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InvisibleJellric
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Registered: 11/08/98
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Why are nerds unpopular?
    #4400882 - 07/13/05 07:45 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I found an interesting article and someone suggested I post it in S&P. Here is a slice to whet your appetite:

"When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E. A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down's Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called "retards."

We sat at a D table, as low as you could get without looking physically different. We were not being especially candid to grade ourselves as D. It would have taken a deliberate lie to say otherwise. Everyone in the school knew exactly how popular everyone else was, including us.

My stock gradually rose during high school. Puberty finally arrived; I became a decent soccer player; I started a scandalous underground newspaper. So I've seen a good part of the popularity landscape.

I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.

Why? To someone in school now, that may seem an odd question to ask. The mere fact is so overwhelming that it may seem strange to imagine that it could be any other way. But it could. Being smart doesn't make you an outcast in elementary school. Nor does it harm you in the real world. Nor, as far as I can tell, is the problem so bad in most other countries. But in a typical American secondary school, being smart is likely to make your life difficult. Why?

The key to this mystery is to rephrase the question slightly. Why don't smart kids make themselves popular? If they're so smart, why don't they figure out how popularity works and beat the system, just as they do for standardized tests?"


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Jellric]
    #4400941 - 07/13/05 08:07 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

When I was in high school I was afraid of being labeled a nerd so I got involved in athletics and shunned scholastic activities. For the record I have Asperger's disorder...this is like being stuck with a diagnosis of nerd for life. As a result I had shit grades AND I was third rate at athletics...and I still was not popular. In hindsight I should have embraced my nerdiness and followed a scholastic path. Nerds are not popular because they lack the social skills to be, or the interest in being popular. A great many have Asperger's which robs them of their ability to interpret social cues and their ability to verbally ciommunicate in a normal fashion. Being a nerd is not JUST about being intelligent. Nerds tend to be obsessed with nerdish subjects that consume all of their time...leaving little time for developing social skills. That said....being called a geek or a nerd is a compliment of the highest order. In my line of work (computers) it is a title carried only by the truly technically proficient.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Jellric]
    #4400949 - 07/13/05 08:09 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Look at the bright side, Beauty and the Geek is a new reality show and guess what? A nerd won!

But, in answer to your question, I think nerds are nerdy just because being smart seems to detract a little from social skills. It's like their mind is too busy to be bothered by such formalities or trivia. Plus a lot of smart people know they can make it on their brains so they just don't give a shit about being popular.

The other side of the equation, and contributing to the situation is that popular jocky people tend not to always be the sharpest knives in the drawer. Therefore, smart people represent a potential threat to their kingdom as kings and queens of the in crowd. They play the nerd card often.

The nerds, while smart, have been stigmatized socially and smart is different from social. Well, other than in nerd society...



--------------------
Anxiety is what you make it.


Edited by LunarEclipse (07/13/05 08:27 PM)


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4400969 - 07/13/05 08:13 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

What I noticed was that most of the really popular kids in high school, turned out to be mediocre at best. Most turned out to be the jerks they were and failed in the bigger arena of life.

The nerds and those picked on usually did very well after they got out of the nightmare of high school.

Most social skills do not make one a good or happy person. In fact often the most popular are the most shallow which shows up sooner or later. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Icelander]
    #4401007 - 07/13/05 08:22 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

"Most social skills do not make one a good or happy person.

This is true because despite my unpopularity, throughout all of the years...even under the yoke of alcohol addiction for a time, I have always been a happy person.

"In fact often the most popular are the most shallow which shows up sooner or later."

But there is the occasional genuinely nice person who is popular for that reason alone.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4401044 - 07/13/05 08:31 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

But there is the occasional genuinely nice person who is popular for that reason alone.

very true. :thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Jellric]
    #4401097 - 07/13/05 08:41 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Jellric said:
I found an interesting article and someone suggested I post it in S&P. Here is a slice to whet your appetite:

"When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E. A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down's Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called "retards."

