it's an offhand, offtopic comment directed at one person.

I mean, when you see a couple of your family to each other, addressing each other by name specifically ("Hey John, how is your job doing?" "The local taxes are killing me, Peter.") at the Thanksgiving table, do you think it's a wise and polite idea to join in and immediately declare that everything they said is inapplicable to real life and they're stupid, or do you phrase it differently?

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 24, 2015 10:34 AM  

As our host would say, 'I concur'.

I suspect a willingness to torture, and ready acceptance of collateral damage are among those 'visible scars' of the raging, bitter Omega.

CBG, for an Omega, what else is there? Give the kid a library card, and post enough security guards so he won't get beaten up by roving packs of Delta or Gammas. For an Omega, school is daily suffering on a scale the non-Omega can'[t easily understand.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 10:39 AM  

sometimes I'm a gamma when somebody has to do some weird solitary deep thinking that pulls up ideas nobody had thought of before

Every precious snowflake needs to have his day.
Who has ever heard all the things he has to say?

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 10:41 AM  

"I am very amused at how an intellectual argument on the value of High School turned into so many grown adults whining about their childhoods."

It was a post about the damage done by high school. So they are talking about the damage done by high school.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 10:42 AM  

"Every precious snowflake needs to have his day.
Who has ever heard all the things he has to say?"

Because sitting alone and thinking is absolutely gamma behavior right? No one but gammas ever does that.

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 10:48 AM  

Apparently Scooby changes his ranking like I change pants. My thinking is that the hierarchy is not as set in stone as it may outwardly appear. Taking myself as an example, if I'm solidly beta in my relationship with the opposite sex, but more sigma with some few alpha tendencies among men, then what is the appropriate ranking in the hierarchy?

As an aside my son looks to be more solidly alpha, which is definitely something I'm glad to see.

Anonymous Athor Pel March 24, 2015 10:50 AM  

" dantealiegri March 24, 2015 10:17 AM
The worst thing in my opinion is that all that time is lost where you don't learn study habits, and transitioning to an environment where it is required is very tough."



Study habits assume some things. Things that are actually antithetical to true learning.

Example, Study habits assume a written test. Taking tests teach a student how to take tests. They don't really test for knowledge.

True learning is making something a part of you, acquiring knowledge that stays with you for the rest of your life. Studying for a test is rote memorization of information that will leave your brain within 48 hours of finishing the test.

Ask yourself, what single thing did you learn in high school that actually helped you later, that you see as something important. Now, did you actually learn it at school, from a teacher because the teacher said it was important, or did you learn it on your own because you wanted to know it and use it.

Active teaching doesn't work. Humans only learn when they want to learn. You can't make them want it.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 10:51 AM  

"I am very amused at how an intellectual argument on the value of High School turned into so many grown adults whining about their childhoods."

I don't hear anyone hear that is whining, but sharing a few experiences that are fairly common to a lot of others who were subjected to factories whose main objective was to churn out manageable and obedient worker bees.

These shared experiences serve to expose and hopefully undermine the myth that schools are any more effective than the state penitentiary at producing human beings who will contribute anything of real value to society.

The schooling that most of us were subjected to effectively tried to convince us that we would never be expected to grow up, let alone grow up right. Perhaps, it helps explain, in part, the ubiquity of the 40-something adolescents in our present culture as well.

Bring the kids home and by all means avoid the temptation to re-produce a microcosm of the failed and subversive system from which you intended to protect your kids in the first place

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 10:58 AM  

An excellent summary Rabbi B.

For myself, I'd note the uselessness of raising children in a Christian household when they are still going to public school. And also that learning by rote is not the best thing for anyone you want to be able to think for themselves. Call me subversive.

Anonymous Porky March 24, 2015 11:08 AM  

Scoob - it took me a while to realize this, but the ilk have quite considerable personal investment here. It may seem like a cyberspace-free-for-all to you, but it is not so for them. To ilk, it is an actual community.

Show a little respect for that.

Anonymous Michael Maier March 24, 2015 11:09 AM  

Does this qualify as a train wreck yet?

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 11:10 AM  

"I'd note the uselessness of raising children in a Christian household when they are still going to public school."

Good point. It's difficult and challenging enough as it is to raise our children with our values without having to wage war on multiple fronts where we are forced to combat the conflicting values and powerful influences to which children are subjected daily by the state institutions.

No parent is guaranteed that his children will turn out the way we want them to, but this does not mean that we should ever abdicate that great responsibility to provide them the best possible opportunity to do so to an institution that hates them so much.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 11:13 AM  

"To ilk, it is an actual community.'

Yes . . . and I am asked to confirm that I am not a robot every time I post a comment.

Blogger Shimshon March 24, 2015 11:14 AM  

In my elementary school they had a program for "gifted" children. Such a program required a tested IQ of at least 133. At the time, the number seemed absurdly arbitrary, but now I realize it is the same cutoff for Mensa membership. My younger brother was in this program. I was not. Young me was quite jealous, especially as I always tested just under this number, and in an early example of zero tolerance, they literally made no exceptions for borderline cases. Seriously. Mensa also accepts 1250 pre-1994 SAT, and I would later go on to get 1240. My brother was roughly 100 points higher so he was quite comfortably over the cutoff. Anyway, this early exposure to arbitrary stupidity left a lasting impression on me.

Technically, that's not high school. Otherwise, I did find the social hierarchy (or my position in it) oppressive.

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 11:18 AM  

Yes Rabbi, it's the difference between mass produced and hand crafted at home. I remember the feculent nonsense I was exposed to in school, and by the grace of God, have the ability to choose a different path for my children. And while they may not always appreciate it, I hope they will understand.

Blogger Feather Blade March 24, 2015 11:18 AM  

My Grandpa had a 4th grade education and still managed to support 10 kids and a wife.

Sure, but Grandpa's 4th grade education back when was approximately the equivalent of a high school diploma now. Also he would have been 12 years upon completion, rather than the current 8 years old.

Heck, an 8th grade education in Grandpa's day was worth what a bachelor's degree is now.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts March 24, 2015 11:18 AM  

Obligatory video about high school glory days reminiscing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxN9Mw6iQUs

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts March 24, 2015 11:20 AM  

Oh, and this one is even better (Al Bundy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah5FEpGql9s

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 11:23 AM  

@skiballa
then what is the appropriate ranking in the hierarchy?

