Do humans have their Alpha Males?

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Hector
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16 Oct 2009, 12:33 pm

Alpha males exist in the sense that I understand the term is usually meant - someone whose position in his circle of friends is roughly analogous to that of an alpha in a pack of dogs. You'd say, "he's an alpha male". But typically, circles of friends do not have obvious "alpha"s, so the evidence against the alpha male hypothesis seems quite clear.



0_equals_true
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16 Oct 2009, 12:40 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
with animals its the code without much interference.

This kind of statement perplexes me. What is in the code? Alpha males? This is just not the case for all animals. It is not the case for all simple life or indeed all advanced life. You are making the assumption that alpha male behaviour is a prerequisite for competition. It isn't.

Alpha male behaviour makes sense when the numbers, the habitat lends itself to it being feasible, but even then you still have to demonstrate that it is occurring.



LePetitPrince
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16 Oct 2009, 1:00 pm

Seanmw wrote:
we're not really pack animals. there's no designated alphas. though it's true some have characteristics which we in our folly and categorization nightmares, might extrapolate as far as to call "alphas" with wolf packs in mind. but i think labeling people as such is silly. and people who do are just trying to find a place and explain either their own seeming superiority or lack thereof in society.

would you call bill gates an alpha just because he reeks of huge societal success? according to your typical "alpha" criteria, prolly not. in that sense anyone who can get their hands on a few million dollars or write some good computer programming is an alpha, our criteria goes out the window, and we ultimately feel foolish.

even some now famous actors were never considered the alphas of their day.
something to consider in your "equations".

just my thoughts. i'm not infallible in my reasoning however, i welcome oppositional debate on the subject.


Bill Gates IS an alpha male , it's true that he's geeky genius and socially inept , but He IS an alpha male. Being a genius makes you an alpha because intelligence was always a major component in human's survival.

Just refer to my famous knight and bard post http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt86199.html



Winternight
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16 Oct 2009, 1:14 pm

Quote:
Alpha male behaviour makes sense when the numbers, the habitat lends itself to it being feasible, but even then you still have to demonstrate that it is occurring.


A group of humans are never in a habitat where these instinctual mechanisms are NOT demonstrated. If you want to see the occurrence of it, you need only go into public and look around you. In any group there is an Alpha Male and/or Female, "the leaders" essentially, you have the second in command (Betas), and you have the lowest-ranking individuals (Omegas).



Last edited by Winternight on 16 Oct 2009, 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

deadeyexx
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16 Oct 2009, 1:17 pm

There are alpha males in the human world, but our world is so complex that it doesn't mean much. With pack animals or early human tribes, social pecking order among your peers was life, and being alpha meant something. However, these days, your peers could all hate you, but you can still have power through money, or the influence of a higher authority like the law. Being at the bottom rung of one group doesn't hurt, as you have freedom to move to another one.



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16 Oct 2009, 1:17 pm

LePetitPrince wrote:
Bill Gates IS an alpha male , it's true that he's geeky genius and socially inept , but He IS an alpha male. Being a genius makes you an alpha because intelligence was always a major component in human's survival.

Just refer to my famous knight and bard post http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt86199.html

Bill Gates is married to a geek she headed several Microsoft products. He hasn't shown aphla male behaviour. He has fathered only three kids from one woman.



Winternight
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16 Oct 2009, 1:21 pm

Quote:
There are alpha males in the human world, but our world is so complex that it doesn't mean much. With pack animals or early human tribes, social pecking order among your peers was life, and being alpha meant something. However, these days, your peers could all hate you, but you can still have power through money, or the influence of a higher authority like the law. Being at the bottom rung of one group doesn't hurt, as you have freedom to move to another one.


^ You have a good point there. Humanity has swollen in numbers so much that packs are very often fleeting and sometimes vague. Any given human has probably belonged to hundreds of different "packs", whereas in ancient times any given human would have belonged to one pack, two or three at the most.

But those animals instincts are still present, whether for better or worse.



