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Power Posing and the Social Science Replication Crisis

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Statistics professor Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung write in Slate:

The Power of the “Power Pose”

Amy Cuddy’s famous finding is the latest example of scientific overreach.

By Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung

As practicing statisticians who work in social science, we have a dark secret to reveal: Some of the most glamorous, popular claims in the field are nothing but tabloid fodder. The weakest work with the boldest claims often attracts the most publicity, helped by promotion from newspapers, television, websites, and best-selling books. And members of the educated public typically only get one side of the story.

Consider the case of Amy Cuddy. The Harvard Business School social psychologist is famous for a TED talk, which is among the most popular of all time, and now a book promoting the idea that “a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful.”

In the future, the human race will be ruled by women who look like Phoebe on Friends.

The so-called “power pose” is characterized by “open, expansive postures”—Slate’s Katy Waldman described it as akin to “a cobra rearing and spreading its hood to the sun, or Wonder Woman with her legs apart and her hands on her hips.” In a published paper from 2010, Cuddy and her collaborators Dana Carney and Andy Yap report that such posing can change your life and your hormone levels.

But when somebody attempted to replicate Cuddy’s popular study using a more sufficient sample size than Cuddy’s 42, they instead got a tiny negative effect size.

Overachievers

Still, the idea of improving your mood through power posing doesn’t sound wholly implausible. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a careful student of the interplay of posture, self-confidence, and success. Donald Trump has kept using the posture drilled into him at military school. I wouldn’t be surprised if overachievers tend to have better posture than underachievers: that seems like a hypothesis that could be studied. (Of course, that wouldn’t answer the question of which way causality flows, but it would be a start.)

But how exactly are we supposed to test motivational techniques that are premised on subjects believing that they work? If you pay $100 to attend a motivational workshop at which a very confident-sounding Arnold Schwarzenegger teaches the packed audience the posture that helped him intimidate Lou Ferrigno at a cocktail party before the start of a 1970s bodybuilding competition and assures you that it will work for you too in your next job interview, can we really replicate that experience in a psychology laboratory by having a neutral-sounding grad student read instructions from an index card?

The first study had an incentive to persuade subjects that power posing works (that’s news) and the second study had an incentive to persuade subjects that it didn’t work (that’s news). My impression from my years as a market researcher is that people are pretty cooperative about things that the researchers care about more than they care about.

I haven’t looked at the details of the various studies, but I want to go back to a more general question of how to test hypotheses dependent upon moods that may well change over time.

As I’ve pointed out before, a lot of the social sciences in recent decades, having quietly discovered that reality tends to be politically incorrect, have transitioned toward becoming wings of the marketing and motivational industries. There’s a lot of money in persuading people via marketing and motivational speaking.

And it’s actually a good thing in terms of long term income generation for marketing researchers if people don’t necessarily stay persuaded, but need to be re-persuaded.

Granted, much of the prestige of the social sciences comes from the assumption that they work like natural sciences such as astronomy, in other words, permanently: if you discover that the earth goes around the sun, the earth probably is going to keep going around the sun. But then how do you make money off that? It’s been done.

Marketing researchers make a decent living because the effects of even successful marketing wear off, requiring new marketing ideas and more marketing research studies.

It’s a living.

Even if, best case scenario, power posing worked five years ago when it was obscure, would it be all that surprising if people got sick of power posers as its gimmicks became more publicized?

 

204 Comments to "Power Posing and the Social Science Replication Crisis"

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  1. I watched some of Cuddy’s Ted Talk. She ‘uhs’ and ‘you knows’ a lot, and sounds quite nervous at points, but her body language is indeed okay. I wonder, though, how effective her body language would be if she didn’t look like a TV star.

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  2. If the effect of power posing only works in the moment, and people resent seeing you doing it, then sure, the utility of it could go away. But you could probably get similar or better results from barbell training. When you can squat your body weight below parallel, it changes your outlook and the way you carry yourself.

    The interesting thing, given that, is that many go-getters do the opposite of lifting: distance running, even when it makes them feel worse.

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  3. If you want to understand posture and power, watch a video of Vladimir Putin talking to any other world leader (virtually all of whom are taller than him). He only moves his eyes when speaking to them.

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  4. since this rings bells re Game Community, herewith a true story.

    a pretty girl who played soccer in college was interested in me and invited me out with my friend who was obviously in her friend zone. I say she was interested in me not wanted me because she knew me by reputation and couldn’t figure me out. She knew of me through the basketball team I played on til I was 16, she knew why I’d been to prison, and she knew from the time I’d met her before that I did not seem to be that guy at all. So she was interested in me. Well this is already longer than I intended it to be. Suffice to say, that day I learned why the pick up artists are a bunch of frauds: girls know all the tricks already and they know when they think your tricking them. Recall the term feminine wiles. I played along just for fun and played like a gentle guy who was being interviewed. Til I got drunk and assumed a power pose with some barflys who I could tell had been observing us with sort of jovial jealousy. That’s when she metted. Power poses work. But can they be taught? Well my mom always called me languid growing up, and no I don’t think that can be taught.

  5. The photos of Putin and DiCaprio having a stare-off are a pretty memorable.

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  6. says:
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    I’ve noticed that the work psychologists affiliated with business schools tend to do is very inane, like this power pose stuff and BS about leadership and teamwork. You’d think it’d be more sophisticated and interesting given the role of psychology in sales and marketing, the basic fundamentals of commerce.

  7. How seriously are we supposed to take Amy Cuddy as a social scientist when her photo features a cleavage revealing front? It’s clearly a posed shot, so she had the option to go with something less attention whoring.

    • Agree: AndrewR
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  8. Her neck seems unusually long.

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  9. Someone should do a study about above average looking women and their ability to fool the world with dubious scientific claims. Cuddy and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos etc.

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  10. If you want to power pose effortlessly then be tall.

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  11. We know that there is a strong mind-body connection, so feeling more dominant by making yourself look more dominant shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. We also know that placebo effects are real and powerful.

    Here are three classic experiments in autosuggestion that you can try on yourself. Two are quick; one takes a while:

    One, imagine that you have a peeled lemon in your hand. Try to see it. Feel the weight. Smell it. Now remove a section. Take it to your mouth. Bite down on the lemon.

    Did your mouth just water?

    Two, the next time you have an ache or hurt, rub the affected body part lightly but quickly while saying or whispering over and over to yourself, so fast that it’s a slur, “Ca passe” (Pronounced “sah pass.”)

    Did the pain become less or go away?

    Three, and this one takes some time, say to yourself every day, several times before falling asleep, and whenever else the urge strikes, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” It sounds hokey, but try it for at least a month.

    One that I came up on my own and have been using for about the last six months is every time I have the urge to say, “Life sucks” I say, “Life is good!” instead. It seems to be helping.

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  12. Someone should do a study about above average looking women and their ability to fool the world with dubious scientific claims. Cuddy and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos etc.

    As far as persuasion goes, Angela Merkel seems to have been extraordinarily effective. Yet I’d wager she’s never been in danger of winning the face of Revlon contract.

    Her whole approach and demeanour is more redolent of a hospital matron – the senior nurse – from 1950s England. Assertive body language is a big part of the cluster that makes that effective. It fires off Über matriarch response mental sub-routines, especially in men.

    Whereas Amy Cuddy seems mainly to be advertising her tits, which, to be fair to her, are appetisingly well presented and likely to fire off a ‘I’d like to play with those mental response sub-routines, at least in normal men. If I click on her TED talk video, which I haven’t just yet, it would be motivated more by lasciviousness than interest in her message.

    I suspect I’m not alone.

  13. The photos of Putin and DiCaprio having a stare-off are a pretty memorable.

    Yes, but why are so many people from India watching them?

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  14. Wouldn’t be PC, but it’s as old as Adam and Eve.

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  15. “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

    The French psychologist Émile Coué came up with this phrase as a form of curative therapy and it was quite well known 90 years ago.

    One of the funniest short stories in the English language, P.G. Wodehouse’s “Mr. Potter Takes a Rest Cure” begins with the title character trying to soothe his nerves on a rest cure trip to the English countryside, murmuring the phrase repeatedly. Predictably for a Wodehouse story, total hilarity and a nervous breakdown reign by the end of the story.

  16. The attractive woman power pose demonstrated by an attractive woman. Leading with what she feels are her best physical attributes, teeth and tits. Like I’m not supposed to notice. I’m certain that shit is working with the zit-covered cucumbers she works with. I’d hit it. I see a future for her at Fox News.

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  17. I’m not from India, but I’d probably gape too at a Putin-DiCaprio staring contest.

  18. says:
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    I think this power posing sounds like it comes from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). I think that power posing works more for the poser (actor) in creating a state of mind which then influences others. Former FBI agent, Jack Shafer, has a whole book on these body language techniques: The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over. Many self-help and motivational writers have been saying this kind of stuff for over a century, from Orison Swett Marden to Tony Robbins. Robbins is especially big on this kind of stuff like power posing. But it goes back further than this. Aristotle said, “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.” Donald Trump, in his book Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life, says, “A great portion of life and business involves acting. Life is a performance art, no matter what field you are in. I’ve come to understand that fact over the years, and it’s a helpful thing to realize.”