I think starting to delve into the off-topic, but I've been thinking on the subject lately. I'm starting to think it's either a toss-up between an arithmetic/statistical mode or a floor function.

That is to say, I've been debating whether or not it's the one that shares the most common attributes (mode), or if it's the lowest one, i.e. if you have an omega or gamma trait, despite delta tendencies you are a gamma (floor).

As I type it, I'm wondering if it's a combination of the two, in that, obviously having the most common attributes of one determine what rank you are particularly among other men (mode), whereas if/when women catch that "beta stench" that I think Roissy calls it, it's hard if not impossible to ever dispel that despite all the other traits that are on display (floor).

Maybe not so much a floor function as a heavy bias by women.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 11:28 AM  

"Heck, an 8th grade education in Grandpa's day was worth what a bachelor's degree is now."

Speaking of 8th grade:

http://www.indiana.edu/~p1013447/dictionary/8thgradeexam.htm

Anonymous Anubis March 24, 2015 11:29 AM  

"Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?"
Points to 8th grade test from 100 years ago that most affirmative action college graduates could not pass.

"together from 11 or 12 to 17"
Or even worse back when social promotion was not practiced and you had 18yos in middle school. There was a gang rape of 28 blacks on one white-Hispanic middle school girl in Houston where the youngest black was 15 but it was mostly guys from her school.

"reminds me of the end of Serenity and the assassin poking at the nerve that just isn't there."

Being double jointed has lead to situations just like that.

I was one of the youngest in my class & among the tallest, while having more friends from the grade above me than others. For a while I thought I would have been better off in the grade below. This reminds me of when the affirmative action Latina on the Supreme Court talked about when her guidance councilor asked how she got into Princeton, when none of the smart kids did, that even now she isn't smart enough to realize while she was a small dull fish in the small pond of high school she was the smartest/biggest Hispanic fish in the nation wide sea.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 24, 2015 11:32 AM  

Nate,
Omega is a guy with a telescope and a wooden dowel he tries to peer thru. In some cases, he sees more clearly than anyone. In others, he sees nothing, and understands nothing.

The Omega sees the flaws in all, and most especially in himself.

The Gamma, in the current theory, would understand more normally, but use that understanding for dishonesty.

The Omega is of bare notice to the Alpha, but unlike almost everyone else, the Alpha tends to treat him in those ten seconds of acknowledgement as a man, instead of a bug to be squashed.

The Omega is, on occasion, prone to outbursts of absolute honesty.

A Low Omega may see the universe as a chaotic hell filled with unpredictable and horrifying pain. A Higher Omega begins to dissasociate from society as a defense. He may be intensely, and justifiably furious at society. Happily, most Omegas have their capacity for violence broken. A still higher Omega may find a distant pity for society.

Blogger Vox March 24, 2015 11:33 AM  

I am asked to confirm that I am not a robot every time I post a comment.

We have our eye on you. There are suspicions.

That is to say, I've been debating whether or not it's the one that shares the most common attributes (mode), or if it's the lowest one, i.e. if you have an omega or gamma trait, despite delta tendencies you are a gamma (floor).

I lean towards mode. Especially because it can be situational or relative, and it is certainly time-limited. Jack Nicholson still has Alpha tendencies, but he is not the super-Alpha he used to be. There will eventually come a day when Leonardo diCaprio no longer bangs supermodels too.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 24, 2015 11:33 AM  

A big problem with high school is current age division between grade school and high school. Expand Junior high school for.two years then divide the educational track. Two year prep for the college bound or start trade schooling depending on your talents and abilities. Also start sending kids to real prison at sixteen, it's where they are headed by then regardless.

For most people (possibly I'm projecting) the most scaring experiences in high school are in the freshman sophomore years.

To put it mildly it's the awkward age. Girls your own age aren't interested, girls younger than you are way out of bounds and girls older than you are nothing but a source of unquenchable desire. Your body is betraying you in every way imaginable.

And you are assigned your place in the hierarchy. Friends that you knew from infancy are suddenly eager to forget they ever knew you.

I was at the bottom of the social hierarchy in every way at my first high school. By the end of my time at Shitckicker High, I was solidly in Omega territory. Then my mother remarried just as my sophomore year ended. And I transferred to a new school for my last two years.

Good lord what a difference being the 'new kid' makes. I was suddenly surrounded by people who had never known me during my awkward phase.

The funny thing was, I was so used to being at the bottom of the ladder, it took me a while to realize I was suddenly at top. Sure I figured out I was friends with all the popular kids but I didn't think I was one of them.

Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 11:38 AM  

And shouldn't Blogger be asking whether or not we are evil robots? They do seem a bit prejudiced.

Anonymous Earl March 24, 2015 11:38 AM  

Scoob I dont know whats going on in your life but I bet you actually need a break from the internet.

Anonymous Rock Rock, Rockaway Beach March 24, 2015 11:43 AM  

"Who has ever heard all the things he has to say?"

You have me at a disadvantage, becuause I am simply not going to discuss here how and why you should really probably not get into a dick-measuring contest with me. I'll leave it at that. "Goddam, that water cold!" "Yeah, and it's DEEP, too!" You're obviously a good and talented man, and a generous host, for which you have my gratitude. Out of respect for your gracious hospitality, I'm simply not going to hit you on the head with anything heavy in retaliation: it wouldn't be good manners, but trust me...... I know where the heavy things are.

Cue you banging on about "gamma" this, and "gamma" that, when you only have a vague impression of what you're talking about.

Anonymous Alexander March 24, 2015 11:45 AM  

Noah,

We're hanging out at Vox's, and therefore card carrying members of Evil, Inc.

There is no reason to demand Blogger verify the settled science of the matter.

Anonymous clk March 24, 2015 11:45 AM  

I would add to this short guy pity party stuff ... as a 6'2" 12 year old science geek .. we got our fair share of poor treatment as well ... maybe we dont get beat up as much because you are much bigger than the bullies and bullies tend to focus on the small ... but being tall itself its not a free pass ... at least you short guys tended to have coordination and athletic skills.

