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.If you’re just looking for casual questions to ask someone on a first date, go here.

no more mr nice guy dating-20

You also need to know about how the other person feels about kids, (yes, no, number, who raises them) lifestyle locations, (city, suburbs, country, nomad) marriage, (soon, later, never) religion, (same, different, important, not important) family, (close, absent, involved) recreation, (outdoorsy, night life, traveler, sporty…) Those things can be discovered when you’re dating already.

Some other ways to find out more about the person you’re dating is to take a Myers Briggs personality test, the Strengths Test in Now Discover Your Strengths or go to or and create a fictional profile, answering all the questions together.

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.

Trigger warning: social justice, condemnation of some feminism, tangential reference to eating disorder.

Note that although our names are very similar, I am NOT the same person as Scott Aaronson and he did NOT write this article.

—is approximately where I get off the train, because it’s so alien to my actual lived experience.

But I suspect the thought that being a nerdy male might not make me “privileged”—that it might even have put me into one of society’s least privileged classes—is completely alien to your way of seeing things.

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