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  19. In the future, the human race will be ruled by women who look like Phoebe on Friends.

    Hey, that’s a shot at my Marion! She does look like the Phoebe character but she’s actually very quick-witted and scrappy in parliament and in debates. The most recent video* posted at her official YouTube account is of her mocking the centre-right leader of the regional assembly after he goes on a rant about her family and their alleged “50yrs of anti-Semitism”. I don’t remember an episode of Friends in which Phoebe did that.

    * (It’s at YouTube under the title “Quand Christian Estrosi perd son sang froid au Conseil Régional PACA” or “When Christian Estrosi loses his cool in the PACA Regional Council”)

  20. I noticed back in the 1990s that my shyness was less of a problem if I were chewing gum: my facial muscles were already in motion, so I was much quicker with a quip or a smile, making me much more outgoing. On the other hand, chewing gum is kind of gross, so I don’t do it anymore.

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  21. In Scots a “cuddy” is a donkey.

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  22. says:
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    Yeah, there are so many sophisticated rational people out there who dismiss this self-help and motivational stuff as total BS. What Cuddy is saying sets off my BS detector. Meanwhile, I always read articles about how the hyper-successful guys buy into this BS and swear by it. Multi-billionaires like Marc Benioff, Paul Tudor Jones, and Ray Dalio are Tony Robbins devotees (
    Fortune: Tony Robbins, The CEO Whisperer). Entertainment mogul (and professional sports teams co-owner– LA Dodgers, Golden State Warriors,..), Peter Gruber, has been a Robbins devotee for over 30 years and swears by him. Donald Trump swears by Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. Larry Ellison read and was strongly influenced by Think and Grow Rich as a kid.

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  23. File under “Empirical Adventuress”.

  24. There was a good essay (somewhere… I forgot where) that argued that progress in science originates less from shifts in methodology than from successes in defining homogenous objects. That is, genetically identical mice living in labs have a lot in common with each other, so we’ve made a lot of progress in genetics thanks to genetically-identical mice. But genetically-identical mice living in labs aren’t really all that much like people, so their utility in understanding human disease is constrained. Similarly, enzyme kinetics of a given protein and substrate is pretty much the same one time and the next, so we make progress defining and understanding it. But we don’t have a whole bunch of identical Earth’s atmospheres to mess with and manipulate, so climate is a fundamentally harder problem. Same with understanding how to influence people- not only do they learn and adapt to your attempts to influence them, but they are all different from each other anyway.

    One large and related advantage of natural science over social science in advancing our understanding of the world is not just the relative durability of natural science theories but the relative constancy of those theories’ parameters, the constancy of the constants. The speed of light and the Boltzmann constant and the estimated heat absorption of a CO2 molecule have all changed less since 1900 than the elasticity of labor demand in low wage markets changes from one National Bureau of Economics Research paper to the next.

    https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/constants/

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  25. “The weakest work with the boldest claims often attracts the most publicity, helped by promotion from newspapers, television, websites, and best-selling books. And members of the educated public typically only get one side of the story.”

    Paging Malcolm Gladwell…

  26. Probably are lots of cause and effect issues in this analysis. Ambitious people are likely to succeed and are likely to look up self help books.

  27. Well, I don’t know. I’m not so sure about this.

    When I wrestled, there was a fair amount of power posing during weigh ins before the matches. Seemed to me that there was almost an inverse relation between the amount of display behavior in the locker room and the followup performance on the mat.

    As for Putin and DeCaprio. Lots of people are a tad misinformed about Judo (recall that Putin is a genuine third degree black belt). You hear people say things like the following: “In Judo you use your opponents momentum to throw them”. Well, that’s true as far as it goes but not the whole story.

    The trick in Judo is not just to wait for your opponent to mount an attack and then “use his momentum against him”. No, that’s too passive. A Judoka is actively trying to unbalance his opponent by tugging on his sleeve and lapel. He’s dragging him this way and that, feigning attack with pushes to the shoulder while simultaneously trying to avoid being unbalanced by his opponent’s use of the same maneuvers. In other words, the unbalance is induced. Judo is really a form of anaerobic dancing.

    Most Judo throws are initiated with a step to the rear. As your opponent follows, you move in and throw him. But the initial unbalancing was induced, part of your setup. So when we watch a Putin/DeCaprio “stare down”, we have to realize that what’s going through Putin’s mind is “how can I get this clown off balance?”. And his instinctive response is to take a step backwards because that will draw his opponent into committing himself to a compromising, awkward, unsustainable position. If your opponent immobilizes himself by puffing himself up with false bravado, so much the better–a stiff man is much easier to throw (and pick up off the floor) than a relaxed man.

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  28. “much of the prestige of the social sciences comes from the assumption that they work like natural sciences such as astronomy”
    - A tall assumption, indeed. Social science for the most part is nothing but ‘cargo cult science’. Simply replicating the procedures found in the hard sciences does not make a field ‘science’.
    - There is no background knowledge (in the sense of Lakatos). There is no measure of progress. Almost nothing is rejected. Virtually no attention is given to issues of measurement. All one gets is recycling. None of this stops anyone from making tall claims.
    - Many suffer from a misunderstanding of what constitutes ‘good science’. An important contributing factor to such misunderstanding has been the misuse of statistics in Social Science.

  29. Wouldn’t be PC, but it’s as old as Adam and Eve.

    Eve wasn’t “above average”. By definition, she was average. Mean and median and mode. And there’s sample size to consider, as well.

    Eden wasn’t Lake Wobegon.

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  30. Funnel plot of stereotype threat studies.

    View post on imgur.com

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  31. In Scots a “cuddy” is a donkey.

    Thanks. Now I understand two more syllables of Donovan’s “Maria Magenta”.

  32. I noticed back in the 1990s that my shyness was less of a problem if I were chewing gum:

    I always got the feeling smart girls chewed to knock a few points off their perceived IQ, so as not to scare boys away. (You have to be extra careful if a girl has either brains or money)

    I’ll let Derb deal with your use of the subjunctive there. It’s usually saved for things like “If the Man in the Moon Were a Coon”.

  33. By Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung

    Is Kaiser Fung a European twist on some martial art, or a particularly imperialistic strain of mold?

    • Agree: Romanian
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  34. How much is there to take seriously in contemporary America?

  35. “Fake it til you make it” is par for the course. One wonders if power posing fits in that category, that she faked the results until enough people believed them, when she made it.

    I have tested the idea on a small scale. It definitely works, both with students and in my own life. Whether that is due to a rise in testosterone or is simply the placebo effect (which is probably the leading source of cure in medicine: you get better because you believe the physician will help you get better. The book here is The Biology of Belief, in which a knee surgeon discovers that, of three groups of patients, there is no statistically significant difference in how the patients who received placebo surgery feel from patients who received the major and minor surgery [he was testing to prove the latter was equally effective, and instead discovered something else]) matters little to whether it is effective.

    One does not walk around power posing, though. One does so before an interview, for example, to psych oneself up for the meeting.

  36. “If you want to understand posture and power, watch a video of Vladimir Putin talking to any other world leader (virtually all of whom are taller than him). He only moves his eyes when speaking to them.”

    I once heard Terry Gross interview Michael Caine on “Fresh Air”. It was interesting as he actually talked about the craft of acting – how to convey things through body language. He said that the best way to portray powerful men was to not move or gesture much, as powerful men make other people do the moving. He also had observed that the best way to be menacing was to stare unblinking.

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  37. Steve,

    IMO, the whole TED and/or TEDx thing is completely overrated. I know of a couple of close friends and one client who have given talks there, and quite frankly, I was left a little wanting. Maybe, at some earlier point, the whole enterprise had some value. Now, however, it’s just a bunch of professional SJWs who happen to be in the working world, running off at the mouth. It seems like a lot of navel gazing and “look at me” type of interactions. I think it has become tiresome.

    I could be wrong.

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  38. I have to admit the lemon trick works. I will use that some time. Thanks.

    We once used a technique to detect introversion. Introverts are highly susceptible to stimuli and will react quickly to a drop of lemon juice on the tongue.my most extroverted student did not react at all, and the introverts were instantaneous.

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  39. ” “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” It sounds hokey, but try it for at least a month.”

    Hey, it worked for Inspector Dreyfuss.

    Me, I just constantly repeat to myself “Serenity Now!”. I find it works best if I shout it.

  40. says:
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    If power posing didn’t work, they wouldn’t teach it to cops and soldiers during training. The problem is, most everyday interactions don’t need that level of aggression. CEOs who are successful aren’t necessarily power-posers, they’re just guys with more energy, relentlessness, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, follow-throughness. The ability to get things done creates an atmosphere in which other people just hand you lots of authority because they don’t want all that responsibility, they don’t want to do all that work, and they don’t care to take any of the blame if things go wrong.

    It takes at least two people to create a leader. One who chooses to be one, but another who chooses not to be.

  41. You have to admit, “Kaiser Fung” is a pretty cool name.

  42. Didn’t Michael Korda and his just-as-retarded “power corner” thesis (standing in a room’s choice 90-degrees of sheetrock makes you Thor) cover the same ground 40 years ago without veneer of psychology witch-doctorate?

    http://www.amazon.com/Power-How-Get-It-Use/dp/0446360163

    His uncles made great movies, though. Everyone loves movies!