But I think this is healthly subject for VD ... and I think for those inclined to introspection thats its really healthly to reevaluate these experiences and reapply in context using you present wisdom.... although you should not consider this justification to hunt down those that bullied you in HS and punish them... :) -- leave the punishment to the universe...



Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 11:58 AM  

One of the guys I remember being picked on the most in my high school was a guy who was about 6'10" with a medium build. The bullies loved to call him names and push him around because he would never fight back. And no one ever came to his defense that I remember because he was more than capable -- physically, at least -- of defending himself.

Blogger rycamor March 24, 2015 11:59 AM  

Nate March 24, 2015 9:33 AM
Vox...

In the past, and I could be mis-remembering this, you described Sigma as Winning without Trying.

But doesn't this indicate that you did try? You weren't winning when you were young. You had to adjust and change he way you did things and figure out how to get along... and then you started winning.

I don't know... this brings me back to introvert - sigma and extrovert alpha... People have this misconception of the badass sigma that is really the epitome of the Super Special One that everything just falls into place for. Zaphod Beeblebrox if you will. But that's not your story. You tried. Which means on a basic survival level at least back then... you cared. Maybe you were shooting for anywhere in the black and you hit the bullseye... but still you took the shot.


I think of a Sigma as akin to a hacker. People think hackers break rules to get into things. No... they just know the rules of the system intimately enough to figure out how to put rules A, B and X together in a way that wasn't expected. Ergo, they can do the seemingly impossible.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 12:00 PM  

@Noah B.
And shouldn't Blogger be asking whether or not we are evil robots? They do seem a bit prejudiced.

Whoa whoa whoa there, any implication of Jewish Robots From The Internet possibly being evil is strictly prohibited. Don't you know all the horrors they suffered from the Hologramcaust? Think of the 6 million bytes who got deleted.

Next thing we know, you'll be demanding another Night of Broken Class Interfaces.

Blogger Vox March 24, 2015 12:02 PM  

You have me at a disadvantage, becuause I am simply not going to discuss here how and why you should really probably not get into a dick-measuring contest with me.

No, by all means. Lay it out! Where can we find your copious words of wisdom published, in what books or on what site? You can't possibly expect us to learn about this exemplary paragon of human virtue that you are and expect us not to drop everything and follow you. I ask no more than to be the first and most loyal of your acolytes!

Please, Scoobius, will you not be our Buddha? Will you not let me be Govinda to your Siddhartha?

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 12:07 PM  

"Whoa whoa whoa there, any implication of Jewish Robots From The Internet possibly being evil is strictly prohibited.'

Blogger keeps asking me to confirm that I am circumcised. Go figure.

Blogger Bodichi March 24, 2015 12:10 PM  

@Rabbi

Thanks for the chortle. Not sure what you look like but picturing a Hasidic Jew trying to get a computer to recognize his circumcision is hilarious!

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 12:13 PM  

@Rabbi B
The ironic part is, if you just give up and join the botnet - I mean, get a Google account, you'll stop being asked if you're a robot.

Blogger mary March 24, 2015 12:15 PM  

New to this whole blog via John Wright.
I am currently a part-time teacher at a "very reputable" high school in one of the wealthiest towns just outside of Boston. Much of what you fear about high school is true...but I fail to see how college won't just become the new high school experience once you abolish that trad. educational avenue for most 14-18 yrs. old kids.

I am lucky to work with a few very bright, motivated people who are true "educators", but many are maddeningly obtuse and either, driven to be automatons by the sheer volume of crap they are supposed to do, ideologues beating the drum of GW or other "progressive" mantras, actually unable to understand the fruitlessness of their methods, or else just lazy.

In my experience, too many high school teachers prioritize order...they adore silent classrooms with kids listening to boring lectures and filling in bubble tests. When I try to advocate for bringing in more experiential learning (this is science), some of my peers begin to panic and freak out that there will be a "frightful mess", and that we might "get behind", and "it doesn't matter" so why bother. Many of the women have NO IDEA how to teach boys whatsoever. They love neat, crisp, linear, quiet, obedient etc.

Also, the divide between the very bright kids and the average kids (not to mention those who are remedial due to a deficient environment or genes) is stark. Right now I have a very bright class where even the casual banter is stimulating. This type of student does VERY well at individual projects, and I have gone this route for them more than usual. They excel, partly due to their innate curiosity about anyting.

The high average kids can sometimes do this with a lot of guidance, but the lower average kids cannot. They simply don't know the right questions to ask along the way. Even given an explicit rubric, they are lost. Much of high school is a total waste of their time and the taxpayers' money. Half of these kids should be in some alternative program that is much more hands-on, or working. However, I wonder what kinds of jobs these kids will do? With robotics set to remove something like 47% of jobs in the near future...I seriously wonder.

Also...having been a passably attractive (now probably considered a little plain in my early 40s) gal in HS with a stunningly attractive sister, I can tell you that physical beauty and sexiness are so utterly important for girls in high school, that it trumps all else. Girls are constantly assessing how they and their peers rate metric, and the shear power I watched my gorgeous younger sister wield was a lesson for life.

This persists even today, as I am tangentially affiliated with some of the moms groups in town comprised of the "pretty girls" but decidedly left out of the core of 8-12 who load social media with their group doings and perfectly-toned beach bodies at every turn. Most of them landed high-earning husbands and are now bored because they only had one, two or three kids.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 24, 2015 12:16 PM  

Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?

Read the book Escaping the Endless Adolescence for a few ideas. Probably the most important aspect of any worthwhile alternative is that it gives the young men and women meaningful responsibilities that matter in the real world. They're not children any longer, they have a burning desire to find their place in the adult world and studying for an Algebra test is decidedly not an adult world responsibility. Sports provide healthy competition, but tossing a ball into a basket with a bunch of other teenagers isn't an adult responsibility either.

They need jobs and other responsibilities where they can clearly see that what they are doing makes a difference in an adult's life. Even something as mundane as babysitting young children while their mother gets chores or shopping done is better than sitting in a classroom learning how to conjugate verbs at 15.

