Tiny Code

Tiny Code

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Golden age of nerds

It suddenly struck me today that nerds today have it much easier than nerds of my generation. It's easy to feed unconventional tastes in books, comics, music, TV, movies, food, beer, etc than it's ever been before.

It struck me as I was having a very enjoyable but quiet lunch by myself (thanks to a last minute cancellation by a friend who wasn't feeling well) at my favorite craft brew establishment. In my youth, I would have never considered dining solo but luckily my iPhone affords me ample entertainment for such occasions so there's no need to skip an tasty lunch. I have more media than I could consume in several weeks at my beck and call.

In my misspent youth, nerds were forced to read a wide range of magazines and visit geeky bookshops run by knowledgeable staff to keep up with upcoming media they might find of interest. Proximity to a great bookshop could spell the difference between keeping in touch with new happenings in your slice of the nerd universe and playing a perpetually unsatisfying game of nerd culture catchup. Fortunately I was close enough to a couple great bookshops that on weekends I could convince my Mother (who instilled the love of reading in me) to drive me to one or the other to spend my hard earned paper route money on another stack of books.

Now I can accomplish the same thing with a few subscriptions to e-magazines, email newsletters, RSS feeds, and podcasts. Ordering said items of nerdy desire are usually just a matter of pointing at the correct website and furnishing a valid credit card.

I chuckle when I hear geezers (not that I'm not one myself) bemoaning the death of paper books, magazines, newspapers as well as vinyl as a storage medium for music). They're missing the point that the artist's message is becoming easier than ever for the public to consume and frequently without the unnecessary middlemen who have all too often served as unwanted arbiters of what the public was ready to accept.

I for one embrace this golden age of nerds. Let the mass consumption begin!

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