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July 29, 2007

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windansea

LOL

cap me with a nine...too funny

what did this 12 year nerd study cost taxpayers?

Hei Lun Chan

What about Urkel?

But I bet after this woman's research becomes conventional wisdom we'll hear kids in schools everywhere say, "I'm not a nerd; I'm Asian."

hit and run

Hey, I watched Revenge of the Nerds last weekend. One of the nerds was Asian and one was Black.

Whom do I bill for my research?

Sue

Seriously? This is a research project? Okay...

My contribution to the nerd project, one of the biggest nerds I know is a man from India. And he readily admits it.

BarbaraS

Isn't the liberal mind a wonderful labyrinth or even more so an abyss? Seriously, how much money has this woman made off this sh*t?

Rick Ballard

Barabara,

"Linguist" is the key here - when someone from a "I understood there would be no math involved" non-discipline "examines" a question involving anything, the results are not generally worth the value of the paper and ink expended, let alone the time. If the prof at UC Santa Barabara had spent a day or two around the engineering department at UC Berkeley she might have run into more than a few Asian nerds.

boris

The nerd = white foolishness is simply based on the stereotype that blacks are cooler than whites, so least cool = hyperwhite.

Isn't this just dressed up racialism?

It just reinforces the harmful notion that book learning is acting white and uncool. If the intent was to promote nerdiness as an alternate way to "be cool", this desn't seem like a good way to do that.

Sue

or drop the “g” in “playing<.i>

They obviously didn't do this study in Texas. We all drop the "g".

Sue

Oops. Sorry.

PeterUK

Quite simply, nerds are those who do incredibly nerdish things like conduct research into nerdishness,Mary Bucholtz is the epitome of nerdity.To her I say "Nerd know thyself".
As a side bar,there had to have a racial aspect ,otherwise her nerdishness would not have got funding.

hit and run

I anxiously await the results of the field research from the Maguire household.

Teenage daughters...

What's the tradesport line on at least one of them naming the manor's patriarch as a nerd?

clarice

TM reads this dreck religiously so we won't have to.

Can't wait until we're closer to the election to get the considered opinions of that genius Naomi Wolf. (She is a genius..she's found a way to get Dems to pay her for her nonsense.)

maryerose

I consider myself a nerd and I have to say there are no racial lines to be drawn here. It's a universal phenomenom. Nerds are thinkers rather than reactors.

Carol Herman

Bucholtz got away with this for 12 years?

People kept a straight face for 12 years?

What kinds of insanity prevails inside of academia, when they're not killing each other over parking spaces; that this woman HYPER-IDIOTIC wasn't told straight off that her Ph.D Thesis was a crock.

I guess she thinks "all Asians are slanty-eyed people." Not true about "all asians."

I guess she's math phobic. Because she thinks math belongs to the "hyper-whites," but that's not gonna be found in textbooks, if you'd care to look this up for verification.

And, at one time, when the word "nerd" was birthing; it meant a guy who couldn't seem to get laid. Who wore white shirts. And, who didn't want his pens to leak onto the shirting material, so he always used a pocket protector.

Later on, especially because Richard Feynman was willing to be so randy, people learned that nerds to get laid. And, as often as they liked. Since women weren't looking for attributes beyond which a man earned a good living. And, didn't interrupt them all that much. In other words? Nerds made headway where it counts. And, that's how nature works.

This "hyper-white" bullshit investigated the wrong stuff. It would have been better, if, over 12 years, this dame just asked if she could measure a man's penis. For science. Bet she'd have discovered a lot more than her "questioning of high schoolers" ... while she sought out this "definition."

Until you can measure this with an accurate ruler, your findings aren't worth much.

MikeS

I think any attempt to equate or explain nerd or nerdiness through the use of supposed racial characteristics is ill-considered.

Simply stated nerdy is the opposite of cool. For example a geek could also be cool. If a nerd became cool, he would no longer be a nerd. People sometimes confuse the words dork and nerd. This is another mistake. Dork implies clumsiness either physically, or socially, or both. A nerd might be clumsy (many are), but this is not a prerequisite.

