Geek social fallacies

July 23, 2010

Ok, let’s see if this one is a relative quickie or not. I am a regular reader of the Drama Mamas on WoW Insider. As a social misfit I figure I am going to read about social flaws I possess. It’s the social, friendly guilds that have these drama issues, and I tease Sue when she gripes about the Horde guild she picked out. Remember, it wasn’t my choice. I just like to hang out with her.  🙂  But it is a liberating sensation to not have much emotion invested into the game. I’m a few steps away from dropping it entirely, but I fail to see how that is really a bad thing.

So the comments on this particular post caught my attention when these Five Geek Social Fallacies were mentioned, and I got a good laugh out of reading them due to our recent hijinks alliance side.

Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil

This is probably the one I should have been on the business end of. Well, that’s if none of them ever liked having us around. I suspect it was our violation of rules 2&3 that led to that. Or, it could have just been always being short a couple of raiders. But I wonder if things might have gone nicer if I’d just been told to buzz off months ago. For weeks prior, I found I was the one pushing for more activity with those guys instead of Sue. And here she got to tease me, when I complained and said ‘these are your friends!’ She had it reckoned better than me, I think.

Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am

In particular, which I add with a wink and a nudge and need say no more.

Carriers of GSF2 believe that since a friend accepts them as they are, anyone who criticizes them is not their friend. Thus, they can’t take criticism from friends — criticism is experienced as a treacherous betrayal of the friendship, no matter how inappropriate the criticized behavior may be.


Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All

Friendship vs. accountability; how do you form a hierarchy of value in friendships, and what happens when they all think they should be top dog? Not something I’ve experienced personally, but got to observe closely, yes.

GSF3 is a “friendship test” fallacy: in this case, the carrier believes that any failure by a friend to put the interests of the friendship above all else means that they aren’t really a friend at all. It should be obvious that there are a million ways that this can be a problem for the carrier’s friends, but the most common one is a situation where friends’ interests conflict…

Based on what they said, I imagine they would accuse me of this one on account of the shield I wanted for my tank. But then, they were accusing me of wanting to be carried, too…heh. If that’s really what they thought of the pally, I should have been gone months ago. ‘Friendship above all’ likely meant I should have brought my better geared DK and sacrificed the hardcore achievements I managed to pick up. But then, had I not set the DK on a separate path, I would never have gotten that better gear. Bit of a Catch-22, eh? Well, it is a social fallacy, I suppose. It’s not supposed to make sense.

Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive

Your friend A and your friend B are friends with you; shouldn’t they therefore be friends with each other? Yes, well, I thought those in person meetings really were fun, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone and brought food and crafted my handmade dumplings the one time. Clearly this one afflicts me. And I have had some successful ‘friend transfer’ so to speak. I suppose such things are a happy coincidence, and shouldn’t be counted on.

Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

In conjunction with #3, this is another one I don’t seem to know firsthand but have observed. I got to witness the non-invite interpreted as a snub.

Anyway, I still maintain that the shifting, loose, internet definition of ‘friend’ doesn’t help at all with this sort of thing. And I know I have my faults here, just as the author of that post wrote. Perhaps the sort of detachment I’m developing, that rejection of the loose notion of friends and the social awkwardness that comes with it, is a reasonable course. Time will tell.



  1. perhaps it is time to leave the geek circles, are they really more loyal? solitude, indeed. work has been interesting for me the past few weeks. on the whole, i’m held in contempt for my free thinking and anti-authoritarian ways. i do work for the military after all, and bowing one’s head to authority is a sacred duty. its easy for me to see how evangelical xtianity and the military go hand in hand. but in my world, respect is earned, not given, and thus few have mine. bending the knee is alien to my kind at any rate. they rely on me to solve their thorniest scientific problems. now, they have a dilemma…now they’d love to diss me, but they need me to finish a major project. so what do they do? without my expertise, they will fail, yet they really would like to sink their fangs into my neck. but if they do, they fail. i’m amused by their machinantions, yet bitter as well. jackals sniffing around the old wolf, looking for a weak spot. if only they could break me, then i’d be really useful! ah, solitude…how i wish i could really have it. So do you, from the sound of things. to me, the worst part of modern society is that we’re essentially stuck in the matrix. the truth is, most people are contemptible, geek or otherwise.

    • No, they really aren’t any ‘more’ loyal than you’d find anywhere else. Less, probably. There’s a certain casual indifference towards internet friends in my experience, and I’ve seen it in the variety of guilds I’ve joined, and the variety of roles I’ve played in them. Like your RL experience, you matter when you bring utility and when the utility ceases, so does the status.

      As for solitude, I have my fortress, but I would venture out from time to time even if I didn’t need to. Judging from that trip you’re planning, so would you. 🙂

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