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SarahC comments on Scientific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge - Less Wrong

138 Post author: lukeprog 20 January 2011 08:44PM

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Comment author: [deleted] 21 January 2011 06:22:54PM *  10 points [-]

I'm atypical, but here's my take:

Some of it is common sense (she who cares least wins; look your best; avoid certain "turn-off" subjects; have standards regarding hygiene and considerateness.)

Some of it sounds distasteful (withholding personal information and intimacy sounds like a bad idea for relationships, but then again I may tend to be too trusting. The focus on "closing the deal" by making sure you marry within two years of meeting someone also seems problematic. I suspect these people do not care as much as I do about intellectual/emotional compatibility.)

Some of it is frankly unrealistic (gifts of flowers are not typical in all social circles. Making the man pay for everything is not always practical.)

From what I've seen of "The Rules" it's structurally different from PUA. PUA has a lot in common with marketing, and also a lot in common with general social skills advice. "Rules"-style dating advice for women is generally not an exercise in teaching social skills to awkward women. It's more about being strategic at dating (an area of life where admittedly too many people refuse to even consider using reasoned strategy.) It's hard to see how you could test whether it works, though. To see if PUA works, just go out and see if you can pick up women. To see if The Rules work, you have to see if you can marry an (implicitly rich) man -- that's a much longer time frame and you don't get as many trials!

Comment author: Jack 21 January 2011 08:11:15PM *  32 points [-]

Someone needs to write a Romantic comedy/tragedy where two people fall in love but they can never get together because the man is following PUA and the woman is following The Rules. They keep rushing to be the one to end phone conversations and both are always pretending to be too busy to go out with each other. The woman won't have sex until she gets flowers and the man won't give flowers until they have sex. Since both methods work they just fall more and more madly in love with each other but can never tell each other for fear of seeming too needy or desperate.

Comment author: [deleted] 23 January 2011 04:33:14PM 6 points [-]

If they were both following the online dating rules someone linked to earlier, it would all be over very quickly. Neither would reply to an email before at least 3 days have passed, but both ignore anyone who doesn't reply to an email within 3 days.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 January 2011 03:55:39PM 3 points [-]

Not showing too much enthusiasm sounds like a low risk low reward strategy.

Comment author: ata 24 January 2011 12:19:52AM 3 points [-]

Hmm. That sounds like dating is an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. (And PUA, The Rules, etc. are guides to defecting?)

Comment author: wedrifid 24 January 2011 03:44:43AM 1 point [-]

And PUA, The Rules, etc. are guides to defecting?

Well, at least the "delay reply to gain power" gambit is the rest vary. :)

Comment author: Zvi 25 January 2011 10:35:40PM *  2 points [-]

Any dating filter that doesn't filter out itself is clearly not a very good filter!

Comment author: JoshuaZ 21 January 2011 08:17:29PM 4 points [-]

A variant of this has been discussed in xkcd. I don't think that Munroe thought about the consequences as you have.

Comment author: Document 21 January 2011 08:34:21PM *  5 points [-]

It would be a bunch of girls playing hard to get, not returning phone calls, and a bunch of guys consequently moving on to other girls.

-- sockthepuppetry

Comment author: rastilin 23 January 2011 05:21:02PM 1 point [-]

That would end pretty quickly. PUA tells you to drop a woman if she seems cagey about going out or you're not making progress by the second date. It's very much a numbers game, there are tens of thousands of unattached women in even the smallest city and on average, 4% are willing to do anything without any PUA skills being applied; if it's not working out just give up and go find someone else.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 02:20:22AM 0 points [-]

there are tens of thousands of unattached women in even the smallest city

Depends on what you count as a city vs as a town. A settlement of 60,000 will likely have about 30,000 women, about 12,000 of whom will be post-pubescent but pre-menopausal (and many guys will have stricter age limits than that), about 4000 of whom will be unattached.

Comment author: MartinB 24 January 2011 07:49:06AM 1 point [-]

Someone needs to write a Romantic comedy/tragedy where two people fall in love but....

Romantic comedies assume there is a predestined partner who one ends up with after a series of ups and downs and a big showdown. That is not so in real life where everyone just moves on after a while. The fiction of romantic movies can really hurt the expectations of reality. Maybe someday someone researches the effect of chick flicks on the amount of unhappy involuntary singles due to unrealistic expectations.

Comment author: sark 22 January 2011 02:15:02PM 1 point [-]

Thankfully, our built-in (if imperfect) deontological-acausal ethics usually prevents that from happening to most of us.

Comment author: shokwave 24 January 2011 01:52:37AM 8 points [-]

The Rules is a filter women can apply to their dating. Being manipulated by, or at least not bothered by, certain things on that list (like double standards with responding), correlates strongly with desired personality traits. Most people will get bored with Rules-girls and move on. The ones that don't are far more likely to be the type desired. Assuming a dating woman knows what she desires, that is - I wager women using the Rules aren't as aware of what they are selecting for as pick-up artists are.

On PUA, the same thing applies: if you think those techniques wouldn't work on you, well, you're not the type pick-up artists are after.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 21 January 2011 07:19:41PM 1 point [-]

Part of what you label as common sense, avoiding certain "turn-off" subjects is on the list of things I don't understand. Why shouldn't people talk about their exes? Presumably if someone was an SO or close to being an SO then they were, you know, significant. Not talking about them places a substantial limit on what subjects the person is able to talk about. And are guys really so insecure that they feel uncomfortable just being reminded that the person they are dating has had other relationships?

Comment author: HughRistik 21 January 2011 09:22:38PM 4 points [-]

A big reason is that talk about exes can easily turn emotionally negative. Many mainstream people don't seem to be on good terms with their exes.

Comment author: lukeprog 21 January 2011 09:41:42PM 1 point [-]

Lol, I'm curious: What does "mainstream people" mean in this context? People who have romantic relationships that fail in a way that sometimes causes frustration and resentment?

Comment author: HughRistik 21 January 2011 10:06:55PM *  7 points [-]

Most gender-typical people. They have more drama. It's a lot easier for high IQ, gender-atypical nerdy folks with good impulse control to be on good terms with their exes.

Comment author: wnoise 24 January 2011 08:35:17AM 3 points [-]

Especially if their exes are also high IQ, gender-atypical nerdy folks with good impulse control.

Comment author: HughRistik 24 January 2011 06:35:07PM 1 point [-]


Comment author: MartinB 22 January 2011 02:28:24PM 0 points [-]

One might think this is due to a lack of supply.

I see the emotional ups and downs of many people with more and more amazement of why anyone would want to life like that.

Comment author: rastilin 24 January 2011 06:55:43AM 1 point [-]

Aside from the possibility that you had a bad breakup and you end up complaining for several minutes, which isn't a good sign in a date. It raises the question of "What did those people find out about this person that I don't know yet that it caused them to break up with them.".

Comment author: wedrifid 24 January 2011 08:33:32AM 2 points [-]

And: "If he is bitching about his ex to me then chances are he would bitch about me to others too." Possibly applies even more for boasting.

Comment author: HughRistik 24 January 2011 08:20:27AM 0 points [-]

Yes. Complaining about your breakup allows the other person to locate and privilege various unsavory hypotheses about you which may or may not be fair. Don't let people do this. You aren't being more "honest" by giving people true information that will bias them.