Anyone who frequents 4chan, 8chan, or the outskirts of Reddit has probably encountered the word ‘bugman’ or someone being called a bugman. Etymologically, it has nothing to do with entomology or humanoid-bug mutants, but in the context of online discussion seems to be interchangeable with a much more common and well-known word, ‘normie’. Normie, bugman, and bugmen are pejorative labels to describe someone who is either culturally unsophisticated or oblivious to news and important events. But, still, they are hard to define, but understood to be negative. Calling someone a normie or a bugman is a polite or use of coded language of saying they are dull, too-socially well adjusted, slow, or a johnny-come-lately.
It’s easy to give examples of people who are NOT normies or bugmen:
Moldbug (def. not a normie)
…any mathematician, theoretical physicist (a high-IQ person)
The common thread in these examples is high IQ. So it would seem that the opposite of a normie or a bugman is a high-IQ person. A possible exception to this IQ rule would be a really boring, totally non-woke accountant or a really boring lawyer. But Donald Trump likely does not have a genius IQ, but he’s not a normie or a bugman. Same for Roger Stone, who likely does not have a genius-level IQ but its not a bugman. So maybe we can add an additional rule: having a lot of personal wealth, as well idiosyncrasies. An interesting observation is, someone who is a career lawyer or accountant, who spends too much time in the office, could be considered a normie or a bugman, but a physicist or mathematician who spends an equal amount of time in a university is not, possibly because the pursuit of intellectual purity and rigor are not ‘bug’ virtues, but being an avaricious legal or corporate cog are.
Some possible characteristics of normies and bugmen (but these are also characteristics of low-information discourse):
–seek confirmation of their views; non-normies seek challenge and are more receptive to dissent
–seek mainstream news sources; non-normies read esoteric blogs and old books
–discussions revolve around ‘water cooler’ topics such as sports, celebrity gossip, and mainstream politics; non-normies talk about physics, economics (such as the ‘great debate’ online about basic income, wealth inequality, automation, etc), philosophy, political science, and non-mainstream politics, etc.
–they tend to gravitate to a reductionist good vs. evil dichotomy; non-normies go ‘beyond good and evil’
–prefer directness and concreteness in discourse and logical processes; non-normies are more circuitous and indirect
–activist-minded; seek to change the world from the outside-in; non-normies prefer the change from the inside-out.
–tendency to moralize; non-normies believe that morals have situational and subjective elements to them; non-normies are less ‘preachy’
–miss the ‘point’ unless it is spelled out directly, cannot read between the lines well; non-normies (due to high IQ) excel at making inferences
–tend to state the obvious and preach to the choir; non-normies, again, want their views challenged. This is possibly the most important distinction.
–late adopters; non-normies are on the vanguard
–‘boomer mindset’ (I dunno what this means exactly, but boomers seem to be the scourge of non-normies. Maybe it means being too reductionist and too-mainstream ‘right’ or ‘left’, too mentally inflexible, too oblivious to the problems facing young people, too obsessed with consumerism.)
–general ignorance (they don’t have much knowledge of anything, beyond the superficial), no college degree or they majored in a ‘useless subject’; non-normies know a lot about political science, economics, history, HBD & biology, math, etc. They have either a broad repertoire of knowledge or are specialists in an academically-rigorous field (such as physics, computer science, literature, history, etc.)
–no shared narratives or experiences (they cannot relate to the experiences and value systems of high-IQ people); non-normies have shared narratives, intellectualism culture
Normie and bugmen careers:
–low-paying service sector
–someone who majors in a non-academically rigorous subject or does not complete college
–someone involved in an academically-rigorous subject such as math, economics, literature, history, physics, etc.
–someone who is a member of the ‘creative class’ such as authors and playwrights
–perhaps STEM workers (due to IQ)
–high-IQ entrepreneurs (such as Jordan Peterson)
–people with weird or esoteric views (tumblr culture, ‘weird’ twitter, 4chan culture, etc.)
–people who are, generally, really smart and are experts at specific, technical domains
If this applies to you, do not despair. By virtue of the bell curve, most people are normal. Being normal is good. When you go to the doctor to have tests done, you want the results to be normal. You want your car to run normally. Society needs normal people to function. A world of only Nick Lands may be an interesting place but likely dysfunctional. Non-normies may be prone to neuroticism and anxiety, as a recent viral essay by Scott Aaronson shows, in which he describes the mental anguish and trauma of being stopped by airport security for allegedly stealing something. A normie would have likely remained cool under such a situation and not panicked. Non-normies may have a tendency to rationalize the worst possible scenarios for any situation, whereas a normie is unable or chooses not to make such mental leaps. Normies are the necessary ‘foot soldiers’ for any political/ideological movement or cause. They are typically good at getting stuff done, whereas non-normies may raise unnecessary objections and may have a tendency of in-fighting.