Why nerds are unpopular

Paul Graham explains why nerds are unpopular.

"If intelligence in itself is not a factor in popularity, why are smart kids so consistently unpopular? The answer, I think, is that they don't really want to be popular."

And he gives a general critique of teenage culture along the way.

"I wonder if there is anyone in the world who works harder at anything than American school kids work at popularity. Navy SEALs and neurosurgery residents seem slackers by comparison. They occasionally take vacations; some even have hobbies."

At U of C, I like to think of myself as being both smart and popular. Then again, I go to the U of C. Not to sound pretentious, but the Chicago social ecosystem doesn't select quite as harshly on the nerd trait.

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