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On the implications of powertalk and other language categories.

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April 22, 2016

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By now, many of us have read Venkatesh Rao's interesting column, linked here (bot doesn't allow links) by TRPsubmitter, on different kinds of language in the workplace.

Already it is generating some commentary (bot doesn't allow links), mostly focused on the concept of the "PowerTalk" language... because communications in that language are the ones which cause real change.

However, in order to understand the concept of powertalk in general, we have to tease it away from examples that make it specific to "The Office" as a story, and the workplace as a setting, and create some more general definitions.

What are distinguishing characteristics of powertalk?

  • It is used to get something for oneself, rather than to convey information.

  • It can be truth or lies, according to the needs of the speaker.

  • It is plausibly deniable.

The distinguishing feature of sociopaths, or power players, if you will, is that they are fluent in powertalk. This sets them apart from the group Rao calls "Clueless", which we might call naive, or surface communicators, or spergs, in that this group mistakes powertalk for straighttalk.

Now, EVERYONE engages in straighttalk from time to time. How long does that machine bolt need to be? Where is Sausalito? Will you that be for here or to go? What were the results of our wind tunnel study? Straighttalk just means language used to communicate a piece of information.

But the distinguishing characteristic of the sperg is that they engage in straighttalk all the time.

The third type, whom Rao calls "Losers", which we might call "awakened" or "cynics", is that they are aware of the existence of powertalk, but are unable or unwilling to accept it as just a morally neutral reality, and to employ it to their advantage. Instead, they observe and often resent it. They are stuck in the question of whether powertalk is "good" or "bad", and unable to consider the "how" of using it.

They engage in straighttalk at times, but not always. They also engage in what Rao calls "GameTalk" which is like powertalk, but with out key difference... it is self-oriented.

Post Information
Title On the implications of powertalk and other language categories.
Author redpillschool
Upvotes 50
Comments 7
Date 22 April 2016 01:21 AM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit TheRedPill
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/57952
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/4fw8dt/on_the_implications_of_powertalk_and_other/
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powertalkthe red pill

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

If you haven't already, his book TEMPO is a great read, albiet dense.

It goes into narrative decision making, and is very helpful in shaping things, I can see why the Air Force paid so much for the research. I've been part of his email list on 'be slightly evil' and the book just came out there too. It's a good read into the ideas behind DT...

Just a little sociopath

[–]shitjoker0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

When you're running game, preselection, shit-test busting, etc. Is that power talk or game talk? Honestly, I can't tell the difference, it always sounds like bullshit that either I get called out on or call other people out on.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–]shitjoker0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

So are you saying powertalk isn't about real power and plausible deniability, but plausible deniability and deluding people?
That actually makes a lot more sense. I never understood why preselection works, just because people like someone doesn't mean that person is actually hot shit...

[–] points points | Copy

[permanently deleted]

[–]shitjoker0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What do you mean real power? If you have control you have power.

You still haven't answered my question really. Is game power talk or just game talk that people believe in?

This is solipsism on your part.

No, preselection is foolish. While I can take the recommendations of others as important, ultimately I will determine who is worth talking to and who isn't. Preselection is just a fancier word for groupthink.

It's like buying junk on amazon because a bunch of people thought it was a good book.

[–]IAMAwhitecismaleAMA0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Powertalk is frame manipulation.

When a girl shit tests me I just reframe the entire conversation. Is that powertalk?

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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