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Intellectually slutty travellers

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1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

I am back to SOCIAL FASTING, after having too many boring conversations with travellers that are fishing for that "You are so intelligent" compliment from other travellers.

I'm just not very good at getting myself out of these situations. Who would have thought that a thing that looks like its 16 and American, would want to talk about MARXISM, FREUD, The insurgency in Sri Lanka, Sarah Palin, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Well, it wasn't that bad. Until he attracts a third party and a forth... And there is no graceful exit for me. I guess I didn't want to give them the impression, that I left coz I can't speak English or that the conversation was way too Academic for my backpacker self.

Wait till, he meets someone older, and boy, a chat over coffee becomes an open air SYMPOSIUM on infinite topics. I don't know if I just envy their passion or I've spent too much time in grad school, that I thought, people should only talk about the SOCIAL SCIENCES, when they are paid to do so.

I am disgusted at myself for contributing to that ego fest. Which reminds me of one PSYCHIC vampire I met in one hostel. I was so DRAINED, that I slept the whole afternoon. I am can't define a psychic vampire, but you would know what I am talking about, if you encountered one. I missed listening to myself talk at that time, so I engage in a conversation with someone who pretended to be a bussiness traveller. Apparently, its just another one those "I'm planning to build my own company" travellers, who are just looking for an ESL job. And so they would talk for hours about ECONOMICS and all that jazz, just to fish for information on how and where they can find a job. How pathetic! I am not the Employment Service Department of the United Nation.

2. Posted by Gixer (Budding Member 39 posts) 7y

I'm all for meeting people because you never know who you may end up talking to or what sort of life they lead, they could all be fascinating people. Or they could be self-absorbed bores who don't realise that your eyes are glazing over after an hour of Nietszche. Or they could be complete idiots who want to talk about Big Brother, chicks with huge norks, and getting drunk and laid during their travels. But if you never talk to them you'll never find OUT. If you get stuck in a convo that bores you or makes your brain want to burst, there are many easy excuses to get away. I'm tired, I'm off to bed, I have a dodgy tummy from that seafood earlier, I'm meeting a friend, I have to go check an eBay auction ;) Ultimately, who cares what they think of you and why you left their deep and meaningful conversation. If they think it's cos you are not clever enough then that's their opinion but I'd certainly not let it bother me. If you are never likely to run into these people again, who cares what they think of you?

I'm not a nuclear scientist, I have no Uni education, I run a small home-based business sewing small animal beds and I work a dead-end admin job at a Uni so I can pay my bills. I'm easily intimidated by brainy people and once I was stuck in an evening drinks bash where I sat opposite a bunch of girls who were way younger than me and talking about where they had studied for their PhDs. Europe, Latvia, New Zealand, these girls were confident, brainy, well travelled, and one of them was stunning looking. ARGH! I was not capable of joining in with them as I'm not a PhD, so I watched them talk, noticed how each one was slightly trying to outdo the other (especially the pretty one), found this rather amusing, and thought to myself "they can't use a sewing machine like I can, and I bet none of them can change the oil filter or a flat tyre on their cars" (I'm an amateur mechanic too). I also bet that none of them will ever be strapped to the wing of a biplane for a wingwalk either, just like what I'll be doing in the middle of July. Or maybe they will? I never got a chance to ask. But I think the odds are small....

I've met the Prime Minister and several movie and TV stars, I've been in 3 national newspapers and TIME magazine's website, I've sat on the GMTV sofa, I've flown in a B17 bomber (no not trying to boast, just giving examples).....but these girls don't know that because they never bothered to talk to me, they were too busy trying to outdo eachother in the academic stakes, and my silence during their convo made them possibly think I wasn't worth talking to as I clearly wasn't an academic. Similarly I didn't get a chance to find out anything else about them because I couldn't barge into their PhD talk and ask "so what are your hobbies then girls?"

I've not travelled much - only Egypt, Australia. America, and soon - Mexico. But that's still MORE than lots of other people in this world. I'm intimidated by some of the people on this forum who have had so many great experiences or done a RTW trip, something I'd love to do but it's not financially possible for me. I try to not let it bother me though, as I may have done other things these people have never or will never do. It cuts both ways.