One of the proudest days of my life happened when my youngest son was about fourteen. He asked me, “Dad, how do you always act so cool?”
I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “It’s not an act!”

Neo

This research has just shown the reason for non-“hyperwhite” inability to perform well in academic endeavors.

I am a bit perplexed that there seems to be some exclusion of Asians from the category of "nerds" as Asians as a group perform better most "whites".

Bert

All these years of liking science, being good at solving and resolving problems, being good with technology AND tools, Europeon-American, retired military, working now as healthcare provider, and being proud of my nerdiness, and after all this, I get to be labeled a racist. Who knew? Is this a great country or what? And someone paid for this study? I am laughing my butt off.

Heather

The COSMOS program for bright high schools completely refutes her premise. And the data is easily available to her.
Berkeley is part of the University of California system. UC Davis is about 1 hour away, UC Santa Cruz is down the coast, and UC Irvine and UC San Diego in Southern CA. If you look at the kids on this website, http://www.ucop.edu/cosmos/ They are all 'nerds'. Every rainbow shade possible. Who are they? High School kids attending a 4 week residential program for bright Science and Math oriented kids during the summer at each of these campuses. Average HS GPA is close to a 4.0. My son attended 2 sessions, one in San Diego, and one at Davis, close to where we live. His present college roommates are clearly nerds, and are of mixed races. All that researcher had to do was look around close to home.

Bruce F. Webster

Heck, she just needs to read the lyrics to Weird Al's parody, "White and Nerdy". It's kind of scary how many points there I match (yes, I have books on both Javascript and Klingon, though I'm fluent in neither). ..bruce..

Neo

nuqjatlh?

both Javascript and Klingon

Klingon now has greater common usage than the international language, Esparonto. It is important to remember that the best selling Esparonto video stars Willian Shatner.

RichatUF

Here is the referenced 2001 paper link here

I suppose that is a mark of nerdiness...< ahref="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080339/quotes">let me jive it up a bit...

herzs da shinitzs on the dizzel bang!

[my gibberish translator is working well today]

RichatUF

nor is my typing...

let me jive it up a bit...

Ralph L

Do I need to add or should I remove the racial tint from my coke-bottle eyeglasses?

RichatUF

I am so sending her an email. Maybe I can get the guys over at Protein Wisdom to give me a academic-ese re-write...

I started leafing through her 2001 paper-wow

Neo

The author, Mary Bucholtz, seems to have a problem resolving in the reactions from Afro-Americans to the term "nerd", given the ridicule that popular "gangsta" culture has for education.

This only goes to show that a "linguist" shouldn't research problems meant for a sociologist.

Ultimately, this entire post and this paper remind we of a Calculus lecture that ended with a student asking the question ..
"Where did all them numbas come from ?".

hit and run

What would this page look like were it not so nerdy?

Gizoogle it!

A sample?

So young white nerds today is traitors ta they whiteness by not pretend'n ta be hip-hop gangstas? Could someone pleaze jizzy cap me wit a nine riznight now? But quietly - thugz is sleep'n...

Posted by Tom Maguire on July 29, 2007 |Permalink

But click the link, it tanslated all the comments too

RichatUF

It must a really slow Sunday but from the 2001 paper...

One such context is Bay City High School, a large high school in the San Francisco Bay Area where I conducted a year of fieldwork in 1995-96. In spite if the school's tremendos raciak and ethnic diversity, resulting in the visibility of whiteness as a racial category, white students at Bay City High School frequently operated according to an ideological diachotomy between African Americans and European Americans

Fieldwork...like she went out into the savannah to see the creatures in their natural habitat...yea it gets more ridiculous

hit and run

Neo:
a Calculus lecture that ended with a student asking the question ..
"Where did all them numbas come from ?".

Hey, that was me.

This only goes to show that a "linguist" shouldn't research problems meant for a sociologist.

Hey, that's me.

Carol Herman

Not always called nerds. they used to be called "geeks."

I guess blacks couldn't apply, because geeks didn't get laid?

