Monday, June 1, 2009


"Socially" busy this weekend 8)

A company barbecue on Saturday, club on Saturday night and then met friends on Sunday evening at a cafe and then dinner., about friends. My main interest in life is pretty much programming computers, but I find social behavior really also very interesting. I like to try rationalize social behavior because I like the idea (like many) to see and foresee what crosses a person's mind.

I think everyone probably in school had classmates that would pick on them. I'm not a passive person and I never really felt I was being particuarly bullied. I was usually the person that would stand up and defend the underdog.

..however, my interest in computers and I guess overall because of my character, I often felt like I'd be pocked around by other friends. I think it's a normal social pattern.. to have for example 3 people hanging out and 2 of them (usually those that are more socially active with each other) picking on the less socially active one.
The interesting thing however is that I'm now 36 and this still happens 8)

Specifically on the case of my Italian friends in Japan.. I used to enjoy a certain status of respect for quite some time, but as other friends became closer to each other and as I started dedicating less time to social activities and more to programming at home, things naturally shifted against me (I suspect me not willing to have a facecrook account also has an influence on this).
Now, I'm treated a bit as a bitter perssimist, and an elitistic geek that likes to talk about shader virtual machines, SIMD and multicore programming.
I'm tricked into trying to explain what I'm passionate about, but it's hard to make sense of it from the outside.. and it probably comes out as some sort of pointless technobabble.

It has to be said that it's quite possible that while I was being treated with more respect, I may have been disrespectful myself. I think that extra sensibility is needed for the perpetrators to realize when they are crossing the line.. because the perpetrators are the majority and that makes them the norm: if I say you are a dork and my friend agrees, then you are a dork.

Today an argument sparked specifically with me claiming that one to be successful in life has to make extra sacrifices perhaps to the level of spending weekends at home "coding" (coding possibly meant more broadly than just programming).
Of course the definition of success is very relative, to me success is to be knowledgeable, to favor the logical mind against the plasures of the body, and such.. after all, ignorance is bliss and in the modern world, intelligence more of a burden than anything else.

In today's specific case I was a bit pushed around because of my current intense dedication to next-gen 3D graphics, while one of my friends would rather spend time programming some apps on the iPhone (at least in words..), go to the gym, travel, etc.
This is a bit of a classic case of trying to bully the geeky one.. but this has to come from a battle of egos, where the more down-to-earth guys (those that aren't as motivated) are trying to minimize the guy that has much bigger goals in mind..

It's similar to the recent tendency to belittle photorealism in games. Many are in favor of the Wii because they just want a simpler life made of icons, rather than a potentally alternative representation of reality.. where some annoying nerd would have the last word on it. "Bhaa, too complex to be fun !"

And perhaps I'm actually really annoying myself. I can be rather judgemental and straightforward (read: an a-hole).
In my world there are two kind of people: those that code and those that don't. Those that are working extra hard and those that aren't. I keep this for myself until I'm teased, and then I'll say it out.. and turn myself into a bag of hate 8)

I like to see facts, especially from those that claim to want to do this and that but can't find the will.
If you don't have the balls, don't pretend it.. not everyone has to be a developer in life.. just make sure you give proper respect to those that work their asses off.
Feed your ego with your own achievements more than with the underachievement of others ..if you want to be happy with yourself 8)



  1. I've known you for like.. 9 years now iirc; well, most of it just online and not that much either.. but if it helps, I've always admired you for all that you are, for being so devoted and skilled to programming and making it to where you are right now, but then maybe I'm just another geek on the same "group". Some people talk to me.. saying things like "you guys.. " referring to a "group" like we are aliens from a totally different group/level of people, the weird/different ones from the norm. It's sorta annoying tbh. They should realize technology (big part of which being software dev.) drives the modern world.

    One thing I've noticed about you. (maybe I'm wrong.. dunno, it just feels like that), you seem to be a lot more socially active/easier to talk to since you moved to Japan (or maybe I just had the wrong idea back when you were in Cali.. mostly from what C. used to say).

  2. woooo.. Thanks for the support ! 8)

    People change with time and supposedly mature. I think that I've become more sociable, however some basic traits never really go away. Some are imprinted from infancy, some are probably genetic.. though, I could never be a loud Italian 8)

    Here in Tokyo I had more chances to meet other Italians.. and while I'm not one of those that goes to community events, it's nice to have a few friends with whom one can relate in ways that is not possible with other that didn't live in the same country at around the same time.

    My friends are pretty much all involved with computers and technology.. and it's a bit funny that I sometimes end up being teased by some that are in fact big nerds but pretending to be Joe Sixpacks 8)

    One interesting thing about my BatMan and Robin friends is how they are smart when taken individually, but because of the weird combination of their personalities, when together their total combined intelligence and maturity level drops by half (so, about 25% each).

    It's an interesting combination as one is passive and pretends to be self-centered, while the other has an active, dominant character and is self-centered but doesn't say it explicitly.

    I'm just glad that I've learned to be independent and that I don't need some platonic gay friendship to get by 8P ..fack that !

  3. >I'm just glad that I've learned to be independent and that I don't need some platonic gay friendship to get by 8P ..fack that

    Hmmm so now your gay friendships are not platonic anymore? uuummmmmm...........

  4. Hey Kaz,
    Just keep doing what you like and enjoy in coding. I've come to the realization that if I told people that I spend many hours practicing piano because I am this professional classical pianist (or whatever instrument), people would likely not criticize me for being a music "nerd" or "geek"; it all seems to really come down to what image people have in their minds of the passions or pursuits that one chooses.

    Computer programming seems to bring into some people's minds this person isolated from the rest of the planet, etc.

    I thought Intel's recent commercial campaign was interesting:

    An "Intel Star" TV ad -- Sponsors of Tomorrow

  5. Mr. Paul,

    on the contrary (by some parameter of contrary), my non-gay non-friendships are not platonic still... (eh ?)

    Mr. Ragin,

    hohohoh nice clip !
    One thing to notice is that it's probably easier to be a programmer in Japan.. doesn't seem to scare girls from here.. granted that I'm not the stereotypical Japanese otaku 8)
    Also the Japanese otaku is generally more about playing games and reading manga, while programming is work and work is always good 8)

  6. Yeah, you're definitely right about that. Though (occasionally) I got a lot of "ah, he must be an otaku" kind of sentiments. That changed once they got to know me better ... if a friendship actually ever formed.

  7. Sounds like a lot of stereotyping.

  8. It's nothing out of the ordinary. Still lots of stereotyping in the States ... human nature ... hahaha.