Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “hipsters

Nerds vs. Hipsters – Why it’s a thing

If you’re looking for the social media stuff, it has moved over to Social Media for the Common Man. I will be updating that with both basic and advanced techniques for interacting on the web with your fellow man. You’re free to take or not take my advice. I will also take suggests in comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, and through email. Feel free to contact me.

I’m working three jobs and having a fairly good social life (much to my surprise), so updates may be sporadic.

Speaking of a “social life”, I had a ticket to ComicCon (#sdcc) on Sunday and guys…

Seriously, guys…Nerd overload

Anyway, lately I’ve been contemplating Nerdom, my current status within the hierarchy of Nerdom (I mean, c’mon; I made the pilgrimage to Nerd-Mecca [on the Sabbath, no less]) and I wanted to point something out.

Nerds and hipsters are in a culture struggle. My real contemplation started when I pinned an infographic on Pinterest. At first, I thought it was a joke, but I got several responses to it.

Then, I tweeted something about Shark Week and soon found myself shoved into some hipster strewn corner of the Internet. It was like I was living on a Risk board. When did the hipsters take Shark Week?

In Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America (and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope) David Anderegg says,

“Young adult urban hipsters embrace nerd/geek stereotypes and costumes because this is a way of distancing themselves from mainstream America.”

The thing about stereotypes is that you tend to brush against the walls of your stereotype no matter how atypical you try to be. But, one of the really great things about nerds is that they usually don’t care. Often times, a nerd will place practicality over appearance. That’s not to say that don’t care about cleanliness (stereotype) or attracting a mate (stereotype), they just have other things on their minds.

I wear glasses because my eyes aren’t so good. I prefer to wear jeans, a t-shirt with a pop culture reference, and a pair of Converse. I really like the way those shoes look paired with boot-cut jeans. I suppose that’s my costume, but it’s what I’m comfortable in.

I’ve been working with web technology since 7th grade. I love Apple products. I grew up surrounded by them (my dad had a Newton!). I have a lightsaber, I love television shows, mostly scifi dramas, and Joss Whedon is one of my heroes. Not ironically.

Apple Newton

This. This is a Newton. Unpopular ancestor of the iPhone

The hipster is extremely concerned about their appearance, which is interesting that the opposite intent often yields the same result.

Nathan FillionHowever, the big difference between nerds and hipsters is enthusiasm. My ticket to ComicCon was too last minute for me to wear a costume (got the ticket Saturday night at 8, had to leave at 6am Sunday). I didn’t feel right throwing something together half-assed.

The thing I’m really getting to is: hipsters like things ironically. What does that mean? It means they’re either a) too afraid to admit they like something in actuality or b) they say they like something to sound outrageous or cool or hip.

Nerds don’t love things ironically. They squee. They freak out when they see Nathan Fillion. They work all year on a costume they wear once a year…and they don’t even get in the door.

Hipsters’ attitude and their tendency to disguise themselves as nerds may have led to nerd chic, but now it’s giving nerds a bad name.

The next time you see a hipster and mock them, stop and think.

Perhaps it’s only a nerd.

P.S. We’re f*&king taking back Shark Week.


Hipsters (Or, How I Learned to Embrace Epicurus)

There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet bashing the hipster culture, but I think I’ve got it nailed.

From a distance, I am a hipster. I’m comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt with a pop culture reference. I’ve worn glasses since 9th grade, square cut frames because I don’t look so good in round/frameless. I don’t wear Converse All-Stars because I like the way they feel. I like the way they look, with a boot-cut pant leg draped across the laces, almost dragging, but not quite. Man, you pull a pair of Converse out of the washing machine and they are bright white just like the day you bought them, they look great (in the spirit of full disclosure, my attraction to Converse may be a result of my love of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez [that’s a Sandlot reference]).

I work part-time at a startup in social media and part-time as a barista at a Starbucks licensed cafe. I call myself a writer. I own a Macbook (since 2008); I have had an iPod since the original 2nd generation; I’ve had an iPad 2 since July; I’ve had an iPhone since my contract last expired. One of my favorite bands is from Europe (Within Temptation) and it’s likely you’ve never heard of them.

I fit the hipster image.

So, how can I claim to be different?

I enjoy things. I love Lady Gaga. Whenever Poker Face comes on the radio, I crank it up and sing along.

The Muppets was one of the most emotionally poignant movies I’ve seen this year.

I love reading non-fiction. I taught myself to play passable guitar so I could play (badly) and sing (equally badly).

I own a lightsaber replica, and it is awesome!

A big aspect of the hipster generation is their inability to find enjoyment in the things they do. They like obscure bands because they are obscure. They wear t-shirts “ironically”. They over-critisize every movie they see while maintaining an air of superiority. They read books to be seen, rather than books they want to read.

It’s a trap!

There are so many things available to our culture now, it’s ridiculous to waste time on stuff from which we don’t glean enjoyment.

Philosophy time!

Epicurus believed that pleasure is the greatest good. But the way to attain pleasure was to live modestly and to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of one’s desires. This led one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia) and freedom from fear, as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form. Although Epicureanism is a form of hedonism, insofar as it declares pleasure as the sole intrinsic good, its conception of absence of pain as the greatest pleasure and its advocacy of a simple life make it different from “hedonism” as it is commonly understood.

It propounded an ethic of individual pleasure as the sole or chief good in life. Hence, Epicurus advocated living in such a way as to derive the greatest amount of pleasure possible during one’s lifetime, yet doing so moderately in order to avoid the suffering incurred by overindulgence in such pleasure.

I’m not promoting hedonism, but it’s not a bad thing to enjoy yourself every now and again. Every hipster I’ve ever interacted with is always the same on that level: they never talk about something they legitimately enjoyed to the point where I wonder if they enjoy anything.

I’m not making any great leaps here. Take advantage of the small pleasures in life. Look for things you enjoy rather than irritate.

Be like this guy:

No one hates hula hoops.