This is about the stupidest piece of drivel I've seen coming out of acadamia. Up there with "global warming" as a science motif.

RichatUF

Another gem:

In general, then, white nerds were identifying not against blackness but against trendy whiteness, yet any dissociation from white youth trends entailed a dissociation from the black cultural forms from which those trends largely derive...

So...dissociation from black youth cultural trends is the danger of the nerd

RichatUF

H&R-

dats some straight up g gizoogleinz' skillizs

RichatUF

Carol-

This is about the stupidest piece of drivel I've seen coming out of acadamia

She has been doing this for 12 years. The NYT Magazine article is a love letter for her soon-to-be published book. She is a true believer, and is even an Associate Professor [just waiting for her tenure]...she probably got a federal grant to study the discursive formations of African American Venacular English and its hegemonic reactions

Neo

hit and run: Do you own a sequined jacket that says on the back "Randy the Star" ?

hit and run

Shoot, no. But when I was a kid I had a blue jean jacket with a rhinestone eagle on the back.

Oh, and don't even think of making fun of that.

Grandma made it for me.

RichatUF

I sent a quick email and let you know if she sends anything back.

I'm curious if she means "nerdness" as some sort of subversive cultural expression to black youth cultural formulations and expressions [ie suburban white appropriation of black youth culture], and if it is "subversive" is she equating this to "dangerous"...

hit and run

The nerd across the street invited me over for dinner.

He's making pasta. And his wife just got back from the store. I'm guessing with some beer.

OK, he's probably more geek.

Lovable nerdy geek engineer.

Lovable nerdy geek engineer who's wife just got home with beer.

Lovable beer.

RichatUF

Beer, thats what I am missing, the translator's key

windansea

meanwhile something cool has happened

Iraq beat the Saudis in finals of Asia Cup

the author explains how this is evidence ofBushmchitlercivilwar

windansea


better quote from a Nigerian at HotAir:

I’m happy that the people of Iraq has felt this too. This is their first ever international win, and if something is going to heal that country, and make all these different sects not want to kill each other, soccer can do it. I know, cus i see it happen in Nigeria, everyday.

Ralph L

This is the silly flip side of John McWhorter?'s thesis that black youth culture identifies academic excellence with whiteness.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Mark Steyn says the revenge of the nerds is taking its toll:

...upon being caught butt-swatting, Mashburn and Cornelison were called to the principal's office, where they were questioned for several hours by vice principal Steve Tillery and McMinnville Police officer Marshall Roache. At the end of the afternoon, two boys who'd never been in any kind of trouble before were read their Miranda rights and led off in handcuffs to spend five days in juvenile jail.

Tough, but I guess they learned their lesson, right?

Ha! The state of Oregon was only warming up. After a court appearance in shackles and prison garb, the defendants were charged with multiple counts of felony sexual abuse, banned from school and forbidden any contact with their friends.

I spent the entire spring at the "white collar fraud" trial of Conrad Black....

Having had no previous prolonged exposure to the American justice system, I was interested to see whether the techniques used by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald were particular to that case or more widely applied. The Oregon butt psychos make an instructive study. As in the Black trial, once the authorities had decided on their view of the case, other parties were leaned on to fall into line and play the role of "victims." Of 14 other students interviewed by officer Roache, seven (boys and girls) told him they had engaged in bottom-swatting themselves. Two of the "victims" said they had done it to others. At the initial hearing, a couple of female students spontaneously testified that they'd felt very much pressured to conform during their interviews with the vice principal and the police officer. "Well, when the principal asked me stuff, I kind of felt pressured to answer stuff that I was uncomfortable, and that it hurt, but it really didn't," said one girl.

....With the boys' respective parents already in the hole for $10,000 apiece in legal fees, the D.A. used the most powerful weapon in the prosecutor's armory: Cop a plea, and we'll make all the pain go away. In this instance, that would mean pleading guilty in return for probation. The terms of probation would prevent Mashburn and Cornelison from contact with younger children, which would mean they couldn't be left with their younger siblings.

