Wednesday 19 December 2012

21st Century Empowered Nerds Part One:Young Nerds of the Future Your Time has Come, the Geeks shall inherit the Earth

21st Century Nerds:your time has come

for the 21st century nerd
Were you ever bullied as a child? Picked on for being kinda quirky, a little brainy, painfully shy, were a dainty guy or not so girly girl, maybe you had non sports related interests? Well 21st Century Empowered Nerds, Nerds of the Future, your time has come. Despite the fact your awkward, uncoordinated phase of teen aged body changes didn't quite run it's course until your early 20's, maybe the possibility socialization with the opposite sex was beyond your depth. Regardless of the idea your taste in fashion was not up to what was considered cool... I remember the 80's. It wasn't a cool period for fashion, (neither were the early 90's to be honest) your time has come. Forget that it was because you liked science and learning. It's time to celebrate, it couldn't be any clearer the Geeks shall inherit the Earth.

Where does the road begin for the 21st Century Empowered Nerd?

Dr. Seuss' Nerd
Dr. Seuss' Nerd
In 1957, in Glasgow, Scotland, "nerd" was first defined as "square." The actual word "nerd" was apparently coined in the 1950 Dr. Seuss book "If I Ran the Zoo" Seuss drew a non-human creature called a 'nerd" from the land of Ka-roo. This is the first instance of the word "nerd" in print. Some theorists believe the word started in the 1940's. College students who liked to party there were called "drunks" (yeah... so much has changed) but the quieter, less-inclined-to-party types were labeled "knurds."(drunk spelled backwards) make the "k" silent and you have the precursor to the modern "nerd."
Harold Lloyd, outdated prototype of the 21st Century Empowered Nerd
the first movie nerd?
Motion pictures, the most powerful medium of communication in human history continues to have a huge impact on the lives of almost everyone on earth. The first nerd in movie history was the popular silent comedian Harold Lloyd, playing a weak, underdog type of comedic character, one bullied by men and ignored by women. But in the end, he would triumph and inevitably get the girl of his dreams. The Lloyd character wore trademark glasses, in which Lloyd always referred to his character as the "glasses" or "glass" character. Throughout the decades since we've seen many incarnations of the nerd, with the three stooges (and a movie of the same name) and Jerry Lewis' characters (inspiring the character of professor Frink in the longest running cartoon the Simpsons) topping the list of the best known (and loved) nerds.
21 century Nerd?professor Frink

80's Nerds: Empowered Nerds

80's set the stage for 21st Century Empowered Nerds?
revenge of the nerds
Despite being raised on a steady diet of the tough guy is cool-survival of the fittest paradigm, it's clear we love to route for the little guy when not routing for the action hero. Or perhaps we like seeing the bully toppled from his high horse so much we actually see a bully turn from this
 thing of the past for the 21st Century Empowered Nerds
thing of the past for the 21st Century Empowered Nerds
to a slicked back hair wearing, Coke bottle glasses sporting, flood pant waist to the stomach nerd after being abandoned by his frat brothers. Seeing for himself (from the "losers" perspective) the heart and passion that overcame his frat brothers in Revenge of the Nerds. In the third act of the sequel "Nerds in Paradise" he accepted his inner nerd and joined their fraternity.
the 21st Century Empowered Nerd isn't afraid to partyThe little guy (geek) doesn't need to have the Coke bottle glasses and atrocious dress sense to have us route for him, maybe just not fitting into the model of what's considered socially acceptable, like Delta Tau Chi Fraternity in the movie Animal House. It begins with a nerd seeking to join a fraternity and finding Delta Tau Chi after being rejected by the "cool frats". He finds his place with a group who not only have to contend with the uptight Omega fraternity, but a Dean who wants to remove the Delta's from campus due to repeated conduct violations and low academic standing.
In the end, the nerds/outcasts get their revenge despite the loss of their fraternity's charter, after the mayhem and before the end credits as we learn the fate of all the characters, with Bluto, the least likely to become anything of substance is destined to become a U.S. Senator.

