Community Moving

Official community with Confidence University here and alumni’s Discord here.
👉 Use Google to search this forum.

Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Forum rules, usability, changing titles, moving threads, etc.

PreviousPage 4 of 6Next

Thank you Ali, amended it now (entry 9.3)

Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

Matthew, in this thread:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on July 29, 2021, 10:06 am

That was what I was thinking here:

Lucio: I'm proud and very happy to see how you handled this, Ali.

But I may be reading this wrong and it's not a power move.

There is no question mark here, and it doesn't make a point except for raising a potential topic for further discussion.

So it feels like a covert question.

And if I don't discuss it, it feels like I'm either snubbing your comment, or like I'm leaving unaddressed a potentially value-taking action of mine.

So the first point is to ideally make the comment clearer: is it a question?

The second point, which why I posted it here, is that I can't reply there.

That thread is to update on Power University updates and new content.

The reason being of that thread is for a PU student to open that thread, and see what's new.
It's not intended for discussion on tangent -or related- topics.

Such as, if you had said something like:

The new entry is interesting, but I don't get it. It seems to originate from this comment here, but it doesn't proprely explain it. Maybe you can explain better? Did you mean X?

That would be thread-relevant, since we're talking about the new added content (ie.: "the new added content is not clear").

But as it is, it feels to me like a (covert) invitation for off-topic.

Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

Yeah, indeed I typed that quickly on the mobile phone without thinking much.
And it didn't come across too well.

Controversial Topics

For controversial topics, I will

  • open a new thread or put the topic under Feedbacks & Clarifications because the discussion has quite a high chance of being extended and
  • spend more time elaborating upon the context

As such, this will avoid misunderstandings to a much greater degree.
Being on a fresh thread will also help.
Unless it's on the thread of Feedbacks & Clarifications.

Threads That Should Be Minimal

The reason being of that thread is for a PU student to open that thread, and see what's new.
It's not intended for discussion on tangent -or related- topics.

I see this now.
That thread is more for quick announcements on Power University.

In the future for any threads of a more announcement nature, minimise any discussion as much as possible.

A Potential Way to Invite Answers Without Being Covert & Pushy

And to avoid the following 2 dynamics:

  • asking a question covertly (stating topics which invite the reader to answer) and
  • putting pressure on the other to respond (asking "what do you think?" with a person's name)

Maybe one could phrase this in the following way:

Feel free to let me know your thoughts.

It shows the intent of wanting to know people's thoughts clearly and at the same time, takes the pressure off the other.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

@anish (Growfast),

From this thread:

Quote from Growfast on August 12, 2021, 9:08 am

The post might have got confusing.

I would like to clarify that it was posted for discussing about imagined generosity, false accusations and false boasting.

Now since we cleared it up I would thank and appreciate anyone who shares their thoughts.

I'd like to clarify on my side why I specifically addressed one of those 3 only.

It's because we try to keep it one-thread, one-topic.

Please see the guidelines in my signature, they're there to help us keep the forum efficient.

From that thread, those 3 things are different.
Imagined generosity is different from false accusations, which in turn is different from false boasting ("false boasting" doesn't exist BTW, your example was real boasting).

I recognize that the "falsehood" in there might seem like a common thread.
Yet, how you handle an accusation is very different from how you handle someone who is exaggerating the help he wanted to provide.

Since they're different, how you handle them is different.
And that's why, for clarity, each one of them goes on its own thread.
Otherwise, it ends up being a mish-mash soup of different things and nobody learns anything.

I understand that in the beginning, every power move might seem to same.
When in doubt, just pick one thing for one thread.

Edit:
Originally -and mistakely- posted this one in the "feedback" thread, which is more for social/interpersonal feedback.
Then moved it here since this feedback was about forum guidelines / usability.

Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

Hi Lucio,

Well, now it's going into higher level of abstraction, speculation, and general psychology.

The thread / subforum might not be the place for that.
The point of the original post was simpler and more practical:

I feel that sometimes discussing the general principles alongside the simpler and more practical examples can go hand in hand.

In a few of our discussions, I felt that we came up with general principles after discussing some practical examples in the same thread.

I think Machiavellianism is a more complex and unexplored topic.
As such, as you said, it sounds more speculative when I furthered the discussion into general principles.

My thoughts are that we can allow more leeway for brainstorming for complex topics.
Even though there can be a lot of speculation, something useful may come out of it after repeated discussions.

For example, I thought it's interesting why your friend has high-IQ and is successful in his own ways, but he doesn't strategise much when it comes to playing billiards.
One reason could be because he never needed to be Machiavellian in his upbringing or in his line of work with empathetic people (animal lovers).

On a personal note,  I like to abstract, speculate and bounce some ideas before diving further into a more rigorous analysis of ideas.
Maybe you don't think this is a good approach to forum discussions?

