I don't care about media. My model is based on interaction with nerds in fandom and in Mensa, and the simplified generalization is: too busy engaging in signalling competitions, which undermines their ability to cooperate and win anything other than mostly imaginary debate points.

The few cases I have seen nerds achieving something impressive, it was usually because some half-nerdy/half-mainstream person organized the project (using the skills they gained elsewhere) and did not participate in the pissing contests.

The cooperation mostly fails because everyone is too busy to prove they are better than everyone else in the group. Trying to explain why that might be a mistake runs into exactly the same problem, only one level higher (i.e. it becomes a competition of writing the best snarky comment on why people who cooperate are idiots).

My model is based on interaction with nerds in fandom and in Mensa

That's not terribly representative (MENSA, in particular, is known to be quite dysfunctional). Here is a field report describing successful nerds:

it’s easy to understand why the incidence of socially-inept nerdiness doesn’t peak at the extreme high end of the IQ bell curve, but rather in the gifted-to-low-end-genius region closer to the median. I had my nose memorably rubbed in this one time when I was a guest speaker at the Institute for Advanced Study. Afternoon tea was not a nerdfest

... (read more)

Open thread, Apr. 18 - Apr. 24, 2016

by MrMind 1 min read18th Apr 2016176 comments


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