Apologetical Weapons: Stripline

The stripline is a technique from fishing that has been adapted to sales – making it doubly appropriate for evangelists.

When a strong fish has struck the lure, but the hook may or may not be quite fully set, the angler may let the prey run away with it, stripping the line off the reel. Then, when the line is zipping away at what he judges to be its maximum velocity, he abruptly stops it, setting the hook immovably and jerking the fish back in the direction of his captor. Unless the line breaks, the fate of the fish is then sealed.

The stripline is used by the salesman to bring a prospect who is focusing on the negative aspects of a proposal back to earth, by giving him a chance to recoil from a possible outcome more negative than he would like to think is likely. The prospect might for example be going on about how expensive the proposal is. The salesman would deploy the stripline by amplifying the complaint to its maximum, thus laying the black snake on the table and defanging it, all in one move, by saying, “Yeah; you probably can’t afford to do this.” The effect of this oral gesture is magnified by the beginnings of a move to disengage – to close the presentation, rise, and depart.

The natural reaction of the prospect is to disagree, saying something like, “Well, hold on now, I don’t know that I would go that far. Maybe the benefits of this plan make it worth the cost. Tell me more about the x.”

The stripline can be quite effective in political and theological discourse. Consider:

“Yeah, I suppose if we didn’t raise the minimum wage, lots of people would die.”

“True; women should probably insist that they pay for at least half of every date.”

“Jesus was obviously a lunatic.”

Now, if your interlocutor is herself a lunatic True Believer, she won’t disagree with any of these statements, *and you’ll know you never had a chance of a real discussion with her in the first place.* You can then cut your losses, and walk away. But if she is at all reasonable, she won’t be willing to go that far, and will begin making a case *against* the position you have just staked out with your stripline. The stripline may be understood as an evocation of your prospect’s unprincipled exceptions.

The trick then is to allow her to convince you.

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12 thoughts on “Apologetical Weapons: Stripline

  1. You: Women should insist that they pay half of every date
    Liberal: Agreed, independence is important to maintain.
    Conservative: Not looking for handouts shows seriousness.

    You: If we raise the minimum wage, lots of people would die
    Liberal: No, if anything, people who were previously working for a wage that wasn’t enough to buy bread will now be eligible for food stamps.
    Conservative: the problem with a minimum wage is really that it’s protectionist or some peole aren’t capable of producing enough for it or it will just lead to inflation or whatever; people dying is an important result any market distortion or the market distortion needs to be carefully balanced against other effects to determine if it’s will ultimately lead to less deaths or is worth it.

    You: Jesus was obviously a lunatic
    Liberal: I mostly agree, but he did help defuse the situation with the adulturess
    You: GOTCHA! You just admitted that Jesus said something worthwhile!
    Liberal: Conservatives are mostly contrarian trolls; they are always White men who have the luxury of being contrarian trolls, though sometimes they take conservative “ideas” seriously to give their selfishness a patina of respectability.

    …What was the point of this exercise?

    • I’m not sure; your writing is so confused, I can’t tell what the point of your exercise might have been. I’m not being catty; I honestly don’t see what you are getting at. My best guess is that you are trying to provide the sorts of responses to these statements that a fanatic True Believer might deliver. But as I point out in the post, if that’s the sort of response you get, you know you are dealing with a lunatic, with whom your arguments will cut no ice at all, no matter how devastating they are to his; so that you might as well not waste your time with him.

      • I think that GBFM is Roissy. Now I think that Roissy and GBFM are both actually Kristor. And I still think you SSM are also Dalrock. And I am working on a theory that Dalrock, SSM, GBFM, and Roissy are all the same person, but maybe not Kristor. I’ll keep you posted.

      • Now that’s interesting. I was going to try to post some witty reply, when all of a sudden it occurred to me: is game like selling? Or rather, vice versa? Because I know a lot about selling. It never occurred to me that the principles of salesmanship might be operative between the sexes, but come to think of it, every sales trainer I ever had insisted that every human relationship involves selling.

        Rule number one of selling: No need.

        Interesting.

        So then the next question, this one only semi-serious, but perhaps all the more informative for all that: are liberals like women? I ask the question because it seems like there is something to that, but I have no idea what a positive answer might look like. Liberals are more likely beta than alpha, to be sure, and women are more likely liberal than not; are betas like women? Are liberal beta males like liberal alpha females or something? No, wait: an alpha female is more feminine than not, while a beta female is less feminine, closer to a male. So, beta males and beta females would be more likely to be liberals, and more likely to be like each other. Meanwhile alpha males and alpha females are less likely to be liberal, and less likely to be like each other.

        I’m fuzzy on the categories, here. Help me out. Or shoot down this notion before I waste too many more processing cycles on it.

      • Kristor:
        Yes, Game is basically sales training, with a little pop-psychology and some evo-psych incantations thrown in to appease the gods.

      • Sales/Game:

        You open lots of prospects (approach), focus on the ones likely to pay off and don’t waste time on the others (next), sow seeds of doubt while building rapport (neg), make sure the prospect thinks you have the upper hand and lots of options (DHV), validate their view while implying that you can show them something better (agree and amplify), make the process fun and engaging (cocky/funny), catch any arrows they throw (pass the “sh*t tests”), etc etc.

        Beta men are as subject to being “gamed” by alpha/sigma males as slutty women, frankly. Just usually not for the same purpose.

  2. So then the next question, this one only semi-serious, but perhaps all the more informative for all that: are liberals like women? I ask the question because it seems like there is something to that, but I have no idea what a positive answer might look like. Liberals are more likely beta than alpha, to be sure, and women are more likely liberal than not; are betas like women? Are liberal beta males like liberal alpha females or something? No, wait: an alpha female is more feminine than not, while a beta female is less feminine, closer to a male. So, beta males and beta females would be more likely to be liberals, and more likely to be like each other. Meanwhile alpha males and alpha females are less likely to be liberal, and less likely to be like each other.

    I’m fuzzy on the categories, here. Help me out. Or shoot down this notion before I waste too many more processing cycles on it.

    1. Not all liberals are beta males. Consider:

    William Jefferson Clinton: liberal politics and layin’ chicks, the Big Daddy alpha of them all.

    BUT the effect of liberalism on the average man IS to make him much more beta. This is why the top liberals all tend to be fairly alpha; liberalism eliminates their competition for females by turning normal men into icky, supplicating emo-betas.

    2. Feminism is different in its effect on women, but the motivation is the same – eliminating competition for mates. Less attractive women wanted to be freed up to sleep with hotter men; third-wave sex-positive feminism gave them that opportunity by uncoupling sex from marriage. Hot guys will sleep with, but not marry, lesser females.

    To recap: liberalism beta-fies average men in order to eliminate them from competing with alpha males for women. Feminism slut-ifies all women, placing us in the degraded position of being some alpha’s concubine rather than an average guy’s wife.

    Who benefits: natural alpha males and less attractive women.

    Who loses: all the rest of us.

    (I think the terms alpha and beta are rough approximations at best and leave out a lot of important information, but even broad generalizations can be useful sometimes.)

    The best way for average men to resist liberalism’s creeping betafication is to follow this advice given by Zippy in a rather thrilling comment he made at my place:

    Every man should go deep within himself and get in touch with his feminine side. Then he should strangle the bitch.

  3. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/11/27 | Free Northerner

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