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Old 03-11-2019, 06:30 PM
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Nerds are Smothering American Culture!!


For those of us who like Superhero movies too much:

Quote:
...a crucial general point about nerds: they are not happy people. There were good reasons why there was a stigma around being a nerd; those who loved stories about dragons and superheroes into adulthood tended to be nebbish, poorly-tailored and sexually inadequate. They needed to escape into fantasy worlds because the real world was brutal, cruel and completely uninterested in playing tabletop wargames.
https://spectator.us/nerds-american-culture/

"It is a morbid sign for a democracy when the electorate chooses superheroes to do its bidding, rather than politicians"

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The nerds have taken over Hollywood, America and the world. It wasnt just superheroes either. Zombies, androids, vampires, wizards, aliens, werewolves, intergalactic sagas, Lego, H.P. Lovecraft, Tolkien, board games based on TV shows though these things were never unpopular per se, they always belonged to children, or to people at the lonelier fringes of the culture. Now they are the culture.
Will Lloyd is clearly not of the Body. He must be Absorbed.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:36 PM
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Nerds are Smothering American Culture!!
Well, we're trying. A bigger pillow and a steadier hand would help, but I think if we act positively we can get there in no time at all!

Last edited by Tamerlane; 03-11-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:40 PM
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:57 PM
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The wholesale nerdification of America began when the certainties and comforts of the 1990s gave way to the pessimism and paranoia of the post-9/11 world.
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The bleak worldview of the traditional nerd quietly seething, victimized, powerless, friendless, obsessed and solaced by trivia, disenchanted with the authorities and institutions that fail to protect them from predatory bullies has become the worldview of many Americans.
How old is this guy? "Pessimism and paranoia" have been around for decades. "Disenchantment with authorities and institutions" has been around since the Revolution.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:59 PM
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I'll take a WAG that fantasy football, pro wrestling fandom, and obsession with baseball statistics don't count as the same kind of sad nerd culture to this writer.

(And if nerds weren't happy people at school it might have had something to do with certain sociopathic effers who felt that the nerd's activities were worthless.)
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:35 PM
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..a crucial general point about nerds: they are not happy people. There were good reasons why there was a stigma around being a nerd; those who loved stories about dragons and superheroes into adulthood tended to be nebbish, poorly-tailored and sexually inadequate. They needed to escape into fantasy worlds because the real world was brutal, cruel and completely uninterested in playing tabletop wargames.
I resent that. Ive been told Im adequate.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:49 PM
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...a crucial general point about nerds: they are not happy people.
Historically in the US, the only happy people have been evil people. The bullies, the bigots, the thugs, the fanatics, the rapists, the slaveowners, the plutocrats. So I'll take that as a compliment.

And what's actually "smothering" American culture is copyright law, as it's rendered the great majority of it inaccessible as it falls into a legally mandated memory hole and vanishes. If you don't like modern culture and wish you could see something else, the reason you can't is because most things not recently published have been crushed under the steamroller of copyright and effectively erased. Not "nerds".
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:54 PM
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Clearly he's totally off base. I'm nebbish, poorly-tailored and sexually inadequate and I don't care about stories about dragons and superheroes.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:59 PM
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I'll take a WAG that fantasy football, pro wrestling fandom, and obsession with baseball statistics don't count as the same kind of sad nerd culture to this writer.
Heck, throw in NASCAR fandom. I'm unclear why fictional victories (i.e. of a superhero over a villain) are "smothering" while meaningless victories (i.e. of a sports-ball team over another) are somehow... not.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:03 PM
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I'll take a WAG that fantasy football, pro wrestling fandom, and obsession with baseball statistics don't count as the same kind of sad nerd culture to this writer.

(And if nerds weren't happy people at school it might have had something to do with certain sociopathic effers who felt that the nerd's activities were worthless.)
Hear, hear! Well spoken, Bruce!
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:11 PM
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Heck, throw in NASCAR fandom. I'm unclear why fictional victories (i.e. of a superhero over a villain) are "smothering" while meaningless victories (i.e. of a sports-ball team over another) are somehow... not.
It's the same principle as how rock and roll leads to Satanism & drugs, but country music is beyond reproach; it's all about who listens to it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:29 PM
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How old is this guy? "Pessimism and paranoia" have been around for decades. "Disenchantment with authorities and institutions" has been around since the Revolution.
I guess it's only OK when counter-culture types do it. Man.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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Clearly he's totally off base. I'm nebbish, poorly-tailored and sexually inadequate and I don't care about stories about dragons and superheroes.
And I care intensely about dragons and superheroes, and I'm a goddamned sexual dynamo.

