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don_fitch on January 15th, 2016 11:10 pm (UTC)
That may well be true, but I'm not sure it's at all limited to nerds. I've several times been on tours or trips where two people ahead of me (usually elderly women who didn't seem to be nerds) were thrown together for the first time. I could hear, then, and shamelessly eaves-dropped when the scenery wasn't especially interesting. They very carefully traded scrupulously-measured bits of information about themselves -- their health, their families, their various outside interests and other preferences, getting increasingly expansive as time went on. Maybe the keyword here is "trading" -- the nerds I know (including myself) do almost the same thing, though with a bit less emphasis on the "personal" aspects & more on the "I'm interested in..." one... but not a whole lot more.

The Little Old Ladies usually left the Tour vowing to keep in contact (they almost certainly didn't, but if they did & circumstances allowed the next step would probably to exchange home-cooked food, after which their relationship would be sealed. Life-long Friends (or possibly Enemies). I'm not sure about the food thing, but with some substitution there (maybe showing one-another how they do things) it all seems perfectly fannish/nerdish.

My last relationship along those lines was at a worldcon where I spent an hour or so talking with someone mostly trading ideas about the possibility of creating kosher dim sum. (I'm not Jewish, he wasn't Observant, and there's a strong possibility I knew more about kashruth than he did.) We agreed that it isn't inherently tref -- the essence of dim sum is the presentation of many different kinds of appetizers (steamed, baked, or deep-fried), with no conflict because Chinese cooking generally doesn't use milk products, and the wrappers are mostly rice-flour & water, with those covered with yeast flour being not-kosher only for Passover. (Neither of us was sure about the Pesach-kosherness of soy-sauce, which is fermented.) The majority of the most tasty dim sum contains ground pork and/or chopped shrimp (or maybe both), and possibly oyster sauce, but we worked out imaginative ways a good kosher cook could work around those things, though it would be extremely difficult. Actually, we parted in total agreement that we would continue to feast on dim sum in all its traditional Chinese forms. Preferably in Palaces where ladies push it around in steam-carts. And no, I don't remember his name or what he looks like, but that guy _is_ a part of my life.

eub on January 16th, 2016 10:56 am (UTC)
Most highly valued by the sharer, all right. Do they truly think it's most highly valued by the recipient? Ehhhh.

If people think this is highly valuable to give, they'd be tempted to give it up the scale of status/power, as a way to curry favor, more than down it. I don't see that tendency.