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Author Topic: Something we can all relate to
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2006 20:57      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why high school nerds have no friends. It's long, and a bit on the repetitive side, but there's truth in it. A lot of truth.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chesty
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Icon 1 posted October 09, 2006 21:14      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The fact tht he analysed tha tso much makes him a nerd.
Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted October 09, 2006 23:03            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Chesty: Exactly!

Xanthine: Yes, there is. That may be the first time I've seen anyone ever echo my belief in the pointlessness of education. I had this problem right through university -- we were, as he put it, jumping through hoops for the staff and for the course. For me, there was no satisfaction in this -- for me, satisfaction is in doing work that has real benefits.

I wrote quite a lot of software in my evenings during that time, but when it came to choosing a final year project ... I neither had any idea what to do nor any motivation. It confused a particular tutor that I could write so much (she must have seen my site) and yet have nothing to do for a project.

But, I am not self-motivated, probably because I don't believe in my own existence. I don't have any goals, any reason to exist, so there is no motivation to further my life beyond the fact that it will keep my alive. Which is, of course, somewhat circular. My existence is defined more for what the world may decide I am here for, and generally what little it finds is mismatched anyway (I am nowhere near as capable or adaptive as people believe...)

I concluded perhaps a couple of years ago that an apprenticeship would have made far more sense than higher education -- it's certainly far more satisfying than hoop jumping. They may have even caught me before I really degenerated.

But at secondary school, I don't think I had that much desire to be popular. At least, not as the years went by ... I just drifted off into a mostly-isolated existence, with a couple of strange friends with which we had some really bizarre kind of Star Trek/Star Wars/Babylon 5/Doctor Who/anything-else-we-threw-in role play that lasted until I was about 16 and one of them left the school. That was really strange.

After I left secondary school at 18 and the close proximity to very attractive girls, I lost the only true driving force of my inspiration: untapped passsion. Then, at university, I found the Web and sexually interesting sites and generally lost interest in my sci-fi work entirely. All I've really had since then is my software work and messing with my various Web sites.

And (just for you, Xan) being The Log Nazi. Actually, I was thinking last night that watching my site log window found me a really evil vulnerability in part of my site back-end -- a program I'd made public -- that I'd never have realised otherwise. A bad call to FolderItem.child() can resolve to the app's containing folder, in this case, it grants access to the entire server!


I'll shut up now.

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Metasquares
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2006 16:54      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always thought it had something to do with the handicap principle... stupid people are popular because they've managed to survive despite being stupid [Smile]

The suburban culture segue that the author goes into towards the end is interesting. I studied much the same thing last year in a world urbanization class. I came to the conclusion then, as I do now, that society simply does not scale beyond a certain point. It doesn't all-out collapse, but it starts to break in all sorts of little ways that cause many of the problems we experience today.

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Chesty
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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2006 18:17      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always tell my son that it's the nerds who hire the jocks.

He knows where the revenge is.

Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

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Icon 1 posted October 10, 2006 19:36      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't call education pointless. Education is never pointless (speaketh the unrepetant academic) - if nothing else, education protects you from the dangers of ignorance. Please note that when I talk about education I'm not just talking about formal schooling. To my mind, being educated means that you know some facts and, more importantly, you know how to use your brain, and there are lots of ways to do this. The classroom is but one of them. I've stayed in school because that's what I need to do to get the training I want; other people who want different things have gone in different directions. However, I do question the usefulness of our current educational system. In hindsight, much of high school felt more like a holding pen than anything else. It was essentially a place to put us adolescents while we pupated or something. And I really think that teens can be more than they are expected/allowed to be in today's society. So much of behavior comes from expectations, and expectations come from culture. I also believe that suburbia is a breeding ground for uselessness. Seriously. If you grow up in the country or in the city proper you are going to learn survival skills. Vastly different survival skills, but survival skills nonetheless. In suburbia you don't learn squat, other than to be afraid of the cities because there're bad people and the country because there're bugs. I should know - I grew up in a fscking subdivision. But that's a whole other mess.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted October 10, 2006 20:06            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hm, I think I live in a dream world ... Always did, it's some sort of natural protection mechanism that stops me being clinically depressed or truly suicidal. Or as a kid, I guess, bored out of my skull. I am not sure what I made of school, since my memory is so bad ... I imagine my mind was mostly elsewhere. I had some strange habits -- completely covering the backs of both hands with scribblings until there was more ink than skin. Ad then I got out of that bad habit (people used to tell me I'd get ink poisoning, maybe the girls?) and then I just had a filing-cabinet's worth of folded up paper stashed in each inside blazer pocket.

Though nothing beats being in the school library and seeing my nerd friend pull a soldering iron out of his blazer pocket! I mean, what the fuck? Who comes to school with an electronics toolkit in his blazer? That was so funny... he was an odd one. I remember we took apart an old monitor at school to recalibrate it, a Microvitec Cub if anyone remembers that (still got two here). I watched the screen while he fiddled about with the pots inside. School was weird ... The staff of that department didn't care. Fortunately he didn't make any stupid mistakes like electrocute himself with, what, 15 kV in a 14" tube?

He even brought in a machine from home (BBC Master Series) to swap over a keyboard since one of the ones there had a dead V key (very important in French classes!)

But yes, I am not against learning. Or school. But I think the approaches are a little wrong. I just found everything irrelevant to me personally ... but I can't really say if that was the school, or me. It's very complicated -- since you'll do better if you have friends who care about the work, as you will help each other take it seriously. I was not the type to do that, perhaps so much so that I was only going to drag those types down.

I think I am just simply the type who only does something that seems useful. (Why else would we be voluntarily tending all the IT equipment in our spare time?) Learning often involves information that's effectively irrelevant to your immediate life, be that geography, science, maths ... It's hard to make that fun, since outside of that class, homework aside, you'll forget you even learnt it!

It's not to say that it truly is irrelevant, but you don't gain the maturity to deal with that until later in life, I think (I am not sure I've got that far even at nearly 26 ;)

But as you know, I am someone with only questions, not answers ... The real answers like these are not taught at school, school only gives you questions :)

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