We sat at a D table, as low as you could get without looking physically different. We were not being especially candid to grade ourselves as D. It would have taken a deliberate lie to say otherwise. Everyone in the school knew exactly how popular everyone else was, including us.

My stock gradually rose during high school. Puberty finally arrived; I became a decent soccer player; I started a scandalous underground newspaper. So I've seen a good part of the popularity landscape.

I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.

Why? To someone in school now, that may seem an odd question to ask. The mere fact is so overwhelming that it may seem strange to imagine that it could be any other way. But it could. Being smart doesn't make you an outcast in elementary school. Nor does it harm you in the real world. Nor, as far as I can tell, is the problem so bad in most other countries. But in a typical American secondary school, being smart is likely to make your life difficult. Why?

The key to this mystery is to rephrase the question slightly. Why don't smart kids make themselves popular? If they're so smart, why don't they figure out how popularity works and beat the system, just as they do for standardized tests?"




It's not the grades or anything, it's all in the body movement.
The sicret is to slow down the talking, and slow down your body movement and look uninterested , to project an image of person that is relaxed and secure under all times. If the hounds detect the smell of anxiety and fear, they will feed on it and make fun of these people.


--------------------
I descend upon your earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine


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InvisibleDark_Star
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Registered: 08/21/04
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Jellric]
    #4401218 - 07/13/05 09:08 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

School is a nightmare....it seems like the world at the time, but once you're out you see how small and insignificant it all really was.


--------------------


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: OldWoodSpecter]
    #4401222 - 07/13/05 09:08 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I always noticed the seperation like this: Nerds were people who took school (scholastic wise) very seriously, while the popular kids took school (social wise) very serious. these were the same popular kids who probably threw tantrums if their mom didnt buy them girbaud jeans. They were usually popular because they threw the first keg parties, or got a new car weeks before they got their license.
Seems to me that parents and television put a huge amount of emphasis on either academics, or popularity. I think everyone can remember those parents who were always doing anything to make their kid more popular, as well as those parents who went the other direction, and forced their kids to study 3 hours a day, and were grounded if they didnt bring home straight A's.
I never understood why High School is still revered as being important, while college is considered a lax time for partying, screwing around and drugs.
Even while in high school I had a pretty good semblance that it was crap, and not too serious, either socially or academically. For a high schooler, i was pretty ambivalent towards both. But even looking back now I laugh at how serious I even took high school, especially the disciplinary system.
I maintained nerdom while being popular, probably because I never really gave a shit about either. I think we need to really show kids how useless and unimportant high school is.
Ask yourself this.... if you could go back to high school knowing what you know now, would it have been anywhere near as stressful or serious?


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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4401310 - 07/13/05 09:30 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

"if you could go back to high school knowing what you know now, would it have been anywhere near as stressful or serious?"

It would be way more stressful and serious, hell man I went to high school 35 years ago! Kids nowadays have real weapons. Back then it was fisticuffs after school.

High school, for me was actually academically very challenging senior year. I had some great teachers, and some advanced programs. Nowadays I get the feeling high school academics wouldn't be nearly as rigorous as I went through.


--------------------
Anxiety is what you make it.


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Dark_Star]
    #4401324 - 07/13/05 09:38 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

School is a nightmare....it seems like the world at the time, but once you're out you see how small and insignificant it all really was.

Another tidbit from the article:

"If I could go back and give my thirteen year old self some advice, the main thing I'd tell him would be to stick his head up and look around. I didn't really grasp it at the time, but the whole world we lived in was as fake as a Twinkie. Not just school, but the entire town. Why do people move to suburbia? To have kids! So no wonder it seemed boring and sterile. The whole place was a giant nursery, an artificial town created explicitly for the purpose of breeding children.

Where I grew up, it felt as if there was nowhere to go, and nothing to do. This was no accident. Suburbs are deliberately designed to exclude the outside world, because it contains things that could endanger children.

