I suppose this is the end of the “nerd era.” We dweebs and dorks have, today, seen the end of our time as permanently harmless side-kicks, comedy relief and men who are always referred to as “the boys.”
Today, we have entered the era of nerd as Bond Villain– in real life.
Nerds have always been villains in movies and books. Mad scientists have been blowing up the world for as long as anybody could remember. But that was almost always fantasy. Real nerds, working in real labs, had adult supervision.
Not any longer. The FTX scandal has proven that nerds can be just as rotten as anybody, and for exactly the same reasons. Oh, there have been evil nerds before, I suppose. Hitler and his crew of misfits were remarkably nerdy– but somehow they just never reminded me of the people I hang out with. Bill Gates may be a Bond Villain, but I can’t see having lunch with him. He’s just… too… sneaky. Real nerds have a sad and refreshing earnestness that Gates lacks. I always saw him as a poser.
But the people behind FTX, especially the infamous SBF, are people I could hang with. Their goofy behavior as it all came apart is classic nerd. But instead of an angry housecat or a dent in Dad’s car, we have a disaster that could contribute to destabilizing the world’s economy.
I say goodbye to the time when I always knew that my people were never in the seat of power. They– we– could never really do anything bad. That time has ended. My people are just people now.