This “article” demonstrates the actual problem affecting those of us who consider ourselves “smart” — ourselves. Mr. Hopkins is suffering from an extreme case of hubris; he knows exactly what’s wrong with the world and exactly how to fix it. All we have to do is these simple things and the world with be infintely better.
But there’s some logic that he’s missing, and it explains (but does not justify) why his “nerds” are always getting picked on, and he doesn’t even realize that it’s happening:
- Read a fucking book (why the need for expletives?)
Everyone who considers themselves “smart” or “intelligent” always has this same suggestion: if we all read more, the world will be a better place. So everyone put down the remotes and open a book, and your life will immediately change for the better and we’ll have flying cars and cure all illnesses by the end of the year.
But you know what? Some people simply don’t like to read for leisure. I read stuff all day: reports, articles, study materials, project proposals, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is read another G.D. word. I just want to sit and watch other people do things. I’m not saying people shouldn’t read, but what Mr. Hopkins (and a lot of “intellectuals”) is saying (at least to me) is, “Because I read books rather than watch TV or movies, I’m inherently better than you.”
And let’s not even get started on if you chose to read a book that these people deem as “worthless”.
2. Learn something
People learn new things every day, even if they don’t know they’re learning it. But the difference here is, unless it’s part of STEM, most Nerds don’t think it has value. Look at what Mr. Hopkins listed: did you see any reference to writing or art? No, it’s all about lectures, philosophy (aka. justified ignorance), science, mathematics, and language. Nothing about interpersonal relationships, nothing about painting or drawing, nothing about theater or needlepoint. Mr. Hopkins may respond to this post and say, “Well yes, those things are important to learn as well,” and that would be fine, but, initially, he did not think of them. He only listed the areas that he deemed important. And as important as STEM is, it’s not the only learning that has value.
3. Stop buying so much shit (once again, are the expletives necessary?)
“One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.” What’s shit to Mr. Hopkins isn’t shit to someone else. Who has put him in charge of what’s worthy to buy? Everyone is different, and where some like to live very Spartan lifestyles, others need opulence. And neither is wrong. Stop trying to get everyone to be the same and live the same way. This is where much of our problems in the world begin — the idea that we all need to be the same. Learn to live with people who have different opinions and lifestyles than you do.
And my favorite…
Protect the nerds
How about the Nerds learn to protect themselves? How about they put down the book for an hour or so and get outside? How about they actually learn something (as recommended in #2) like a new sport? Stop feeding into the stereotype and pick up golf or tennis or baseball. Take Judo or Tae Kwon Do or even Boxing. I work in a STEM-based position, and I still have appreciation for sports and physical fitness. I play hockey (ice, not…well there is no other Hockey), I watch sports, and I exercise every day. How about Mr. Hopkins takes some of his pale, frail Chess Club members outside for a good run once a week?
The whole point I’m trying to make is what has plagued Nerds since the creation of the Nerd: their inability (or refusal) to understand that just because they may be the smarter people on the planet, doesn’t mean that they always have the answers, and that everyone else is either ignorant or dumb. Being a Nerd isn’t a choice, and one cannot simply become a Nerd. Being a Nerd, like being Left-Handed or Gay, is genetic. So is being athletic. And creative. And if you tried to make an athletic person live like a Nerd, they’d hate it. HATE. IT. Because it’s not in their nature. But it is important for the Athlete to embrace learning, because it is an important part of life. Likewise, it’s important for the Nerd to embrace physical fitness, because, it too, is an important part of life. Intelligence is only one part that makes up a Human Being, and it’s no more important than the other parts. Some people may have a genetic pre-disposition to Intelligence, but they need to be very careful that they do not value that above all other things and people.
Smart may be sexy, but sexy is still sexy too.