Is STEM the New Celebrity Status?

After almost half a century of being on the fringes of society, ignored or relegated to special gifted classes, economic and social forces have converged, culminating in the post-2008 era where nerds not only run the world, but are celebrated. This is the New Great Awakening (but with intellectualism and wealth creation sweeping the world, not Christianity) and the New Enlightenment.

He’s right:

The post-2008 rise of Nerd Culture is the celebration of empiricism and individual exceptionalism, versus the leftist forces of egalitarianism, IQ denialism, collectivism, class warfare and leveling – such as liberal denial over the role biology plays in socioeconomic outcomes, and that the achievement gap is an IQ gap; leveling and collectivism to cut the cognitively exceptional down to size to create equal outcomes, even if it makes society as a whole worse-off; and, like a spoiled brat that has a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, liberals fomenting class warfare by pitting the takers against the makers, with the objective wreck havoc so that they, the left, can rebuild society in their perverse image of perfection.

We’re also living in an era of contradictions. Men are hitting the gym more than ever – pumping iron and vaingloriously posting pictures of it on Instagram – but also having an introspective and intellectual side, and always deferring to empiricism and logic – never irrational emotion. We’re all becoming ripped, hulk versions of Hume, Bill Gates and Bertrand Russell. We’re all programmers, mathematicians, physicists and economists now – but much smarter, younger, and physically stronger. (Why we’re seeing a convergence of powerlifting and nerd culture, I don’t really know. It could have to do with the Beta Male conservatives admixing with the Red Pill movement. They share many similarities, forming an alliance against SJWs.)

Evidence suggests Millennials are smarter and more educated than any previous generation.

More Millennials have a college degree than any other generation of young adults. In 2013, 47 percent of 25 to 34 year-olds received a post-secondary degree (associates, bachelor’s, or graduate degree) and an additional 18 percent had completed some post-secondary education, as Figure 6 shows. Also,because the rate of young workers with some post-secondary education but no degree has been flat while the share with a degree has risen, more students are completing the degrees they start after high school.

And American IQ scores may be rising, in what has been dubbed the Flynn Effect.

If Americans today took the tests from a century ago, Flynn says, they would have an extraordinarily high average IQ of 130. And if the Americans of 100 years ago took today’s tests, they would have an average IQ of 70 – the recognised cut-off for people with intellectual disabilities. To put it another way, IQ has been rising at roughly three points per decade.

Because millennials are so smart, the good news is this heightened intellectual curiosity makes them more receptive to unique/niche ideologies, like Red Pill, libertarianism, rationalism, effective altruism and MGTOW, that don’t fit squarely into a left/right dichotomy. We’re seeing millennials, especially on sites like Reddit and 4chan, take a keen interest in human biodiversity, as well as other perspectives and interests that could be deemed taboo by the antiquated liberal establishment. No subject matter can escape the fine comb of empiricism and fact-checking by America’s most intellectual generation, including touchy matters such as the history American slavery. As recently as a couple decades ago, the overwhelming majority of young Americans just assumed slavery was white people’s fault and all European colonists bore some guilt, the end. The millennials, however, being smarter and more skeptical, and thanks to readily available information on the internet, aren’t buying the regurgitated politically correct narrative about slavery hook line and sinker, and upon inspection, it turns out that Arabs and Africans facilitated the trade, that the first legally recognized slave owner was black, that the the majority of Southerners didn’t own slaves – only about 20% had slaves, and many poor white Southerners were indentured servants. And this is just about slavery, the efficacy of the civil rights movement has faced similar skepticism. The point is, nothing can taken for granted anymore. Just like technology disrupted the old leftist union industries, knowledge made available by the internet has disrupted left’s ideological sacred cows.

Then you have millions of millennial STEM majors who will no doubt improve or economy and living standards for decades to come, and as evidenced by the huge success of The Big bang Theory and the popularity of scientist Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) on Reddit, where AMAs by scientists and technology entrepreneurs typically get as many votes and comments as actors and athletes, a large subset of millennials, especially the smarter ones, think science is cool and look up to scientists and other smart people, compared to earlier generations where you didn’t see that as much. For example, an answer by a scientist on Reddit got over 4700 upvotes, which is possibly a site record. That means almost 5000 unique individuals up-voted a just a single comment about a highly technical matter, as well as donating four units of Reddit Gold, indicating how in America – especially for the millennials – STEM (also include finance and economics) has become the new celebrity status. Many young adult men aspire not to be like athletes and actors, but people who are both super-rich and super-smart, like Christian Grey, Peter Thiel, James Harris Simmons or Elon Musk, or just super-smart and super-eccentric like Nicola Tesla.

The trading floor, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder, the Ivy League, Reddit, Elite Daily, 4chan, Caltech and MIT are enclaves of sanity, empiricism, and reality in a world gone mad with political correctness, rejection of biological truisms, and leftist class warfare. XKCD and the smarties who read it are right about IQ being important and how intelligence, contrary to what the left says, matters more than social skills. They, the smarties, are correct that people without STEM degrees deserve to be unemployed for not being smart enough or for majoring in a useless, low-paying subject. (In the hierarchy of degrees, there are some exceptions. Some of the more rigorous liberal arts degrees, such as history and philosophy, are actually held in high esteem by the smarties. Having student loan debt, provided one majored in a sufficiently intellectually rigorous subject, is sometimes seen as a rite of passage to join the cognitive elite.) The smarties are also right that social skills could be a crutch for the incompetent, and that’s why in the post-2008 era ‘poor’ social skills are associated authenticity, wealth and intellect, whereas ‘good’ social skills are equated with superficiality, venality and even incompetence. Some of most successful and admired people alive, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Peter Thiel, for example, are famous for their creations, intellect and wealth, not agreeability or extroversion. Even for athletes and actors, social skills rank pretty low as a criterion for whom we choose to admire. Whether it’s the scientist on Reddit or the expert daytrader, accomplishments, authenticity and authority are what matter most. We’re living in a post-bullshit world. You have to create value…the internet calls bullshit on everything quickly.