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Young Alpha

Jimmy Kimmel issued a challenge to parents on Halloween. He asked them to film their kids while telling them they’d eaten all their Halloween candy overnight. What a sadist!

A bunch of parents uploaded videos to YouTube and most of them weren’t really very funny, just kids bursting into tears. This one, though – priceless. This boy is going to be big, big trouble for the ladies. His brother’s pretty cute too.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YkjXRMQiw8

  • Ceer

    For the age, you’re right.  That’s some alpha.  Imagine what the kid could do with some training.

  • Jonathan Manor

    That is definitely some alpha body language and some alpha footsie pajamas

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    what’s the saying, show me the boy at seven and i will show you the man. i guess this kid is younger than seven but damn he has some poise and assertiveness. he chastises his mom without losing his cool, without crying, without getting angry, and knowing that he can’t do anything about it, without wasting too much energy.

    this is a really interesting study. reminds me somewhat of this nytimes article about how the most successful kids — and thus people — long term are the ones who know best how to deal with failure.

    grit, baby.

    GRIT = SUCCESS

    Why our children’s success — and happiness — may depend less on perfect performance than on learning how to deal with failure.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    also reminds me of the paul graham article on being “relentlessly resourceful”.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/relres.html

    “A couple days ago I finally got being a good startup founder down to two words: relentlessly resourceful. Till then the best I’d managed was to get the opposite quality down to one: hapless. Most dictionaries say hapless means unlucky. But the dictionaries are not doing a very good job. A team that outplays its opponents but loses because of a bad decision by the referee could be called unlucky, but not hapless. Hapless implies passivity. To be hapless is to be battered by circumstances—to let the world have its way with you, instead of having your way with the world. ”

    to have your way with the world — that is the ultimate alpha quality — for men or women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @rivelino
      so good to have your quirky voice back on the threads.

      That Times article is interesting, because it directly states that the self-esteem movement, everything you do is great! – hampers the development of character. That’s obvious, I suppose, but I’ve generally thought of that as increasing narcissism. That’s correlated, but still essentially different, than failing to develop a variety of character traits, not just empathy.

      As for the concept of relentless resourcefulness, I wonder how that might be applied to getting what you want in the SMP. I’m sure it can be, maybe even must be.

  • Olive

    @Rivelino,

    That was the greatest NY Times article ever (I read it when it came out). It’s so true: kids who sail through life without conflict don’t know how to deal with obstacles later in life.

    Also, an article came out yesterday about college students dropping out of STEM majors at extremely high rates, particularly at more selective schools.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/why-science-majors-change-their-mind-its-just-so-darn-hard.html?pagewanted=all%3Fsrc%3Dtp&smid=fb-share

    Methinks these students have never come across something that doesn’t come easy to them?

    (Also sorry Susan, that article probably belongs more in the Early Indoctrination convo, but that thread has been dead for awhile).

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    “kids who sail through life without conflict don’t know how to deal with obstacles later in life.”

    that was me to a large extent. always got by on my smarts in school, increasingly studying harder and harder, but ignoring other aspects of life — like girls and dating in particular, and also with my mom doing my laundry, cooking for me, and my parents giving me money, etc. my only “job” was to get good grades, which i did.

    then came college, and having to do everything for myself, and it was so damn cold, and i suffered somewhat.

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    “Some students still lack math preparation or aren’t willing to work hard enough.”

    yeah. i wonder if the massive hookup culture is also distracting? or am i just trying to blame feminism for everything  :-)

     

  • thefemaleperspective

    This kid is boss. I saw the Jimmy Kimmel version and then just had to go and find the original video. Although he is most definitely Alpha for his age, if you watch the original 6 minute uncut video he’s actually very obedient to his mother, and unselfish when she asks whether or not he cares if she ate the candy and explains his reasoning. He is well beyond his years. I think he’ll grow up to be a Cougar catcher.

    Original video:

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Thefemaleperspective

      So happy to see you back here! I was afraid we had chased you away….:-(

      I agree, the boy is really a good kid. Did you notice that when his little brother says 2+2 = 5, he leans over and says, “4, it’s ok you were really close.” ? The way they look amused when she admits to loving the peanut butter cups? I loved that. They were the only kids who had an even remotely entertaining and rational response, haha.

