Alpha is a neurochemical addiction to WINNING

This idea is embarrassingly obvious in retrospect. Analogous ideas:

Genius as addiction
Symptoms of genius addiction
Warrior idealism

The final piece of this fell into place for me somewhere in the comment thread of the previous post on Gammas and resources. Alpha males are defined not just by confidence, or a pattern of success, or what have you: they are defined by an all-consuming dedication to seeking out opportunities to WIN. We can tentatively and naively define WINNING as the experience of adrenaline followed by a testosterone boost and dopamine. A sustained, heightened level of hormones can have massive effects on phenotype, giving rise to entirely new features like eye flanges in orangutans or coloration changes in silverback gorillas. Eventually, the dopamine rushes will rewrite the brain to produce a fixation on the behavior that produced the goodfeelz.

Brash, brawny and keen to impose their will on anyone who enters their sphere of existence: the alpha male in action is unmistakable.

Now scientists claim to have pinpointed the biological root of domineering behaviour. New research has located a brain circuit that, when activated in mice, transformed timid individuals into bold alpha mice that almost always prevailed in aggressive social encounters.

In some cases, the social ranking of the subordinate mice soared after the scientists’ intervention, hinting that it might be possible to acquire “alphaness” simply by adopting the appropriate mental attitude. Or as Donald Trump might put it: “My whole life is about winning. I almost never lose.”

The Guardian
Scientists discover brain’s neural switch for becoming an alpha male

(H/T the Chateau Heartiste.)

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About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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53 Responses to Alpha is a neurochemical addiction to WINNING

  1. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Maybe “reward function” is the missing piece of MBTI?

    ie winning, genius, warrior, etc. Different reward styles produce different personalities, even given similar cog-prints.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Thing is, I think these fixations are only operative in a relatively small proportion of the male population. But I’m beginning to expect that many “types” found in art (king, father, magician, warrior, etc.) are also real extremes of human behavior produced by these positive feedback loops exploding exponentially until they hit an external limit, then settling around a stable set point.

      I’ll use myself for example: when I first started doing jenious, it was a huge rush and an all-consuming addiction. I became extremely proficient at this new style of cognition in about three or four years. Nowadays I’m only limited by my mediocre IQ. But like an Alpha entering a novel social or team competition, I have no anxiety in novel situations anymore because I have a history of WINNING (at genius). Put me under pressure and I’m 100% confident I can produce a solution to the problem. Nevermind that my success rate is only 80% or so (again, like an Alpha), the point is that this high level of skill in my domain produces confidence under stress rather than anxiety.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        I can relate – inadequacy and anxiety are powerful motivators, once they are conquered the will to win becomes much more gratuitous and abstract (and and such becomes prey to cerebral vices like perfectionism and over-analysis as well, further hamping progress).

  2. Edenist Whackjob says:

    The classical (Voxian) definition of Alpha is: men want to be* him, women want to be with him.

    So how does this addiction-to-winning tie in to that?

    Perhaps those 2 classical criteria are the outer requirements of Alphahood, whereas the winning addiction speaks to the inner life? The question is if addiction to winning is orthogonal to the two outer criteria, or if somehow leads to being able to fulfill them? Or maybe has a common root trait which leads to both 2 critera and addiction to winning? (This would be my guess).

    * Ie following him in the case of Betas and Deltas, fearing him in the case of Omegas, and resenting him in the case of Gammas.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I doubt Beta or Delta have any characteristics of addiction. Deltas are just normies and Betas are high-functioning normies.

      • mendicant says:

        This can’t be quite right. Surely normies receive a neurochemical boost from their socially approved herd behavior, serotonin or whatever from being a good team player. Among less self-aware humans, habituation to this sort of thing may be the very glue holding society together.

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          I don´t know if it’s an addiction… more like a constant guilt trip coupled with limiting beliefs / Societal Programming that the person just can´t break through, or in fact internalizes to such a degree that they become prime guiding programs.

          The Alpha breaks out of through his innate wiring, which makes them seem silly to him because they violate Winning.

