Rohit's Realm - Sociology

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August 22, 2002

Templates of Toolery

Template profile of a male on the verge of tool-dom:

November 30, 2002

Sidewalk Rage

Everywhere I go, I am plagued by slow people. When I was in high school (and was able to drive), it was slow drivers, slow pedestrians, slow people everywhere. And it always seemed that whatever I was doing, and wherever I was, there was always an idiot who thought that driving 25 mph was cool right in front of me. So, I get to Berkeley, and well, I don't have a car, so I walk everywhere. And STILL I AM PLAGUED BY SLOW PEOPLE, now WALKING in front of me, in big herds, fat asses jiggling, blocking off the sidewalk and preventing me from getting where I want to go at the speed I want to go. Isn't there a right lane for fat ass, slow moving morons on sidewalks??

February 25, 2003

No Sympathy For The Whiners Of The World!

I just started reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert for my Slavic 133 class, and I thought I'd share what I got from reading the first part, because it seems as though something that one would post in an (online) journal.

September 22, 2003

Lifestyles of the Perennially Pathetic

I have found a new population of people to target my wrath at for today. It's ok - I'm sure most you hate them as well, so this should not be a very controversial entry. Then again, maybe some of you folks out there are actually the type of people I am going to write about, and then you will be upset, because I called you out on your despicable behavior. Either way, something had to be said, and I am just the guy to say it.

December 05, 2003

Obligatory Acknowledgment

Have you ever wondered about some of society's conventions that make absolutely no sense? I often do, as you indubitably realize, and one of the things that bugs me most is how convention demands that we acknowledge any person we have ever talked to, regardless of the depth of conversation or extent of relationship. Let me preface this discussion by first saying that this is a topic I have long wanted to write about, but never had the time to give it the effort it deserved. Let me also add that I have not slept in many, many days and my sense of good judgment (assuming it existed in the first place) has been replaced by anger and an acute hatred of everything around me. What else is new? Let's go!

January 17, 2004

The Awful Truth

For many months now, I have been investigating a very unusual phenomenon, and having drawn my conclusions, I feel it is imperative that I share my findings with the populace at large. Despite the severity of my inferences, this is not the time for tact or subtleties, so I'm just going to say it: little kids are whack!. They look like humans, more or less, but don't let their clever disguises deceive you. While displaying all physical attributes traditionally associated with the human species, they behave in a manner which is incomprehensible, unpredictable, and indeterminate. Having had numerous close encounters (of the third kind) in the last few months, I can now confidently say that the little kids are probably one of the scariest things out there in that big, bad world!

March 30, 2004

The Relationship Pyramid

While trying to go to bed last night, in a rather beleaguered state of mind, I happened to overhear yelling from outside my window at around 2 a.m. Apparently a couple was publicly breaking up in front of Cleary last night, and yelling so loud, I could hear it in my 8th floor room! Awesome! Got to love Berkeley. The conversation seemed to end (at least for me, I might have fallen asleep) with the woman yelling You don't even know what love is, you bastard! We never had a real relationship! Although both of these people were clearly idiots (not only for breaking up so melodramatically, but also for doing so at 2 a.m. on the street), they got me thinking about how people define personal relationships.

October 17, 2004

Perilous Idealism

Maybe it's the recent change in weather or perhaps just all the stress I've been under recently, but I've really had it with needy, whiny, tormented idiots vainly chasing an idyllic romance and true love, all the while drowning in a torrentous sea of despair, failed expectations, and unreasonable idealism. The situation has reached epidemic proportions, afflicting both men and women, and taking no consideration of race, ethnicity, or creed. Worse, it only seems to get more pronounced with each passing year.

February 14, 2005

On St. Valentine's Day

Given my long and well-documented history of bitterness, cynicism, and heartlessness, I suppose it is almost a necessity that I post on St. Valentine's Day to denounce all money that is spent and bullshit that is endured on this fateful day each year in the name of love and romance. I must admit, however, that the reason I have remained so uncharacteristically complacent about the patron saint of lovers and his holiday in the three years that I have written in this blog is that, frankly, I do not have anything against February 14th. What?

March 13, 2005

Pop Ya Collar

Despite my fine-tuned eye for all things poseur, it was brought to my attention yesterday that I had completely missed a crucial development in poseur-land, which now requires my unrestrained commentary. Interestingly enough, when Phil pointed out that he had recently noticed a lot of poseur idiots walking around Clark Kerr with popped collars and asked me why I hadn't yet ripped these fools, I noted the extent to which I had completely ignored this phenomenon. Although I had perhaps seen it subconsciously several times, I had never stopped to think how stupid it looks. Well, there's a first time for everything.

