The Spiritual Benefits of Cluelessness

December 8, 2004 | 51 comments

So I often hear from my “intellectual” Mormon friends how they feel this crushing weight of isolation and judgemental pressure from their fellow Saints. I don’t really get it. Now, lots of people tell me about this, so obviously there is something to these experiences. I just honestly don’t experience it myself. In part, I think that this is because I am not as intellectual as my oppressed intellectual friends. On the other hand, I am capable of some serious sustained pedantry and pretentious posturing. I can walk the walk and talk the talk. Yet I don’t feel any social pressure or ostracism of any kind. Really.

I have decided that is mainly because I am clueless. Perhaps I have been brutally snubbed and ostracized for many years and have not noticed. This is a very real possiblity. I tend to be really obtuse socially and frequently don’t pick up on subtle social clues. Hence, short of explicit statements like, “I hate you and I want you to go to hell,” I am not sure that I am likely to pick up on signs of social disapproval. In those cases where people actually have come up to me in the foyer and said, “I hate you and I want you to go to hell” (it hasn’t happened more than half a dozen times in the last year) I have completely missed out on any pre-denuciation social clues. As a result, my tendency has been to assume that these people are either mentally unbalanced or confusing me with someone else.

Hence, I go about my annoying and pedantic life, carefully insulated by a bubble of social ignorance. It leads me to the conclusion, however, that maladjusted intellectual misfits within Mormonism do not suffer from maladjustment at all. Their problem is that they are too well adjusted. If the nerdiness was just a little deeper, they would live happier lives.

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51 Responses to The Spiritual Benefits of Cluelessness

  1. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 8:37 am

    I’m with you on this one in general. On more than one occasion, I’ve had people tell me, “How do you put up with that guy? He just insulted you to your face!” to which I was forced to respond, “He did?”

  2. Kevin Winters on December 8, 2004 at 9:01 am


    Is it that you are clueless or that you are not willing to put your intellectual life on your sleave for all to see? From my (admittedly limited) experience, those who are ostricized for their ‘intellectual-ness’ are those who cannot keep their mouths shut about how that differentiates them from others, usually in relation to holding less-than-orthodox views. Of course, they do not say it straight out (perhaps it comes out more in actions than in words), but if they are somewhat consistently challenging others on their views, and attempt to do so with an ‘intellectual air’ (using all that philo-babble, psycho-babble, and such) then naturally they will be rejected, socially and doctrinally, by those who are less ‘intellectual’ than they are. Perhaps scriptures like 2 Nephi 9:29 come to those people’s minds, which would then constitute a judgment on the ‘intellectual’ as allowing the ‘life of the mind’ to have undue priority over the ‘life of the spirit.’

  3. Jonathan Green on December 8, 2004 at 9:51 am

    Oh that I were more clueless.

    Kevin, it’s not my “intellectual life” I wear on my sleeve. It’s my life, my real life, my actual life. (If I didn’t wear it on my sleeve, my shoulders would be uncovered, and that wouldn’t be modest, would it?) I agree that excessive contrariness is out of place in Sunday School and Priesthood meetings, but when I am moved to share personal insights during a lesson, those contributions are no less (nor more) significant than any other for being the observations of an academic. When I teach priesthood lessons occasionally, I’m the only academic in the room, and sometimes my lessons require a small amount of vocabulary building. Call it philo-babble if you will–I don’t see that term catching on around here, but I could be wrong–but I have no apologies for it. It’s who I am and how I talk about a lot of things, church doctrine and spiritual experiences included, sometimes.

    I’ve actually seen people in action before to whom I have had reactions similar to what you describe. I’m sympathetic. Still, ostracism and social rejection are not natural ways to treat self-identifying intellectuals or even pseudo-intellectuals.

  4. danithew on December 8, 2004 at 9:54 am

    I shared a comment on another post recently about a BYU female professor who expressed a feeling of isolation in her ward — of being the only woman with an advanced degree. Ironically, she was one of the most warm and down-to-earth people I met and one of the few professors (in my experience at the Y) who invited her class to come to a party at her home. I think her problem was that in conversations with the women of her ward, she found that they didn’t have material to respond with when she talked about her experiences teaching in a university.

