Author Topic: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned  (Read 14044 times)

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MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« on: December 07, 2015, 10:20:22 AM »
+2
excerpt taken out of an essay in the Sunday New York Times

Born to Be Conned  by MARIA KONNIKOVA
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/opinion/sunday/born-to-be-conned.html?_r=2

Quote

...

Sure, you have to be cruel to want to fool someone else into trusting you when that trust is baseless, but grifters aren’t necessarily psychopathic and cold. Delroy L. Paulhus, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who specializes in what have come to be known as the dark triad traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy), suggests that “Machiavellian” is a better descriptor for what con artists do than “psychopath.” “It seems clear that malevolent stockbrokers like Bernie Madoff do not qualify as psychopaths,” he writes in his 2014 paper “Toward a Taxonomy of Dark Personalities.” “They are corporate Machiavellians who use deliberate, strategic procedures for exploiting others.”

Indeed, people high on the Machiavellianism scale tend to be among the most successful manipulators in society. They are also more convincing liars than the rest of us: In one study, when people were recorded while denying that they had stolen something, those scoring higher on the Machiavellianism scale were believed significantly more than anyone else was.

The spell confidence artists cast is so strong that even when it’s broken, our minds have a hard time wrapping themselves around the notion that we were mistaken. When I pressed Ms. Freedman about the erroneous signature, she remained firm. Had she noticed it, she said, she would have been more likely to take it as a sign of authenticity rather than of something untoward.

“Even if I had noted that, I would have said, ‘no forger would make that mistake,’ ” she said. People have a remarkable instinct for self-preservation.

This is one reason confidence games flourish, why anyone, no matter how honest, is a potential victim: Even as the evidence against them piles up, we hold on to our cherished beliefs.

“When people want to believe what they want to believe,” David Sullivan, a professional cult infiltrator, told the Commonwealth Club of California, a public affairs forum, in July 2010, “they are very hard to dissuade.” And the reason it happens (and often happens to the most intelligent people) is that human nature is wired toward creating meaning out of meaninglessness.

“There’s a deep desire for faith, there’s a deep desire to feel there’s someone up there who really cares about what’s going on,” Mr. Sullivan said. “There’s a desire to have a coherent worldview: There’s a rhyme and reason for everything we do, and all the terrible things that happen to people — people die, children get leukemia — there’s some reason for it. And here’s this guru who says, ‘I know exactly the reason.’ ”

Meaninglessness is, well, meaningless. It’s dispiriting, depressing and discouraging. Nobody wants reality to resemble a Kafka novel.

Before humans learned how to make tools, how to farm or how to write, they were telling stories with a deeper purpose. The man who caught the beast wasn’t just strong. The spirit of the hunt was smiling. The rivers were plentiful because the river king was benevolent. In society after society, religious belief, in one form or another, has arisen spontaneously. Anything that cannot immediately be explained must be explained all the same, and the explanation often lies in something bigger than oneself.

The often-expressed view of modern science is that God resides in the cracks between knowledge. That is, as more of the world is explained — and ends up being not so divine after all — the gaps in what we know are where faith resides. Its home may have shrunk, but it will always exist so there will always be room for things that have to be taken on faith — and for faith itself.

Nobody thinks they are joining a cult, David Sullivan explains. “They join a group that’s going to promote peace and freedom throughout the world or that’s going to save animals, or they’re going to help orphans or something. But nobody joins a cult.” We don’t knowingly embraces false beliefs. We embrace something we think is as true as it gets. We don’t set out to be conned. We set out to become, in some way, better than we were before.

That is the true power of belief. It gives us hope. If we are skeptical, miserly with our trust, unwilling to accept the possibilities of the world, we despair. To live a good life we must, almost by definition, be open to belief. And that is why the confidence game is both the oldest there is and the last one that will still be standing when all other professions have faded away.

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 10:59:55 AM »
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That's an interesting excerpt, money detonator, but what do you think it really means?

Disillusioned

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 11:34:33 AM »
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That's an interesting excerpt, money detonator, but what do you think it really means?

Why would it mean something other than what it's clearly stating? Humans seek beliefs that make them feel like they understand reality, and there are con artists (like Molyneux) who are experts at deceiving and taking advantage of this weakness in others.
“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
― Richard Feynman

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 11:41:49 AM »
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That's an interesting excerpt, money detonator, but what do you think it really means?

Well, normally, it's assumed adults can read an article and can figure out for themselves what the author is trying to communicate.

They usually don't automatically assume there is some hidden "real" meaning that only someone else can provide, like in a "Truth About" or "What they won't tell you" podcast.  ::)

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 12:16:59 PM »
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Well, normally, it's assumed adults can read an article and can figure out for themselves what the author is trying to communicate.

That assumption only works when there's only one possible interpretation, but I think there are many possible interpretations. 

For example, I think the article means that anyone can succeed at anything, provided they speak with conviction and congruence. 

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 02:26:24 PM »
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Well, normally, it's assumed adults can read an article and can figure out for themselves what the author is trying to communicate.

That assumption only works when there's only one possible interpretation, but I think there are many possible interpretations. 

For example, I think the article means that anyone can succeed at anything, provided they speak with conviction and congruence.

Hmmm.  So you mean that people that want to deceive people can succeed, if they speak with conviction and congruence?   
Real men, proper big hairy real men who fight wild animals, naked, in the wilderness, with just a hammer and a copy of UPB, would shout, in their big hairy K-selected manly voices "look at me, I'm K-selected and I'm kicking this bear's ass, and I haven't got any pants on!"   : o )

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 02:37:52 PM »
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Quote

Hmmm.  So you mean that people that want to deceive people can succeed, if they speak with conviction and congruence?