What do you think?

Hey Matthew,

I'm glad you wrote here.

Let me give you some reasons examples of why I personally felt it went too speculative / general / and not perfectly befitting the spirit of the thread.

Take this as a form of personal feedback on communication style, given in direct format and with "tough love".
Also, it's my opinion, so others might disagree and up to you if you want to get more feedback from others.

The subforum was "strategies".
So if it goes speculative, it's more suited if the speculation is more about strategies (ie.: "this might be more effective", "this other might backfire", etc.)
As a matter of fact, I think I had already done the first mistake to first post in there since there were no explicit strategic takeaways in my initial post.
And in general, the higher you go, the more you move away from anything practical.

In general, it's true that speculation can be useful to tease out principles or more practical strategies, but it's also true that speculation can build on itself and remain at abstract levels, going nowhere practical.

Probably speculation is more practical when:

  1. The speculation can be tested
  2. It moves towards a more stable framework (for example, what you wrote here is "systemic speculation" because, independently of whether it's correct or not, it moves towards a general principle and a system)
  3. The speculation is the only way to investigate because there is no available framework, evidence, or consensus

About point 3, as a general rule, there is far more room for speculation in power dynamics as a new discipline and different approach, than there is in general psychology.

For example, that Machiavellianism is independent of IQ was well-established from the very beginning of the Machiavellian construct.


Now from the message in that thread:

But probably all the dark triad traits are correlated.

A new thread: the dark triad as a conceptual grouping of different personalities.

That topic is also well explored in the literature.
It's not so much a matter of what one believes, they are grouped together because there are correlations and similarities.

Between us, when you write "probably", you may lose some credibility since it makes you sound like you're speculating on tangential topics where an answer exists.
So it's better to look it up, preface it in a way that admits non-expertise on the topic, or avoid touching it at all.
Otherwise the feeling that a reader can get is that one is talking just to talk. To give you an example, imagine if someone watching a race at a bar were to say "probably there is a correlation between engine's displacement and HPs". And most people would think "well, most likely there is one... But where are you going with that anyway?".

Including psychopathy which helps in being more "objective" since there are fewer emotions involved.

This opens a new thread on psychopathy.

And the point you make is true of Machiavellianism as well.
Possibly, more true for Machiavellianism than psychopathy.

This type of speculation on topics where answers exist muddles the water more than helping.

However, I think if empathetic people learn how to be detached, their empathy can be an added benefit as it allows them to intuitively read situations.

This is yet a new point.

Also discussed by some researchers, as well as in the website's Machiavellianism article / lesson (the advantage of combining both empathic and Machiavellian approaches).
If I were to answer to this portion, I'd personally only repeat what's already been said there, add little in terms of strategies, and go off-topic.

Include the above and a few more, and I see 5-6 general offshoots, with limited relevance to the original thread, and sometimes with limited connection to each other, not going in any specific directions.
That can feel disorganized to the reader.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on September 30, 2021, 3:54 pm

On a personal note,  I like to abstract, speculate and bounce some ideas before diving further into a more rigorous analysis of ideas.
Maybe you don't think this is a good approach to forum discussions?

I'd be careful with this.

What you say first is what colors people's perception the most.

If people think that someone speculates too much, he can get branded in people's minds as incoherent or ineffective.
If what you say instead is relevant, logical, on topic, and value-adding, what you say next will carry a lot of weight and you become influential.

Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

Hi Lucio,

I appreciate the feedback, and thanks for taking the time to be detailed.

Allow me to clarify a few points further.

I see that I was indeed incoherent in my general writing in that post.

Include the above and a few more, and I see 5-6 general offshoots, with limited relevance to the original thread, and sometimes with limited connection to each other, not going in any specific directions.
That can feel disorganized to the reader.

I should have put in more time to link the different statements that I made with titles.
Sometimes I want to write things more quickly.
In this case, it didn't turn out too well.

For example, that Machiavellianism is independent of IQ was well-established from the very beginning of the Machiavellian construct.

I did come across research suggesting Machiavellianism to be related to fluid intelligence.
But others are not.
This is why I prefaced my statement.

Now from the message in that thread:

But probably all the dark triad traits are correlated.

A new thread: the dark triad as a conceptual grouping of different personalities.

That topic is also well explored in the literature.
It's not so much a matter of what one believes, they are grouped together because there are correlations and similarities.

Between us, when you write "probably", you may lose some credibility since it makes you sound like you're speculating on tangential topics where an answer exists.
So it's better to look it up, preface it in a way that admits non-expertise on the topic, or avoid touching it at all.
Otherwise the feeling that a reader can get is that one is talking just to talk. To give you an example, imagine if someone watching a race at a bar were to say "probably there is a correlation between engine's displacement and HPs". And most people would think "well, most likely there is one... But where are you going with that anyway?".