Still nebbish and poorly dressed, though.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:11 PM
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this is pretty much the bill maher argument just more broadly applied .......
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:20 PM
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Jocks play sports. Old jocks watch young jocks play sports.

Nerds create. Old nerds still create while helping young nerds create.

Of course nerds dominate American culture.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:17 PM
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Obama, with typical glibness, had forgotten a crucial general point about nerds: they are not happy people.
None of the guys I pushed into the mud or threw their books in the creek laughed even once!
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:23 PM
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Historically in the US, the only happy people have been evil people.
Huh, go figure, as your contributions here strike me as coming from a happy, well-adjusted, balanced person, doubtless with a wealth of close, supportive friends and a thriving, fulfilling professional career and personal life.

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 03-11-2019 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:26 PM
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I thought the "nerds" could still be serious scholars, whereas the "geeks" are the ones obsessed with cars, video games, comics, or anything not sufficiently mainstream or important.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:13 AM
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How old is this guy? "Pessimism and paranoia" have been around for decades. "Disenchantment with authorities and institutions" has been around since the Revolution.
Aren't those among the biggest factors in "people moving from the UK to what would eventually become the US", as well? Did the people who invented the stories of St George and the Dragon, or of the Dragon of Aralar, play tabletop games?
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:14 AM
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Nerds are not happy people? I rarely see Bill Gates without a huge smile.

Professional journalists, now those are some unhappy people. And no wonder, with nerds making more of them redundant!
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:32 AM
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Yes, Will, power fantasies are the domain of castrated nerds for sure. Non-nerdy heroes slash sexual tyranosauruses like Dirty Harry or John McClane were political heroes who fostered trust in institutions rather than the power fantasies of jocks. Zero red scare, either. And the government damn sure is heroic in Rambo !



Fuck's sake, you're not even wrong, old man.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:02 AM
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Yeah, the Mission Impossible Franchise, James Bond or Bourne are sure all pro-Government... Hero Worship is not exactly a new phenomenon, neither world-wide nor specifically in the US. I mean, most of the Old West myth is build upon the Lone Hero Trope.
I do admit that the rise of social media has made elections even more of a personality contest that it has been before, and larger than life candidates and disruptive Messages capture the attention of the population easier than well thought out Arguments.
Obama mentioned during one of his interviews that the only thing he regrets about his using social media for his campaign was that they didn't think far enough of the power and ramifications of this new way of campaigning. But that is a Problem inherent in all Major new technologies - you cannot rely on People using it only for good or in the way you intended them to use it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:22 AM
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"Nerd" fandom (however it's defined) is not a fraction as harmful to culture as sports fandom, at long as sports fandom keeps getting cities to pay for stadiums they can't afford and goes on destructive riots when their team wins.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:52 AM
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Huh, go figure, as your contributions here strike me as coming from a happy, well-adjusted, balanced person, doubtless with a wealth of close, supportive friends and a thriving, fulfilling professional career and personal life.
Personal insults are still personal insults, even if they're phrased sarcastically. This is an official Warning for use of personal insults.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:02 AM
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Brought to you from the same guy who advertised for taking up smoking instead of meditation:

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Originally Posted by Will Lloyd
Seventy years ago a man in his position wouldnt need to parachute into another country and sit on a hard wooden floor in silence in order to chill out. He would have smoked 40 or 50 or 60 cigarettes a day instead. Sure, he would have ended up dying earlier, but the effects of nicotine regular hits of dopamine, raised alertness, speedy reaction times and powerful anti-anxiety and antidepressant qualities would have given him everything he gets from meditation and more.
I mean, you gotta admire the troll game if nothing else.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:59 AM
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It's a phase. I'm happy to be out of the war-mongering, football-obsessed, car culture we were in when I was a kid. Not that those have gone away, they just no longer dominate in the same way. In 50 years there will be an equilibrium.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:17 AM
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As a life long nerd and geek I say YAY! NERD POWER!!! Our culture for the WIN! PWN!
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:33 AM
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I'll take a WAG that fantasy football, pro wrestling fandom, and obsession with baseball statistics don't count as the same kind of sad nerd culture to this writer.


