- People are generally boring.
- This is a consequence of people doing “socially acceptable” things in a social contexts, such as not experimenting.
- I am boring in a social context because of the same reason.
- I am much more interesting by myself.
- Other people are probably also interesting by themselves, but I have no access to them by themselves, so as far as I am concerned, they don’t really exist.
- I am better off by myself.
But: am I defecting in a prisoner’s dilemma I don’t understand?
I love to work at home because I can have the music on. When I take breaks I can dance around the house. When I’m stuck, I can walk around and talk to myself. I can randomly emit strange sounds if I feel like it.
“Would you like a girlfriend?”
“I’m not ready for one.”
“Many people start a relationship before they’re ready for one.”
“I’m not the person I want to be yet.”
“Is this a date?” she asked with hint of smile.
“Depends on your definition of date,” he said. “How would you define a ‘date’?”
“A meeting held out of romantic interest,” she said. “Is this lunch out of romantic interest?”
“I don’t like that framing. The word ‘date’ gives me the tremors. It’s like an exam, adversarial, solemn. The two parties assess each other across the table, considering their suitability for lifetime partnership. If that’s what it’s going to be, please say no.”
What’s it mean to be socially adept, or well-adjusted socially? I’ve looked upon the word “social” with disdain, but maybe my lack of value-belief in it is because the “social” has been translated badly into my personal vocabulary. It’s another word like feminism or religion or altruism that means different things in the ideal and the institutionalized sense.
There are two kinds of humor and laughter. It’s similar to how feedback can be positive or negative.
- Positive laughter opens people up to new possibilities. Good stand-up comedians make jokes that expose stereotypes about race, sex, religion, etc. and in so doing make people think, “isn’t it stupid the way things are?” and “it doesn’t have to be this way.” It’s also the laughter between friends, building positive Hebbian connections in your neurons, “I want to do this again.”
- Negative laughter closes off possibilities. People laugh at someone who fails – and each such laugh is a censor that will prevent themselves from trying new things. Laughter in the face of an idea that someone proposes is a veto without an explanation. (And if a person introduces an idea with a laugh, it’s social insurance against the possible drop in reputation if others find it stupid, at the cost of the idea actually being considered seriously.) The quips that people in different fields make with each other are not so innocuous if they’re saying, “Your values are different from us, and I don’t think they’re as valuable as ours.”
I want to make sure that every time I laugh, it’s positive laughter.