  43. I don’t know about power-poses, but that decollete Amy Cuddly sports definitely works. In some ways the world is a very simple place.

  44. or Wonder Woman with her legs apart and her hands on her hips.”

    Back in the halcyon days of literacy, this was known as “akimbo.” Doesn’t sound as kinky, though.

  45. Yeah nothing improves self-image like a prolapsed rectum

  46. says:
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    Tony Robbins is 6’7″ or more, with a huge head and appendages. Power posing works well for him.
    It only works for little people (like Putin) if they already have power.
    People sense whether you’re projecting actual power, or just posing.

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  47. When there’s only one live, fertile woman around, she is, by definition, awesome.

  48. In the future, the human race will be ruled by women who look like Phoebe on Friends.

    I don’t have a problem with that. Unlikely to be much worse than the leaders we have now* and will at least be pleasant to look at.

    * Yes, I’m violating my one axiom for life: It can always get worse. But I like looking at cute blondes, so sue me.

    • Agree: Jacobite
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  49. Someone should do a study about above average looking women and their ability to fool the world…

    I took a class in my MBA program entitled “Negotiate with Power.” The long-time, excellent 76-year old professor advised that, in business, a reasonably competent good-looking woman is dangerous. And by dangerous, he meant she’s more likely to prevail in all business situations.

  50. For fun, I sometimes employ these little alpha tricks at work, but it gets exhausting to maintain them for long.

  51. One that I came up on my own and have been using for about the last six months is every time I have the urge to say, “Life sucks”

    When friends, family, or coworkers complain and whine about something going on in their lives or workplace, I tell them, “It sucks to be you.”

  52. Many self-help and motivational writers have been saying this kind of stuff for over a century

    I read Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” when I was about 18 y/o.

  53. chewing gum is kind of gross

    Chewing gum is prole.

    I’ve noticed that women who chew gum are more promiscuous than women that don’t.

  54. “How seriously are we supposed to take Amy Cuddy as a social scientist when her photo features a cleavage revealing front? It’s clearly a posed shot, so she had the option to go with something less attention whoring.”

    Probably the same amount of seriousness as Mike Cernovich with his gorilla imagery on his website. Amy is taking a page from the playbook from our current celebrity manospherist. I mean, he’s endorsed by Vox Day.

    Here, develop the posture of an alpha male. Men, show your inner ape!

    http://www.dangerandplay.com/2014/06/18/alpha-male-posture-exercises/

  55. The fascinating thing about the power pose is how it may start a positive feedback mechanism. While one may not initially feel powerful through the pose, if the substrate to your catalyst acts as though you are powerful this may enhance your confidence and cause you to act more dominant.

    In my experience I think this only applies to people who want to be the submissive or those who are not looking to challenge you. Essentially, you can lord over an army of betas or female equivalents but against a true competitor or someone who understands the “game” it is an easily penetrated veneer.

    At the very least, it is worth a try. The benefits can be high and the risks are low. Of course, actually being interesting and having a good personality is challenging. This could be a good mechanism for the dull and boring.

  56. if you take a gander at the edge website. influential men of science span the gamut from good looking to downright troll like. I mean marvin minksy or jaron lanier aren’t winning any awards for sex appeal.

    but the women all seem to skew to the attractive.

    i think it was joan rivers who once said men will listen to a pretty woman say anything even as mundane as ‘I like eggs.’

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  57. says:
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    Amy Cuddy and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer both have backgrounds in ballet. Ballerinas probably always have excellent posture.

  58. He’s probably right in this case, but to be honest, I trust Cuddy at least as much as I trust Gelman. Cuddy may be wrong, but she’s at least gives the impression of trying to find something true. Gelman’s research is generally correct, but he never finds anything that contradicts the Narrative, because he seems to know exactly where not to look, and what not to look for. A slippery character, sort of a statistical Noam Chomsky, who also know exactly what not to look for.

  59. Always remember, correlation is not causation…..Is there any pseudo-scientific self help claim that people will not fall for, hook line and sinker?

  60. I hear this a lot, but it hasn’t been the case in my personal experience. I find running considerably more satisfying than lower body lifting, which I find physically and psychologically distressing (and I’ve done a fair bit of both over the years). I have no doubt that the latter is better for your health (at least until you injure yourself), but despite making myself do it for years I simply could never make myself enjoy it.

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  61. Being tall but skinny is the worst combination for posture.

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  62. @Sailer

    Surprised you didn’t link to good old Roissy who approves of the idea and this study:

    https://www.google.dk/#q=heartiste+pose

  63. I would say being “alpha” is at least 90 percent genetics. It is the same like power training. Nobody is really impressed by somebody in the 50th strength percentile who after years of intense training has reached a decent weight on the bench press. But everybody is impressed by the kind of guy who does 100 kg when first trying the bench press.

  64. Marketing researchers make a decent living because the effects of even successful marketing wear off, requiring new marketing ideas and more marketing research studies.

    Interesting observation. And very true, I suspect.

    I have no idea about posture and power, specifically, but there’s obviously something to body language. The statement, “that’s a nice toupee,” can mean two totally opposite things depending on the body language or vocal inflections that accompany it. Non-verbal vocalizations and body language may be more than half of how we communicate with others in familiar settings, if you include hand gestures (that’s hand gestures that are used as directives, not non-communicative Jewish or Italian hand gestures.)

    I think the Harvard lady, however, is maybe missing the chain of causality. Good posture may make a great first impression, but power over others is gained over time. It may serve as a great foot in the door, but eventually, people are going to expect more from the powerful than good posture.

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  65. says:
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    “a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful.”

    I didn’t know Taylor Swift moonlighted as a ‘social scientist’.

    Btw, ‘overreaching’ is putting it rather mildly. It’s over-the-top delusional.

    This Cuddy fell for a classic fallacy. As an Ivy League elitist, she ALREADY has privilege. And looking rather cute, she is much liked. So, she doesn’t need ‘power poses’ to be close to power. She already has it.
    But to admit she is privileged would mean she doesn’t really deserve what she has.
    So, she comes up with this bogus theory and makes believe that she was powerless but was empowered by ‘power poses’. A totemic view.

    It’s a like guy who just inherited 10 million dollars saying he’s rich because he said a prayer. Never mind the will.

    It is really a case of power distraction. Privileged people like Cuddy have much more access to power. But they don’t want to admit it. They wanna tell themselves and us that they had to EARN it. And what better theory than ‘power poses’?
    So easy and simple. BUT it implies that you still had to ‘struggle’ from powerlessness to powerfulness.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  66. says:
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    “Is Kaiser Fung a European twist on some martial art, or a particularly imperialistic strain of mold?”

    I noticed that Chinese have a tendency of coming up with ill-fitting western names.
    Something generic like ‘john’ or ‘pat’ would sort of work. John Fung or Pat Fung.

    But ‘Kaiser’? And some are named ‘Benedict’. And that tranny boy called himself ‘Calliope’.

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  67. says:
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    “Still, the idea of improving your mood through power posing doesn’t sound wholly implausible. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a careful student of the interplay of posture, self-confidence, and success.”

    Right, it’s the COMBINATION that counts. Arnold has presence but also personality, humor(often self-parodying as well as deprecating of others), and wit.
    He wasn’t just some muscle guy lug.

    Power pose will work if you have something to back it up with.
    But without it, it will actually do more harm.

    Suppose you have razor-sharp wit and can verbally duel with anyone.
    So, if you go for power-pose, the confidence suits the ability.
    But if you aren’t too bright, the power-pose will only make you look more ridiculous cuz you’re pose will be seen for what it is: hollow.

    This is why a dork acting tough actually makes him seem weaker. His inability to back up his style with substance accentuates his weakness.

    So, power pose has to be commensurate with actual ability.

  68. Amy proves what I’ve been saying for decades – it’s all about the hot girls. It’s an unintended consequence of the feminist deal struck in the 1970′s to put more women women on talk shows and news shows.

    Men will watch hot girls on TV endlessly without caring what they are saying. Women watch hot girls on TV because they are fooled into thinking that this is a concession to women and feminism, and of course women are always interested in looking critically at each other, what they are wearing, etc. Therefore hot girls please everyone.

    I’m pretty sure it works like this: 1 in 200 women are photogenic enough for local TV and 1 in 50 has a 120+ IQ so they won’t make fools of themselves while talking. Ergo, 1 in 10,000 women are suitable for TV. That’s who we get on TV. Never mind that there might be plain looking women who have actual knowledge or expertise, and of course there is no point in mentioning men who are endlessly more experienced etc.

    Because it’s all about the hot girls!

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  69. says:
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    Zach Braff is the worst. There have been many talented Jewish comedy-dramatists, but Braff must have made it in the business through connections. This guy is unfunny, repulsive, and untalented. How is he able to keep making movies? Garden State was awful. This is unbearable:

    Zemeckis can certainly make a movie. He’s a pro’s pro. But his crowd-pleasing antics can go too far, as in FORREST GUMP, a vomit bag movie. THE WALK is better, but it too is a push-button affair. Zemeckis does a lot of neat things, but everything is meant to put a smile on your face. The final walk is amazingly presented but more as visual effect — or entirely as visual effect — than drama. All movies are magic, but we know THE WALK is all CGI, so that takes away some of the wonder. Still, pretty amazing. But the phony French accents by Levitt and others are really grating.

