Bad Sides of Nerd Culture

Some nerds pride themselves on deep thinking but I think this is the equivalent of being a fashionista in nerd culture. It’s just as much about territorial signaling as anything else. So in that sense nerd culture is just as perverse as the fashion industry in terms of what it values. This is especially prevalent among programmers where “deep thinking” is used as cover for psychological bullying and status jockeying. Security professionals and free software advocates are notorious for using these kinds of tactics.

Berating pragmatic approaches to security and closed source software without trying to empathize with someone who makes those choices is a nice way to surround oneself with a toxic clout of superiority.

The thing to notice here is that these tactics are negatively self-reinforcing. Any sane person eventually stops listening once the veneer of superiority starts to chip away. This leaves the group in an even more toxic state and virtually guarantees the group will eventually become a cult and die out from sequestration. So the group accomplishes none of what it wanted to and in many ways makes it harder for those that follow to associate themselves with the better ideals of what the non-toxic group stood for, i.e. educating people on better security and software licensing practices.