Ultimately, there are a lot of people out there that may *seem* "better" than us and seem intimidating because of their life experiences or intelligence. But WE have also achieved things over other people too, all in our own individual ways thru the life we carve out for ourselves. Whether that be splitting the atom, cooking a perfect cheesecake, restoring an old car, or creating a beautiful garden, or just living a happy, healthy and (to some) boring everyday life.

So don't let it bother you. Just practise your polite excuses for wanting to get out of horrendous conversations, and don't let them make you feel any less a person! But don't let it stop you talking to and meeting new people.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Jun-2009, at 04:26 by Gixer ]

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Quoting Swept Away

Who would have thought that a thing that looks like its 16 and American, would want to talk about MARXISM, FREUD, The insurgency in Sri Lanka, Sarah Palin, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

...

I am disgusted at myself for contributing to that ego fest.

So here's a thought. Maybe, for a change, you should stop approaching everything in a negative light, should stop being so judgmental and thinking the worst of everyone you meet? (And yes, I'm quite aware of what I'm doing here to you; believe you me, the way I'm approaching this post is far from the most negative I could come up with.) :)
Maybe this person wasn't "fishing for that "You are so intelligent" compliment", but was (shock, horror!) actually interested in talking about these topics? Maybe this person thought they mattered, and wanted to learn what others thought about them?

I have personally found that what I get out of travelling depends a lot on what I put in. When I approach things in a positive light, and give people the benefit of the doubt, interpreting their actions and words in the most positive way I know how to, they often surprise me for living up to that.

Also, as has been said to you before, these forums are good for asking actual travel questions, or bringing up a subject for general discussion. But if you just want to rant about your personal experiences, this is not the appropriate place for doing so. It is instead recommended to start a blog or diary.

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Striking up conversations with strangers has had many different outcomes for me. Some have resulted in a free bed for the night (always a sweet gift - regardless of where and what condition the place is in) and other times I've ended up having horrendous voyages with people who have got on their political soapbox about my home country and it's failures.
One thing I struggle with a lot, is being confronted with a compartment full of Brits on the train, who go on and on endlessly about the things I detest. Eg.... Football, designer clothes, their nights of continuous vomitting in Benidorm, the spec. on their laptops etc. etc. I often wonder why these people travel to such off the beaten track destinations - when they've nothing in common with them - and don't want to gain anything from the experience.
I also detest people's insistance that they speak their own language to someone who just doesn't understand them. Why can't they just learn to say please and thank you in another language. Why is it not only too much of an effort, but also almost a taboo thing for so many??

5. Posted by Gixer (Budding Member 39 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

So here's a thought. Maybe, for a change, you should stop approaching everything in a negative light, should stop being so judgmental and thinking the worst of everyone you meet?

Maybe this person wasn't "fishing for that "You are so intelligent" compliment", but was (shock, horror!) actually interested in talking about these topics? Maybe this person thought they mattered, and wanted to learn what others thought about them?

This is very true, but sometimes they don't realise that if the person they are talking to is not knowledgeable or interested in said topic, that it's time to stop and change the subject. I got trapped at a concert once sitting next to a guy who talked about Jimmy Barnes nearly non-stop, no hints verbal or physical that I gave, could get him to realise HE WAS BORING ME. When I did ask him other questions it inevitably led back to Jimmy Barnes again. I couldn't leave cos then I'd have missed the gig, so I had to shut up and take it. But he totally wasn't aware that he needed to stop....

Quoting Sander

Also, as has been said to you before, these forums are good for asking actual travel questions, or bringing up a subject for general discussion. But if you just want to rant about your personal experiences, this is not the appropriate place for doing so. It is instead recommended to start a blog or diary.

But hasn't this kicked off a general discussion about boring people/indimidating people/befriending people in general....? It's a bit of a ranty post but it's now a talking point ;)

6. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Quoting Gixer

Quoting Sander

So here's a thought. Maybe, for a change, you should stop approaching everything in a negative light, should stop being so judgmental and thinking the worst of everyone you meet?

Talk about NON JUDGEMENT. You seem to know a lot about me. I don't even remember my last post. I'm sure most people don't remember either. The problem is, you are not responding to the thread, but to the person, you've JUDGED as negative, hateful, and stupid enough to be "thinking the worst of everyone he meets."

[quote=Sander]Also, as has been said to you before, these forums are good for asking actual travel questions, or bringing up a subject for general discussion. But if you just want to rant about your personal experiences, this is not the appropriate place for doing so. It is instead recommended to start a blog or diary.

