Decade of the Nerd

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Beautifully written. Games and gadgets are part of daily life now, and seeing someone walking around with a laptop is now actually a status symbol of sorts.

Being a "nerd" is just as dumb/pretentious/self-indulgent as being a "jock" or "goth" or "car buff" or whatever other sub-category you try to fit yourself in on the totem pole of life. Nerds, more often than not, weren't liked because of either A) Bad hygiene - B) Social awkwardness - C) Were stuck up or a psuedo-intellectual snob - or D) They were into different things than most everyone else. A), B) and C) are irritating or unsightly no matter WHO or WHAT you are, and D) is of course not a very good reason in itself to hate on someone else. But as we all know, and are currently seeing, more and more people are getting in on hobbies once only associated to "nerd-kind".

Honestly, it's really just as bad as every other sub-culture - in which the people that make it up are practically defined by their little trinkets and hobbies, or at least let themselves be completely defined by those things.

I never got made fun of during my childhood for playing video games, or watching Star Wars, or beeing seen with my almost full-force "Trekky" father (whom of which I still love of course). I was made fun of in school and throughout for the same reasons as most everyone else. I either smelled bad, was badly dressed, was not good looking or popular enough, did not handle a social situation all that well, etc, etc.

I hope it doesn't stick it hasn't helped me out at all it only gets me into awkward situations not being able to tell a nerd from a regular guy sometimes

The Rogue Wolf:
True nerds have never wanted to be accepted. They want mainstream culture to agree with their own self-assessment- "We're smarter than you, we know what's really good, and you'll never 'get' us unless you watch every episode and read every comic book we have until you can keep up with all our self-congratulatory trivia games". Nerds want the same ego-feeding that jocks have been getting for the last forty years.

What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world...and have no one to spit upon?

The Rogue Wolf:

lodo_bear:
This post has gone on far too long, so let me wrap it up with a toast. To 2010; may the stewards of this decade succeed where we failed, and finally teach humanity how to think.

Yeah, good luck with that. Nine years of employment in the retail sector have shown me that the vast majority of people will go to extraordinary lengths to AVOID thinking.

Alas, your words burn with the powerful acidity of truth. Oh well. We can keep on hoping and trying, can't we?

[quote="gim73" post="6.164672.4331026"]Our hard drive has a 1 Gb porn folder and a 200 Gb Anime folder, and most of that porn is anime anyways. quote]

When I read this I came to two conclusions (correct me if I am wrong):

1. 200 gb of anime says you are a casual anime fan, as in, it has never been your prime hobby.

2. 1 gb of porn, primarily hentai, says you either haven't found a good torrent site, or are not that interested in porn.

this is a really great article thats kind of made me think about modern culture, but I keep asking myself, is this a good thing?
I suppose it means that the majority of everyone else is alot more tollerant of geek culture, which is a good thing. But I cant help but feel that its only because we have some shiney tech. Maybe we just got the magpie of modern culture on our side because we had the shiniest stuff.
The obvious counter point is, "Can anyone realy beat nerds on shiney stuff?"
What tops the IPhone, the Blackberry or the latest laptop for shineyness?
I guess we could have another decade of nerdyness on our hands here...

Or, we could stop attempting to categorize every person into inane "cultures" with labels such as "nerd" that do nothing but create imaginary divisions between otherwise similar people.

The idea that a person who plays on a xbox is automatically and indisputably different from one who plays with a football is idiotic.

But hey, fuck trying to become "different" and therefore "better" through modern, legitimate means such as actually becoming more intelligent, knowledgeable, and understanding, I'm going to say I'm better than everyone else because I randomly liked some obscure television show a month and 13 days before everyone else did.

Face it, your "culture" is no less ridiculous than any others.

The upside: we're not trashed on anymore. The downside: we lose our subculture. But even as our culture is bled into the average happenstances, there are still those of us to whom the moniker still matters. A Nerd among Nerds. They have taken our culture and made it their own, but they still need us to fuel their movies, their games, their books, their memes. Vampires were ours. Giant Robots were ours. Space marines were ours, as were the aliens they fought against. Sure, they can share them. But they will always want more, and we will supply. They want epic stories about superhero vigilantes demolishing their demented baddies? Oh yeah. We've got that in droves. They want Johnny Depp to be a pirate, a mad barber, a demented haberdasher with a fondness of trading places? Guess who had those. They want exciting treasure finds set in historical artifacts and locations of the National Treasure/Nathan Drake variety? Yeah. They can borrow those. But we know, and we keep watching, and we'll be your suppliers. We are the nerds, and we know what you want. But we remember the old days, and soon, sooner than you know, we will return the favor. We don't forget.

Very nicely written! Though I can't say that no one saw our subculture disappearing and turning into just normal everyday stuff coming.

Hmmm, it's a bit touchy but I tend to see things like this:

The most recent golden age of nerd-dom was in the mid-late 1990s where for a while you had a ton of good science fiction and fantasy stuff out there all at the same time. I'd have to check some of the dates but this is pretty much when we had "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", a successful spin off in "Angel", "The X-Files", "Andromeda", "Lexx", "Farscape", and others accross a range of generes all on TV at once accross networks including the Sci-Fi network which was becoming big.

Right around when the network fights with Joss Whedon brought down The Buffyverse, things slowly started to change. I remember reading articles in Sci-Fi magazine (I believe) about how we had just seen a big era of good science fiction and fantasy programming, and going by trends we probably wouldn't see a new cycle for a while.

The mid-late 2000s seems to be mostly an attempt to exploit nerd-mania more than really embrace the culture. To an extent I agree with Bob that nerd-dom was looked down on more even in the late 1990s *BUT* at the same token the lack of mainstream interest is what kept it relatively pure. Right now it seems we're seeing an increasing amount of derivitive "by the numbers" stuff exploiting the path paved by the original successes. For all of it's independant identity, I still can't help but see shows like "Fringe" for example as being attempts to recapture the success of other shows like "The X Files".

