Why “What can’t continue, won’t”, but actually does continue for way longer than you’d think it ought to

It is related to behaviorisms via a common phenomenon I call “passive denial”.

Have you ever been trying to merge into traffic where someone could let you in, if they were a nice and good person, but they just stare straight ahead without blinking as if trying to refuse to notice that you exist? This is an example of what I call “passive denial”. It is a person who is being a total dick about something with plausible deniability, because they have some excuse in mind like “the rules don’t say I have to let people merge” or “I have the right of way, even though traffic is completely stopped and I just pulled up to block this other person”. Another example is when a pedestrian is walking across the street and refuses to acknowledge that you exist, and doesn’t speed up or wave “thank you”. Instead, they stare straight ahead and pretend there’s nobody waiting on them.

People engage in this sort of behavior because they want to feel the enjoyment of being powerful, but they also want to feel entitled and righteous at the same time. So they need an excuse to give them plausible deniability. If a person does this so often that we notice it is a major personality characteristic, we call that person “passive aggressive”. (It correlates with narcissism and R-selection but is not directly caused by it. R-selected narcissists are impatient, and if it was just impatience then pedestrians would cross the road faster.)

In contrast, there is a relatively small number of people who are just regular “aggressive aggressive” who will engage in “active denial” by cutting people off on the road with no excuse except that they enjoy it.

Many people are passive-aggressive. Most actually. It’s a neotenous and feminine trait (vs. raw aggression, which is gerontonous and masculine), and I’d figure about 90% of the modern population is very significantly passive-aggressive. To illustrate, I think about 90% of the modern population will engage in obnoxious behavior as pedestrians. Whereas about 5% will actually slow down a little bit to impede traffic on purpose (active denial, aggressive behavior) and 5% will be considerate and either speed up or at least smile and wave “thank you”. You see a lot more of the raw aggressive behavior in black neighborhoods, where it is very common for a person to simply walk along the middle of the road in order to impede traffic on purpose. More testosterone = less passive aggression and more active aggression. But both sorts are dicks, one sort is just being open and honest about it, whereas the other is just barely trying to hide it behind a thin veneer.

But in accumulation it’s the passive-aggressive behavior that really holds up societies because melonheads make use of this predictable behavior when they design bureaucratic systems.

Anyway, the conclusion is blindingly obvious for a melon. Hire bouncers. Make busywork for the thals and cros. Make them wait in lines. Erect a series of obstacles and order them to climb over them all, and then maybe they can have that promotion or get that inside scoop. But the “right people” will go around the obstacles. They’ll strike up conversations with the thal who maintains them and learn all his clever secrets (finally, someone who listens!). This is due to their reality management impulse; melons do not submit to orders unless they are playing a longer game. That would be accepting someone else’s reality. Death, practically.

They’ll fill out the paperwork, sure. After they land the job.

Thus, jumping through hoops filters out the idiots. And the melons float to the top, and more quickly the more melons are already at the top. This is how the two primary melon values (reality management and family) work together so well that it is impossible to beat them at their own game.

On melon psychology

They know that 99% of the population is going to apply the rules to strangers, but maybe let the rules slide for people they like. (Egyptian says: “That’s actually how they signal that they like someone. And when they don’t like someone, as opposed to not caring about them, they point out that behavior in them.” I didn’t realize that, explains the free coffee the other day. Oops :-P.)

The problem is that bureaucracies are EXTREMELY inefficient, and these massive systems of rules and regulations get bogged down with the passive-aggressive clueless folks meting out favors to each other. Eventually, these systems begin to collapse under their own weight. This is because the melons’ priority is ruling, and not necessarily advancing the cause of the people they’re ruling. They just want to be on top. “I would rather be headman of a village than the second man in Rome!” They would prefer to be on top of a bigger pyramid, but a smaller pyramid will do in a pinch.

One interesting observation is that Melons like to create Game-Theory type situations with a large but manageable set of input/output functions like some sort of systems engineer and then maybe Buckingham Pi theorem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_π_theorem) that shit or something to jiggle the desired outcome from the available parameters.

