Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reader Mail: The Unifying Principle


Reader Charles Douchewin writes in with an academic biology perspective:

——
DB1,

I’m finishing my PhD in evolutionary biology, a process from which I find occasional escape at HCwDB.com. During quiet moments here in my academic ivory tower, and by ivory tower I mean roach-infested storage closet of an office, I casually ponder both pear and the evolutionary dynamics of douchebaggery.

The hallmarks of baggery are easily recognized (Louis 2008) and may be influenced by elements such as product branding or sexual selection (John-from-Vegas 2009; Sir-Hate-A-Douche 2010).

However I suspect the origins of douchebaggery, as you have suggested (Louis 2007), lie within a more unifying principle.

Recently, a reader at HCwDB.com asked a particularly insightful question “Does a Douchebag know he is a Douchebag?” (Jamie 2011).

I propose the answer is No, and it’s here that a unifying principle may be found. Self-deception, particularly as articulated in Robert Trivers’s evolutionary theory of self-deception (Trivers 2000; Trivers 2002) could explain the douchadox, and become a central element supporting a Douchebag theory.

Trivers proposes; “For a solitary organism, the prospects seem difficult, if not hopeless. In trying to deal effectively with a complex, changing world, where is the benefit in misrepresenting reality to oneself? Only in interactions with other organisms, especially con-specifics, would several benefits seem to arise. Because deception is easily selected between individuals, it may also generate self-deception, the better to hide ongoing deception from detection by others. In this view, the conscious mind is, in part, a social front, maintained to deceive others — who more readily attend to its manifestations than to those of the actor’s unconscious mind.” (Trivers 2002)

In essence, the douchbag or baguette is so deeply unaware of their own douchieness that potential mates interpret the douche’s projections of self importance as honest signals of fitness. Such a Douchebag theory appears consistent with a multi-stage progression of douchebaggery and of course, the existence of oldbags.

If indeed douchebags are victims of their own mind – they deserve our sympathy. And by sympathy I mean mock-induced cognitive dissonance. So in a world without a total perspective vortex device (Adams 1980), which may or may not be helpful anyway (depending on your perspective) I encourage the mock, at least from an escapable distance.

— Charles Douchwin

References:
Adams, D. (1980). The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. New York, Harmony Books.

Jamie. (2011). “Ask DB1: The chicken or the bag?” Hot Chicks with Douchebags.com

John-from-Vegas. (2009). “Ask DB1: Blaming the Bleeth?” Hot Chicks with Douchebags.com

Louis, J. (2007). “Rodin’s The Doucher Revisited.” Hot Chicks with Douchebags.com

Louis, J. (2008). Hot Chicks with Douchebags, Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

Trivers, R. (2000). “The Elements of a Scientific Theory of Self-Deception.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 907(1): 114-131.

Trivers, R. (2002). The Elements of a Scientific Theory of Self-Deception. Natural selection and social theory : selected papers of Robert L. Trivers. New York, Oxford University Press: 271-293.

————–

# posted by douchebag1
11:45 am May, 10 Vin Douchal said...

11:46 am May, 10 Nancy Dreuche said...

Fuckin’ A+ Charles Douchwin! Extra credit for proper references and bibliography. Mock-induced cognitive dissonance is my specialty!

11:47 am May, 10 DarkSock said...

After reading, and then re-reading, Charles Douchewin’s excellent treatise I’ve come to this conclusion:
.
The top of the painted gator’s snout looks like a big green donkey dick about to yogurt shellac dude’s back.

11:55 am May, 10 Steve L. said...

so tell us, Charles Douchewin, ARE THERE HOT PhD CHICKS IN YOUR DEPARTMENT?!
.
the world’s gotta have hope, y’know.

12:02 pm May, 10 Steve L. said...

i would imagine most hot PhD chicks with be in English, Literature, Psychology, or some other artsy-type social science. but it was worth a try.

12:02 pm May, 10 Medusa Oblongata said...

Bewbs.

12:05 pm May, 10 Steve L. said...

that being said, self-deception FTW.

12:06 pm May, 10 Hermit said...

….and God looked down upon his creation and said, “let there be Lämp,” and it was good.
.
.
Then, he figured , it might be good, but he’d better install a protective mesh cage in front of Lämp, in case Summer’s Eve and Douche Adam start throwing around the forbidden oranges.

12:06 pm May, 10 Steve L. said...

most hot PhD chicks would be.
.
what’s wrong with me today?

12:08 pm May, 10 creature said...

thepair pictured are a prime example of the collective flush of our secondary educational institutions…& they often get stuck in the pee trap!

12:18 pm May, 10 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

I respect your hypothesis and regale your syntax. And by syntax I mean Adam’s feeding his poo-poo to the alligator

12:20 pm May, 10 Vin Douchal said...

The answer to Does a Douchebag know he is a Douchebag?” cannot be answered so easily. Some may bristle at the suggestion and others may make it a badge of honor. Depends on the level of narcissism.
.
Fer instance, Stackhouse and his off the chart narcissism, from his own proud blog:
.
stackhouse-is-the-most-featured-d-bag-in-hcwdb-history
.
Get some, lip herp

12:20 pm May, 10 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

On the 8th day God created randomly placed stupid tattoos and spoogeable tummy pooches and saw they were meh.