And as for the schools, they were just holding pens within this fake world. Officially the purpose of schools is to teach kids. In fact their primary purpose is to keep kids locked up in one place for a big chunk of the day so adults can get things done. And I have no problem with this: in a specialized industrial society, it would be a disaster to have kids running around loose.

What bothers me is not that the kids are kept in prisons, but that (a) they aren't told about it, and (b) the prisons are run mostly by the inmates. Kids are sent off to spend six years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they balk at this surreal cocktail, they're called misfits."

Link to the full article:
http://paulgraham.com/nerds.html


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


Edited by Jellric (07/13/05 09:50 PM)


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4401327 - 07/13/05 09:39 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

"while college is considered a lax time for partying, screwing around and drugs."

It is not....in college you should be getting your work done. Your college grades directly impact what type of job you get afterwards. There is always time for fun...but college is serious business.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4401362 - 07/13/05 09:47 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I went to an experimental collage in the 70s.  We had no grades, and chose the course curriculum  each term and chose what teachers would teach them.

What I learned there had nothing to do with academics.  I learned to have fun and to live. I consider that some of the best time spent in my life. :cool: :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlineshroom_muncher
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Icelander]
    #4401520 - 07/13/05 10:24 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Je ne sais pas. Test. Sorry for the inconvenience brothers and sisters.


--------------------
peace sells but whos buyin?


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: shroom_muncher]
    #4401609 - 07/13/05 11:10 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

This really doesn't seem relevant to me. I've read the article several times and the only reaction I can muster is an apathetic "so?".

Why are socially withdrawn introverts unpopular? Gee... Even when they're unpopular when compared to a group which they have few similarities with that determines relative popularity by who they associate with and how this association occurs?

Truly mind-boggling.


--------------------
Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Icelander]
    #4401805 - 07/14/05 12:28 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

It depends on why your in college. I attended college to develop a more detailed understanding of computer programming. I was 36 before I ever attended college (and stayed). When I first posted here 18 months ago I was still a full time student. Time having fun is time well spent, but I have fun 24/7 anyway...I just needed to learn programming...which is another kind of fun. If you enjoy learning getting your classwork done is fun. I thought college was highly entertaining as I love to learn. Just because something is serious does not mean it should not be fun....but party fun and learning fun do not go well together...I have tried before. Party fun won out.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: LunarEclipse]
    #4401824 - 07/14/05 12:43 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

"Nowadays I get the feeling high school academics wouldn't be nearly as rigorous as I went through."

Think again...my daughter is a senior next semester and taking pre-calc, and attending college level classes at the local community college. I did not even take algebra in high school


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Jellric]
    #4401828 - 07/14/05 12:48 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

There are lots of different kinds of intelligence.

Some people that might be really bad at math and science, might be very good at interpreting and understanding communication and how people react to the appearance and actions of those around them.

Sometimes people who are very good at interpreting and reading the actions and appearances of others might be able to write about the people they see around them, but lack the skills necessary to properly mimic the behaviour they've observed.

So they end up being nerds.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Phluck]
    #4401848 - 07/14/05 12:57 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Yea Hue, I took calc B while still in highschool as well as AP physics.

My first semester of college was like repeating senior year but having lots more free time.


--------------------
Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Why are nerds unpopular? [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4401858 - 07/14/05 01:00 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Huehuecoyotl said:
It depends on why your in college. I attended college to develop a more detailed understanding of computer programming. I was 36 before I ever attended college (and stayed). When I first posted here 18 months ago I was still a full time student. Time having fun is time well spent, but I have fun 24/7 anyway...I just needed to learn programming...which is another kind of fun. If you enjoy learning getting your classwork done is fun. I thought college was highly entertaining as I love to learn. Just because something is serious does not mean it should not be fun....but party fun and learning fun do not go well together...I have tried before. Party fun won out.




I was learning that the rest of the world wasn't like my family. :grin: :thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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