I was reading an old thread on pickup here the other day, and some articles and reddit threads about it.
The feeling I get is, pickup is a scam because it just teaches you how to play mind games - it doesn't actually teach you how to be a man of value, how to be a man that any woman actually wants and doesn't have to be tricked into thinking they want you. There's no magic words, or clothes, or car, or anything superficial that will work - it seems you have to actually be a successful, interesting person. The only dating advice for men that seems to make any sense is "look good, smell good, be good at something, have cool stuff to talk about - then you can be confident because you know you have all that stuff going for you".
But it's hard to be interested in being a man of value when you don't think you can get good at anything. I guess that's the real question.
It's hard to be an interesting person when we have to spend so much of our lives on boring survival, which doesn't make you feel too cool either, so you don't feel like you're that great, and that just carries "boring" energy forward instead of the kind of energy you'd get if you were satisfied with your life because you're good at something you like.
Like what do you even talk about? "Hey, I do something I don't care about all day because I just need money. I don't even like anything anymore. I'm bad at everything, I don't have interests, and I feel dead inside. How are you?" Meanwhile some other guy is actually good at something cool. Who do you think a woman would rather talk to?
Some days I feel like I'd give my left nut for enough genetic talent to be good at something, especially something I like. This is a lot of what fills my hours. I wish I had a better answer.