Posted on | November 27, 2007 | 2 Comments
I saw a re-run of “Revenge Of The Nerds” recently, the gears in my head have been turning ever since.
In seventh grade, the captain of the school wrestling team stuffed my head in a toilet and flushed it several times. Not any toilet, a ‘public school boy’s room’ toilet.
In eighth grade, an over-developed jock ambushed me and stole my shoes. Another no-neck used to muscle me into making his electronics projects. We’re not even going to discuss the things that happened in the Apple II lab.
I can think of many additional unpleasant events that occurred in between the two events above, suffice it to say that things not mentioned were just like the things that many reading this blog also experienced when surrounded by nerd-haters.
Now, “the nerds” are the ones who make the stuff that the world at large demands. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose, but the seeds of technology industries are often opportunistic, not deliberate. Our success (and the fact that women now favor smart skinny guys) can’t quite be counted as ‘revenge’, events just favored us. We managed to drop the dreadful “n” word (nerd) though, in favor of “geek”.
Its cool to be smart, that trend doesn’t seem inclined to fade in any future that qualifies as likely. What will be the “real” revenge of the nerds? I think “legacy of the nerds” might be a better term. The Internet, web, Youtube, Myspace, Google and everything else is a product of nerds getting the crap kicked out of them daily throughout their academic career, more or less.
I think Gen-X nerds will leave a good legacy. Some might think that I’m discussing this a bit prematurely, I can only point out that many I.T. Gurus retire around age 40 to chase their own interests and ventures.
They gave us hell, we gave them Myspace. I’d say that makes us even. What remains to be seen is the thumb print that Gen-X leaves on history. To really sort that out to date, you would need to take a who’s who of the technology industry to separate us from our parent’s generation.
I think a large portion of the Gen-X historical fingerprint can be drawn, looks like I found a new hobby of researching the 987918273 start up companies that got major funds and figuring out which ones are “talkin bout my generation”
What remains is how big the finger print will be, and if we’ll be blamed or revered for its significance.
I think that I’ll map my generation just as I’ve described it, as a fingerprint. Whirls would obviously be made from entities like Google, etc, starting at the first dot-com market belly flop. Yet another fascinating time consumer that will not make me a dime, but really fun to do.