Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Games People Play...first impressions

I'm about 40 pages in. So far, I'm liking it marginally better than I thought I would. The world doesn't suddenly make sense or anything, but there seem to be some interesting take away ideas.

First two:

Without recognition (basic social interaction), adults whither and die - I have a general sense that this is true (they did an episode of Buffy about it!), and in fact, the realization of this a few years ago made me shift my attitude towards homeless people. I used to think that, as a good liberal, I supported tax payer funded places for homeless people to be...and that those places were not on the street, trying to get my attention. As a result, I ignored panhandlers...avoiding any kind of acknowledgment or eye contact. Part of this is of course defensive a 20 something female I try not to engage with strange men in general ...but the other part is that I didn't recognize a need besides money, shelter, and food that they were seeking. I still ignore some people based on the circumstances, but when I feel like I can spare the (effort, exposure, risk?) I try to make eye contact, smile, and say something like "Not today," and recognize that that even that level of acknowledgment has some minimal value.

Boredom is in the long run synonymous with emotional starvation - This is interesting. I've never really thought of boredom that way. Typically I think boredom gets classified as the opposite of intellectual stimulation, not emotional. But human beings are social animals, and I buy into the theory (half remembered from something I learned about Nietzsche in college) that a good part of human intellectualism is driven by the desire to have interesting things to tell other people. So maybe intellectual stimulation is satisfying because of the anticipated emotional stimulation of having people appreciate your insights, and boredom is the lack of that anticipation. I dunno though, I think this warrants further thought. (After which, maybe I'll have interesting things to tell people!)


  1. The main reason I try to avoid interacting with homeless people on the street, aside from my baseline antisocial tendencies, is because too many of them are mentally unstable, and too many of them just seem to want to talk for the sake of fucking with you. I've also had a few cases where someone seemed nice but then became very hostile or aggressive after I declined politely to give money. Of course, this usually only happens when I walk around with Daniel, who seems to... attract unwanted attention...

  2. Yeah I'm not really sure what actual proportion of people I ignore vs. acknowledging. The people I acknowledge tend to be in very safe situations...lots of other people around, far enough out of my daily routine to not worry about being followed home or recognized the next day, and maybe only after I've seen a couple of other people make eye contact without incident. It's probably my thinking that's changed more than my actions.