Brian Krausz

I build internet things

In Defense of Nerds

July 11, 2007

While I do believe strongly in the correlation made in my last post, I feel that Jared’s response was slightly off the mark. I really don’t mean to go back and forth on this one, so this will be my last post directly relating to the topic of startup/dating analogies, but I would like to throw in a more serious $0.02.

  • The article Jared used is a sales pitch and, at least partially, inaccurate. The average online dating demographic is a shy nerd who, statistically, is much more introverted. He would therefore be a “Nice Guy” who does many of the things mentioned in this article. This article caters towards this demographic for the sake of garnering interest, newsletter signups, and god-knows-what-else. Many of these points are valid, but The complete opposite is also often valid. For #1, being a complete dick will not get you women (at least it won’t get you steady relationships). For #3, #4, #5, and #8, being a pansy is never a good idea, but neither is being completely removed, you must show at least some compassion. #6 and #9 basically say “know what to do”, which is some pretty dumb advice. Everything comes in moderation, if you stray too far to either side of the spectrum you’re in trouble.
  • While I won’t go into rebutting every analogy, I will say that some of them seem very contrived and easily reversible. Arguing a difficult position is a good skill, but in this case it’s a little forced.
  • I have not dated 20 women in my life (then again, I am young). I have many female friends, and women see me as “just a friend” more often than not, but that is more of a choice than anything else. I recognize that my actions lead me to friends, and I accept that because I believe that the strongest relationships are formed by those who start out as friends (I could write volumes about this, but I’ll spare you…for now).
  • I don’t think the issue with CS majors in general is that they don’t “take the time away from the monitor to get into dating”, I think it’s an undervaluation of the importance of connections. I know several brilliant people who simply don’t meet people, fall into their mediocre IT job, and work hard with no chance of advancement. I believe that anyone can go from anti-social nobody to a social being (mostly because I have made the jump myself). Many CS majors accept their position because they are happy that way (which is fine, it takes all types), while others simply don’t have the right opportunity or drive.
  • Not to contradict myself, but I think we as CS majors are overly stereotyped in our level social activity. While there are more anti-social CS majors per student than in other majors, we are more social then we get credit for. CS majors have a tendency to keep to their kind. They are very passionate about their trade, and as such like to talk about it often. Most people who aren’t CS majors don’t want to hear this day in and day out, so they stick to their own cliques. It only takes a small group of people to be considered social. While this creates a segregation between what CS majors consider socially acceptable and what everyone else accepts, there is most definitely nothing wrong or anti-social about it. This is very similar to fine arts majors, who tend to socialize with other fine arts majors and as such develop their own social norms.

On a more bloggy note, I do enjoy posting about relationships (one of my many failed blogging attempts was called “Perpetual Optimist”, where I would post about my failures with women and lessons learned. Expect more posts in the future along these lines. While I believe that when it comes to things like relationships one must walk their own path, you never know what could spark a moment of deeper understanding.

Disclaimer: Many of my thoughts are based on what I have seen in my limited view of the world. You may have seen something different. It’s my blog, and as such my opinions.

Disclaimer for my disclaimer: On the other hand, please feel free to disagree with me, but please do so constructively. I am a huge fan of friendly debates, and thank Jared for providing me with a good debate, which I haven’t had in a while. If everyone argued constructively we would undoubtedly be much better off as a society.

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