Mashburn and Cornelison do not believe they've committed a crime....

District Attorney Berry told reporter Susan Goldsmith of the Oregonian that his department "aggressively" pursues sex crimes. "These cases are devastating to children," he said. "They are life-altering cases."

No, sir. The only one devastating children's lives is you. ....

A world that requires handcuffs and judges and district attorneys for what took place that Friday in February is not just a failed education system but an entire society that's losing any sense of proportion. Without which, civilized life becomes impossible. So we legalize more and more aspects of life and demand that district attorneys prosecute ever more aggressively what were once routine areas of social interaction.

A society that looses the state to criminalize schoolroom horseplay is guilty not only of punishing children as grown-ups but of the infantilization of the entire citizenry.


Patrick R. Sullivan

Mark Steyn says the revenge of the nerds is taking its toll:

...upon being caught butt-swatting, Mashburn and Cornelison were called to the principal's office, where they were questioned for several hours by vice principal Steve Tillery and McMinnville Police officer Marshall Roache. At the end of the afternoon, two boys who'd never been in any kind of trouble before were read their Miranda rights and led off in handcuffs to spend five days in juvenile jail.

Tough, but I guess they learned their lesson, right?

Ha! The state of Oregon was only warming up. After a court appearance in shackles and prison garb, the defendants were charged with multiple counts of felony sexual abuse, banned from school and forbidden any contact with their friends.

I spent the entire spring at the "white collar fraud" trial of Conrad Black....

Having had no previous prolonged exposure to the American justice system, I was interested to see whether the techniques used by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald were particular to that case or more widely applied. The Oregon butt psychos make an instructive study. As in the Black trial, once the authorities had decided on their view of the case, other parties were leaned on to fall into line and play the role of "victims." Of 14 other students interviewed by officer Roache, seven (boys and girls) told him they had engaged in bottom-swatting themselves. Two of the "victims" said they had done it to others. At the initial hearing, a couple of female students spontaneously testified that they'd felt very much pressured to conform during their interviews with the vice principal and the police officer. "Well, when the principal asked me stuff, I kind of felt pressured to answer stuff that I was uncomfortable, and that it hurt, but it really didn't," said one girl.

....With the boys' respective parents already in the hole for $10,000 apiece in legal fees, the D.A. used the most powerful weapon in the prosecutor's armory: Cop a plea, and we'll make all the pain go away. In this instance, that would mean pleading guilty in return for probation. The terms of probation would prevent Mashburn and Cornelison from contact with younger children, which would mean they couldn't be left with their younger siblings.

Mashburn and Cornelison do not believe they've committed a crime....

District Attorney Berry told reporter Susan Goldsmith of the Oregonian that his department "aggressively" pursues sex crimes. "These cases are devastating to children," he said. "They are life-altering cases."

No, sir. The only one devastating children's lives is you. ....

A world that requires handcuffs and judges and district attorneys for what took place that Friday in February is not just a failed education system but an entire society that's losing any sense of proportion. Without which, civilized life becomes impossible. So we legalize more and more aspects of life and demand that district attorneys prosecute ever more aggressively what were once routine areas of social interaction.

A society that looses the state to criminalize schoolroom horseplay is guilty not only of punishing children as grown-ups but of the infantilization of the entire citizenry.


memomachine

Hmmmm.

"Hyperwhite"????

That's idiotic. I was born in South Korea and I'm a nerd. How the hell am I "hyperwhite"?? Consider all the nerds in South Korea alone. Are they all "hyperwhite"?

My definition of a nerd? Someone who can watch Pokemon Rangers and not throw up.

Neo

H&R: I had to know if you were "Randy the Star". Seems not.

Neo

Sorry memomachine, Asians aren't allowed to be nerds .. or so the Mary Bucholtz story goes. And even if you not Asian, you were born there, so it holds for you too, I'm afraid.

Neo

I have a question that segways to this story rather nicely ..

has any one ever met a Mensa member who wasn't obnoxious ?

I know I can up a few points shy on my IQ to join, but frankly, ever Mensa member I've ever met has been an obnoxious asshat, so I've never felt that God had shorted me.

