Are you on "The Pill" - Recent scientific studies have indicated that taking birth control hormones actually affects a woman's attraction triggers. Essentially the pill causes a woman to more highly value masculine traits that indicate stability (because it tricks the body into believing its pregnant, the body decides it wants to mate with a male who will take care of it, rather than the best possible sperm).
There is some discussion that the pill could be in part responsible for the increase in divorce rates as women come off the pill after marriage and suddenly find themselves no longer attracted to their husbands.
While there isn't any literature specific to folk dancing, there is significant literature on the subject of using Niche Hobbies for pickup... As well, while "appearing desperate" is certainly advised against in basically any pickup literature, there is a significant body of work on the subject of appearing interesting (breakdowns on how to structure your conversation with someone new so that you can appear to have common interests... essentially how to make a cold read on someone).
I would be surprised if you don't find real desperation a complete turn-off... guys who are actually desperate are almost universally despised by women and are generally called "creepy".
On a side note - Pickup Theory asserts (This is even part of Mystery's work) that showing vulnerability mixed in with confidence is an effective method in demonstrating your Long Term potential if your cold read of your target indicates that she is looking for an LTR.
You are mistaking all pickup theory for a subset of pickup theory that happens to be very effective at picking up at bars.
Due to the nature of the beast (picking up in bars) it also tends to be the pickup theory that is the least politically correct... and therefore receives the most attention outside of the pickup community.
If you don't go to clubs you are probably right that the routines in the Mystery Method probably wouldn't work on you... they make sense in the club where they don't seem out of place and are congruent with the general atmosphere. Those same methods attempted in some situations would seem incongruent... like the guy has no social awareness. A lack of social awareness being unattractive is as close to a universal rule of attraction as you can get.
Read pickup theory related to social situations that you generally find yourself in - You'll probably find that guys that you have found yourself attracted to in the past acted at least partly in accordance with that theory.
I'd agree that many people have a learned helplessness when dealing with computers because of a fear that they can easily break their computer.
I disagree that really destroying your computer is a very easy thing to do (sans going into the BIOS or touching the actual hardware)
Marius makes a good point with the chameleon - Although when describing something as skinny/fat the color comes first (Red Faced Fat Man vs. Large/Huge Red-faced man)
Almost seems to me that we place words that categorize the object closest to the object - Brown Spider/Green Chameleon/Fat Man are all categories of those objects whereas a Big spider isn't as much of a category as it describes the size of the spider relative to other spiders in the same category.
When you manipulate a person's distressed emotional state to convince them into an action, even when that action is a positive one (sponsoring a child) there is always the potential that the person who was manipulated will later realize the manipulation.
Essentially - If he had convinced the crying woman to sponsor the child she very well have felt better on an ongoing and permanent basis (a positive result for everyone involved), however there is also the potential that at some later date she would have realized the manipulation.
My understanding of being manipulated is that the later realization has a highly negative outcome - I.E. making the woman more depressed than she was before the manipulation, more likely to believe that all people are manipulators (less trusting), etc.
Whenever you piggy-back a distressed emotional state to manipulate a person into an action you risk breaking that person (Causing them to stop trusting people).
Count me in as well - I've gained a great deal of useful knowledge from the PUA community despite having found it while in a fine, and still ongoing, long term relationship.
For a smart person it is relatively easy to take PUA advice and gain utility for non pick-up activities.
I was thinking of that exact example with regards to the posts discussion on hypothetical Montessori schools.
The filtering effect still wouldn't vanish - instead of filtering FOR the most engaged parents it would filter AGAINST the least engaged (I.E. all the parents that cared would put their kids into Montessori, the parents who didn't care would just put their kids into whatever school was the most convenient for them)
Definitely in agreement with Pirsig's Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Also in non-fiction - Both Rand novels - Fountainhead AND Atlas Shrugged
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
Robert A. Heinlein