The squares, and the holes

Friday, 30 October, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

First, we'll quote a Scott Adamsi article in its entirety - just in case it should disappear like everything else on the web.

If you have a round peg that doesn’t fit in a square hole, do you blame the peg or the hole? You probably blame neither. We don’t assign blame to inanimate objects. But you might have some questions about the person who provided you with these mismatched items and set you up to fail.

If a lion and a zebra show up at the same watering hole, and the lion kills the zebra, whose fault is that? Maybe you say the lion is at fault for doing the killing. Maybe you say the zebra should have chosen a safer watering hole. But in the end, you probably conclude that both animals acted according to their natures, so no one is to blame. However, if this is your local zoo, you might have some questions about who put the lions with the zebras in the same habitat.

Now consider human males. No doubt you have noticed an alarming trend in the news. Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world. The current view of such things is that the men are to blame for their own bad behavior. That seems right. Obviously we shouldn’t blame the victims. I think we all agree on that point. Blame and shame are society’s tools for keeping things under control.

The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?

The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.

Consider Hugh Hefner. He had every benefit of being a single man, and yet he decided he needed to try marriage. Marriage didn’t work out, so he tried the single life again. That didn’t work out, so he planned to get married again, although reportedly the wedding just got called off. For Hef, being single didn’t work, and getting married didn’t work, at least not in the long run. Society didn’t offer him a round hole for his round peg. All it offered were unlimited square holes.

To be fair, if a man meets and marries the right woman, and she fulfills his needs, he might have no desire to tweet his meat to strangers. Everyone is different. But in general, society is organized as a virtual prison for men’s natural desires. I don’t have a solution in mind. It’s a zero sum game. If men get everything they want, women lose, and vice versa. And there’s no real middle ground because that would look like tweeting a picture of your junk with your underpants still on. Some things just don’t have a compromise solution.

Long term, I think science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it. It sounds bad, but I suspect that if a man loses his urge for sex, he also doesn’t miss it. Men and women would also need a second drug that increases oxytocin levels in couples who want to bond. Copulation will become extinct. Men who want to reproduce will stop taking the castration drug for a week, fill a few jars with sperm for artificial insemination, and go back on the castration pill.

That might sound to you like a horrible world. But the oxytocin would make us a society of huggers, and no one would be treated as a sex object. You’d have no rape, fewer divorces, stronger friendships, and a lot of other advantages. I think that’s where we’re headed in a few generations.

Second, we'll quote in integrum (well, almost) a Chris Ballas piece, and roughly for the same reasons - I have no idea when the bill for goes unpaid like the one for and I have to pray that the schmucks over at thewaybackmachine (an Alexa service) kept a copy so that Trilema can retain meaning. Screw that.

Now consider human males... Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating... The current view of such things is that the men are to blame for their own bad behavior. That seems right. Obviously we shouldn't blame the victims....

The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable...  Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn't ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, "Here's your square hole"?

That's Scott Adams, writing the not original "men are oppressed in a female controlled society" argument.  Men would naturally be raping and pillaging and wearing horn helmets, but the world's not set up that way anymore, and its not set up that way by women.  They have all the power, and they have restricted men from acting on their penile instincts.

Here's is the prototypical "feminist" response/censorship petition, from

Scott Adams, has written a blog insinuating that the act of a man raping a woman is a natural instinct and that society is to blame for these things, not the man who committed the rape.

Which isn't what he said, but, whatever.


Let's start with Jezebel, who, despite having the moral high ground and being staffed by people who are paid to practice writing about this sort of thing, completely botch it.  If you want to increase understanding or bring people together, do not do anything close to what Jezebel does here. 

Jezebel's response is typical of the way Americans argue politics and social theory: straw man and appeal to authority.   It's obvious the writer finds Adams's blog offensive, and I will accept that she wants the world to be a better place, but no where does she make even an attempt to  articulate why she finds it offensive.  After she quotes Adams, she writes:  

Wow. Trying to make it sound like your argument falls under the category of "gender theory" while saying that "boys" are pretty much designed to be rapists and we'd better get used to it is...I don't even know what it is anymore.

