Who here is an alpha male?

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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby statiktech » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:06 pm

Sauwelios wrote:
xzc wrote:The term, "spiritual" is probably the vaguest and most ambiguous term I've ever heard, and I hear it a lot. Almost every person who wants to say they're not affiliated with any of the big three religions claims they're spiritual. I think in it's most basic sense it means something like, "agreeable, valuable, unusual, fucking cool," and it somehow deals with typically religious or moral notions in a typically non-religious and non-normative kind of way.

Yes, I don't mean it in a fuzzy sense. I recommend reading Kaufmann's Nietzsche, "Sublimation, Geist, and Eros", section I. An excerpt:

    Rationality [...] gives man mastery over himself; and as the will to power is essentially the "instinct of freedom" (GM II 18), it can find fulfillment only through rationality. Reason is the "highest" manifestation of the will to power, in the distinct sense that through rationality it can realize its objective most fully.
See also Kaufmann's footnote to section 984 of The Will to Power.

What Nietzsche means by Geist can perhaps be most efficiently appreciated from GM I 7, where he says that "compared with the spirit of priestly revenge, all the rest of spirit hardly comes into consideration", and that the Jews' "radical revaluation of [their enemies' and overpowerers'] values" was "an act of the most spiritual revenge".


I'm still not sure I follow. By "spiritual", you mean something along the lines of morally affected? I can only assume "priestly revenge" is a revenge upon one's humanity, or natural urges -- essentially to spite oneself, in a sense. That notion that we ought to work in spite of ourselves does seem like a primary moral affect given by religion. But, that doesn't seem exclusive to just Western religion...
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Moreno » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:53 am

uglypeoplefucking wrote:the herd would be the generalized mass of humanity - individual constituents of which are product of all the requisite social mores, customs, laws, ideologies etc that evolve from herd dynamics ...

we are all trapped in the herd, limited by our human perspective and what we have been taught (even and particularly when we rebel against it), and we are all subject to the common follies of human behavior - blah, blah, blah, etc.
There is no third option? only rebel or conform? Have you not experienced anything else? Are all your actions, interests, creations either rebellions or conformations?

Nietzsche fantasized about independence from the herd - an intellectual transcendence that would allow the subject to think outside the bounds of common human understandings about reality and the world - but, at most, he just created a new box to think within - one specially designed for herd members ruled by their contempt (which is intrinsically a contempt for oneself as much as for the other members of the herd)
Sop the organism itself has no innate interests, desires, creative urges that culture can encourage or stifle or replace? This sounds like there must be an implicit tabula rasa theory of mind here.

the alpha male does not exist apart from herd dynamics - nor does the Zarathustra - they just fancy themselves that way - it's an ego-defense for self-hating humans
Alpha maleness or femaleness can conform, absolutely. Some cultures encourage alpha maleness as an ideal - see Hollywood, the business world, and so on. An alpha male is simply someone who asserts themselves in relation to others. They may be just as likely, perhaps even more likely in my experience, to be driven by ideals within the culture. Alpha wolves fit right in in wolf culture. Alphaness is a description of a dynamic. N had something more nuanced in mind for his Ubermensch. But I don't want to put forward a defense of N's ubermench, I just think you have no way of knowing what you are asserting. In fact I think your position undermines itself.

It denies you any ability to be objective. You get swept up and your ideas get swept up in the conformism also. Your own idea that we are all part of the herd is therefore a conformism - or a rebellion, but nothing based on actual knowledge. If this is the case you could easily be right about yourself and your own ideas, but be mistaken, as any conformist must be about some things, about other people and what they must be like.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby uglypeoplefucking » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:19 am

Moreno wrote:There is no third option? only rebel or conform? Have you not experienced anything else? Are all your actions, interests, creations either rebellions or conformations?


no. i never suggested that every act was either an act of rebellion or a "conformation". nor did i suggest that the only alternative to rebellion was conformity. you missed the point - but perhaps that's my fault for being glib about it.


Moreno wrote:
uglypeoplefucking wrote:Nietzsche fantasized about independence from the herd - an intellectual transcendence that would allow the subject to think outside the bounds of common human understandings about reality and the world - but, at most, he just created a new box to think within - one specially designed for herd members ruled by their contempt (which is intrinsically a contempt for oneself as much as for the other members of the herd)
Sop the organism itself has no innate interests, desires, creative urges that culture can encourage or stifle or replace? This sounds like there must be an implicit tabula rasa theory of mind here.


can i again inquire how that follows from what i said? seriously, i want to understand what you are talking about, because nowhere did i even distantly imply that "the organism has no innate interests, desires creative urges that culture can encourage or stifle or replace". Tabula Rasa? Seriously, what are you going on about?

Alpha maleness or femaleness can conform, absolutely. Some cultures encourage alpha maleness as an ideal - see Hollywood, the business world, and so on. An alpha male is simply someone who asserts themselves in relation to others.


thanks, i know. but again *sigh* i never said anything to the contrary...

They may be just as likely, perhaps even more likely in my experience, to be driven by ideals within the culture.


"ideals within the culture" are products of herd dynamics

Alpha wolves fit right in in wolf culture. Alphaness is a description of a dynamic. N had something more nuanced in mind for his Ubermensch.


did i equate the alpha wolf with the Ubermensch at some point? did i deny that alphaness is a description of a dynamic?

But I don't want to put forward a defense of N's ubermench, I just think you have no way of knowing what you are asserting. In fact I think your position undermines itself.


thank you a million times for not putting forward a defense of "N's ubermench". but, as ought to be clear by now, i don't think you have the slightest idea what i am asserting, and so i'd thank you again if you'd stop making your own unfounded assertions about whether or not my position undermines itself.

It denies you any ability to be objective. You get swept up and your ideas get swept up in the conformism also.


you are clearly in rebellion against what i said, but you would do better to actually formulate an argument at some point

Your own idea that we are all part of the herd is therefore a conformism - or a rebellion, but nothing based on actual knowledge.


