“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

The Intellectual-Yet-Gamma

by | Jan 12, 2022 | Office Space | 3 comments

The picture that you see above comes via my good friend, Kyle Trouble, who took a screenshot of it for posterity. That one Twat exposes the twat who twatted it as the giant Gamma that he is. And that is genuinely unfortunate, because Nicholas Nassim Taleb is in fact a brilliant intellectual, who rightly called out people suffering from severe cases of intellectualism.

I wrote the post referenced in that last link more than 5 years ago, on the basis of a link sent to me by another good friend, Last Redoubt. And, at the time, I had great respect for the author of The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and especially Antifragile. I thought that NNT’s ideas were excellent, though he did come across as a “roaring asshole”, in the words of my very first boss.

I was willing to excuse his lack of tact and manners, because his basic ideas seemed sound. Unfortunately, it looks like NNT “took the ticket”.

And here’s why:

Gammatude is a function of both nature and nurture. Unfortunately, you can never really get away from innate Gammatude. You can manage it, but if you fail to manage it properly, it will resurface and make you take the ticket.

Breaking Gamma

Gammatude is a horrible curse, in general. Gammas are highly disruptive, immensely irritating, and wholly convinced of their innate intellectual superiority. They make absolutely AWFUL team leaders and managers, because their lack of socio-sexual status, combined with their wholly inflated opinions of themselves, repel and annoy everyone around them. They can go into incredibly destructive compulsive rage spirals as well – if you piss off a Gamma, and YOU INEVITABLY WILL, simply by being better than him at anything, be prepared for the mother of all snarky passive-aggressive meltdowns and sulk-fests afterwards.

There are good aspects to being a Gamma, of course. Gammas are highly talented and obsessive in areas that hold no interest for anyone else. That means you can put them to good use in niche, specialised functions that demand technical excellence and focus. Just keep them away from the women, because either the Gamma will say something WILDLY offensive and inappropriate, or the women will get so pissed off by his very presence that they’ll try to punch him.

If you have innate Gamma traits, you can go a VERY long way toward fixing the problem, simply by following my advice on the subject. (I hasten to add that “my” ideas on the subject are absolutely nothing of the sort – all credit for anything related to the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy goes to Our Beloved and Dreaded Supreme Dark Lord (PBUH) Voxemort the Most Malevolent and Terrible.)

I am well aware that I have certain Gamma traits. They continue to cause problems for me, even to this day – for instance, despite what you might think, I actually dislike confrontation and conflict, in general. (The “get DA GURRRRRLZZZ” problem that plagues so many Gammas, though, doesn’t affect me anymore – which, incidentally, is a very good sign that you’ve gone a long way toward treating your Gammatude, if you get to that point.) I will struggle with these problems for the rest of my life. But at least I know it, and I don’t pretend that being a Gamma is a Good Thing.

NNT, on the other hand, evidently has no clue.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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Consider the hypocrisy, nonsense, and ridiculousness of his Twat. If you know anything about Taleb, you know that he started out as a quant – a brilliant mathematician and computer scientist who would put those skills to use in creating esoteric derivatives pricing models in the world’s leading investment banks.

I actually have a copy of his textbook on derivative pricing, sitting in storage. It is VERY good indeed. You can also tell, just by reading it, that Taleb has a MONSTROUSLY large ego, which has been liberally fed by those around him.

Stop and think about that for a moment.

He used to work in LITERALLY THE MOST COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY IN THE WORLD, where talent like his could (and still does) command huge salaries and god-tier status. (If you don’t believe me, go lookup one Bjarne Stroustroup – he’s the man who invented the C++ computer language. That guy is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and his achievements and towering legacy are such that he will have a job FOR LIFE, in the most super-cyclical, layoff-happy industry anywhere.)

And now he’s telling us that competition is bad for the soul.

Riiiiiight.

Let’s give him the absolute benefit of the doubt and say that he’s just trolling. I wouldn’t put that past him, given his personality.