Oh sure there is ALWAYS going to be original stuff, even in true dry spots, but even so I think right now that while there is some truth to "everyone is a bit of a nerd" now, it's also a result of a loss of quality and networks catering specifically for that demographic.

I think right now we're seeing a level of exploitation that can only end badly, and will lead to a disenfranchised mainstream turning against this kind of stuff again for another dry spot.

Time will of course tell if I am correct, but basically over the last couple of years I don't think stuff has had the right kind of energy. When I can look back at an increasingly dated show like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" for example and feel that it's superior to a lot of what we're seeing now among the new shows... well I feel that's not a good sign.

The Rogue Wolf:

Yeah, good luck with that. Nine years of employment in the retail sector have shown me that the vast majority of people will go to extraordinary lengths to AVOID thinking.

Aw, you were doing so well with all the "yeah, nerds are self-entitled jerks who tell themselves they're better than anyone else for the ego trip" and then you go and end it with this.

I'm always baffled by people who think everybody but them is dead inside. Surely that's... statistically unlikely?

Noelveiga:

The Rogue Wolf:

Yeah, good luck with that. Nine years of employment in the retail sector have shown me that the vast majority of people will go to extraordinary lengths to AVOID thinking.

Aw, you were doing so well with all the "yeah, nerds are self-entitled jerks who tell themselves they're better than anyone else for the ego trip" and then you go and end it with this.

I'm always baffled by people who think everybody but them is dead inside. Surely that's... statistically unlikely?

I worked retail for a little over a year (how the hell did you manage 9!) and he speaks the truth. I think people get stupid before they pay for products. I have seen the same people later on and they have intelligence it just seems to stop the minute the total is calculated.

Fredrick2003:

Noelveiga:

The Rogue Wolf:

Yeah, good luck with that. Nine years of employment in the retail sector have shown me that the vast majority of people will go to extraordinary lengths to AVOID thinking.

Aw, you were doing so well with all the "yeah, nerds are self-entitled jerks who tell themselves they're better than anyone else for the ego trip" and then you go and end it with this.

I'm always baffled by people who think everybody but them is dead inside. Surely that's... statistically unlikely?

I worked retail for a little over a year (how the hell did you manage 9!) and he speaks the truth. I think people get stupid before they pay for products. I have seen the same people later on and they have intelligence it just seems to stop the minute the total is calculated.

I worked retail for a year as well and trust me, I saw everything from drunk people asking for advice on cheap porn to stinky clients causing compaints from others to shoplifting and, possibly my favourite, giving advice on gift-wrapping over my shoulder.

I never did yell or get openly angry at anybody. I am proud to say that, unlike many, it didn't make me lose faith in the human race.

gim73:
Silly bob, this is not the end of nerds. Other people might start dabbling with our hobbies, but that does not make us less nerdy. They might buy the Warhammer 40k box set and fight us with the set that comes in it, but that doesn't change that we bought each of our pieces of our army seperately and painted them with painstaking detail. They might own Wii sports and Karaoke revolution, but that doesn't change the fact that we still play A Link to the Past on the SNES and have a closet full of old video game systems. Kids like to play Pokemon and YuGiOh? I was playing magic back in beta and all my cards have protective armor sleeves. I can't think of any possible normal person comparison to playing Dungeons and Dragons, but I know I enjoy playing in second edition best. Anyone can dabble in fantasy/science fiction, but a nerd makes it an art. We surround ourselves with it. We build the models, paint the miniatures, read the books, watch the movies, collect the comic books. Our hard drive has a 1 Gb porn folder and a 200 Gb Anime folder, and most of that porn is anime anyways. I personally have never built a computer, but many of my friends have, and none of us own a mac.

What is it that makes you a nerd? It's degree. Anybody can have a hobby, we just make it a lifestyle.

Damn skippy!

BehattedWanderer:
The upside: we're not trashed on anymore. The downside: we lose our subculture. But even as our culture is bled into the average happenstances, there are still those of us to whom the moniker still matters. A Nerd among Nerds. They have taken our culture and made it their own, but they still need us to fuel their movies, their games, their books, their memes. Vampires were ours. Giant Robots were ours. Space marines were ours, as were the aliens they fought against. Sure, they can share them. But they will always want more, and we will supply. They want epic stories about superhero vigilantes demolishing their demented baddies? Oh yeah. We've got that in droves. They want Johnny Depp to be a pirate, a mad barber, a demented haberdasher with a fondness of trading places? Guess who had those. They want exciting treasure finds set in historical artifacts and locations of the National Treasure/Nathan Drake variety? Yeah. They can borrow those. But we know, and we keep watching, and we'll be your suppliers. We are the nerds, and we know what you want. But we remember the old days, and soon, sooner than you know, we will return the favor. We don't forget.

Vampires ours? Meh, I don't think so. vampires were always more of a goth thing than a nerd thing. Nerds may have self esteem issues, but most are on the apathetic to revultion side of blood and suffering.

We do claim giant robots, space marine and aliens, but that is because most of us do gaming and models to some extent.

It took me a while to understand exactly what I wanted out of life. I read books, watched anime, played video games. I both played and DMed dungeons and dragons. Eventually I realized I was obsessed with the story rather than the result. That's all that matters to me, just the solid story.

while I agree with most of it, mainstream audiences still don't like comic books (but they o like super heroes

The greatest benefit of the nerd empire, female nerds. We live in the golden age gents. Ask our brethren who remember a time called the 80s.

I can't believe I missed out on this article when it first came out. Now I saw it after reading about how you felt the Decade of the Nerd was dying out.

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