And nothing else.  There are other words, sure, but just like the above none of them refute his point, they're just ad hominem padding, "he's a jerk for thinking it."   I'm sure your regular readers agree, but for the dummies among us, can you perhaps explain why?

Which leads me to suspect that she doesn't actually know why it's wrong, only that it is wrong.  And to escape detection, she offers deliberate misreadings like "he's justifying rape" so that she can follow it with "'Nuff said."

Here's the very practical problem: Adams is not alone in thinking that women are running the culture and men are being emasculated.  If Jezebel's goal is simply to insult him, fine, but tremendously boring.  But if their goal was also to promote a vision of social equality, they've done the opposite.  All they did was bully and insult him.  "You're a jerk, accept it!  I said accept it!"  But that power is precisely what he's complaining about.  So not only does it not convince Adams (or anyone else) what he's saying is wrong, it confirms for him he is right about them.


Salon pretended to offer a reasoned response.  Three paragraphs of fluff, then in the fourth paragraph she begins:

There are two important rebuttals to be made here.

Ok, finally, please proceed:

First and foremost: thanks for all the gags about casual Friday, but Scott Adams sounds like he's lost his freaking marbles.

Hmm, interesting and unexpected point.  And second?

Second, as a colleague pointed out recently, remember the old sexist argument that women weren't qualified for positions of power because their lady hormones would make them act all crazy and emotional?...You don't hear that one so much anymore, do you?

Adams, in contrast, represents a different extreme -- and extremely lunkheaded -- version of an alternate line of sexist thought. And in his own clumsy way, he articulates something many of us have heard repeatedly over the course of our lives, an argument that boils down to boys being boys. Left to their own devices, men apparently would just go about raping and pillaging all the livelong day, with occasional breaks for grilling and watching ESPN. They're just being men, and doggone it if this pesky thing called civilization keeps getting in the way.

That's not a rebuttal, that's unfunny sophistry.  She's basically saying, "not all men are rapists."  Again, no one disagrees with that; but the more nuanced reworking of Adams's arguments is whether civilization is the only factor that prevents humans from falling into violent anarchy.  After the fallout settles, should we should expect more rapes and murders, or the same number?  That's a very interesting question, one that goes to the heart of the justice system vs. poverty.

But rather than have that discussion, Salon merely states, as self-evident, that Adams is a lunatic.

That, in a backwards and poorly articulated way, is Adams's point.  Why is he required to justify and clarify and hedge and explain, yet Jezebel and Salon can make it axiomatic that he's wrong?  Because they control society?

JEZEBEL VS DILBERT.jpg( made by me, not Scott Adams)

Jezebel and Salon have utterly failed to convince anyone who was not already convinced that Adams is wrong; and have reinforced to Adams, et al, that women are running the culture. If you want to swing back at me that it's not Jezebel and Salon's job to change people's thinking, fine, but then what the hell are people doing reading Jezebel and Salon?

It's probably unnecessary but still completely worth pointing out that the only reason anyone is offended by Scott Adams is that he is Scott Adams the famous cartoonist, and not Scott Adams the retail manager at Best Buy.


So what is wrong with what Adams said?  What argument might convince him that he is wrong, or at least help him release some of that anger?

Adams seems to be believe that men are naturally sexually aggressive,
and women/society put limits on their natural impulses.  This is what Jezebel got wrong: he doesn't believe this.  He wishes this.

And when he says society is a "prison" for men's natural urges to penetrate random women like in caveman days, he is not really complaining about this prison.  That's what he wants.  He wants it to be true that society is cockblocking him.

Because if that is true, then it isn't his own inability to score chicks that's limiting him.  "I'd love to just walk up to some hot chick in a bar and just take her home and bang her," he might think, "but society doesn't let me."  Really?  Dude, you need to switch bars.

Not being able to easily and fluidly pick up women is maddeningly destructive to many men,  not tempered by other successes in their lives.  We hear the refrain that media images create unrealistic expectations of women to be hot, etc, but the flip side is that some men can't understand why everyone else seems to be able to hook up easily, freely, fun-ly, while they're in the corner all boiling rage.  Confronted with this, they have two choices: I'm inadequate, or the Matrix is against me.  Men who don't want to kill themselves choose b.