    I wonder if there’s any difference in how men (a quorum) and women (Relief Society) receive an “intellectual” into their midst. One insight I’ve heard and sometimes observed is that women generally want to identify with one another and be on the same plane. So if one woman is obviously more educated and intellectual in her pursuits than a group of others, it’s going to be harder for that woman to fit in(?). I don’t know for sure.

  5. Mathew on December 8, 2004 at 9:57 am

    Nate’s intellectual life is definitely on his sleeve for all to see so it can’t be that. I think Nate is right–he is genuinely clueless. I’ve watched him sit in Sunday School and read an off-topic book in the middle of class while the instructor glares at his rudeness–he simply doesn’t notice. Kudos to Nate for successfully avoiding, without even trying, the feeling of isolation that some of his acquaintances apparently feel.

    For the record, I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable entering a room of strangers and socializing, but a lot of people I know say that they would rather have a root canal than do that.

  6. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 10:09 am

    Kevin –

    I was responding to Nate’s cluelessness in general. I generally don’t parade around my “intellectualism” or whatever you want to call it around — I’m a relatively normal guy, although do have the ability to stop a conversation dead in its tracks with an ill-timed comment.

  7. Jonathan Green on December 8, 2004 at 10:13 am

    Danithew, my wife’s experiences might be relevant. When we started grad school and started attending what was largely a grad student ward, nearly all the students were male and nearly all the women were at home with children. My wife describes the first few years, when she was in an MA program and we didn’t have any kids yet, as being socially difficult at church. Sometimes social isolation hurts the most when you’re surrounded by people almost exactly like yourself.

  8. danithew on December 8, 2004 at 10:15 am

    Sometimes seeming obliviousness is calculated … though I can’t speak in an informed way about Nate Oman’s conduct. I had to laugh as I read that because I used to play chess with a buddy on a PDA during elders quorum … until the Sunday my chess buddy taught the class. He was grinning straight at me when I pulled out the PDA that day and my consequent feelings of guilt led me to forswear chess-playing during church meetings from there on out. :)

  9. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 10:18 am

    Matt: Thanks for backing me up ;-> . BTW, I have a strict rule about reading in Church. I only bring books with me that are in some way related to Mormonism. Although, in Cambridge I guess that I did read Michael Sandel in church from time to time.

  10. danithew on December 8, 2004 at 10:18 am

    Jonathan, my wife has had similar experiences as a medical student in a young married ward.

  11. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 10:23 am

    danithew: As far as I am concerned PDA chess is an entirely appropriate form of Sunday worship, although my wife won’t let me do it in sacrament meeting…

  12. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 10:24 am

    Speaking of reading in Church, I recall Jonathan Green used to read all kinds of scandalous books nested inside his scriptures to avoid suspicion. It was all in German, so I don’t know what it was, but I’m sure it was awful, awful stuff.

  13. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 10:26 am

    Jonathan if it makes you feel better, you will always be clueless in my book ;->

  14. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 10:27 am

    Further off-topic — Our ward recently purchased an assisted-hearing solution for members of the ward who are hard of hearing. It consists of an earpiece and a wireless receiver. Now the greybeards can listen to the Duke basketball game without having to hide anything (not that they tried to hide it previously).

  15. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 10:29 am

    Incidentally, I think that social cluelessness has other spiritual benefits. For example, I by and large enjoyed my participation in various singles wards, on the whole oblivious of the arcane and Machiavellian social machinations that I am sure swirled about me…

  16. Bob Caswell on December 8, 2004 at 10:42 am

    Ever since I was moved into Sunbeams, any spark of pseudo-intellectualism I had was put out and replaced with the need to just get home and take a nap! Oh how I miss the days of luxury callings…

  17. David King Landrith on December 8, 2004 at 10:49 am

    Bryce I: Speaking of reading in Church, I recall Jonathan Green used to read all kinds of scandalous books nested inside his scriptures to avoid suspicion. It was all in German, so I don’t know what it was, but I’m sure it was awful, awful stuff.

    The book Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell is about the same in dimensions as the paperback Jesus the Christ. I’ve known of missionaries who read Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell with a homemade paper cover on it which read “Jesus the Christ.” I think this is a very good trick.

    As far as cluelessness, I often see people express their opinions and say to myself, “Geez. Must be nice.” But in my more thoughtful moods, I realize that it’s assinine for me to believe that I’m in position to judge that my salvation row is somehow harder to hoe than theirs just because I acquiesce to substantially more complicated fallacies than they do.

