People are programmed to form social alignments. We align with other people where it increases our probability of survival and replication. People do not judge other people’s value directly. Instead, they judge how their own value would be affected by the alignment. In this way, we instinctively (and often subconsciously), choose best whom to align with.

This means that even though S&R value has certain absolute standards, it is always judged on a relative basis. There is a value differential. In other words, I really only care about your value where it potentially impacts my own. A rich man who is my boss may represent a significant survival value to me, whereas a beggar on the street offers me no survival value. My evolutionary programming is designed to motivate me to align with the rich man for survival purposes instead of the beggar. A value-judgment has been made!

Our value-based programming is pervasive and it mostly occurs below our conscious awareness. Our brains are constantly engaged in a process of deleting, distorting, generalizing, and filtering out information. And yet, simultaneously, our attention, our thoughts, our emotions and rationalizations seem to focus in on precisely those things that, statistically, represent the greatest potential impact on our survival and replication.

This same mechanism even extends to our memories, which are prioritized based on the intensity of feeling. Emotions seem to serve as a powerful influence not only on behavior, but also on the learning process. More intense emotions generate higher-priority memories. If you ever experienced real pain in your youth (such as a burn or romantic rejection) then you probably still remember that experience better than other childhood experiences.

Social Intelligence is a Form of Value

Social intelligence is a form of value. Those who can more accurately judge value will be better equipped to secure beneficial alignments.

Thus, our social intelligence—our ability to sense the vibe, to judge relative value, to read group dynamics, etc—is also a component of our own value, because it gives us a competitive advantage. Simply put, if you have better social skills, then you have more S&R value.

A large part of our ability to judge relative value comes from our sensitivity to the social cues happening all around us.

For example, those women who observed the social cue of preselection, and found it sexually attractive, passed on their genes more efficiently than their sexual competition. Their propensity to recognize and respond to an accurate indicator helped them to acquire higher-value mates.

Meanwhile men are not attracted to preselection because that sort of information, while useful to women, poses much less usefulness to men. Men can already assess a great deal about a woman’s value just by looking at her, so there was never any evolutionary pressure for men to adopt mate-copying behaviors.

Instead, men evolved preferences for indicators of youth, health, fertility, symmetry, and fidelity, among other things. It can be generalized that men are attracted to looks and women are attracted to game, but of course these are not dogmatic, all-encompassing, blackand- white truths. Rather, we are speaking in terms of tendencies and percentages. The actual game is much more complex than any model.