Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Paradox Pool

It is said that exceptions prove the rule.
So naturally, I am always in search of that elusive exception that makes the (opposite) point about the rule. :-)
Another guilty pleasure of mine.

A paradox, however is to a concept what an exception is to a rule.
Paradoxes fascinate me in a way that I doubt is normal, but my little deviance aside, I think the SMP is a haven for paradox-seekers like me.

In fact, on this very blog, I noticed a time when not a day went by without someone pulling a paradox out of the bag. It was astounding as to their frequency.

What I find particularly intriguing about a paradox is that it turns a complicated issue on its head and suddenly makes it extremely simple.

In the SMP, everything and nothing is complicated. Much like life itself, it has no meaning unless a meaning of it is sought.

In the post about 'masculine women', the oxymoron was not lost on me, but it was absolutely apt to describe certain very feminine women this way. Women thus described may not see this description of them as a compliment, but in fact, it is.

The paradox here is that optimal femininity requires some strongly masculine qualities. It is up to individual women to pick which masculine qualities suit their particular brand of femininity, of course. But the principle is a sound one, I think.

A familiar paradox to most of us would be, 'To be happy, one must be fully prepared to be...unhappy'.

This is definitely one paradox I have never really understood. But I am at least pondering it, which is arguably a step in the right direction.

If at least two-thirds of marriages collapse because one party is nothing more than unhappy, then we need to circumnavigate the goal-posts of 'happy' somehow, no?

How do we define 'happy'?
I refuse to look in the dictionary for this one. :-)
Part of the reason for this is...I wonder if the right word is being used in this context?

Would 'content' be a better word?
Would 'satisfied' do?

Some (wise) people define 'love' as a verb and not a noun.
Perhaps 'happy' should also be a verb and not an adjective?
As in, on waking up we make a concerted effort to 'happify' ourselves whatever the subsequent outcome of the day?

I wonder if this is feasible on a consistent basis...

Another important paradox I have come across is this one:

'In order to win, one must lose.'

Similar in principle to the biblical, 'The first shall be the last', this one is directly applicable to all aspects of life.

In order to enjoy harmonious relationships with others, one must be selfless.
In order to achieve the fulfilment of goals and dreams, one must demonstrate and exert self-control.
In order to gain it all, one must be prepared to lose it all.

These last two are especially important for women, I think.

The interpretation of a paradox is very much open. So, in this sense, it can get very simple.
Because it is essentially a case of 'one can make it whatever one wants it to be'.

Which is a great way to simplify life. :-)

There must be SMP-specific paradoxes out there. Anyone care to remind me?


dannyfrom504 said...

yes. you have an EPIC hamster. but i adore you regardless.

Spacetraveller said...


As I examine the gold medals that my hamster won in the Hamster Olympics, I say to myself...'Hm, this is one case where women could safely say to men 'Mine is bigger than yours' !

My indestructible, huge furryball of a hamster is a its own...lunchtime.

Hey, I adore you know that.

Can you think of any more paradoxes in the SMP?

I thought of one which concerns Game...

Time permitting, I may elaborate on that one in a few days' time...

lifeuniverse42 said...

The biggest paradox in the SMP? The duality man/woman. The woman search something in a man(confidence/ security/ strength), the man something else(beauty/ agreeableness/ submission). Both believe they must present what they want in the other to have success, when it's a really bad idea. Thus we get the supplicating metro-sexual and the empowered woman. Both who can't find someone.
At the same time you have the dark triad man and the slave woman who get together for a time, then complain of pump and dump, single mother or not finding someone they can respect.
Human are funny creature isn't it?

metak said...

What is cute small furry and has more medals than North Korean generals? ;-)

"There must be SMP-specific paradoxes out there. Anyone care to remind me?"

'The first shall be the last' -> Nice guys finish last.

'In order to win, one must not play the game.' -> MGTOW 101

I've got my own hamster you know... ;-)

dannyfrom504 said...


paradoxes keep the scene live and flowing.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Lifeuniverse42,

You are so right!

It is perhaps not too difficult to understand how the 'Strong and Independent thing' came about - if the perception was that women were enslaved by men, then the 'solution' to 'empower' women is actually logical. So in this sense, it was the original perception which was wrong, which therefore made the attempted solution also wrong.

But more importantly, for the life of me, I can't figure out why this strategy wasn't ditched as soon as it became crystal clear that it wasn't working.

But yes, great paradox! Thanks for that one.



Good one!
My hamster loves it :-)

The paradox you mention is a very painful one.
(For both men and women).


Yes, absolutely! It really adds 'spice' to the dating scene.

A lot of sensible dating advice goes something like, "You should be THIS, and yet be THAT..." which sounds really confusing to the uninitiated, but actually makes sense on close analysis...

danny said...

dude, i post openly for a reason. i don't talk theory, studies, statistics, or any other crap.

i post about actual interactions i have with woman. success or failure. techniques i've used IRL, that have worked.

women really aren't that difficult to attract.

Spacetraveller said...


True dat.

Spacetraveller said...


What I meant was that:

'The first shall be the last' -> Nice guys finish last = painful for men.

'In order to win, one must not play the game.' -> MGTOW 101 = painful for women.

'Ouch' in both cases :-(

metak said...

I perceive both options as bad in the long run for men and women.

Pyrrhic victory comes to mind.

Spacetraveller said...



Look at it this way: in both cases, men feel 'aggrieved'.

If women are SOCIETY and men are CIVILISATION, then aggrieved men will cause both a downward-spiralling society and a crumbling civilsation.


Because aggrieved men refuse to be part of society (men are always on the 'edge' of society anyway, as societal rules are dominated by women, even in Patriarchal times) which causes lawlessness among women (perhaps in our times the lawlessness preceded the aggrievedness??).

If men feel hard done by, by society then there is no more incentive to maintain civilisation (which is dominated by them). So civilisation breaks down too.

With a crumbling economy following swiftly on the heels of a broken (Western) society, perhaps we have both scenarios in full swing already, as you might agree.

Question is, is there a way back?

Nothing is impossible, but maybe the worst is yet to come, followed swiftly by 'Recovery'.


metak said...

Paradox? ;-)

Apparently women felt 'aggrieved' few decades ago and 'went their own way' so to speak. Now we have men felling 'aggrieved' and GTOW.

I look at things from a slightly different perspective. I don't see this society as 'women' and civilization (civilized isolation ;-) as 'men'. What we have is a sick society and f***ed up civilization. Pointing finger at women or men is a waste of time. It's clear that men and women (99,99% of population) get screwed. So who profits? There's one class that's only getting richer and richer from exploiting and creating this 'gender war'.

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all ... The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands - the ownership and control of their livelihoods - are set at naught, we can have neither men's rights nor women's rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.” Helen Keller, 1911

"Question is, is there a way back?"

Nope. We can only go forward. Things weren't perfect back then either. Now I see a good opportunity to come together and co-create something new that is based on those 'simple' things. Basic human dignity, helping each-other instead of competing or fighting, creating a new model of economy where men and women don't waste their lives slaving away only to provide for their families... etc. The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.. ;-)

Spacetraveller said...

Hey Metak,

That last paragraph was beautiful. That's my UTOPIC ideal too :-)

And the real tragedy is, it is so simple to achieve if individual men and women adopt the right attitude.
But the alternative attitude (what we currently see everyday) is so much more tempting...
In the short term, that is...


If only we all thought a little bit more 'longterm', we would all be happier, I think...