Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quote of the week: nerdness

From Reamde, a pretty good (but atypical) novel by Neal Stephenson (sorry, excimer), a pretty insightful quote about people and being nerds:
In so many areas, it was not possible to be knowledgeable without getting a Ph.D. and doing a postdoc. Guns and hunting provided an out for men who wanted to be know-it-alls but who couldn't afford to spend the first three decades of their lives getting up to speed on quantum mechanics or oncology. You simply couldn't go to a gun range without being cornered by a man who wanted to talk to you for hours about the relative merits of side-by-side versus over-and-under shotguns.
So, so, so true. Nerdness is all over, some areas are just a little more obscure than others. 


  1. Star Wars and certain video games come to mind...

  2. He has another quote, in Cryptonomicon:

    “This made him a grad student, and grad students existed not to learn things but to relieve the tenured faculty members of tiresome burdens such as educating people and doing research.”

    I think Stephenson has a vendetta against academia, but one not earned through trudging long years in the System. Also, he can go fuck himself with his 1100-page tomes of awful writing.


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