MikeS

Since it seems no one is willing to say it ...
Though this Mary Bucholtz is somewhat confused, she is also quite cunning.

JM Hanes

Y'all are just a bunch of science-hating wingers aren't you? Shoot, probably hyper-white too!

Bill Arnold

Neo: I am a bit perplexed that there seems to be some exclusion of Asians from the category of "nerds" as Asians as a group perform better most "whites".
From a quick skim (rule: never trust a reporter's interpretation of academic literature), the 2001 paper (linked from her bio linked above) was about white nerds. Asians are mentioned only in passing:

...in U.S. culture generally, Asian Americans are ideologically positioned as the “model minority”—that is, the racialized group that most closely approaches "honorary” whiteness—in part because they are ideologically positioned as the nerdy minority, skilled in scientific and technical fields but utterly uncool (see Chun, this issue, for research that challenges this ideology)

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

Shoot, probably hyper-white too!

I prefer cracker or honkey...watzit, dat honkey droppin' knowledge

sylvia

I think being a nerd means someone has no concept of 'art'. I think it means they pretty much only use the side of the brain that deals in analytical thinking, not the creative side (I forget whether that is left or right). Think of Bill Gates versus Steve Jobs. I think that can also kind of track with what I know of autism, which some theorize is hyper-maleness, or less verbal and expression ability, which might explain why being a nerd is more associated with males.

And art is, as I learned from a college philosphy class, the recorded history of emotional expression. Since black people here tend to pride themselves on their creative abilities, such as in music, it is less associated with their culture today. According to an Egyptian observer here, (the one that Zawahiri followed), European origin whites have more of a fascination with machinery, as nerds tend to do. I also think that being a nerd means being stuck in pre-adolescence, with less interest in romance, and more interest in fantasy and action adventure - such as Star Wars geeks. Hence that is why nerds are often less interested in women and less attractive to women - unless of course one of those gizmos they come up with end up making them the big bucks, ala Bill Gates.

JM Hanes

RichatUF:
Then you're perfect! Because hyper-honkey is what Bucholtz really meant, isn't it? You just have to dress that kind of thing up for peer review, when you don't have the steet cred to use it yourself.

mefolkes

Neo, by your own definition, anyone who disagrees with you is probably an obnoxious asshat, so I'm probably beating my head against a wall by responding. I'm a Mensan who is well-liked by most folks. I try to follow the Golden Rule and retain sensitivity to others, within the limits of being a conservative. I've met some incredibly arrogant and rude Mensans, but most are very nice.

hit and run

JMH:
Shoot, probably hyper-white too!


I take ritalin for that.

memomachine

Hmmmm.

"Honorary whiteness"??

Well that sucks! So we get all the hassles of you white folks while still being a downtrodden minority?

Where the hell's the NAACP on this??

rofl. What an absurd piece of nonsense. I really cannot believe she spent 12 years on this. Sounds more like she goofed off for 12 years and then decided to pull something out of a nether region at the last moment.

memomachine

Hmmmm.

I think I might get a custom t-shirt with that nonsense on it.

"I'm an 'honorary white'."

lol

hit and run

What would you do if someone called you a nerd?

ELM MOTT, Texas (Map, News) - A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a "nerd" over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states' borders, as if to prove to his Internet friends that he meant business.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy's trailer down.

This week, Tavares, 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to arson and admitting he set the blaze.

memomachine

Hmmm.

That's a bit extreme for being called a "nerd". What would this guy do for an encore if anybody called him something worse?

SF

It seems to me that nerds and geeks are typically people who are socially awkward, either through their non-conforming appearance, their unusual conversation skills/topics, their unique behaviours and tastes, their awkward motor-physical skills (sports, dance, etc), and so on. A nerd is the opposite of a trendy person.

Everybody has met nerds that are black, white, asian, whatever. I think that race has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Obviously the author of the study knows NOTHING about nerdiness. One could learn more just by watching "revenge of the nerds" or countless other teen movies.