But hasn't this kicked off a general discussion about boring people/indimidating people/befriending people in general....? It's a bit of a ranty post but it's now a talking point ;)

EXACTLY.!!! "a bit of".... it aint a rant! You have that perception because you have not made a career following all my threads and making assumptions about me, rather than discuss what was written. The fact that people like you manage to post an intelligent reply, only means that thoughts expressed are relevant and interesting. It is definitely not blog material or is it in your society? My threads may be like the cities I visit, they have a character and its not bad in a Democratic space, where diversity is celebrated. "GIXER" states, "its a bit of a rant", because even the manual on CYBER FACISM, still needs to be REVISED to determine if thread on a forum is a blog entry or just a legitimate question phrased in a manner that allowed the individual to celebrate his ability to write. Literature is either dying or dead. People can't even write emails, so when you find a long email in your mail box, you would call it A BLOG ENTRY. But for some educated people, its just an emal, and the person did not burn a nueron to write it.

7. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Quoting Gixer

I'm all for meeting people because you never know who you may end up talking to or what sort of life they lead, they could all be fascinating people.

I'll just quote the 1st line, your post is epic (in facist standards). But I am sure you didn't burn a nueron to type it. Well my little rant/off topic literature provoked an EPIC reply, and is that BAD for a travel forum? Obviously, some people don't think its irrelevant or threatening.

I am not interested in being personality and I have stated in my now empty profile, its just a thread. Its not a religion or a career, so I don't get the point of the intellectual intolerance. But I am obviously, more positive than the people who keep perceiving my threads as negative. The good news is that in a Democracy, we are not forced to read what other people express.

You are right GIXER, "they could be all fascinating people"... and this might shock my critics and obssessed fans, I have his number. Which means I give people the benefit of a doubt and I abhor egotistical hypocrisy as a matter of religion.

But this thread should not be about me... But its moved to "OFF TOPIC", so it is now about me. But whats so wrong about that? Everyone wants to be heard, but when some people ran out of things to say or CANT WRITE at all, they would just do what is convenient, hate. When some people can't deal with arguement they resort to insults. And when some people are INSECURE and Egotistical, they resort to labelling.

Fortunately, 99% of the people in this forum are intelligent and secure, otherwise, I would have taken the revolving door and just be another " fruit cake" that lost his patience with the intolerant minority. I'm not being sarcastic, coz that is so 1990's.

8. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 7y

Quoting Swept Away

even the manual on CYBER FACISM

There's a manual? No kidding, where do we get one? Can we get an autographed copy? I wonder if Al Gore wrote it.....he says he invented the internet.....

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Swept Away: In the interest of not making assumptions about you, what you write, or how you write it, let me ask a number of questions to help bring clarity to my understanding of what you have written. I hope you are willing to answer my questions for this goal, and will help my path to understanding by, when replying to me, not confusing me further by writing on topics unrelated to my questions.

Quoting Swept Away

You have that perception because you have not made a career following all my threads and making assumptions about me, rather than discuss what was written.

  • Does this mean you are under the impression that I "have made a career following all [your] threads and making assumptions about [you]"?
  • Do you hold to the belief that the intent of a post when it was written defines what it is to a larger degree than the way the post is perceived? That is, even though I think your post equals to a "rant" (based on the dictionary definition of "to speak or declaim extravagantly"), and Gixer calls it "ranty", do you believe that since your intent was (presumably?) not to be declaiming in an extravagant manner, this means that the post was not, in fact, a rant?
  • If you do believe the above holds, does that also mean that it was the intent in the topics of conversation by the original traveller which started this thread (the one you described as "a thing that looks like its 16 and American") define what those topics of conversation were, moreso than the way you perceived them to be? (e.g. an "ego fest")
  • If you do not believe this, then could you explain clearly to me wherein you see the difference between these two cases to lie? (Do you perchance believe that his intent was to have an "ego fest"? If so, how would you define such a thing in a manner consistent with this being something people would think about their own topics of conversation?)

The fact that people like you manage to post an intelligent reply, only means that thoughts expressed are relevant and interesting.