I think this why they turn things into self-referential systems over and over again. I think start-up bootcamps accelerators are a good example. What’s meant to be about novel disruptive innovative turns into making the Twitter of Toast… everything becomes reference to something that came before. Everyone has to have a ‘pitch’. Thus the information machine cannot be ‘surprised’ by innovation. Innovation is actually the last thing it wants. Also jobs, companies, schools, even engineering today everything becomes about managing information asymmetry and imprisoning participants within a fixed set of parameters. Initially under the auspices of morality of course, but ultimately due to signalling and game theory the shit floats to the top.

All melon systems are cyclical and rather demonic because of this. I think this is why Thals, being more in tune with ‘nature’ are so innately irked by the whole thing. They have every right to be. Melon intelligence doesn’t really make sense unless there is a good deal of attrition and renewal. This is why MTs become rather Shivaite or ‘Grimdark’ or whatever.

John Patrick Conlon
Comment: M-back intelligence is specialized for seeking optimal strategies in game-like activities

As the system begins to collapse, the clueless people start becoming much more concerned with preserving the status quo. This means letting the rules slide more often, or taking initiative to help people navigate the bureaucratic requirements, in order to let some work actually get done. Thus, the incidence of passive denial drops dramatically, as if the population were, say, only 10% passive aggressive pedestrians rather than 90%. There are so many fewer people blocking traffic that things move more smoothly, and it is suddenly much less socially acceptable to walk slowly across the road. Aggressive types might actually drive right at a passive-aggressive pedestrian so that they have to jump out of the way, if it were no longer socially acceptable (onlookers will place more blame on the pedestrian/rape victim in this culture. “Don’t walk in the road, dumbass!”).

This leads to the giant system of behaviorisms actually surviving much longer than it ought to because it naturally cuts down on the inefficiency as the passive aggressive folks try to save it. Thus, although “what can’t continue, won’t”, the more passive aggressive a society is the longer its institutions will survive even when it seems to be impossible.


About Aeoli Pera

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14 Responses to Why “What can’t continue, won’t”, but actually does continue for way longer than you’d think it ought to

  1. Edenist whackjob says:

    I’m having the free coffee thing happen to me regularly recently. It’s fricking weird to think that bartenders want to suck up to *me*. Too many bad social imprints. I’m telling ya, if I’d had an entitled high school experience…

    • mina801 says:

      Giving you free coffee would be part of the rules( manager or owner told them to). Part of the rules is to make you think they’re breaking the rules for you as a signal that they like you, valued customer. They might be sucking up to you, though.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Never seen that behavior ever before (ie fake-sucking up to people as mandated by management). Might be an America thing.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          It’s not mandated, but it’s encouraged. The essential idea/attitude is that it’s okay to do pretty much anything to make the customer happy because they’ll feel obligated to come back.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        It was from the Starbucks in the grocery store I’m working at. One of them was buying lunch from me and I mentioned I’d be getting a coffee, and she brought it to me and refused to take payment.

      • mina801 says:

        I didn’t mean it that way, but it is heavily mandated where I work. I meant that maybe they give you a free coffee if they see you 10 days in a row kinda thing, but without you knowing the cutoff you reached to get that free coffee, so you think they’re sucking up to you. I live in the United States of Ontario btw.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        “It’s not mandated, but it’s encouraged.”

        I go mainly to a local “alternative” dive. They don’t seem to have much management of any sort. I could see it happening in Starbucks perhaps. I’ll have to do an experiment some time :)

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      People in the underclass tend to take “community” pretty seriously. Don’t talk shit about unions in front of them, even if it’s true, or it’ll ruin pretty much all goodwill they feel toward you.

  2. Great example of this would be if someone were to be tailgating another driver (passive aggression) and the driver in front slams on the brakes because he thought he saw something (stakes raised), hypothetically of course, and then were to hypothetically get a free paint refurbishment of the rear of his car. Whoever did that was an asshole.

  3. Pingback: Companies can’t find workers and workers can’t find jobs; why both are true | Aeoli Pera

  4. Pingback: Scientific description of guilt vs. shame | Aeoli Pera

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