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16 Oct 2009, 1:28 pm

LePetitPrince wrote:
Seanmw wrote:
we're not really pack animals. there's no designated alphas. though it's true some have characteristics which we in our folly and categorization nightmares, might extrapolate as far as to call "alphas" with wolf packs in mind. but i think labeling people as such is silly. and people who do are just trying to find a place and explain either their own seeming superiority or lack thereof in society.

would you call bill gates an alpha just because he reeks of huge societal success? according to your typical "alpha" criteria, prolly not. in that sense anyone who can get their hands on a few million dollars or write some good computer programming is an alpha, our criteria goes out the window, and we ultimately feel foolish.

even some now famous actors were never considered the alphas of their day.
something to consider in your "equations".

just my thoughts. i'm not infallible in my reasoning however, i welcome oppositional debate on the subject.


Bill Gates IS an alpha male , it's true that he's geeky genius and socially inept , but He IS an alpha male. Being a genius makes you an alpha because intelligence was always a major component in human's survival.

Just refer to my famous knight and bard post http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt86199.html


in that case admittedly anyone can be an alpha-male if they so choose. and in that case the definition of alph-male is truly speculative with many fragmented definitions. there's the traditional sense, the apparent new intellectual type, and i guess many other variations depending on which other dimensions of excellence or success you want to gauge them as an alpha in.

i was doing some reading on bill gates story of success even. in fact several "alpha's" sucesses apparently according to traditional and intellectual definitions and alot of their success in each case had nothing to do with their skillsets even. it turned out to be irrelavant in the face of random chance and was decided by opportunity more than innate talent. if not for the chain of random dumb luck events that acted as stepping stones along the way their genius, or other "alpha" traits would've counted for nothing as they never would've been recognized, let alone seen the light of day. not to mention alot of it was based on insane amounts of hard work also, once again, not anything at all to do with inherent qualities. something that anyone could do. seriously

so in short most of what makes up the "modern alpha" are not even specific to a person. about 2/3 of the process is dumb luck creating awesome opportunities for advancement & hard work to further such advancement into what we percieve these days as alpha status.

whereareas a maybe 500 hundred years ago an "alpha" might've just been some guy born to riches and good enough with a weapon to keep it.

alpha definitions seem to me a dumb label at best. an excuse. "oh, i'm not doing as well as that guy, he must be an alpha and i'm just not. it is the natural order of things an i must accept it. whine whine whine etc...."

even in wolf packs the betas and lesser wolves can become alphas if the alpha dies or loses a challenge to a rogue wolf. rogue wolves were often castoffs from other packs. nowhere near alpha status.

trying to say things are set in stone and comparing us to pack animals seems to me absurd. we share biological characteristics with the beasts as living beings, true. but not much more in my opinion. and we've noticed their tactics and applied it in war, or rather stole that tactic from the germans small "packs" or "squads", but we take many patterns and things from nature these days and recreate it as our own, so it's nothing special.


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16 Oct 2009, 2:10 pm

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Wrong again, humans have never exhibited pack behaviour.

I have quite bit of interest in pack behaviour in wild dogs such as dingoes and in wolves, because there are certain behaviours that domesticated dogs can exhibit that don't happen in the wild. This shows our influence on dogs and potentially other animals.


I want to comment on equals' post in the other thread. 0_equal , I highly disagree with you this time. Seriously, have you ever been in a high school before?


Let's check the pack's behaviors based on that article: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammal ... tality.htm

I am not going to use words this time....

Quote:
Wolves naturally organize themselves into packs to maintain stability and assist with hunting


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The pack leader isn't necessarily the alpha male [source: Busch]. The alpha female takes the reins in certain groups since wolf rankings are based on strength and the ability to win fights, not gender



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The beta wolf comes next. Beta wolves act as the second in command, taking over if the alpha male dies...



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On the bottom rung of the ladder, you have the omega wolf. As the name implies, the omega wolf is the weakest and the least cared for in the pack. Bullied by other members, the omega wolf will receive the brunt of the aggression in the wolf world, particularly during inter-pack fighting




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Quote:
If a dominant wolf approaches a more submissive one, the latter may lower its ears, pull its tail between its legs or show its throat or groin to demonstrate subservience.


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now I know that our mating system is totally different than wolves' ,but saying that humans NEVER exhibit any pack behavior isn't totally truly, we do exhibit them , even if they're mild.



LePetitPrince
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16 Oct 2009, 2:15 pm

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in that case admittedly anyone can be an alpha-male if they so choose


No, not anyone.