"conformisms" and rebellions can't be based in actual knowledge?

If this is the case you could easily be right about yourself and your own ideas, but be mistaken, as any conformist must be about some things, about other people and what they must be like.


i suppose i should be offended to be called a conformist. given my position and all.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Moreno » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:45 am

uglypeoplefucking wrote:no. i never suggested that every act was either an act of rebellion or a "conformation". nor did i suggest that the only alternative to rebellion was conformity. you missed the point - but perhaps that's my fault for being glib about it.

I missed the glibness, sometimes I am rather autistic.

can i again inquire how that follows from what i said? seriously, i want to understand what you are talking about, because nowhere did i even distantly imply that "the organism has no innate interests, desires creative urges that culture can encourage or stifle or replace".
Well, I am pretty sure you said that we can only rebel or conform - I make my case for that below. To rebel is not to come from your own innate stuff - as the word rebel is generally used in these contexts, juxtaposed with conforming. Rebelling is merely doing the opposite. It is opposing which is still being defined by the norm. Conforming obviously is being defined by the norm. Since you seemed to think we can only conform or rebel it seemed like we cannot follow our own impulses. If we can follow our own impulses, desires, urges to create, etc., well, then we do not have to part of the herd. Since you say we can do these things, I don't see how your position holds, glib or not.

Unless you do not have that definition of rebel. If not, though, I think there are other problems that arise - see below - with a rebel who is basing their rebellion on actual knowledge and is capable of knowing and acting upon their own urges, interests, etc. (see later on in this post on this issue)

You seem shocked I thought you were asserting people could only conform or rebel, but....

who is foolish enough to think themselves outside the herd? that's the height of folly. Neitzsche was a fool in that sense - he was, and is, trapped like everyone else. Zarathustra was the masturbatory dream of a man who could not get laid.

tell yourself whatever you want, call yourself whatever you need to call yourself, deny yourself any and all of the petty pleasures others pursue with such zeal, push your imagination and intellect to the utmost, but philosophy will not find you a way outside the herd. there is no transcendence.

This seems to assert - note my new caution - one cannot get out of the herd and to me being in the herd implies conformity. I think this is the way 'herd' is generally used in these contexts. I would think you could at least admit it was a fair take on the use of the term. In the herd =ing conforming is not a red herring...or?

also...

we are all trapped in the herd, limited by our human perspective and what we have been taught (even and particularly when we rebel against it), and we are all subject to the common follies of human behavior - blah, blah, blah, etc.
This part seemed to imply that you meant rebellion as something still defined by the dominant norms. A mere reaction, nothing independent.

Again, I think it was a fair take. Let me know what you meant.


Tabula Rasa? Seriously, what are you going on about?
I am assuming you know about that theory. Since it seemed like you were saying we all are simply herd creatures who can only rebel or conform, it seemed to me you were saying that who we are is defined by norms, period. We either conform to those norms or rebel against them, period. We have nothing of our own, we are simply reactions to norms. That sounds like tabular rasa. Blank slate babies who take in the norm and do it, or tempermentally reject it simply to reject it.

thanks, i know. but again *sigh* i never said anything to the contrary...
Yeah, I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was agreeing with you, mostly. Though I did want to say that at least I was not suggesting that alpha males were non-conformists, cutting their own path through the world.

"ideals within the culture" are products of herd dynamics
Yup.

thank you a million times for not putting forward a defense of "N's ubermench". but, as ought to be clear by now, i don't think you have the slightest idea what i am asserting, and so i'd thank you again if you'd stop making your own unfounded assertions about whether or not my position undermines itself.
Perhaps you didn't realize the implications of your position. I am sure, in any case, it will all get clearer when you respond to the above.

you are clearly in rebellion against what i said, but you would do better to actually formulate an argument at some point
Nope. I disagree and I am asserting that your own postion - that we are all in the herd and have to be - calls into question your own ability to know this, be objective about it or talk with any certainty at all about others, since you must assume you are correct about yourself.

Your own idea that we are all part of the herd is therefore a conformism - or a rebellion, but nothing based on actual knowledge.


"conformisms" and rebellions can't be based in actual knowledge?

Conformism, absolutely not. This means one is like that because one wants to fit in. That is conforming. If one agrees, that is a different matter. Rebelling may or may not be like this, it depends on your definition, which will become clearer in answer to the above.

But if by rebelling you can come to actual knowledge and ALSO you believe, as it seems you do above, one can follow one's innate drives, urges, etc., then I cannot see how one MUST be a part of the herd.

How is someone who is free to rebel based on actual knowledge and their own innate desires, etc.
compelled to be part of the herd?

i suppose i should be offended to be called a conformist. given my position and all.
Actually your positions is not a conformist one, ironically enough. And I certainly was not trying to offend you. I disagree and I am pointing out what I think are weak points in the position.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby uglypeoplefucking » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:39 pm

Moreno wrote:Well, I am pretty sure you said that we can only rebel or conform - I make my case for that below.


i said no such thing, i spoke of rebellion only because it is a common way people try to assert independence from the herd, and it doesn't work for that purpose, since as you say:

To rebel is not to come from your own innate stuff - as the word rebel is generally used in these contexts, juxtaposed with conforming. Rebelling is merely doing the opposite. It is opposing which is still being defined by the norm.


moving on:

Since you seemed to think we can only conform or rebel it seemed like we cannot follow our own impulses.


if we rebel (or, for that matter, willfully conform) then we ARE following our own impulses

If we can follow our own impulses, desires, urges to create, etc., well, then we do not have to part of the herd.


our individual impulses, desires, and urges to create, do not prevent us from being part of the herd, anymore than they allow us to flap our arms and fly

Since you say we can do these things, I don't see how your position holds, glib or not.


you have seriously misunderstood my position - again, perhaps that's my fault

Unless you do not have that definition of rebel. If not, though, I think there are other problems that arise - see below - with a rebel who is basing their rebellion on actual knowledge and is capable of knowing and acting upon their own urges, interests, etc. (see later on in this post on this issue)


you seem to think that having individual urges, interests, etc. runs contrary to being part of the herd - this is incorrect, and i never suggested any such thing.

