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On being an uninteresting person

Community Member

I'm on my own at home (unusually) and listening to music that nobody else likes. The realisation came that it's a microcosm of life - I'm interested in a whole stack of stuff that nobody else is, so I often come across as a rather boring person. I assume everyone else has stuff swirling around in their heads that they don't or won't talk about, so we have all learned to shut up about it and make small talk instead. That's all fine and good and I can do it too - for a while, then it gets exhausting. It affects everything from keeping friendships to love and romance, and I'm a crashing bore at parties! There's this thing called "mutual disclosure" where you reveal something, then they reveal something else, and it goes back and forth building on this. In practice it just stops when nothing I disclose is of interest to them.

Now this is relevant to me in a special way - I've retired a couple of years ago, and all the conventional wisdom is that old folks do better if they can stay socially engaged, whatever that means. That's the standard advice for everything from retirement to forestalling dementia. My future isn't bright by that measure.

15 Replies 15

Hello VM

I'm not certain that lack of attractiveness equals lack of sex drive. Also we grow, being our essential selves all the way. We may well change, and in fact it is necessary, but my comment was to say outward appearance does not necessarily match inner character and is no indicator of sex drive or any other ability.

My comment about getting tired was due to recovering from pneumonia. Now I come to think of it, I had pneumonia frequently as a child.


VM: Highest common factor is probably the phrase you want - LCD (as lowest common multiple) does make sense mathematically, but that's another story 🙂

Also, I meant attractive in the broad sense of being interesting to others so they want to be around - not just the narrow sexual definition (although of course that's a big part of it)

Well done.

Hi Mary and VM (and others) - I re-read your posts after some months and just wanted to let you know how helpful and encouraging I find them. Mary I trust (hope) your illness is no longer slowing you down.

All the best for the new 2018,


Community Member

Well, Aegidius, your topic piqued my interest, and I've read this thread all the way to the end.

Additionally, I googled "aegidius", and have now learned about a couple of historical figures whom I previously did not know existed. So, thank you!

Given your interest in thought, and IT background, do you have any interest in the development of AI/machine thinking?

(I just read of the security bollards in Canberra attacking the pollies' cars, and wondered if the bollards had achieved sentience?)

Community Member

It mostly comes from Aegidius de Hammo (from Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham) - mainly because I'm a Tolkien tragic.

Bollards unite! You have nothing to lose but whatever (can't think of a good quip here)

Yes AI and machine thinking is a vexed problem - notably because of how damn hard it is to do flexible general intelligence like at least some (!) humans have. Whenever some specialised aspect of AI is tackled, like chess playing, or face recognition - it all seems easy after the fact, but none of those implementations can make the jump to general problem solving as humans can. I'm reminded of Larry Tesler (old time AI pioneer) who came up with Tesler's Theorem: AI is whatever has not been done yet. The latest fad in AI (deep learning) is another good example - great at some things, but you wouldn't call it intelligence.

Until it has, we'll always get arguments with the dualists/spiritualists, and those that ascribe mystical properties to the small parts that make up the complex system that is us (there must be an -ism for that but I can't think of it right now). There are no shortcuts to the big problem, that we and our intelligences are complex beings made up out of simple parts, and it is the organisation that matters...

I'll stop raving on for the moment but that's always an interesting and fascinating rabbit hole to be going down.