This post is partly a response to a post by the Mododrum herself. She points out the following link:


Which talks about five “Geek Social Fallacies”:

  1. Ostracizers Are Evil
  2. Friends Accept Me As I Am
  3. Friendship Before All
  4. Friendship Is Transitive
  5. Friends Do Everything Together

…and she correlates it to certain social circles. Since those social circles aren’t entities subject to individual abuse or identity fraud, I’m going to go out on a limb here and take a stab at naming them openly:

(note: I count, or have counted, myself a member of all of these)

  • Korner (physical)
  • Korner (virtual)
  • FOME
  • MURP
  • The SCA College of Saint Monica
  • A miscellany of other Monash University social clubs and groups peripheral thereto.

The part I was getting to, in naming these groups, is simply that I agree.

…wholeheartedly. If I had read this article when I finished high-school and really let myself see my surroundings in the terms it describes, I might have had a much happier, healthier, saner life the past fifteen years. Pathological conflict avoidance and the unwillingness to criticize that which is plainly aberrant and unhealthy, these are not adult behaviours. In fact, doing this to your friends and peers is passive aggression, no different than the vicious sabotage of smilingly telling a friend that they look great and sending them out the door to a photo-shoot when they have visible food in their teeth. Criticism is how we grow. In its absence, we don’t just stagnate, we atrophy.

I can recall a time when I believed and lived by every one of these fallacies to a frightening degree. The cost of this behaviour has only really started to become clear to me in the last three years, and the damage is extreme. Every part of my life from my health and education to my work skills and my lifetime financial achievement has been grievously harmed by these beliefs. I shudder to think of the colossal damage I have done to others in the service of these delusions.

For what little it’s worth, I’m sorry.

I’m also more than a little angry,  but if you read the article on Geek Social Fallacies and recognized yourself in there, then I’m not angry at you, not any more. You probably did yourself at least as much harm as you ever did me, and you have my sympathy.

5 thoughts on “Apologetics

  1. I appear to have struck a number of chords with a number of people over my post!

    In response to your post, and something which is lacking in the original article: often these things get better over TIME. As you get older you realise the impact certain things have on situations and people, and you do less of it. I know i used to suscribe to most of those fallacies too…but no more!

    And i have had some fall out in the last year, when i basically stopped being friendly and extending invitations to someone i don’t like (a different person from who the post is about, you probably havnt ever met them). This person now constantly narks on about how mean and cliquey the group is as they are no longer invited to private functions, and doesnt get the ‘really, i just dont like you and neither do my friends’ thing.

    all i can say is: ‘you have other friends who like you. hang out with them! bye!’


  2. Ah yes, those social fallacies … another unmentioned aspect of these unwritten rules is the backlash against those who don’t follow them.

    I recall early in our relationship, I was judged (both to my face and behind my back) because I was constantly “angry” with you … the fact you were doing something time and time again that you were asked not to do appeared to be irrelevant (friends accept you as you are, and God forbid you upset anyone by pointing out their wrongdoings). When I tried explaining my anger to these people by pointing out your transgressions, these people would pretty much just shrug, as though it were normal and acceptable.

    People going out of their way to avoid making people feel bad through calling them on their shit leads not just to atrophy, but a complete lack of personal responsibility. People say or do whatever the hell they want, and their “friends” won’t call them on it (that might be upsetting and confrontational). What’s more, they assume if these offending actions are simply not mentioned again, then everything is “better” and “back to normal” – there is absolutely no need for apologies or restitution. And thus, the pattern continues.

    Possibly the worst factor is that people who lives under such social rules become more and more insular. They like their like-minded friends, who accept them for who they are and let them be the biggest arseholes on the face of the planet without adverse consequences (no upsetting people with criticism, remember?). A person from this secular little group tries to interact with a different social group who will take offense to inappropriate behaviour and let their displeasure be known. This drives the person back to their original tribe where the contrast between their “people”, who will love them and coddle them and only say things that make them feel good. As such, these people are more likely to stay within their little tribe, and less likely to associate with “outsiders” where they might possibly face adverse consequences for their less desirable habits.

    Okay, getting off my soapbox now *sheepish grin*

  3. Because I haven’t written enough here already (or rather, I got so sidetracked with my rant), I just wanted to address Mododrum’s comment that these behaviours improve with time.

    To pull out a Dr Philism, it’s not the amount of time that counts, it’s what you do with it. I know many, many people in their 30’s who still hold firmly to these beliefs. I know a few in their 40’s. Hell, I can even name one or two in their 60’s who still follow these behaviours! I guess these are people who were never given any reason to change, probably because they remained in their insular little group where those beliefs and behaviours were never challenged.

  4. you make good points! i think what i meant by ‘get better with time’ might refer to ‘first year syndrome’, where some poeple might be awful in first year or when they turn up initially into a group, and then they get better.

    there are definatley people who still suscribe to the social fallacies at all ages!

    I’m just sick of being polite to people who ruin things by taking advantage of the fact that poeple are polite. Grumble.

  5. Hahahahaha. Recovered(?) GSF1 & GSF3 reporting for duty.

    I think GSF3 comes from social inexperience where the individual projects their idealised view of what friendship means onto the real world.

    Either that, or scarcity causes them to value friendships to the point where they put too much of themselves into them out of fear of loss. When this level of investment isn’t reciprocated they feel slighted and cut the transgressor off.

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