A friend recently used the phrase "cool friends" and I was instantly fascinated by what that meant. I've realised that coolness can be relative to your context. In high school, it seemed to clearly mean to me the people that had the most social esteem. But since then, there are other qualities like being confident and independent and indifferent to others opinions, to remain calm under pressure, to be your own person, to have interesting interests.
Am I cool? Some people tell me that, but they're deluded by my additional years of life. I think a bunch of friends are cool. My one friend is exacting and confident independent of people, and has keen interests and is a doctor. Another friend seems really cool, who runs with wolves and canoes and dances, and runs through the wilderness, and, well, is a wolf. Another friend is a philosopher and mines the depths of thought and feeling to interpret reality. I know a few open source developers who are exceedingly competent and fun and they're really cool. I know a hippy who left to travel India and live with poor people and that's super cool, too.
Coolness is weird. It's quite diverse to me now (though there's an obvious common thread) and it's based less on specific interests (OMG YOU SWING A REAL SWORD?!) and it's way less connected to social behaviour. I now have a ridiculous amount of 'friends' on campus, but that really doesn't make me cool. Several people on the list are pretty quiet and maybe a little awkward, but they're definitely cool.
I like how this concept changes between people, and goes beyond the social hierarchy found in public schools. It also isn't dedicated to trend-setting musicians or edge game consoles. I think to me it involves the amount of meaning I can perceive in someone's being, actions, etc. I have more thoughts, but now I sleep.