That doesn’t change the fact that he slammed competitive sports as “unhealthy”.

This idea is literally anti-factual. It is so stupid that I’m shocked someone of his intellect would utter it.

Competitive sports are a VERY Good Thing. Competition causes us to put in effort to improve ourselves – to put in effort, training, time, and resources, to achieve the best results that we can.

Last time I checked, that was the very basis of a functional free-market economy.

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Let’s run a bit of a thought experiment. What would happen if you had a world without competitiveness?

The answer is that you would have perfect Communism, and every single time we’ve ever tried that in human history, mass starvation and destruction has been the inevitable result.

Update: My old friend, Last Redoubt, wrote in to me about this post, and as he rightly and correctly pointed out, NNT has written repeatedly in the past about how to apply Wolff’s Law – aka Cortical Remodelling, aka LIFT HEAVY SHIT SO THAT YOU TEAR UP YOUR MUSCLES AND GET STRONGER IN THE PROCESS – to your life. When you place your body and mind under stress, and then allow both to recover, you get stronger, tougher, and faster. This is the very essence of competition. And this is what NNT himself is bashing now.

It is also worth pointing out that, in his original rant against the Intellectual-Yet-Idiot, NNT said that IYIs don’t deadlift, and posted a picture of Andy Bolton, the first man ever to deadlift over 1,000lbs raw, as an example of someone who isn’t an IYI.

I guess that NNT forgot that Mr. Bolton accomplished that unbelievable feat in a COMPETITION, and that he has since gone on to coach Eddie “The Beast” Hall in his record-breaking deadlifts.

The Destructive Gamma

As Iago in Othello | Othello, Theatre, Style

The true danger of unrestricted Gammatude is now becoming readily apparent in the self-immolation of Boris the Floppy-Haired Sheepadoodle, over in PommieBastardLande. Most of his idiotic failures are self-inflicted, to be sure, but there is no doubt that his former electoral tactician, Dominic Cummings, is behind much of the damage.

And there is a very good reason for that. Mr. Cummings is a COLOSSAL Gamma. Worse than that, he is a vengeful Gamma, and a spurned and scorned Gamma is EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous.

Herein lies a significant management lesson. If you do not squash Gammas, and squash them HARD, then they can, and will, leave land-mines for you to step on:

In the book-lined drawing room of his elegant four-storey Islington townhouse, Cummings will have read a poll from YouGov last Friday with quiet satisfaction. It revealed that voters dislike almost every leading political figure – not least Johnson – with the exception of Mr Sunak. 

Cummings has boasted privately that he helped engineer Sunak’s promotion to Chancellor in February 2020 after Sajid Javid resigned from No11. Cummings has even boasted that he ‘tricked’ Boris into losing Javid after a row over his choice of special adviser.

And while Cummings himself has long since departed from Government, the team of No10 advisers he assembled is still in place – but they’re next door, with Sunak.

The so-called joint unit – originally hand-picked by Cummings to work for Boris and the Chancellor – now answers only to Sunak.

One minister said: ‘Be in no doubt, Cummings is a huge admirer of Sunak and would want him to succeed where he thinks Boris has failed.’

No one epitomises the growing self-confidence of the Treasury more than Liam Booth-Smith, who became head of the unit in February 2020. 

‘Cummings and Booth-Smith have a mutual respect for each other’s intellect,’ says one source. ‘They are also united in another important respect: their contempt for the PM.’

Does Cummings dream of a call to return to No10 under Prime Minister Sunak? ‘He’s deluded enough,’ said one Boris supporter. ‘Sunak’s not that daft.’ 

If you’ve ever seen, or read, Shakespeare’s Othello, then you know that Iago is the perfect depiction of the vengeful Gamma. When you have that kind of character in your proximity, you are just asking for trouble.

Conclusion – Expel Your Gamma

NNT’s Twat is a perfect example of how Gammas never quite outgrow their worst tendencies, without significant help and effort. And NNT’s statement, taken to its logical conclusions, results in a man like Mr. Cummings.

