How to Think Like a Genius 25-Men
How to Think Like a Genius 25-Men
December 15, 2017
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: It is effortful rather than automatic. Let’s talk about the history of nerds. We have images of the history of nerds being the history of men, for instance.
Rick Rosner: In the 1960s and 70s, it will still really bad to be a nerd, which I would guess that the terribleness was being particularly sharp in America because America prides itself on being a very rugged country. If there’s a whiff of effeteness, somebody beat the nerd up in nerdness. I mean, when I grew up, bullying was thought of as good, as something that would toughen kids up, and America is not one of those snotty, snobby, effete, European countries, at least in the 60s and 70s, where somebody might stop some kid from being bullied.
We took pride in our bullying. And then, computers happened, and nerds actually changed the world. Probably, more than at any other time in history. Nerds changed the world because the Industrial Revolution and subsequent industrial changes weren’t necessarily done by nerds or spearheaded by nerds. They were spearheaded by industrialists who hired smart people to do their bidding, but Microsoft and Apple and a zillion other soft and hardware companies were spearheaded by socially awkward geniusey geeks.
And that changed the impression people have of nerds. Plus, social media means that awkward people or people who are awkward in public were in school to reach out to other people via social media, and it doesn’t matter how awkward you are in person over social media. And you can build your own communities of people with similar interests. I mean, in the 80s, I used to go to science fiction conventions hoping to meet a rare nerdy girl because I figured if she were at the convention, then that’s half the battle, but there were any girls at the convention.
There were very few. Those that were there were swarmed desperate nerdy guys. Now, however, the whole culture has shifted and San Diego Comic Con pulls over a 100,000 people. i don’t know. It becomes a whole other city of nerds for a week. It’s not a sad thing. it is people who are perfectly content with their interests being what they are.
And you have nerdy people hooking up with each other and having — I get so annoyed when I see like two chubby people wearing chunky glasses and they’re a couple and nobody is making them feel bad or whatever, and it’s like where was this shit when I was a nerd and glasses were a mark of shame. This system where nerds are not persecuted and are free to live lives like other people is just a better system. it reflects the future. It is not like there’s going to be a crackdown on nerds in the future.
Life was continuing to expand to include smart eccentric people pursuing their weird interests and will embrace them. Where dumb jock culture that I grew up under didn’t — even back then they knew it wasn’t good for them. the stereotype was that the jocks would grow up to losers and the nerds would grow up to be rich and get pretty wives.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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Originally published at medium.com on December 15, 2017.