You seem shocked I thought you were asserting people could only conform or rebel, but....

who is foolish enough to think themselves outside the herd? that's the height of folly. Neitzsche was a fool in that sense - he was, and is, trapped like everyone else. Zarathustra was the masturbatory dream of a man who could not get laid.

tell yourself whatever you want, call yourself whatever you need to call yourself, deny yourself any and all of the petty pleasures others pursue with such zeal, push your imagination and intellect to the utmost, but philosophy will not find you a way outside the herd. there is no transcendence.

This seems to assert - note my new caution - one cannot get out of the herd and to me being in the herd implies conformity. I think this is the way 'herd' is generally used in these contexts. I would think you could at least admit it was a fair take on the use of the term. In the herd =ing conforming is not a red herring...or?


if one is taught to eat three times a day and so does that, is one conforming? if so, is that type of conformity the opposite of rebelling? i don't think so - i think you have set up a false dichotomy and put it in my mouth.

also...

we are all trapped in the herd, limited by our human perspective and what we have been taught (even and particularly when we rebel against it), and we are all subject to the common follies of human behavior - blah, blah, blah, etc.
This part seemed to imply that you meant rebellion as something still defined by the dominant norms. A mere reaction, nothing independent.

Again, I think it was a fair take. Let me know what you meant.


rebellion is an assertion of independence in it's own way - but it does not equal freedom from herd influence, since as you correctly point out, it is still something defined by dominant norms. in any case, rebellion aside, one can think independently of the dominant norms and still be part of the herd - in fact, i am asserting just that. the herd is not simply the set of individuals that ascribe to a given set of prevailing norms - it is, as i said, the generalized mass of humanity, with all it's conflicting ideas and mores and understandings - it is the collection of dynamics out of which prevailing norms, and alternatives to those norms, arise. membership in the herd precedes any act of conformity or rebellion.

Tabula Rasa? Seriously, what are you going on about?
I am assuming you know about that theory. Since it seemed like you were saying we all are simply herd creatures who can only rebel or conform, it seemed to me you were saying that who we are is defined by norms, period. We either conform to those norms or rebel against them, period. We have nothing of our own, we are simply reactions to norms. That sounds like tabular rasa. Blank slate babies who take in the norm and do it, or tempermentally reject it simply to reject it.


again, i never claimed that our only options were rebellion against, or conformity to, prevailing norms. even someone who only eats once a day remains part of the herd, whether s/he eats once a day as an act of rebellion or because s/he is trying to satisfy some individual desire - one cannot decide how many times a day to eat independent of the herd dynamics and influence, but one needn't be actively rebelling or conforming in making such a decision.

Though I did want to say that at least I was not suggesting that alpha males were non-conformists, cutting their own path through the world.


and i would agree, alpha males are not necessarily non-conformists

Perhaps you didn't realize the implications of your position. I am sure, in any case, it will all get clearer when you respond to the above.


i hope it has gotten clearer because i think i realize the implications of my position quite well, and they do not match with the words you have put in my mouth

Nope. I disagree and I am asserting that your own postion - that we are all in the herd and have to be - calls into question your own ability to know this, be objective about it or talk with any certainty at all about others, since you must assume you are correct about yourself.


we are not discussing objective truths, we are discussing human social dynamics - i must assume i am correct about myself in what sense? - i am assuming only that there is a herd of the sort that Nietzscheans talk about, and that we are all part of it, Nietzscheans included.


"conformisms" and rebellions can't be based in actual knowledge?

Conformism, absolutely not. This means one is like that because one wants to fit in. That is conforming. If one agrees, that is a different matter. Rebelling may or may not be like this, it depends on your definition, which will become clearer in answer to the above.


one can conform without wanting to fit in, one can conform without realizing it at all - in fact, that would be the most common way of conforming.

But if by rebelling you can come to actual knowledge and ALSO you believe, as it seems you do above, one can follow one's innate drives, urges, etc., then I cannot see how one MUST be a part of the herd.

How is someone who is free to rebel based on actual knowledge and their own innate desires, etc.
compelled to be part of the herd?


how are they NOT part of the herd? our innate desires are biological, our knowledge is collective and our every act of rebellion, regardless of what it is based in or what it is aimed against, is BECAUSE we are part of the herd in the first place. the teenager who rebels against his or her parents is no less a child of those parents.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Moreno » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:46 pm

uglypeoplefucking wrote:you seem to think that having individual urges, interests, etc. runs contrary to being part of the herd - this is incorrect, and i never suggested any such thing.
Then, it seems to me, you are using 'herd' in a way I have never come across before. Usually the term herd, when referring to people in these kinds of contexts, means precisely that people do what other people do, not because it fits their own urges, interests, but because they are afraid to be individuals. I think this is where we ended up talking at cross purposes.

if one is taught to eat three times a day and so does that, is one conforming? if so, is that type of conformity the opposite of rebelling? i don't think so - i think you have set up a false dichotomy and put it in my mouth.
The answer to the first question is: it depends. If you really feel the urge to eat six smaller meals each day, but you keep stifling this urge because you don't want to be weird, yes, you are conforming and it is herd behavior and likely is not good for your particular body. Rebelling in this context would be deciding like a teenager might to eat two meals a day because you know if you don't eat breakfast it will piss mom off. For me non-herd behavior would be to actually be open to what your body wants and needs and feels right. This would be neither conforming - doing something simply because that is the way it is done out of anxiety of doing something else - nor rebelling. Driving on the right side of the road is a different kind of case. Here doing what other people do and expect is simply good common sense. If you think the English are wrong and stupid for driving on the other side of the road - or Americans from the other side of this, then you are probably a conformist, and a kind of odd fundamentalist.
Some things simply do not matter much and doing them is not contorting yourself to fit the norm.

