Is it cool to be a geek or a nerd?

One of the recommended readings for last week’s class was this article from the NY Times: The Alpha Geeks It discussed whether or not it’s “cool” to be a geek or a nerd.

The author of that article, David Brooks throws around many names in the article. Of them, only one is a female and he makes reference to her appearance:

Tina Fey, who once was on the cover of Geek Monthly magazine, has emerged as a symbol of the geek who grows into a swan.

(Okay, so it’s not specific. But, the opposite of the swan, in the fairy tale, is an “ugly duckling”, and the common sentiment about Tina Fey is that she is most definitely not ugly, so I believe this statement is indeed talking about her appearance.)

In addition, only one of the names of the “cool” geeks mentioned is of a person who is not white. (He mentions President Obama, who is half white and half black).

Last week, this article was published in NetworkWorld: Computer science major is cool again. Good news is that there is a rise in the number enrolling in CS. Bad news is, it’s still only white men who are doing the enrolling.

So, if we go by what these two articles are implying, the answer to the question I posed in the the title to this post is:

“Only if you’re a hot female or a white male.”


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