Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Respondeo

Well, given that last bit, it sounds more like it is ourselves and not society that tells us how to conform in general. Which would explain why some people are socially awkward: because they are bad at perceiving said social norms.
I might disagree on the chopsticks, though. They ARE becoming quite trendy among young folk, even if their actual use is only secondary to the usual knives and forks. Which will generally irk folks who "thought of it first."
Also, there's no utility or function in killing people, these days. Much easier to wait in line than it is to disrupt the order of things and wind up on the lamb because you wanted cigarettes, a paper, and maybe some chewing gum. Where's the utility there?
So, it's hard to take that seriously when it's really just a thinly veiled fantasy of what you wish you could do. (No offense. I wouldn't mind a post-apocalyptic wasteland, myself. Or at least I'd like it better than most.)
For that matter, I've been in too many scrapes with musclebound idiots not to want a handgun. I'll probably get one, once my life is more in order. I'd fancy a derringer or small revolver, myself. You?

Not at all. You react to society. Sure, you have some small say in what you believe "conforming" to be, but society at large is what's telling you that chopsticks are unnecessary. Even deciding not to follow society's rules is another form of conforming. By defining for yourself what is "edgy" or out of normal social bounds, you help define what is within normal social bounds. Some people are socially awkward because they never learned what society considers acceptable. So, yes, they are bad at perceiving social norms.
Yes, chopsticks are becoming a social trend, but are still reserved for young folk. Basically hipsters and weaboos. It's not a cultural standard until stodgy old grandads are complaining about the arthritis they're getting trying to pick things up around the thanksgiving dinner table. Knives and forks are still the American Way©Pepsico
There is plenty of function or utility in killing people, especially if you live in a moral vacuum and live only based on rationality. This is another concept that is displayed in popular media, especially movies or stories about robots. Since robots lack the social programming they need to develop morals, they can commit heinous acts under the guise of logic and reason. In a true anarchistic society, killing people outside of whatever bonds you formed with family or some such would be the most logical move, if the most socially oblivious. At any rate, my point is that acting with no guide but utility would lead to the complete breakdown of social order. Thus almost no action is taken without an eye to the social perceptions of said action. Some of those deemed socially awkward are simply overly sensitive to the potential social consequences of their actions and thus refuse to act.
I'm not sure how you end up ascribing my post to a fantasy of mine. I have read it a few times and cannot see the connection between the hypothetical situation and what I may or may not desire for society. At any rate, you are being socially intimidated into making a change in your personal habits. You wish to purchase a handgun as a reaction to the actions of others. I myself am not interested in initiating an arms race with anyone. But then, I haven't been beset upon by thugs since grade school, so I don't know what socially motivated decision I may make later.

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