rebellion is an assertion of independence in it's own way - but it does not equal freedom from herd influence, since as you correctly point out, it is still something defined by dominant norms. in any case, rebellion aside, one can think independently of the dominant norms and still be part of the herd - in fact, i am asserting just that. the herd is not simply the set of individuals that ascribe to a given set of prevailing norms - it is, as i said, the generalized mass of humanity, with all it's conflicting ideas and mores and understandings - it is the collection of dynamics out of which prevailing norms, and alternatives to those norms, arise. membership in the herd precedes any act of conformity or rebellion.
OK. Good, this seems to nail down where we missed each other, or I missed you. To me then the word 'herd' is being stretched beyond useful meaning. It seems like you are saying, you are still human, rather than you are still part of the herd.

again, i never claimed that our only options were rebellion against, or conformity to, prevailing norms. even someone who only eats once a day remains part of the herd, whether s/he eats once a day as an act of rebellion or because s/he is trying to satisfy some individual desire - one cannot decide how many times a day to eat independent of the herd dynamics and influence, but one needn't be actively rebelling or conforming in making such a decision.
So being in the herd means being influenced by what other people do. By that definition I agree, we are then, in general, in the herd. Everyone is influenced to some degree by some other humans unless they are feral children. We cannot escape some influence, even if it becomes a trivial factor is certain or many decisions and attitudes. But on the eating issue and other specific issues one can reach decisions without regard for the rest of humanity. Without having a prime factor in our decisions being 'I am scared not to conform' or 'not conforming is bad'. One can have the freedom and openness to base one's decisions on oneself. Of course we see other people eat, we hear about it, we are still influenced, but the decision about what to do, I think, can be reached despite what become minor influences, which in this case are not reaching further than awareness of what other people do. Once one was, for example, comfortable not conforming with the norms.

To me once 'herd' is on the table, I take it to mean things like a person in the herd cannot make such decisions based on themselves.

You use the term differently and take any action or choice as being simply (even if a new and harmonious one to that individual) a choice by a member of the herd. A herd choice.

Every possible action reached via any possible process will be something someone in the herd has done.

i hope it has gotten clearer because i think i realize the implications of my position quite well, and they do not match with the words you have put in my mouth


I interpreted the word 'herd' the way it is used in these contexts. I did not put words in your mouth. (see below)

we are not discussing objective truths, we are discussing human social dynamics - i must assume i am correct about myself in what sense? - i am assuming only that there is a herd of the sort that Nietzscheans talk about, and that we are all part of it, Nietzscheans included.
I don't think they are using the term 'herd' like you do. At least some of them. I think some of them, at least, are using the term in the sense I am using it. I think they saw N as saying that portions of culture seek to drive a wedge between people and choices that would suit them better - the ideas in Christianity, for example around humility, sacrifice, keeping oneself small and meek. IOW they are not asserting that one becomes non-human or makes choices humans cannot make, but that within the set of choices, they are able to choose not out of fear of being bad or different or abnormal, but can choose or act more from their own urges as a full set - rather than simply the urge to be a part of what they mean by herd, to do what others do, etc.

I think that is a meaningful distinction and one that fits with the 'herd' metaphor. Humans are not herd animals - we can act in where I think the herd metaphor applies and act in ways (or really for reasons) where I think the herd metaphor does not apply.

one can conform without wanting to fit in, one can conform without realizing it at all - in fact, that would be the most common way of conforming.
Sure, though in a context where I am discussion conforming, rebelling and the possibility of something else, I use the term more restrictively.

But if by rebelling you can come to actual knowledge and ALSO you believe, as it seems you do above, one can follow one's innate drives, urges, etc., then I cannot see how one MUST be a part of the herd.

How is someone who is free to rebel based on actual knowledge and their own innate desires, etc.
compelled to be part of the herd?

how are they NOT part of the herd? our innate desires are biological, our knowledge is collective and our every act of rebellion, regardless of what it is based in or what it is aimed against, is BECAUSE we are part of the herd in the first place. the teenager who rebels against his or her parents is no less a child of those parents.
Well, this is again confirmation of our split use of the term. For me we are not herd animals. I believe this refers to vegetarian non-primate quadruped mammals, usually grazers, that move in groups together - as part of a protective strategy - and have some degree of swarm behavior, physically present at nearly all times. Once that word is used for humans I assume it is a metaphor for ways we act like that - and generally in a pejorative sense - not because there is anything wrong with a herd animal being a herd animal, but for another species to act in this way all the time they are necessarily limiting or contorting themselves to fit a model against their best interests. When we are striving for not the best reasons to move and act like other humans. When our specie's more complicated set of options are narrowed down to where the use of the 'herd' metaphor is applicable.

You seem to think this metaphor is applicable to every action or rather you seem to be using herd where I would use the term species or human.

No matter what a human does and regardless of the motivations they remain a part of the species. To use the word herd here seems odd to me. It is not literally true, since we are not herd animals. Metaphorically, especially given the way herd has been used in these kinds of discussions, it seems to raise connotations you don't want. And call 'putting words in your mouth' when this happens.

I was not putting words in your mouth, but rather interpreting your posts as well as I could given the context and the general use of the metaphor 'herd' which is not the same as your use. I think if there had been some useful distinction or reason for using 'herd' in the way you do, I might also have at least understood you must mean something else. But as it is, I can see no reason for using the metaphor 'herd' the way you do. It seems a useless metaphor. Or thinking that we literally are herd animals.

