I want to rant a little too much today, as it’s a holiday weekend and it’s all sunshine, apfelsaftschorle and pretzels but I need to rant a little bit. For a treat.
Anyone with too much focus on the esoterica of life; the nerds, the dorks, the dweebs and the outcasts, has some baggage. I never felt particularly uncool as a kid because I moved around enough that I didn’t have a lot of past embarrassments to hold me back. Odd when a childhood trauma ends up being protective.
But I’ve met plenty of genius in my time and a lot of them carry deep hurt from how they were treated as kids. The trauma isn’t always healed. And hurt people hurt people.
We used to expect an even trade from our nerds. You’ve got righteous technical skills and understand how those changing tools will affect the culture of the world. You see a future and hack at it because you’ve seen the rules of the game.
We need those rule breakers because they keep us honest. But we’ve got to keep them honest too. Life is a team effort and it takes all kinds of skills to pull off something great. The hacker nerd archetype is just one member of the team.
But if you are playing on easy mode, and the nerds have been on easy mode since we needed whiz kid scientists to fight the Nazis, then you don’t handle rejection too well. Everyone thinks they are owed something on the internet for being barely above a midwit. And they are probably right as we are living Idiocracy out there right now.
But you’ve got to have boundaries. Nowhere is that truer than with someone with a deep hurt. Probably why we have company politics, project managers and deeply angry startup mommies who spend their whole ass lives managing the feelings of man-babies who produced code. It ain’t great for moral.
I don’t know why nerds are such children. They say you stop growing at the age of your first trauma. Maybe. Or maybe if you had someone to clean up the hurt for you as a child you don’t know how to clean up your own messes as an adult. Mommy issues everywhere I enjoyed being a spoiled bitch more when I didn’t realize the enormous cost. Rationalize and reconcile what you can.
I don’t mind the hurt when nerds deliver us energy and weapons and the stars and whole new ways of self organizing. I’ve sided with nerds my whole life. Nerds are my ancestral people. Witches and rocket scientists and trailer trash chemists.
But if a nerd pretends the consequences of living with others doesn’t apply to them because they are so much more special, well you better be skeptical. Nerds can be bullied too. Sometimes you do in fact need to punch a bully. Punching Nazi nerds in particular is rarely a poor choice. The nerd bullies may need it the most. Remember it’s dweebs with delusions of grandeur who commit genocide and raise armies for fascists. Banality of evil and all that. Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.