Blogger skiballa March 24, 2015 12:19 PM  

Thanks gentlemen, that clears it up somewhat, though it seems some aspects of ranking are rigid, others are more flexible.

It amazes me to think how different things could be with only minor changes to some aspects. I'll leave it at that, and not further derail the topic, since it seems VD has engaged one determined to do so.

Anonymous Captain Weirdbeard March 24, 2015 12:20 PM  

Arrrr, Sir Dubious. Ye should know better than to wake a hibernating bear by claiming yer farts are louder when ye could simply fart and wake the dead.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 12:25 PM  

@Vox
I lean towards mode. Especially because it can be situational or relative, and it is certainly time-limited.

I see, that makes sense. I know I misread the latter sentence once or a dozen times, and that took me a bit of pondering until I figured out how to English.

Do you have an opinion on whether women, when trying to rank men, also operate on mode or if they give a bias to lower ranking tendencies?

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 12:25 PM  

They need jobs and other responsibilities where they can clearly see that what they are doing makes a difference in an adult's life. Even something as mundane as babysitting young children while their mother gets chores or shopping done is better than sitting in a classroom learning how to conjugate verbs at 15."

Well said and spot on, Jack:

"Adventures must involve stress, if not actual danger, must deviate sufficiently from the everyday to cause the senses to quicken, the mind to focus—their point is to cause the adventurer to reevaluate his/her outlook on reality, a transformation that can bring the consciousness alive in beneficial ways in unexpected places, like intellectual development and character improvement. Denying our sons and daughters experience and adventures was the principal tool in the Prussian strategy to ARTIFICIALLY EXTEND THEIR CHILDHOODS, making them easier to manage." - Gatto

Anonymous Well the Kids Are All Hopped Up and Ready to Go March 24, 2015 12:30 PM  

@VD 12:02 PM : well I'll certainly say this, your response is very witty and funny. I totally got a chuckle. And I got your point. I may not agree, but I did get it.

But no, I'm not going to battle you on your own blog, because as I say, you are the host and I am a guest, and I would consider it a violation of the laws of hospitality to come straight at you with an intellectual clawhammer. Zeus might hit me with a thunderbolt or something.

Anonymous Stingray March 24, 2015 12:32 PM  

women, when trying to rank men, also operate on mode or if they give a bias to lower ranking tendencies?

Well, to be clear, women don't try to rank men. It just happens. Women, for the most part (assuming I am understanding what you mean by it) operate on mode. However, if the lower ranking tendency is overt enough, or happens frequently enough, that can be enough to disqualify a man. I believe it's been referred to as "falling off the cliff" in the manosphere. Meaning, once you fall, it's nearly impossible to get back up again into the ranks for a particular woman.

Anonymous RedJack March 24, 2015 12:46 PM  

Jack Amok,

You got me thinking. I had that happen to me early on. As I said above, I ended up running the farm while my Dad was injured. Hell of a lot of responsibility for a 12-13 year old kid. But I did it, failed in somethings, succeeded in others.

Looking back, that might have been why I didn't end up a whiny little crap. I had already had to objectively judge myself in a "real life" area and acknowledge my short comings. I can't weld for crap, and had to call on help to do it in order to get the disc ready for spring. I can run pipe and set up a ration for feeding livestock pretty well, and run a quarantine. By the time Dad could walk again, I had been responsible for more than most of my class mates ever were or have been even today. Because of the disease, my father ended up having to exit the hog industry five years later (which was in the end a great move). I felt guilty for a while because I wasn't able to fix something that could not have been fixed by anyone.

Looking back, it might have stopped me from becoming a gamma (or something like it). Perhaps it was because I didn't have the luxury of blaming others. Perhaps it was because I didn't have any other person to fall back on.

This alpha game stuff has given me a lot of stuff to think about.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 12:49 PM  

@Stingray
Well, to be clear, women don't try to rank men. It just happens.
Yes, of course. A mistype on my part.

I believe it's been referred to as "falling off the cliff"
That, in a sense, is what I was referring to in regards to the "bias" thing.

Anonymous Stickwick March 24, 2015 12:49 PM  

Stingray: Well, to be clear, women don't try to rank men. It just happens.

Unless they're acutely aware of the hierarchy, and then it's almost impossible not to try to rank them. Probably, with the exception of identifying gammas, not all that successfully.

Anonymous Stingray March 24, 2015 12:56 PM  

Unless they're acutely aware of the hierarchy, and then it's almost impossible not to try to rank them. Probably, with the exception of identifying gammas, not all that successfully.

Yes and then it seems to be in some vain attempt to "outsmart" the men and gain a "gotcha!". Much like we see gammas do here.

Anonymous pseudotsuga March 24, 2015 12:58 PM  

It's not that I disliked high school. It's just that I disliked being there with some of the other kids who made life a quiet hell because they didn't want to be there for various reasons. I am thinking, more and more, that the way the British and Europeans do it (with their O and A levels, or their school-leaving exams) are more sane than the American regimented, one-education-for-all model.
That, I think, should be the alternative, but I can't see this being implemented.
For one, we don't have the apprenticeship programs that Germany (for example) uses.
For another, I think that the idea of non-equal schooling will cause SJW types who run the schools to pop blood vessels, so it would be even more vilified than home schooling has been.

Anonymous rho March 24, 2015 1:03 PM  

High school has benefits, if you're academically inclined. It's great for +1 and +2 SDs when you're on the AP track.

The UK handles it differently than the US, where "high school" is basically "college." It's a better system, I think.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 1:06 PM  

@mary
New to this whole blog via John Wright.
Welcome.

Much of what you fear about high school is true...but I fail to see how college won't just become the new high school experience once you abolish that trad. educational avenue for most 14-18 yrs. old kids.

College already practically is the new high school experience, because everyone is expected to go to college. There are some fundamental differences between college and high school, such as actually picking what you specialize in, so I don't think it would become the new high school. Is it, and would it be foolproof as it is? No.

They simply don't know the right questions to ask along the way.

Something I've mused about, is teaching young ones how to figure out what they want to find, and how to formulate the questions to find what they want. Not everyone would need that class, but I'd imagine it would do a lot of people good, particularly in this age of ever-expanding information - the ability to find info you don't know is more valuable than ever, because you will never know everything about a subject.

