Thought this was really…

Thought this was really interesting: Five Geek Social Fallacies. I found myself really defensive, reading each one -- yet while I am a little annoyed by the particular examples given of various people who smell bad (an inconvenience, perhaps, but not likely to cause a real social problem), in large part, I have to admit that I've seen all of these behaviors carried out to destructive social extent.

I definitely suffer from all of the fallacies, to a mild degree, and have been almost pathologically bad about #1 (at conventions, especially, leading to unmanageably large dinners), and #4 (in college, where I made the math guys and the bisexual support group hang out together -- that went over well).

3 thoughts on “Thought this was really…”

  1. That’s fascinating, Mary Anne. I’m kind of a quasi-geek, and I have to admit that some of those fallacies are probably related to the reasons I often hover in geek-heavy social circles but seldom dive all the way in. Not that they are all true all the time for everyone, but there is definitely some truth in them.

    The question that sprung to my mind is related to their explanation for #1 – one reason to never exclude anyone is because you have negative memories of being excluded yourself. I was fortunate enough as a kid to be pretty well supported in my interests, both geeky and not. I also went to a school where while there were definitely different social circles (including groups any outsider would recognize as ‘geeks’ and ‘popular girls’), there was no animosity attached. The popular girls might not have invited me to their parties or hung out with me at lunchtime, but they were perfectly friendly if I had a question for one of them or some other reason to start a conversation. And so while I don’t like being left out (who does?), I don’t have a strong reaction to it and I don’t feel particularly guilty for (politely) excluding people I don’t enjoy spending time with.

    I wonder how many of those fallacies are a direct reaction to having less pleasant experiences as a child/teen, and feeling the need to create social experiences as an adult that don’t include any risk of recreating those feelings. That’s probably an oversimplification, but maybe there’s some truth in it?

  2. What struck me about the GSF is that they seem like immigrant social fallacies too. I notice that there’s a strong, almost nauseating “we stick together no matter what” attitude in my immigrant clan, which is despite the fact that certain people usually make gatherings tense and awkward. No one wants to confront these people into better behavior – when I try, I get stomped on for it.

    And, oddly, my federal workplace has a lot of the same attitude. The equating of teamwork with all having lunch together feels juvenile.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I think this kind of thing can happen anywhere, but I do think it’s especially common in groups that feel persecuted. It was certainly my early experience of exclusion that led to my semi-pathological need to include everybody, at all times, no matter how inconvenient or inappropriate it might be.

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