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When Nerds Go Bad

When Nerds Go Bad: Justin Page

Justin Page

My people have let me down. I assumed that if one of those ridiculous 1980s movies somehow happened in real life and the nerds actually took over the world, we would be kind. Suddenly able to date women, we would gratefully treat them with respect. All too familiar with being picked on for no reason, once we ran companies we would give minorities the opportunities they never got from the jocks. Attractiveness and wealth would be subjugated under a meritocracy of intelligence and industry.

But instead the nerds have turned out to be assholes. In fact, we’re meaner than the jocks. All those timid guys moms told their daughters to date because they were nice? Mom was wrong. As soon as we got a little bit of power, we showed ourselves to be sexist, ageist, selfish, materialistic dicks who disrespect everyone who isn’t a fellow algorithm-writing, comic-book-collecting brainiac.

Mark Zuckerberg’s first attempt at Facebook was Facemash, which let Harvard students vote on which female students were hot. Only two percent of Google employees are black. Old people, no matter how qualified, have no chance at Silicon Valley jobs. Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and Plaxo and first president of Facebook, was fined $2.5 million for damaging Big Sur’s redwood forest during his $10 million Lord of the Rings–themed wedding. Steve Jobs denied paternity of his daughter, screwed his partner Steve Wozniak out of money, fired people in front of groups of employees and parked his Mercedes in handicapped spaces. Mahbod Moghadam was fired from Rap Genius, the site he co-founded, after he wrote that the misogynist manifesto of the guy who went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California was “beautifully written.” Most Silicon Valley engineers are slightly better-drawn versions of Artie Ziff, the software billionaire on The Simpsons who basically tried to rape Marge while yelling, “You can’t resist my busy hands!”

We nerds simply lack the experience, which jocks have had since childhood, of getting exactly what we want, so as soon as we get a little bit of mojo we act like five-year-olds who demand everything we want right away. When we finally get a hot girlfriend in our late 20s, we don’t marry her and have kids like a former frat boy would. No, we realize we now have options and a whole lot of not-getting-laid time to make up for. We feel we’re owed for not getting any in high school. So when we finally get an attractive woman to go out with us, we use phrases such as “not ready to commit,” “open relationship” and “Who’s that friend of yours with the leather shorts?”

And while jocks at least acquired the people skills to say all this smoothly (“If you think the experience will add intimacy to our relationship, I guess I’d be open to a threesome”), we nerds have spent our whole lives talking to action figures still in their boxes. So the same thought comes out as “My penis in more girl parts!”

There’s a reason George Clooney got away with sleeping around and Beaker from the Muppets did not. It’s one thing to lie to a woman about cheating; it’s a far worse crime to make her sit for hours while your spectrumy brain explains how sex and love are separate things conflated by the Judeo-Christian ethical system.

Jocks thought the hot chicks they dated were on the same level they were, as superficial as that level may have been. But nerd dudes don’t want nerd chicks as attractive as they are. Young rich nerds are just like old rich men: They want hot club chicks they have nothing in common with. And they treat them horribly, since they feel superior to them because the nerds went to better colleges, make more money and know more about Doctor Who.

Worse, whereas jocks have been around women all their lives and know what to expect from them, nerds’ notions of women have been formed by video games, anime and porn. So when a woman starts saying words and stuff after we come on her face, instead of just moaning with pleasure like she’s supposed to, we are totally annoyed. We nerds believe real women wear high heels and underwear to have sex, and unlike jocks we’re disappointed when they don’t. Because unlike jocks, we have sex sober.

Soon this tech boom will be over and the good-looking sales guys, with their golf clubs and clothes without hoods, will once again control everything. We will regret that we didn’t use our moment to build a new paradigm in which people respect one another for their minds that we supposedly revere above all else. But it will be too late. And we will again be squirming angrily, waiting for our chance to fire old people, dump hot chicks and drive Ferraris. But at least we’ll write good teen comedies again.

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