Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Noah Smith Risks the Wrath of #GamerGate So I Don't Have To

Dudes, if you're looking for the ladies, you might not find them here...

I've always admired Noah Smith, up-and-coming econ blogger, who's worth taking seriously, even when he's not being serious.

In the post herein linked, he might be more serious than at first blush. He's on to something when he analyzes Omega, Beta, and Alpha males and the relative proclivity toward violence and aggression in general. Read his piece. It's somewhat important. Here's a taste:
It seems to me that a big problem in the world consists of angry young men doing aggressive things. One example of this is terrorism. Another is online intimidation and harassment of women, like we've seen with #GamerGate. Another is random outbursts of violent crime. I don't know why young men are so much more prone to aggression than other groups - most people just wave their hands and say "testosterone", while I tend to just shrug and say "whatever". But anyway, it's a fact, and pretty much everyone knows it.

One thing I have sort of noticed, however - and here we leave the realm of well-established fact and enter the realm of Noah Talking Out of His Digestive Tract - is that when young men feel like they can't get sex, they tend to feel angry and resentful toward the world. Actually, I've noticed that women, when they feel like they can't get sex, also seem to feel unhappy and grumpy. But since young men tend to be more aggressive than their female counterparts (see previous paragraph), the frustration that comes from feeling like one isn't able to get sex seems often to translate into aggression in men, but far more rarely in women.
Now, just to offer a little insight into what he has to say, let me say I've watched the mechanics of this for a good portion of my life. I've known some Alpha males, and I'm not one of them. In my active days as a musician, I was (mostly) a bass player. Bass players are usually Beta males, if only because lead guitars and lead singers hog all the Alpha space. But for me that was okay.

I quickly realized that Beta was just fine. I didn't even have to try. I had all the Beta females to work with because what choice did they have? (Me, and my Beta bandmates.) All the Alpha females were busy pursuing the Alpha males, which was okay by me.

We tend to think the Alphas are the best, but I never bought that, just like I never bought that being rich was all that big of a deal. Out in the working world, where you had to earn your happiness in the rough-and-tumble, now there's a life full of richness and rigor. I'd rather drink in a working class bar that the Top of the Mark.

While the Alphas were doing the Big Alpha Mating Dance, I was finding all the cool, relaxed ladies, and they were a blast. No drama, no problem. My Alpha friends had a corner on Drama, boy did they. If they didn't have any Drama, they whipped it up but quick, because, hey, they were Alphas. Sparks had to fly!

As for the problem with Omegas -- those for whom none of this feels natural -- I agree with Noah. Chill, stop thinking there's no one or nothing out there for you. Life is everywhere. Omegas are just Betas with a fear factor, or something.

And, like Noah, I'm no expert. But that's how it went for me, most of my life, and I've been happy, whatever that is. No, I know what that is. It's feeling alive, and knowing it, and accepting it. Opportunity is everywhere! (Please don't mistake my statement to be tacit approval of conservatives' notion that there's an equality of opportunity. There isn't, but I'm not talking economic cul-de-sacs here.)

That's what's missing in many Muslim countries, and it leads to angry young men. Let the ladies out, dudes! Let them be equal, and they'll hang with you but quick. Yes, that's an over-simplification, but apt, nonetheless. Not knocking Islam, but... Okay, I'm knocking Islam. It's got a big problem with the Love Thing. And that's just not okay, and where does it get you?

The other side of the Omega conundrum: Would Arab men be so angry if they
could score girl friends? Probably not... (Where are the women in this picture?)

Note. Reading the comments on Noah's post, it occurs to me that there isn't an easy consensus on this topic, you know, who has sex and why. For us to say, hey, relax, there's someone out there for everyone, well, just because we believe it may not make it so. The stars of Sleepless in Seattle were Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, for chrissake.

No, it's possible that a certain number of Omega men are going to be unsuccessful and hecka pissed. Maybe they'll be trouble all our days. Wish it weren't so. Of course, are the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries cool because more people are getting laid? Maybe. Hmm...

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