Motivating Our Blog

Welcome to our blog!

This is a place for Robert and I to share some of the theories we’ve been discussing recently regarding social interactions and ways in which they may be optimized. Those of you who know us have probably already heard snippets of them at dinner or brain break.

Among other things, we’ve been asking ourselves… how does one deflect insults? Feel at ease on the beach, or at a cocktail party? Is it ever acceptable to take a girl on a date with a Groupon? On a date to a barbershop? At a higher level, how does one acquire social skills at all? It seems such an intuitive, natural asset, that to analyze its acquisition is paradoxical.

We’re trying to answer these questions because we believe real change in the social arena through personal effort is possible, and crucial. For those of you who sum infinite series faster than von Neumann, learning how to talk to a pretty girl, engage others in conversation, not come across as arrogant, may well be the most significant things you can do to improve your quality of life. There’s a great quote of Larry Wall’s, the inventor of the Perl Programming language, that goes, “The three virtues of computer programming are laziness, impatience, and hubris.” Maybe so, but they’re rarely virtues outside of computer programming.

On a day to day basis, we interact with otherwise accomplished individuals who lack social know-how. We’d like to convey the message that social skills, like data structures, like complex analysis, is something that can be learned. To a CS or Chem nerd, the marginal utility of gaining competence in a decent array of social situations, is so high, while its marginal cost is so low (like, reading this blog).

In our academic lives, Robert and I deal with a lot of abstractions. This blog is the opposite. It aspires to hold your hand every step of the way. And we’re still testing out our theories, so please, if you disagree, feel free to troll, downvote each other, beat dead horses, etc.

If a brainteaser shows up every once in a while, it’s probably Robert’s. Don’t look at me for the answer.

-Ren