  18. Kristine on December 8, 2004 at 10:56 am

    I have an even better disguise than scripture covers. A visiting teacher once made me a lovely little fabric cover for my RS manual, complete with hand-crocheted lace and a matching bookmark. It is the perfect size for most trade paperbacks ;)

  19. David King Landrith on December 8, 2004 at 10:56 am

    I neglected to mention in my preceding post that I find your social exuberance refreshing (as you describe it). Something tells me, though, that it springs as much from your being good-natured as from your being clueless. We see what we want to see, don’t we?

  20. John David Payne on December 8, 2004 at 11:01 am

    Nate, I hate you and I want you to go to hell.

    your friend,

  21. Mathew on December 8, 2004 at 11:01 am

    See Nate, you’re not so clueless as to miss my point. Although I am sincere in my agreement with you that you are generally clueless about these sorts of things, I’m not sure you ought to be so quick to pat yourself on the back because you don’t struggle with something that your friends do. I don’t feel isolated at church and I don’t feel judged (heck, it’s one of the high-lights of my week), but my wife at times feels like a fish out of water–and a lot of that comes from having a lot of wattage, developing it through formal education and working in what we would generally think of as a man’s field in Mormonia. It’s not that people are unkind, but that she has less in common with many of the women than they have with each other. Not having as many things in common makes it harder for a person who is naturally reticent to make friends. No one is to blame–but the results are a feeling of isolation that has to be worked at to be overcome–especially when you move out to the suburbs.

    I understand that you are writing about a slightly different set of people–since you know Gigi, you will agree that she has no “intellectual” pretensions. On the other hand, since we haven’t been careful to distinguish between anti-intellectualism and anti-pseudo-intellectualism in the church, having “too much” education, especially of the Ivy variety, brings with it a huge amount of baggage that is, within the church, bizarrely negative (see any of the myriad of comments by John Fowles for more evidence). You’ve done the same thing in your post–you haven’t drawn a careful distinction–relying instead on the tired tropes that you are always complaining about. I realize that you have billables to make, but I expect more from you:)

  22. Kaimi on December 8, 2004 at 11:03 am


    I don’t know about intellectualism or prowess or even book-reading ability, but I think I can match most anyone if the sole measure is cluelessness. I have years of practice.

  23. CB on December 8, 2004 at 11:07 am

    Last month we were late leaving for church, and my deacon age son was still combing his hair. I saw his scripture case on the table by the door, and picked it up to carry out to the car for him. It felt unnaturally light, so light that I unzipped the case and looked inside.

    Lucky Charms. The fruit of my loins uses his scripture case to smuggle cold cereal contraband, and on fast Sunday, to boot.

  24. Mathew on December 8, 2004 at 11:14 am


    We’ve met only a few times, but I’m going to have to agree with you on this. Maybe we could arrange a cluelessness title-bout between you and Nate–a group of ultra-hip types (read Steve Evans and CTK) will get together and mock you to your face. First one to realize that you are getting made fun of loses:)

  25. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 11:16 am

    Matt: for more than tired tropes, I have to get you a client number ;-> I frankly gave up trying to figure out the difference between intellectualism and pseudo-intellectualism a while ago. I use the terms in entirely pajorative ways. Intellectuals tend to be those that I find interesting or compelling. Pseudo-intellectuals are those taht I find boring or unpersuasive. I do think, however, that a certain social obtusenss can be useful. Much of what what passes for social sleights and the like is often quite subtle. It is not for this reason insignificant to those that are sleighted, but it does mean that it is easy to miss if you are not paying much attention. Ignorance can be bliss.

  26. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 11:22 am

    “See Nate, you’re not so clueless as to miss my point.”

    What? I don’t get it. What point?

  27. Kristine on December 8, 2004 at 11:49 am

    CB–that made my day. And it will be a great story for his mission farewell or his wedding reception ;)

  28. Kaimi on December 8, 2004 at 11:51 am


    Are you making fun of me? I’m really not sure . . .

  29. Mathew on December 8, 2004 at 11:54 am

    Be sure Kiami.

  30. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 12:03 pm

    Bringing clueless people to dinner and making fun of them in front of their faces? Sounds like the plot of a French comedy to me.

