Re: "The Fourth Turning" - A Must Read

Hal Finney (
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 12:40:30 -0800

From: (Robin Hanson)
> Yes. As a young nerd I was sure my social habits were the direct
> application of fundamental principles I held dear regarding social
> status, etc. Now as an older nerd, I can see how insensitive and
> self-absorbed I was. There was real social injustice I was reacting
> to, but that was not a good excuse.

I have moved in the opposite direction. When I was younger I engaged in
a constant struggle against my natural introversion in order to meet
people, make friends, etc. I worked hard to overcome the "nerd" image,
to fit in with ordinary people. It was reasonably successful but it was
very stressful for me.

In recent years I have adopted a more complacent attitude. I am who I am,
and I am no longer so interested in pretending to be something else. If I
share no interests in common with my neighbors, I don't try to spend time
with them chatting about sports and cars.

You can look at this either as a flaw, that I am taking the easy road and
just doing what feels natural, or as a strength, that I am satisified
with my own self-assessment and no longer feel the need to become what
society expects. The "Fourth Turning" book did put a different spin
on it, though, suggesting that my attitude could lead to trouble in a
few years.