  • CrisisEraDynamo
  • Octavia

    That’s the kind of joke my parents would play. LOL

    The boys were pretty calm.  It looks like their parents are raising them well, especially based upon the original video.

     

  • Rum

    I cannot but like the little guy. He reminds me a lot of me at that age.

    Women like him too.  That must be because, to them,  he represents the kind of guy who is most inclined to stay with one woman forever and dedicate himself un-endingly to the care and up keep of her and her sprogs.

    (giggle, giggle, snort)

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    hmm, thinking about the narcissism thing….

     

     

  • Matt T

    Kid thinks fast, and already demonstrates a mastery over his emotions. Impressive.

  • Matt T

    As for the STEM major article, I know this is off topic, but that article made me inwardly seethe with anger. It’s nothing more than so-called “experts” wringing their hands over a problem that they’ve largely created.

    STEM professors at most schools are under enormous pressure from admins to get rid of students. One reason is overcrowding. Another reason is that if they get rid of people and leave only the best, they can boast very high post-grad job placement/grad school placement/starting salary rates. This is a trick that admission officers often employ in their recruitment, boasting of “90+% med school admission rates” without mentioning that 70% of incoming premeds quit within 2 years.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    @Matt T

    STEM professors at most schools are under enormous pressure from admins to get rid of students. One reason is overcrowding. Another reason is that if they get rid of people and leave only the best, they can boast very high post-grad job placement/grad school placement/starting salary rates. This is a trick that admission officers often employ in their recruitment, boasting of “90+% med school admission rates” without mentioning that 70% of incoming premeds quit within 2 years.

    That’s as may be, but do you really want to hear that your doctor’s school had a 99% graduation rate?

    I wish I had that kid’s poise now.

  • Olive

    @Matt T,

    I’ve been a freshman at two colleges, both relatively prestigious, and I can’t tell you how many students I met who were sure they wanted to be doctors but dropped out of the premed track after the first year. What you say may be true, but I also think the premed dropout rates have something to do with students idealizing the “doctor” image. They want to be doctors because they will simultaneously help people and make money, but they don’t realize how much passion they must bring to the table to get through those first two years of difficult classes. And, ultimately, Bob is right: I don’t really want a doctor who has half-assed his/her way through school. So I don’t have a huge problem with the premed filter process.

    To be totally honest, I think too many people who don’t belong in college are going to college these days. But that’s a rant for another day. :-P

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    This tie in to your other post featuring the fatet and his two sons where the father mock-rejected one because he liked the wrong team.

    A good father wears many hats. One important hat is sparring partner. The kids in this video have had some practice in situations like this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ITIWB
      Yeah, I was also reminded of that previous video where the dad won’t let the kid be a Yankees fan. I agree – this is all about sparring. Both kids are remarkable in the way they take this in stride. They even seem kind of amused, like they’re tipping their hat to mom for a clever sneaky move while they were asleep. Mostly it shows that the kids are extremely secure in their mom’s love. The candy is no loss – they know that they’ll be getting plenty of whatever they need. And yet they’re the opposite of spoiled. Definitely good parenting there.

  • Jim

    This kid is just a character, there is nothing wrong with that. He is no alpha,

    There is no such thing as an Alpha male. By buying into this myth you women are screwing yourselves. The animal the alpha myth is based on is a canine relative anyway. Our closest relatives in the animal kingdom are Bonobo apes and they are matriarchal.

    When I was Non-commissioned officer in the US Army, I loved crushing the little punks who thought being a snotty self absorbed sociopath was cool. Respecting others and being a good leader is what it takes to be a man (or woman) Not being an “alpha”… quit propagating the misogynist Alpha myth with all this propaganda.

  • Rum

    Jim

    If guy “A” can beat up guy “B” but guy B has all the hot girls making excuses to jump in his bed where would you put the labels?

    As you pointed out, people are different in some ways from wild beasts. For example, we are better at finding  places to fu k in secret.