Mark Buehner

"they may say “blood” in lieu of “friend,”"

But only if they have for some reason been weened on 1970s television ala Good Times, while being sheltered by any urban culture from the last 30 years.


The real issue i see here is kinda the shoe on the other foot- African American pop-culture (how authentic I have no idea seing as its all filtered through MTV etc) seems to reject and ridicule that which is nerdy, which is unfortunate considering most would agree these are the types of behaviors (study, intellectual curiousity, tame social life) that are quite compatible with longterm economic success.


willis

"You might say they know that a culture based on theft is a culture not worth having."

I thought the liberal line for "diversity" was that it enriched all participating cultures. Can such enrichment be achieved without adopting something from each culture? But once adopted the resulting culture is based on theft and not worth having. Being a liberal is kin to being schizophrenic.

Omri

Some "research" if after 12 years she still hasn't found out that "nerd" comes from the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo.

Lee Stoller

It's really time to put an end to this 'white people' crap. The old southern culture saw the world as made up of white people and black people. This was necessary, as it formed the rationale for their slave society. There's been no need for that shit post Civil War. When you talk about being white, what you're really talking about is being mainstream American.

Those that like to play themselves up as cool nonconformists have dumped on the mainstream culture for ages, since that's the culture of most people in this country, and you can't be a cool nonconformist if you conform to the majority. Mainstreamers don't care about that; they just continue to do the things that most people know will work best for them (which is what makes those things mainstream in the first place).

Sure there are 'Asian' and 'Black' mainstreamers (or nerds, if you want to call them that), it has nothing to do with skin color. You'll see more and more of this as time goes on and the various 'Ethnics' learn from experience what our grandparents learned years ago:

Ethnicity is a loser. The social and economic penalties for remaining ethnic are severe. Better to go mainstream.

Dr. Ellen

So blacks are not only unable to be racist (see Jackson, J. and Sharpton, A et al) they are also unable to be nerds? Shoot, them poor fellas aren't allowed to do ANYthing!

kwo

Pardon my nerdity, but I think a lot of the above posters are missing her point. She's not saying "nerds are white," she's saying that instead of embracing "youth culture" (which currently includes a heaping helping of gangsta-ism), nerds stick to Standard English and other traditional forms of expression. And since, in the current gangsta-ish culture, being bookish is equated with being "white", it's not the nerds who are racists, it's the so-called normal kids. In other words, what the normal kids used to pejoratively call nerdy they now call white.

Thus in the last quoted para, she's saying that by sticking to what is considered "white" culture (but which is really just traditional standard academic/professional culture, in which anyone of any race can participate), the nerds are actually less racist than normal kids.

artdeptgirl

Or here's a thought...she could just spend the week in San Diego attending Comic-Con and find all of her carefully cultivated prejudices blown out the windows in one fell swoop. 160,000 nerds all wrangled into one location for her studying convenience. The demographics are astoundingly diverse and totally fantastic.

Oh wait...that would mean she'd have to actually work. Yep, never mind.

Brian Hutchinson

There are great laughs in here, but there is also something very sad - black kids are being told they can't be intellectual without selling, er, sellin' out.

Horst Graben

She is spot on. Listen to nerds. No matter the race, they all sound like Richard Prior doing a white voice. No matter the race, nerds are indeed hyper-white.

memomachine

Hmmmm.

Actually something better would've been a computer show here in New Jersey at the Raritan Center about a decade ago. The show had a thousand vendor tables or more and about 10,000 attendees all looking to buy software and computer equipment.

It also had a couple Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders that got completely ignored by the thousands of nerds all more interested in the latest hard drives, modems and motherboards.

JorgXMcKie

neo, my lovely and very nice wife was a Mensa member for well over 15 years. (She finally dropped out because she was tired of getting letters from prisoners propositioning her for everything from sex to drug-smuggling. Either the Mensa mailing lists are very easy to get or there are a lot of Mensa members behind bars.) I have heard her, in just about 20 years say something mean to anyone once, and he was really asking for it.

