Nerdy Romance Mistakes
November 22, 2011 14 Comments
As much as I hate the stereotype that nerds are hopeless at romance (and social life in general) today’s SMBC comic cracked me up:
At first it seemed like an example of the conjunction fallacy, in which people think the general conditions are less likely than a more specific example of the conditions. (That’s mathematically impossible.) But the comic isn’t about probability, it’s about utility. And you know, it’s not just a GIVEN that owning the world has net positive utility! It would be extraordinarily time-consuming to rule the world.
Yeah, I know, it’s a stretch.
And I’m forced to plead guilty to a similar situation. A number of years back, a girl I was dating told me she worried sometimes that she liked me more than I liked her. My unthinking response at the time was, “Well, it’s unlikely to be exactly equal. Someone has to like the other more.”
I’ve gotten much better since then.
If only I’d heard of the Maxims of Conversation earlier:
- Say no less than the conversation requires.
- Say no more than the conversation requires.
- Don’t say what you believe to be false.
- Don’t say things for which you lack evidence.
- Don’t be obscure.
- Don’t be ambiguous.
- Be brief.
- Be orderly.
- Be relevant.
We tend to assume that people are following these maxims in conversation. While my reply is true in a strict sense, it implied a whole lot more.
Ah well, live and learn.