Friday, October 08, 2010

Nerds and informality and covering up

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.
-- Paul Graham

I don't have the brains to be a nerd, but I have the aspiration. When I won a position in the Writers Of The Future contest and there was this big event in United Nations, I was the only male in the whole hall who turned up without jacket and tie.

I just have an allergic reaction to formality of all kinds. It seems to me to all too easily become a cover for a lack of some kind. Formal speech can cover that you really don't like the other person, and formal dress can cover that you suspect that you really don't qualify for being there (whereever "there" is).

And for places, say restaurants, which won't let you in if you are not formally dressed, well... I guess they are trying to cover up that their exorbitant prices don't really pay for anything much.

4 comments:

Alex said...

It's strange, but here in Silicon Valley it's a uniform. It's as clear as if we had different coloured boiler suits set per function. Suits normally mean sales or marketing (or exec's), jeans and T means engineer, polo shirt means FAE or purchasing.

Dave Nielsen said...

It's strange, but here in Silicon Valley it's a uniform. It's as clear as if we had different coloured boiler suits set per function. Suits normally mean sales or marketing (or exec's), jeans and T means engineer, polo shirt means FAE or purchasing.

Maybe this will become the formal wear of the future. After all, how old is the modern business suit or the tux? We don't wear what passed for formal wear in the 15th century. Look how ridiculous bishops look in what was formal wear in the 5th century.

untiess said...

If dress constitutes semiology, can anybody tell be what the message is from Neil Cavuto's shirt and tie in the post below, entitled "No baggage challenge"?

Perhaps in the future someone will think how absurd a Senior Vice President of Business News looked 500 years earlier, without realizing that they also looked absurd at the time. I always thought slashing the garment to show the opulence of the lining was the ultimate triumph of fashion idiocy over common sense.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I tend to agree with your whole post, Eo.
As usual, you think freely thanks to being outside the box, and "it takes you places". :-)