The Knowledge Management Research Group

The science-humaniora despise/stigmatize pattern

Interpretation: Within academia, the sub-disciplines called science and humaniora are viewed as interlocked in a destructive pattern of contempt and stigmatization: The devotees of science despise the disciples of humaniora, and the latter reply by stigmatizing the former, depriving them of their social, emotional and sexual value as human beings. This pattern creates the concept of the nerd as an encapsulation of un-sexy-ness.

The rock-part of the pattern is a ‘free-association' on top of the pattern - representing a play of words that has a certain relationship to the subject matter of the pattern. Einstein and Frankenstein are used here as role-models for the ‘un-understandable,' respectively the “irresistible urge to find out“ - both of which are qualities that are presently associated with the nerd. As personal characters, however, both of them were rather atypical nerds, and are renowned to have asserted quite an attraction on the opposite sex. Of course, the actors playing Frankenstein have all been quite sexy - a quality that has been attributed even to his monster!

So the rock-part of the pattern breaks down at this point, which illustrates how hard it is to apply any abstract thought-pattern to real people!

In accordance the science-versus-humaniora patterns I venture the following:

Opinion: At the root of today's educational dilemma is the fact that the engineer of old has become the enginerd of today - and nerds just aren't sexy enough to work as role-models for young people.

The word nerd is a rather modern linguistic invention, which encapsulates almost everything that is totally non-sexy. Hence, it was not invented back in the “glorious old days“ of the engineer, when it would have been utterly unthinkable in its present connotation, since it would have conflicted with the underlying role-model. In fact, the emergence of the word ‘nerd' constitutes in itself a form of linguistic reflection of this role-model transformation.

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