15/30: Beginners’ Truths

I was out coaching a guy a few weeks ago (don’t get excited, I’m starting small, very small), and we were talking about one of my recent dates. I told him that I didn’t go for the bounce home because I didn’t think that it was on. He replied by asking me which circumstances would lead to that, but it appeared to be framed as “why would you ever do that?!”

I’ve been thinking about that conversation because it relates to a beginners’ truth: always go for the bounce back.

Beginners’ advice is designed to filter heavily for Yes girls so that you can collect reference experiences. Of course, as time and your skill (hopefully) progresses the advice actually becomes a hindrance because you don’t develop your calibration. Other beginners’ truths include: always go for the number, always try to sidestep the boyfriend objection, and always do ten sets in two hours. The common denominator is “always”.

Something similar is going on when I say that I am trying to minimise the number of Yad stops that I do. When I’ve discussed this with V, he jokingly calls it “heretical thought”. And the joke is submerged in truth, because it’s easy to follow that up with “but [name PUA] says always do XYZ”. The thing, I agree with what the name PUA is saying, for beginners. Hence: “beginner’s truth”.

It genuinely is the best course of action for a beginner to follow those guidelines to the letter. To them, they have to believe that the beginners’ advice is the truth. They need to be able to outsource the management of all their doubts to an enormous edifice: Game literature. However, as you progress those pieces of advice become less effective; you start to spot opportunities where diverging from the advice is more fruitful. Over time, the beginners’ truth becomes “less true”.

How can something become “less true”? In the world of objectivity, that can’t be the case. Things either are, or they aren’t. To tie up the loose ends we need to think not about pursuing the Truth (capital T), but pursuing what’s Good or Virtuous (virtue coming from the Greek word arete meaning excellence). The question changes from “what are the immutable laws of Game” to “which method of Game allows me to reach the highest level of excellence”. It changes from a rigid statement for the lowest common denominator, to an individualised statement which maximises your personal happiness.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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