Nerds vs Jocks
In the 1980s there was a popular movie franchise called Revenge of the Nerds.
The plot of the movie is pretty simple and has appeared in film and movies a lot of times since. A group of underdogs (computer nerds here) are faced with a challenge (getting into a fraternity and finding a girlfriend)), but have to overcome the bad guys (jocks) first.
In the case of Revenge of the Nerds, the movie doesn’t exactly hold up. Not only does it have some content in it that wouldn’t escape the Woke crowd these days, but the general premise doesn’t really work.
That is, no one would possibly buy that computer nerds are the underdogs anymore.
Or, for that matter, the good guys.
No, decades since that movie came out the tables have very much turned. The nerds have inherited the earth. If the jocks are lucky, a nerd might pay them to play football on the team they now own because their .com business took off in the early part of the 2000s.
Another way that the movie doesn’t match reality is that the nerds became benevolent rulers. Now, our billionaire tech overlords have pretty much led the world to the brink of destruction.
Moving forward a few years and another movie came out that is informative to our times. It’s not a direct sequel to Revenge of the Nerds, but The Social Network is kind of a more modern version of Nerds. In that one, the nerd, Mark Zuckerberg, is portrayed as a sociopathic donkey. If the shoe fits and all. However, the nerds still beat the jocks (the Winklevoss twins) in that end.
The Social Network is, of course, based on real life. So, it’s fun to look back on it now to recognize that it was ahead of its time in showing us that the enemy isn’t always obvious. In that case, it was the smart, geeky guy – the archetype movies had been telling us was actually the hero for years– that was most problematic.
Meanwhile, the cartoony jocks were basically harmless. Sure, they were looking to make money and they came from a privileged background, but they weren’t overtly disdainful of people the way Zuckerberg was pretrained and, based on the way he runs Facebook, likely is.
I probably think too much about this stuff, but this was all going through my head as I read today that the Winklevoss twins are back in the news taking shots at their old rival, Zuckerberg.
The Twins told Forbes that they think Facebook is on its last legs. Tyler Winklevoss predicted “the idea of a centralized social network…(is) not going to exist five or 10 years in the future. There’s a membrane or a chasm between the old world and this new crypto-native universe. And we’re the conduit helping people transcend the offline into the online.”
That’s right, the twins have fully bought into crypto. They took the $65-million USD they got from the Facebook settlement and spun it into $6b.
And, they are still pissed at Zuckerberg. Which is hilarious.
As I wrote last month, I think Facebook is on its last legs too. I’m not going to intellectualize it in the same way as Winklevoss does in Forbes, but emotionally people are angry and frustrated right now and Zuckerberg makes for an obvious and easy scapegoat for the world’s problems.
The last thing he needs is to learn that a couple jocks from his university days are still out to crush him too. Make no mistake. Revenge is often a motivator in business. The Winklevoss twins are out for revenge.
The nerds have ruled the world for close to 40 years now. It might be time for some Revenge of the Jocks.