  • I thought *I* was Bob

    Pssst Rum

    Don’t feed the troll. Anyway, Bonobos are no more matriarchical than lions.

  • art

    Never thought 6 yo kid would teach me alpha body language

  • Matt T

    [quote]That’s as may be, but do you really want to hear that your doctor’s school had a 99% graduation rate?

    I wish I had that kid’s poise now.[/quote]

     

    Actually, most med schools DO have very high graduation rates, since it looks really bad to outsiders if a med school has physicians failing their USMLE. If you do fail it, the school will work with you and force you to pass it so they don’t look bad because of your fault.

  • thefemaleperspective

    @Susan

    I definitely want a smart aleck kid like that lol. Haha no definitely wasn’t chased away, had school business to keep me away for a bit, but i’m back:) I have some updates about my guy situation!

  • Rum

    Yes indeed Med Schools, yearn for that 99% pass rate. Here is how they pull it off. Remember, it is the pass rate of listed survivors that counts.  If a 1st or 2nd year kid is falling short he or she gets threatened with the prospect of repeating the whole year they messed up. All of it. All over again. Not a trace of mercy.

    The kid has three choices at that point 1. Suicide—dont laugh; it is almost  routine in such circumstances. 2. Tough it out. Because what is another year of absolute hell when you are going to become a Doctor. 3. Leave. the program and purge your weak genes.

    All 3 outcomes fit with the med schools natutral agenda.

  • Tasmin

    Those kids are super cute, no doubt.  They seem well adjusted and thoughtful.  But I do wonder why their parents felt like sharing their such an obviously adorable moment with the entire interweb. Perhaps the parents know how *special* their kids are.  Perhaps the parents know how *special* they must be for producing such *special* kids. Perhaps the kids also know how *special* they are.  Was the camera hidden? Regardless, we all love them – and now so do X thousand viewers.

    A lot of narcissists and high-Mach people have great poise, are well-spoken, and are often described as ‘charming’. That is why those are part of the “dark” triad.  Sure, it might be cynical to project such a negative possibility based on a single scene demonstrating apparent ‘emotional mastery’, but is it really any different than projecting such “positive” attributes as being “Alpha” or “trouble” for the ladies down the road?

    I’m assuming “Trouble” is defined as garnering the attraction/attention of many many women – and of course, eventually separating those women from their panties.  Proud Alpha fathers smirk everywhere.  So “Trouble” = Alpha + Physically Attractive = Positive/desirable.  This is consistently reinforced and not just by the parents (for example, this very post). Teachers also love these kids and all of the other kids know it.  The praise and fawning starts early and by the time it may or may not begin to wane, these guys are already so validated as being better/preferred/best that there is no point in them working toward any kind of balance or seeking any kind of understanding of those less fortunate souls who may lack their outward orientation.

    All that aside, what is the *wink wink* “he is going to be big trouble” really saying about all of the other little boys who are not so obviously such “trouble”?  Or even the meaning of “trouble” itself? I.e. the mental gap between praising a 7y/o future lady-killer and shunning 20y/o manwhore? All of this extrapolation is not really about this particular cute kid, but about how we so easily enter into such a positive orientation  toward certain traits in one moment but then *claim* to desire or have preference or re-allocate our value assignment for some other traits the next.  This maybe why so many true betas are somewhere between skeptical and resentful toward women who claim to actually prefer betas. True, those women may have learned something along the way or they might pick up on traits the Betas aren’t even aware of in themselves, but it just so counter to what pretty much everyone else has been showing them their entire lives.

    I know this was meant to be lighthearted, but sometimes it feels like we reinforce the gregarious, overly-confident, alpha-like qualities when we want them (when we find them attractive) but then we expect them to put on the brakes or acquire some kind of beta-balance before they reach narcism or become counter-productive to things like relationship formation. After all, we sit here and extrapolate all of these great qualities, great parenting, etc. based on this clip – but what really comes across is a clear value judgement on certain traits, and more specifically what those traits will afford that boy down the road: attention, adoration from women, “trouble”, all of which are good right? That is the story between the lines – at least how it has been presented here.  Otherwise, the post could have just been about a well-spoken, extremely confident kid. But it is not, it is about a “Young Alpha” and his likely future “success” aka “trouble”.