November 23, 2005

To My Children

Dearest Children,

Forgive me, for if you are indeed reading this letter, that means I am veritably a father and probably have much to atone. I sincerely hope you took most of your qualities from your mother, since quite frankly, with the exception of my unwavering cynicism and prolific hatred, I do not offer much, especially genetically. Moreover, she must be quite an amazing woman to have put up with my antics for such a long time.

December 28, 2005

Facebook Friends

Nearly two years ago, at what might, in retrospect, be seen as a golden age of cynicism and anger in the prolific history of, I ventured that all interpersonal relationships could be defined on the basis of convenience, exploitation, and self-aggrandizement. Well, with the advent of social networks such as Facebook and My Space, I realized today that my trusty pyramid of yesteryear could not be veritably applied to the digital representations of relationships on social networks. Thus, for this entry I decided to prepare a more comprehensive analysis of the purported friendships tauted on social networks.

February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day, Revisited

Two years ago, when I published my surprisingly saccharine (yet resolutely indifferent) Valentine's Day manifesto, one of the most common responses from self-ascribed hopeless romantics (a.k.a. idiots) was that I would understand the so-called meaning of this most important of holidays only when I had the fortune of being in a relationship when it fell. Well, on my second such Valentine's Day meeting that criterion, I still cannot say I have found the meaning that was guaranteed me. Is something wrong with me?

March 22, 2007

American Values Come to San Francisco

Considering the ravaging obsession of Americans of all political persuasions, be they liberal or conservative, with Fox's hit television series, 24, it should come as no surprise that Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) has become to the 21st century what Dirty Harry and Sonny Crockett were to the late-20th century: unconventional, petulant, blunt, and insubordinate to a virtuosic level, thus, embodying the role of ideal American heroes. Though the popularity of all these characters largely stems from their indubitable stance as the bad asses of their respective decade—and the borderline homo-erotic idolization of mal-adjusted adolescent boys (in both body and spirit)—these characters also retain their iconic stature for their characterization of an American value just as fundamental as freedom of speech and freedom fries: vigilante justice.

June 04, 2007

Sweet Revenge

Several years ago, when I wrote what would later become my definitive manifesto on the ultimate futility of seeking idyllic romances and (what half wits, morons, and imbeciles everywhere refer to as) true love, I was lambasted—both publicly and privately—by many a self-professed romantic, often times with vitriol that generally should only be reserved for transients and the homeless menace. Though there were no explicit death threats, it certainly seemed as if though hordes of viciously star-crossed lovers, chomping at the bit and rabidly foaming at the mouth (perhaps all those roses they bought one another were giving them allergies?), were preparing their metaphorical nooses for a lynching of the heartless, soulless ingrate that dared publicly derided their most sacred of commandments. And yet, as Audrey pointed out last week, almost 3 years after I published my treatise, the Economist, one of the foremost publications in the world, has essentially validated the position I have long held on the Realm. Revenge is so sweet.

June 25, 2007

The Lady in Pink (and My Failure to Capitalize)

In the past two months, there has been much ado—both online and off—about my apparent successes, and more realistically, resounding failures recently with the fair sex. And yet, despite finding (and losing) not one, but two soulmates in as many months, and countless blown opportunities at various social functions, my most catastrophic failures have come not as a result of my consummate inability to close the proverbial deal (though that certainly goes without saying), but rather, my inexplicable ineffectualness in detecting the (often overt) advances of said fair sex. An anecdote from my trip this weekend to Irvine (hereafter affectionately known only as the 'vine) should be instructive.

July 05, 2007

The Rolling of the Five Dudes

As I (bluntly) pointed out last month, attempting social commentary about the differences between men and women inevitably puts one on a dangerous one-way road towards unbridled idiocy, and as such, when considering delving into this most thorny realm, every effort should be expended to avoid producing yet another clichéd manifestation of one's own sexual frustrations; see, e.g., Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, or any movie billed as a romantic comedy. However, given both my penchant for unchecked hypocrisy and the fact that most people would likely already characterize the Realm as a clichéd manifestation of my sexual frustrations (and those of others, as well—it ain't easy for a nerd out there), I feel fairly comfortable about once again diving (head first) into the brier bush. Today's question to be answered: when is it acceptable to roll with five dudes to a social function?