Can anyone become a Bill Gates or Einstein? no, one needs some high native IQ first.

Can anyone becomes the Tennis's champion#1? Certainly not.

Can anyone becomes a multimillionaire from scratch? No, one needs some unique skills...

Can anyone in some big company becomes the CEO? No....


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alpha definitions seem to me a dumb label at best. an excuse. "oh, i'm not doing as well as that guy, he must be an alpha and i'm just not. it is the natural order of things an i must accept it. whine whine whine etc....


Presumptuous.



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16 Oct 2009, 2:21 pm

but that's not even exclusively "pack" behavior some of it may be vaguely similar but anyone under the sun can also argue and extrapolate any number of different animal qualities on us as humans. i'm just saying trying to fit us so snugly into the definition you are now is silly.
maybe we don't resemble wolves, maybe wolves learned from us. absurd.

if you're going to argue packs, you have to argue for every other animal characteristic of us too. i get the feeling "packs" only sprung up as a way to connect us to "wolves" who have an alpha system. it's a case arguemed by association it seems. and it's getting off-topic a bit. but if you truly wish to try to throw packs in there, then you should see no problem if i go along with that for the sake of arguement but reasonably request that you compare us to every other animal you can think of who shares even the smallest societal, physical, psychological, or mental characteristic and say that we must then be equally like that animal whether said animal has an established alpha system or not. just to be fair, you understand. :)


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techstepgenr8tion
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16 Oct 2009, 4:40 pm

0_equals_true wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
with animals its the code without much interference.

This kind of statement perplexes me. What is in the code? Alpha males? This is just not the case for all animals. It is not the case for all simple life or indeed all advanced life. You are making the assumption that alpha male behaviour is a prerequisite for competition. It isn't.

Alpha male behaviour makes sense when the numbers, the habitat lends itself to it being feasible, but even then you still have to demonstrate that it is occurring.


Genetic health is genetic health, it manifests itself in different ways in different environments and like your saying, what people keep calling 'alpha' on this board is a very limited angle of use regarding that terminology. I'm not suggesting that supposedly brash or macho behavior is quintesential 'alpha' or that it is necessarily in the animal kingdom, nor everywhere or all the time, but usually it seems like neurological/functional capacity is what makes alpha, and that seems to be the winner of the contest no matter what the weather (or environmental climate in general) is throwing out in the way of challenges.

I guess the biggest thing is making sure we're even talking about the same thing, the social alpha as referenced by many have-nots in the current world is really something much more esoteric.



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16 Oct 2009, 4:50 pm

there's too much variation in human females' preferences, it's not possible to point out to a alpha male template that would appeal to all and be universally attractive, or attractive enough for all females to go for this male and not other.

you boys can argue over the definition of a alpha human male but there's no way to prove anyone right because there are no males who hold all the power and all the ladies and get to boss everyone around :)

one woman's alpha is another's omega :P


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Seanmw
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16 Oct 2009, 4:56 pm

anna-banana wrote:
there's too much variation in human females' preferences, it's not possible to point out to a alpha male template that would appeal to all and be universally attractive, or attractive enough for all females to go for this male and not other.

you boys can argue over the definition of a alpha human male but there's no way to prove anyone right because there are no males who hold all the power and all the ladies and get to boss everyone around :)

one woman's alpha is another's omega :P
ha, that's more or less a point i was trying to make, but from a different perspective :lol: .

part of my arguement was that there are no universal alphas by definition among the human race. standards vary. it's rather too subjective and up to much speculation in any case for who might qualify and in what way. making the criteria to broad to make the distinction special enough for it's own classification. besides that fact, by some standards any person could plausibly become an alpha so it becomes somewhat irrelevant :P


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16 Oct 2009, 6:48 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Genetic health is genetic health, it manifests itself in different ways in different environments and like your saying

Sexual selection!==Natural selection

They linked but they are not the same.

I also said (maybe in another thread) that we made many adaptations through tools rather than physiological.

Another point is it was once though that the main idea of a species was to procreate as part of their survival. However we now know that it is possible for species to mate themselves to extinction, or indeed wipe all of life out in the process.



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16 Oct 2009, 6:58 pm

anna-banana wrote:
you boys can argue

I'll argue as much as I damn well please :P