          The Sigma breaks out through rational deconstruction and his wiring which makes him see those programs plainly, like abstractions hanging in the air.

    • Akuma says:

      Sigma- Addiction to Independence and Justice. The Alphas (Chads in the modern context) who run social reality have forgotten that social reality has now departed from culture (i.e. The Rule of Law.).

    • Akuma says:

      Explains why women cause drama, or seem to enjoy it. She can blame someone else. A Gamma, may self-sabotage on purpose (fuck it koan). Or may not know what he is doing (115-130IQs)

      • IQQIQIIQ says:

        Yes. Self-awareness and sageness start from IQ 131.

        The realisation that all women are gammas? That takes an IQ of 136. Or maybe 138.

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          “Yes. Self-awareness and sageness start from IQ 131.”

          Citation needed? Just curious where you got that from.

        • Akuma says:

          Disagree on the last part. Not all women are Gammas, but all women are women. Women with higher foreheads and larger frontal lobes interact with a male like two Sigmas interact. Women with low digit ratios are a Sigma trapped in a females body.

        • Pseudorandom Bypasser says:

          I thought it was an IQ 139 concept.

          But on a serious note, I think that self-awareness/metacognition is separate from IQ and just correlates with it. Think of it as an individual module or “program” that gets it’s power from your overall intelligence and the things that come with it. It’s just one field to apply your pattern recognition, comprehension, memory and so on to. I agree with Paul Cooijmans’ idea that each IQ point has it’s own awareness deviation.

    • IQQIQIIQ says:

      Two excerpts from a good book, illuminating gamma’s inadequacy.
      They kinda have no place in the picture… you bet they are resentful.
      These hypnosis-immune wretches… I can’t imagine a real man not throwing some bad words in their direction at least every three comments/blog posts.

      From the dawn of civilisation onwards crowds
      have always undergone the influence of illusions.
      It is to the creators of illusions that they have
      raised more temples, statues, and altars than to
      any other class of men. Whether it be the re-
      ligious illusions of the past or the philosophic
      and social illusions of the present, these formid-
      able sovereign powers are always found at the
      head of all the civilisations that have successively
      flourished on our planet.

      Authoritativeness and intolerance are sentiments
      of which crowds have a very clear notion, which
      they easily conceive and which they entertain as
      readily as they put them in practice once they
      are imposed upon them. Crowds exhibit a docile
      respect for force, and are but slightly impressed
      by kindness, which for them is scarcely other than
      a form of weakness. Their sympathies have never
      been bestowed on easy-going masters, but on tyrants
      who vigorously oppressed them. It is to these
      latter that they always erect the loftiest statues.
      It is true that they willingly trample on the despot
      whom they have stripped of his power, but it is
      because, having lost his strength, he has resumed
      his place among the feeble, who are to be despised
      because they are not to be feared.

      • IQQIQIIQ says:

        (I also can’t imagine any man living in fear of being a gamma not throwing some bad words in their direction at least every three comments/blog posts.)

        Exorcism, they call it.

        • IQQIQIIQ says:

          Basically, a gamma is a non-versatile, psychologically unisexual being who, unlike the respectable members of the colony/hive/pack/herd/community, can’t play the part of male with some (lowers) and female with others (uppers).

          All hominid males have same-sex mock mating rituals. A healthy male community member must be able to feel the orgasm when its turn is to be the female.
          Being able to feign it isn’t as good, but still saves him from being a gamma.

          Nothing is as wrong with a group member as being all the time the same sex… I would say.

          Fix yourselves, gammas!

  3. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Yes. This is very true – normal people just don´t seem to see the opportunities that are right in front of them, not to mention the hidden gems. This is a key Alpha-tell, going after value.

    • Edenist Whackjob says:

      Like when I talk to people in the IT industry about contracting, they nod along when I tell them that it´s really not that difficult, it´s just as secure as being an employee, and the difference in effective salary is almost 2x. But they just don´t go for it – whereas I would make a heavy note of something like that and develop it into a laser-focused quest.

