Thursday, March 21, 2013

Geeks, Freaks, Nerds...

I've had a thought lately.

Geeks and nerds tend to be immature. We...and I say that with pride...tend to value spending time at play. We enjoy our RPGs and our video games.

Here's the thing. I won't say that all geeks/nerds are more intelligent, but that many of the most intelligent people count as geeks. Not always practical intelligence, but the kind of intelligence that develops technology and pushes the frontiers of science.

Scientists have long known that neoteny - staying young longer - is a reflection of intelligence. The theory goes that our greatly extended childhood, longer even than that of apes, is part of what gives us our intelligence and adaptability.

Nerds and geeks are the people who invent things. Is it that this is the subset of humanity that stays "young" the longest? Is immaturity the other side of abstract intelligence? Society needs the immature that invent things - and those who do mature and handle the practical side of matters. The geeks and the jocks - is this "divide" actually key to human adaptability and to our civilization as a whole?

Maybe.