The Tao of Game

There are a great many concepts in Game Theory that are difficult to accurately define. Understanding the intricacies of intergender dynamics is often a tough road to hoe due to individualized interpretations of what a particular term or concept should mean in a global sense. ‘Game Theory’ is even a term I’m kind of struggling with since people think it seems to exclude the actual practicing, or real world development of the same principles I explore on this blog. For the record, I believe it’s just as important to hone one’s PUA skills / tools as it is to understand why they work.


The concept of Alpha is another sticking point for a lot of men, both plugged-in or unplugged from the feminine Matrix – some even rejecting the concepts of alpha and beta wholesale. I find that for the most part people have a very tough time reconciling the unvarnished principles of Game Theory and, to a greater degree, the way Evolutionary Psychology compliments it, with a learned sense of moral or ethical justice they believe should be essential to human interactions. I think human beings, to varying degrees, have an in-born capacity for revulsion to ideas that reveal a very realistic, unavoidable nihilism existing in the fundamental nature of the world. By that I mean that we seem to have some feral-level refusal for what we think would be a hopeless situation. The Japanese have a term for this called “Ikigai“, loosely translated as “a reason for being”. It would not surprise me in the least if in the future we find that humans (and other higher order animals) have specific neural ‘software’ directly linked to this rejection of the hopeless. Obviously a neural wiring that promotes Ikigai would be a very valuable evolutionary survival asset for a species.

Paradoxically though, just in the suggesting of an evolved, biological root for rejecting nihilism, it confirms the validity of that hopeless condition. In other words, the same evo-psych-prompted root that grants us a capacity to desire justice or provides with us a sense of morality (however defined) is the same root that forces us to obstinately reject the reality of our situations. The same psyche that wants to reject environmentally valid concepts like alpha/beta, hypergamy, the SMP, or a plethora of other difficult to accept Game Theory ideas is the same psyche that wants to reject the hopelessness they may or may not represent.

Bear this in mind when you come across a new concept in Game. The reality we find ourselves in is very cruel when you approach it from a binary, right or wrong, absolutist standpoint. It may satisfy a need to feel self-righteous, but it’s never a good starting point for real understanding that may benefit you later. This is what detractors of evo-psych struggle with; factoring in a human element into environmental and biological determinants. We don’t call a cheetah running down a gazelle on the African savannah ‘evil’ or unjust, or the gazelle undeserving of death. It just is.

If I were to dangle a juicy raw steak in front of the nose of a hungry Doberman, could I blame the dog for taking a piece of my hand off with the steak when he bites at it? He’s just doing what a hungry dog does. When your wife’s vagina tingles in the presence of a Man displaying evolutionarily developed Alpha cues, or you get a hardon viewing the body of a beautiful naked woman, this is the biological imperative at work. It’s not right or wrong, it just is.

Biology Trumps Conviction

This position usually grates against the grain for people invested in the ideology of personal responsibility. They think it means biological determinism, and therefor grants a free pass for all sins. However, what I’m implying is that the overriding influence is that of our biology; there would be no need for convictions if it weren’t. The mistake lies in thinking that convictions are the measure and biology is the limiter. It’s not that you can resist temptation, but rather that the temptation exists in the first place. There is no temptation without motivation. What most people fail to grasp here is that no conviction to alter behavior, mindset, belief, etc. would be necessary for an individual if the operative state (biology in this instance) weren’t conflicting with what we perceive are in our overall best interests. Biology trumps conviction because it is the operative state for us.

Biology determines what convictions we need to construct in order to optimize our existences. We then compound this with progressively more complex layerings of “conviction” upon our state in order to address inconsistencies in our natural desires. And then, conversely, our natural impulses will prompt us to rationalize loopholes in the articles of our convictions which will allow for our biological imperatives to be expressed.

Take sex out of the equation for a moment. As an am-circuit bodybuilder I have to stay cut for an upcoming competition. So I effectively starve myself for the prior 6 weeks of all the food that my body instinctively wants. Every fiber in my body wants to pound down a slice of pizza, but my conviction to look good and be at my optimal best for the competition overwhelms that primal urge. You’d say “well, see, conviction trumps biology”, but the operative state is what my biology is prompting me to do; eat starchy / sugary foods in order to prevent starvation and maximize my survival capacity by retaining energy reserves in case of emergency. My hunger is the operative state; without it that conviction to repress it isn’t extraordinary. Conviction is subordinate to biology, because right after the pose-down I’m at the pizzaria eating 3 slices of suprema.

Because my biology is the operative state, inevitably conviction will be unsustainable to prevent it from manifesting in some form. Some of these are socially acceptable, some of these are socially forgivable, some of these will earn you a life in prison. Sometimes that means the girl gets drunk, he was cute and she bangs the guy in spite of herself. Sometimes it means celibate priests become pedophiles as their only means of sexual expression, and sometimes it means a homosexual comes out of the closet. There are social consequences for all these expressions to varying degree, but again, the motivator is  the biological imperative.

The sexual marketplace as we know it today is the result of biological opportunism intermingling with societal buffers that are in a constant state of flux. Religious convictions and appeals to moralism are no insulation against hypergamy and the sexual marketplace. In fact, often, the more ardent the conviction, the more influential the biological imperative.

