Michael Arrington has a problem: he hates shaking hands when meeting people. Why he should choose to air this on TechCrunch has baffled most commenters. What Arrington really hates is the idea of catching a disease off some sweaty palm. He frequently has to excuse himself and go to the nearest toilet to wash his hands. This sounds like he's morphing into Howard Hughes and he should see someone about this (without shaking hands).
However, he has tried to turn a personal obsessive-compulsive disorder into a mini-crusade against the whole cultural proclivity for shaking hands. His idea of promoting 'fist bumps' is puerile, potentially painful and still includes skin contact. He has even posted a second article claiming partial victory as one company claims to have held a board meeting without shaking hands - irritatingly they engaged in a round of... yes, fist bumps!
Thing is, not everyone in the world engages in hand-shaking as a form of greeting. Here in Thailand people 'wai' to each other; hands held together as if in prayer and with a slight nod of the head. If you're carrying something then the equivalent one-hand-clapping gesture is acceptable, and amongst friends often a simple nod is sufficient. In Japan people greet each other with a simple bow, although this can become exaggerated if there is a huge difference in social standing.
Anyway, the point is that hand-shaking is not universal. Should we dispense with it and accept a nod or a bow of recognition as sufficient greeting etiquette? Are there any other ways that humans greet each other?
As for Arrington, he could go down the politician's route of using Prevex hand-cream to form a protective chemical barrier against unwanted germs.