Tag Archives | Nerds

What Happens When Society Decides That Nerds Are Dangerous?

Nerd 11Nerds. Dangerous. Same sentence? Yes, in Vanity Fair:

In Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 movie Straw Dogs, Dustin Hoffman plays an ineffectual intellectual, a mathematician, indeed, a nerd, who moves with his alluring wife to her hometown, in England. Local rowdies continually harass them, until Hoffman’s character executes a violent revenge.

The words “nerd” and “violent” do not usually go hand in hand, but the harmlessness of nerds is hardly a settled formula. Along with severe emotional disturbance, likely psychosis, and a slowly festering decision to carry out the rampage that ended in the deaths of six students, as well as his own on May 23 in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger, for most of his life, fit the mold of a “nerd.” In his manifesto, “My Twisted World,” he noted that video games were his only refuge growing up: “I immersed myself entirely into my online games like World of Warcraft.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ben Goldacre: Berating Bad Science

For those who love a good bit of debunking, Ben Goldacre's Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks is going to be compelling reading. As Katherine Bouton notes in the New York Times,
Ben Goldacre is exasperated. He’s not exactly angry — that would be much less fun to read — except in certain circumstances. He is irked, vexed, bugged, ticked off at the sometimes inadvertent (because of stupidity) but more often deliberate deceptions perpetrated in the name of science. And he wants you, the reader, to share his feelings.
He explains to New Scientist some of his favorite peeves:
Continue Reading