?

Log in

Recent Entries Friends Archive Profile Tags Jeamland
 
 
 
 
 
 
Found via usenet, this: An attempt to explain some aspects of geek social dysfunction. He comes up with five separate fallacies.
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
[...]
In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the prospective excludee may be.

Yep. I recognise this one, alright. Mostly from OUSFG, but it's carried over to the rest of my life, too, and as much as anything else it stems from the belief that if you don't ostracize then the individuals in question won't be so bad. In some cases, this has even worked.
Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
[...]
Carriers of GSF2 believe that since a friend accepts them as they are, anyone who criticizes them is not their friend. Thus, they can't take criticism from friends -- criticism is experienced as a treacherous betrayal of the friendship, no matter how inappropriate the criticized behavior may be.

I'm fairly certain I don't have this one. If I did, I'd probably be allergic to twic. And hell, I get mocked in graphic form on a semi-regular basis... ;-)
Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
[...]
Like GSF2, GSF3 is a "friendship test" fallacy: in this case, the carrier believes that any failure by a friend to put the interests of the friendship above all else means that they aren't really a friend at all.

I'll admit to a weak form of this. Friendships are important to me; I'm sure I've said before that I think my ideal Christmas would be a day with friends, not family. And I've found it hard going when (for example) close friends have acquired boyfriends or girlfriends. But I think for the most part, I'm pretty good at keeping things in perspective.
Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
[...]
Every carrier of GSF4 has, at some point, said:

"Wouldn't it be great to get all my groups of friends into one place for one big happy party?!"

Hey, what are you all looking at me like that for?

Yeah, OK. He's got me bang to rights on this one.
Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together
[...]
GSF5, put simply, maintains that every friend in a circle should be included in every activity to the full extent possible. This is subtly different from GSF1; GSF1 requires that no one, friend or not, be excluded, while GSF5 requires that every friend be invited. This means that to a GSF5 carrier, not being invited to something is intrinsically a snub, and will be responded to as such.

I don't think I've got this one, though. In fact, I'm certain I don't. I like to make people aware of things they might find interesting (see yesterday's post about the LSE conference), but I don't feel upset if people don't do the same.

EDIT: Andrew has suggested a possible example of GSF5 behaviour on my part. I'd forgotten about it when I wrote the above, and I still don't think it maps exactly, but I may have some GSF5 tendencies. You Have Been Warned. ;-)

Overall, I think it's fairly obvious that the five fallacies he lists do exist, and do exist in higher-than-usual concentrations in geek populations. I'm not sure they're often as destructive as the author suggests, and I think they're fairly often positive.

I'm also sure there's a long and intelligent post to be written about how these map onto online behaviour (for example, LJ friending protocols...Or instant messaging vs IRC), but I really should go and get some work done.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil

Depends what you mean by "ostracizing". I don't think it's right to be outright rude or unpleasant to people, whatever they're like. But if it's a matter of talking to them less than normal (perhaps only when absolutely necessary) or not being actively friendly or welcoming towards them then that's something different.

Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All

I agree with you that friendship is very important; probably one of the most important things in life. But there are other important things too: like family, work, private time. I think there needs to be a balance between all the things that are important, and though friendship is very high on the list of priorities it's not an absolute. (Nothing is.)

Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

This is one I find rather odd. To make it work you need to assume some sort of insulated friendship group. I do have groups of friends, but there's no single group in particular, and I have lots of other friends who I tend to see individually. I do lots of different stuff with lots of different people; there's no one 'group' to be left out from.
Depends what you mean by "ostracizing". I don't think it's right to be outright rude or unpleasant to people, whatever they're like. But if it's a matter of talking to them less than normal (perhaps only when absolutely necessary) or not being actively friendly or welcoming towards them then that's something different.

No, some people need to be excluded from the group. I don't say this lightly but due to GSF1, a person was allowed in a group of friends that only hurt them. But he wasn't excluded as it was thought it'd harm him. Eventually we all wised up.
I don't know if you speak of the same thing I'm thinking about, but in any case I agree :o)
But there are other important things too: like family, work, private time.

They're certainly important. For whatever reason, though, most of the time they rate lower on the scale than my friends.

though friendship is very high on the list of priorities it's not an absolute. (Nothing is.)

Of course.
By its nature, a collection of LJ entries promote GSF1 and 5 even...

Of course, one needn't comment on those personal interests that are entirely alien to the other-interest friend, but it does expose the other-interest friend to the wider interests of their friend...hmm, if that sentence makes any sense at all.