"You might say they know that a culture based on theft is a culture not worth having." I'll think of that every time I see Ward Churchill (noted Native American activist) wearing sunglasses and cowboy boots or combat boots or lugging around an AK-47 (none of which were invented by Native Americans), or any of those hip-hop gangstas wearing leather shoes or any kind of athletic sport shoe (both originally invented by non-Blacks) or riding in any car that wasn't first invented by a Black person. To say nothing of drinking Krystal (unless she can show it was first invented somewhere south of the Sahara.) Of course, if you have read "Black Aphrodite" I guess *everything* was originally invented in Africa, anyway. (Pretty much the way Russians invented baseball.)

RK Jones

I'm sorry, but there are only 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Cheers,
RK

Tim in PA

"I think any attempt to equate or explain nerd or nerdiness through the use of supposed racial characteristics is ill-considered. "

I'd agree. As is characterizing "correct English" as a "white" behavior.

I generally see the issues with language as an urban thing - it seems for most high school age kids in the city, it's cool to talk like an illiterate thug no matter what color your skin is.

clazy

I wonder how old this woman is. When I was a kid in the 70s, nerd was strictly pejorative. Now the term is more ambiguous. There is actually a fashion sensibility associated with it. People will deliberately pursue a nerdy look, but it is a kind of ironic hip thing, a way of distancing oneself from fashions that are spent, doing something new, and it's appropriate now because electronic gadgets and electronic music are both cool, and the nerd was always associated with technology. Here's an article in the Boston Herald that claims it's something new
http://theedge.bostonherald.com/styleNews/view.bg?articleid=1011465
but obviously once the papers have covered something like this, it's on its way out. Here in NYC I've seen this look for years and associated it with guys who listen to electronic music. This woman is clueless. It's not racial. Nerdiness implies technological sophistication and/or alienation/difference. this whiteness thing she's obsessed with is an artefact.

Fat Man

< a href="http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/bucholtz.html">
Mary Bucholtz, 5'1", 225. Loves comfortable shoes.

Kelly

I went to Ms. Bucholtz's website at the university to find a picture of her and was disappointed to find none. Then I realized her photo was tiled in the background of the page. All that "hyperwhiteness" just blended together. ;-)

Patel

In my experience being a nerd, going to engineering school with nerds and then working with nerds - I think nerds are some of the most colorblind people I know. Nerds tend to value competence, they don't care about race, looks etc. It is all about what you know.

Celebrim

Nerd [Trait]
You tend to judge people's attractiveness by thier intelligence rather than thier charisma.
Prerequisite: Int 13+
Benefit: Other people may use thier intelligence bonus in place of thier charisma bonus when interacting with you.

I don't see anything about a racial prerequisite. Must be a house rule.

Celebrim

"In my experience being a nerd, going to engineering school with nerds and then working with nerds - I think nerds are some of the most colorblind people I know. Nerds tend to value competence, they don't care about race, looks etc. It is all about what you know."

Nerds aren't just colorblind. They tend to be socially blind.

But you wouldn't have to be a engineering major to figure that out. All you'd have to do is watch say 'The Breakfast Club'.

Arlo

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world; those who divide up everyone into two groups, and those who don't.

Tony

I am a linguist. Like Neo, I think a certain kind of linguist sometimes trespasses too far into sociology (and sometimes ends up actually being a sociologist or anthropologist who lives in the linguistics dept., which may be the case with this researcher.

One thing that I want to point out, in response to commenters remarking that Bucholz must be math-phobic, or that linguistics is a math-phobic discipline: actually this is not at all true in general (although Bucholz may well be herself, who knows). Some sub-disciplines of linguistics *are* math. A substantial number of linguistics are computational theorists and computer scientists, and the pioneering work in complexity hierarchies of grammars (which have long had extensive applications in computer science proper)was done in large part by everyone's favorite guy, Noam Chomsky, in the 1950s and early 60s.

Bucholz sounds like a sociolinguist to me, though.