  4. Edenist Whackjob says:

    So far we have:

    1) Leader of men
    2) Pre-selected by women
    3) Addicted to winning
    4) Environmental scanners, looking for value

    Maybe we could get it to 10-20 tells or so, put together a more granular Alpha diagnostic.

    • Akuma says:

      I enjoyed your rather lengthy comment on the last post. How do you think Alphas (in classic definition) recognize threats: Is it more social or environmental? And how would a Chad (modern Alpha) recognize those threats (i.e. cant do that its racist)?

      Sigma: More social or environmental?

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Alphas don’t recognize threats at all, they recognize challenges.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          Jocko is definitely an Alpha:

          1) Men want to follow him
          2) Pre-selected by women (probably, I can’t tell, but it’s a good guess – actually this one might be a Sigma tell, in that he doesn’t care that much about women)
          3) Clearly addicted to winning (watch his podcast)
          4) Environmental value scanner (yup, especially when it comes to people, he’s good at utilizing the talents of his underlings to the max)

          We might add another Alpha tell:

          5) Threat re-framer (pulls off the trick of transferring amygdala stim to FL, where it can be solved, and does so in a motivating way to minions)

          • Edenist Whackjob says:

            Another one:

            6) Explaining the mission, and getting everyone else onboard. This is what he does when he says “if you’re still breathing” (ie gets listener to accept that he is not just fighting for his own ego, but rather sacred mission, which unlocks much more reserves of willpower and energy).

          • Edenist Whackjob says:

            Laconic humor (ie Spartan “then we shall fight them in the shade”) is classic #5. Learn humor and become much more effective as Alpha. There is a magic way of defusing a map-conflict (“you’re wrong! I’m right!”) from Gamma underlings and channeling it into territory/reality/mission by utilizing laconic humor. Upbeat, yet focused on mission. Dominant and alpha by its terseness, yet life-giving to underlings by its positive content and focus on sacred mission.

            http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412229

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          Nother tip for you: https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second/dp/1469266822

          Is basically all about stepping out of “map/ego/being right” into “mission/territory/producing wins”.

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          Thumbs up, bro, look forward to it.

  5. Aeoli Pera says:

    Yup. And they’re always looking to organize people around them to accomplish some vision, each vision bigger than the last (because otherwise what’s the point?).

    • Edenist Whackjob says:

      That’s an over-excited dopamine system hooked up to an ego hooked up to a larynx.

      • Boneflour says:

        I’m pretty sure being the highest-paid actor on TV AND banging models all day AND doing all that while on drugs that would completely destroy a normal man AND having several kids with multiple wives during that time is WINNING in Charlie Sheen’s book.

        I think Charlie Sheen is an asshole. People don’t stop having massive accomplishments just because you think they’re assholes.

        This is a major part of why no one could see a Trump win. “He’s just some loudmouth asshole with an inheritance!”

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          He is a poster child for the “winner effect”.

          “Power is probably the greatest brain-changing drug in the world”

          Aye, power / winning bestows great power on the brain, but is also dangerous as fuck because it takes away your good sense. It gives you magic powers to rule the world but not 100% – there is still a reality somewhere that can bite back. Big reason why I never stuck around in “Alpha” for too long – I could sense it was messing with my sense of reality.

  6. Akuma says:

    You speak of Chads here. This is why modern Alphas have not started an all out onslaught on the niggers.

    Sigmas on the other hand would have scorched every ghetto by now, if given the power to do so.

  7. 945ytry says:

    Speaking of addictions.

    The glorious Republic of the Whorippines explained

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/14/this-unusual-test-reveals-how-smart-you-are/?utm_term=.8b55d5d61396

    All of you, remember that in the Republic of the Nobrainipphines they aren’t simply liars, they are lies.

  8. Edenist Whackjob says:

    There is a cheat-code for going Alpha, and that cheat-code is cocaine. Never done, so can´t speak from experience, but pretty clear to me that that´s what it does.

    However, I have done a lot of phenibut – similar effects, although milder. It will make you enjoy social and be carefree / anxiety-free in social – if you have the cognitive-level programming, this will unlock the limbic-brain level as well.

