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 Just read this.

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Feb 05, 2002
I'm sick of hearing about how 'normal' people suck.

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In a comment attached to an earlier diary, SpaceGhoti said this:

How many people ever pause in their lives and ask questions about what they like, what they don't like and what they believe? How many people ever really examine themselves? How many people actively make decisions for themselves instead of letting other people make their decisions for them? My experience tells me that the answer to that question is "damned few."

My point is this: there are damned few who don't. When you realize that everyone has a favorite CD that sends a chill up their spine, that everyone has agonized over some decision they had to make, and that everyone is looking for the same thing (happiness)--that is a sobering day. Because that's when you have to step down from the pedastal and realize that you are no better and no worse than the person sitting next to you.

You can't hold anything over them because they are a person unto themselves, and they do the same shit you do. No one wants to be ridiculed or ostracized--so sometimes they conform to the group. Fuck, you conform to a group. The way you dress, the music you listen to, the slang you use...

But this probably falls on deaf ears--I'm not thinking this, I didn't sit out on my porch last night and try to deal with the fact that everyone has these feelings and thoughts--because I'm not as deep as you are. Or as individualistic.

I thank nathan and tkatchev for *'harvesting the crust from [my] eyes.' Once I get over feeling pathetic for not realizing this before, I'm sure I'll be better off than I was. Regardless, I think that it's your turn for self-examination, Ghoti. I hope you like what you find.

*Fugazi -- "Ahistorical"


We are all different. (none / 0) (#1)
by dmg on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 07:11:31 AM PST
I'm not, I'm the same!

Even the Queen of England goes for a dump several times a week. The Linux apologists and Open Source IP theives like to see themselves as different from the rest because by identifying them as 'other' they don't feel guilty about commiting crimes against them.

Its a kind of racism. In the same way Hitler used the anti-Semetism of the German and Polish people to great effect by identifying the Jewish race as 'untermensch', the theiving criminal scum that use napster, aimster, bearshare, gunutella, kazaa and the like justify their morally questionable behaviour by de-humanizing their victims.

All this 'the man did this' and 'Micro$oft that'. Its all part of the same thing. These theives and criminals are hiding behind a fake 'geek' identity which seems to give them carte blance to pick and choose which laws they will and will not obey.

The mainstream media has fully bought into this phenomenon with magazines like 'wired' pandering to this fake identity. Hell, some "journalists" specilaise in writing about this fake subculture.

The point is, there is no such thing as 'geeks' or 'geek culture' or 'nerds' or 'nerd culture'. What exists is a large number of privileged white males who were lucky enough to land themselves a job in a technical field. They have nothing else in common with each other, except the flag of convenience 'geek' which allows them to flout the law with impunity.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

'We are all individuals' (none / 0) (#2)
by piloti on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 07:31:41 AM PST
Saw a rather disturbing programme on British TV presented by Darcus Howe on the changing nature of work in the service sector dominated UK.

He went to egg, a British internet bank. There he was told by everyone that 'we are all individuals' which is the corporate mantra. People expressed their 'individuality' by dressing up in silly costumes and being zany in a corporate sanctioned way. Spontaneous it wasn't.

I am no more an individual then they are as I am just as likely to follow the herd like anyone else. I watch the same movies, watch the same TV, read the same books and go to the same websites as lots of other people. I like to be part of large group just like everyone does and to be accepted you have follow the rules written or unwritten. Just like here as you can't post what you want without the possibilty of deletion.

I Repeat Myself with Alacrity as the Need Arises. (none / 0) (#3)
by Orinoco on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 07:34:34 AM PST
As I have said now a number of times here (two), the only normal people are the ones I don't know very well.

So I'm normal? (none / 0) (#4)
by westgeof on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 09:26:44 AM PST
Now that's something no one has ever called me... It's strange to think of myself as normal, it basically upsets my whole view of the word.

For the record, yes, I am most certainly not normal, even though we haven't met. Some would call me shockingly bizzare, others just plain weird. So, not all the people you don't know are normal. Be warned, we're out there....

As a child I wanted to know everything. Now I miss my ignorance.

Ah, I've struck a nerve. (none / 0) (#5)
by SpaceGhoti on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 03:45:04 PM PST
It would seem that I've come across as smug, superior and patronising. All true. Apparently, I even made Chloedancer think I was demeaning her struggle, when in fact I meant nothing of the sort. For that, I certainly apologize.

I do not retract my original statements. Unfortunately, I've met some depressingly normal people. They follow the same routine 365 days a year without a break. The merest thought of deviance is enough to send them into a blind panic. They believe everything they read and consider sitcoms to be the highest form of art. Their greatest worry is the possibility of demonstrating independent thought or action, that they might somehow differ from what they're told is "normal."

Also: I have lived with and around people who could have been lifted straight out of Pleasant Valley. They live their lives defined by what they have been told, and by what their peers tell them is normal. They want nothing more than to live up to that standard. That standard and nothing more. Anything else would earn them the most horrifying label of all: different.

And again: I'm not "building the Wall." I'm not tearing it down, either. It's a non-issue to me. I'm pointing out that people exercise less active control over themselves and their lives than they could, and certainly less than I think they should. I'm not trying to force anyone to think for themselves, that would be futile. I like to sow the seeds and let them fall where they will.

I have found and continue to find examples to validate my statements. Far from being extraordinary, these examples are quite common. That's my experience, and your mileage may vary.

I find that people don't think about why they do things. Yes, people agonize over decisions all the time. Why? Not because they're examining themselves to ask why they're agonizing, they're trying to decide what will cause them the least amount of grief. There are a depressing amount of people who would gladly delegate much of their decision-making so they don't have to live with the responsibility of making a mistake.

It's a conundrum. People want the freedom to make their own choices, but they don't want the responsibility for making those choices. They don't stop to ask why they've come to a decision or choice, they think about what the decision or choice is going to mean for them. That is not self-examination. Clearly, we need the foresight to examine the consequences of our decisions, but that's a separate issue. We also need the insight to examine ourselves to find out why we make our decisions the way we do.

Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you prefer one thing over another? What makes you tick? Most people profess the desire to know, but few people are willing to hold themselves under the microscope and examine their own origins and motives. There's a lot of surprises involved, and most people don't like to be reminded of their imperfections. That includes myself. Nobody's perfect.

A troll's true colors.

Planet of the Apes (5.00 / 1) (#6)
by First Incision on Tue Feb 5th, 2002 at 09:15:15 PM PST
Ironically, I just finished reading Boulle's Planet of the Apes. Much of the book centers on the points you raise. (The movies inspired by the book borrow surprisingly little from it)

The Ape society, based on imitation, conformity, and suppression of new ideas was much happier, and more long-lived than the turbulent civilizations of Man. Yet the average man was not actually any more original or non-conformist than these Apes.

As flag waving conformist (but not an unmotivated, ignorant couch potato), I found these ideas quite intriguing.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.


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