July 16, 2007

Distinguishing Between Commodity and Value-Added Relations

In a seminal entry a couple months ago, I asserted that [s]ome (few!) relationships no doubt add value; others probably serve useful purposes, but are more or less commodities; and finally, others still have no utility (marginal or otherwise), and simply detract value from your existence (footnotes omitted). As is to be expected, there has been much brouhaha from the usual suspects about my purported cynicism and heartlessness that will all suddenly change upon finding the one, but let's face it: that happens every time I write in this blog. In my (most humble) opinion, the real problem with that post was not that I was too cynical (I was not), but that I was much too vague in defining what exactly distinguishes a value-added relationship from a commodity one. Clearly, this begs for more rigorous analysis.

August 01, 2007

The Case for Kids

The Economist leads its print edition off this week with both a briefing and an editorial on demography (specifically, population decline), which in addition to bringing back fond memories from high school of Thomas Malthus and his Enlightened theories on the poor, also got me thinking about my own future contribution to the replacement rate. Now, as I am a firm believer that discussions about the awful menace we sometimes refer to as our offspring should be restricted solely to expressing our unchecked disdain for, calculating potential tax benefits due to, or lamenting the untimely arrival of said menace (via a missed period, ruptured condom, or other extraordinarily catastrophic event), my decision to bring up the subject might lead invested readers to express some concern since the former two have been done—many times—on the Realm. Fortunately, considering that I am currently on vacation in Orange County and primarily in the company of rather attractive Spectrum-frequenting high school girls, were said catastrophe to have occurred, I would likely be more concerned about an indictment than a shotgun wedding.

August 05, 2007

Digital Marriage Therapy

Though I am not one to generally spend much time or energy with the Wall Street Journal's Pursuits section (my preference runs to the Editorials), every once in a while, a gem will surface that is not only worth reading, but also worth blogging about; this weekend's edition presented such an opportunity with 'Til Tech Do Us Part, an article on the problems of marriage in the digital age. Now, regular readers will likely recall that about a year ago, I published a manifesto that purported to mitigate the hassles of break-ups in the digital age, but that analysis tends to breakdown when one cannot soundly assume the relationship will end in catastrophic failure, i.e., the objective is to remain in said relationship (understandably, this is a distinctly foreign concept for yours truly). In any case, though I may know next to nothing about how (or why) one might sustain any such entanglement beyond a couple months, let alone 'til death do us part, technology remains my forté: allow me to impart my wisdom.

August 12, 2007

On Virtual Worlds and Second Lives

In the past year or so, as Linden Lab's Second Life® has gained accelerating coverage in first technology, and then, mainstream media, I have become increasingly interested in the notion of virtual worlds, as well as I might—they present an incredibly interesting environment for study of human behavior, technology, and economics, all topics near and dear to me. However, the article that really took the cake (so to speak) for me was one I read in this Friday's Journal, about one man's virtual marriage within Second Life and the toll it is having on his actual marriage (in real life). Now, even if we leave aside the (entirely legitimate) question of why one would seek an additional, virtual marriage, with no real (i.e., sexual or financial) benefits, when already encumbered with one in one's first life, we are still left with a number of questions about why someone might feel compelled to join, and more importantly, actively participate in such an environment in the first place.

August 14, 2007

It's the Network, Stupid

Social networking may now be the buzz phrase du jour amongst the iPod-wearing, MacBook-sporting techno-dilettantes constantly drinking grande lattes (or whatever the fuck it is they order) who consider themselves computer scientists because they read about Ruby on Rails, but for me, it is a phenomenon that is nearly five years in the making, and frankly, one which, in recent months, has had me wondering whether it is even worth the trouble.

September 20, 2007

Tying the Noose: Criteria for Marital Bliss

Though I have not yet attained the age where relatives routinely harass me about asinine topics such as settling down or, worse, finding love, it seems that no conversation these days, whether it be with friends or strangers, is complete without a discussion of one's status, e.g., married, single, in an (open) relationship, hooking up, and so on, and so forth. It almost seems as though the older we get—and the more our thoughts and interests diverge—the more we cling desperately onto the rather banal topics of conversation that everyone can relate to (e.g., money, cash, hoes) for fear that without these topics, we might have nothing to say to one another at all. And while I have no qualms about answering the question, whether the answer be single or otherwise, in recent times, I have noticed that the former answer seems to generate rather inexplicable angst amongst the self-avowed (and necessarily self-deluded) hopeless romantics of the world.

To disabuse these misguided readers (and/or friends) of this angst, I will now present my personal criteria for successfully tying the noose—I mean, knot—so that they might finally understand that though my life will likely never be one of happiness or fulfillment, it will certainly be one of legacy and wealth. [...]