  31. gst on December 8, 2004 at 12:36 pm

    In my experience, there is a line to be drawn in the practice of playing PDA chess in church: hiding the screen from my wife so she thinks I might be reading scriptures tho’ I’m actually playing against the computer can pass. But engaging another brother in a game via infrared across two pews is somehow “irreverent.”

  32. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 12:42 pm

    I just wish that someone would write a chess program for Blackberries.

  33. Jonathan Green on December 8, 2004 at 12:44 pm

    In my defense, Reclam editions are the perfect size for the inside pocket of a suit coat. I was tempted beyond my capacity to resist at the time. Furthermore, I have been Reclam-free for nine years, three months, and nineteen days. Maybe I should pick up the habit again; it would cut down the number of times Rose has to pre-emptively whisper “Be quiet! Just don’t say anything!” during Sunday School.

  34. William Morris on December 8, 2004 at 1:10 pm


    I have a stack of the little yellow books on my bookshelf at home. My problem is that I need a 10-pound dictionary to go with them. Perhaps a PDA-Reclam combo is the solution (can you get a good German-English dictionary for the Palm OS?).

  35. Melissa on December 8, 2004 at 1:27 pm


    C’mon! Michael Sandel is not entirely unrelated to Mormonism. Though a case could be made for reading _Liberalism and the Limits of Justice_ in Church, I have learned through sad experience not to read any book during church meetings with “liberal” in the title regardless of content.

  36. Kristine on December 8, 2004 at 1:30 pm

    Re: Reclam-hefte: towards the end of my senior year, my roommate asked incredulously, “are you *still* reading that one stupid yellow book?”

  37. gst on December 8, 2004 at 1:33 pm

    Nate, my solution for chess on the Blackberry is correspondence games via email. Of course, unless you can go by PGN alone deep into a game, you’ll need some tools to help you. I have two solutions. One is to carry a pocket chess set. (I keep this one in my briefcase: (scroll to the bottom).) The other is to use this web-based PGN editor ( to print out the positions of my various correspondence games to mull over at my leisure. When ready, I send a move via email on the Blackberry. For example, at the end of the work day I will enter the positions of my correspondence games into the web PGN editor, print them, and work them out on the train. I send my moves via Blackberry and repeat the next day. Works for Church too, though I confess that it’s somewhat unseemly now that my current calling requires sitting on the stand.

    The Casual Correspondence Chess server that you and I have played each other on ( is also navigable using the Blackberry’s web function, but only using PGN and not the graphical board. So you need a pocket board or printed position to work out the moves.

    But I feel your pain. These work-arounds are cumbersome.

    If you want to play rated email correspondence games against opponents from around the world for free, I recommend the International Email Chess Group at

  38. Nate Oman on December 8, 2004 at 1:37 pm

    Melissa: Not a problem in Cambridge. Especially if you are socially clueless…

  39. Adam Greenwood on December 8, 2004 at 2:12 pm

    I never feel left out at Church, largely through cluelessness, but there’s more to it than that. There’s lots of social settings where I am exquisitely oversensitive to imagined exclusion.

    The difference is that at Church, for whatever reason, I am convinced that I *do* fit in, so all my social interactions get read through that filter. If somebody says something snippy after one of my Gospel Doctrine monologues I think to myself, ‘Gosh, I hope they don’t feel to shut out from the rest of us by what I said. I better do something to make them feel included again.” Or if somebody doesn’t really include me in their social circle I think, “well, its probably too much to expect that this person be fully integrated into the ward, like they would be if they spent time with me, but they’re active and they do have some friends, so I won’t worry too much.”

  40. The Only True and Living Nathan on December 8, 2004 at 3:02 pm

    [i]I’m with you on this one in general. On more than one occasion, I’ve had people tell me, “How do you put up with that guy? He just insulted you to your face!� to which I was forced to respond, “He did?�[/i]

    That just meant I had to try harder.

  41. Bryce I on December 8, 2004 at 3:08 pm


    I learned long ago to take everything you say as a potential insult, to which the only proper reply is a more witty insult.

    You poopyhead.

  42. The Only True and Living Nathan on December 8, 2004 at 3:38 pm

    The best thing about my particular style of insult is that you can also interpret my silences that way, which means I can say:


  43. Bryan Staker on December 8, 2004 at 7:22 pm

    It runs in the family Nate. Allison will heartily vouch for this.

