Vague ramblings

Social intercourse for nerds and geeks

Posted in Life, Musing by Ian Cundell on 3 July, 2013

Toby Frost, author of the terminally daft Space Captain Smith novels, recently brought me up to speed on the right old hoo-ha (who-ha?) in SF fandom: Summary from one PoV here (skim the comments though) or from a different perspective here: (Short version: older duffers shocked at being taken to task for crass sexism)

It has striking similarities to a who-ha (hoo-ha?) rumbling along in the sceptical/ atheist/ secular movements, especially since sceptic Rebecca Watson  made a perfectly reasonable request to be treated with personal respect.

It would be tempting to explain such who/hoo-haing by the pervasive presence of a large cohort of self-styled libertarian “free thinkers” who feel they have the right to be obnoxious without facing consequence.

But I am minded to agree with Toby – and possibly William of Occam – that a simpler explanation is better: mine is that both movements are chock-full of nerds and geeks, people who – as a whole – have no clue how to behave around strangers.

In a characteristically waggish moment, Toby suggested a top-10 list of how to behave in company, but I’ve decided to go with a Cognitive Behavioural approach, complete with homework, since CBT does not work unless you do the homework. I’ve tried to use gender-neutral language, so that the poor chaps don’t feel victimised. (It should, but won’t, go without saying that Toby is an innocent bystander in what follows. He really should know better than to be waggish near me.) (more…)

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