[FoRK] social alienation...

Ken Meltsner meltsner
Fri Sep 23 11:22:01 PDT 2005


Some of us are luckier than others:

*  Science fiction fandom has its share of morons, but it also have
quite a few smart people, especially if you find one of the specialty
conventions catering to people that actually read books.

*  My son's school is a gifted-only private school -- about 60 kids
now -- and the parents group is great fun.  I've been calling it the
support group for the formerly gifted, which it is (sort of) -- not a
single slow or average person, and a couple of scary smart types, and
many stories of not fitting in while growing up, at work, etc.

*  MIT alumni clubs *sometimes* have really smart, interesting people
to talk with, but it varies.  Best club meeting we ever had was when
we met one of the guys that had started the MIT science fiction
society 30 years earlier.  We had more in common with him and his wife
(we were about 25-30 years younger) than with younger people at the
meeting.

*  My wife is Phi Beta Kappa (political science at MIT) and their
annual dinners can be interesting; the people are almost always smart,
although not always "gifted" -- some people got in by sheer hard work
rather than any sort of talent or deep interest, and like the MIT club
meetings, I'm not interested in people that join these sorts of groups
to "network" and brown-nose.

*  I can also get along with anyone who's obssessed/in love with what
he or she does.  If they have passion and depth in a particular area,
it makes up for any general lack of "giftedness."  Heck, I've even had
good conversations with golfers -- if they truly love the sport, the
history, the paraphenalia, etc. it can be fascinating (for a
while...).


So, the key ingredients:

*  Raw intelligence if possible

*  Genuine interest or devotion to one or more subjects, preferably in
areas that interest you

*  Familiarity with common social conventions, e.g. clean fingernails
and deodorants

Ken Meltsner



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