As usual, the Onion to the rescue:

https://sports.theonion.com/walking-...ase-1819566197
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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I think the author is not really looking deep enough. I mean, look at Batman and James Bond. They're both mortal men who use a bunch of high tech gadgetry and cool cars to take on supervillains. Only difference is one wears a tuxedo, and the other wears a cowl. Yet James Bond is considered an icon of cool, not a representative of a genre only considered suitable for children.

And as others have pointed out, there's precious little difference between being a fantasy sports player and playing other games based on fantasy. At least with the other games, they're honest about the fantastic part, and not trying to cloak it in whatever respectability professional sports has.

I also think the rise of "nerdy" stuff is a sign of a set of cultural shifts- the Internet connecting people who do actually like this stuff, but were afraid to speak out and people having children later, and having the time and money to indulge in this stuff. I suspect a lot more people have liked this stuff all along, but just never really had a way to connect with anyone else who did.

Hell, just look at the box office success of prior superhero movies for proof- the 1978 Superman and 1989 Batman movies cleaned house and spawned several sequels each. The main thing is that the Marvel universe was essentially unexplored in cinema until the 21st century. (think about how many Superman and Batman films, TV shows and what-not there have been over the years?)

As for the having kids later, most people really get into their nerdy fandoms in their 20s, and if you were having kids and becoming parents in your early 20s, people probably just didn't have time for it back in the day. I know that even having had children in my 30s, my videogaming, nerdy movie watching and general engagement with the nerdy universe is a LOT lower than it had been prior to children. I suspect that if it had happened right when I got out of college or even before, I'd have had to build that anew as an adult, and in the face of whatever competing leisure activities I'd got used to in the intervening decade while raising the kids.

It's not a competition with sports fans, and I don't think it's really that it's a matter of jocks vs. nerds. It's more that the nerds were always there, but due to inadequate communication and other societal factors, they weren't able to effectively concentrate themselves and make their presence and desires known.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:44 PM
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Of course nerds are ruining American culture. Sports requires an actual person to perform actual feats of athleticism. Back in the day, people got rich building massive structures and contraptions out of steel that could get them killed if they did it wrong. You worked your way up the ladder as you gained skills, knowledge and experience. If people said half the shit they post on Twitter or Facebook to someone's face, they'd catch a fist. There was a time people didn't go to work dressed like a 15 year old. You actually had to walk up to a woman and ask her out instead of using an app. And sometimes you didn't have a way of summoning a car to take you home afterwards!


Nerds have taken attributes like strength, courage, charisma, leadership, sex appeal and handshakeitude and projected them onto the various subjects of their fantasy culture. Largely because they do not possess these traits themselves. Instead, they possess a nerdly cunning, honed from years of celibacy, hiding behind screens trying to figure out ways to "hack" or "disrupt" their way through life.

I mean, what do you think would happen if you consistently took the most disliked kids in school and gave them a billion dollars?
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:50 PM
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That's right! And I'm going to keep smothering American culture, too! HAHAHA!
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:05 PM
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A lot of people who people might call nerds are, in fact, geeks. Myself, I am not a nerd. I am a geek. "Geek" originated as a term for people who go around with carnivals and swallow small bits of glass and nails. This usage has broadened over the years to include anybody with a skill that other people don't possess, and aren't interested in learning for themselves. Programmers are geeks mostly and I imagine accountants and car mechanics are probably too. Plus it's still true we have to swallow a lot of crap.

Last edited by pmwgreen; 03-12-2019 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:06 PM
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A lot of people who people might call nerds are, in fact, geeks. Myself, I am not a nerd. I am a geek. "Geek" originated as a term for people who go around with carnivals and swallow small bits of glass and nails. This usage has broadened over the years to include anybody with a skill that other people don't possess, and aren't interested in learning for themselves. Programmers are geeks mostly and I imagine accountants and car mechanics are probably too. Plus it's still true we have to swallow a lot of crap.
I've always felt that the distinction between "nerd" and "geek" is that nerds possess specialized, esoteric knowledge that's actually useful. If you can write your own OS in Unix, you're a nerd. If you can name every guest star who ever appeared on any iteration of Star Trek, you're a geek.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:20 AM
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I mean, what do you think would happen if you consistently took the most disliked kids in school and gave them a billion dollars?
Bill Gates? Steve Jobs?