90's Nerds:Your Time has Come... almost

preamble to the 21st Century Empowered Nerd
A coalition of African-American activists and scholars released a strongly worded statement citing the “urgent need” for popular media to depict a new black nerd archetype that more accurately reflects the full spectrum of 21st-century American "dorkdom"
It went on to say “Outdated representations of African-American nerds are simply not cutting it anymore, perhaps in the ’80s and ’90s it was possible for young people to identify with Steve Urkel’s hiked-up pants, nasal voice, and lovable catchphrase ‘Did I do that?’ But today’s black nerds are different." (Substitute slide rules and calculators for the iPhone and hand held game platforms, they make posts on Twitter, Face book, and You tube) the statement continued, “Yet where are the modern-day nerds of color in our films and television programs?”

For the 21st century nerd, in the late 90's, Paramount's late 90's creation of Star Trek Deep Space Nine featured the first African American Captain (as Principal character) Benjamin Sisko,
Star Trek for the 21st century nerd
was very appealing to the droves of underrepresented fans. Marvel Comics recently unveiled a new Spider man character, who happens to be of mixed race (Black and Latino) and a nerd.
Spiderman for the 21st century nerd
African American Spiderman for the 21st century nerd
The new Spidey is a 13 year old lives in Brooklyn with his parents, was revealed in Marvel Comics' Ultimate Fallout Issue 4. He replaces long-time comic-book favorite Peter Parker, who hailed from Queens and was killed in Ultimate Spider-Man Issue 160.
Times are certainly changing. The connection? An idea not only appropriate but necessary for the times, but an idea like nerds one day being cool would have had no chance in the 20th century. But let's face it, in today's world of Sci-Fi, emerging technology (CGI), the embracing of math and science and being free to employ complex vernacular in conversation without fear of wedgies. Yes, between living in the digital age and intelligence being celebrated across all cultures, it is a great time to be alive (and a nerd)
The PC, Internet and the Digital Age
age of technology and the 21st century nerd
No doubt, living in an age where emerging technology is at the forefront of our material obsession, being smart and technologically adept is as advantageous today as being mechanically inclined was in the 20th. In the age of knowledge and personal development, being a nerd isn't a bad thing. Today, we like smart people, and even celebrate their quirkiness, which is without a doubt why a show like the Big Bang is doing so well. 21st century nerds
To attest to just how ground breakingly funny (and universal) the show is, it was actually my Grandmother that got me into the show. The show's success with young and old of all cultures is due in the most part to the fact we get an insight into the challenges of being nerdy geniuses and see how they deal with relationships and social issues, the other part is that most viewers today can actually comprehend the brainy dialogue (with humorous discussions about time paradoxes, black holes, worm holes, quantum physics, string theory, M theory being the norm) which is most probably why the contemporary Star Trek franchise enjoyed a broader audience, unlike the 60's cereal (which I am a fan of) who's scientifically meritable concepts often left most non brainy viewers scratching their heads while waiting for Captain Kirk to reengage their attention with fisticuffs. Most viewers back then that weren't fans of the genre (or as I call it, the pre Star Wars era) were more comfortable dismissing the scientific concepts (like cosmic strings, worm holes and the possibility of parallel universes) as sci fi jibber jabber, the fantastical stories as sci fi nonsense, where today's viewer is familiar with the more techie aspects, and as such is more engaged in the story. The model of the hero (principle character) was even modified to fit the 21 century nerd's appreciation for changing times, with a bald Captain, the first African American Captain, and the first female Captain,
21st Century Star Trek for 21st century nerds
21st Century Star Trek
non of which would have fit the Dirty Harry- shoot first ask questions later generation, ever dedicated to the debonair, 9 times out of 10 getting the girl, heart breaker action hero of old times.
Between the pride over their comic book collections, both video and board game nights, unlimited genre discussions and references to Sci-Fi movie and TV shows, trivia, competition for nerdy prized possessions and the trials and tribulations of courting and understanding the opposite sex... the nerd characters in The Big Bang Theory are brilliantly funny.
21st Century Nerd Revamp
21 Jump Street 80's
Maybe you can relate to the 21 Jump Street, where the good looking, baby faced heart breakers were cops assigned to work undercover in various high schools. Clearly, the film makers (of the revamp) understood the model wouldn't play well as a piece as serious as the original, and instead took a cop who was once a cool jock and teamed him with a rookie partner who was a nerd he picked on in high school. The two find the paradigm of what is and what isn't cool had switched as drastically as a polar shift (theory the north and south poles could change places due to cosmic influences) where the nerd found popularity and the cool jock was the outcast.
21 Jump Street for 21st century nerds
It played very well as a comedy, taking a tongue and cheek approach to smartly cover some of the social issues today's high school-er faces, demonstrating the smarter, more tolerant and inclusive teenager of today, where for the 21st century nerd, the future looks bright indeed.