I find it’s a much healthier position to accept a balance between our biologically derived impulses and our higher aspirations. It’s not one or the other. It’s OK to want to fuck just for the sake of fucking – it doesn’t have to be some source of existential meaning. It is as equally unhealthy to convince oneself that self-repressions are virtues as it is to think that unfettered indulgences are freedoms. There is a balance.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

12 comments on “The Tao of Game

  1. Good bodybuilder example; only one flaw. You conditioned your body to eat carbohydrates, and thus your body habituates to carb intake as the default state. However, if you were to deprive your body of carbs for a prolonged period of time such as in the “Atkins” or “Anabolic” diet, your body would habituate to a low carb “default state” and as a proximate result no longer crave carbs.

    Hence, your body habituates to its “training,” and within this context conviction trumps biology. The antipodal argument, thus, is if you were to begin smoking, you may metamorphose into a habitual smoker. Even though smoking is a pernicious habit that could ultimately kill you, the level of “biological inclination” to smoke is positively correlated with how often you initially “chose” to smoke. Although this smoking habit could now ostensibly appear as a biological imperative; it was in fact conviction that spawn carnal habituation. Here, too, biology fails to trump the stronghold of “choice”–or shall we say its counterpart conviction.

    You are half correct though, it is not one or the other, but “there is a balance”; and therefore from a binary context, one cannot trump the other.

    For future reference, complementary,” not “complimentary.”

  2. Rollo –

    This is as succinctly and smartly as anyone has ever explained this age-old tug-of-war. I’m in 100% agreement with you. I’m sure there were times in my life (even after unplugging) that I opted for the “noble” – what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” Nevertheless, I know that those impulses were buried in our reptilian hindbrains long before the Ten Commandments were even a twinkle in the eye of a caveman.

  3. “‘Game Theory’ is even a term I’m kind of struggling with since people think it seems to exclude the actual practicing, or real world development of the same principles I explore on this blog. For the record, I believe it’s just as important to hone one’s PUA skills / tools as it is to understand why they work.”

    For the Keyboard Jockeys who’ve been reading this blog for months without going out and talking to girls: Studying Game Theory without going out and thinking you’re better with women is like watching weightlifting videos without going to the gym and thinking you’re getting stronger, or reading about dieting while scarfing down donuts and thinking you’re getting thinner.

  4. There are words in language that are often used because someone made them up and they catch on, but they are not the most descriptive of terms. For example with game, nice guy. It’s not really the nice part it’s more of being a weak wuss. If a person does not want to deal with another who is nice, then that is odd, but with game women are attracted to interpersonally strong men.
    Some humans are taller, physically stronger, or faster.
    Historically the reason why for hypergamy involves passing on these traits to the next generation and to be able to provide for these children.
    The primary pain/pleasure motive for intercourse is pleasure as a reward incentive to facilitate procreation. Contraception shifted this towards just pleasure more often than passing on genetic codes that give rise to form. The reason why it is a certain way in nature is to eat or die.
    The majority of people seem not to want to kill themselves or to kill others, at least few actually go through with it. Basically an individual can rationalize anything and make himself believe it. Someone can say they are going to kill another and rationalize that they are going to be dead some day anyway. The majority of people seem to be wired/programed with a self-preservation motive to want to avoid death for as long as possible until a natural end. In a movie the main character was about to be killed by 2 others and he asked why, the first with no self-interest did not use his gun, but the second with a motive to unjustly try to preserve his own self-interest did fire, but the main character was wearing a bullet-proof vest for his own self-preservation.
    If people overeat above the amount of calories to maintain their weight and they do not exercise to offset these extra calories, the natural consequence will be to gain weight.
    Basically all people in “modern society,” unless they live on their own farm, even the few people who are mentally unplugged from the matrix, are still biologically dependant on the matrix becuase they continue to use “the artificial construct of matrix money.”
    Probably everything can be deconstructed to nothingness with no meaning, except the consciousness experience of the nothingness of existence, with the created meaning of life being to read RationalMale.

  5. every time i am reading your stuff i am always asking myself ” where does he get all of that critical thinking?.” outstanding as always.

  6. Wow! Well done.

    This is very relevant for me at this time. Just a few days ago I was overcome with this feeling of hopelessness in which you described, albeit briefly, upon lamenting about the methodical and unforgiving force that is biology and how I feel much of our societal issues stem from continuous attempts at subverting our natural inclinations.

    There are times that I wish my rationale would seize to take hold of me in order to once again live without conscious understanding of the underlying influences and machinations of social dynamics. A part of me feels that it would be preferable to be in comfortable ignorance as I’d likely have more of an optimistic and positive outlook of mankind and the fate of our civilization. However, for the most part, I’ve surrendered myself to the nihilism. I find it more virtuous and intellectually honest to accept things as is as opposed to electing to live in willful ignorance. But it’s not always easy.

  7. Steven Pinker writes well about related subjects in why has violence declined and the blank slate. I think both should be required reading for everyone in the manosphere.

  8. Do you think convictions come from biology?

    Lets say self preservation and procreation are biologically driven. Through the same drives we may come to favor certain convictions or ideologies over others. For example, though we may be morally convicted to be against rape, that conviction just comes from some biological motivation that protects our self preservation and ability to procreate.

    With body building you may have just had a biological imperative to eat and a biological imperative to compete which were in conflict. Your neural connections and bodily chemicals made you act in favor of one imperative over the other.

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