George Costanza and the Seven Contraxioms

George Costanza is somebody that many people can relate to. But who exactly is George Costanza? Well, to put it simply, he is Jerry Seinfeld‘s best friend on the Television sitcom Seinfeld. TV show characters are written in a way that makes them relatable to by almost every viewer, which would make it hard to pin a certain character as a specific stereotype. Also, not every geek fits perfectly into every geek stereotype. So I thought it would be fun to take George Costanza’s character and see where he would fit with the seven contraxioms covered in chapter 2 of The Geek Leader’s Handbook.

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First things first, we need to define “Contraxiom”, which is a matched pair of contrasting axioms that give rise to different worldviews.

The first contraxiom is Work. Technical people go into work with the mindset that they are solving problems through out the day. Non-technical people, however, head into work with a vision that needs to be achieved.

The second contraxiom is Future. Technical people don’t necessarily hate the future, but they do analyze every bit of risk and reward. Non-technical people typically don’t have a problem with fantastical futuristic thoughts.

The third contraxiom is Knowing. Technical people require analysis and proof in order to believe something to be true. Non-technical people are much more likely to “go with their gut.”

The fourth contraxiom is Language. Technical people use language to transmit information and facts. Non-technical people use language to communicate feelings and opinions.

The fifth contraxiom is Lying. Technical people view lying as a violation and feel that lying is actually more harmful that being told the ugly truth. Non-technical people view lying simply as bad manners, but sometimes the socially preferable action.

The sixth contraxiom is Good. Technical people view good in a black-and-white sort of way, which makes it very absolute. Non-technical people require context in order to decide what is good.

The seventh contraxiom is Desire. Technical people believe that decisions in the work place should be based on logic and facts. Non-technical people view desire as reason enough to make a decision because it shows emotion, and emotions are important for most non-technical people.

So how does George Costanza fit into all of this? George definitely does not lean to one side of technical vs non-technical for all seven contraxioms. However, due to typical character development during the nine season long series, it is difficult to peg George Costanza perfectly so. I believe that George leans towards the non- technical side for most of the contraxioms. He views work as a vision to that needs to be achieved, he frequently has fantastical futuristic thoughts, he communicates feelings and opinions, he has absolutely no problem lying, he views good as contextual, and he makes impulsive decisions based off of emotion. However, he does come across as a bit of a skeptic and he requires proof to believe certain things, which could also be caused by his habitual lying. George gets himself into a lot of predicaments due to the lies that he has told. I think that the fifth and sixth contraxiom go hand and hand. If someone is comfortable with lying, then they must also believe that “good” is contextual. George is also a very emotional person. He even dresses based on his mood.

 

In conclusion, not everybody fits perfectly with all seven leaning towards technical or all seven leaning towards non-technical. George Costanza is a perfect example of a person who could easily be labeled as a non-technical person, but he still has some technical aspects.

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