    There are intelligent movies and then there are movies that make you feel intelligent. MARTIAN is such a movie. The audience can congratulate itself that it’s not just watching spaceship battles and explosions but the methodology of survival with grounding in real science. It’s like science fiction as homework. While that may flatter the geeks and pseudo-smart, most people are gonna tune out. So, the other half of MARTIAN is essentially frat-boy-out-of-funds-trying-to-survive-on-macaroni-and-beer-for-a-month movie: accessible. It offers the fun stuff along with the ‘serious’ stuff. It works, but it’s so contrived and calculated. Also, because Damon’s main purpose is to lighten things up since too-much-science-stuff may grow dreary, his character has no gravitas. He is just a dude. Also, with him talking to the camera half the time, it’s appealing to the millennial generation that yammers into webcams endlessly and is into non-stop texting and selfies.

    In a crucial way, THE MARTIAN doesn’t get what science fiction is about. Science Fiction is not really about science or scientific stuff. Good sci-fi has some grounding in science and technology, but they are really used as launch pads for philosophical and spiritual quest. Science Fiction is supposed to be more like Scientology.
    It is futurism as myth. It is a strange combination of rationality and fantasism. Science fiction foresees a future transformed by science and technology, but the character of this science/technology must be fantastical beyond what today’s science/technology is capable of. Or, in cases where the science and technology are within the realm of the possible, the emphasis must be on truths that cannot be explained by reason or solved by science. It can be cosmic, as in 2001, or psychological, as in A.I.

    Ultimately, what makes a movie like 2001 so powerful isn’t the technology but sense of truth beyond technology and the man’s mastery of the world. Science and technology do not fully explain or solve the key question in A.I., TRON LEGACY, or BLADE RUNNER.
    In contrast, THE MARTIAN offers no truth beyond hard science(or what appears as hard science). Even GRAVITY went further because of the metaphoric use of space and gravity as the emotional state of the astronautess. In THE MARTIAN, what you see is what you get, and that’s it. It’s more like science fact-ion.

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  70. “I wouldn’t be surprised if overachievers tend to have better posture than underachievers: that seems like a hypothesis that could be studied.”

    Better posture leads to the brain getting more oxygen. Better oxygenated brains work better. Cause and effect explained.

    By the way, isn’t manspreading a power pose?

  71. If you want to power pose effortlessly then be tall.

    Cf John Adams on George Washington:

    Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for ”his immense elevation above his Fellows.” Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer. 1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veretable Royaute est la Beaute. 2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews. 3 An elegant Form. 4. graceful Attitudes and Movement

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/collections/c937ec94-4d4b-4b48-a275-240372288363?back=/mweb/search%3Fneedle%3DGLC00424

  72. A tall languorous slouch is the ultimate “power” pose.

  73. I agree. Lifting (relatively) heavy weights over a period of years means you don’t have to fake looking powerful.

  74. The statement, “that’s a nice toupee,” can mean two totally opposite things depending on the body language or vocal inflections that accompany it.

    I can think of no situation where that impertinent jibe could possibly be construed as anything else but insulting.

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  75. “Slate’s Katy Waldman described it as akin to “a cobra rearing and spreading its hood to the sun, or Wonder Woman with her legs apart and her hands on her hips.”

    Wonder Woman with her legs apart/hands on hips, spreading a hood for power?

    That’s not a cobra, Katy, dear. And the Cosmo-advertised female potential for unlimited orgasms is not the same as the ability to run a grown-up enterprise that produces tangible, material, results.

    Precious little Katy:

    http://www.slate.com/authors.katy_waldman.html

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  76. Adoption by ill suited foreigners might be the only way some of the less common Western names get saved.

  77. thebestlackallconviction said, ” . . . i think it was joan rivers who once said men will listen to a pretty woman say anything even as mundane as ‘I like eggs.’”

    Right, and men will listen to anything a pretty woman with nice cleavage says although they may not remember any of it afterwards.

  78. And giant, flesh-ripping teeth.

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  79. “Power Posing” is just Game.

    Heartiste is still on Stevie’s blog roll, read his Archives from the start for details.

    Anyways, somebody who power poses naturally will appear strong, and somebody who poses unaturally will come across weaker. But appearing naturally can be taught/learned/acclimated and somebody who might be faking is still preferable to a known wreaking.

  80. In his interviews, Caine likes to stress the issues of class-he came from a Cockney family. He’s clearly been tuned to the most minor status signaling throughout his life.

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  81. People who are nervous have their adrenaline pumping, which makes them fidgety. Chewing gum is one way to burn off that energy.

    Smoking used to be a very good cure for fidgeting in adults. The hands could light the cigarette, the person could inhale deeply, the cigarette could be moved from the mouth, the ashes could be knocked off–you didn’t have to stand still. And the nicotine served as a calming agent that counteracted the adrenaline. You saw a lot of smoking on TV chat shows and game shows in the early days, largely to combat nerves. Unfortunately, it’s no longer socially acceptable to smoke indoors, or, indeed, in general.

    One sign of an alpha is how in control their are in a large group. Most people get nervous in a large group quite naturally, as there is an instinctive, primal fear of too many potential enemies. Alphas seem assured in a group, precisely because they don’t fear being attacked—and their lack of fidgeting makes others believe they are the alpha. Putin, Trump, and Bill Clinton seem so alpha because no matter what the crowd size, they never nervously fidget.

    N.B. One method taught to alleviate nervousness without obvious fidgeting is to wiggle ones toes. The longest nerves in the body supposedly go from the head to the toes, so wiggling them loosens the nerves and back, but because in most circumstances for men you’re wearing shoes that conceal your toes, people can’t see you are fidgeting.

    Yet another reason most men should avoid mandals: nervousness is cute and forgivable in a woman, but unmanly and unattractive in a man.

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  82. says:
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    Isn’t it to advertise their oral skills?

  83. says:
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    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/hong-kong-loves-weird-english-names/263103/

    Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. The former British colony is obsessed with weird English names.

    Unusual appellations have been found on people of all kinds. The secretary for justice is Rimsky Yuen and the previous secretary for food and health was York Chow. Among celebrities, there is a Fanny Sit, Moses Chan, and Dodo Cheng. Models? We have a Vibeke, Bambi, Dada, and Vonnie. But lawyers take the prize. There is a Magnum, John Baptist, Ludwig, Ignatius, Bunny and four — yes, four — Benedicts.

    Odd names make for odder situations. Last July, police arrested a woman named Ice Wong with 460 grams of ice — the drug, not frozen water. Months earlier, the law caught up with Devil Law when he was brought before a judge for drug possession and crashing his car into a bus. In 2010, a woman called Cash Leung was jailed for paying cabbies with fake cash.

  84. I’ve been meaning to write a book on how power posing can be used to raise emotional IQ and overcome microagressions and stereotype threats, alas I suffer from epigenetic sloth.

  85. The science behind the Martian blows. A dust storm on Mars couldn’t knock over a house of cards, let alone a space ship. Mars has about 1% of the atmospheric pressure of the earth. And the female Marine commander should have been instantly court-martialed and pushed out of the space ship air interlock for leaving the Mat Damon character behind.

    I sat through this stinker and sorely resented the money and time wasted. Hollywood has CalTech in their backyard. How hard would it be for the writers to drop a dime and get some help with their premise in exchange for an IMDB credit or a modest consulting fee?

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  86. says:
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    Yeah he has massive chompers and his voice sounds like what you’d imagine Bigfoot sounds like.

    His fortune is estimated to be around $500 million dollars.

  87. That’s become “life hack.” The hypothesis is that you brain is tricked into believing there’s nothing threatening in the environment. If there were, then you wouldn’t be chewing on something.

    I keep forgetting to test this on myself.

  88. says:
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    ‘Power Posing’ is already yesterday’s news. I’d like to now plug my upcoming book “Pimp Strut Your Way to Success”. That’s how to become the person you were meant to be. It’s all in the walk guys, all in the walk.

  89. I have experience in government hard science research. No one makes much money, just a good salary. Managers don’t make significantly more than scientists.

    In this situation, women tend to become managers; men do not want to be managers, they want to concentrate on the research.

    On the face of it, it’s a triumph of feminism, but in practice it’s that the men would much rather do research than manage. Typically they look on the managers as failures. It makes me laugh when I read about women complaining that they’re not promoted within scientific organizations. Clearly, they don’t get the point. You succeed by producing good research not by managing researchers.

    Feynman famously refused to serve on any committees at Caltech.

  90. Military bearing as in West Point cadets ?

    I think there is something in it. But if you pretend to be something you’re not, they’ll see through you.

  91. says:
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    I know someone who works with pilots in aviation pilot psychology. He once told me that female computer voices are used in navigation because they get male pilot attention, and they get it quickly. I didn’t think to ask if this is also true for gay males.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/21/tech/innovation/female-computer-voices/

  92. The replication crisis in terms of power poses is relatively harmless. But the replication crisis is more consequential when the flexibility to analyze data to get desired results is interacted with the political imbalance in social psychology discussed by Duarte-Crawford-Stern-Haidt-Jussim-and-Tetlock. If Rothman et al. 2005 is correct that liberals outnumber conservatives in social science 8-to-1, then it’s fair to suspect that the social science literature is biased toward the political left on politically-sensitive topics.

