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Binary Humility

An oafish boy trails a pack of girls, hope awash in his eyes. A girl in the group turns, abruptly. Throws her hands in the air and loudly demands "Stop following me for god's sake!"

An all too common story, replayed a thousand times over in both media and in real life. Why I myself can rattle off two such incidents with different girls, and that's just what I'm not repressing.

However, in all the tellings of such an event, there's one important nuance that I feel never gets brought up. In my case, I feel these encounters taught me a valuable lesson. The folly of feeling sure of something.

There was a time, when I was young, where if you had been a wish-granting genie, for the sake of argument, wearing parachute pants, and had asked me what my one wish was, I would have told you, "A calculator that can tell me when I miss a negative and whether or not a girl likes me".

The upshot of never being certain of your conclusions is that it can make you rather humble. It's pretty hard to be a blow-hard jackass while being terrified of making declarative statements.

In fact, probably the only thing I really was still confident of in life, was in my own ability in computers. That is, until a month and two days ago.

Read on.

Caring What You Think

So I stumbled upon this site the other day. The webpage of a person I barely knew of in High School.

What struck me most about the page, was my complete inability to even imagine myself in that job or life. Would I ever be the sort of person who could non-ironically proclaim "We're going to make a Great Team...". Or even dress in a suit every day?

Total Empathy Failure.

Anyway, I was commited to writing a scathing, terribly, mean and hurtful write-up of it to, cuz the blog readers love irrational anger. When something odd happened.

I kept finding myself toning down my sarcasm, self-censoring even the mildest rancor. It was when I realized, I still, somehow, cared what this pseudo-stranger thought of me...

As you can imagine, I found this terribly disturbing. How unhealthy is it to hem-and-haw of the opinion of a person you,

  1. Will most likely never seen again
  2. Who you completely cannot empathize with,
  3. Who most certainly didn't care what I thought of him in HS and who was most definitely agnostic of my opinions years later.

Clearly, the story here wasn't about some guy who made his niche in real estate. It was that I was way more pathetic than I could have possibly imagined.

Luckily, I came up with a tidy solution. Teach myself not to care by forcing myself to be mean to a person who had done me no wrong.

Here we go. (more)