Real Empiricists Test
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
In the comments of Saturday’s article about signs you’re in the friend zone, uForia makes the following comment:
“Ive been a long time reader of your articles, and I can’t help but be skeptical at times. Your posts often have a tone of disliking competition from other men, and what makes you even want to help other men? Wouldn’t you be worried that other men will take your girl eventually due to the popularity of this blog? Or does making money off this site offset the potential costs seen there? I know whenever other men ask me for advice, I always tell them to be nice and confident, of course knowing that the advice won’t help at all.
What really are your motivations for your website?”
Leaving aside the suspicions of my motivations for running Girls Chase (which seem to imply that I’ve spent the past 5.5 years of my life, 3.5 of them full time, investing 6,000+ hours of my own time and writing somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words building this site, dealing with all the headaches involved, composing and polishing and curating the content here, and responding to comments in order to wage a long-term, planetary-scale disinformation campaign designed to lead my competition for women down the garden path in order that I might personally have an easier time getting laid), I want to focus on one aspect in particular, and it’s this statement:
“I can’t help but be skeptical at times.”
To be sure, I actively encourage healthy skepticism in anything and everything that doesn’t match up with your prior experience and that you have no way of taking for a trial run.
And I’ll be the last man on Earth to tell you to take anything on
faith alone (or even in large part).
And while I understand holding skepticism about things you have no ability to try out for yourself – things like religion, philosophy, or reports about anything remotely occult-related – the subject matter on this website is almost entirely (with a few dives into the theoretical here and there) not that sort of material.
Every single thing on this site is
designed to be used, tried out, played with, toyed with, experimented
upon, rotated in, weighed against alternatives, and kept if found sound
or chucked if found not... not
rolled around endlessly and skeptically in your mind as you try to make
a decision on whether you want to personally believe it or not.
If you’ve been approaching the material on this site as something that must be taken “on faith”, and waiting for someone else to come along and convince you further, you’ve been coming at it all wrong.
Because I don’t want your faith. Don’t need it, don’t care for it.
Never have, and never will.
Rather, I want your tests.
Because real empiricists don’t take things on faith. Real empiricists test.
What, pray tell, is an empiricist?
An empiricist is someone who believes that real knowledge comes not from thinking about things you have little personal experience with over and over again until, in a flash of inspired insight, you suddenly understand “truth”, but rather that knowledge comes from engaging in collecting experiences and actually doing and sensing things.
An empiricist finds speculation useful only insofar as it can be used to come up with hypotheses, which can then be tested.
We’re here using the term as part of a play on the Steve Jobs phrase “real artists ship”, designed to get his programmers and engineers focused on shipping product, rather than being perfectionists who just chipped away at projects forever and never actually did anything with them.
The concept is the same for us.
I was going to use “scientist” here, and say “real scientists test”, but then you get into semantics, and I have to deal with people complaining that I am not a scientist, because I do not do controlled laboratory studies and submit my findings for peer review. I also do not hold a PhD in anything. I don’t know if I am a “scientist” or “do science”; probably not. I’m just a guy with a website. And I didn’t want some semantics debate to detract from the point of the post.
So, real empiricists test. The point of almost everything on this site is geared around giving you actionable steps based on things I and others have tested out and found useful and effective, and getting you out there using them and discovering whether they work just as well for you yourself.
Speculation and conjecture can pack up and go home; by and large,
is stuff you can immediately test – and should.
Why I Don’t Want Your “Belief”
On the one hand, most anyone who has anything to teach isn’t too terribly excited about spending his time and energy trying to convince people to listen. This is a waste of time better spent on more willing pupils, as we discussed in “How to Find a Mentor.”
On the other hand, neither do I want blind devotees who are followers of the method because they view it as some sort of belief system. Over the years, I’ve seen guys like this pop up, and they are always a headache and an annoyance.
Here’s what I mean.
Every now and again, we get a guy – usually a guy from a deeply religious background – who finds Girls Chase and decides that (maybe because I sometimes speak like a preacher) it is his new religion. He is a True Believer, even more so than the guys who have been methodically and rigorously putting these teachings to work.
He doesn’t need to try it. He believes.
Not long after finding the site he does things like:
- Get massively involved in the community
- Espouse things I and other writers have previously said as dogma
- Take his own preachy attitude toward seduction, lecturing other
- Concern himself with rising through the “hierarchy” of guys on the forum
... which aren’t in and of themselves bad things when they’re being done by someone who’s tested everything out rigorously and come to his own conclusions.
When forum members or commenters are trying to help someone else out, and say, “Well, I haven’t dealt with that myself, but Chase says this [link] / Alek says that [link] / Colt says this other thing [link],” that’s totally fine and helpful.