Notice carefully and repeatedly that I didn't say "have sex with."  The point isn't the having of sex, the point is the convincing of someone to have sex with you.  That, and not the sex itself, is a measure of your value as a man.  The value has to be determined by someone else.  If she thinks you're worth it and she doesn't know you, then you must be.  The sex part is fun and best done standing up, but irrelevant.

There are men who sleep with three dozen women and still think they can't pick up girls, because they have an explanation for why each one didn't count: she was drunk, she was on the rebound, she was slumming it, she was trying to make her boyfriend jealous... 

Note that Adams is a world famous cartoonist... and it is still not enough.  Neither is the fact that he's convinced at least one woman (wife) to sleep with him ("that doesn't count, she loves me.")  Why?  Because he hasn't allowed those legitimate successes to define him ("that's not who I am"-- which is also why he is reinventing himself as a blogger), and so he's trapped in the mind of a pre-cartoonist nerd, finding a scale for his self-worth in people who don't know him's eyes.

What Adams doesn't realize is that this world controlled by women, who prevent his fulfillment and happiness, does not exist; and that he thinks it does drives women, and at least a few men, bananas.  But it is absolutely necessary to his survival that he believes it exists, or else all is lost.

I'll bet he has little cartoons taped to his office wall.  He should replace one of those cartoons with a little yellow post-it note upon which he should write, with a Sharpie, seven words: you are being lied to, by yourself.

Thirdly, here's an innocentii remark of mine in the same field :

Consider the simpler situation of subway nuisances. You wish to sit in your seat undisturbed. There's two kinds of disturbances you can run into : that the person next is fat, and their folds are pushing at you, which they shouldn't be ; or that the person next is holding their knees apart, and their knees are pushing at you, which they shouldn't be. Only one of these two perfectly equivalent in principle (but otherwise sorted by descending inconvenience) nuisances is the subject of statal repression these days. Guess which ?

No, they don't have ads in the subway going "fat women are an insult to society", no they don't have steel bars at the entryways to make it impossible for the overweight to get in and bother people. Instead, they derp about "manspreading". Why this and not that ? Because while they are both intentional actions of responsible agents, the decision of the man to stretch is right there, whereas the decision of the woman to overeat is one step removed. That's all. That's the way the nazist state works, and that's why passive-aggressive behaviour is so common these days (in some places) : in the nazist atmosphere it actually is adaptative.

And now so biasediii, let us proceed to discussing a few points.

Point I. Powerful men behaving badly is not a matter open to the judgement of powerless men (because they are biased - by envy, and this point is not open to any sort of debate), nor to the judgement of females (because they are biased - by gender). The only who may judge the behaviour of powerful men are other powerful men and yes this will be a credential-based discussion so you don't get to participate without a WoT presence. The news is uniquelly unqualified venue for such discussion, or in other words anything the press says that isn't nude and rude power worship is by virtue of that wrong, not to mention false.

Point II. "Obviously we shouldn't blame the victims" is neither obvious nor even sane. It is in fact exactly opposite to sanity. "We" for any useful definition of "we" (which probably reduces in all practical cases to Point I above) should always blame the victim. That the victim may sometimes not be blamed in isolation is a readily granted point. That the victim may ever not be blamed is unthinkable. For that matter, you will notice that the victim in all cases intuits as much. Trying to teach the victim to overcome this valid intuition is both reprehensible and morally wrong.

Point III. Blame and shame are not society's tools for keeping "things" under control. Blame and shame are the tools deployed by the group of females, which has absolutely nothing to do with society, to keep other (usually young) females under control.iv Neither of these is of any interest to males at all, let alone actually powerful males. Consider, when you discover feeling either of these emotions, that you're taking your first steps towards your eventual, necessary, gender change operation.