[...]but decidedly left out of the core of 8-12 who load social media with their group doings and perfectly-toned beach bodies at every turn.

Hate to break it to ya, but if that core of 8-12 ladies are also in their 40s, then they have absolutely decreased in attractiveness.

There's a clear difference in a 20-year-old and a 27-year-old. How much more of a difference do you think an 18-year-old and a 40-year-old would be?

It's not meant as a slam on you, but rather letting you know that a lot of women seem to think they're just a-okay and in the prime of their attractiveness at 35+ when that is never the case.

OpenID cailcorishev March 24, 2015 1:08 PM  

I am very amused at how an intellectual argument on the value of High School turned into so many grown adults whining about their childhoods.

Well, if people sharing their personal experiences and expressing anger about having had 12+ years of their life wasted and/or filled with indoctrination and social-climbing Lord-of-the-Flies bullshit sounds like whining....so be it, I guess. Don't know how to discuss it otherwise. It happened, it's still happening, and it shouldn't be.

I fail to see how college won't just become the new high school experience once you abolish that trad. educational avenue for most 14-18 yrs. old kids.

After we burn down all the high schools, we won't be out of matches.

Anonymous Dan in Tx (tuning in for the LULZ) March 24, 2015 1:08 PM  

WTF? Think I'll keep watching the discussion because I think Vox is inviting you to bring out the "intellectual claw hammer". I'm expecting an internet steel chair to the head shot before this is all over.

Anonymous rho March 24, 2015 1:16 PM  

High school has some benefits for +1 and +2 SDs who are on the AP track.

The UK system is different from the US, where "high school" is basically "college." It's a better system, I think.

Blogger mary March 24, 2015 1:27 PM  

@Student in Blue
Let me introduce you to James Altucher. Think he’s an atheist, but sorta agree with his views on higher ed., particularly his experience coming out of the ivy with CS degree he found useless.
http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/01/10-more-reasons-why-parents-should-not-send-their-kids-to-college/

Something I've mused about, is teaching young ones how to figure out what they want to find, and how to formulate the questions to find what they want.

100% agree. I attempt to do this, particularly since most adolescents don’t know that getting info off the web is like drinking from a firehose. This is a hard task. Teaching well is extraordinarily hard. I puzzle over how to approach it for each kid.


Hate to break it to ya, but if that core of 8-12 ladies are also in their 40s, then they have absolutely decreased in attractiveness.
Of course! I am a biologist after all, and the mother of boys, and I have some frank male friends who tell it like it is. The point was that now they are spending nearly all their time preserving and propping up this quality, rather than rearing larger families because per Vox they got so much reinforcement (more than they might in some other settings perhaps? IDK) for being hot. Frankly, their bikini bodies on FB seem increasingly desperate and weird. Posing with their teen girls who are similarly clad is even odder, and serves to highlight the differences.

Blogger mary March 24, 2015 1:28 PM  

sorry...my highlights of your words did not copy.

Anonymous old coyote March 24, 2015 1:28 PM  

junior high school- glad i missed that hormone hothouse. what a nightmare when i foolishly accepted substitute teacher duties in that swamp of molten lust. the boys were not yet old enough to figure out what the girls were looking for, and i literally had to fend the crazed breeders off with a stick. now "boys and girls" have to look out for "child molestation" charges when a 17 yr old fucks an 18yr old. what a cuntry. it was no fun being small and smart, but was survivable; class clown was indeed a saving grace- most of the time. the smarter bullies saw through it. the best revenge has been outliving nearly all of them.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 1:36 PM  

"Unless they're acutely aware of the hierarchy, and then it's almost impossible not to try to rank them. Probably, with the exception of identifying gammas, not all that successfully. "

Oh come now its not that hard.

If you really don't notice them.. they are deltas. If they are awesome... doing awesome stuff... and are always happy as the center of attention...and you think its kinda hot... They are Alphas.

If they are always hanging around with their badass friend and going out and doing awesome stuff with him... they are betas.

If they are totally awesome and are doing awesome and are the center of attention but don't actually realize it... they are sigmas.

if they are passive aggressive little bitches who are never wrong and probably hate women.. they are gammas.

If they are terrifying to you... they are omegas.

I'm not going to try to explain lambdas though... female gaydar is chronically under developed.

Blogger hank.jim March 24, 2015 1:41 PM  

High school is day care for 80% of the worthless kids who are not on the college track. I can't imagine letting them roaming free terrorizing the population. They ought to give kids something to do instead of merely focusing on subjects they will never master.

Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 1:41 PM  

"If they are terrifying to you... they are omegas."

I would say it's quite possible for a guy to come across to a woman as both terrifying and exciting at the same time. But I'm guessing you mean terrifying in the sense of uber-creepy, e.g., a woman doesn't know if she's going to be riding home in the passenger seat or in the trunk.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 1:43 PM  

"I would say it's quite possible for a guy to come across to a woman as both terrifying and exciting at the same time. "

There is a difference between bad boy dangerous (alpha sigma) and Omega dangerous.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 1:44 PM  

"High school is day care for 80% of the worthless kids who are not on the college track"

You aren't paying attention. Virtually all kids are on the college track now.

Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 1:44 PM  

That's what I figured you meant.

Anonymous Homesteader March 24, 2015 1:56 PM  

We are homeschooling. No coops for us.
The children are running the day to day operation-
we supervise their efforts. Small , but growing,
subsistance homestead.
They see the world quite differently than their little league and scouting peers, already.

The oldest is 12. When the schoolbus leaves at 0730, and returns by 4, ours comment on "those poor kids".

The public schools have become an indoctrination gulag, nothing more.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing March 24, 2015 1:58 PM  

Oh come now its not that hard.

Oh, contraire, mon frere.

There are the introverts who are comfortable at the top of a hierarchy. Beta? Alpha? Sigma?

Who knows? Not me. It's like it's veiled. Or maybe I need glasses, and there is no such thing as an optometrist. I'm not participating in the competition, therefore it's all academic to me. Theory vs. practice.

Although last week your comments did help me figure a few behaviors and tendencies, so I thank you for that.