I feel the main issue was that I used the word "speculation" to describe what I said because I followed your frame of "speculation".
So I framed my original post in this thread the wrong way.

I don't regard myself as an expert on Machiavellianism but I don't consider myself to be clueless on the subject either.
Because I do go through Power University, your articles regularly and read outside this website.
For example, that's how I stumbled upon the website: Truth About Deception, and shared it here:

I tend to preface my statements with "I think", "probably" even when I have done my research because I am not completely sure, and someone may have research indicating otherwise.
More on what you mention about this being unconvincing.

This type of speculation on topics where answers exist muddles the water more than helping.

However, I think if empathetic people learn how to be detached, their empathy can be an added benefit as it allows them to intuitively read situations.

This is yet a new point.

Also discussed by some researchers, as well as in the website's Machiavellianism article / lesson (the advantage of combining both empathic and Machiavellian approaches).
If I were to answer to this portion, I'd personally only repeat what's already been said there, add little in terms of strategies, and go off-topic.

I want to clarify that I gave the wrong impression of speculating here.
Because we did have previous discussions on empathy and Machiavellianism on other threads.
Here, I'm referencing the article and what we've discussed previously.
I wanted to quote the relevant portion in my reply.

The subforum was "strategies".
So if it goes speculative, it's more suited if the speculation is more about strategies (ie.: "this might be more effective", "this other might backfire", etc.)

I feel that the post is in line with strategies in this case because it helps to identify what are the histories and backgrounds that people who are better at planning and strategising will be.

And what type of people would be good at strategising and planning but are not Machiavellian.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on September 30, 2021, 3:54 pm

On a personal note,  I like to abstract, speculate and bounce some ideas before diving further into a more rigorous analysis of ideas.
Maybe you don't think this is a good approach to forum discussions?

I'd be careful with this.

What you say first is what colors people's perception the most.

If people think that someone speculates too much, he can get branded in people's minds as incoherent or ineffective.
If what you say instead is relevant, logical, on topic, and value-adding, what you say next will carry a lot of weight and you become influential.

I totally agree with what you described when I'm going into a meeting to persuade someone to take up my idea.
My intention here is to state a few ideas for brainstorming and not really to convince and draw conclusions right off the bat.

The Issue Was Coherence

So I feel that the issue on my reply was that my writing was not very coherent.
Rather than lack of subject knowledge, going off-topic and moving off the grid from practical strategies.

Previously Productive Discussions

I felt that my brainstorming approach produced productive discussions in the past.
But correct me if I'm wrong here.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on September 30, 2021, 8:05 pm

The Issue Was Coherence

So I feel that the issue on my reply was that my writing was not very coherent.
Rather than lack of subject knowledge, going off-topic and moving off the grid from practical strategies.

Previously Productive Discussions

I felt that my brainstorming approach produced productive discussions in the past.
But correct me if I'm wrong here.

I felt off-topic and moving away from practical implications as well in that particular case.
But feel free to disagree and we can happily and cordially agree to disagree here.

As for productive discussions, that isn't even called into question and absolutely and obviously yes.
You'd only need to look up how many times you've been quoted or cited for coming up with concepts or approaches, and... It's a lot of times :).

Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

I want to preface that, if you think we should move on, feel free to do so.
I thought that I may have been unclear and wanted to clarify some points.

Why do I Think it's Important to Discuss?

I felt off-topic and moving away from practical implications as well in that particular case.
But feel free to disagree and we can happily and cordially agree to disagree here.

As for productive discussions, that isn't even called into question and absolutely and obviously yes.
You'd only need to look up how many times you've been quoted or cited for coming up with concepts or approaches, and... It's a lot of times :).

I thought you were alluding to a bigger pattern concerning my communication.
This was why I brought this up.

If it's a bigger pattern, then it could be the case that

  1. I need to change my communication if the majority thinks that I'm being unclear, or
  2. Lucio and I have a difference in communication styles and how to discuss
  3. We were unlucky.
    The discussion was unproductive, and we didn't draw any conclusions from this.

The last point is important to me.
Because I felt that there were several instances where we went back and forth several times.
Sometimes it started out more vaguely.
Then, we went off for a while and thought about it
Eventually, we came to some interesting conclusions afterwards.

Why I Felt That Our Discussion Was Relevant to the Thread?

It could be how we interpreted the purpose of the thread.
This is how I interpret the purpose of the thread:

Lucio shared about how playing a game like billiard can help to identify Machiavellian characteristics and signs in people.
Also, how Machiavellian thinking can help you in a game of billiard especially when one is unfamiliar with the game.

