The Triumph of the Nerds
April 25, 2011, 04:50 PM
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A reader writes:
I've been reading your site forever - wanted to share a story.
So I'm in some Asian food-court type place in NYC yesterday and in comes a crowd of about 25 people. Here's the breakdown of this crowd:
*85/15 male/female

*80/20 white/asian (didn't see any hispanics or blacks)

*Mostly ages 18-25 or so, but with quite a few middle aged people

*Many were either very obese or sickly skinny and pale

*UNDENIABLY nerdy, everything about them screamed dungeons & dragons. I mean the group was so nerdy in appearance my girlfriend yelled at me because I couldn't stop staring. I would describe this group as the kids that would be picked last in gym.

*One guy was wearing a Charles Darwin shirt but in the image of the famous blue & red obama image...Some androgynous young lady (?) was wearing some shirt that said something about defending your digital rights

Anyway, this group is so interesting to me that I finally ask one guy what the meetup is...And it was...
A Wikipedia Meetup!!!! (Basically all these folks are hardcore wiki editors).
Here's a picture (at the bottom of the page) from a 2008 Wikipedia meet-up.

Wikipedia is a very big deal. For example, I devote far more time per day to reading Wikipedia than I do to watching television.

The Triumph of the Nerds is one of the most important stories in human culture during my lifetime. Consider current trends such as: today's youth don't like to talk on the telephone. They'd rather communicate via electronic telegrams tapped out with their thumbs. That's very strange. If you had asked me 20 years ago, I would have guessed that the hot communication trend in 2011 would be portable picture phones to provide more lifelike interaction. But, we live in an increasingly Aspergery age.

The rise of nerd culture might explain why Hispanics have had so little impact per capita on American culture. For the last 40 years, I've been reading that now that the number of Latinos in America has reached 10 million 20 million 30 million 40 million 50 million, we're all going to start paying more attention to Latinos and their vibrant culture real soon now.

But we haven't, perhaps because Latino culture isn't nerdy enough.