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The nerd yacht swamps other boats on the rising tide [Apr. 22nd, 2008|03:01 pm]
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One thing this recent controversy brings up for me is what I see as a blind spot in straight white male nerd thought.

Having experienced mild forms of systemized social ostracism during adolescence, you'd think nerds would be equipped to recognize true inequality. Sadly, they usually don't. When nerds do recognize such things, they often assume their social discomfort allows one to discount racism, misogyny, class conflict, etc. Which it doesn't, no matter how intense. (Example: Perhaps you've suffered as a woman, but what about those years I thought I'd never touch a boob?)

Overall, however, white nerdboys rarely recognize how improvements in their social status results from activism by others. For example, the ways in which gay rights legitimized the dubious "lack" of masculinity* and camp behavior of the nerd archetype. Gains by many groups has made things much easier for the straight white male geek, so when they act entitled, they are fucking with the people who wrote the checks their asses are cashing.

In relation to above, it is even more striking how the Open Source Boob Project is essentially an awkward heteronormative attempt to duplicate the hanky code.

I'm going to be offline for the many hours, so if these ideas offend I won't be able to discuss until much later.

Edited to add: What muckefuck and liveavatar said.

*Edited to Add: I revised this wording because the idea masculine means inherently straight is exactly was debunked by gay rights.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fengi
2008-04-22 10:45 pm (UTC)

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Well yes, but if there's one group you might expect to make the connection it's the nerd class who overthinks everything. Except given the uncritical acceptence of libertarianism/Ayn Rand/Ron Paul/etc. among some nerds, I guess not.
[User Picture]From: liveavatar
2008-04-23 01:04 am (UTC)

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Yeah, that second sentence says it all. For they are puissant* warriors who stand at the edge of the quarry and shape the world with their mighty brains! Feer themz! That's the best I can figure.

Isn't there some other philosophy, perhaps with a good novel attached**, that allows people to revel in their individual power and creativity without encouraging them to look down on the riff-raff? (E.g., I always liked Island by Aldous Huxley, though I'm not sure I could call it good.) Something that lets people feel happy about succeeding AND realize that paying taxes isn't automatically evil?

I might be feeling a little grumpy today.


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*Minus the U.
**Sorry, LRH.