The ringer quotes speed dating

EDIT: This is the most controversial post I have ever written in ten years of blogging.

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As Bertrand Russell wrote of his own adolescence: “I was put off from suicide only by the desire to learn more mathematics.” At one point, I actually begged a psychiatrist to prescribe drugs that would chemically castrate me (I had researched which ones), because a life of mathematical asceticism was the only future that I could imagine for myself.

The psychiatrist refused to prescribe them, but he also couldn’t suggest any alternative: my case genuinely stumped him.

I stand by a lot of it, but if somebody links you here saying “HERE’S THE SORT OF GUY THIS SCOTT ALEXANDER PERSON IS, READ THIS SO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS BLOG IS REALLY ABOUT”, please read any other post instead.

There’s a whole list of Top Posts on the Top Posts bar above.

To have any hope of bridging the gargantuan chasm between us, I’m going to have to reveal something about my life, and it’s going to be embarrassing.

(sigh) Here’s the thing: I spent my formative years—basically, from the age of 12 until my mid-20s—feeling not “entitled,” not “privileged,” but terrified.

(And after a decade of being coy about it, I suppose I’ve finally revealed the meaning of this blog’s title.) […] Now, the whole time I was struggling with this, I was also fighting a second battle: to maintain the liberal, enlightened, feminist ideals that I had held since childhood, against a powerful current pulling me away from them.

I reminded myself, every day, that no, there’s no conspiracy to make the world a hell for shy male nerds.

That I managed to climb out of the pit with my feminist beliefs mostly intact, you might call a triumph of abstract reason over experience.

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