Probably I wasn't very clear here.
My intention of going to a higher level of abstraction was to discuss whether you won on billiards because of more Machiavellian thinking.
I felt that you came out ahead because you were a better planner and strategist in general.
You could see ahead and visualise how things would pan out.
But it's not so much about deception or bending the rules.
And I wanted to ask your point of view on that.

Then you talked about how people approach things in general:

But it's not binary, and not the whole story.
Part of is also about how one naturally thinks and approaches games, problems, or opportunities.

Billiard is not life or death for us, but I want to win, my friend wants to win, and he doesn't hide his disappointment to lose.
So at that level of mild to moderate involvement, the different ways of thinking still made a night and day difference.
Most people approach "more important" things in life with the same level of involvement and attitude. From dating someone, to finding the right partner, to covering their asses if things go wrong, to getting a promotion, most people approach these things with the same non-strategic attitude.

This is relevant in my opinion because it helps to put strategic thinking, Machiavellianism and the game of billiard into perspective.

Several things why I believe it's practically useful:

  • Your friend wanting to win was an important piece of information.
    Because it could be the case where he was really shooting for fun as activity around where one can chat and catch up.
    So, if one plays billiard with someone who is playing for fun, then one cannot really judge whether he lacks Machiavellian characteristics or strategic thinking
  • "Most people approach "more important" things in life with the same level of involvement and attitude."
    Albeit I cannot verify whether this is true (from personal experience, I find it to be true), this opened up an important perspective.
    So, even someone seems to approach billiards non-strategically, then it makes sense to work on a small project to evaluate how he approaches professional life.
  • "Conversely, the less one methodically studies a subject, the less clear information there is, and/or the less you can prepare in advance for something, the more Machiavellianism provides a distinct advantage."
    Another very important point in my opinion.
    Putting situations with less structure into perspective with the game of billiard with relatively more structure and constraints.
    But the game of billiards is arguably much more fluid than chess for example.
    This is where Machiavellianism thinking can be useful.

Then, my post expands upon what you talked about.
I wanted to talk about what impacts the general ability to plan and strategise.

I would expect someone who is exposed to lots of manipulation to plan and strategise better.
So, in addition to behaviour in playing billiards, one can do background checks on the person.
If he's a marketer like you advised, then he's likely to be more Machiavellian.

And someone with better emotional stability to strategise better too.
If someone shows a lot of frustration about missing shots for example, then he probably may not keep a level-head in planning in chaotic situations.

On the Level of Detail of Analysis, Research to Include

I mentioned a few points on the surface level because it's like how short comments can be useful in ongoing discussions.

So, if someone feels it's relevant and interesting, one can go in that direction, and we can further the discussion.
But, if it falls flat in this case, then that's okay.
Though I may not necessarily know from the get-go.

Though I agree that I could have structured that better.

What did I mean by "probably"?

Now from the message in that thread:

But probably all the dark triad traits are correlated.

A new thread: the dark triad as a conceptual grouping of different personalities.

That topic is also well explored in the literature.
It's not so much a matter of what one believes, they are grouped together because there are correlations and similarities.

I agree that probably is not the most scientific word to use.

I meant probably in the sense that, for example, 10 studies show that Machiavellianism and narcissism are correlated with Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from 0.8-0.9 based on measuring 2 relevant variables describing the traits.

Not really probably in the sense of "I'm not sure".

I used the word probably because one can say two variables are correlated in a study or multiple studies.
Drawing the conclusion from those studies, I say that the two variables are probably correlated.

For example, that Machiavellianism is independent of IQ was well-established from the very beginning of the Machiavellian construct.

Likewise for how independent Machiavellianism is from IQ.
Depending on how the traits are broken down and measured, we can find different studies on the extent Machiavellianism affects IQ.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting your statement.
What you mean is that Machiavellianism and IQ are defined as 2 different constructs.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

You make all great points, Matthew.

I agree with almost everything you say.

I'm still not sure that was going anywhere since the odds we'd come up with an answer -and a good answer- on higher questions such as "how is Mach correlated with IQ- are low.
And the practical implications are also low.
So it's high-effort, low returns.

We can instead come up with great and correct answers here on what works on a strategic, practical level -and those are directly helpful to advancing power dynamics-.
Strategic, technical, and power-dynamics speculation hence are medium effort, high returns.

Anyway, we agree on 80% here so I wouldn't keep on expanding on the 20%.
If you prefer to dig deeper on general psychology / higher concepts / tangential threads, please keep doing so. If I don't think it's going anywhere practical for power dynamics, no harm was done: I simply won't have to reply. And if I feel it's going somewhere good, I'll expand on it.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.
PreviousPage 4 of 6Next

Processing...
Scroll to Top