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Definitive dictionary of power

New definitions.

They're related to "enlightened individualism", and the mental aspects of power dynamics:

  • Slave mindset: to believe that someone is more valuable than you are because of a higher rank or title they possess, or because of external markers of success

Connected to:

  • Slave identity: to feel represented by someone who is higher up in a hierarchy, for example, a boss, a CEO, or a country president

Explanation: slave identity is part of the more general "slave mindset", and concerns people who haven't yet developed a strong sense of self. They then project their identity onto external entities, including groups, famous or successful people, or people with a higher rank.
The individual with a "slave identity" then feels either personally augmented or diminished depending on what those higher-ups are doing.
Slave identity gives away personal power and agency, and automatically places oneself beneath others.

The higher power alternative instead is to only feel responsible for oneself, and only represented by one's own personal actions.

Example:

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Added the "gravitational pull" law:

The importance and relevance of an event or individual to you is inversely proportional to its value and distance

It's an important concept to assess and prioritize what and who deserves your attention and time.
We have seen how to apply this law, and how it's often misapplied, in the "enlightened individualist" article.

There was also a forum entry one of the two components of this law:

 

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Types of power borrowing:

  • Frame Spreading by Ali

Borrowing power from various different social norms that most people either approve or, or disapprove of

  • Higher Authority
    • Governments, bosses, business leaders
    • Everyone borrowing from health boards during this COVID-19 period
  • Majority/Consensus - I would say it's a bit different from societal norms because it can be localised like within a company
    • 80% of employees in this company would like the flexibility of working from home/office
  • Domain Authority,  a.k.a. experts
    • The doctor says wearing masks helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so please wear masks
  • Scientific or Statistic Authority
    • These 10 studies have shown a 50% decrease in the spread rate of COVID-19 when wearing masks
  • Personal Authority like credentials, track record, etc
    • I think arguably some personal authority is acknowledged by society or others
    • So you can borrow some power here

I'm using mask-wearing and COVID-19 because it's something in common we can relate to, unfortunately.
Both in terms of the pandemic and also people playing power dynamics around social norms in this pandemic.

I put in other points for brainstorming since we discussed power borrowing a few times on other threads.
Maybe further discussion on other threads.

Yes, thanks for starting this thread, Matthew.

Quickly, I'll share a bit of what brought me to this "frame spreading" concept.

I remember one day in high school when I was talking with a friend of mine, and I prevented a potentially long-winded debate (and loss in social status) by using this frame control technique.

The conversation went something like this:

Ali: (talking about dating and relationships)

M: (loud, seemingly defensive, and almost offended) "Is there something wrong with a girl wanting a guy who has money?"

[Entire classroom falls silent, some eyes fall toward Ali]

Ali: (confident) "No, but if a girl leaves a guy because he [the other guy] has more money, then she's a gold digger."

[Entire room remains silent, curious how M will respond]

M: (calms down and goes back to work)

Ali: (turns back around in chair and goes back to work)

  • "...if a girl leaves a guy because he [the other guy] has more money, then she's a gold digger." (= outspread frame: women who are only in relationships for the man's money are gold diggers)

And, leveraging that frame that's widely held by society helped me resolve the situation in what felt like a powerful manner.

*Note: One could say that the frame used was already "outspread" (i.e. widely held), hence the name: "outspread frame".

I've been making notes on this technique, referencing a popular example from Lucio about a man buying a girl flowers. Maybe we can brainstorm the concept a bit more here.

Thanks again, Matthew, for starting this thread.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

So far the current entries for "power borrowing" in the dictionary are:

  • Appeals to “proper rules of conduct”: which ends up being a judge power move (ie.: “you’re not being proper”)
  • Appeals to rules/laws/SOPs, etc: recruiting the power of sanctioned “rules”
  • Appeals to the group: simply speaking in terms of “we” rather than “I” can also be a manipulative form of power-borrowing
  • Appeals to a specific higher authority: “the boss said”, “expert X says”, “this is not what the CEO wants us to do, the CEO wants… “

"Proper rules of conduct" presents the deepest overlap with what Ali mentions, but it's not exactly the same, plus a real name is missing.

"Frame spreading" is alright, with the downside being that it's not exactly intuitive.
So just to throw some potential names:

  • Social-norms pacing
  • Cultural power-alining / social power aligning
  • Virtue-alignment: sometimes the technique is a form of virtue-signaling, but not always and necessarily
Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I like how "cultural power-aligning" can also refer to workplace cultures.

