Okay, so I am all for a thin veneer of give-a-damn painted over absolute apathy when it comes to greeting co-workers, people on the street, and random strangers I make eye contact with in an elevator. I get that we're not buds and we're both looking to be courteous, but not actually friendly.
"How are you?" is a question. It connotes an answer. If you ask me how I am, I will tell you. If I ask how you are, I'm interested in your answer and plan on waiting to hear your reply.
"How are you?" is not the same thing as hello, hi, howdy, hey, yo, or various other greetings that are simple acknowledgements of someone's presence. If you want to greet me, but not ask how I'm doing, use one of those. If you don't want to know how I am, don't ask.
Don't say "how are you" while passing me in the hallways at breakneck speed. It's fucking rude.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.