  44. Susan on December 8, 2004 at 10:14 pm


  45. Clark on December 8, 2004 at 11:22 pm

    Kevin: Is it that you are clueless or that you are not willing to put your intellectual life on your sleave for all to see?

    I’m coming late to this one, but I feel just like Nate. And I think I do wear my intellectual life on my sleeve. I gave a Priesthood lesson a couple of weeks ago on Pres. Hinkley’s conference talk on women. I did it from the perspective of Heidegger’s trifold taxonomy (present-at-hand, ready-at-hand, transcendence) Admittedly I toned it down some, but I had tons of people coming up complementing me. Before that I was a Sunday School teacher doing the same.

    The only time I’ve heard anything was from some family members. But I didn’t feel ostracized or the like. I think my reaction was bemused amusement and a conscious effort not to feel sorry for people who spend their entire lives in rural areas never reading or investigating the gospel…

    On the more general point, a friend said something to me that was a breakout moment for me. Everyone is socially isolated, feel alone and alien. The only difference is some people go out of their comfort zone to be social anyway. The rest sit around complaining about isolation. Having been on both sides of the border, I think those who think social isolation is due to intellectualism are kidding themselves. You can always find things to be offended about and I’m sure in any ward you’ll find many non-intellectual people feeling isolated, alone, or even rejected.

    It’s unfortunate a fact of human life.

    Ideally we’d all be friendlier, more careful with our words, and more inviting. However we’re all fallen flawed people and many of us seem to spend more time screwing up than being perfect children of God. If you wait passively, you’ll have a good chance of waiting forever. (Heavens, I’ve been home taught six times the last 15 years. I can’t count on a HT for social inclusion)

  46. Rob Briggs on December 9, 2004 at 1:43 am

    DLK: “just because I acquiesce to substantially more complicated fallacies than they do.”

    DLK, I’m really beginning to like you, Dude. I think back those awful postings (& thots) of a couple weeks back.

    You do know how to turn a phrase.

  47. Stanley Moose on December 9, 2004 at 10:52 am

    Reading this missive, I can’t help but recognize that responding to criticism and general “cluelessness” ignores the larger picture of sensory input beyond the visual and auditory.

    Thought is molecular and olfactory. Thought is the absorption, penetration, filtration, and configuration of particles and molecular chains appropriated from the surrounds. These enter our nose but also all our pores.

    Viruses are processing units or active memory machines that replicate important molecular chains. Various bacteria facilitate these in and out of the body’s tissue system. When we think, we are not processing “signals” but sorting substances, homeopathic doses of matter, molecules. Even the “senses” are secondary and serve only to configure pre-appropriated and collated molecules.

    In other words, the senses do not present raw data but rather represent secondary processing units upon primary memory-molecule storage. To touch, hear, see something is to test molecular hypotheses, to perform supplementary experiments upon continual and accumulated molecular osmosis.

    Inventions tend to redistribute sense rations, emphasizing some while de-emphasizing others. Somewhere in our history we began to emphasize the secondary five senses as if they were primary. This was a step of alienation, as it created a sense of distance between ourselves and the world, when in fact all perception is molecular and we are literally homeopathically bathed in the world on a constant basis. We are in chemical communion with the surrounds. This is to say the body is a seething alchemy between interior and exterior molecules (the body is the between, the exchange), and emotion is the sensation of this alchemy.

    To emote is to feel one’s body’s sortings of molecules. We are literally ‘sampling’ the world on a constant basis. These samples are stored in the muscles, interstitial fluids, glands, and micro-glands. A neuron is an electrically stimulated micro-gland. Essentially the brain is a networked, highly differentiate, and electronically accessible storage center of various chemicals ; in other words, the brain is not an electronic computer, but a macro-gland that is electronically stimulated to allow the rest of the body through the nerves to activate molecular memories and assemblages.

    In other words, the viscera runs the brain and not vice-versa.

    The brain is not the master control center, but a preservation garden of pheremonal biodiversity, a fabricked museum of scents. There is an ongoing battle between light and scent, photons and pheremones. The eye is a deformed nose mutated to detect and appropriate photons rather than pheremones. Photons are much more difficult to store and require greater amounts of energy ; hence the modern brain’s overdominant consumption of bodily energy. Photons dissipate quickly and therefore must be kept in constant circulation, turning much of the brain into a hologram rather than a chemical garden. Those who always seek ‘the light’ war against their own pheremonal constitution.

