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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Great Link

My favorite Facebooker just slayed me again wirh this beautiful link. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be humorous but it’s like the author expressed my angriest, most serious thoughts about the death of the Western Civilization. 

Maybe we should all quit my blog and go read Alex’s Facebook instead. 

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19 thoughts on “Great Link

  1. Alex on said:

    “My favorite Facebooker”

    Aww, I’m honored!!!!

    Like

  2. Stringer Bell on said:

    I couldn’t disagree with the premise of the article more. Looks like the author is still living in the 90s.

    Nerds have it all these days. All the best jobs, all the money, and the totality of popular culture slavishly devoted to their interests. Seriously, have you seen the explosion of movies/shows/books relating to comic superheroes lately? That’s the only shit that seems to sell these days. Spinoffs after spinoffs, ad nauseam. You even have nerds in sports now, getting hired as team managers, using sophisticated data analysis to get an edge over their opponents. I don’t know which planet the author is living in, but this is the best moment in world history to be a nerd. Jesus, even models these days call themselves nerds, that’s how fucking cool it is. Your state’s governor has chosen @onetoughnerd as his handle on twitter because he’s trying to be cool (and failing, but that’s a different issue).

    The writer is old so I imagine he’s still dealing with the trauma of getting his ass kicked when he was younger. That’s the only explanation I can think of.

    “A computer programmer from Seattle is doing more to alleviate world poverty, hunger, and disease through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than any other person in America right now. ”

    We don’t need your charity, Bill. Just pay your taxes.

    A computer programmer from harvard built facebook, which has done more to misinform people than anything else in the history of the world. Let’s calm down with this nerd-worship.

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    • I don’t think this is a so good time for nerds. I based my opinion on the Québec’s situation, which is pathetic for nerds there. Maybe the USA’s situation is better for them, although Trumptards and SJWtards are in war with them

      I agree with you about Bill Gates though. Fuck this eugenistic piece of trash!

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    • Look who was elected president. He’s total Joey Tribiani with Rachel as his daughter.

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      • Stringer Bell on said:

        Look, I agree with this idea of anti-intellectualism in american (and other) life. Yes, yes.

        What I find disingenuous is the sleight of hand where intellectualism is conflated with being nerdish. I’ve met enough brilliant dipshit nerds who’ve never read anything other than Fountainhead to forever disabuse me of that notion.

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        • Okay, so Hopkins should have said “protect the intellectuals”.

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        • DWeird on said:

          I’m with Bell here.

          Heck, you can’t even contrast nerdiness and consumer culture much – “nerds” are the best consumer group for disposable tech widgets and colourful kids’ stuff. “Nerd” isn’t a marker for intelligence or erudition, it’s a sign of what sort of stuff you buy.

          Different point, but it wasn’t stupid people who wrote, directed, produced and distributed the show. It’s not a nameless mass of stupidity that’s rolling through America – this is smart people ridiculing intelligence, or palaeontologists anyway, on purpose.

          I guess I don’t really believe in intelligence as a rally point. My experience with people smart enough to bother listening to at all is that they’ll factionalize endlessly, sometimes even within the same person, and there’s nothing that they’ll hate more than people who’s opinions are imperceptibly different from theirs.

          So drama nerds will make fun of dinosaur nerds, mathematicians will make fun of physicists, philosophers will make fun of economists, and any member of a discipline will show deep, loathing contempt for other members of the same.

          The state of intelligence is not at peace with itself, and I’m quite happy with it that way.

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          • When I was watching the show, what seemed completely bizarre and incongruous was why Ross, a highly educated, very successful man, would want to spend his time with this bunch of losers. And why his status among them was so low. Different opinions – are the she’s characters even capable of formulating an opinion? Yes, the economy is very forgiving and allows even the Rachels and the Joeys of this country to become rich. But they are extraordinarily vapid people. And that’s why viewers like them.

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    • Stringer Bell, do you really believe that the audience of these comic-based movies are nerds??? Perhaps nerds too, but nerds alone could not make them profitable. And “something that used to be popular among the nerds” is not “something that reinforces the positive image of the nerds”. Who the heck are the apealing nerds in Captain America or Spiderman, or Iron Man? Exactly – if they are appealing, they are appealing because they have additional superpowers, not because they are nerds.

      I’d say it is more complicated. Some sort of idea of a nerd (not necessary realistic idea of the “nerd”) got appropriated and modified by the mainstream culture…

      Also, it is glamorous to be a nerd, but only as long as you make a lot of money. Preferably if you make a lot of money young. And do not look that bad… Intellectual pursuits for the sake of intellectual pursuits do not seem to be that popular.