21st century nerd
The 21st Century Youth Project is an initiative primarily dedicated for children’s learning. And it’s absolutely free of charge. The goal of this educational program is for children to learn how to create applications that can be sold to their local communities, schools, small businesses or mobile platform owners. Ideas revolve around five key areas: mobile app development, SAT training, business planning, mentoring and open-source educational curriculum. Aside from the knowledge these kids will harness, a portion of the profits goes into a general scholarship fund for their college education. I don't recall ever hearing about anything so ground breaking before the present time.

While children get more involved and hooked into the tech world, enterprises have found ways to the hearts of these playful and curious ones. This summer, LeapFrog is expected to launch LeapPad Explorer-a tablet that will surely be the apple of any kid’s eye. Compared to what the same company offered just 10 years ago, the future nerd has it great, with the gadget including apps for drawing, math and general play games.
Is there an app for that? You betcha! Apps exclusively crafted for kids to engage in a fun and interactive learning that promotes exploration of their wants, skills and talents are available. The technology and mentality of the digital/information age will enable them to answer the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

With the spread of the digital classroom, most experts believe it won’t be long before Mark Zuckerberg is dethroned as the youngest billionaire. This era’s returning interest in math and science education isn't lost on today’s tech sector, and preparing our youth for the future has begun to include proper teaching methods around mobile web apps. The tools being made available are unlike anything that came before. Click here for more on how knowledge has increased in the information age.
FAMOUS MILLIONAIRE NERDS, 21st Century Empowered Nerds the Geeks shall inherit the Earth
21st century nerd millionaire
Bill Gates
Although not always the case, nerds are often portrayed as socially and physically awkward, bespectacled, and having a single-minded interest - to the point of obsession - in tasks and fields that are obscure, novel, or simply too complex for the "mainstream" society to understand. It's the single mindedness that empowers the successful nerd. Like Bill Gates, seen as the poster boy of everything nerd, Gates was features on the pages of Fortune magazine when he was only 13. Fueled by dreams of starting his own company, Gates spent most of his free time hunched over an ASR-33 Teletype model, an early computer by General Electric, to hone his programming mastery.

Never quite fitting in with the tennis and golfing communities in Washington, Bill Gates met Paul Allen (another nerd) and the two went on to found Microsoft, revolutionizing the computing world with Windows making him one of the world's wealthiest business magnates and a philanthropist. Indeed we are quite familiar with the strides today's nerds have made, being responsible for Mac (Apple) Google, Face book, Myspace, You tube and many more platforms part of common everyday use. Today's nerd is also an entrepreneur.

With the PC and the Internet being dubbed as tools for the young, is there any doubt the 21st century nerd hasn't been given the keys to the kingdom? Nerds have always walked the lonely path of the underdog, and MLM Network Marketing is today's David to the Goliath that is the corporation. (Remember Napster?) before Napster  record companies devalued the marketing opportunities the Internet offered, and the service helped reshape the way music is now shared on the Internet.

Financial Experts Agree
is Robert Kiyosaki a 21st century nerd
Robert Kiyosaki
As I covered in my previous blog I discussed how Millionaire experts such as Warren Buffet, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki have endorsed network marketing as being the future of personal enterprise through entrepreneurship. What do the billionaire nerds and the nerdy financial giants/experts have in common with the 21st century nerd? Like the 21st century nerd, their brains are simply wired differently.

Like the 21st century nerd, they look outside the box, defy traditional social convention, and take on tasks not meant for the average mortal. Despite keeping up with the latest gear, the 21st century nerd takes pride in thumbing the nose at big business. Why..? Because the nerd is the little guy society routes for, and MLM/Network Marketing is the little guy in a world of 20th century Goliaths

For the 21st Century Empowered Nerds, Young Nerds of the Future Your Time has Come... the Geeks shall inherit the Earth. Click here
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