Some of the highlights from our discussion:
Defining what it means to be weird is difficult and how weirdness is viewed depends on the circles in which you circulate.
Perceptions of being weird fluctuate as we grow up. When we’re younger we tend to be more genuine and authentic – we don’t have the background pressures of overanalysing our actions or trying to fit into social norms. The first few years of secondary school, however, is characterised by everyone wanting to ‘fit in’ and not appear weird. This changes again in mid to late teenage years, when having a niche interest becomes quite interesting again and at university it’s more accepted that lots of people will have a range of interests.
Taimur argues that we all have certain things that we would be interested in, but we aren’t cultivating because of societal norms, customs or expectations. He argues that we should value and embrace the idea of being weird rather than try to suppress it because of social signalling or being afraid of stepping outside of the current social zeitgeist. If we allowed ourselves to cultivate our interests and ‘be ourselves’, we wouldn’t subconsciously suppress a passion or interest that we might have otherwise shelved.
Doing things that your family and old friends find weird is an indication that you’re expanding the box. If you’re not doing anything that they consider to be weird, you’ve not really expanded the box. For both Ali and Taimur, their school friends would probably see their current positions as a bit rogue.
Links to tweets, profiles and blog posts mentioned in this episode:
- "Be more weird" — Mason Hartman's Twitter thread
- Patrick Collison's advice to young people
- Life is a Picture, But You Life in a Pixel - Wait But Why
- The Pleasure of Guilty Pleasures — Taimur's blog post
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