Rocket Bomber - article - site news - Ah. Yes. A brief note.

Ah. Yes. A brief note.

filed under , 18 July 2011, 00:14 by

I explicitly said I wasn’t looking for feedback

So of course I got feedback.


To address one point,

“You seem perfectly normal to me, why do you insist you’re so different, or that you’re ‘doing it wrong’? – isn’t _that_ normal? Why withdraw?”

So. If you’ve followed this blog to the point where you’d be compelled to comment, you know that I often try to explain difficult concepts in analogies and parallels:

Imagine going in front of a jury to defend your doctoral thesis.

You’ve done your research. You’ve rehearsed this. Maybe you even rehearsed this with a partner, having them ask you questions you think the jury is going to ask. You know this stuff, or you think you do. You’ve spent years in the field, you’ve done dozens of interviews, you’ve read thousands of pages, you’ve devoted hours — days — months of your life in an attempt to understand this strange new topic.

Before you started, you had no real experience in this particular area, only a vague awareness: but you’ve built on this basic understanding and have, over years, developed your own theories, heuristics, and formulas.

And that’s fine. You’re ready to defend your thesis and accept your PhD.


Imagine doing all that work, all that research — the interviews, the case studies, the sample cases, the baseline surveys — just to get to “normal”.

I’m not saying I’m autistic — I’ve never had the benefit of that diagnosis, and in daily life I operate and am functional, so ‘Rain Man’ doesn’t apply. Auspergers is the better fit anyway, but I was not given that as an option either — back in the day no one had defined that yet; I was ‘gifted’, as a student, and expected to excel and go to Harvard or MIT or Berkeley, and back in the 80s no one had a pigeonhole for students like me except ‘smart’

And many, many smart kids went to Stanford and MIT and they have certainly done well, and defined the new internet society we live in. And many, many kids like me are now engineers and specialists, and they’ve had kids of their own, and now these kids get diagnosed and we make arrangements and exceptions, for these exceptional individuals.

But I grew up in Georgia. Yes, Atlanta is a tech center and a decent place to launch a startup besides, but in the 80s Georgia was still Deep South — and I didn’t grow up in Atlanta, my home town is 60 miles south of there — and back then, in that backwater, any kid who needed or wanted more than the “3 Rs” was an aberration to be barely tolerated — not a light to be nourished.

My point [well, my point so far is to badmouth my primary & secondary education, because it kinda sucked, and I only learned anything because of my personal hunger for information, not becaused I was helped along the way] is that there was no program to help ‘gifted’ students learn social skills, and by pulling us out of class for the ‘gifted’ program, well-meaning educators only made a bad problem worse

Booksmart is different from streetsmart — and, alas, no one is doing studies on that particular dynamic.


Not only did I not ask for feedback — in fact, I chose to forgo feedback and explicitly denied it by closing out the comments — what amazed me is the extent some readers went to, to comment. I got private messages via Twitter, I got personal email, there was at least one comment on other posts to this blog — my fav, though, has to be the rumour passed along, friend-of-a-friend style, that I was going to stop blogging.

Yeah, and yeah, ha ha, but actually: No.

This blog is my sole safety valve in a retail world gone mad.

I’m not posting much at the moment because I don’t do the “daily journal” blog thing — most of my posts require research. Some require math. With charts.

So even as I withdraw from social media like Facebook and Twitter, I cannot silence the blog — I choose to do less on Twitter so I can write more for the blog. And Facebook kinda sucks. [in fact, Twitter is the only social media platform I felt any affinity for — my reasons for using it less are in the last post]


The current lack of updates to the blog is because I am working very hard to bring my sporadic Manga Bestseller Lists up to date, and up to a professional standard — more on that front later, as the project nears completion.

And on the bookselling front: I am crafting a “nuclear bomb”, a set of blog posts on the future of bookselling to be combined with an open letter to my employer.

Both projects make demands on my time – time I don’t have. Because work sucks. Because I’ve been forced for years to ‘do more with less’ and this will turn into another rant if I don’t cut things off here.

Both projects are also best served if I post MASSIVE UPDATES AND MULTIPLE POSTS ALL AT ONCE — so the day-to-day low-level grumbling and occasional-but-typically-weekly blogging is also going to take a hit, for however long it takes me to catch up.

And thank you for your concern, even when I say I don’t need the feedback.


  1. “So even as I withdraw from social media like Facebook and Twitter, I cannot silence the blog”

    Well, that’s a relief ~ not just it wasn’t GBCW on the blog, but a guarantee that the blog will continue as an obsessive compulsive order.

    Comment by BruceMcF — 21 July 2011, 15:48 #

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