Your Younger Nerd

May 4, 2011

I’ve been working my way through Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon over the past few months. Great book. This passage, in particular, really struck a chord with me:

Chester nods all the way through this, but does not rudely interrupt Randy as a younger nerd would. Your younger nerd takes offense quickly when someone near him begins to utter declarative sentences, because he reads into it an assertion that he, the nerd, does not already know the information being imparted. But your older nerd has more self-confidence, and besides, understands that frequently people need to think out loud. And highly advanced nerds will furthermore understand that uttering declarative sentences whose contents are already known to all present is part of the social process of making conversation and therefore should not be construed as aggression under any circumstances.

I’ve associated with many nerds through the course of my life and these words ring SO TRUE. This is something I’ve been somewhat aware of for awhile now, but it’s something else entirely to see it written so succinctly.

On an unrelated note, this Free OCR website is a great way to get text out of Google Books.