Last edited by Broomstick; 03-13-2019 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:36 AM
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I've always felt that the distinction between "nerd" and "geek" is that nerds possess specialized, esoteric knowledge that's actually useful. If you can write your own OS in Unix, you're a nerd. If you can name every guest star who ever appeared on any iteration of Star Trek, you're a geek.
I think as the English language stands today, the distinction is that while a geek can be specialized, a nerd is the whole package. In other words, you can be a well-adjusted, socially adept person and still be, say, a Tolkien geek... but if you're a nerd, you're a nerd.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:56 AM
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I don't know about America, but I was never bullied or even made fun of for nerdy pursuits in high school. Being into comics, Tolkien, computers and science were not social blockers where I grew up. Hell, it was a sporty kid who introduced me to Pratchett...
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:09 AM
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I think as the English language stands today, the distinction is that while a geek can be specialized, a nerd is the whole package. In other words, you can be a well-adjusted, socially adept person and still be, say, a Tolkien geek... but if you're a nerd, you're a nerd.
Yep, that's how I always understood it. Someone like a Joe Mangianello can be a total D&D geek, but not be a nerd in the least bit. Geekery is more about passion in a specialized field- there are woodworking geeks, auto mechanic geeks (gearheads), baking geeks, etc... and it's not a... state of being like nerdiness is. And someone can be a nerd and not even be a geek.

Nerdiness is more about being socially awkward, and unconcerned/unaware of how they don't fit into "normal" life. Generally this takes the form of being an academic type whose interests are not mainstream, and who just doesn't care, or has no idea that they aren't in the mainstream.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:23 AM
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I view it as the reverse, and self-identify as a nerd but not a geek. That said, I understand that others use the terms differently, and take no offense at being called a geek.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:34 AM
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Yep, that's how I always understood it. Someone like a Joe Mangianello can be a total D&D geek, but not be a nerd in the least bit. Geekery is more about passion in a specialized field- there are woodworking geeks, auto mechanic geeks (gearheads), baking geeks, etc... and it's not a... state of being like nerdiness is. And someone can be a nerd and not even be a geek.

Nerdiness is more about being socially awkward, and unconcerned/unaware of how they don't fit into "normal" life. Generally this takes the form of being an academic type whose interests are not mainstream, and who just doesn't care, or has no idea that they aren't in the mainstream.
I agree with this. Today "geek" just implies being a fanatic about some subject and having specialized knowledge. You can be a geek and still be (mostly) cool.

Being a nerd originally just indicated someone who was uncool and a social misfit. Today it has gained the implication that someone is also smart, but the main criterion is being unhip.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:29 AM
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[Tim Allen stand-up voice]

Yeah, nerds are sick, maladjusted, sad individuals.

Too bad we own the world! Hahahahaha! AHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAH!

[/]

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Old 03-13-2019, 10:44 AM
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...a crucial general point about nerds: they are not happy people. There were good reasons why there was a stigma around being a nerd; those who loved stories about dragons and superheroes into adulthood tended to be nebbish, poorly-tailored and sexually inadequate.
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I resent that. Ive been told Im adequate.
Well clearly the original quote got it wrong, He should have added 'gullible' as well.

  #42  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:49 PM
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Bill Gates? Steve Jobs?
One created a monopoly on shitty software.
The other was a pretentious asshole who created pretentious mobile devices for assholes.

Let's not forget Mark Zuckerberg who invented a way for every annoying person from high school to annoy you forever.

Travis Kalanick created an unprofitable ride-share company known for its creepy rape-culture. Probably from an idea he had one time driving around looking for women to be creepy with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble
I don't know about America, but I was never bullied or even made fun of for nerdy pursuits in high school. Being into comics, Tolkien, computers and science were not social blockers where I grew up. Hell, it was a sporty kid who introduced me to Pratchett...
Yeah, it's not really as cut and dried as they portray it on TV and movies. At least not at my elementary/middle/high school. I was friends/neighbors with these two brothers growing up who were huge into "nerd culture" stuff. Even by 1980s standards. Role playing games, videogames, computers, toy collections, prog rock, Heavy Metal (music and magazine), anime, the biggest comic book collection I've ever seen. But they were also into varsity sports like hockey, football, and track & field.

The older brother was pretty well liked. The younger one, not as much. But that was because he tended to act a little weird and jerky. In contrast, the older brother was just this really nice big guy.