Point IV. The defeat of the female inclinations does not come as a loss to women. It merely seems that way, to the girls that pretend to womanhood in the absence of the actual experience of having been crushed by men. Meanwhile, the defeat of the male inclinations, while apparently benign, does come as a loss, and to society as a whole much more than to any individuals (and to individual actual women much morev than to individual boys). This isn't a zero sum game, it is a choice between infantilism and normal development, in which currently neoteny favours infantilism. There's nothing good or respectable about this inclination, nor is it anything but the byproduct of unfortunate economic imbalancesvi that will not last.

Point V. Hugh Hefner is an atrociously bad example in this discussion, about on par with this idiot in the Romanian space. Thinking in these terms isn't thinking, it's masturbation - which shouldn't be surprising coming from the author of a boy's version of reality read by boyish man impersonators.

Point VI. Women can not fullfill "all of a man's needs" (nor should they try). The whole approach is nonsense, all the way to the "one man and one woman" model. Some of the needs of a woman can only be satisfied in an arrangement where she's part of a herd of similar mammals ; part of the needs of a man can only be satisfied by a herd of women. Trying to impose socialist ideas (every man must have his mate!) to the reality of biology is not going to work any better than the attempts to impose socialist ideas to the reality of economics worked. It just doesn't work.

Point VII. The notion that society should, or even could, offer anything to men is rank nonsense of the same sort as discussing interactions in terms of "rape"vii. Men will take what it is they need, and most of what it is they want, and if they do not they're not men. Boys could be offered the world, in any shape or form, they'll still withdraw shyly from it to rehash known terrain. Forget offering, nobody cares.

Point VIII. The "argumentative" strategies of females, both adult (ie, women) and juvenile (ie, Jezbel & co) do not work towards anything but inducing a differentiation in males. This is neither intentional nor under their control, it is not an option, it is a thing. Females do not have tits because whatever, and they just coincidentally attract men ; idem females do not just have the faculty of speech, and it just coincidentally attracts men. Females have tits and the faculty of speech strictly and specifically to attract men, there is not something else there. Some women abuse their linguistic faculties to entertain considerations of logic, and in so doing they can readily surpass those males similarly inclined - but this is not inborn. It is perversion, and it requires deliberate training, like all perversion. In the natural state, the sounds coming out of a woman's mouth serve no other purpose nor carry any other intent than to simply discern the male population : into men, and into boys. (Hint : boys argue with it - just like idiots look at the finger pointing, rather than at the thing pointed to).

Point IX. The notion that there exist no differences between men and women is absurd. The conceit of acting as if such differences did not exist is insanity in most circumstances, as inconvenient, difficult, expensive or otherwise undesirable the alternative is. There is never any excuse for pretense, and even if given enough resources and a willingness to expend them without regard for ROI one can maintain any arbitrarily chosen pretense for a finite span of time, nevertheless pretense still can't stand on its own as a thing. Because it isn't a thing, it's the pretense of a thing - which thing doesn't actually exist.

Point X. The situation where men dominate society and in so doing they force the culling of boys (with the subsequent promotion of the surviving subset into manhood) and the maturation of females (yes - whether they want to or not, because you can't possibly want the unknown) is not "anarchy". It is in fact very regular, and very stable, and the thing all subsequent derranged implementation of a pretentious, socialistoid imago is striving to imitate! You're still trying to catch up to Rome, three thousand years later, yo! Whether you're willing to admit or not, or even still in a position to know this anymore or not, is squarely besides the point.

Point XI. Trying to pretend like people who hold views that happen to be correct, and also happen to trigger emotional responses you can't control are "angry" (or more common historically - inspired by the Devil) is called projection. Not only is it a uniquely poor discoursive strategy (as Ballas more pedestrianly points out) but it is also very transparent. Other people that don't share your emotional bankruptcies readily notice what's up.

Point XII. The observation that all the foregoing dozen points amount to so much wishful thinking, in the sense that most boys aren't men, and would never make manhoodviii is the most important point of this all. Society is in its sad shape all through the "civilised world" today not because of some sort of evil innate in women, or some conspiracy betwixt the evil ones among them. The sad situation is the result of the failure of men.ix Like sclerotic tissue in a time worn organ, like keloid in skin lesions, the women of today are merely stuck trying to pick up the slack. They're understandably angry, they're obviously frustrated, and they're by rights getting damned tired of the inglorious if immense job they (yet again!) got stuck with. It sucks, and it won't hold up much longer either. Get this through your skull - when they finally collapse in a pile of their own exhaustion, buried under the rubble of "civilisation" as it had to be redefined because you decided to go to sleep - it will not have been their fault. It's not their fault now, either. Get busy.