In any case. Now we know where we missed each other. I am going to leave our discussion at that.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby uglypeoplefucking » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:18 pm

In any case. Now we know where we missed each other. I am going to leave our discussion at that.


you'll be so kind as to allow me a response, i hope

Moreno wrote:Then, it seems to me, you are using 'herd' in a way I have never come across before. Usually the term herd, when referring to people in these kinds of contexts, means precisely that people do what other people do, not because it fits their own urges, interests, but because they are afraid to be individuals. I think this is where we ended up talking at cross purposes.


yeah, i tend to think the fear works the opposite way, it's the individual who is afraid to be like others. since most people are actually quite alike, try as they may to construct an original identity for themselves. i am Mr. So-and-so from Wherever, wherever. i do this and i do that - seriously, to assume you are above that because you ascribe to an individualist mythos is just naive. when the Nietzscheans use herd they use it in a derogatory way - it oozes contempt, really - but what they fail to realize is that they are no different. that contempt is self-loathing wrapped in an anxious grab at a greatness they've only read about. some say Nietzsche is a great man, most live their lives without ever knowing the first thing about him, and their lives end up being much the same as the lives of those who do. greatness is in the eye of the beholder. membership in the herd is not. the Nietzscheans have it ass-backwards. so, i say if there is a herd, metaphorical or otherwise, we are all at the very least a product of it and a participant in it.

Moreno wrote:The answer to the first question is: it depends. If you really feel the urge to eat six smaller meals each day, but you keep stifling this urge because you don't want to be weird, yes, you are conforming and it is herd behavior and likely is not good for your particular body. Rebelling in this context would be deciding like a teenager might to eat two meals a day because you know if you don't eat breakfast it will piss mom off. For me non-herd behavior would be to actually be open to what your body wants and needs and feels right. This would be neither conforming - doing something simply because that is the way it is done out of anxiety of doing something else - nor rebelling. Driving on the right side of the road is a different kind of case. Here doing what other people do and expect is simply good common sense. If you think the English are wrong and stupid for driving on the other side of the road - or Americans from the other side of this, then you are probably a conformist, and a kind of odd fundamentalist.
Some things simply do not matter much and doing them is not contorting yourself to fit the norm.


you think the herd only includes those who contort themselves to fit the norm? i think it's a much bigger pool than that. you are assuming there is some preexisting structure to contort in the first place, to me it's just so many contingent preferences and beliefs - nothing set in stone - no authentic way of being or of thinking. just a patchwork of ideas picked up along the way and stitched together to form an individual intellectual identity.

Moreno wrote:OK. Good, this seems to nail down where we missed each other, or I missed you. To me then the word 'herd' is being stretched beyond useful meaning. It seems like you are saying, you are still human, rather than you are still part of the herd.


well, putting it that way would to me be like saying that's still the color red, rather than that's still part of the uv spectrum - yeah, the one implies the other, but they are distinct definitions: seperate meanings and seperate ways of understanding. i find each useful in its own way.

Moreno wrote:So being in the herd means being influenced by what other people do. By that definition I agree, we are then, in general, in the herd. Everyone is influenced to some degree by some other humans unless they are feral children. We cannot escape some influence, even if it becomes a trivial factor is certain or many decisions and attitudes. But on the eating issue and other specific issues one can reach decisions without regard for the rest of humanity. Without having a prime factor in our decisions being 'I am scared not to conform' or 'not conforming is bad'. One can have the freedom and openness to base one's decisions on oneself. Of course we see other people eat, we hear about it, we are still influenced, but the decision about what to do, I think, can be reached despite what become minor influences, which in this case are not reaching further than awareness of what other people do. Once one was, for example, comfortable not conforming with the norms.

To me once 'herd' is on the table, I take it to mean things like a person in the herd cannot make such decisions based on themselves.

You use the term differently and take any action or choice as being simply (even if a new and harmonious one to that individual) a choice by a member of the herd. A herd choice.

Every possible action reached via any possible process will be something someone in the herd has done.


also where we disagree is that i think our choices are basically predetermined, and so you can't choose your way out of the herd

Moreno wrote:I don't think they are using the term 'herd' like you do. At least some of them. I think some of them, at least, are using the term in the sense I am using it. I think they saw N as saying that portions of culture seek to drive a wedge between people and choices that would suit them better - the ideas in Christianity, for example around humility, sacrifice, keeping oneself small and meek. IOW they are not asserting that one becomes non-human or makes choices humans cannot make, but that within the set of choices, they are able to choose not out of fear of being bad or different or abnormal, but can choose or act more from their own urges as a full set - rather than simply the urge to be a part of what they mean by herd, to do what others do, etc.

I think that is a meaningful distinction and one that fits with the 'herd' metaphor. Humans are not herd animals - we can act in where I think the herd metaphor applies and act in ways (or really for reasons) where I think the herd metaphor does not apply.


no humans are not literally herd animals. but they are social ones. VERY social ones. the herd metaphor can be used any number of ways - and i am aware that Nietzscheans are using it differently than i am - however i think it's ignorant and silly to use it as a derogatory description of the mass of people that don't spend all their time striving for some fantasy version of intellectual authenticity, and so i am trying to make the point using the metaphor in a way in which it is actually applicable.

Moreno wrote:Well, this is again confirmation of our split use of the term. For me we are not herd animals. I believe this refers to vegetarian non-primate quadruped mammals, usually grazers, that move in groups together - as part of a protective strategy - and have some degree of swarm behavior, physically present at nearly all times. Once that word is used for humans I assume it is a metaphor for ways we act like that - and generally in a pejorative sense - not because there is anything wrong with a herd animal being a herd animal, but for another species to act in this way all the time they are necessarily limiting or contorting themselves to fit a model against their best interests. When we are striving for not the best reasons to move and act like other humans. When our specie's more complicated set of options are narrowed down to where the use of the 'herd' metaphor is applicable.

You seem to think this metaphor is applicable to every action or rather you seem to be using herd where I would use the term species or human.