Anonymous scooby dooby doo March 24, 2015 2:00 PM  

"Think I'll keep watching the discussion because I think Vox is inviting you to bring out the "intellectual claw hammer". I'm expecting an internet steel chair to the head shot before this is all over."

I think you'd be mighty surprised, in a Tyrion Lannister sort of way. I'm much, much suppler and craftier than the internet can convey. Many of VD's arguments are intelligent on their face, but they fall right over when subjected to a more multi-dimensional attack, but then they can right themselves under changed circumstances. It's tricky. Doesn't mean I'm right and he's wrong: in the course of the struggle a lot of what he says could turn out to be true, and frankly there's a lot that I agree with. It's about the nature of how arguments themselves work. He needs to read a LOT more poetry.

All this stuff gets weirder and weirder. Don't even fucking ask me about my crazy theory about how to rightly interpret Plato's "Republic". That's a lunatic, book-length discussion.

My short form answer to students about how to understand philosophy is: while you're reading it, also read poetry. Read Aeschylus, Euripides, Sappho, the incredibly witty Catullus, Sophocles and Aristophanes, if you want to really understand Plato and Aristotle.

Oh and of course Homer. If you haven't read your Homer, then you don't even count.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 2:00 PM  

"When the schoolbus leaves at 0730, and returns by 4, ours comment on "those poor kids"."

We have a deal: We never put you on the yellow school bus, and you will never put us in a 'retirement' home.

Very cool what you're doing. Are you familiar with the Colfax family and their homesteading adventure?

http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Times-Paradise-David-Colfax/dp/0446514896

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 2:01 PM  

@mary
sorry...my highlights of your words did not copy.

That's because we're old-school here, and we put in our own <b>bold</b> tags.

Try it for yourself, and use the preview button.

Let me introduce you to James Altucher.[...]

CS degrees are their own beast in college, from my own experience. It's practically worthless, yet it isn't, and you don't learn anything from college, yet you do. if you didn't do a bunch of learning on your own, you'll miss a lot, yet you'll still need job-training no matter where you go for your first gig in the field.

But what he said in that article, sarcastically or not, was very much true.

Frankly, their bikini bodies on FB seem increasingly desperate and weird. Posing with their teen girls who are similarly clad is even odder, and serves to highlight the differences.

Absolutely. I hold some doubts that male friends are telling you like it is completely (i.e., I bet it's worse than they describe), but being cognizant of the fact of matter is always good.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 2:04 PM  

@Dan in Tx: "Think I'll keep watching the discussion because I think Vox is inviting you to bring out the "intellectual claw hammer"."

@Scoobius: "I'm much, much suppler and craftier than the internet can convey."

Translation: There is no hammer. Just a little guy behind a big curtain.

http://godlessindixie.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/wizard-of-oz.jpg

Anonymous Alexander March 24, 2015 2:16 PM  

Well...

you do, for one. Otherwise you wouldn't be yammering on under a million different aliases about how awesome you are, how the rest of us need more exposure to your bullshit, and how you've got so much to teach but this isn't the place to learn...

For fucks sake, piss off.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 2:20 PM  

"You can think what you want to think, and I will know what I know. Who really cares?"

In all seriousness: I care and frequently benefit from a lot of the discussions that take place here. I see it as one of the rare places where iron sharpens iron.

So, by all means, pull out your iron and sharpen us. Your refusal only deprives us of your infinite wisdom and enlightenment which we so desperately crave here at VP. It's the least you could do..

Anonymous Scintan March 24, 2015 2:21 PM  

Oh come now its not that hard.

If you really don't notice them...


One of the real problems with this theory is the failure to successfully deal with the IDGAF factor.

Anonymous rho March 24, 2015 2:21 PM  

Read Aeschylus, Euripides, Sappho, the incredibly witty Catullus, Sophocles and Aristophanes, if you want to really understand Plato and Aristotle.
Oh and of course Homer. If you haven't read your Homer, then you don't even count.


You sound like you're 19 and you just finished auditing a philosophy course.

I'm sure you think you seemed smarter than that.

Blogger slarrow March 24, 2015 2:31 PM  

Something I've mused about, is teaching young ones how to figure out what they want to find, and how to formulate the questions to find what they want.

This. The most important thing my education should have done for me was to help me figure out what I wanted and show me how to get it. But this kind of personal agency is not only neglected by the public school system, it's actively opposed by the one-size-fits-all conveyor belt mentality. And it starts young.

Critics of the notion of abolishing high school will point out that 14-year-olds or 16-year-olds aren't ready for that kind of personal responsibility. They're right, but not for the reasons they think. Modern teenagers aren't ready for that responsibility because they weren't trained from the start to be ready by the time they reach that age. (Heck, they aren't trained to be responsible for themselves even through college, given the plethora of useless vanity degrees.)

In part, that's because the system are only interested in the students while they're on the conveyor belt, and the smooth functioning of the system is the highest goal (Pournelle's Iron Law.) When your incentives are tied only to whether the person rides the conveyor belt to the end and not on how they land, no wonder people are ill-prepared.

Blogger JohnR219 March 24, 2015 2:32 PM  

Rabbi B: There have been claims that the 8th grade test is not a graduation test, but a test that teachers had to take to be qualified to teach.

A final exam with only 8 math questions?

That seems very odd.

Blogger kudzu bob March 24, 2015 2:33 PM  

@Scoobius
You keep telling us how intellectually formidable you are but never get around to backing up your claim. I knew guys like you in college.

Anonymous Stickwick March 24, 2015 2:34 PM  

Nate: Oh come now its not that hard.

That's what she said! Ha ha!

If you remember, Nate, I asked a while back if a man could occupy more than one rank at a time, because most men I know exhibit behavior from multiple ranks. That makes it hard to pin down an assessment. You explained that rank is fluid, because it's based on behavior, and behavior changes. Again, tricky. However, if we combine your brief descriptions with Vox's assessment that it's more mode than floor, then, yeah, I guess it's not that hard.

Blogger SarahsDaughter March 24, 2015 2:35 PM  

One of the real problems with this theory is the failure to successfully deal with the IDGAF factor.

Do women really have this? The IDGAF factor?

Most men are invisible to women so that might seem like IDGAF; however, most men are Deltas.

