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swansong
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13 Mar 2010, 12:57 pm

Since, many users on this forum fit the high school demographic, I felt that I should post this here. For those of you who do not know, Paul Graham is a very successful programmer who wrote many essays. Most of his essays are about computers, but there are a handful of them about his observations and life experiences which are definitely worth reading.

Here is the link to the essay called "Why Nerds Are Unpopular" :
http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

My only criticism on this essay is that it seems to suggest that a high school student can only be one of two things: either unpopular and smart or popular and dumb. Many high school students manage their time wisely and become both smart and popular. Being very popular takes a lot of time and effort, but being somewhat popular doesn't take much effort at all. Many high school students which are unpopular aren't very smart at all, and they become unpopular not because they choose to be smart, but because they have non-intelligence related flaws such as poor hygeine. There are high school students which sacrifice their social life and do not put it towards anything productive (like spending one's whole high school life playing video games).

Other than those criticisms, I really enjoyed this essay and it has enlightened me in some ways.



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13 Mar 2010, 2:01 pm

I think it's because if nerds are unpopular, it doesn't really matter because they have something else to do. What would the popular kids do if they weren't so busy being popular? Eh?

So to summarise; it's so the universe doesn't destabilise and tip over or something.


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GriffinGuitar12
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13 Mar 2010, 2:22 pm

"Nerds" are unpopular because in high school, the "popular" kids are too focused on sexual satisfaction and dealing with peer pressure to have the time to be "goofy" the way (most) "nerds" (including myself :P ) tend to be. Also, I hate to agree with a stereotype, but most of the so-called "populars" don't tend to be the smartest people in the world, and I think the other reason nerds are unpopular is 'cuz the "popular" students are often jealous of their intellects. I went to a "special" school, and even THERE there were "popular" kids. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!! !! ! (queue theme from "Psycho" :P )



ursaminor
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13 Mar 2010, 4:56 pm

Lots of smart people are popular.
We have whole schools full of smart people and you see that same division.
Not so much at my school, which is for autistics only.

Being unpopular is just in the criteria of 'nerd'.
Nerd is actually derived from knurd, which is the opposite of drunk, meaning they do not go out and drink.



chaotik_lord
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13 Mar 2010, 11:44 pm

I loved the essay. MY high school didn't really have popularity; we had cliques, but nobody was cruel. But middle school . . . this makes sense.

And I loved his mention of Lord of the Flies. I had some sort of nervous breakdown reading that book. I think I "got it" completely.



Postures
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13 Mar 2010, 11:54 pm

Popular people are usually dickheads. I was "known" around my secondary school as the weird one. I was smart but too naughty to be considered a nerd. However, I was mercilessly bullied for being clever and foreign in primary school.


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Moog
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14 Mar 2010, 6:46 am

ursaminor wrote:
Nerd is actually derived from knurd, which is the opposite of drunk, meaning they do not go out and drink.


I did not know that! I'm fascinated by word derivations.


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Moog
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14 Mar 2010, 6:48 am

chaotik_lord wrote:
And I loved his mention of Lord of the Flies. I had some sort of nervous breakdown reading that book. I think I "got it" completely.


I had a conversation with my mother (also aspie) recently about that book, and she also found it horrifying. I thought it simply a highly accurate depiction of how kids behave.


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PunkyKat
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16 Mar 2010, 12:01 pm

Because most nerds are "goodie goodies" and kiss ups. If I went to a public high school, I would only study the things I was intrested in and ignore the others. Nerds do ALL of their schoolwork. Nerds don't take a swing at the bullies and let themselves be walked all over. They don't know how to stand up for themselves.



tinmaiden
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20 Mar 2010, 5:33 pm

The true definition of popularity is having a lot of people like you, I think. A sweet nerd who is well-liked and generally respected for his/her intelligence is far from being "unpopular" in the realest sense of the word.


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Jkid
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21 Mar 2010, 9:01 pm

I actually read the essay a couple of times. I think the reason why nerds are unpopular because they refuse to play the popularity game or being into the mainstream culture.



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23 Mar 2010, 2:30 am

Things that geeks have been doing all along only becomes cool when others start doing it, yet in other fields, trend setters are considered the next in thing


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MONKEY
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23 Mar 2010, 3:54 pm

Nerds are unpopular...
Because they're nerds.

There's no need to over complicate things.


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callumosborne
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26 Mar 2010, 8:45 pm

well i get very high grades and im popular so yea im a hybrid :twisted: :D :)



bully_on_speed
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26 Mar 2010, 8:51 pm

its a sterotype nothing more.