    For example, a set of experimental psychologists recently submitted an amicus curiae brief for the Fisher v. U Texas case, leaning heavily on stereotype threat without mention of the publication bias that namae nanka alluded to.

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  93. says:
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    How does a big butt and hemorrhoids make one feel better?

  94. Asscheeks, Yes, leading with her teeth and tits, well stated, but you’re a sexist for noticing. Now, bow your head a bit, avert your eyes and cower in fear of the Power of Pose.

  95. Women watch hot girls on TV because they are fooled into thinking that this is a concession to women and feminism, and of course women are always interested in looking critically at each other, what they are wearing, etc.

    NO! If I’m any measure, I can’t stand watching hot girls on anything. They dominate on local news shows, sports, weather reports. Ack! Gimme guys! Guys in suits with some creeping baldness, gravitas, deep voices, authentic masculinity.

    In real life hot girls are almost always dumb so I suspect they get all these jobs through sheer sex discrimination. Irks me.

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  96. Multi-billionaires like Marc Benioff, Paul Tudor Jones, and Ray Dalio are Tony Robbins devotees

    Tony Robbins, like Trump, has been consistently (or increasingly) famous since the 1980s. I got one of his books and a set of Robbins’s audiotapes from an Army Reserve buddy in the early ’90s. There’s something special about people like that. No doubt both are extremely charismatic leaders, so it’s no surprise that Tony Robbins has wealthy fans.

    But the big question is whether whatever magic Robbins and Trump have can be bottled. I’m not so sure. I had a co-worker in the late ’90s who’d been to one of Robbins’s seminars. He said he felt like he could do anything when he walked out. And then it wore off.

  97. When I wrestled, there was a fair amount of power posing during weigh ins before the matches. Seemed to me that there was almost an inverse relation between the amount of display behavior in the locker room and the followup performance on the mat.

    Interesting comment, which reminds me of the video below, of Holly Holm and Miesha Tate posing following the UFC press conference announcing their upcoming match. A lot of times you see fighters get aggressive during these “stare downs” (whether that’s contrived or not). Refreshingly, not here. They take their poses, Southpaw Holly switches to an orthodox stance for the cameras after Dana White suggests it, and then she shakes Tates hand at the end. No drama.

    Something else interesting about Holly Holm, relating to a previous iSteve post: the betting market for her fight against Rhonda Rousey was pretty inefficient. If you look at her previous MMA fights on YouTube, you’ll see she should never have been such an underdog. Classy gal, btw. After she knocks someone out, she shows concern for them.

  98. I used to run. I can’t say I enjoyed doing it, but I enjoyed having done it. It was sort of a form of penance.

    Re lifting, it’s a method of applying stress, to get an overcompensating response. Stress itself usually isn’t enjoyable; the enjoyment comes from the progress and results.

    If you give lifting another shot, I’d suggest doing the Starting Strength novice progression, which should take about an hour 3x per week, and then, after that, trying Wendler’s 5/3/1. The simplest version of that you can knock out in two workouts per week of about an hour each. It’s enough stress/volume to get results, but not so much to wear you out.

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  99. says:
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    From Wiki:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Cuddy#Personal_life

    When she was a sophomore in college she sustained a serious head injury in a car accident.[32][33][34][35] Her doctors told her she was not likely to fully recover and should anticipate significant challenges finishing her undergraduate degree. Her IQ fell temporarily by two standard deviations,[36][37] which is about 30 points in IQ test.[38] She eventually completed her undergraduate studies and went on to earn a PhD at Princeton.

  100. says:
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    He said that the best way to portray powerful men was to not move or gesture much, as powerful men make other people do the moving.

    Natalie Portman said as much about portraying Padme Amidala, the teenage elected queen of a planet. And yet she came across as if she’d been in a severe accident and couldn’t even move her neck.

  101. “Cuddy and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos etc.”

    Don’t forget Marissa “Blondie” Mayer…

    Even if Barbie sez, “Math is hard!”
    It doesn’t mean that success in business be…
    …as long as the guys in power are…

  102. Power Posing and the Social Science Replication Crisis

    Maybe this sort of thing is more art than science?

  103. If you give lifting another shot, I’d suggest doing the Starting Strength novice progression

    Starting Strength is very focused on proper technique, along with the physiology behind it, which helps with the psychological aspect.

    Starting Strength, Contrapposto, paleo, and setting one on the trimmer did the trick for me.

  104. It was at a save the tiger summit in India I think. All nations with tiger populations were represented. That would be my guess why Indians were there.

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  105. What hemorrhoids?

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  106. “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

    Reminds me ‘in every way’ of Stewart Smalley – the lying liar from Minnesota.

  107. So Putin and DiCaprio were, in the spirit of the tiger conservation event, trying out the Rockyesque “Eye of the Tiger” on each other?

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  108. So Putin and DiCaprio were, in the spirit of the tiger conservation event, trying out the Rockyesque “Eye of the Tiger” on each other?

  109. I have to confess that I subscribed, as in paid money, to Slate when it first started in the mid 90s. I was three. Not!

    IIRC, Microsoft owned it and Michael Kinsley was the editor. It was quite a different, and better, “magazine” than it is today.

    I know my secret is sage with you, my iSteve homies.

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  110. “This Cuddy fell for a classic fallacy. As an Ivy League elitist, she ALREADY has privilege.”

    Going to that type of school, yes, there is a perceived level of privilege. But people have to actually accord her that privilege through their interactions. Do YOU acknowledge that privilege?

    “And looking rather cute, she is much liked. So, she doesn’t need ‘power poses’ to be close to power. She already has it.”

    Just because some is attractive that doesn’t automatically mean they have power, or even have the personality to convey it.

    “They wanna tell themselves and us that they had to EARN it. And what better theory than ‘power poses’?”

    That’s exactly what the huckster PUA’s teach. Didn’t you get that teaching at Mystery’s seminar?

  111. I think they ended up getting along well with one another. When I did a search of their two names together I found this brief news item:

    Quoted: Vladimir Putin on Leo DiCaprio, a total ‘nastoyachshi muzhik’

    “Here, in Russia, we call such a person a ‘real man.’ ”

    – Vladi­mir Putin heralding Leonardo DiCaprio as a nastoyachshi muzhik for daring to fly on to the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg this week after his first flight got turned back to NYC when an engine blew out and his second, on a private jet, had to land in Finland because of heavy winds. The actor contributed $1 million to the cause of saving the big cats.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/11/quoted_putin_on_dicaprio.html

    Calling a guy a “genuine peasant” is a compliment in Russia. That’s not bad.

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  112. A general pattern with Slate is that it has been getting girlier over time because the female audience is usually more desirable to advertisers than the male audience. It now has a woman editor. It’s not bad, but it’s focused more on female concerns now than when it had a male editor, and so it’s less interesting to my male brain.

  113. Great comment and great Nom de Steve.

    Nothing says Serious Scientist to me like a blond with a great smile and nice tits.

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  114. This is interesting. Having done some wrestling/grappling, I saw something similar. I wasn’t really paying attention to the posing though, although I did pay attention to the tattoos. I am not sure if there was an inverse relationship, but probably I would say that tattoos and to some extent, a “tough look” was probably orthogonal to actual fighting ability. Some tattooed men were really good at fighting. Some were nothing special. If you look at Conor McGregor for example, he is a master at posing and mental warfare. I suppose Fedor went at it from the opposite angle, no tattoos either.

    I was rather good at it, and I tried to effect an “all go and no show” type attitude. My outfit was cheap and functional, if somewhat ratty. I preferred my opponent to make errors of underestimation. Not sure whether this was due to my inability to posture well, unwillingness to, or desire to catch the opponent off guard, or unwillingness to spend more money than necessary.

    In warming up for the event, I would pace back and forth, mostly to stay warm and keep the nervous energy from overwhelming me. When fighting, I imagined that the other guy was going to kill me if I lost. I am not sure whether this was intimidating or not. Looking back on it, I think the pacing may have been intimidating. And the crazy eye thing resulting from my attitude and the probable adrenalin dump may also have had an effect. All was done to increase my chances of winning, but none of it was designed to increase chances of winning through intimidation.

  115. The only long term girlfriend of mine taller than me had that giraffe neck. Great girl. I only broke up with her because I was hungover and she had some activity planned.

    We would have had an OK marriage and would have lived in a location more amenable to my golf habit than the City of Chicago. Hell, we probably would have settled near Black Sheep, which is sublime.

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  116. Ranking the girls you might have married by the golf courses you would have ended up making your home course … Well done, sir!

  117. says:
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    Squatting causes hemorrhoids. It’s hard to strike power poses all day when you’ve got massive hemmorhoids and it’s hard to feel very powerful when you’re reduced to lathering on gobs of Preparation H every day.

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  118. “…and great Nom de Steve.”

    The nitpicker in me is torn between nom de Stéphane and nom d’Étienne.

  119. Well, you’ll never be able to understand anything in the movies or on television with that attitude. Whenever anything bad is happening in a movie, just say “OMG where is the hot girls who will save the day?” And then she appears! She might be an incredibly cute nerdy girl who can program anything instantly, or an amazingly hot authority figure girl who just tells the problem to go away – are you starting to get it?