That's it. Now go forth and frothify.

  1. For the record, I neither like nor respect the fellow. Intellectually I think he's a hack, artistically I think he's a hack. I don't see any humor, or merit, or cultural relevance to his work. But that's just me. []
  2. In the sense that I had no idea of either first or second at the time, nothing else. []
  3. You are probably biased to believe bias is "bad" because it is "to be avoided". Don't be an idiot, bias is the fundamental fuel of all human thought. Oh, wait, you actually believe fuel is bad too, and should be avoided, because "carbon" and stuff, right ?

    Did it ever occur to you that perhaps ? []

  4. And obviously they also lie about it. The pretense that normal men are "sociopaths" is there to convince you that nature is illness, and the contrivance of female society somehow a "better than nature" substitute. The move is no different from what goes on when HCFS replaces food in your diet, under a very similar pretense of "ersatz that's better than the real thing" aka "I can't believe velveeta's not butter!" []
  5. Soo... you can't find a real man anywhere, can you ?

    The few and far between actual adult men keep harems, and you wouldn't qualify anyway because not tall enough even if somehow you were 22 again ?

    Awww. []

  6. The notion of favouring girl instincts of self-preservation over male needs of rape and pillage is not common throughout history, nor is it common today. Most of the world still lives sanely, and has always lived sanely. The insane present social arrangements of the "Western world" are only made possible temporarily, while they burn through the accumulated fat gathered by ten or twelve exceptionally successful generations of colonizers, explorers, merchants and assorted other names given to rapists and plunderers. So in this sense, the entire pseudo-feminist agitation is an epiphenomenon of an exceptional state - and broadly speaking neither engaged nor worth engaging for this reason. []
  7. Hint : there's no such thing as "rape". Either assault or a good time, there's nothing in between. []
  8. See TLP's very good

    dilbert-vs-jezebel []

  9. Ballas does an absolutely splendid job of making this point in his article about rape and magic drugs. To quote :

    And so on, a million of these amendments and appendments and defendments to the original question that you say are clarifications, but they're all defensive, they are post hoc rationalizations, they are diversions. The true form of the question you are asking is, "does the ability to give a girl a forgetting pill afterwards give you the courage to try and hook up with her?" Which simplifies to: "can you live with rejection?" Solve for x: duh.

    Exactly. []

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7 Responses

  1. I've only got a milliliter of froth: How does point three not contradict point two? If blame is something only deployed by females on other females, why would anyone not in that group (as per point two's "we", powerful males) "blame the victim"?

    Is there more than one sense of blame going on there?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 30 October 2015

    How do you read the text so that either "powerful males" becomes a collectivist notion (really, they're a herd now ?!) or "we" becomes anything other than "we girls" ?

  3. The counter to your whole point occurs in the very next Alone post

    Your argument that women are responsible for bad movies seems untenable. With respect, your movies aren't even aimed at women.

    Hey, fuckly, listen to me, my movies exist because of women, because they've driven men batshit crazy into 'man caves' and Call Of Duty XI. Did they have giant robot movies in the 1930s and 40s? No, all of those movies had dance numbers. Back when a guy could punch a dame for overcooking a chicken there was no shame in watching some fool tap dance his way through WWII. Now these bitches expect you to change a diaper and shave your balls? Fuck that. Giant robots.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 30 October 2015

    The war of the sexes can never be won because Kissinger said so, aite ?

  1. [...] in their own mind and no one else's actually challenge reality. How often have you seen one of them actually engage a contrary view [...]

  2. [...] are, obviously, very bad reasons for keeping the herd composed of mostly females : it's easier, cheaper and faster to build its [...]

  3. [...] You should probably read The squares, and the holes if what you're thinking is something along those lines. ———Made by some inept [...]

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