Today I was on the bus and my keen eyes saw something. A man who had gotten in the bus on the neighbohrging university, the one of design and such things (including stuff like video production and such), was talking to a friend about a film and how he had to act. Looking at him closely, I saw a DoTA wristband. And I realized: "fake nerds" actually exist. I had never seen one for reals.
You know, in our faculty, one of sciences, the most of "nerdiness" we get is referencing 42 as a placeholder, and if someone says in high voice "huh, that's like the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy!", he makes us cringe. But at the neighbohrging university, which I visited today, it's filled to the brim with this kind of people. People who think that, by playing certain videogames and such, are "real nerds" and that it makes them "different". And lo if they somehow say they like science, being the fact that next door there's an actual place for learning science.
What I realized, and the reason why this is bad, is the fact that these people actually think they are different to everyone else. They believe there is a significant difference between them and "normal people". And worst of this, the difference doesn't pass through the "I browse 4chan, therefore I'm different". I've met and known many people who do the same, and browsing certain websites doesn't make a "nerd", a "weirdo" or whatever. What matters, I posit, is the attitude.
By this I mean: maintaining a critical attitude is important, mostly on the modern web. Using Facebook to share frog memes is normal. Doing the same on 4chan is already "too mainstream". Never straying off from the same beaten path is a "normie" attitude. Going to a forum which has 100 posters, at most, is already a deviation from the mainstream, and it's the real non-normieness, or posting in places for actual niche discussion.*
Another thing, is priding oneself on the sites you visit, games you play, etc.. It could be hypocritical just after the last paragraph, but I'm being more or less anonymous here. I don't have it on my skin, and I'd never ever use a t-shirt about a game, or a TV show I like for nerd-signalling. I believe that attitude, the "I'm a nerd, looking for nerds my age around me, singles, 20-33, non-smokers,..." is poisonous, and should be rooted out of the 21st century.
Another thing that makes me think: in my university, I can safely say I know many nerds. Real nerds, people who love studying. And they have hobbies that do not involve the mindless consumption of media, and videogames are seldom talked around on the table. Most of them are actually into sports. Among our tastes are crossfit, or soccer, or rugby, but the point is, most of us are the "normal" stereotype. The people from the design university, however, actually look like nerds! And not for really being nerds, but just for role-playing as if they were somewhat different.
So, if we go by looks, never really believe the one who looks like a nerd. I did that mistake in high school, and I'm glad I woke up before it'd have destroyed me. Because, let's be honest here, the ones who signal being a nerd are the same ones who signal social justice. A while ago, purple hair was associated with anime, and nowadays it's the poster image for that famous "aposematism" one. Not because social justice overtook the nerdiness thingy (but some of it could have been done at first), but what made the fire rise is the fact that it's a way to signal "I'm smarter, I think about the social norms and question them, and in questioning them I came to the conclusion they are all bad and cultural marxism is the way to go" (instead of questioning them, going for a "deconstruction" and then realizing that social norms are needed to have a cohesive society, therefore "reconstructing" them, as per critical theory terminology). This means, the same impulse that drives people to get a Naruto tattoo drives them to fake cleverness. And instead of learning propositional logic (beyond the entry-level "list of logical falacies" which they use to win any argument by default), reading papers, doing real shit, they stay with the political/social thought of the month, which means they are prone to being used as useful fools by the powers that be.
*: Another thing, is the "general thread culture". What I mean, is that instead of having an ultra-niche website for ultra-niche interests, everything is getting too aggregated on content aggregators, which again is bad. What it also impacts on, is the fact that these people stay on the general websites, and as such, their interests probably get normalized over time. Another thing, though, is that more people enter the same websites, which makes them mainstream. And yet another one is that most of these people access the websites through normal people interests, and get sunk into the feeling that they are now no longer normal due to the fact that they enter those websites. But they still are normal, they aren't entering a private tracker for found VHS tapes, for fucks sake, it's just 4chan /v/, the most consumerist piece of shit on the web, second only to reddit!
People usually also talk about reading books as if they actually cared. But, when you ask them what books they've read lately, it's almost always the same titles, and it's always some kind of fiction. Now, I'm not ranting against fiction itself, I enjoy escapism just as much as the next dude, and I love science fiction. But I do not kid myself, it's almost never some profound thing about the world that which I'm reading. One could say that some books do a commentary on humanity, especially such a genre, and they'd be right, but it's never something which can't be synthetized in a few pages (eg, "beware of socialist governments, as they can just as easily develop into totalitarian dictatorships", "sometimes that which we consider 'a mere human creation' could end up being more human than us, since we can and do often lack empathy",...). But more than that, the titles these people read are always the one that's a trend. 50 shades of grey, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. People don't stray too far from the mainstream
And, while some fiction does raise some good points, for deeper thought it's more or less necessary to delve into actual front-on discussion of the subject, with no roundabouts (also, it's more impactful to connect, let's say, 1984 to modern day UK than to let it stay as just fiction). But people often keep the thought "some fiction is meaningful", and keep on reading just that, almost never diving into the rich world of textual literallity. And it's a shame, since there's so much to learn from essays.
And that's not even getting into the pulpy shit most people also read (the mentioned by title up there, for example). People think any book is a good book, but do they get to keep something from that book, outside of an entertainment? Most of those books are not even well-written. Even this webpage, with all its' deficient structure, can easily give those books a run for their money. They might be a cultural phenomenon all you want, but one thing is liking them, and the other is thinking they are great. There's a huge difference between the two. For example, I like Lord of The Rings, but I do not kid myself to the fact that it's plain old good vs. evil, with no greys. And it's fine. I like it that way.
Yes. I'm advocating the fact that internet should still be available on some select places, like libraries and universities, and some home connections only.
Why? Because let's think of it this way: John Doe has no internet in his home. But he has to study something about birds. Now, he could read a book (And do the mental excersice of browsing the book for what he looks for, which could end up with him learning about something else), or he could go to his local library and search the web for birds. Now, if he goes to the library, with his notebook (not advocating some luddite thing here, see?), he will be in public, so he won't be that prone to goofing off. This means, he will read about birds, maybe update his whatever-social-network once or twice, check out his mails, and either keep studying or go home. He won't stay all the time on Facebook, since if he does that he won't have time for reading about birds, and he'll go home with his hands empty, and he won't even dare (probably) to watch porn or such. He will, in the end, use his time more productively.
Now, with internet in his home, the realms start to get mixed, and he will be more prone to slacking off, ending work just in time for the deadline, sleeping less (while hating himself for using the day for social bullshit), and without the social pressure on the library of actually doing stuff, he will end up falling in his grades or whatever he does
No, this is not some kind of pseudo-christian morale about "if Johnny masturbates/does drugs/etc., he will end up losing his teeth/having hairy hands/etc.", but there are numbers that actually prove it. Work productivity growth, ever since the web2.0 boom, has fallen way behind. The latest Internet "revolution" only got us a "poke & drool" generation of millenials, and a distracted generation X that's all the time poking the Skinner box for their next photo and video.
Hell, with all the jews behind most technology companies, and due to how "innovative" these companies tend to be, one ends up thinking there's some kind of plan involving low productivity, H1B visas, job outsourcing, and Israel... really makes one think.