No matter what a human does and regardless of the motivations they remain a part of the species. To use the word herd here seems odd to me. It is not literally true, since we are not herd animals. Metaphorically, especially given the way herd has been used in these kinds of discussions, it seems to raise connotations you don't want. And call 'putting words in your mouth' when this happens.

I was not putting words in your mouth, but rather interpreting your posts as well as I could given the context and the general use of the metaphor 'herd' which is not the same as your use. I think if there had been some useful distinction or reason for using 'herd' in the way you do, I might also have at least understood you must mean something else. But as it is, I can see no reason for using the metaphor 'herd' the way you do. It seems a useless metaphor. Or thinking that we literally are herd animals.


perhaps it can be difficult to distinguish the nuances in meaning between "human species" and "herd" here, but i'm not sure why - it is simply describing the same thing from different angles.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby more or less » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:54 am

Being an alpha male, I tired of this place and left.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Silhouette » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:30 pm

more or less wrote:Being an alpha male, I tired of this place and left.

^ Doesn't seem like you left to me.

Do you mean you left to go back to being alpha in the only groups where you were able to establish such a rank? By this I mean were you never able to become alpha of this place? (Or were you? - perhaps other members can testify). Otherwise, doesn't sound very alpha to me... except in only very limited pockets of society - not that impressive really.

I'd have thought an alpha male would be alpha in all situations, no? Though perhaps there's something really special about the group situation(s) wherein you are alpha? Do tell - establish your dominance!
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Sauwelios » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:45 pm

statiktech wrote:
Sauwelios wrote:
xzc wrote:The term, "spiritual" is probably the vaguest and most ambiguous term I've ever heard, and I hear it a lot. Almost every person who wants to say they're not affiliated with any of the big three religions claims they're spiritual. I think in it's most basic sense it means something like, "agreeable, valuable, unusual, fucking cool," and it somehow deals with typically religious or moral notions in a typically non-religious and non-normative kind of way.

Yes, I don't mean it in a fuzzy sense. I recommend reading Kaufmann's Nietzsche, "Sublimation, Geist, and Eros", section I. An excerpt:

    Rationality [...] gives man mastery over himself; and as the will to power is essentially the "instinct of freedom" (GM II 18), it can find fulfillment only through rationality. Reason is the "highest" manifestation of the will to power, in the distinct sense that through rationality it can realize its objective most fully.
See also Kaufmann's footnote to section 984 of The Will to Power.

What Nietzsche means by Geist can perhaps be most efficiently appreciated from GM I 7, where he says that "compared with the spirit of priestly revenge, all the rest of spirit hardly comes into consideration", and that the Jews' "radical revaluation of [their enemies' and overpowerers'] values" was "an act of the most spiritual revenge".

I'm still not sure I follow. By "spiritual", you mean something along the lines of morally affected? I can only assume "priestly revenge" is a revenge upon one's humanity, or natural urges -- essentially to spite oneself, in a sense. That notion that we ought to work in spite of ourselves does seem like a primary moral affect given by religion. But, that doesn't seem exclusive to just Western religion...

No, look: I mean "spiritual" very simply and literally. The Jews' reversal of their enemies' values was not so much a case of the former's values becoming actually the reverse of the latter's (which would make the revaluation neither a revenge nor spiritual: not spiritual, because values are a thing of the heart, not of the mind; and not a revenge, because it would not be premeditated, indeed, not meditated at all). It was rather a case of the former turning the latter's values around in their minds, as a means to overpower the latter---by presenting themselves as superior after all.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby d63 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:07 pm

Back in highschool:


Bit of a nerd that had the advantage of hanging with the cool kids in the smoking lounge.


I think another question that should be asked here:


How many of us have regretted not being an alpha male?

And from an evolutionary perspective:


Doesn't not being an alpha male open us to the possibility of serving in a more shamanistic capacity?
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Silhouette » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:59 pm

d63 wrote:How many of us have regretted not being an alpha male?

All alpha males were once not alpha males - it's a position that has to be won by whatever means (not necessarily some kind of physical duel obviously). I regretted not being alpha male, it sucked. I think there are many, at least on this forum, who claim they do not regret not achieving such a role - but that's all one can really say to oneself when in such a situation. I think there is at least something underneath that knows this is just denial. Of course there's worse things than making virtues out of an inability to win getting your way, but there is plenty to resent about not being able to win such a privilege.

You see it time and time again when males rage at other males who make them feel uncomfortable, and they make a vice out of the way in which they are caused to feel uncomfortable, and present their alternative way as virtuous - allowing them to justify their resentment/regret. Like-minded males in this respect band together and you get "alternative" trends etc...

d63 wrote:Doesn't not being an alpha male open us to the possibility of serving in a more shamanistic capacity?

Apparently being schizotypal is all you need to be a shaman. The evolutionary advantage is that you exploit deception to pass copies of your genes onto the next generation. You have a well respected rank and can bypass much command, and steal breeding rights - so on the whole it's a pretty good compromise for a non-alpha and not too far from it, but still beneath it.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Moreno » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:17 am

d63 wrote:Doesn't not being an alpha male open us to the possibility of serving in a more shamanistic capacity?

Silhouette wrote:Apparently being schizotypal is all you need to be a shaman.

You don't need to be isolated to be a shaman, though some are/were. You also have to have specific kinds of behavior, not simply what an outsider to the culture would call odd, but which is not considered odd in that culture.

The evolutionary advantage is that you exploit deception to pass copies of your genes onto the next generation.
I don't know that shamans get more chances to procreate or how it affects their chances at all.

You have a well respected rank and can bypass much command
Or, really, share command. And many tribal cultures, say a good number of Native American ones, have a much more fluid sense of command. Compared to Europeans they were much less hierarchical, more individualist and skeptical of 'command'. You had to keep earning it, it was fluid and context dependent and it generally had much more limited scope.
and steal breeding rights - so on the whole it's a pretty good compromise for a non-alpha and not too far from it, but still beneath it.
As far as I can tell from shamans I know they have more alphas then the average, both those in cultures that have had continuous shamanic traditions and those in cultures - say, Euroamerican - where they had to enter shamanism first as an interest.

