I didn’t get this up pre-election, but I think it is just as incisive in the rear-view mirror. As I said last night, Obama’s victory is a repudiation of stupid, a resounding blow against the anti-intellectual tenor of late. John Hodgman waxes on that point much more elegantly than I did and fleshes out my thought.

I am not a nerd. I am a geek. The former is a subset of the latter, but don’t be concerned if you don’t know the difference. You will learn it all when the reeducation begins.

Far more than red vs. blue, or “real America” vs. Massachusetts, geeks vs. jocks is the culture war that defines our times.

Palin’s winking attacks on intellect, science, and fruit flies represent pure jockdom: a suspicion of complexity and egg-headedness, a rejection of credentials and education in favor one’s own personal gut instinct, and the conviction that, in the last quarter, hard realities may be denied, and a come-from-behind victory may be magically conjured through inspiring cliches.

There is lots to be admired about jockdom: often the best decisions come from the gut; and some of history’s worst crimes have been founded on the impersonality of science and pseudoscience.

But I do not believe that people will reject Obama due to his geek signifiers: his gangly frame, goofball ears, and har-dee-har-har insistence that we must live in the world that EXISTS, not in the world we WISH existed (on the left or the right.)

Rather, I think after 8 years of jock-like bluster and “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” reality-denial, Obama’s pragmatism and technician’s calm seems extra attractive.

But even if Obama loses, and this may well happen, I believe jockdom, which was rightly the dominant mode of being American back when we used our hands and brawn to fight and farm and build things, is necessarily on the wane.

The world is now driven by knowledge economies. Certainly China and India and Dubai do not make “BIG BANG THEORY” sitcoms marginalizing THEIR geeks and engineers.

(Unless they actually do, in which case: awesome).John Hodgman
Raconteur, Blogger, “PC”

This is the dawning of a new era. Let’s make it is a good one!