    Logic is based on linear syntactical chains and strongly linked to the proliferation of the phonetic alphabet, emphasizing consecutivity, serial arrangement, and visual dominance, which emphasizes exclusive, bounded entities in nonsimultaneous relations and arrangements. Therefore, logic’s construction of “sense” or what is “sensical” (as opposed to nonsensical) will be unable to properly frame the sense of the chemical world, whose molecules follow a topological logic of helixes, moebius twistings, and “paradoxical fluxual reversals”. To logic, these sensical movements inherent in the molecules themselves represent paradoxes, contradictions, nonsense. In fact, they are quite sensical. The sensicality of the molecular realm is catalytical rather than logical, various shifting chemical soups catalyzing other chemical processes at different times, speeds, and permutations. The multiplicity of these permutations, their simultaneous, momentary mixture at any given instant, and the varying reactions which may take place for any one molecule depending on its placement, contributes to the simultaneity and ‘paradoxicality’ of the molecular sensicality.

    When we meet the other, pheremones pass and the pheremones think us. As they think us, we experience profound, complex, inchoate sensations. We are literally taking the other into our body. This represents an ‘intercourse’ much more intimate and interpenetrating than normal intercourse, which is itself a molecular phenomenon. On a molecular level, the body of the other changes us, and their scent stimulates vast arrays of chemical combinations and memories. The other is stored in us, resides in us, circulates through our tissues. But what circulates? What were they giving off? Anger scents? Scents of indifference? Lust? Deep, loving connection? (Of course, these represent our molar constructions of vastly more complex molecular arrangements.)

    The problem with toxins and pollution is that they interfere with the body’s ability to sift itself and the world. These toxins accumulate in the tissues and represent micro-memories of trauma that contribute to a general sense of anger, sadness, or something being wrong.

    To visualize our milieu as a sauna of steaming scents arising from all things may seem absurd to some, but so was the concept of millions of ‘germs’ everywhere four hundred years ago. Homeopathy works because it reactivates molecular memories that were suppressed ; it reintroduces samples into the vast molecular ‘brain’ of the body.

  48. Kevin Winters on December 10, 2004 at 9:36 pm

    I know that I wear my intellect on my sleave; it’s not that I am attempting to look smart, but my philosophy is pretty much my life. Every day I’m drowned in big terms, technicalities, complicated trains of thought, questions of long-held socially indoctrinated philosophical views, etc. So, when I go into other arenas, those are the terms, ideas, methodologies that I work within as they are the ones that come most readilly to mind. As with Jonathan, when I teach (was a GD teacher for a few months until I moved out of my student ward) I would often have to define my terms and, *every* lesson, I would stumble to find the right words because all I could think of were ‘ontological’ and ‘Befindlichkeit.’ I think I might have been ‘ostracized’ (sp?) in a way–I had a few hardcore people who would come to my class, but the majority always went to the other two classes. But I don’t tend to couch my ‘ostricization’ (is that a word?) in relation to my intellectualizing, but in the fact that I’m socially inexperienced–I socialize slowly and social situations drain my energy like nothing else.

  49. David King Landrith on December 10, 2004 at 11:13 pm

    Weird post, Stanley. Not only is it way-way-out-in-left-field off-topic, but it’s strangely reminiscent of my teenage thoughts when I’d get high and listen to “Dark Side of the Moon.”

  50. David King Landrith on December 10, 2004 at 11:38 pm

    Rob Briggs: I’m really beginning to like you, Dude. I think back those awful postings (& thots) of a couple weeks back.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I participate in T&S because I find it to be fun and interesting. Because I’m quite so “clueless” as Nate, I sometimes suspect (in my more self-absorbed moments) that I’m among the most reviled commenters here. I’ve even been banned from posting before (Jim F. was kind enough, or perhaps “clueless” enough, to lift the ban).

    Anyway, I’m beginning to like you, too, Rob.

  51. David King Landrith on December 11, 2004 at 12:28 am

    In the preceding comment, I intended to say “Because I’m not quite so clueless as Nate…”