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.


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