    Again, why is narcism on the rise?

    We can debate about alpha vs beta in all kinds of ways, but it is self-evident which set of traits/behaviors gets more attention. And not just attention – but attention with attribution of quality and social value/status.  Fast forward.  Now young college ladies: do not pay so much attention to those alpha guys, those cads.  Go find a nice Beta with some alpha qualities.  Problem is those betas have been shown in all kinds of ways over many years by their elders and then their peers what behaviors are favored.  I think that it is a common oversight or misconception that somehow betas or introverts or quiet kids or whatever are somehow also lacking in awareness as well as the ability to internalize exactly what is at work; most fully “get” that the genetic package they were given is viewed to be of lesser value or functionally inferior and in need of constant improvement.

    And the challenge down the road is that the motivation for Betas to change, to adapt, strengthen their alpha skills does not typically come through a culmination of lifelong-practice in self-improvement or some epiphany, it comes from a deeply reinforced sense of lacking, ineffective acquisition of social power, and/or consistent reinforcement of their lessor or impeded status. Basically that they need to act more like those other boys if they want to get what those other boys have been getting their entire life. Or go play a different game altogether.

     

  • Ceer

    @ Jim

    Read the alpha/beta definitions yourself on Dalrock or Athol Kay.

  • The Deuce

    Rum:

    Women like him too.  That must be because, to them,  he represents the kind of guy who is most inclined to stay with one woman forever and dedicate himself un-endingly to the care and up keep of her and her sprogs.

    He might be, actually. While the kid is definitely a natural in the amused mastery department, he’s nevertheless well-taught and obedient, and has a ton of self-control. Course, I have little doubt that he’ll have plenty of opportunity to cheat, should he so choose.

     

    Rivelino:

    hmm, thinking about the narcissism thing….

    Actually, he’s the opposite of a narcissist. It’s almost a defining trait of narcissists that they tend to take things personally and throw temper tantrums like children when somebody “steals their candy”, metaphorically or actually speaking. His ability to keep a broad perspective and let it go, while nevertheless projecting authority and not being a doormat about it, shows that he’s both well-adjusted and alpha, and that for him amused mastery is not an act.

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    #29 hey deuce, i was referring to susan’s comment at #8, where she read the nytimes article on grit, and said that she thought spoiling kids created narcissism, not softness, in the sense narcissism was “good” since it was part of the dark triad and thus made for more successful people in our cut throat world.

    something like that.

    i think she makes a good point. i still am not sure which way it goes.

  • Jim

    @ Ceer

    I don’t really care to read definitions of a false construct.

    @ Rum

    “If guy “A” can beat up guy “B” but guy B has all the hot girls making excuses to jump in his bed where would you put the labels?”

    I guess your implying I had problem with women because I was a tough guy. Your mistaken. The people who claim to be alphas use narcissistic behavior and lies to get laid, they seem to hate women and constantly talk about berating them sexually. Usually you will find they have a history of sexual assault or harassment, I know I helped a few get courts martialed. I know plenty of decent people that get laid without being dicks.

    Being a real man is about leadership and respect. Not lies and misogyny. If you berate and confuse women to be with them, you have no respect for them. …if you want to make this into a big dick contest for primal reasons I can glady post on craigslist… I know you’ll lose.

  • KiaW

    Speaking of getting spoiled…read some of the quotes in here from this Comic-Con speed dating event: http://slate.me/vXnr2b

    “Gentlemen, please, I need you to understand something. You are not God’s gift to women, women are God’s gift to you. Men, if you are here to get laid, leave. Ladies, if you here to get laid, take your pick.”

    Gotta wonder just how happy any relationships that emerge out of this kind of environment can be.

    Oh and that kid is awesome. Just look at his body language. Unfortunately, most of the kids in these videos didn’t take it that well and it seemed almost cruel in a few of ‘em. That didn’t stop the anchors on CNN from having a good laugh at their expense though.

