Master Don Juan
- Apr 30, 2006
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Surveillance capitalism is just capitalism — with surveillance. Here’s how to beat it.
Or perhaps they’re more like pick-up artists, the misogynistic cult that promises to help awkward men have sex with women by teaching them “neurolinguistic programming” phrases, body language techniques, and psychological manipulation tactics like “negging” — offering unsolicited negative feedback to women to lower their self-esteem and prick their interest.
Some pick-up artists eventually manage to convince women to go home with them, but it’s not because these men have figured out how to bypass women’s critical faculties. Rather, pick-up artists’ “success” stories are a mix of women who were incapable of giving consent, women who were coerced, women who were intoxicated, self-destructive women, and a few women who were sober and in command of their faculties but who didn’t realize straightaway that they were with terrible men but rectified the error as soon as they could.
Pick-up artists believe they have figured out a secret back door that bypasses women’s critical faculties, but they haven’t. Many of the tactics they deploy, like negging, became the butt of jokes (just like people joke about bad ad targeting), and there’s a good chance that anyone they try these tactics on will immediately recognize them and dismiss the men who use them as irredeemable losers.
Pick-up artists are proof that people can believe they have developed a system of mind control even when it doesn’t work. Pick-up artists simply exploit the fact that one-in-a-million chances can come through for you if you make a million attempts, and then they assume that the other 999,999 times, they simply performed the technique incorrectly and commit themselves to doing better next time. There’s only one group of people who find pick-up artist lore reliably convincing: other would-be pick-up artists whose anxiety and insecurity make them vulnerable to scammers and delusional men who convince them that if they pay for tutelage and follow instructions, then they will someday succeed. Pick-up artists assume they fail to entice women because they are bad at being pick-up artists, not because pick-up artistry is bull****. Pick-up artists are bad at selling themselves to women, but they’re much better at selling themselves to men who pay to learn the secrets of pick-up artistry.