Thursday, November 24, 2005

Circular History?

I was wandering through the web, yesterday. And I stumbled upon this guy's blog - he sent me a mass email in September letting me know about it and about his change of email address. He's some sort of hotshot CS - encryption guy and avid blogger called Scott Aaronson. I didn't get a chance to check it out earlier - I don't know the man, I'd just sent him a fan-email at some point when I read some great sci-fi stories he'd written, on his website. So I spent the whole day reading his blog and pestering everyone around me about it. One moment I was glad that there's still hope in this world, that there are still great, innovative, open-minded thinkers out there to counterbalance the idiots I've been encountering for the last few months (no, reader, of course I don't mean you), and the next moment I was wondering if I'd made the right life-choices after all, renouncing my nerdiness and cutting off my ties to science.

I was a nerd, once. Much nerdier than you could ever imagine. But at some point, back when I was 13 years old, I had a choice: should I be popular, at least with the guys (I was a tomboy back then), and try to keep my nerdier interests and way of thinking on the side, or should I go on, friendless and bullied on, for the rest of my life (read "the rest of my school life", which was as far down the road as I could see, back then), and have my computer and my Knowledge-beyond-my-years-or-gender as my only ally? I chose the first option, but Terry Pratchett's trousers of time were so tight they split me in half. And, about a year and a half ago, I had to make another choice.

Screw you Biochemistry, I want to live. I want to have fun, I want to offer the world cute-and-trivial things like films and comics, which won't save mankind, but will hopefully make someone's life a tad more enjoyable. Even if he's dying of cancer. Even if it's my fault, for not enduring the boring lab-work and finding the cure for his type of disease.

So now I can't fit in with the nerds anymore, that time is long, long gone. I can't really fit in with the geeks, 'cause most of them are much more resistant to new scientific knowledge and experiences (no, really - with a few exceptions, as always) - most of them were never really nerds. The arty crowds are not for me, I'm not into modern art and analysis, I just want to make stuff. And I can't, I really can't, fit in with the "regular" crowds, 'cause they don't get me at all. So, in one sense, I'm kind of in the same position I was in back at school, where I could find nobody "quite like me" around.

Only now I'm not bullied. And I get more, and better, and more diverse, sex than all of the people who ever bullied me in Elementary School combined. Seems like a good deal to me.


Atalante said...
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Atalante said...

You have the brains, you can "fit in" anywhere you like really, and your background will let you get into anywhere, and you will digest all the information that you need in a matter of days, a brief preparation time, while someone else would probably need months of shy socializing, reading-in-the-dark and trying to find "precious information" about the "social group" of his choise...
Intelligent people don't need that time. If you come to think of it, they don't even need "talent". This is their talent. Some intelligent people lack social skills at first, but if they really set their mind to it, they do just fine. You have a gun - you can point it anywhere you like, for a while. And then you can change direction. Oh, and many times you'll find that this gun is rather strange, it can target more than one thing at the same time... But I'm sure you already know.

There is no real "fitting in". It's just varying degrees of acting...

It's well known that if you have the means and the ability (that's all brains and skills on information gathering) to research your role in depth, you can act better.

Bunny Dee said...

True... I was just going through the whole "nobody really understands me, nobody's really the same as me" teenage angst phase when I wrote this (I thought I'd have gotten rid of these phases by the ripe old age of 23 :P)