If you are a Gamma, understand that you have it within your power to fix your own problems. It’s not that hard. You just have to buckle down and DO IT.

If you know a Gamma, then you need to get him away from your teams and your women as quickly as you possibly can. Gamma behaviour is sneaky, subversive, deceptive, and downright dangerous when left unchecked.

If you don’t believe that Gammas exist, well, I’ve got news for you – they exist among crustaceans just as much as they do among humans:

And if you have a destructive Gamma nearby – you must act swiftly, and ruthlessly, to crush that nuisance before it becomes a genuinely dangerous problem. Do it quickly, and beg forgiveness later, because you’re going to need it. The dangers of Gammatude are far too great to be underestimated or dismissed.

And someone who pretends to be an intellectual-yet-not-idiot, like NNT, damned well should know better.

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3 Comments

  1. robertdwood

    It’s like some software bot from the CCP took Taleb’s Twitter over in late 2019.
    Wear your masks to stop covid!
    Bitcoin is a scam!
    Competitive sports are unhealthy!

    What a waste of wisdom.

    Reply
  2. Jim S

    So, Mr. Antifragile isn’t really antifragile. Competition helps anyone become antifragile. Competing with oneself, such as training to become better at whatever you want to be better at, is working towards antifragility. I’ve always liked competing, it shows my weaknesses and how bad I suck at something, which then helps me to get better at whatever I am competing in. Steel sharpens steel.

    Never was a big fan of Mr. Black Swan, because after seeing some of his interviews, always came away thinking he was an “arrogant a-hole” (credit to your boss). I’ve dealt with these types professionally and socially, and have always enjoyed taking them down a peg or two when given the chance. In my experience, most them fold like a cheap tent when someone challenges them on some of their BS. I guess Mr. Black Swan is a smart guy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an a-hole about it. I know plenty of people who are as smart or smarter than Mr. Black Swan, and aren’t a-holes.

    As regard to the SSH, never really GAS as to where I fit in which box. Many women rejected me from my high school into adulthood, which was a good thing. It helps to have a thick skin at times (and that took a few years to develop). It helped me figure out who I was, and who I wanted in a woman to be my wife. Yeah, some of the breakups sucked, that’s life. I did end up marrying a women almost 9 years younger than me, and I am happy it happened this way (I am blessed with a great wife and great kids, and I thank God everyday for my luckiness). I have crossed paths with a few women (some are divorced) who rejected me and many have complimented me on how good I look (It’s called being active…aka exercise), which I take as a compliment.

    Came across a quote in a book I was reading this past summer by Ty Woods (Killed at Benghazi because of Obummer), who said: “Just get the efff after it, don’t be a _ussy, and you’ll be fine.” He was referring to Navy SEAL BUDS, but that quote can be applied to everything in life.

    Reply
  3. Kapios

    I didn’t really pay attention to status in career and relationships. I always thought there are 3 types of people in this world. Those who willingly and happily fall down the cliff. The ones who know some good stuff, but ultimately fall in line or deny that politicians are evil, and finally, the ones who walk away from the lies.

    Technically, nobody is born a Gamma, omega, etc., and most often we are molded into these roles by all the toxic shit that people get in their heads before they even turn 7.

    Seeing that there are people in ‘Alpha’ roles like Blackrock CEO who choose to betray humanity, and on the other end, people who start life with gamma or omega positions and rise up to become true alphas or sigma, maybe we are destined to have the psychological characteristics of those archetypes.

    I don’t have success with women and business yet, but the sigma type really resonates with me. I just can’t stand playing politics and excessive team work with others. Most of all, I hate verbal diarrhea and people who think that I might be depressed because I don’t sing ‘Good Mooooorning’ on Mondays. For the love of God, just let me be in peace and quiet. Ahem. Time to revisit the introvert sigma posts for some ‘consolement’.

    Reply

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