Random said:

It has to be said, you’re a bit of a weird guy. That comes through loud and clear in your writing and I think some folks – male and female – would choose to sever contact with you for that reason. You advocate making your own decisions, acting congruently with those decisions, and living with the consequences; I think maybe you should accept that other people will do the same with respect to you.

A very intriguing yet uselessly vague reply.

Like calling a wine “pretentious”. At first it seems as if the word has some sort of meaning, but when you look closer no information has been conveyed. The listener is no closer to understanding the flavor of wine after hearing the description than before.

Weird means nothing.

If you’d like to communicate, then do it well.

Otherwise all that you are communicating is that you don’t understand how to.

Good communication has a close correspondence to clear thinking. A person who would describe a wine as “pretentious” and not notice that he is babbling gibberish can not think clearly.

A person who would bandy about the term “weird” as if it conveyed information is not far from the same.

Did you synthesize the theme from Alice in Wonderland?

Try now before you scroll down and read it.

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It was this: All the best people are mad.

Think about how that relates to your idea of “weird”. If you are not Alice-In-Wonderland-Mad, not weird, then you can’t be different, can’t have different ideas, can’t act differently from others.

I’ve never known a single person who was not weird.

Of course I’m weird, you silly fool. Otherwise I would be the same as everyone else. And that’s not even possible.

You advocate making your own decisions, acting congruently with those decisions, and living with the consequences; I think maybe you should accept that other people will do the same with respect to you.

This was also the theme of Alice in Wonderland.  You have to allow yourself creative self indulgence and flights of fantasy in order to break free from social constraints enough to find your own uniquely personal insights.

You have to think for yourself.

You have to be weird, in order to be an independent actor within society. Otherwise you are a butler.

This is a theme that I’ve been writing about lately.  That we think communally.  This does not mean that we are ants that don’t have unique insights.  My last post was along a similar line; it’s very clever to have high self esteem and pride, but ONLY when it matches reasonably closely with how others perceive us.  Narcisism is no substitute for self esteem.  Self esteem is an accurate guage of how OTHERS perceive us; it’s NOT about how we perceive ourselves.

I encouraged my last intern to contact every possible previous intern that he could, and to talk with them in depth about all of their experiences here.  And despite the extremely odd ghosting and withholding of work, I’d encourage anyone to contact my last intern and to get his impressions also.   He’s a highly intelligent, insightful, and capable man. I’m not running on narcissism.  I’m running on genuine real feedback loops, firmly grounded in reality.  I need these feedback loops.  Cutting them off is a type of crime against each other.  We need open real communication in order to think communally.

Insight is both private and communal.  You have to be weird in order to be social.  You should never stop someone from being weird – that’s his job, if you want anything better than a robotic responses from him.

But we are weird in a community of weird people.

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I’ve known people who have read thousands of books. They assume they are gaining knowledge.

Reading does not give you understanding. You can memorize Alice In Wonderland and never have it occur to you what it MEANS.

Reading or watching the world is a highly creative active process, of integrating every new piece of information into a wider whole. No book can ever convey meaning to you, no matter how well written. Not even a mathematical text. You have to create that meaning, actively, within yourself. It’s a process that is gigantically dependent upon your imagination. Our minds are not video camera’s, soaking in narratives. We creatively piece each piece.

How coherent a puzzle picture are we content with? I assume we fit on a bell curve graph of contentment vs ambition. Some of us are very ambitious, and never cease to rearrange the puzzle pieces, always seeking a more complete arrangement. We look at small details and discover a wide principle. Information to us is a web; one cigarette butt on the floor is connected to who was in the room and the smoking preferences of the killer. Every small thing is an indication of every big thing. You can’t watch Alice without seeing the theme. It can’t happen, because your life was trained in constantly putting small details into a big picture – forever attentive to any small detail that does not fit. You can’t stop yourself from seeing what to others they can’t start themselves to see.

We need 10,000 hours to get good at anything. Then it becomes more automatic, but we can still always improve, if we maintain passion. Thinking is like this. Every small detail must fit. Over time, they start to just fit by themselves, with less effort. Until you notice patterns that others don’t. It’s a skill you can learn and practice.

But it requires being an outsider and being hated sometimes. Really. You have to be weird to think.