Keep Your Cool

The war is over. The nerds have won.

When I was a boy — if, indeed, such a wildly implausible circumstance was ever the case — I was bullied. It wasn’t unusual, and it wasn’t the kind of abuse that defines one’s life for years to come, but for several years the spectre of cruel taunting made school a sporadically miserable place. I was bullied, of course, because I was a nerd. A geek. A swot, to use a peculiarly British idiom. I loved science fiction and fantasy; I loved astronomy and mathematics; I only stopped spending my lunch hours programming the BBC Micros in the computer lab when I discovered Dungeons and Dragons.

Which we also played in the computer lab. That’s the peak of the nerdy bell curve, right there.

In the last tw...

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