Understanding nerdy expectations

When you order some food you have a largely defined expectation. Imagine you order a pizza, and you are served a pancake topped with cicades– GROSS! — this reinterpretation of a pizza is probably not what you had in mind. However, there are still people who ‚dig it‘.
Not only with regards to food people have vastly different expectations, but also in nearly all other every day situations. Now and here I’d like to examine two perspectives onto the world that (to my delicate amusement) are mystic to each other: the hard-headed nerdyness and the norm-naive socialness. So please bear with me!
Imagine your company has some business guests coming over and a senior asks you to bring some peaches from the kitchen to the conference table. What are your expectations? Just stop reading for a second and think how you would go about…
I guess most of you would assume that the company wants to look organized and well off, such that you bring many good-looking peaches, at least one for every guest, better more. But a more nerdy or ‘physical world’ minded person, however, might just reduce the problem to its ‚physical‘ core, and estimate how many peaches would be eaten. Given that there are also doughnuts and bananas the number might be smaller than the number of guests present. This line of argument is very reasonable. Unfortunately, a discrepancy arises. The naive perspective would predict to bring overwhelming numbers, while the nerdy perspective would predict to bring possibly the correct amount.
For a business meeting, I recently asked someone to bring peaches to the conference room. I was very – very surprised to see that there were 3 peaches for 5 people. The three peaches were placed on a very big table. The visual impression being that they are to little to fill this plate. Further fueling my skepticism that three peaches would be enough. But okay, wow, why not, I went with the flow.
Two peaches were eaten quite quickly. For the longest time, it looked like indeed three peaches might be enough, as the last peach was for long hours sitting alone on its (too big) plate. One point for the ‘nerdy’ perspective. However, such a left-over peach could also be an ‘Anstandsrest’ (German for “leave a bite for miss manners”). If so, the left-over peach would not represent a good estimate of peach consumption, but an artifact of social norms. To make matters worse, the last peach was eaten in the end of the meeting. Did this reflect someone waiting for an opportunity to eat the last peach without a bad conscious, or just a superb peach consumption estimation?
I feel there is no right or wrong here and I hope this example helps you to better understand the perspective of others… but for now I am out of time — I will add more details, examples, or maybe even conclusions later.

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