Thomas Hobbes Knew Game

Or more particularly, knew the arguments for and against game.

“Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself. An as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules, called science, which very few have and but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of strength. For prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto.” -Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

All of the concepts of Game and preselection are right here in Hobbes’ writing. Let me offer a translation:

Physique, athleticism, and street smarts are innately attractive. Despite innate higher value, other guys can simply act and pretend to be just the same. If desperate, the weak can simply poison the sexy. An athletic guy can still be beaten to a pulp by a swarm of kids. As to intelligence, it only helps with nerd-like pursuits counterproductive to street smarts. There is a better way than intelligence or strength: experience. Why? Because experience is an equalizer. 

He uses a particular word prudence which the dictionary calls “discretion in practical affairs.” Translation: it takes experience to project that calm alpha demeanor. Just make sure that your practicing comes across as ‘prudence’ and not ‘push-over.’



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2 Responses to Thomas Hobbes Knew Game

  1. Alphatroll says:

    Good Job !

    Congratulations !

  2. Pingback: When Beta Is Better « Grit Artisan

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