I disagree here about it being deception, but that's another thread.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Gobbo » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:32 am

You're either born an alpha, or you're not. It is not something you can learn, really. It's a state of mind.

I am a Meta.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Silhouette » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:50 am

Old_Gobbo wrote:You're either born an alpha, or you're not. It is not something you can learn, really.

You might be either born with the genes that eventually cause you to become an alpha within the right environment, or not - yes.

But even if your gene-environment interaction affords you a tendency toward being an alpha, you still have to win it. That is to say, it doesn't just fall on your lap from doing nothing - though it is not to say that you need to win some intergalactic superbattle either. You have to assert yourself in some way, and this is going to come easier to some than others. In a nice non-confrontational Western social group it probably seems like very little is being done at all when the right person earns his alpha role within a group. Something is being done, though it may not be particularly conscious. And it will always be by someone with the right genes for the environment. But it will not happen from birth, and it may not continue beyond the first social group you find yourself in.

In short, it's really not as simple as you're perhaps implying. What the hell's a Meta? Are you beyond male? :|
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Gobbo » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:17 am

There are Alphas within a specific group. Then there are Alphas in the general sense.

So for example I'm kind of a stoic person in most scenarios, but since I played basketball in college, if I'm playing basketball, I will take over and be the Alpha personality if the people I'm playing with are not as good as I am, and that is usually the case.

The general Alpha would be the guy who is there playing with me, and while he is not the winner of the competition, he seems himself that way. Everything he does is to that effect. A true Alpha is simply always thinking that way, no matter that they are doing. They might not prove themselves to be the most superior in a specific setting, but they are proving themselves as superior in some way. "Oh I didn't win, but I'm rich - and that is the true competition, isn't it ladies?' etc.

There are 3 classifications:

Alpha
Beta
Meta

Alpha is superior. Beta is weak. Meta is superior at being outside of those 2 categories. Meta is like Abed from Community. The Meta is important because an Alpha can't be good at being a Meta, or, de-facto, they're not being Alpha.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Silhouette » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:58 pm

Old_Gobbo wrote:There are 3 classifications:

Alpha
Beta
Meta

Alpha is superior. Beta is weak. Meta is superior at being outside of those 2 categories. Meta is like Abed from Community. The Meta is important because an Alpha can't be good at being a Meta, or, de-facto, they're not being Alpha.

Is that your own classification? I can't seem to easily find it anywhere else...

In the traditional classification, the alpha is currently dominant, betas are strong pending potentials, lower ranks can be labelled by going further into the Greek alphabet, and sometimes the lowest ranks are just called Omegas. Nowhere are there any Metas.

I can understand why you'd desire a term for a seeming outsider, but in the traditional classification these types are usually just some lower rank or other. In answer to this:

Old_Gobbo wrote:There are Alphas within a specific group. Then there are Alphas in the general sense.

The thread is about alphas in the general sense.

So it's not group specific as humans seem to often move much more freely between social groups. And in the general sense - in wider society - unless you're literally self-sufficient and apart from all other humans at all times with no exchanges with them whatsoever, you are somewhere between alpha and omega and nothing besides.

________________

What I've been investigating is whether, for all those who are sometimes "alpha", are any of these people pretty much alpha be default - anywhere they go? And if so, are they philosophers? - with their alpha personality imprinted upon their philosophies?

Most seem to see themselves as either sometimes alphas or never alphas. Often the "sometimes alphas" will come out with some alternative classification like "lone wolf" or your "meta" - which just seems like a consolation for not being alpha in general, but at least being strong. I'd class all these as betas and below.

I perhaps don't rule out betas in my search, especially since there do not seem to be any default alphas here - and if there are they seem to be particularly stunted philosophically. So perhaps it ought to be the "most alpha" philosophers who exist who I am looking for - these "betas and below" who are mostly denying having any rank at all...

...the point of all this being that I want to find somebody who is set apart from the lower rank masses, possessing exceptional creativity, but somebody who is able to successfully introduce their ideas within society through their natural dominance and clout.

Since this is turning into a somewhat difficult task, I have considered that alphas perhaps turn their dominance away from introspection and outwards toward people, and philosophers are unable to do so, so they turn their dominance inward to their thoughts - meaning the "alpha philosopher" would be an oxymoron.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Blurry » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:59 pm

I think Gobbo's Meta is a good concept. To my mind, it describes a person who may be dominant but chooses not to assert that dominance over other people except in specific circumstance. An alpha, by definition, asserts that dominance, else they wouldn't be considered an alpha. What of someone who is most decidedly not Beta, but chooses not to dominate things/people around them, nor allow themselves to be dominated by a dick-swinging Alpha? I see no consolation in being a Meta, I see an authentic individual.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Sauwelios » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:34 pm

Silhouette wrote:I want to find somebody who is set apart from the lower rank masses, possessing exceptional creativity, but somebody who is able to successfully introduce their ideas within society through their natural dominance and clout.

This goes for all the genuine philosophers, for instance Homer, Plato, Bacon, and Nietzsche. I mention only the utterers of a "Word of an Aeon", to speak with Crowley, as these are probably the ones you'd consider most alpha. They're not really more alpha than the others, though. For what epitomises a genuine philosopher's "alphaness" is that he does what needs to be done for the sake of the "further development" (see below) of man---regardless of whether that be "assertion" or "compliance":

    The essential characteristic of the Grade [of Magus] is that its possessor utters a Creative Magical Word, which transforms the planet on which he lives [...]. This can take place only at an "Equinox of the Gods" at the end of an "Aeon"; that is, when the secret formula which expresses the Law of its action becomes outworn and useless to its further development.

    (Thus "Suckling" is the formula of an infant: when teeth appear it marks a new "Aeon", whose "Word" is "Eating").