Natural Alphas make a mockery of a women with IDGAF attitudes. Gammas are in the invisible category unless she has to interact with him. Then, no matter how much she thinks she has a IDGAF attitude, her contempt will show evidence of fucks given.

Anonymous Stickwick March 24, 2015 2:40 PM  

kudzu bob: You keep telling us how intellectually formidable you are but never get around to backing up your claim.

I dunno, wouldn't you want to watch an action movie where the hero waltzes into the bad guy's lair and just goes on and on about how he could crush the bad guy if he really wanted to, but he's holding back, and the bad guy just brushes him off, and the hero explains that he really could, etc. and this goes on and on until the bad guy finally frog marches him out of the lair, all the while the hero is saying I COULD TOTALLY TAKE YOU IF YOU WEREN'T SUCH A JERK! Way more exciting than watching him actually crush the guy.

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 2:40 PM  

"There have been claims that the 8th grade test is not a graduation test, but a test that teachers had to take to be qualified to teach."

Might not be a bad filter for today, where fogging up a mirror is all that is required of most teachers.

Anonymous Stingray March 24, 2015 2:44 PM  

Stickwick,

Oh my, if you were referring to yourself, then I apologize. I thought you meant the women who come in, think they know what the hierarchy is and use it badly.

Now that I know what you mean, I understand where you are coming from as it can be dynamic but I think when we really understand the hierarchy we tend to over think it. Our first gut reaction is usually going to be the most accurate. It is when we start to try to detail and quantify it that we make it confusing. Also, you genuinely like men and likely pay attention and notice things about your average man (delta) that most women simply don't. Because you do this, you would struggle more trying to place them.

This is why I always counsel gratitude to women. Being grateful toward one's man always raises his value in one's eyes.

Anonymous Alexander March 24, 2015 2:47 PM  

Might not be a bad filter for today, where fogging up a mirror is all that is required of most teachers.

To be fair, that's a pretty good standard when the point of the practice is to fog up young minds.

Anonymous Scintan March 24, 2015 2:56 PM  

Do women really have this? The IDGAF factor?

Most men are invisible to women so that might seem like IDGAF; however, most men are Deltas.

Natural Alphas make a mockery of a women with IDGAF attitudes. Gammas are in the invisible category unless she has to interact with him. Then, no matter how much she thinks she has a IDGAF attitude, her contempt will show evidence of fucks given.


IDGAF has several applications and subsets here. Just as an example:

Some people don't care because they have been badly beaten down and have just flat-out quit trying to the point where it's all about accepting what seems inevitable, while some people don't care just because they genuinely don't care.

We saw this on this very blog early on in the game discussion, when it seemed as if everyone and his mother was claiming to be a so-called Sigma, when most are probably more appropriately categorized elsewhere.

OpenID iheardtheoldmansay March 24, 2015 3:01 PM  

I think it would have to be mode, the same way you identify a piece of metal with impurities in it. Reckoning by "floor" is just scrupulosity in someone trying to analyze his own rank.

Anonymous 001 March 24, 2015 3:07 PM  

Vox, are you familiar with Guillaume Faye's "Archeofuturism?" It was published in '98 but it predicts the rise of Muslim extremism and a financial crash around 2010, and manages to namedrop Charlie Hebdo as well. Not only that, but Faye gives what he believes are solutions the future must arrive at, one of the least of which is the abolition of high schools.

Blogger Feather Blade March 24, 2015 3:08 PM  

A final exam with only 8 math questions?

That seems very odd.


If those 8 questions cover all of the concepts they were supposed to have mastered by that point, it doesn't really make sense to have more than that.

Anonymous Homesteader March 24, 2015 3:09 PM  

@Rabbi B:

Her 101 year old grandmother lives with us.
No buses, no nursing homes.
I'm not familiar with them. I''ll have to look them up. Short form-I got sick, almost died. Epiphany followed.

Moved to 12 acre homestead with no experience at all.

Adventures follow....

Blogger S1AL March 24, 2015 3:12 PM  

We saw this on this very blog early on in the game discussion, when it seemed as if everyone and his mother was claiming to be a so-called Sigma, when most are probably more appropriately categorized elsewhere.

I think this probably has something to do with the degree of introspection and introversion to be found in the readership of a blog like this. There were a lot of early comments in Vox's original AG hierarchy with the "X + Sigma traits," which makes sense if you're talking about people who exist on the fringes of the social hierarchy. I'd be willing to bet that Vox is underestimating the degree to which a lot of people exist at the edge/outside of social hierarchies but can comfortably place themselves in the sexual hierarchy.

Anonymous FAILBOAT March 24, 2015 3:32 PM  

Vox,

Your two-tiered sociosexual hierarchy may be tainted by your personal self-concept. Attempting to make credible arguments (at least privately) for both sides of "Is Vox a gamma?" based on details of your life and self might reveal something useful. "Sigma" has always read to me as being equivalent to the role played by an Alpha who has been temporarily separated from his tribe, and is now with another tribe.

As an example of this: U. S. Grant in his round-the-world trip with his family after his presidency could be argued to have been behaving like a Sigma, but U.S. Grant also could and did occupy a place in a large hierarchy...when he was with his tribe.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 3:39 PM  

@S1AL

It may have to do with introspection to a degree, but you also have to consider that everyone considers themselves the protagonist. Special snowflake syndrome, if you will, because you are the protagonist in the story of your life, and you root for the protagonist.

Also the heavier the Internet user (and the more likely to stumble upon AG and VP) the more likely they are to be omega or gamma, just by experience. And Gammas lie constantly.

Anonymous Scintan March 24, 2015 3:44 PM  

I think this probably has something to do with the degree of introspection and introversion to be found in the readership of a blog like this.

I think it has more to do with people misreading themselves, sometimes mistakenly, and sometimes on purpose. A true "Sigma" (I'll be ignoring the quotation marks from here on in) is going to be a rarity, for good reason. The basic equation, for the purpose of the categories, is that Sigma = Alpha + indifference/lone wolf tendencies. Since true Alphas, as opposed to the faux Alphas who are just the leaders of lesser groups, are already going to be relatively rare, Sigmas are going to be the closest thing to snowflakes on the category list, with the possible exception of the poofs.

