|Date of Birth:||May 21, 1981|
|Occupation:||Professor of Computer Science|
Scott Aaronson is an incelologist, former protocel, and award-winning American professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His main areas of research are computational complexity theory and quantum computing. In the incel communities, he is notable for being one of the few academics in the world to explicitly address the problem of involuntary celibacy, by writing at length about his previous involuntary singledom. His first article broaching the subject was subject to vituperation by feminists in the STEM industry. He advocates moving away from the word incel to love-shy, but acknowledges that anti-incels use the word incel to immorally tie those who see societal issues that cause incelibacy with violent extremists. He is married with children, and presumably has sex.
Writings on involuntary celibacy[edit | edit source]
Scott Aaronson has written about several aspects of involuntary celibacy.
My recurring fantasy, through this period, was to have been born a woman, or a gay man, or best of all, completely asexual, so that I could simply devote my life to math, like my hero Paul Erdös did. Anything, really, other than the curse of having been born a heterosexual male, which for me, meant being consumed by desires that one couldn’t act on or even admit without running the risk of becoming an objectifier or a stalker or a harasser or some other creature of the darkness.
Double standards[edit | edit source]
All this time, I faced constant reminders that the males who didn’t spend months reading and reflecting about feminism and their own shortcomings—even the ones who went to the opposite extreme, who engaged in what you called “good old-fashioned ass-grabbery”—actually had success that way. The same girls who I was terrified would pepper-spray me and call the police if I looked in their direction, often responded to the crudest advances of the most Neanderthal of men by accepting those advances. Yet it was I, the nerd, and not the Neanderthals, who needed to check his privilege and examine his hidden entitlement!
Society's abandonment of incel males[edit | edit source]
But let me draw your attention to one difference: the number of academics who study problems like the one I had is approximately zero. There are no task forces devoted to it, no campus rallies in support of the sufferers, no therapists or activists to tell you that you’re not alone or it isn’t your fault. There are only therapists and activists to deliver the opposite message: that you are alone and it is your privileged, entitled, male fault.
White nerds and Asian males[edit | edit source]
Still, on the merits, is there any relevant difference between the two cases beyond: “undesirability” of the disabled, fat, and trans should be critically examined and interrogated, because those people are objects of progressive sympathy; whereas “undesirability” of nerdy white and Asian males should be taken as a brute fact or even celebrated, because those people are objects of progressive contempt?
Inceldom causing suicide[edit | edit source]
Here’s the central point that I think Robin failed to understand: society, today, is not on board even with the minimal claim that the suicidal suffering of men left behind by the sexual revolution really exists—or, if it does, that it matters in the slightest or deserves any sympathy or acknowledgment whatsoever.
On moderate incels[edit | edit source]
And I think the answer is simply that no one ever hears from “moderate incels.” And the reason, in turn, becomes obvious the instant you think about it. Would you volunteer to march at the front of the Lifelong Celibacy Awareness Parade? Or to be identified by name as the Vice President of the League of Peaceful and Moderate Incels? Would you accept such a social death warrant? It takes an individual with extraordinary moral courage, such as Scott Alexander, even to write anything whatsoever about this issue that tries to understand or help the sufferers rather than condemn them. For this reason—i.e., purely, 100% a selection effect, nothing more—the only times the wider world ever hears anything about “incels” is when some despicable lunatic like Rodger or Minassian snaps and murders the innocent. You might call this the worst PR problem in the history of the world.
Media motte-and-bailey on incels[edit | edit source]
People of conscience will need to be extremely vigilant against motte-and-bailey tactics—wherein society’s opinion-makers will express their desire for all “incels” to be silenced or fired or removed from the gene pool or whatever, obviously having in mind all romantically frustrated male nerds (all of whom they despise), and will fall back when challenged (and only when challenged) on the defense that they only meant the violence-loving misogynists.
Evolutionary mismatches as cause of inceldom[edit | edit source]
As well it might—for in some sense, there was nothing “wrong” with me. In a different social context—for example, that of my great-grandparents in the shtetl—I would have gotten married at an early age and been completely fine.
This reveals the meaning of the name of his blog, "Shtetl-Optimized".