A Facebook post of August 2012. It has been suggested that it was intended purely to provoke but some of us have experience of this mentality. The last recorded number of ‘likes’ was 282    Just like men, women without constraint are exceedingly dangerous

An Important Human Game

Profitable Disruption

Simon Sheppard

February 2014, updated May 2015

Profitable Disruption

Like creative transduction, Profitable Disruption is ubiquitous. An earlier, limited definition was given on the ‘Supplemental – Race’ page (2006), as an extension to Creative Transduction: ‘Generating or inventing a problem for the purpose of selling you a solution.’ In 2013 Profitable Disruption was defined as ‘creating a problem for advantage.’

“Ah,” a critic of mine once said, “you’re just pointing out something that is obvious, and everyone already knows about.” But if that be the case, how come there is no accepted terminology, and hundreds of papers exploring it, as there is for, say, cognitive dissonance and the bystander effect? These two are at least an order of magnitude less significant to the well-being of a society than transduction and Profitable Disruption. Yet it seems to have fallen to me to formally define them.

I now have a putative archetype for Profitable Disruption – the last time I wrote on this topic I was still seeking one. Suppose a romance is in progress. It might be a scene, not going far back in history, of a maid in service and a young man in the employ of a neighbouring, well-to-do family. Perhaps she is a chambermaid or milkmaid being courted by the butler’s son.

Many examples given in this system are in relationship/sexual terms, because this of course is where it all begins. No strategy can persist unless it can be passed to the next generation. Hence our ‘Garden of Eden’ for evolutionary archetypes is sex.

The affair between the young man and the maid is going swimmingly – too well in fact, for isn’t it said that “The path of true love never runs smooth”?

Evolutionarily, the female seeks a single male who will stay with her and support her during gestation, childbirth and child-rearing. Crucial to the understanding of female behaviour is an awareness that for as long as females have had undergarments, males have been trying to get into them. And if she permitted that she courted disaster. Until very recently a deserted female could find herself in the workhouse and her children starving, and that is hardly going back a couple of centuries. Many committed suicide to avoid the social stigma of being with child out of wedlock. In pre-history (certainly according to Marvin Harris) the major cause of female mortality was childbirth and attempts to induce abortions.

So a putative origin of Profitable Disruption is testing the male, ensuring that he is not easily swayed and will remain with her during the critical future period when she needs him most of all.

This is also the proposed origin of neurotic transfer, particularly when a female mentions her bad habits or failings during a ‘first date.’ When she does, she transfers power to her opponent and makes her rejection more likely. It is a test in another form.

Since I say that Profitable Disruption is ubiquitous, there should be little difficulty in providing examples. The challenge is in seeing them objectively, for it is human analysing human, not an easy task – never mind the political implications. Below is an attempt to list some likely examples of Profitable Disruption, gathering them together with a few mentioned previously:

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