Friday, July 29, 2005

three pieces of evidence for the counterintuitive hypothesis that I am cooler than you

Exhibit A: Have you ever had anyone make you a meal like this for a party for your birthday?



Exhibit B: Have you ever had anyone make you a meal like this for a going-away party for you just a few months later?



Note the designation "[spoiler on back]" for the chocolate dessert. The spoiler:



(Oh, yes, it really does say "avocado"! Seriously, now, your friends cook anything so edgy up for you? And, further note: extra steps were taken during the preparation of this meal to have various courses be as diet-compatible as possible!)

Exhibit C: Have you ever had your fake spouse make not one, but two, special mix CDs for the same going away party based on a comprehensive survey of your music preferences?

Of course, me saying all this is evidence for how cool I am is kinda like in Charlotte's Web when Charlotte weaves the web that says "Some Pig" and a farmer looks at the web in amazement and says, "Yes, I'd reckon that's some pig", but then his wife, more correctly, observes: "Some spider, I'd say." Still, you can't blame me for wanting to brag about some of the wonderful spiders in my life. Of course, whether they are sufficient to prevent me from being killed and eaten after the county fair remains to be seen.

(A few pictures from the evening here, here and here.)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's this about the Midwest being meat and potatoes land? Looks like they eat well there in that vast prairie.

Tonya said...

What a sweet post!

Yes, both dinners were awesome. We are lucky to have a friend who enjoys making ambitious and yummy meals. And I can't think of a fake husband who is more deserving of all the fuss.

Hope you enjoy the music. I'll send the track listing by e-mail.

nina said...

It's not that we're celebrating your departure or anything. Really. It's not. No! [But if upon your return you find yourself with only a grilled cheese and tomato soup, I'd worry.]
Who knows, given the debate after the post below, maybe there's something to this east coast - midwest thing. Maybe your capital here will fall as a result of your Cambridge sojourn. So enjoy the cool kid club while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, you're comparing yourself to a pig? I thought your diet was going well.

Anonymous said...

It is not clear that your evidence supports your hypothesis. Wouldn't a more reasonable hypothesis be that your friends are cooler? You would then have to make a case for the relationship between your own coolness and that of your friends.

A+ said...

Jeremy, you could have t-shirts made: "My Friends Are Cooler Than Your Friends."

jeremy said...

Anon Noon: Okay, so you agree that my friends are cooler than your friends AND my friends are more generous toward me than your friends are toward you. You are correct that there may be various explanations for this: for example, my friends could be secretly getting paid to be my friends. I would suspect this, in fact, if I had wealthy relatives and they didn't have such nicely paying jobs. Thus, if one believes in inference to the best explanation, the conclusion would seem inescapable the most plausible hypothesis is that I'm cooler than you. Nonetheless, I'm sure you have a lot to offer the world, in your own, less cool way.

Anonymous said...

This is anon noon here.
Why should we infer that friends match on coolness? Let us suppose, for example, that friendships tend to balance on a variety of characteristics which all contribute to general "social standing." Let us further suppose, for the sake of argument, that coolness, being on your way to Harvard, and being male are positively associated with "social standing." If this were the case, then there it would not necessarily follow that you are cooler than me because your friends are cooler than mine as I am a woman who is not on her way to Harvard.

Anonymous said...

Anon noon again.
I realize this comment makes it sound as if I am suggesting that your friends are not truly your friends. This is not my intention. I am merely questioning the notion that friends match on coolness.

jeremy said...

So, you think my friends have been blinded in my manhood into accepting a friend when they could trade-up if they were not so captured by their predilection for the oppression-laden markers of "social standing." Sure, I suppose this is plausible. But, just as there is now a considerable body of published studies indicating that people who read blogs are cooler than those who don't, there is also now ample evidence that those who comment anonymously tend to be less cool than those who blog under their actual names. So, you've got that working against you as well. Accumulate enough bundles of straw of indirect evidence, and eventually you have, you know, a haystack.

Anonymous said...

me again.
Sorry. I'm new at this and I totally suck. After this I will never comment again. How about a do over in which I say what I intended to say and try to eliminate that which I didn't intend to say?

Take 2:
This is anon noon here.
Why should we infer that friends match on coolness? Let us suppose, for example, that friendships tend to balance on a variety of characteristics which all contribute to general "good company." Let us further suppose, for the sake of argument, that coolness, being a good conversationalist, and being "chirpy" are positively associated with "good company." If this were the case, then it would not necessarily follow that you are cooler than me because your friends are cooler than mine except that we have already established that I cannot carry on a conversation for the life of me and I am not chirpy so you win.

jeremy said...

Anon noon:

I'm just playing here. I'm up in my office and in something of an ornery mood. Part of the premise of all this is that, in truth, I'm really not very cool, although I do have some fabulous-fabulous friends. I hope I didn't actually make you feel bad, or scare you off being a commenter.

Anonymous said...

If I am one of your friends, and you are one of my friends, and you wear a t-shirt reading, "My Friends Are Cooler Than Your Friends," doesn't that mean I'm cooler than you?

jeremy said...

Sadly, Anon 3:24, I've just been pretending this whole time that we're friends. In fact, my "friendship" has really been research for my forthcoming Sociology Science Fair project.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

How does this tie in to earlier discussions about how all one's friends get more play than one? Is there some poor bastard out there who has to deal with a whole crowd of uncool socially inept losers because they have reached the pinnacle of being and everyone is in the loser group, compared to them?

I always thought the problem with that Rita Mae Brown quote about one in four people having mental problems, and if it's not one of your three closest friends, it's you, was problematic since I'm assuming there are some assortative forces at work here. A lot of the crazy people hang out with each other.

nina said...

Damn. I feel like someone was reading the lottery numbers and each number read out loud was one I chose and I was getting closer and closer to the jackpot (even though I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life) and then the final number was called and I not only lost but was out the buck I spent for the ticket. So that: I started with reading about the suggestion of cool Jeremy having cool friends (that would include me!), amplified with comments about mounting evidence of said fact, slightly punched at by anon noon, but bought to a full crescendo by a smart(ass) rebuttal and then CRASH! Anon noon withdraws and Jeremy surrenders, admits to an imaginative romp, nothing more, followed by a suggestion by RWS that due to assortive forces, crazy (ergo: uncool) people hang with other crazies and suddenly all cool bets are off. All I can hope for is that most readers do not read comments and so we have at least the front blog page illusion of all-around coolness.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I think we also need a better construct of "cool." The anonymous commenter(s) discussion of other factors desirable in friends raises the question of whether "cool" itself might be an aggregate/additive factor. For instance, I submit that my hair should be worth some number of cool "points," as should my karaoke performance of "Desert Rose."

Also, if "cool" puts some kind of strain on social relationships--jealousy or ego competition or something--perhaps there is a cool ceiling on particular social groupings rather than a required "entry level" of coolness as suggested by my Rita Mae Brown critique.