When is it normal to be weird?

Are Germans pushier when waiting in line?  (Or are Italians more emotional with family members?)  Under one view, this is a cultural difference.  Germans aren’t pushier "on the inside," their society simply has a different standard for how a given temperament should manifest itself in public.  Under another view, Germans really are pushier.  Yes their culture is different but that is because they are pushy.

Let’s say (for purposes of argument alone) you are weird.  Could you ever excuse your own weirdness on the grounds that, well, you are weird all the time? (Hat tip to Derek Parfit.) No matter what you think of the Germans, the first approach to their pushiness is in principle possible.  Maybe they simply have a standard with different calibration.  Why should the application of such principles be restricted to the group level?

Whenever you see or hear of me doing something weird, think twice.  I am actually behaving normally, and no offense is intended.  Quite the contrary, I am flattering you by behaving normally in your presence.  You just haven’t yet solved the signal extraction problem which would allow you to differentiate between my actual weirdness and my different standards for what weirdness should be.

Are people who are only sometimes weird "weirder" than those who are weird all the time?  What if, for this reason, you seek "weirdness all the time" — to prove your normality — but overshoot?

Here is my earlier post on why weird men should marry foreign women.


I think the "sometimes" weird are probably weirder than the always weird. Mainly as a function of predictability. If a person is "weird" all the time, that says to me that his or her behavior is a few standard deviations from the group mean but has a low variance. HIs/her behavior ALWAYS stays a few standard deviations from the group mean. However, a person who is weird only some of the time has a behavior pattern whose mean output is a long way from the group mean but also has a high variance. Behavior is therefore less predictable, and to my mind weirder. Or maybe I'm just stretching to justify my own strangeness.

Henry Higgins defended himself against the accusation of rudeness that he was rude to everybody, so that he was treating Eliza Doolittle just the same as everyone else.

As an Edwardian gentleman, however, he surely would have declined to be considered "weird."

Whenever you see or hear of me doing something weird, think twice.

All this also applies, naturally, to the prior discussion on people using the title "Dr." for PhD holders.

It's normal to be weird when you are alone. In the existentialist sense, being relatively wierd is only possible when interacting with other people. Interaction with another person allows for contrast. You are only weird to the extent you are different relative to someone's arbitrary benchmark.

Whoa man, that post and the ensuing discussion was weeeiiiirrrd.

Trippy, even, because everyone here is weird, so that makes us all normal.

You should attend more L(l)ibertarian conventions. With tears in your eyes, you will lift your hands and shout, "I have found you, my brothers!".

oh yeah tggp, your post is so mature. Using my "Grow Up" bit and turning it around at the end of yours. You know nothing about me.

I thought all economists were weird.

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