Posted by jonathansimon
on September 2, 2004 at 6:16 AM PDT
This chapter makes a great case saying that nerds are unpopular because they don't care about being popular -- or at least not enough to sacrifice their nerd desires to accomplish popularity.
Generally I agree, but I am having a hard time reconciling this theory with my experiences. I went to a very small arts high school in Miami with about 300 students -- all nerds. You have to figure, we were between the ages of 14 and 18, all very bright and extremely motivated for high school students. But yet we had the same social structures. There were the cool nerds, and the druggie nerds, and loser nerds -- but still all nerds.
I was especially confused when I got to Oberlin for college. Again, a small liberal arts nerd-heavy institution. The one situation I heard used a lot to describe the student body was "given 50 students, and 50 tables, you will eventually have 1 student per table." So, basically, another bunch of closet freaks.
On one level, you could just say that this popularity thing is human nature. And given a number of people, they will always make these social structures. My experience was social structures among a bunch of nerds. But I guess if you isolated all of the cool people, there would be the popular cool people and nerd cool people. Interesting.
The main difference I noticed at these places were what was considered cool. The standard things that make you popular among non-nerds were replaced by nerd activities.