Conformity as conservative signalling strategy in a low-trust group

This incredible book explains everything an aspie has trouble understanding about human behavior. Here’s how a low-trust environment produces conformity in the smallest detail to avoid accidentally signalling covert malevolence within a rationally paranoid criminal underclass.

The second mistake occurs because of overinterpretation, namely when something that is not a signal is mistaken for one. In a menacing atmosphere people develop a heightened sensitivity to signs, which transforms mere allusions into intimidating or challenging gestures (sometimes mistakenly so). This, on the one hand, aids the signaler, as it extends the pool of signs from which he can choose to produce a threatening effect with minimum effort—the raising of an eyebrow can become a compelling menace.


One can understand why mafiosi develop a stony face; even their eye movement appears exceedingly parsimonious. They are very attentive to many aspects of their demeanor and their appurtenances. Standardizing—everyone doing and wearing the same things, because everyone is watchful about deviations—is one way of “silencing” the communication effects that could be accidentally generated by variations. On the other hand, it is easy to see how receivers’ paranoia can lead them to overinterpret certain gestures and attach a meaning to trivially mundane actions. The testimonies of mafiosi who turned state’s evidence show ad nauseam that every sentence they exchange is scrutinized for potential ambiguity and hidden messages. They are obsessed with details, minute alterations in attire, slips of the tongue.

Diego Gambetto
Codes of the Underworld, pg. 172

So that explains, among about a million other things, why making the OK signal on camera will trigger a witch hunt to send you to the gulag. It also explains nigh the entirety of East Asian culture.

To briefly sum up what I’ve learned from this book: homo sapiens is a born and bred criminal signalling savant, cro magnon is a value system that emerges when you put people in an open room-style prison with high turnover for two hundred generations, and melonheads are all grypsmen aspiring to become the warden.

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13 Responses to Conformity as conservative signalling strategy in a low-trust group

  1. Ø says:


  2. Ø says:

    You do have to distinguish between different factions of grypsmen; i.e. a group of more straightforwardly misanthropic/psychopathic rich people who are not so ideologically concerned vs say the majority of Ashkenazi who have, deep down, convinced themselves that the prison really will become better once they’re the warden.

  3. Ø says:

    See also: Alt-white/Naziism

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      The fascist aesthetic is homophonic, but in practice people aren’t much good at harmonizing so it trends monophonic. Especially when the more monophonically minded keep eating the organist.

  4. Ø says:

    This post also explains why the Shawshank Redemption remains such an enduringly popular film where the main character escapes from prison by taking the redemptive journey through the filthy unconscious mind/Metaphysics/zodiacism (represented by the sewer pipe) and emerges from the lake to come to God–which Ozymandias fails to do in Watchmen (black freighter dream/non-redemptive deep water sequence)

  5. kensuimo says:

    This sounds quite straightforwardly snake but you say it’s sapiens. Qualitative or quantitative cutoff, where, and of what sort?

  6. Ø says:

    It’s interesting how somebody as talented as King could write that but not really understand why it was good and then still proceed to publicly bow at the altar of Globohomo

  7. aiaslives says:

    There’s no point in living if you live like *that*.

  8. aiaslives says:

    I think the reason humans who can think (mostly T-admixtures) don’t understand this (signalling) is because what is story to them is reality to the sapes. Like Aristotle says, a work of art is something you can add nothing and take nothing away from. It is itself. Sapes instinctually objectify everything, so that it all looks comical from the outside and almost poetically morbid in a sense – a high-level gang member gets shot because he wore an offending tie, or some tier-2 nig in africa gets stoned by some tier-1 nig for eyeing a female. So from this perspective, sape lives are like randomized paint-by-number derivates of greek myths put together by a toddler while Thal admixture work and lives are something much more divine, because they don’t always succeed, and never follow a straight path. The reason for shunning sape behavior is self-reverence and self-esteem, earned through (natural or otherwise) rational self-introspection.

  9. aiaslives says:

    Even what sapes think is “high-IQ” is tainted by this – High IQ means you literally become a god, get supermodels, achieve stuff out of nowhere, etcetera. See Limitless (2011) or any Marvel superhero movie. Same bland bullshit repeated over and over with characters with different faces and names, and repeated ad infinitum in the sapes’ head as he dreams of becoming a billionaire tomorrow while being broke today. Also explains the “American Dream” and why so few made it through, and how artificially inflating those numbers gave us Baby Boomers who passed the same patterns to their children with a heavy dose of leftism.

  10. Ø says:

    >You do have to distinguish between different factions of grypsmen; i.e. a group of more straightforwardly misanthropic/psychopathic rich people who are not so ideologically concerned

    ^This would basically be soulless Bankid/snake melon troo-tares whereas with the Ashkenazim you have a lot of soulish humanity floating around in there infused with strong dark tetrad traits (esp machiavellianism and narcissism)

  11. Ø says:

    King uses the sewer pipe/water analogy again in It, along with dead/damned kids who are gnostically enlightened/euphoric and floating around the deadlights (at least in the recent film)

    Most of his better work seems to be expressions of his repressed/diverted religious drive

  12. Pingback: The logic of enforced conformity | Aeoli Pera

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