  • Am I correct in reading here that you claim that there is a causal relationship between a reply being "intelligent", and the original thoughts to which the reply was made being "relevant and interesting"? That it, are you indeed declaring that if a reply is intelligent, the thing it replies to MUST by virtue of that reply have been "relevant and interesting"?
  • I assume that since there is a period before a reply is made, it is possible for an original thought to have been "relevant and interesting" purely on its own?
  • Do you by any chance also believe the reverse holds? That is, if a reply is not intelligent, does this mean the original thoughts were not "relevant and interesting"? (And so, because you did not have "intelligent" replies to this "thing that looks like its 16 and American" on the topics of "MARXISM, FREUD, The insurgency in Sri Lanka, Sarah Palin", was it that very lack of intelligent reply which made his thoughts not relevant and interesting?)
  • How do things work when a "relevant and interesting" thought gets some replies which are intelligent, and some which are not? Do we descend into quantum physics there, or how does that work?

It is definitely not blog material or is it in your society?

  • Do you believe that what is "blog material" differs per "society"? If so, could you give some examples where different societies have made such distinctions, which has led you to believe this? Which definition of what a "society" is do you use?

My answer to this question is that one of the goals of these forums is to be useful and interesting for all of its users. (Paraphrasing from the forum rules.) It is my impression that your original post in this thread was not, in fact, useful and interesting to the vast majority of the people who visit the "General Talk" forum, and that this holds for the vast majority of the threads you start. I believe this because:

  • You do in your original post not ask any questions of the members of that forum.
  • You relate in your original post an anecdote about something which happened to you personally, in which I can see no general interest to the vast majority of the members of that forum.
  • You make what I perceive to be insulting remarks about a fellow traveller, whose description and/or behaviour a not insignificant percentage of visitors to that forum might recognize themselves in, which might lead to them thinking your insulting remarks would also apply to them.
  • You subsequently continue your post with the phrase "which reminds me of", which leads into a different anecdote about something which happened to you personally, in which I can see no general interest to the vast majority of the members of that forum, and which moreover seems to hold very little relation to the first anecdote.

Keeping the forums "useful and interesting for all of its users" is a task which is delegated to us Moderators, and apparently the moderator for the General Talk forum, Isadora, or perhaps Sam or Peter as admins, agrees with my thinking there, as can be deduced from this thread being moved to this, the "Off Topic" forum, following several previous threads by your hand, in which you have also been told that the original post looked more like a blog post than a thread suitable for the General Talk forum.
Now it is hard to define what is suitable material for a blog, since they have been so many things to so many people, but I think "anecdotes about things which happened to you personally, which are of no general interest to the vast majority of people, but which a handful of people who know you and/or like your writing would be interested in reading" would be a good description of things which would fall squarely within the realm for which blogs are suitable. I at least know that that is a good description of a whole lot of what I use my blog for.

My threads may be like the cities I visit, they have a character and its not bad in a Democratic space, where diversity is celebrated.

  • Do you believe these forums to be a democratic space?
  • If you believe this, what makes you think so? Do you believe all members of this forum have equal rights? Do you believe the ultimate authority in these forums to be found in its members, rather than in Sam and Peter? Have you recently voted in any elections about the way these forums are governed, or in any other way exercised your democratic power?

"GIXER" states, "its a bit of a rant", because even the manual on CYBER FACISM, still needs to be REVISED to determine if thread on a forum is a blog entry or just a legitimate question phrased in a manner that allowed the individual to celebrate his ability to write.

  • Huh?

People can't even write emails, so when you find a long email in your mail box, you would call it A BLOG ENTRY.

  • Are you accusing me, or any of the people I converse with by email, of being incapable of writing emails?
  • If you are doing this, based on what evidence or chain of deductions are you doing so?
  • If however, you are not accusing me, or any of the people I converse with by email, of being incapable of writing emails, then what is the relevance of you accusing "people" in general being incapable of doing so?
  • Are you under the belief that if I found a long email in my mail box, I would call it a blog entry?
  • Are you under the belief that length of text is the determining factor in what I would call a blog entry?
  • If so, how many kilobytes of original plain text, exactly, would you say such an email would need to be before you would call it sufficiently "long" to believe that I would call it a blog entry?

I realize these are quite a few questions. However, I trust fully that you will not even burn a neuron answering them, and hope that you are willing to, by answering them, help me grow my understanding of your writing, that I may stop making false assumptions about it.

Sincerely,
Summer Glau

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Jun-2009, at 11:50 by Sander ]

10. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Just to get my penny's worth in....

Gosh!!