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      • I’m very ignorant about comic books and nerd culture. I can’t even distinguish a nerd from a geek. But I clearly remember that “she’s off-putting because she knows so much” and “he’s so obnoxious, thinking he’s so smart he invented the internet” are narratives that gave us our last two Republican presidents. It’s fashionable to be egregiously, horrifyingly dumb. People strut their stupidity in public like it’s something to be proud of. Trump gets elected BECAUSE he knows zilch about the job.

        Who knows, maybe Kushner considers himself a nerd and loves comics. What matters is that he’s entirely incompetent in the job he’s been given. That this should even be possible is an outrage.

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  3. \ the sleight of hand where intellectualism is conflated with being nerdish

    +1000

    wiki defines a nerd as somebody lacking social skills, shy, obsessed with non-mainstream activities.

    Liked Paul Graham’s essay, “Why Nerds are Unpopular”, and agree with his claim that “intellect is neutral, meaning that you are neither loved nor despised for it” [wiki] and that “a nerd is someone that is not socially adept enough.”

    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

    In my schools, both in Ukraine and in Israel, I was never hurt because of getting good grades. Envied yes. Even physically pushed once. But nobody thought intellect and/or good grades were unprestigious.

    Clarissa, you wrote that kids are bullied only if they’re bullied at home first. So, while reading about chess players, I began wondering about their home life. Surely there are plenty of both intelligent and popular students at that school. Surely middle-class parents raise their children with huge pressure to succeed in life, go to the best college possible, etc.

    I also liked the comment from India to the article Clarissa linked which describes the way I see reality better than does “good students are bullied because of their intelligence”:

    \ Well, there is another way to see this. I am from India and most of the people here aspire to be nerds (software engineers, management consultants, scientists etc). Anyone aspiring to be anything else is frowned upon. So, Friends impact people here differently. It gives hope to people who are not so good at studies. It shows that a high school dropout can become an actor. Cooking is not only to satisfy your husband, but you can make a career out of it. Happiness is not a big office and a fat paycheck but pursuing your dreams, do something that you are good at, even if it is writing jokes.

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    • —Clarissa, you wrote that kids are bullied only if they’re bullied at home first.

      I am a bit less orthodox than Clarissa, so I think it is both. On one hand I do believe that kids from psychologically very healthy families might not be bullied regardless of their nerdiness *. But this is really a matter of faith. I am not sure this hypothesis can be tested experimentally. Due to the lack of perfectly psychologically healthy families.
      Kids at certain age pick on other kids based on all kinds of things – being short, wearing glasses, being bad at PI or being bad at some “nerdy” subject, or just being too different from mainstream. Maybe it is not inherent to human nature, but just a consequence of bullies growing up in unhealthy family environments. But we will not know for sure until we completely eradicate unhealthy family environments. Meaning, at approximately the same time we build a world-wide communist utopia.

      And there is also a very interesting question if nerdiness is possible in a perfectly healthy family. And also if “healthy family” can be defined in the way independent from mainstream culture of the time and place, including the pop-culture.

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    • I think we all realize that the commenter hasnt met “most of the people” in such an enormous country. 😁 And the use of the passive voice (“is frowned upon”), tells me she’s relating what her inner voice says.

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  4. And in general I find this “kids are bullied only if they’re bullied at home first.” an interesting form of psychological libertarianism. It is in fact very similar to the “virtuousness” that is discussed in a parallel thread. Just once removed. Instead of “if you are virtuous, nothing bad will happen to you”, you get “if your parents are virtuous (according to modern psychological, rather than religious definition, but still) nothing bad will happen to you”…

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    • Have you ever encountered an exception, though? A single one?

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      • By the way, in the show Ross and Monica’s parents do bully and humiliate them mercilessly.

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      • Have I ever encounter a person who has been bullied despite being from a psychologically healthy family? No. But just because all families I know well enough are not psychologically healthy enough. So it is somewhat inconclusive, in my opinion.
        Besides, the idea that family that is 100% free from any psychological violence exists implies that there were several generations of the family that worked on overcoming whichever issues they inherited from their respective parents, and at no point during that long process they experienced any catastrophic events (war, horrible accident, grave illness, severe economic hardship, etc) that overwhelmed their psychological defenses and made them, perhaps temporarily, revert to some reflexive unhealthy behaviors…

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        • You’re right, nobody in this world, I think, could have avoided generational trauma. But in spite of all this complexity, people who were loved as children overcome all this in spades. All that is needed is a lot of love, no matter how damaged the parent is. My friend who’s a child of Holocaust survivors grew up in a very messed up family. But her own 4 children who are now adults – they are all radiant. They are all popular, successful, and you can see they are at peace. Two of tyem grew up on food stamps and with no father. And still.

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  5. TomW on said:

    That article reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt.

    Like

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