They are also destined to be a bitch to accurately categorize, because they'll likely exhibit some behaviors that will seemingly classify them pretty much all over the spectrum.

Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 4:17 PM  

"If you remember, Nate, I asked a while back if a man could occupy more than one rank at a time, because most men I know exhibit behavior from multiple ranks. That makes it hard to pin down an assessment."

I do think Game is a useful model, but I'd say the various types are more of ideals than discrete, mutually exclusive categories. So I don't think you're off base at all.

Anonymous VD March 24, 2015 4:42 PM  

Many of VD's arguments are intelligent on their face, but they fall right over when subjected to a more multi-dimensional attack, but then they can right themselves under changed circumstances. It's tricky.

No, they don't. And you're done here. I've made it clear I have no tolerance for that sort of Gamma shit and you are absolutely full of it.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 4:46 PM  

@Noah B
Game is something different.

I don't think "ideal" is the appropriate term either - I don't consider anything Gammas do to be ideal. 'Stereotype' may be more appropriate - the Voxian socio-sexual hierarchy may not 100% describe someone at a ranking, but if someone has several gamma tendencies for instance, there's a very very good chance they'll have the rest of said gamma tendencies. It's also very unlikely it'll be 20% gamma, 20% delta, 20% beta, 20% alpha and 20% sigma - there is very often a cluster in which a man resides.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 24, 2015 4:49 PM  

" you should really probably not get into a dick-measuring contest"
I always seem to miss these

"I'm not going to try to explain lambdas though... female gaydar is chronically under developed."
When women try to hook gay men up on blind dates its horrible.

I don't think they should be pushing the tranny stuff in schools like they do as I have never meet a happy tranny and they seem to think they can trick a STR8 guy into falling for them that wont care about biology.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 4:55 PM  

When women try to hook gay men up on blind dates its horrible.

I feel morbidly curious. There's a story behind this, isn't there?

Blogger Rabbi B March 24, 2015 4:58 PM  

"And you're done here.'

Is it just me, or are we experiencing a recent uptick in the spam cycle?

Anonymous Stickwick March 24, 2015 5:03 PM  

Stingray: Oh my, if you were referring to yourself, then I apologize. I thought you meant the women who come in, think they know what the hierarchy is and use it badly.

I was thinking mostly of exactly that. But also myself and my own lack of understanding.

Now that I know what you mean, I understand where you are coming from as it can be dynamic but I think when we really understand the hierarchy we tend to over think it.

Definitely.

Our first gut reaction is usually going to be the most accurate. It is when we start to try to detail and quantify it that we make it confusing. Also, you genuinely like men and likely pay attention and notice things about your average man (delta) that most women simply don't. Because you do this, you would struggle more trying to place them.

That's certainly possible. But it also seems to stem from an intrinsic lack of understanding of men in general. I'll give you an example based on a recent AG post. Say there's a man who, when he's asked how to do something, cheerfully explains it, and contrast this with a man who instead curtly explains it. I would've guessed that cheerfully answering the question would be a lower-status thing to do, but Vox pointed out that curtly answering was lower-status. This, to me, is counterintuitive, but the explanation Vox gave made sense, so I accept it. And we can't always rely on attractiveness as an indicator, either, because not every alpha/sigma is attractive to every woman. Hence, we're just not that good at pegging a man's rank. Unless he's gamma/omega.

This is why I always counsel gratitude to women. Being grateful toward one's man always raises his value in one's eyes.

Yep.

Blogger Salt March 24, 2015 5:06 PM  

"Is it just me, or are we experiencing a recent uptick in the spam cycle?

Be interesting to chart it against interest rates, like the more they go negative the more we get. When we weren't in ZIRP territory they were a better class.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera March 24, 2015 5:09 PM  

Imperfect as high school surely is, what's the alternative?

How about nothing? The literacy rate would be higher.

Fred Reed recently pointed out that college exists primarily to keep young people out of the work force because there's nothing useful for most of them to do.

As an example of Omega-type scary, I'd like to point out that an Omega has no economic reason to contain their anger and repressed sexuality. It actually makes more evopsyche sense to be a mass shooter than not, because some crazy chicks might show up for conjugal visitation. There is also no external reason an Omega should not kidnap, rape, and torture (depending on taste). How could tomorrow's punishment be worse than tomorrow would have been anyway?

Luckily, most of us have various personal reasons to avoid this sort of behavior. Though I am still planning to torch the universities, as soon as it appears they won't/can't be rebuilt.

Blogger Noah B March 24, 2015 5:12 PM  

I don't consider anything Gammas do to be ideal. 'Stereotype' may be more appropriate

Right, I meant ideal not in the sense of 'good and proper' but in the sense of 'a typical example that is never perfectly achieved in practice.'

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 24, 2015 5:23 PM  

"When women try to hook gay men up on blind dates its horrible...I feel morbidly curious. There's a story behind this, isn't there?"

Not really, its like if women only tried to hook you up with their 1-2 out of 10 friends. "Oh I know this gay chief he is really nice(he is 1/2 your height but more than your weight)" "I know this nice out of work musician/artist (that smells like Bob Marley's ass)" "Oh I don't know how I forgot in the description that the govt worker is a ni66er."

Blogger asks me to prove I am not a conformist gayborg

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 5:23 PM  

@Noah B

Of course. However, ideal also confers a sense of "something to aim for, a goal" which... is not the case for gamma and omega.

Blogger Student in Blue March 24, 2015 5:25 PM  

@BigGaySteve

So, in essence, women not quite understanding what men desire yet again?

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 5:44 PM  

"One of the real problems with this theory is the failure to successfully deal with the IDGAF factor."

It accounts for it just fine.

IDGAF can be Alpha ( who don't care because they are winning and therefore never think about it) Delta (who don't care because they are married to a 5 with 2 kids and are otherwise oblivious), Sigma (who doesn't care because he's both oblivious and having threesomes in semi public places with strippers), or a high Omega (who has simply accepted it)

Blogger Nate March 24, 2015 5:46 PM  

"Nate: Oh come now its not that hard.

That's what she said! Ha ha! "

No darlin'... I promise... she didn't.

Ever.

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