But these guys take it to an extreme. And pretty soon, they start adding additional pieces to it:
They become increasingly cynical and combative, questioning more senior, experienced members of the boards, other writers, and myself, and often becoming suspicious of us as having devious ulterior motives
They begin espousing increasingly unusual, divorced-from-reality perspectives that seem to be conclusions they’re arriving at purely from speculation
Optional: they start trying to “convert” other members to some new approach they think will be dynamite that they haven’t even tested
... then, they blow up.
The mental models they’ve constructed for themselves based off of guesswork and conjecture run up hard against the belief systems of the other guys, which have been forged in the fires of experience.
They try to convince guys things about women’s behavior, dating, relationships, and sex based on having read extensively from various other sources that don’t match up with what other men have experienced from having actually gone out and had sex and had relationships with women instead.
And when they fail to convert the other guys, and their frustration levels and degrees of cognitive dissonance reach too fevered a pitch, they take their toys and leave, off to find some other cause where they can carve out a niche espousing speculative beliefs and build up a cadre of loyalists to their “cause.”
This is the usual trajectory of the man who takes things solely on faith, and it’s one I’ve watched unfold cyclically over the years.
Why it takes the trajectory it does, I can’t say for sure; all I really know is that because “the faithful” never learn the testing mindset, they never realize that the tools for genuine firsthand knowledge are there at their fingertips the entire time; they never had to take things on faith.
They don’t have to deal with deep inner turmoil, trying to decide what they believe.
All they actually have to do is go do stuff, and let the world sort out for them what’s valid and what isn’t.
The Church of Game
So many things are so easily solved with testing.
You want to know what happens if you text a girl one way instead of another?
Go test it and find out.
What if you ask a girl if she’s single and it turns out she isn’t?
Go test out some different responses and see what happens.
But what if you want to try and kiss a girl and she’s not ready? How can you tell if she is?
Go try and kiss a bunch of girls in different conditions and see how they respond.
Test test test.
Test test test test test.
If you’re not testing, you should be.
If you are not testing, why are you not testing?
Because it’s hard, and you want to have all the answers first?
You won’t get ‘em that way. I promise you.
The education you get out of even the best material is directly proportional to the amount of real world experience you have doing a thing. That’s why someone who’s been restoring old cars all his life can pick up a “how to” manual on restoring a 1962 Ford Fairlane and know exactly what he needs to do after flipping through a few pages, while for a guy who’s never touched a wrench in his life he might as well be reading Greek.
Best thing for the guy who’s never touched a wrench in his life to do if he wants to succeed anyway? Go touch a wrench. Get to work. Play around with sparkplugs and brake pads and chassis and cams. Then check in on the manual intermittently as you get more and more experience working with old automobiles and be amazed at how things jump out at you you didn’t even realize were there before.
Seduction – and Girls Chase, for that matter – isn’t church. You don’t come here, get it downloaded into your brain, wrestle with it mentally for a while, and then you’ve got it and you’re an über-player.
You either take small bits of knowledge you get here that seem useful and applicable, go out and use them, then come back and get more later once you have more reference points, or else you’re just going to end up wasting your time trying to decide if something is realistic or not without the necessary reference points to ever arrive at an actual, results-backed opinion.
That’s like sitting in a room with no windows and reading differing
reports about the weather online and trying to make up your mind about
whether you believe there is snow or grass on the ground outside your
house. Quit your damn deliberating
and go walk outside and see for yourself.
Real empiricists don’t deliberate. They don’t subscribe to a belief system because it “sounds nice.” That’s for the religious, and those more concerned with talk than deeds.
You know what real empiricists do instead?
Real empiricists TEST.
You want a belief system?
Great – here’s mine.
There aren’t any sure-thing answers in there?
That’s because I can’t test ‘em.
If I can’t test it, it’s all but irrelevant to me. Some theorizing is nice from time to time. But only if its conclusions are testable.
Now, let me tell you just why I find it a not-so-good use of my time arguing with people who haven’t tested out the material, and why you probably should too.
How People Decide If You’re Right
Do you know how people decide if you’re right?
It isn’t by weighing the facts, if that’s what you thought.
Nope – you’re
more likely to believe someone who’s confident than someone who’s
actually an expert. Further, the more frequently you hear a
statement or argument, the more firmly you believe it, even if it’s the
same person saying it again and again. Thus, if some girl you know
tells you over and over again that women don’t want sex, only
relationships, eventually you can’t help but start believing it.
Additionally, due to the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which I covered on here some time ago, quite often, the people who know the LEAST are the MOST confident and outspoken about their beliefs.
