Salon’s Tricia Romano is upset because jobs at Amazon are bringing icky tech guys into her dating pool.
Romano’s whining sets a new standard for unintentional comedy thanks to her pompous sense of entitlement. And you know what the thing is that twists her panties most? The fact that the nerdy men she goes out with have standards.
Some think working with computers is detrimental to social skills, but that’s only true if computer use keeps you from practicing social skills. As a web consultant of 8 years (I started working early), I believe the marvelous machines sitting on your desk or lap change the way you see the world. Working with computers teaches you to break problems down to the simplest parts possible and trace a path to a solution in often unambiguous steps.
The social butterfly techie may sometimes seem anti-social to the uninitiated, but really they are just especially good at spotting bullshit. Techies don’t just call out bullshit, they know exactly where in a bullshitter’s head bullshit lies based on connections to a single bullshit sentence. No bragging is intended. This ability is developed over time dealing with customers and tracing back reasons for which a system breaks.
This kind of thinking most certainly affects dating. Some techies are socially awkward due to lack of social skills, while others, like myself, have antisocial habits in dates due to too much practice.
Let me elaborate by bringing in Romano’s stupid thoughts about her date with a geek.
I don’t think he asked me a single question about myself. Our date—if you call these impromptu Internet meetings, dates—lasted an hour. It felt more like a job interview, but not the way a date is supposed to be a job interview. There was no grilling about where you were from and what your family was like and what you were looking for.
I’ll confess that I would totally make a date out like a job interview. I mean, who the fuck are you? I won’t ask you about your family because, well, I don’t care. I’ll care about your family when they are my friends. Until then, they can all spontaneously combust in a Burger King for all I care.
And you know I’m right, because I didn’t see you try to set an example by asking about his family.
It’s not your date’s problem that he cannot absorb assumptions directly out of your head.
No, I spent a half hour or more listening to him talk about his job. Since I am not in the tech industry, I don’t understand any of it. It was all job speak—the type of language ladder-climbers use; it was the kind of talk that shuts vaginas down cold.
It’s true that you need to BE a techie to truly understand a techie. Stupid bosses, clueless clients and clumsy coding are way more entertaining than your boring family and your opinions. We’re at an impasse here. Either show us the robot you passionately built in your secret lab or ask the waiter for the check.
I hadn’t been out of the house all day, I work from home and I see no people except in a computer monitor, so human company, any kind really, was necessary. The restaurant was about to close and we had to go elsewhere or part ways. Even though I was bored, I wasn’t ready to go home, and I wanted to get a second drink. He offered wine back at his house and I said no. He was good-looking enough, but I wasn’t going to be able to get it up for a boring tech dude. And my city, Seattle, like San Francisco is lousy with them.
So you are the one stuck without social contact in front of a computer, but when you finally peel your ass off the chair, you need to have James Bond himself shake you without leaving you stirred? Well, excuse us for our career choices, hon. If a good-looking white collar promising free booze is not enough to make you prefer something other than your monitor and a vibrator, then that’s on you.
As technologist and writer, Jeff Reifman, pointed out in a post titled You’ve Got Male: Amazon’s Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene, Amazon, which is located less than a mile from my house, has had a huge, awful impact on Seattle’s dating scene. He estimated that in the 25–44 age group, Seattle “has 119 single men for every 100 single women, slightly better than San Francisco at 121—but equal if you add in the impact from nearby Bellevue, which is an awful 144.”
What a bummer for you that you are guaranteed a choice of a partner even when all of your friends get hitched. Why do MEN have to be around, right? Gross!
You might think an abundance of men is a great thing, but as a wise woman once said, “The odds may be good, but the goods are odd.”
Hold the Champagne, girls.
But Reifman’s post confirmed that as Amazon grows, the number of (boring) men grows too. The gender disparity is bad enough in San Francisco that one company, The Dating Ring, has resorted to flying women into San Fran from other cities.
Did the demand for outside women come from guys that went out with you first?
Things got worse when Ramano quoted another moron named Violet.
“There were a lot of tech men. I could talk a blue streak about them. I don’t have much positive to say. The biggest thing, the thing that bothered me the most is I felt like my intelligence was greatly devalued,” she wrote. ”I am a smart woman. I have a master’s from Berkeley in philosophy. My brain is very abstract, though, the exact opposite of so many men in tech who have very concrete/literal brains. They interpreted information as intelligence. I constantly felt like I wasn’t seen or valued by them, even though I experienced a lot of them as having a very limited view of the world.”
Wait, what did you say?
They interpreted information as intelligence.
Run that by me one more time.
They interpreted information as intelligence.
I actually developed writer’s block for a moment there. I sat here starting at the screen thinking of something witty to say, but you killed my capacity to press keys without making the plastic crack.
No, they do not interpret information as intelligence. Rather, they understand that intelligence is useless without information. Not everything you say is intelligent just because its abstract. Software work in particular requires abstract thought since you are basically building invisible machines inside physical ones. But eventually those invisible machines need data, or else it just sits there in the void.
With your abstract brain playing around with no concrete ideas to ground them, you basically doom yourself to never saying anything genuinely smart people can process. In other words, you’re babbling, and they’re staring at your mouth wondering when it will close.
I can picture the date now.
Alto: “Life is best experienced with a good epistemology and a humble appreciation for beauty.”
Nerd: “Uh-huh. Hey, check out this watch I built. See that light? That’s my bullshit detector. It flashes when someone pretends to be interesting.”
Carla Swiryn, a matchmatcher for Three Day Rule, a start-up that offers curated online dating services in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, said that her female clients are often hit with a double whammy: “I often hear women say they either date A-holes or nerds—or if they’re really lucky, both in one,” she said. “They feel like they’re dealing with someone who has poor social skills, not a lot of style, and isn’t that attractive, or is decently good-looking, successful, or cool, but by default knows it and acts like it, with a huge ego and selfish mind-set in tow.”
I love this! These ladies are dealing with what men have been dealing with for a long time!
I can’t begin to tell you how awful it’s been seeing the same attractive woman with the personality of an oven mitt. I like animals! I just want a guy to cuddle with! I eat food! Meepmeepmeepmeep
Game of Thrones is infinitely more interesting than sex with most women. There, I said it.
Arlene said that she was once contacted by a Microsoft programmer on OKCupid who required that she read Neuromancer before “he would consider taking me out on a date. He was not joking.”
Let me translate that guy for Arlene: “You must be interesting for me to be interested. Give me some indication that we have something in common, because God knows I don’t want to talk about your family or any other inane fucking shit.”
Why were they so awful? What was it about guys who work in tech that made them worse than lawyers or other white-collar industries?
They are not desperate to get laid? They are actually obsessed about their passions instead of you? That they have life figured out and you don’t?
Or maybe your frustration has a much simpler reason.
They are men you can’t control.