Nerd culture: the new hipsterdom

Nerd culture is the new hipsterdom because it convinces the marginally intelligent they are awesome simply for having an education, or for being tech wizards, but if the creator of your next best social media tool and a professor with a PhD are equally capable of being total morons, what are the odds for the average nerd in a cubicle? The geeks are lumped into the same category because they are socially awkward outside of geektopia, so if your subculture identity is nerd, you are compared to people who like Star Trek, Japanese Anime, Marvel Comics (OMFG), and spend their weekends at LAN parties.

Thus you are painted as socially awkward in an attempt to break down your autonomy and perceived outsiderness: there must be something wrong if you can’t enjoy being with the group. Already social inclusion is the goal of socialization, and socialization is an end in itself instead of a means to an end. It never was about finding those who can work toward something greater than the sum of its parts, but about making everyone feel better about themselves regardless of contribution, and then to sniff out threats to the hierarchy under the pretense of having a good time.

Nerd culture has long been mainstream, but now it’s been infiltrated by the hipsters. Hipsters themselves are portrayed as ironic without purpose, but they in fact have a singular purpose, which is to assimilate every culture or subculture they come across. Working under the guise of fitting in, assimilation removes the strength and unique identity of the culture being assimilated.

Nerds see structure, and revel in the detail of abstraction. This is their home, because when socialization has run its course, raw socializing itself becomes boring, stupid, and repetitive. Normally it would be a reasonable sacrifice if there were a common goal worth working toward, but this is seldom the case, and the emotionals stick around out of fear they will be useless if they are alone.

People who start big things have strong personalities, and attract each other naturally, but eventually some feel the need to give in to temptation and go back to idiots who are as a painstaking rule nice, civil, and supposedly well-intentioned. These are soon offended when their idiocy is exposed, and have to fall back on this idiocy as common ground against the lone wolf (Shepherd): “your clothes are out of fashion, we reject.”

So for nerds, after mixing with these hipsters, they may argue they have excuse for becoming the same. It is only subculture afterall. But as a hipster, you are saying it’s okay to drop your standards and only care about trends and what is hip. With subculture you can influence those who live and breathe it in fervent desperation of escaping culture at large, but everyone accepts this is a pipedream because subculture is in response to, if not defined by, its parent culture. The next best thing is assimilation, and keeping the thread of argument, that’s hipsters assimilating nerd culture to assimilate society at large.

The result is nerds dressing like hipsters, wearing big glasses like hipsters, going to shoegaze concerts like hipsters, but worst of all taking on the ideals of hipsters. In art, it’s the domain where form trumps content, and in life, it’s a charade they continue well into their 30s, 40s and 50s, married or single: well-dressed but offbeat, socially acceptable but outlandish.

People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the person on whom the movie The Social Network is based, are exceptions that prove the rule. They would have probably done similar things regardless of being nerds. Bill Gates at least was not a (complete) hipster, but an actualization of the zeitgeist, and the lot of them were people in the right place at the right time, with the right balance of age, technical knowledge, business sense, and enough desire to be in the public eye. But this same desire ensures they also lack the courage to reject that public opinion even if it’s wrong: they live off it, they are ruled by it, and fail to escape it.



March 24, 2015