Re: [VOID] A Clockwork Rohit

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar (
Sun, 8 Mar 98 22:04:54 -0800

If this is public psychotherapy, I may as well put on my counselor hat...

>> the issue is 'meeting people' as people, as emotional interests, not
professional soulmates. <<

Note that "as people" and "as romantic interests" are often two entirely
distinct paradigms - as seen by the fact that many women do feel more
comfortable around gay guys. Which are you seeking, or do you really
believe you can pursue both simultaneously?

Ouch. Not just a brain, but an arrogant namedropper, too. (and she's
100% right!) Too bad all those pickup lines honed at IETFs for
recruting geeks go over so poorly on a dance floor.

Yup, a whole new culture. I've noticed you're very good at shifting
facets, but not really shifting paradigms, if that makes sense.

much as I wanted what I saw on the floor: not just the luscious
young bodies, but also the uncomplicated happiness -- that's not what
I need and not how I'm going to get there from here.

Um, I'm not sure where you get "uncomplicated happiness". Mindless
pleasure, sure - on occasion. I remember enough from high school that
the people who seemed so secure and popular on the dance floor often had
highly traumatic relationships before and after. Don't fall into
greener-but-sourer grass.

What qualities I have, can't be advertised. Call yourself an artist,
and you've labeled it: people might stick around to plumb your
presumably-crazed intellect to see if it's any fun. I haven't found
any ways of conveying the complicated character you see on FoRK in 30
seconds, though. Everything I can say leads to a tar pit: computer
geek, boring business type, snobbish globetrotter, arrogant academic,
and nothing that generally conveys the sense of art and uniqueness I
see in geeks.

I don't buy that. I think the problems is that you see yourself as
purely an elitist geek, if a multifaceted one. You don't acknowledge
your own humanity, which makes it impossible for you to connect with
other people's humanity.

Also, don't forget the tired old cliche:

A bore talks about himself
A brilliant conversationalist talks about you

Still, this is difficult if the person doesn't even find anything
interesting in themself, and -they- aren't really capable of in-depth
conversation. There was a mural on my high school which always struck me
as tragic but true:

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people

I know this was meant to slam gossip, but it did seem to capture my
particular social hell. It is hard to find people who are reflective
enough to analyze events intelligibly, much less navigate abstract
concepts. Still, I am making progress on the skill of drawing people
out by discussing the events of their life, and learning to find value in

>> if apply the additional premise that I am firmly American,
culturally, what pops out is precisely that my idenity is primarily
bound as 'geek', secondarily ethnic <<

The problem is that geek culture -- unlike genetic or even religous
cultures -- reproduces asexually. That is, geeks are spontaneous or
formed in schools, not primarily born as the child of two geeks. This is
correlated with the fact that geek culture is predominantly male.
Therefore, it is not to be expected that you'd be able to mate while
remaining inside geek culture.

Yes, you are a geek. But are you only a geek?

And even then, I'd like to know what the secrets are for introducing
yourself to a group of women. Note group: they never leave the pack.
Men, you watch, you pick 'em off one by one.

This is a well known meme. I dragged my friend Dustin along to a
Valentines-Day dance on the 13th, since he was in town visiting. This
was interesting since he is happily married, so was there only as an
observer. The ironic bit was that he won the door prize (though at
least it was flowers he could give his wife); at least I avoided the
mockery of having girls I was attracted to trying to pick -him- up...

Dustin was the one who pointed out that the above is classic
predator-prey relationships. Prey animals collect in herds (or schools)
to prevent any single one from being cut off and 'captured.' Predators
roam individually so they don't have to share their catch - though they
may cooperate in attempts to break up or spook a herd. The Far Side
captures this metaphor in several hilarious ways...

-- Chaplain Ernie

P.S. Yes, I share the same neurotic identity crisis as Rohit, save that
perhaps my plight is more poignant since (wisely or foolishly) I
actually attempt - attempt, I say - to relate to people in a non-geek