Stop Picking on Nerds!

US needs more brainiacs, even if they are unsexy, new book argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 6:25 PM CST
Anderegg calls Bill Gates "Nerd Exhibit A," and proof that nerds are the ones who do well in society.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Americans mock nerds ad nauseum, and psych prof David Anderegg says it's time to lay off. In his new book, Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them, Andregg breezily but thoroughly critiques a cultural prejudice that he claims dates back to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Washington Post reports. 

Americans take pride in action, not reflection, Emerson wrote, a fine sentiment on the frontier but quite useless in today's tech-driven world, Anderegg argues. Nerds are just what we need, he says—behold Bill Gates, Andregg’s “Nerd Exhibit A.” "The direction of material success as well as power is all on the side of nerds and geeks," Anderegg writes.