Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Only Thing Worse than No Game is Bad Game

Scott Alexander's 10k-word commentary on Scott Aaronson's Cri de Coeur, linked by Steve and others, is well worth the investment. Granted, Alexander avows that he is "97% on board with feminism", whereas my own on-board-with-feminism meter zeroed out in 1922 and has been running negative since the 70s. But Alexander has done his research and gives us a chapter-and-verse account of the feminists ongoing and relentless social persecution of nerds.

Among the piece's many quotables, I wanted to bring attention to this one:

Any space with a four-to-one male:female ratio is going to end up with some pretty desperate people and a whole lot of unwanted attention. Add into this mix the fact that nerds usually have poor social skills (explaining exactly why would take a literature review to put that last one to shame, but hopefully everyone can agree this is true), and you get people who are pretty sure they are supposed to do something but have no idea what. Err to one side and you get the overly-chivalrous people saying m’lady because it pattern matches to the most courtly and least sexual way of presenting themselves they can think of. Err to the other, and you get people hollowly imitating the behavior they see in famous seducers and playboys, which when done without the very finely-tuned social graces and body-language-reading-ability of famous seducers and playboys is pretty much just “being extremely creepy”.

This is a point I've made myself a couple of times: alpha behavior is really hard for us nerds to immitate in practice. Anyone who trots out a James Bond line with being, you know, James Bond is going to embarrass himself colossally. We have to find versions of ourselves that work for us, not versions that would work for who we wish we were, but aren't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alexander's piece is painfully good.