Why Nerds are Dicks to Other Nerds
A few weeks ago, a couple of friends of mine had a Guinness or two (three?) at a bar full of hipsters. Somehow after the obligatory round of accusing each other of being hipsters, we ended up agreeing that we were nerds, and that nerds are sometimes mean to their own kind.
As one of the many new Digg refugees, I’ve been recently exposed to the world of Reddit and its many odd internal memes. One of the less prominent memes struck me as a bit odd: Undying hatred for Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg. Quoth my tour guide to Reddit (and Hacker News): “I mean, we all grew up as geeks being picked on and I don’t know how they can so vicious to someone so similar to us who I could see myself hanging out* with.” This was puzzling, but I think I have it figured out.
Hardcore** nerds value pure intelligence above all else, including above doing something with it, and especially above doing something with less intelligence than they have. Almost half a decade ago now, Time Warner bought up MySpace for no small amount of money. The response among my friends was mostly all along the lines of “TOM SUX lololol! Derp derp I could have made that!“ But the fact is they didn’t. Someone less intelligent was massively rewarded for starting something that they could have started had they not been too busy comparing each other’s cognitive penis lengths. Same with Digg; The failures of Digg are proclaimed loudly by people who feel that they’re smarter than the people behind the wheel, but themselves have failed to bother taking the wheel and spent the 2000s crying in the backseat and throwing their pacifiers at Kevin Rose after every missed turn.
PROTIP: Ranting in a comment system you didn’t actually build doesn’t prove you’re smarter than the people behind the systems you decry. Besides, this is Tumblr, you can’t comment anyway. Go build something better instead.
* Having very briefly hung out with the dude in the year 2006 at the Skeptical Chymist after their Diggnation shoot at Godaddy HQ, I can vouch that he is indeed a chill dude, and didn’t ignore me for wearing a Basque beret in public (long story).
** Hardcore in a scale of nerdom I totally made up and will illustrate with graphs and stuff in a future post.