In this thread, I mentioned:

Ali: "All that being said, it may be best in the future if you go back to doing it alone. It's a question of whether or not it's worth creating trouble for yourself if the unstated frame is already set throughout everyone that it's unprofessional. Instead of going around dealing with everyone's frames, you could work in silence on your own and bring the most high-quality work you can to the table."

And, that might've been a case of "workplace" cultural power-aligning. So, I like how this term extends past the situations one might find in general life and includes the workplace as well.

Yet, something that sounds even more encompassing is "social-norms pacing". I really love how I can already visualize it being used in case studies around the forum, and how it moves beyond the term "culture"—which sounds like it only applies to big social norms—and involves the smaller social norms as well.

The name "outspread frame" definitely needed some work, so thanks for the ideas, Lucio.

I propose:

-slave diet- = plant based cheap industrial processed garbage junk toxic kind of edible stuff, especially acelular carbohydrate and seed oils, promoted by the elite in a complot to make the sheep weak and obedient

🙂

 

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I think it would be valuable to make "argument flopping" a frame control technique.

The technique of causing one's argument to flop by putting it back on them is great for "small wins", but also for identifying when one should resist the urge to pull the easy punches.

For example:

 

Taker: "No offense, Carrie, but I really don't think we should have to pay for your extravagant lifestyle. (judge authority frame: positions herself as the judge of what amount of money is the "right" amount of money to spend on shoes) I mean, it was your choice to buy shoes that expensive."

Carrie: (agree and redirect) "Yes, but it wasn't my choice to take them off."

Taker: "They're just shoes."

Carrie: (argument flop technique) "Exactly, they're only shoes. So, a refund for them shouldn't be a problem."

In this case, the argument flop would've been better left out. And, it would've been better to address the taker's judge frame of having the authority to decide how one should spend their money.

E.g.

Taker: "No offense, Carrie, but I really don't think we should have to pay for your extravagant lifestyle. (judge authority frame: positions herself as the judge of what amount of money is the "right" amount of money to spend on shoes) I mean, it was your choice to buy shoes that expensive."

Carrie: (controls the scope) "(Name), this isn't about how I spend my money, or what kind of lifestyle I live. (attaches a new, high-moral judge frame to counter hers) It's about fairness. And, since it wasn't my choice to take them off, it's only fair if you provide a refund for them."

A case where argument flopping could be a great small win is in the cases of the Yale negotiation strategy examples and the honey deal trap example (referred to there as "argument flipping").

Hey Ali,

I'm not sure I understand the concept of "flopping" in the description or example.

OFF-TOPIC

 (judge authority frame: positions herself as the judge of what amount of money is the "right" amount of money to spend on shoes)

Yeah, correct, it's definitely a judge power move.
I'd say that it goes even deeper, as judge dynamics usually concern the assessment of people's worthiness as human beings -or at least at some of their core decision-.
So in this case it's not only about the right amount of money to spend on shoes, but ultimately about "being a bad / inferior person for throwing money away on silly things".

OFF-TOPIC

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Yea, it's the same as "argument flipping", I simply decided to change the name to "flopping" so it wouldn't get confused with the frame flip technique.

Frame Flip: Turn your weaknesses into your strengths

E.g.

Reagan: "I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience." ("Reagan’s old age was an issue in the campaign, and when asked about it, this is how Reagan flipped that 'weakness' of his into his strength")

Argument Flop: Turn their strengths into your strengths

E.g.

The Buyer: “Hey, we’re Coca-Cola. For us, eight million isn’t even a rounding error on a rounding error. For you, one million really matters a huge amount. It’s the difference between life and death. Therefore, you should be happy with a million. We’ll take the seven million. Thank you very much.”

Nalebuff: “Well, hey, Coca-Cola, you just told me you don’t care. Eight million is a rounding error in a rounding error. So, nobody will notice if you don’t even get it. Therefore, since we care so much, we’d like to have the seven million and you can have the one million. And, who will notice?” (Coca-Cola’s large revenue was a strength in this negotiation, and when used to justify giving Nalebuff less money, this is how Nalebuff flipped that 'strength' of theirs into his strength)

The name "argument flop" can change. But, the idea is that you take their argument and use it to boost your own argument by flipping it back on them (causing their argument to "flop").

If you don't think it's valuable, all good, of course, I'll still keep doing my best to share any new ideas I come across :).

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