    A Magus can therefore only appear as such to the world at intervals of some centuries [...].

    This does not mean that only one man can attain this Grade in any one Aeon, so far as the Order is concerned. A man can make personal progress equivalent to that of a "Word of an Aeon"; but he will identify himself with the current word, and exert his will to establish it, lest he conflict with the work of the Magus [e.g., Bacon] who uttered the Word of the Aeon in which He [e.g., Descartes] is living.
    [Crowley, "One Star in Sight".]

    The philosopher as we understand him, we free spirits---, [is] the man of the most comprehensive responsibility, who has the conscience for the collective development of man[.]
    [Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, section 61.]

    The most spiritual human beings, as the strongest, [...] rule not because they want to but because they are, they are not free to be second.
    [Nietzsche, The Antichrist, section 57.]
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:38 pm

I'm fairly amazed at the depth of this thread and the general interest on the subject as it is still going. Me, I don't put much weight on the subject.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Faust » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:41 pm

Testosterone....
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby xzc » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:30 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:I'm fairly amazed at the depth of this thread and the general interest on the subject as it is still going. Me, I don't put much weight on the subject.

That's because you're really alpha, bro. Only an alpha would post to let others know how little he cares.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Silhouette » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Faust wrote:Testosterone....

.... is a wonderful thing.

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:I'm fairly amazed at the depth of this thread and the general interest on the subject as it is still going. Me, I don't put much weight on the subject.

Thanks for the contribution, it's not like you have to care. I'm wondering why you said this at all though - perhaps you think you're above all this dominance stuff and that this says nothing about your dominance relative to others, I dunno.

BlurredSavant wrote:I think Gobbo's Meta is a good concept. To my mind, it describes a person who may be dominant but chooses not to assert that dominance over other people except in specific circumstance. An alpha, by definition, asserts that dominance, else they wouldn't be considered an alpha. What of someone who is most decidedly not Beta, but chooses not to dominate things/people around them, nor allow themselves to be dominated by a dick-swinging Alpha? I see no consolation in being a Meta, I see an authentic individual.

BS, you either assert what you want, which is going to affect others whether you like it or not - sometimes requiring them to put what they want on hold, or divert what they want elsewhere - or you are one of the ones who has to put what they want on hold or divert it elsewhere.

If everyone was assertive, wishes wouldn't all be miraculously compatible with one another. If nobody was, our species would just die out. Gobbo's "meta" or your "authentic individual" is just another guy who has had to learn to withhold what they want around more domineering individuals, or "dick swinging alphas". What's so wrong with dick swinging? - are you too refined and deep to push harder to get what you want, even if it means asserting yourself to a significant extent? The two aren't incompatible - the dick swinging can help act as a tool to turn more attention to your own depth and refinement.... though often in practice it is just vulgar and shallow - I'll grant you that.

Sauwelios wrote:
Silhouette wrote:I want to find somebody who is set apart from the lower rank masses, possessing exceptional creativity, but somebody who is able to successfully introduce their ideas within society through their natural dominance and clout.

This goes for all the genuine philosophers, for instance Homer, Plato, Bacon, and Nietzsche. I mention only the utterers of a "Word of an Aeon", to speak with Crowley, as these are probably the ones you'd consider most alpha.

I do see a semblance between what you quoted and genuine philosophers, that is of course the intention. I don't know about Homer and Bacon, Plato would probably have been fairly alpha because of his social rank - being used to command and growing into it amongst others who had likewise grown into such a role. Nietzsche though? - he was a sickly weed, and though I regard him as the utmost genius, that's simply not enough on its own to indicate alphaness. His social discretion was admirable, but I think his works will forever be reserved for the few - as was his intention, obviously because he was searching for others in his own image.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby Blurry » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:28 pm

Silhouette wrote:
BlurredSavant wrote:I think Gobbo's Meta is a good concept. To my mind, it describes a person who may be dominant but chooses not to assert that dominance over other people except in specific circumstance. An alpha, by definition, asserts that dominance, else they wouldn't be considered an alpha. What of someone who is most decidedly not Beta, but chooses not to dominate things/people around them, nor allow themselves to be dominated by a dick-swinging Alpha? I see no consolation in being a Meta, I see an authentic individual.

BS, you either assert what you want, which is going to affect others whether you like it or not - sometimes requiring them to put what they want on hold, or divert what they want elsewhere - or you are one of the ones who has to put what they want on hold or divert it elsewhere.

If everyone was assertive, wishes wouldn't all be miraculously compatible with one another. If nobody was, our species would just die out. Gobbo's "meta" or your "authentic individual" is just another guy who has had to learn to withhold what they want around more domineering individuals, or "dick swinging alphas". What's so wrong with dick swinging? - are you too refined and deep to push harder to get what you want, even if it means asserting yourself to a significant extent? The two aren't incompatible - the dick swinging can help act as a tool to turn more attention to your own depth and refinement.... though often in practice it is just vulgar and shallow - I'll grant you that.


Okay, *edit*

In conversation this all holds up quite well, but take it outside. I'm not trying to say that dick-swinging isn't necessary sometimes, but I don't believe it's in the best interest of our species for people to be cut-throat. I think it's wise to consider that there are going to be occasions in life in which a person needs to push their own agenda, but there are also going to be times when it's best to follow someone else's lead, and that consistently acting on one of those extremes is probably unwise.
Last edited by Blurry on Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Who here is an alpha male?

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:33 pm

xzc wrote:
WW_III_ANGRY wrote:I'm fairly amazed at the depth of this thread and the general interest on the subject as it is still going. Me, I don't put much weight on the subject.

That's because you're really alpha, bro. Only an alpha would post to let others know how little he cares.


Na.. I just look like I'm alpha, in my current pic lol. For fun. It was 80's night, so I thought I'd post here. Anyways, its not about me telling everyone how little I care, my statement is looking for insight as to why others care so much about it ;)
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