    Now that women are the equals of men in every way, even in the armed forces, you can look forward to many, many more instances in which male characters need to be rescued – always by hot girls!

    It’s all about the hot girls. Men can basically take the rest of this millennium off, I guess, except for the men who make sure that everything works – for the hot girls!

  120. I wonder how her shit would sell if Dr. Andy J. Yap (not Andy Y. Jap) was the teeth and tits of the research. Hmmmm.

  121. In a battle of Big Men, victory goes to the most magnanimous.

  122. Squatting does not cause hemorrhoids. Wiping too hard and going on benders causes hemorrhoids. That’s what a friend told me.

  123. Attractive women are, relatively speaking, easy-going and nice people. People have been nice to them all their lives, so they’re less likely to have developed the resentments that produce angry feminists and leftists.

    When a nice person develops leftist sympathies, it comes from a mistaken but remediable belief that the leftist program is about being nice to people.

    The dangerous, irremediable, kind of leftist is the kind who’s attracted to it because he/she looks to politics as a way to hammer the people he/she hates — the attractive people who wouldn’t date them in high school, the successful people who have fewer advanced degrees.

    • Agree: Desiderius
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  124. This tiger summit was in Russia. Russia has Siberian tigers which is news to me. This is where the Putin-Decaprio stare down took place

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/vladimir-putin-leonardo-d_n_787800.html
    Updated May 25, 2011
    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Leonardo DiCaprio braved scary skies to get to a summit devoted to saving the worlds’ tigers, donating $1 million to the cause and earning high praise from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    The Hollywood star arrived in St. Petersburg on Tuesday after two flight dramas, Putin said, just managing to make the meeting where officials from the 13 countries where tigers still live in the wild agreed to a program to save the iconic big cats from extinction.

    Russia, whose Far East is home to Siberian tigers, the largest tiger subspecies – have agreed to double their tiger population by 2022, crack down on poaching and illicit trade in tiger pelts and body parts.
    Putin, has frequently used tigers to bolster his macho image, once shooting a full grown female tiger with a tranquilizer gun and placing a tracking collar on her.
    Russia was the only nation where the number of tigers has increased in recent decades – from several dozens in 1947 to some 500 now, Putin said.

    Wildlife experts say, however, that Siberian tigers are still endangered. Their pelts, bones and meat are prized in traditional Chinese medicine, and some 100 of them are killed annually to be smuggled to China, a senior inspector from a natural preserve in the Primorsky region said.

  125. Seems to be a genetic susceptibility for some. This guy got one from a deadlifting PR: http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/mark-rippetoe-q-and-a/40511-hemorrhoids.html

    (John Sullivan in that thread is an MD/PhD)

    I’ve never gotten hemorrhoids from squatting or deadlifting, and I’ve squatted well over my body weight.

  126. says:
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    “The science behind the Martian blows. A dust storm on Mars couldn’t knock over a house of cards, let alone a space ship.”

    This didn’t bother me too much. A hard science about Mars would surely be pretty boring for the average audience. Take GRAVITY. No expert on astronomy could buy any of that.
    But most of us are not hard science types, and we don’t go to see movies for factual truth. Most people appreciate MARTIAN for making them feel intelligent. (And I’m sure all the greens will get a kick out of recycling poo into potatoes or pootatoes. Some greens want to get rid of flushable toilets and replace them with compost toilets. And I dunno.. maybe what we see in MARTIAN is a sort of Regression to the Bean or Potato. We’ve been told we gotta eat less meat and eat more beans. And maybe we gotta use our poo to make them. Damon had to eat beans on Earth in Elyseum and eat pootatoes on Mars. That’s the future for the non-elites wherever they are.)

    A sci-fi just has to be believable enough for the average audience member, and I thought MARTIAN worked on that level.
    Also, purely from a psychological viewpoint, no one marooned on Mars could be that ‘cool’ and ‘fun’.

    MARTIAN may not be good science, but it’s all science(or movie science), and as such, not very interesting as science fiction.

    MARTIAN CHRONICLES is just barely science, but it uses Mars as an interesting platform for thoughts on history, spirituality, identity, etc.

    The first episode of the TV version, though cheapie by our standards, is pretty moving.

    I love the Martian Ethan Edwards/Geronimo.

    Maybe feminine touch makes space more interesting. Weaver made space sexy in ALIEN. Sandra Bullock’s presence made space both womb-like and barren.
    It was the interaction between hard technology and softer femininity that made them somewhat special.
    MARTIAN is manliness atop manliness. No elegance, no poetry, no gentleness. Just a guy doing his stuff. It’s pretty good on that level, but one-dimensional.

  127. I’m pretty sure it works like this: 1 in 200 women are photogenic enough for local TV and 1 in 50 has a 120+ IQ so they won’t make fools of themselves while talking. Ergo, 1 in 10,000 women are suitable for TV. That’s who we get on TV.

    Wait a sec, I’m not strong on math (I never went beyond plane geometry in highschool and had a terrible time with algebra), but I’m not understanding your calculations.

    If 1 in 200 women are photogenic, that would mean that 5 women in 1000 were photogenic. And 1 in 50 women having 120+ IQ would mean that 20 women in 1000 were 120+ IQ. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the convergence of those two characteristics are ruled by the same percentages does it? Couldn’t their convergence be random? What would stop one of the 20 smart women from also being photogenic? Or even two? Or is it that randomness would work out to where there had to be 10,000 of those 20 in a 1000 smart women before one was likely to also be photogenic?

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  128. That reminds me of an old Private Eye cartoon where there are three guys standing beside a solemn-looking old man who’s seated behind a huge desk. One of them is poking him in the shoulder and saying to the others: “It’s not gravitas. He’s dead.”

  129. I think it’s pretty clear that introverts are a higher expression of mankind’s evolution. Yet, they’re utterly disadvantaged (to say nothing of disliked) in contemporary America. That alone says a lot.

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  130. “If I’m any measure, I can’t stand watching hot girls on anything. They dominate on local news shows, sports, weather reports. Ack! Gimme guys! Guys in suits with some creeping baldness, gravitas, deep voices, authentic masculinity.”

    When I watched TV, I didn’t mind watching hot girls. Then again, I never thought local news, sports and weather required gravitas and authentic masculinity.

    “In real life hot girls are almost always dumb so I suspect they get all these jobs through sheer sex discrimination.”

    Of course they do. What else can they do? Would you rather have them sucking up welfare?

    “Irks me.”

    How funny you are. I’d rather have hot girls on TV looking hot than out in the world irking me with their inability to do anything besides look hot.

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  131. Stressed it a bit too much. I believe Oliver Reed and other hard drinking hellraisers considered him a bit of a posuer.

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  132. An iSteve post on power posing, and no one has made a sternocleidomastoid joke yet??

  133. As an INTJ I know the struggle. Have you read the book Quiet, by Susan Cain? Every introvert I’ve recommended it to has thanked me profusely.

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  134. I’d rather have hot girls on TV looking hot than out in the world irking me with their inability to do anything besides look hot.

    Satoshi Kanazawa disagrees:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201012/beautiful-people-really-are-more-intelligent

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  135. Hot girls should marry hot guys and produce hot kids, not stand in front a camera and try to get us to believe she knows jack about the basketball game last night or the cold front coming in or the Fed raising rates. The only women I trust with anything serious are older and matronly.

    Also, the women I’ve known on welfare were almost entirely NOT hot. One exception. (Brenda, why did you make a baby with that loser?!?)

    Kylie, you crack me up too.

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  136. If a slight increase in testosterone raised personal confidence in business settings, why do most confident men in business tend to be over-weight 40 somethings as opposed to lean guys in their twenties? Most people with low T levels are men who are over-weight, and rising obesity is a primary reason for falling testosterone levels.

    However, I don’t a collapse in social confidence occuring among over-weight men, or a corresponding increase in social confidence among lean, semi-ectomorphic introverts.

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  137. Never gotten around to it. Maybe this summer (I do enough reading as a grad student for the moment). But I do hear it’s pretty good.

  138. i think it was joan rivers who once said men will listen to a pretty woman say anything even as mundane as ‘I like eggs.’

    That’s an amazingly bad example. The most important thing about a woman is her eggs.

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  139. In real life hot girls are almost always dumb so I suspect they get all these jobs through sheer sex discrimination.

    It may make you feel good to think that, but it’s probably not true. If you read the bios of hot TV news gals, you’ll find they often started in tiny markets and had to bust their asses to get the big jobs. Being a telegenic communications grad is like being a 6’4″ college basketball player. You have a better shot at the NBA than a 5’10″ civilian, but no one is going to hand it to you.

  140. A previous iSteve poster linked to a fake TED talk by improv comedian Sam Hyde, who managed to prank a universtiy event.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0

  141. If 1 in 200 women are photogenic, that would mean that 5 women in 1000 were photogenic. And 1 in 50 women having 120+ IQ would mean that 20 women in 1000 were 120+ IQ. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the convergence of those two characteristics are ruled by the same percentages does it? Couldn’t their convergence be random?