So here’s what happens, when you have non-testers start smacking you with their beliefs, doubts, and suspicions:
They’ve heard advice that conflicts with yours a lot more often than they’ve heard yours – for instance, the mainstream advice that you should wine and dine a woman, share your feelings with her if you like her, and wait to make a move until at least the third date if you don’t want to scare her off. All that stands in stark contrast to what they read here, so right off the bat they wonder if those of us on GC aren’t a bunch of out-of-touch loons
The people around them are 100% confident in their correctness, telling them things like, “Of course I would never date a guy who didn’t pay for a date!”, which causes them to view said sources as far more credible than myself and other writers on this site, who tend to use a lot of if-then situations, since we find the real world a bit more complex and nuanced than most people make it out to be
Because they have not actually tested anything out, they overestimate their own ability to understand the world by a great extent, not having any reference experiences to check various flights of fancy. Then, despite having little or no real world experience themselves (or, perhaps, because of this), they draw heavy-handed conclusions about the state of the world, and if what you’re saying doesn’t fit within the frame of those conclusions, they assume you must be nutty, devious, or downright wrong
Then they come to you with eyebrows raised, dissonance that needs soothing, and doubts that need to be resolved, ready to engage you in a battle of ideas.
But I don’t need to battle their ideas, and neither do you. I, for one, have heard them all a million times before, and so will you if you remain in this space long enough. I have even tested them, just to see how they stack up to the alternatives (or, often, because I initially thought these ideas were right, too, and didn’t test out what I currently do until I tried the mainstream approach and found it decidedly lacking in impact).
So, I tell them what I know if they’re interested and send them off to go try it out, but then, if they can’t or won’t do that, I give them a gentle shrug. My days of arguing religion and politics are far behind me.
I am not your pastor, nor can I be, nor will I.
The Salvation of Experimentation
So, if you find yourself damned to the hell of eternal speculation, how to you make it out? Wherein lies your salvation?
The answer, my children, lies not with proclamation, but experimentation.
Only by experimenting for yourself will you acquire the real world reference points to know what works and what does not.
Only by running your own trials will you discover that XYZ piece of advice from ABC source does not work from you, for whatever reason, but DEF advice and GHI advice from MNO other source work perfectly.
Only by tweaking and trying and playing around will you build an accurate model of the world, instead of a derivative model based on others’ derivative models that were themselves derived from derivatives further still.
Real empiricists test.
You won’t learn how to ask a girl out by reading every article and watching every video on the Internet, asking all of your friends, and then averaging those answers for your winner.
That’s like trying to decide what option to pursue to treat the cancer you’ve been newly diagnosed with having by reading everything online you can get your hands on, talking to a few doctors, and getting a bunch of friends’ and confident strangers’ opinions, and then picking the average of all of that: “Drink 5 green smoothies every day between the hours of 3 PM and 2 AM, and meditate on the 7 chakras after lunch.”
Instead, you pick someone who seems like he knows what he’s talking about (hopefully, in the cancer example, an oncologist of some sort), test out what he’s telling you to do, and find out if it works.
The Futility of “Convince Me”
Over the years, I’ve had various people come to me and ask me to “convince them.”
I used to get mired in trying my hand at it, but these days, my response is always the same: “No.”
Why should anyone spend his precious time and lifeblood trying to convince someone to go try out something he can just go try out?
I’m not going to try to convince you there’s snow on the ground. Go stand up and go look for yourself. Or don’t. You’re the one who keeps saying you want to go sledding. What’s it to me, or anybody else, if you do or don’t?
My theory these days is that the “convince me” people are not actually looking to “find the answer” for the thing they’re allegedly trying to find the answer for.
You know what I think they want? Debate. Hot, dirty, lusty debate.
Which is totally great and bully for them, but when you’re a busy person, debating with people about whether they ought to buy Cavendish bananas or Lady Finger bananas when they’ve never tried either and don’t want to try one until they’re certain they’re going to like it is an exercise in futility. It adds nothing to my life, and if you’re a busy person who’s on the make himself, chances are it adds nothing to your life too.
And if you find yourself doing this... endlessly questioning and looking for more debate about something that you could just go and do?
Ask yourself WHY you’re doing it.
Is it because you’re scared to take the plunge and are just looking for ways to stall doing so?
Or... is it because you really don’t CARE about taking action, and instead care more about “being right” – and asserting some kind of intellectual dominance over anyone with differing world views from yours?
I’m happy to have people try out the stuff I lay out for them to do, but I’m fine for them to do something entirely different if they prefer, or nothing at all. We each of us lives his own life, does his own thing, and selects his own path.
But please, I beg you – don’t come to me and tell me you’re
You SHOULD be skeptical – but I’m not here to convince you.
Convincing you is your job. Or rather, the job of
Want to be convinced? Shut the laptop or put away the smart phone, get up, open the door, and go talk to some girls.
They will do far more convincing for you one way or another in 10 hours of approaching and attempting than a thousand hours of debating Chase Amante’s recommendations with Chase Amante could ever do.
Real empiricists test, my friends.
Now, get thee to some women, and engage thyself in thine experiments.
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