P. Aaron Potter's Reviews > The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
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May 16, 12

bookshelves: geek

The title is, unfortunately, simply wrong.

This *should* have been much more compelling. As an academic, an educator, a past and present (and future) geek, one with geeklings of my own, and a guy who genuinely wants to be optimistic about our future as a country and a species, I'd love to read about how the geeks - intelligent, semi-obsessive nerds who get way too into some abstruse knowledge - are going to take over and turn our overly pragmatic and materialistic society into the Star Trek universe of Gene Roddenberry and Gary Gygax's dreams.

Didn't happen in this book.

What we get instead is a series of fairly dull anecdotes. No significant statistical analysis. Poor scholarship. And word choices that make it very clear that Robbins has a chip on her shoulder about the size of a Borg cube. She *wants* geeks to win, so she uses snarky language to insult anyone who is mean to her adoptive 'subjects'...but totally ignores any evidence that might actually, you know, prove her thesis. Instead, she just comes across as even more judgmental and mean-spirited than the jerks who used to give all us geeks swirlies back in the day. Replacing one group of oppressive goons with your own is not the future I'm looking for. Happily, Robbins is just a lone voice in the wilderness, some distance away from the actually interesting advances in geek culture which have come about because, thanks to teh intahrnets, we can now find each other.

Mind you, while Robbins' thesis is deeply clouded by her personal wish-fulfillment, it's at least more sincere than all these yahoos jumping on the geek bandwagon because of the (90% false) belief that this is somehow a cultural watershed moment for nerds. The world is still, sadly, owned by business majors and jocks. Nerds do tech support and serve as the butt of jokes. The big difference is that improved communications technologies mean we now have conferences and readily available support groups. That's awesome, but let's not fall victim to the echo-chamber effect, guys.

Verdict: Go read *anything* by Wil Wheaton instead.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Alice Hmmm?
So you're like a book review troll?


Leah I don't know if I'll agree with you (as I just started the book), but I still had to comment that this is a great review and convincing, even at this point.


P. Aaron Potter Alice wrote: "Hmmm? So you're like a book review troll?"

Yes, I got a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies just so that I could annoy random people on the internet. Curse you for foiling my nefarious plot!


Danielle Thank you Mr. Aaron for reaching into my brain and expressing my opinion with more clarity than I could have managed on my own. Cheers!


message 5: by David (new)

David I can't think of anything less worth my times than a person's collected anecdotes about modern soceity. With all the information out there, to write a book that makes such broad claims with little to no facts to back it up is foolish.


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