    The person you’re responding to has already presumed that it’s random. If you disagree, you will need to argue that it’s not random, i.e., that good looks and high intelligence are positively correlated.

  142. A lot of those guys were lean guys in their twenties. Travel + meals with clients + slowing metabolism + long hours + not much sleep + stress can add some pounds.

  143. Obviously, she wasn’t talking about human eggs there, but she was attuned to all that. In her last (?) stand-up special on cable, she had a joke about still keeping a tampon in her purse.

  144. You nailed it. Shorter people have to work much harder to project height/power. Desk heights, platforms, shoes, pictures on horseback.

  145. I said hot not beautiful. Lots of overlap there but they aren’t the same thing.

  146. Lol, yes. Actually Di Caprio impressed Putin, who called him some Russian word starting with “m” that meant “real man”. Because Leo went in spite of a flight breaking down or something.

    I think Putin sized Leo up and found him someone worthy of respect. First Putin, then the Academy. Baby steps.

  147. “The only women I trust with anything serious are older and matronly.”

    Depends on what you mean by serious.

  148. Related to this is the number of defined variables and graded variation between variables. We are much more interested in the behavior of other humans than we are in the behavior of anything else, and are observing this behavior on a constant basis. But observations on human behavior are not measurable in the same sense as measuring the motions of planets or quantities in a chemical reaction. Perhaps because, as intelligent people, we recognize the power of measurement, or Noticing, and develop screens to disable it. Our behavior is not as simple as planetary motion, both because we see much more in ourselves than we see in planets, and because we want to cover our tracks.

  149. I’m surprised no one seems to have mentioned the notion of “command presence”, which is well known in the military, and in the last couple of decades, has attracted some attention and discussion from the law enforcement community as well.

    Briefly, General Colin Powell had command presence (at least until he ran up against the terrible twins, Cheney and Rumsfeld). It has been considered an essential quality in military performance reviews around the world for a long time.

    Police circles have long debated whether command presence in police officers helps calm a situation down, or acts as catnip to baddies and those in a stand-off situation, thus making situations more unstable and dangerous. As recent news confirms, the police sometimes solve the dilemma with a bullet establishing command presence over individuals for eternity.

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  150. Another great example of excellent male presence is Tywin Lannister in the HBO Game of Thrones production. Watch any scene he’s in, as he controls ruthless killers, and you will understand how to comport yourself. (You have to be eloquent to pull this off, of course. His power comes from his intelligence.)

    You don’t have to be a juiced up guido to pull this off. Anyone, no matter how schlubby, can pull this off.

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  151. His power comes from his intelligence.

    That sort of masculine power comes from complete mastery of one’s emotional state.

    See Donnie Yen in the Ip Man series.

  152. I’m surprised no one seems to have mentioned the notion of “command presence”, which is well known in the military, and in the last couple of decades, has attracted some attention and discussion from the law enforcement community as well.

    It’s not called that, but that sort of thing is essential for effective teaching as well. It has to be established that the purpose is the maintenance of a productive learning environment instead of the personal aggrandizement of the teacher, but a teacher without that presence will be eaten alive.

  153. Re. blonde women : don’t you know blonde hair has nothing to do with making women more sexually atractive ? It is just one of theose spandrelly side effects of ligher skin, which is for … well never mind but leading HBDers have assured me it is nothing to do with sex

    Here is an explaination for power posing. Her idea is not about a way to intimidate others, it’s to change your inner life Brush your teeth using the non doninant hand and you will feel more powerful. Deliberately stand round shouldered and you will feel more powerful. Do anything on purpose and you will feel more powerful, because you cannot help but feel totally free, when you seem to act as you choose. Conversely, if you lie in a dark room contimplating your navel, you will feel powerless.

  154. Dave, why is it an either/or dichotomy? I do both and enjoy both. But Feld is discussing ultra-distance running, not traditional distance running (in the Olympics, the Marathon is the longest running distance). I cap out at half-marathons, but I also do upper/lower body strength training 3-4 days a week, usually after a cardio endurance event (I also run triathlons, so I swim and bike as well). He also does not discuss his eating habits prior to and after the race, which significantly effect energy and emotional/psychological health. In my experience, once you get up past marathons, its pretty much your lifestyle; everything (sleep, meals, social life) is oriented on the training schedule/regimen. Ironman triathlon types talk obsessively about how their lifestyle is oriented on how they train/prepare.

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  155. Cryptogenic [AKA "Gentile Ben"]
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Cue picture of Pepe the Frog with “You will never …” caption.

    If you really want to step up your success/competition elimination game, dirty SJW tricks should be considered. Using your understanding of the white privilege knapsack as a cudgel against less enlightened competitors, initiating whispering campaigns against racist/sexist/-phobic coworkers, or no longer identifying as either sex and forcing others to alter their pronoun usage around you — all of this can potentially take down power posers in certain settings. It has before.

  156. Cryptogenic [AKA "Gentile Ben"]
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    I noticed that Chinese have a tendency of coming up with ill-fitting western names.
    Something generic like ‘john’ or ‘pat’ would sort of work. John Fung or Pat Fung.

    But ‘Kaiser’? And some are named ‘Benedict’. And that tranny boy called himself ‘Calliope’.

    I’ve known Chinese girls named Clabby, Ice and Bill.

  157. Cryptogenic [AKA "Gentile Ben"]
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Smoking used to be a very good cure for fidgeting in adults. The hands could light the cigarette, the person could inhale deeply, the cigarette could be moved from the mouth, the ashes could be knocked off–you didn’t have to stand still. And the nicotine served as a calming agent that counteracted the adrenaline. You saw a lot of smoking on TV chat shows and game shows in the early days, largely to combat nerves. Unfortunately, it’s no longer socially acceptable to smoke indoors, or, indeed, in general.

    The chief reason I quit smoking is because nicotine, a stimulant, caused me to feel more nervous and fidgety, like drinking too much coffee. The only time smoking calmed me was when I had a cigarette after several hours without one. Im not sure “calmed” is the right word: relief, euphoria and wellbeing seem more apt. (Note: this was a positive pleasure, not the “you just THINK you feel good” fake pleasure posited by doctors and addiction experts.)

    I could see that smoking, even chainsmoking, helped other smokers maintain an even keel, but this was not at all the case with me. Total opposite.

  158. Some women get a hard attitude from getting hit on so much. They begin to think that there is only one thing guys want from them.

  159. Oliver Reed would know. He died in a bar while filming Gladiator.

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  160. If you get hemorrhoids at the gym, you’re probably spending more time in the showers than the squat rack. Just sayin

  161. As far as I know, there is no connection between being photogenic and being intelligent. So, I’m hoping that I’m doing this right:

    1/200 x 1/50 = 1/10,000

    It really sucks. A woman might be smart and experienced and folksy – but if she’s not pretty, you won’t see her on TV. Just like a guy who’s got a great jumpshot, great passing and playmaking skills but is 5’10″ is not going to be on the varsity basketball team at a good college, let alone in the NBA.

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  162. Right. The writers had Charles Dance in mind when they wrote the part and remarked on his “steely demeanor”.

  163. I’d recommend the 5 X 5 workout plan.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/is-stronglifts-5×5-the-right-training-program-for-you.html

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  164. I would say not disliked but ignored. They are disadvantaged because success is defined in various ways but the making of money is so very high on the list and making money requires a certain amount of selling – something introverts are not good at.

    Even if some guy is exceptionally good at forecasting market trends, unless he can get out there and build a fund he is unlikely to make money fast enough to hob-nob with the Wall Street elite. Somebody will no doubt hire him and pay him well but he won’t make the billions the public face of the fund will.

    For young kids the problem of introversion is that being ignored seems like being disliked. It is less important when you are older and can make a decent if not spectacular living. The problem is getting kids through that period without having serious problems.

  165. Given my body type (5’11″, 305 lbs.) and condition of my knees (damaged) running isn’t an optimal cardio workout. I’ll ride the bike, thanks. Body type has a lot to do with which cardio option one chooses.

    This isn’t a topic I think about much, as I’ve been physically daunting to most people since I started hitting the weights 45 years ago. My girlfriend is also intimidating, especially to other women, at a very toned 5’10″, 125 lbs. We met at the gym, and I ask people looking at us askance when they see us together why wouldn’t Gisele Bundchen be with Bill Kazmaier.

    She’s smart, able and a hard worker, but she admits she gets a lot of mileage out of her appearance, as patients seem predisposed to listen to her more than they do her nurse coworkers, mostly tubby middle-aged women from Southie (her departmental colleagues are having a weight-loss competition again this spring, and 11 of the 15 women clocked in at over 200 lbs. at the initial weigh-in!). Doctors and administrators also seem to have a better relationship with her than her colleagues; she’s the nursing rep, chosen by the Director of Nursing, on the ethics committee and has been the only nurse invited to the head of ortho’s big Christmas party the past three years. However, her looks and height only give people a predisposition to like and respect her, it’s her intelligence and caring that really earn it. That I receive a certain deference in most social situations would never happen absent brains, and I leverage being the rare gorilla with an intellect.

