When I’m away from home, I sometimes have the feeling of being on an “identity holiday”. When you spend much time with a particular group of people, you become absorbed in certain modes of behaviour. In my case that group is the usual circle of geeks. Making contact with new people, who are different, is often refreshing and always interesting. See: hugging.
I usually tend to avoid places with Cool People, for example. The reason is that most Cool People are too preoccupied with being cool to be interesting. They are the types who were popular as kids, and failed to develop a personality later on. As a kid, when you were at the bottom of the food chain, you loved to hate them. After growing up, they range somewhere between boring and annoying. But if you take a closer look, there are some things to be said in favour of being cool.
For one thing, cool people are usually aesthetically pleasing. They make conscious efforts to dress and look well. The usual geek, on the other hand, seems to be severely challenged in regard to fashion. Formal attire is hated with almost religious fervor. Colours are usually limited to black, grey and has-once-been-black. T-Shirts can be had for free on trade shows, or as a giveaway when you order enough Metal-CDs. Shirts printed with SQL
are considered a fashion statement. Clothing is considered good if food droppings can easily be wiped, without leaving too many traces. The only thing to be said for this kind of fashion is that it could be worse. Think of chequered shirts.
The idea is that dressing well is a waste of time, and that you shouldn’t judge people by their outside appearance. This is true, but you still have to look at the outside appearance. Take a walk through the cafeteria of a technical university, and you know what I mean. In those moments I wish that there were some cool people around. Just to look at.