Bob R

I have not read any of her original papers, but other than the use of the term "hyperwhite" what does she have other than the most banal and pedestrian stereotypes of nerds. For those of you taking offense try replacing the term with "engineerish" or some other equally empty phrase. This helps to bring out how empty her work is. She really has nothing to offer that has not been beaten to death in network sitcoms, but she manages to get published with politically correct (but viciously racist) jargon. Yawn. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Henry

Here are three thoughts:

(1) Does Bucholtz have anything to say about Latin American culture? Didn't she do her research in California?

(2) “trends in music, dance, fashion, sports and language in a variety of youth subcultures are often traceable to an African-American source,”

Does "often" mean "hypothetically?" I guess "traceable" does mean "traceable." See (1).

(3) I'd love to Neil Stephenson riff on this, in the vein of his "bearded white male=racist" satire in Cryptonomicon. The nerds continue to deserve revenge.

Pat

"Klingon now has greater common usage than the international language, Esparonto. It is important to remember that the best selling Esparonto video stars Willian Shatner."

It's Esperanto. Nerds also try to spell things correctly.

mikek

You could argue that black people who can't speak English properly are just copying the rednecks they were hanging out with down south.

This woman should be fired. She and her research serve no actual purpose. What the hell is whiteness anyway? White is a collection of immigrants from Europe which all had very different cultures. She needs to read Ethnic America by Sowell.

Bill Arnold

This woman should be fired. She and her research serve no actual purpose.
Judge by her CV, not a single paper/line of research.

M. Simon

unusual conversation skills/topics

There is nothing unusual about wanting to talk about neutron scattering cross sections vs absorption cross sections. Or heat transfer and fluid flow.

Well, I was a Nuclear Reactor Operator in the Navy. About as geeky as you can get and still be a member of the fighting forces. Lotsa numbaz. LOL.

BTW I had some trouble with dating until I put on a Navy uniform. That is when I went from rags to riches. Even better was looking like a hippie (after I got out of the service), ah the 60s.

Californio

Well! It is obvious that several of my law school classmates were de facto frauds, as they had the skin and features of an African-American, but they annunciated their words and did not use slang! Ah, HA!!! "Everyone" "knows" that to be African-american you must speak in the patois of a poverty-stricken illiterate. Just ask the Klan. Or, Mary Bucholtz.

J Yasmar

Nobody has pointed this out yet: www.nerdpunk.com

J

james just

Nerd is a yiddish word first used during the israeli six day war

james just

Nerd is a yiddish word first used during the israeli six day war

Jack Okie

I think many of the comments in this thread confuse the terms "nerd" and "geek". To me, a nerd is a person who is socially clueless (Urkel), while a geek is someone who will discuss neutron scattering cross sections for hours, and flock to the Raritan Center computer show. One can be both a nerd and a geek, but the two don't necessarily go together.

Joseph

Translated into English, the article is very simple.

Whenever a student enters into an American school, the school system uses (solely) his or her race, class and gender to decide what he or she is capable of learning. Those students who exceed academic expectations become the nerds.

Kalroy

So let me get this straight. Nerds are Curling cheering, Country & Western lovin', rodeo watchin', ya'll speakin', hockey lovin' pasty faced wannabes?

Leave it to an insulated academic to over generalize being "white."


Kalroy

Neo

JorgXMcKie: happy to hear that not all Mensa member are obnoxious.

clarice
RK Jones

Regarding Nerds, yiddish, and the six-day war. So far as I can tell, this is a myth, with the first documented usage of nerd in its current form being the October, 8 1951 issue of Newsweek (page 16). In fact, if one googles "nerd +yiddish," one will find a direct comparison of the word nerd with the word nebbish, which is of course yiddish. I have also found references to a 1950 Dr. Seuss story and the St. Joseph, Michigan, Herald-Press, from 23 June 1952.

Jeff

Reminds me of the guy in the Monty Python routine applying for a government grant to develop his silly walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jDCxtC-yPw

Kev

Sorry-had to turn off the italics that had been going on nonstop for quite some time now; it was driving me crazy.

Does that make me a nerd? ;-)

Kev

Oops--that didn't work. Let me try again.

Testing--1, 2, 3, 4

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