Anyhow, the point is I don't think people like or dislike people because of their interests. At least, not beyond those interests serving as a sort of shared connection.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:10 PM
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Nerds are smart guys to programs computers and build robots
Geeks are people who are way too into one thing like comics or games
Dorks are the ones with no social skills

You can mix and match from the three categories. A geek is way into movies but a Geek/Dork is going to bore you with talking about the movies and missing the social cues that no one gives a rat's ass.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:11 PM
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[Tim Allen stand-up voice]

Yeah, nerds are sick, maladjusted, sad individuals.

Too bad we own the world! Hahahahaha! AHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAH!

[/]

Until a bully comes along and takes it from you.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:26 PM
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Zombies, androids, vampires, wizards, aliens, werewolves, intergalactic sagas, Lego, H.P. Lovecraft, Tolkien, board games based on TV shows – though these things were never unpopular per se, they always belonged to children, or to people at the lonelier fringes of the culture. Now they are the culture.
I think a big difference between a few decades ago and now is the quality of the product. I watched cartoons and read comic books as a kid. I pretty much stopped as a teenager because I lost interest. But I'm now back to doing both because the current-day product is so much better. But if I go and look at a cartoon or comic book that's supposed to be a classic, I find I don't have any more interest than I did as a teenager.
  #46  
Old 03-13-2019, 01:47 PM
hopesperson is offline
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Betty: Oh, you were wonderful. Are all nerds as good as you?
Lewis: Yes.
Betty: How come?
Lewis: 'Cause all jocks ever think about is sports, all we ever think about is sex.
  #47  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:02 PM
Dr_Paprika is offline
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The Internet has greatly magnified the tendency, which has always existed, for like-minded individuals to bloviate about their interests.

So what if sports or superheroes are hugely popular. American culture is a pretty big and broad piece of tapestry. There may be a lot of superhero movies or books about zombies, but it’s not like other topics get ignored. I am old enough to find the differentiation between geeks and nerds self-serving. I never felt persecuted for liking Tolkien, trigonometry or They Might Be Giants at a time when geekdom could have consequences. Of course, I played some sports tolerably well and had as many friends as I wanted. Other parts of geekdom such as superheroes held little interest to me. I liked Star Wars and Shatner enough, but not to the point of obsession or even thinking the later efforts were very good.

“The mythical angry nerd” exists in the sense of being intolerant to the opinions of others. Maybe even thinking the last Star Wars movies were incredibly brilliant. People in general seem somewhat angrier than in the past as anonymous trolling and politicians and media folks pushing the limits have eroded some degree of politeness or mutual respect or common sense of humanity. It’s not all about you. Or Ironman. Or the zombie apocalypse.
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  #48  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:05 PM
bump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
I agree with this. Today "geek" just implies being a fanatic about some subject and having specialized knowledge. You can be a geek and still be (mostly) cool.

Being a nerd originally just indicated someone who was uncool and a social misfit. Today it has gained the implication that someone is also smart, but the main criterion is being unhip.
After thinking back about it a little more, I started wondering how dorks and spazzes fit into all this...
  #49  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:04 PM
Royal Nonesutch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopesperson View Post
Betty: Oh, you were wonderful. Are all nerds as good as you?
Lewis: Yes.
Betty: How come?
Lewis: 'Cause all jocks ever think about is sports, all we ever think about is sex.
That quote is from a scene in a hateful, vile, depraved and bigoted movie ("Revenge Of The Nerds") that glamourizes, trivializes and positively celebrates rape by deception.
---------------------------------
"She's not that kind of girl, Booger."

"Why, does she have a penis?"

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 03-13-2019 at 04:05 PM.
  #50  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:12 PM
msmith537 is offline
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So here's a question - what's the deal with the stereotypical "Silicon Valley tech startup office culture"? I have a phone interview tomorrow with an analytics company and to prepare, they asked me to watch a couple videos about their office. It was the typical mix of goofy 20-somethings dressed like slobs in T-shirts with the foosball tables and beer in the office and all of them jammed together surrounded by white boards covered in Post-it notes (Kanban I presume).

Like why does every company that deal with computers or data adopt that style? Like they are trying to ease everyone into the working world by making their office look like the weird "quiet dorm" in college that all the frat guys used to throw eggs at. Other industries have smart people. They don't dress like that.
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