    BUT, be very careful with the stuff. I spent a week in withdrawal from that stuff once, nastiest week of my life. Be very careful to write down what dosage you are taking and when, so you can taper off later on. Keep a spreadsheet. And read up on some phenibut withdrawal stories online, for more info. Like I said, that week was plain nasty.

    Exploring the interaction between limbic and cognitive is very interesting, and almost requires to partake in substances (although unlocking limbic from cognitive is of course the goal – main tools being meditation and koans).

    • Edenist Whackjob says:

      Actually, Aeoli, remove this post… don´t want people messing with that stuff on second thought…

      • Akuma says:

        No, dont. Phenibut Horror stories are hard to come by. The stuff acts on GABA. In standard doses its great for PTSD. 300-600mg or 1 gram. Mix it with a glass of Glenlivit scotch for the full effect. Phenibut can have some nasty combinations though.

        A friend took some of mine and put it in a glass of cofee some while I was in the bathroom. I walked out and told him to stop because I did not know how it would interact with his three other meds he was on. He drank the rest of the glass anyway. I calculated it out later. It was close to 5 grams. Sure enough I did not see him for five days. Turns out it interacted wit his sleeping Seroquel and stopped his heart, or at least slowed it to like a beat per minute. The only thing that saved him was the CPAP machine pumping oxygen in his lungs. He was declared dead before the EMTs revived him. They then threw him in psych ward after he tried to punch a cop (he doesnt remember because he was blacked out) after they took him to the ER because they thought he had taken some hard street drug.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        I think you should reconsider. People who want to do drugs will do drugs, people who want drugs as a means to an end should be cautioned by experienced people, and people like me simply won’t do drugs because mind-bending doesn’t appeal.

    • Boneflour says:

      To summarize:

      Phenibut is the Gremlins of nootropics. If taken at specific times… no more then every 2-3 days… at a standard dose (500-100 mg, pretty much what Akuma says)… It works real nice.

      If you break the rules, it can fucking kill you.

      This ironically means the best time to take Phenibut is when you don’t really need it. It’s for functional people looking for a temporary boost. If you’re mentally in a bad place, taking other meds, or are otherwise leaning on this thing to function, you’re gonna have a bad time.

      Sound about right?

  9. Boneflour says:

    Solid work, crazy amount of value added here. It’s great that the message of the book is so optimistic it can make you happier just reading it.

    “Your brain is plastic and can change. You CAN re-wire it to be happy!”

    Might end up commenting on your blog as well, endorsements/positive feedback is important.

  10. bicebicebice says:

    “The requested URI not found.”

    Fourth forum when? Also if you can get your hands on synthesized mania, inb4 right dosage, then alpha is nothing more than the flick of a switch in your brain.
    Tho that drains your health like a special move in a fighting game, real alpha behavior from the genuine alpha prolongs it, this is why i am cautious to recommend “DUDE JUST mimic alpha behavior” in general.

    A rock can never be a tree etc.

    • bicebicebice says:

      Sure, but you can’t improve yourself beyond yourself so much so that you become another person completely, as if that would be desireably?

      • bicebicebice says:

        Go find the biggest loser on the planet and coach him into Chad Supermancock and I will believe you, nothing wrong with realistic expectations and by that I do mean limitations within limits. Chasing holistic perfection is just the advanced way of throwing your life away, why does that sound pessimistic?
        A thalish sperg will never be a people pleaser like Trump, why is it offensive to you to say that? Just keep your self-help within Edenistic guidelines, or do the same thing as everyone else, the thing that just doesn’t work.
        If that is too abstract just do it of the 16 personality normie approved MBTI personality types.

        Maladaptive mindset, now thats just silly along with the rest of your assumptions, especially when you can adapt the environment to your liking instead of tip toeing around other peoples delusions they harbor in that current moment, it is much more efficient and stable. It could save your energy, your wallet and your life!

        • bicebicebice says:

          This is the melon problem, you will steal my constructive criticism whilte at the same time belittle me bigly for the steps provided by my devilsh advocacy.

          Whatever, just give me my montly tithe or you will hear from my rabbi.

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