    Mark2, it has been my experience that most guys at the gym do not do ANY leg workout, or a truncated one at best. The benefits, especially if you play a sport, are immeasurable. I’m 58 and have no meniscus in my right knee but I still work my legs pretty hard and pay the pain price for it, because there’s nothing sillier than the guys with pumped up chest, shoulders and arms walking around on what I call little pipe stems. Conversely, almost all woman at any gym DO work their legs, as the legs and butt, along with the backs of their arms, are important to them. You can do it!

    Being 6’4″, Steve, do you notice you get respect due to your height?

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  166. I can think of no situation where that impertinent jibe could possibly be construed as anything else but insulting.

    You can’t believe a toupee salesman or close friend or family member could make that statement without being intentionally insulting? When a guy who doesn’t have hair shows up with hair one day, I think he’s aware that people are going to notice, and quite possibly, comment. If that comment can only be construed as negative, then nobody would buy toupees. The word “toupee” may be a little out of date, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

  167. ‘flexibility to analyze data’

    Funny you should mention that, because the funnel plot I posted was apparently quite flexible as well.

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/01/19/genetic-testing-and-self-fulfilling-prophecies/#comment-30369

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  168. Unless you are genetically gifted lifting weights will noticeably build up the hips more than anything.

    Serious lifting is like drugs: too dangerous when you are no longer young.

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  169. A well known veteran actress said Caine was the most superficial man she had ever met. He is interesting about acting and mentioned that blond eyelashes meant he has to darken them to have an impact onscreen.

    Reed died just after wining a couple of arm wrestling contests against men in their twenties, being naturally burly and strong. That nasty scar on his face illustrates the other side of being powerfully built and having presence. In a Leicester Square nightclub Reed got into an argument at the bar and ended up telling the two antagonists to go and play with themselves. Classic thug cunning followed. They waited till he went to the toilet; followed, and then attacked him with broken bottles.

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  170. All wrestlers get them.

  171. “why wouldn’t Gisele Bundchen be with Bill Kazmaier.”

    Because she can get a younger richer guy who made it in football and I don’t have to google.

    But no disrespect to your actual happy real life story.

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  172. Actually, the issue of the storm not being realistic is both present in the original work and acknowledged by the author. He needed a disaster to force the mission to take off quickly enough that a person could be plausibly left behind.

    It’s not a problem with Hollywood, it’s a problem with the human need for drama.

  173. Migration into Germany!

  174. Careful, a lot of the people here are actively hostile to introversion or thoughtfulness. Much as they’re hostile to ‘Spergy’ people – their term, I’m afraid.

    I fear Internet comment threads on political topics aren’t the place to look for high intellectualism. Instead the examples of stupid intellectualism tend to be used to condemn the elite generally.

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  175. Being 6’4″, Steve, do you notice you get respect due to your height?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YpBo9WuKRE

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  176. Yeah, pretty much.

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  177. […] Cuddy is the foremost exponent of “power posing.” This is from the Unz Review, quoting […]

  178. Like John Cleese, I’m 6′ 5″, and I heartily endorse that hilarious and enlightening sketch!

  179. Being 6’4″, Steve, do you notice you get respect due to your height?

    Yeah, pretty much.

    Our local science museum has an exhibit on the various body types, including interviews with people who possess them. One guy was pretty round, though tightly-packed rather than flabby. He recounted several drawbacks of being of his size, but at the end, added that people always took his presence seriously, and accorded him respect, due to his sheer mass.

    So width may be just as beneficial as height. As with that Chicago union musician…

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  180. Thanks for the link. I first saw the Nguyen and Ryan 2008 funnel plot last December and also thought that the plot looked a bit asymmetric, despite the article’s description of the plot. I plotted the data in the article’s table to run some statistical tests, but the table data didn’t match the figure. One of the co-authors was nice enough to send me data for the figure. I plotted the effect size (d) against the standard error (se) calculated based on d and the sample size, through formula 7.30 from Hunter and Schmidt 2004: 286.

    That plot makes the asymmetry a bit more detectable by eye, and Begg’s test and Egger’s test both indicated funnel plot asymmetry at p<0.001. I put some other stereotype threat/boost funnel plots here. I wish peer reviewers and journal editors would require funnel plots and more statistical tests than the failsafe N.

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  181. Reed died just after wining a couple of arm wrestling contests against men in their twenties, being naturally burly and strong.

    In 1985 I subletted from an Englishman who happened to be in a certain pub when Reed held his wedding reception there. He said Reed was as wild as ever, and spent all his time with his mates, ignoring his young (and sad) bride.

    This fellow also sold one of his carpetbags (yes, he was a literal carpetbagger) to Boy George at Victoria Station, at the beginning of the latter’s stardom. That’s when I learned that behind all of George O’Dowd’s fluffery was the build of an Irish boxer. Which is the stock whence he came.

  182. I noticed that Chinese have a tendency of coming up with ill-fitting western names.
    Something generic like ‘john’ or ‘pat’ would sort of work. John Fung or Pat Fung.

    The Chinese have precious few surnames for a billion + people. “Generic” is the very last thing they need.

    My wife has one of the most common surnames in her native state, but her first name is rather unusual, out of the top 150 the year she was born, and only once cracking the top 50. On a visit to the doctor in her late teens, the doctor was surprised to find the stats of an eight-year-old girl in her file. Turns out, there was an eight-year-old girl with the same first and last name out in the waiting room. Everyone had a laugh, and they traded charts.

    Now imagine “John Fung”, or John Wang or John Wong… They’d be going through this kind of thing every week. The same is true of other ethnic groups with names such as Nguyen, Vang, and Patel. The New York Mets even had two Bob Millers on their pitching staff once.

    But Tamerlane Wong or Rosewater Wang is probably safe.

  183. It sure beats meatspace and the mainstream internet. But yes, you’ll still find internet tough guys, like in an earlier thread here, that get their jollies by shoving “spergs” into a notional locker.

  184. I first saw the Nguyen and Ryan 2008 funnel plot…

    Voilà! I use “Nguyen” as an example of an ultracommon surname, and there it appears, like magic, right above my comment.

  185. I agree with your point and admit that my math questioning was ill-informed.

    Now, Hillary winning six coin-tosses in a row in Iowa, the odds on that must be out of this world!

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  186. The two activities work at cross-purposes. Lifting is anabolic, distance running is catabolic.

  187. It’s similar to the starting strength novice program.

  188. The other thing you probably see is guys with stem legs who do do leg work doing half squats.

  189. Not lifting can be more dangerous. When you get older, you will be more likely to fall, and more likely to break a hip when you do. I’d rather have a bigger ass.

  190. I came into the world at 10 lbs. 13 oz.; the size of my hips was pretty much determined. If you look at guys, like retired pro football players, who worked the weights hard then tapered off after retirement, you see that what remains outsized is the neck. Patriots Hall of Famer John Hannah used to buy computer equipment from my best friend back in the 90s, and at about 235 lbs. his 20-inch neck was all that was left.

    Your body lets you know the score. On my 50th birthday I benched 455 lbs. just to prove to myself that I still could. There’s no way, 8 years later, that I’d even attempt it. Like runners, there are old lifters and bold lifters, but very few old, bold lifters.

    After a certain age, depending on how much heavy lifting you’ve done in the past, your workouts are a competition between staying fit/strong and body parts breaking down. Funny when you have too little testosterone to lift what you used to but enough T to want to attempt it. I’ve always looked down on the guys using PEDs, but as I’ve aged, I see the attraction. At my age, anything that helps recovery from workouts is enticing.

  191. Oh, yeah, one of the things the girlfriend commented on when we started dating was that in crowds, my sheer muscle mass created space. People get out of your way.

    Finding shirts that fit, on the other hand…

  192. If a guy with “Uncle” in his handle has to Google the guy from the 80s who’s arguably the strongest man who ever lived, well, it shows how under-the-radar strength events are!

    The girl could have pretty much any guy she wants, including the 20-somethings at the gym ogling her ass when she does her stretching after her workouts. She’s been there, done that.

    She’s not my type physically; all my friends said I’d never last with her because history proved that I have a 36C minimum for my woman. I’m definitely not her type. All the old boyfriends I’ve seen photos of are tall and fairly thin; one of them actually was a model. Same old story, a feminine woman dated a bunch of metrosexual guys who were essentially over-bred poodles now wants to try a real man.

    We both ride the bikes at the gym for cardio, and we both used to read while riding. She said she noticed the titles of some of the books I was reading and they didn’t seem to be what she expected someone who looked like I did reading the stuff I was reading. Then one night we both had the same book (Tony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential) and we had our first conversation, about food and restaurants. We started to talk on a regular basis, and I asked her out. That was the spring of 2002.

    The connection is intellectual, something the Game weenies ignore.

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  193. She’d drop you for Crisiaino Renaldo in 15 seconds.

  194. 1 in 64 to be exact. 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2.

    Bonus question: If a coin comes up heads 6 times in a row, what are the odd of it coming up heads on the next toss?

  195. I can see Homer Simpson taking power posing lessons from Amy Cuddy…Good material for a Simpson episode.

  196. The connection is intellectual, something the Game weenies ignore.

    Game is a way for genetically unattractive guys (unattractive, usually, because they’re naturally timid) to act like a stud for 7 hours and trick a woman’s inherent mate valuation metrics to overestimate him into being a good one-off lay beneath the radar. Thus, Game practitioners end up with many shallow relationships that don’t last.

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