12:23 pm May, 10 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

Adam and Skeeve.

12:27 pm May, 10 Douchble Helix said...

Would someone please crop that piece of shit out of the photo? Thank you.

Nice writin’, Doc.

12:51 pm May, 10 SonnyChibaChoad said...

auto-nominate to Hall of Mock, Comments division

12:52 pm May, 10 dbBen said...

5 bucks if you add this as a published piece to your vitae.

12:56 pm May, 10 DoucheyWallnuts said...

The US Government Department of Health and Human Services has declared May, “Use As Many Slang Terms for Nasty Sexual Practices As Possible Month.”
.
In keeping with this government edict, I say that I would very much enjoy giving this bleeth a Cincinnati Bowtie.

1:04 pm May, 10 Deltus said...

Well written, but I’m with Vin. Some douchebags are quite self-aware. They’re the ones that should be all placed on an island in the ocean and nuked from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

1:12 pm May, 10 The Dude said...

This discussion is really about the douchefying principle.

The reality is, this discussion is about the douchefying principle.

Isn’t this really about the douchefying principle?

I certainly think so. It’s on every channel.

*sip*

1:54 pm May, 10 Tyrannosaurus Douche said...

Damn, I feel oddly smarter after reading that. Son.

2:02 pm May, 10 creature said...

funny, it made me more aware of my ignorance

2:53 pm May, 10 Dr. Bunsen HoneyDouche said...

@ Charles Douchwin
.
You state “In essence, the douchbag or baguette is so deeply unaware of their own douchieness that potential mates interpret the douche’s projections of self importance as honest signals of fitness.” But that brings me to a question that seems right up your alley: If what you are saying is true, then should we not be overrun by douches in the future because they would have the skill set most likely for them to thrive and multiply (survival of the douchest)? By being unaware they could pass on this “trait” if you will to the younger generations who will not only keep it but further modify it to make it even stronger? While this idea will provide us with lots of future mocking, I fear it will be how all future reproduction may take place. Is this what we should expect?

7:55 pm May, 10 Mr. Biggs said...

Of course, Dante rightfully recognized it as the sin of fraud. And as I like to repeat, “cogito, ergo non sum douchebaggus.” I think, therefore I’m not a douche.

1:55 am May, 11 Collaz B. Popped said...

Or in Stackhouse’s case,,,
“I think, therefore I am Douche.”

1:56 am May, 11 Collaz B. Popped said...

n yeah, crop this Db out of this pic.

2:54 pm May, 11 Charles Douchewin said...

Howdy All,

Thanks for the great comments! This post was alot of fun to write.

To Steve L; – Yes. Think brilliant charismatic librarian hotts.

To Vin Douchal; I agree, the existence of douchebags cannot be answered easily. Conspecific self-deception seems at least consistent with the empirical evidence, although if a competing theory is developed, it can only move the field of douche studies forward.

Also, I previously didn’t know Stackhouse had his own site. Discovering this felt just like learning the definition of Santorum.

To The Dude – Yes! The douchefying principle. How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!

To Dr. Bunsen HoneyDouche; I agree here as well. I’ve also considered this idea, and find it both possible and disturbing. One consequence could be an Idiocracy-like douchepocalypse. However I take comfort in the historical view that douches may have been part of human culture from our very beginnings. If the douche trait were so strongly selected, we’d all be douches by now. But if there are more douchebags now than at any other time in human history, this may be due to both greater population density and digital media spread of the Grieco Virus – which may actually be a meme.

Thanks All!

– Charles Douchwin

3:50 pm May, 11 Whoop-Di-Douche said...

Best damn mock since some of the Samurai Scrote series mocks…..in line with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and all that new-paradigm jizz, er, uh, jazz.
Which gets me to wonderin’, how come Richard Grieco never did a Geico ad? It’s a near-rhyme, almost-alliterative genius op-moment.

3:54 pm May, 11 Whoop-Di-Douche said...

It’s nice to have douchebaggery inspired by Gaugin, even if that dude is about to lose his pants to a buttsniffin’ gator.

10:11 am May, 12 Choad The Douche Sprocket said...

@Charles Douchewin – thanks for resurrecting my question of so long ago…Perhaps it is my misogynistic side…but I continue to think that this site lets the Bleeths/baguettes off too easily, i.e. men wouldn’t look so ridiculous if women.girls weren’t grooving on it/encouraging it.
Just sayin…

11:13 pm May, 13 Sir David Douchenborough said...

Hold on a second. A reference to Trivers? I have found my better, and it makes me full of jovial happiness.
.
As an aside Trivers also contributed to both parental investment theory, which now is cited frequently with respect to sexual selection, but in addition, his work led into the concept of reciprocal altruism. The reason why I raise this is because in reciprocal altruism, that system hinges upon the detection of cheaters if such a phenomenon would arise adaptively. Curiously, Trivers treatise on self-deception underlies how deception can be used to circumvent usual selection pressures that would negatively select against ‘cheaters.’
.
Anyway, to have another Evolutionist in the midst is a great development, and I look forward to more contributions from Charles Douchewin.

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