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What constitutes a high-quality individual?

A question that started here with a recent post here, I'd like to share my brief thoughts.

Lucio said this once in a case study with Donald Trump that made me think (see full thread here):

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 27, 2020, 6:43 pm
(...)

Warning: Potentially abusive technique, use it sparingly

I wasn't sure whether to post this one in the "proven techniques" section.

And the reason is that I see this technique has more use cases for aggression, covert aggression, and generally value-taking purposes than value-adding ones.
And this website aims at making readers and users a different kind of high-quality men and women.

(...)

Lucio, when you said "a different kind of high-quality person", it seemed to me like you were saying that Trump was one out of potentially multiple different kinds of high-quality men.

And, to me, that made sense.

In your "high-quality men" article, you listed one of the traits of a high-quality man as "He Knows Power Dynamics". You didn't say he had to use that knowledge for good.

So, as long as they were power-aware, then they were still high-quality.

But, then you said this:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on April 23, 2023, 5:51 pm

(...)

The difference is that one can be high-value and an asshole.

High quality instead adds an element of ethics...

(...)

And I was confused because it seemed like you were adding your own personal preference to the definition now.

What you were describing was an enlightened high-quality man.

So—and this is more of my own personal opinion coming in now—I think that one can be unethical and still be a socially effective human being due to having high power awareness. And that social effectiveness—that competence—is still a high-quality trait to me (albeit a misused one in the moral sense).

I think the disparity between our interpretations (and mine is still subject to change) is that I measure quality in terms of strength of character whereas Lucio is measuring based on strength and goodness of character.

And, while someone can be low-quality from a moral perspective, they can still be high-quality from a (social) competence perspective.

And that's where the question of "what is really a high-quality person" becomes more nuanced depending on the context in which the subject is being discussed.

Would be happy to read any thoughts on this and, even further than that, would be really happy if anyone can challenge my thought process here so we can move closer to a more definitive definition of a high-quality individual (even if only a tiny bit closer :).

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Starting from this fact:

There are no standard definitions of "high value" and "high quality" and even less so there are standard differences between the two.

This is something TPM wants to define and differentiate because, I think, it's an important distinction to make for self-development in general, and especially for those who want to be more successful, more powerful, achieve goals and "win", without turning into abusive assholes.

In brief:

  • High value can be an asshole / son of a bitch / outright abuser / mean / sadist / etc. etc.
  • High quality is also high value, but cannot be any of that (in general, and as a personality, some exceptions in some circumstances always apply)

High quality would basically be an eagle.

However... We have not yet made that difference clear.

As a matter of fact, by talking about the difference now when the articles state differently I'm probably confusing things even further.

So all of the confusion and mistakes you highlight are correct.

If that clarifies things a bit, now this should make more sense:

Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 25, 2023, 1:46 am

So—and this is more of my own personal opinion coming in now—I think that one can be unethical and still be a socially effective human being due to having high power awareness. And that social effectiveness—that competence—is still a high-quality trait to me (albeit a misused one in the moral sense).

Yes.
Once we clarified the difference though we can say that power awareness per se is high-value trait, not necessarily high quality.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 25, 2023, 1:46 am

In your "high-quality men" article, you listed one of the traits of a high-quality man as "He Knows Power Dynamics". You didn't say he had to use that knowledge for good.

So, as long as they were power-aware, then they were still high-quality.

Yes, that was a mistake.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 25, 2023, 1:46 am

And I was confused because it seemed like you were adding your own personal preference to the definition now.

Yes, but it's not so much my personal preference.

It's almost universal that most people prefer being close -or being led- by someone who has higher moral integrity, rather than lower.

Just think about yourself:

Would you rather have a girlfriend who cheats and steals from her own boyfriend, or one who is supportive and seeks to do the right thing with her partner?

That stands even at parity of more objective measures of her value (net worth, beauty, social skills etc.)

So the cheating and stealing one may be high value, but not high quality -her value may even make her worse for a partner because she can use more resources, skills and intelligence to turn into a value-taker-.
The latter who is supportive may be high value and high quality.

Same thing for a friend, boss, business partner, etc.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 25, 2023, 1:46 am

Lucio, when you said "a different kind of high-quality person", it seemed to me like you were saying that Trump was one out of potentially multiple different kinds of high-quality men.

Mistake, and this is more controversial and subjective since politics and biases can take over.

However, Trump is more "high value" than "high quality" -or, if he were to lose all his political clout and financial power with the variosu legal woes, was high value, albeit that's unlikely-.

Up for each one to judge, but my own personal judgment is that Trump is clearly a man who cares nothing about the people he leads and works with and is happy to manipulate, harm, and make his own supporters worse off just for personal gain or gratification, no matter how small that gain may be (see how he organized an assault on Capitol Hill that had no hope to succeed, for personal gratification/personal anger and vendetta, at a heavy cost for many of his own supporters).

Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 25, 2023, 1:46 am

And that's where the question of "what is really a high-quality person" becomes more nuanced depending on the context in which the subject is being discussed.

It is indeed very nuanced.

And that's one of the reasons why making an article on "how to be high quality" is so difficult.

However, one can still make some general guiding principles -for example, just making one up now, when it comes to "truth VS lying" the general principle could be "always prefer telling the truth and try to tell the truth". Main exceptions: "when a lie is better for all", "when lie VS truth make little difference to others but the truth would be too high costs for you", etc.-.

Those principles will have exceptions and context, but they will still help a lot to clarify -and to make up for an ideal to move towards-.

But since it's complex, it takes some time.

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This is a very interesting conversation. I also have sometimes the same questions around the difference between "dominant" vs "high power". So as Lucio said above, I think some of the defintions on TPM are work in progress. So questions like yours, Ali, help to clarify.

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