Yes, but I also mean that no one had direct access to the truth, so all we rely on is whether the person speaking to us had conviction and congruence.

This topic is an essential aspect of Game, Pick Up Artistry / Getting Girls.

Disillusioned

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 08:35:18 PM »
+2
This topic is an essential aspect of Game, Pick Up Artistry / Getting Girls.

More like the people advocating Pick Up Artistry etc. are the con artists that the article is warning about.
“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
― Richard Feynman

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 12:27:26 AM »
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This topic is an essential aspect of Game, Pick Up Artistry / Getting Girls.

More like the people advocating Pick Up Artistry etc. are the con artists that the article is warning about.

You speak as if you've studied the material, applied it to your own life, and found it dangerous. But I doubt any of those three are true.  The biggest reason for this is that you don't define what a "con" would mean in this case, nor do you provide a single example of how Pick Up Artistry fits the definition.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 07:56:49 AM by RecentlyBanned »

Disillusioned

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 10:39:49 AM »
+3
This topic is an essential aspect of Game, Pick Up Artistry / Getting Girls.


More like the people advocating Pick Up Artistry etc. are the con artists that the article is warning about.


You speak as if you've studied the material, applied it to your own life, and found it dangerous. But I doubt any of those three are true.  The biggest reason for this is that you don't define what a "con" would mean in this case, nor do you provide a single example of how Pick Up Artistry fits the definition.


Would I need to study and apply scientology to my life in order to call it a con and dangerous? Of course not.

I have studied how undue influence and manipulation works, and I'm able to recognize it in groups I have and haven't been a part of.

If you don't think PUA is a con, I'm sure I can't convince you, but here are a few references for those who are interested:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pick-up_artist

http://www.singledudetravel.com/2011/02/the-pick-up-artist-scam/

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/08/12/why-pick-up-game-hurts-everyone-except-the-guy-shilling-books/
“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 11:59:24 AM »
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Quote


Would I need to study and apply scientology to my life in order to call it a con and dangerous? Of course not.


Now you're blindly asserting that Pick Up Artistry is identical to scientology, without resonating how and why this is so.  And you're ignoring the vast differences between them.



Quote
I have studied how undue influence and manipulation works, and I'm able to recognize it in groups I have and haven't been a part of.


No, you can't. 

And if you're so confident in your recognition abilities and so sure that Pick Up Artists use myriad manipulations and undue influences, then please give five examples of the most blatant ones.

My bet is that you won't be able to name any.


Quote
If you don't think PUA is a con, I'm sure I can't convince you, but here are a few references for those who are interested:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pick-up_artist

http://www.singledudetravel.com/2011/02/the-pick-up-artist-scam/

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/08/12/why-pick-up-game-hurts-everyone-except-the-guy-shilling-books/


Great.   So you can cut and paste links, but can't summarize examples of manipulation and undue influence?

More importantly, YOU made the argument but I have to sift through the material while you put your feet up and do nothing?

Sounds like you're the manipulator, not me.  And not Pick Up Artistry.

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 03:08:14 PM »
+3
LOL Can you please quote where I said that Scientology and PUA are identical? You can't because I never said that. I'm saying that there is no need to apply something to your life before judging it.

I'm not here to educate you. I've posted articles for you to read, and the article that this post was started with also does a good job of explaining manipulation. If I don't want to do more, it's not because I can't. It is because I'm busy and don't care to argue with you.

How have I done nothing? I summarized the article for you. I posted links for you.

Your logic doesn't resemble our Earth logic.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 03:24:44 PM by Disillusioned »
“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”
― Richard Feynman

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2015, 05:31:18 PM »
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LOL Can you please quote where I said that Scientology and PUA are identical? You can't because I never said that. I'm saying that there is no need to apply something to your life before judging it.


Great.   So, on the one hand, I've studied PUA and lived it for quite some time, and I don't think it's either undue influence nor manipulation.   But, on the other hand, you're claiming that it is, despite having never applied it.   

If you're not going to explain your position, why should anyone take your word (based on no experience) over mine (based on direct experience)?




Quote
I'm not here to educate you. I've posted articles for you to read, and the article that this post was started with also does a good job of explaining manipulation. If I don't want to do more, it's not because I can't. It is because I'm busy and don't care to argue with you.


If you're too busy to defend your opinions, why bother stating them?

And don't presume that I need your education, or that you're  knowledgeable enough to educate me.  Especially because I disagree with both and you've demonstrated neither.

So I'll wait for you to post five examples of undue influence and manipulation, in your own words.   Then I'll point out why your examples are neither undue influence nor manipulation.

Otherwise, you'll be the guy who posted an opinion, and hid behind links that he hasn't demonstrated that he's either read not understands.

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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2015, 07:07:53 PM »
+1
If you're too busy to defend your opinions, why bother stating them?

Lol . . .  ;D ;D ;D


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Re: MARIA KONNIKOVA: Born to Be Conned
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2015, 10:47:58 AM »
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One of the essential aspects of those who criticize PUA as undue influence and manipulation is that they can never define FOR THEMSELVES  what the words mean and why PUA exhibits these definitions.

The second and more important aspect is that they share Stefan's desire to define FOR WOMEN what they "should" and "should not" be attracted to, rather than letting the girl determine this for herself.   Just as Stefan is misogynistic whenever doing this, so is anyone who criticizes PUA for these reasons.