  • Sue

    Alpha dogs aren’t real either. Isn’t this where the myth comes from? The whole construct is a myth of our rape culture. In Other cultures like Tahiti the women are aggressive, this all has NOTHING to do with evolutionary biology and everything to do with social construct.

    “The debate has its roots in 1940s studies of captive wolves gathered from various places that, when forced to live together, naturally competed for status. Acclaimed animal behaviorist Rudolph Schenkel dubbed the male and female who won out the alpha pair. As it turns out, this research was based on a faulty premise: wolves in the wild, says L. David Mech, founder of the Minnesota-based International Wolf Center, actually live in nuclear families, not randomly assembled units, in which the mother and father are the pack leaders and their offspring’s status is based on birth order. Mech, who used to ascribe to alpha-wolf theory but has reversed course in recent years, says the pack’s hierarchy does not involve anyone fighting to the top of the group, because just like in a human family, the youngsters naturally follow their parents’ lead.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2007250,00.html#ixzz1d3Hg574j

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Alpha dogs aren’t real either. Isn’t this where the myth comes from? The whole construct is a myth of our rape culture.

      Huh? How does this have anything to do with rape?

      Other cultures like Tahiti the women are aggressive, this all has NOTHING to do with evolutionary biology and everything to do with social construct.

      I don’t know anything about Tahitian culture, but aggression is fueled by testosterone. That is a direct product of evolution.

  • Dan

    @Jim

    “If guy “A” can beat up guy “B” but guy B has all the hot girls making excuses to jump in his bed where would you put the labels?”

    It seems you failed to understand the metaphor. Your metric of alpha and beta is not consistent with women’s. It doesn’t really matter in this context what metric you use, because the only metric that matters is the one women are using. It is entirely irrelevant that you think alphas are scum, and you think that “real men” should be X,Y, and Z, because women don’t give a crap about X,Y, and Z.

    Not all alphas are assholes, but the ones who brag about it usually are, which leads to a bad sample. Any generalizations based off that sample about alphas are likely false.

    You claim that alpha and beta are false constructs. Maybe to you they are. But for others they are labels that describe certain sets of behaviors. Maybe the labels don’t make sense to you, but that doesn’t diminish their value as descriptors.

    @Sue

    “Alpha dogs aren’t real either. Isn’t this where the myth comes from? The whole construct is a myth of our rape culture.”

    As above: “You claim that alpha and beta are false constructs. Maybe to you they are. But for others they are labels that describe certain sets of behaviors. Maybe the labels don’t make sense to you, but that doesn’t diminish their value as descriptors.”

    Abstractions aren’t useless. They may not physically exist, but they are still useful regardless. As for rape culture, I’m not going to bother arguing this. Those of us who live in the real world can see that the notion of the feminist “rape culture” is ridiculous.

    “In Other cultures like Tahiti the women are aggressive, this all has NOTHING to do with evolutionary biology and everything to do with social construct.”

    There is still a strong trend for men to be more aggressive. No one said that men are always more aggressive, just that it tends to be the case. So your counterexample doesn’t prove anything.

  • pvw

    As I looked at the video, it occurred to me that he could be copying the behavior that he has observed in his family.  Yes, quite poised, assertive, yet respectful.  He can hold a conversation at that young age; it makes him sound older than what I imagine to be his age of 6-7.  I imagine that in his house he sees his parents speak that way and talk to each other that way–calm, reasoned, assertive, yet respectful in their disagreements.  His dad probably models alpha behavior.  The younger one, about 3 or 4, is not quite there yet, he is still at the stage of less control, not as articulate, whiny, on the verge of crying at the thought of his mom eating all the candy.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @PVW
      Yes, I thought the same thing. It’s clear that the family dynamic is highly functional and unconditionally loving. I must say, though, it do think it’s a bit cruel of the mom to pull that prank. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she knew just what her sons could handle.

  • http://www.paramedictrainingcenter.net/ Jack

    Hmm for me he still seems to care a little bit.. some small cracks. There’s slight instances where you clearly see he cares and he is slightly upset about it. But he regains control of his emotions.

    Yet for a child I agree. He handled the situation well and alpha. With time, those small cracks would probably not be visible.