December 07, 2007

SuperPoke and the Meaning of Life

Those readers for whom social networking is not a way of life (are there really any of you out there?) will be forgiven if they do not understand the reference in the title, but I would think that the vast majority of people will at least be aware of the concept, if not active participants in its ever-growing popularity. Perhaps you even have an opinion on the topic. In the last few months since the SuperPoke Facebook application took off, I have heard assessments that run the gamut. To some, it is the next best thing since Al Gore invented the In-ter-net. To others, it is simply one more mindless and purposeless activity that has come to represent the worthlessness of the unwashed masses. Cynical readers will likely assume that mere invocation of worthless unwashed masses would draw me to that side of the argument like a moth to flame—or a fly to shit. Au contraire, ye of little faith! [...]

February 03, 2008

Economic Incentives for a Life of Crime

Beagle Family

As my dramatically diminished frequency of posting in the new year should suggest, I have been immersed in a lot of unpleasantness in recent weeks. Between increasingly frantic attempts at securing employment for the summer and reuniting with the maladjusted boys of 1524, I hardly had any time before last weekend to work on the quarter's only assignment for Legal Research and Writing, viz. a legal memorandum on intrusion of privacy worth 45% of the grade for the year. Needless to say, I overshot the word limit by over 1,800 words—this blog should be evidence enough of my inability to check the penchant for spewing incoherent nonsense—and had to spend all of last Sunday cutting out entire paragraphs, sentences, and towards the end, prepositions, articles, and other structures vital to sound writing. As hour after tedious hour of reading the same incomprehensible gibberish for expendable words and thoughts passed, I could not help but fall into a state of despair and existential angst (not an infrequent occurrence), pondering the same questions that have haunted me for years on end: (1) What am I doing with my life? and (2) Why did I not choose to pursue a life of crime?

July 12, 2008

The Jungle

Since arriving in New York some four weeks ago, I have often heard the lament that Manhattan has lost its soul in the past ten years, becoming in the process some sort of amusement park for tourists and the nouveau riche (those woe-begotten hedgefund-managing speculators). Indeed, it seems to be the gripe du jour amongst New Yorkers new and old alike. The veracity of such sentiments I cannot confirm, for this is the first time I have spent any time in the Big Apple, but if the soul of which they speak has migrated to Williamsburg, I fret that it all might be a farce—and a fedora-laden ironic one at that. What I can attest to, however, is that at least in some parts of New York City, the amusement park complaint is by no means misplaced, as my first—and hopefully, last—foray into the Jungle last night made all too clear.

June 03, 2010

Ramblings on Privacy and Limited Access

Ever since the latest (though very likely, not the last) Facebook privacy brouhaha broke out last month, I have been struggling to formulate my thoughts on the subject into a coherent position. It has not been easy. My initial reaction was both simple and simplistic: Want privacy? Don't put shit on the Internet you wouldn't be comfortable with the entire world knowing or seeing. And as a theoretical matter, that's probably exactly right: with most positions in people's respective relationship portfolio occupied by commodity and deadweight relationships, there is no telling when betrayal might next strike. Indeed, under generally accepted principles of the venerable Realm, namely that all personal interactions are better treated as corporate transactions, we might expect that a betrayal is likely as soon as the counterparty gets a better deal (somehow defined) elsewhere. So, when reputational costs and the like associated with betraying a friendship exceed the benefits derived therefrom, we should expect—and in fact, for the sake of all that is efficient holy, demand—that at least the commodities and deadweight relationships and maybe even the value-added ones sell us out. Efficient breach! Social utility! Fuck the poor! (Wait, what?)

But the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that both as a normative and practical matter, this sort of approach to living is neither desirable nor attainable. And it is precisely that notion that I will occupy myself with in this post.

July 04, 2011

On Asset Classes and Relationship Portfolios

As the wretched few who have been with me for far too many years know, there are moments, thankfully few and far in between, when I emerge from a haze of existential angst and school- or work-induced stupor to direct my attention and incoherence upon some subject other than the futility of life. One such phenomenon with which I have occupied myself over the years is social networking, or more specifically, the proper mechanisms by which to sort the disparate groups of individuals—value-added, commodity, and deadweight—that comprise one's relationship portfolio to protect what little semblance of privacy still exists on the web.

And while I have in the past touched upon this topic, first, in analyzing the state of relationships on Facebook back in 2005, and then in advocating for asset liquidation in 2008, I must admit that I have never fully thought through how to best implement what is fundamentally a rather complicated access control problem rife with real world social considerations. The advent of Google Plus last week and this holiday weekend presented an excellent opportunity, however, to sit down and think (alone and in the dark, obviously); what follows are some initial thoughts on the subject.