succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, October 03, 2005

From Cryptonomicon

"My point is that precision, and getting things right, in the mathematical sense, is the one thing we have going for us...We make our way in the world by knowing that two plus two equals four, and sticking to our guns in a way that is kind of nerdy and that maybe hurts people's feelings sometimes. I'm sorry."
"Hurts whose feelings? People who think two plus two equals five?"
"People who put a higher priority on social graces than on having every statement uttered in a conversation be literally true."
"What I'm saying is that this does set me apart. One of the most frightening things about your true nerd, for many people, is not that he's socially inept - because everybody's been there - but rather his complete lack of embarrassment about it."

Of course, I object to how Stephenson characterizes most of the women in his book, and the fact that all the nerds in his stories are men (though I suppose he does throw us a bone with the female lead in that she's physically strong and 'street smart-ish,' thus preventing her from being totally worthless, which is a step in the right direction) but he does nail the nerd description. Ought to be reprinted in all the CWRU (er...'scuse me, Case) handbooks. Pretty accurately describes the general student body. And I mean that in a good way.


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