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Sheldon Sues

Dreamed 2016/6/23 by Wayan

THAT DAY

Channel surfing, I stumble on Battlebots, a gladiatorial show. A lot more fire & heavy armor than in that old British show Robot Wars back in 2000; but then, adult teams build the new bots. Surprisingly, the designs are still as diverse as back in the Robot Bronze Age. The great weeding down to practicality hasn't happened yet--we're still in the Burgess Shale stage of exuberant, silly experimentalism. As the poet Fossil Mao wrote:

"Let a hundred monsters bloom,
let a hundred schools of bot contend."

I admire the feverish creativity, but behind that... I feel creepy. All those brains devoted to mayhem.

Battlebots 2017 (two robots dueling).


Next, I read an article in Atlantic Magazine decrying meritocracy, calling it a caste system. "Proof of a high IQ is demanded, yet unneeded for most jobs." True enough; the new smartocracy IS unfair. We live in a few rich towns, go to good colleges (in theory at least), get good jobs, and ignore the "real Americans". We now have a group identity, some money & power, even our very own TV show! Mind you, I can't watch "Big Bang Theory"--for me the stereotypes are broad & painful--like watching Stepin Fetchit as a black role model. And the show blends and confuses geekdom/autism and brains, IQ issues (gifted and genius are as different as normal and gifted), and geekiness and queerness (really, Sheldon!)

Anyway, we're now a defined minority, if a hated one. Most of the gifted I know feel their clannishness is quite justified. A century of thuggery and anti-elitism will do that. "We don't want to be around THOSE people" isn't snobbery if Those People spit on you and beat you up and stick you in crappy schools that just warehouse you (sound familiar, other minorities?)

We're about where queerdom was forty years ago--fighting for legitimacy and fleeing from most of America to a few tolerant havens. Sure we live in ghettoes. Understandable, given how we get treated outside. And not just America and not just now; normals often have persecuted the gifted for standing out (read Orwell's account of HIS schooling).

The article complains how unfair our powerplays are to the normal (and stupid), but really, it's no surprise to see aggrieved stances and cranky plutechnocrats shaping law and custom to favor us unfairly now. What do you expect after generations of hostility?

And yet, reverse discrimination troubles me. Libertarian tech tycoons buying legislators and looting productive firms with sneaky financial deals really trouble me. Those robots really trouble me.

Nerds building weapons... O my people, this is not right.

THAT NIGHT Sheldon, on 'Big Bang Theory'.

I'm in high school in Italy. After school one day, I somehow get to talking with a local prosecutor. He says a gifted boy at our school has demanded the arrest of bullies tormenting him. The prosecutor's condescending because calling in the cops breaks the boys' code of silence. "The kid should solve it himself." Since he'll have to in adulthood.

True, the kid is kind of snotty and provoking--he's Sheldon from "Big Bang Theory".

But doesn't he have the right to be safe? I say "I don't like him at all, but I HATE those bullies. Cowards! Many against one. How come you don't apply "solve it alone" to them? He's right--these are hate crimes by the majority against his minority. Why shouldn't he demand a safe school? The thugs who beat him feel safe doing it, because adults like you protect them. So his target isn't them, it's YOU--to shame you into action. He IS solving it himself. By causing trouble for you. And why not? You're the problem."

Especially here in Italy. Men in particular mistrust the cops, the government. Feel men must always fight their own battles. No wonder you get the Mafia.

No, as I look at these players with their omertà code of male honor, bullying and silence, Sheldon looks obnoxious--but they're all worse.

NOTE IN THE MORNING

I have unresolved feelings, that's for sure! Still. But then why would I be well-adjusted? Society has barely faced that gifteds and prodigies are a minority with common interests, let alone lessened its hostility. They're still bashing us; we've just gotten much better at fighting back. Expect a generation of sniping.

But can't we advocate fairer policies, even if they're ideals not yet attainable?



LISTS AND LINKS: brains - politics - pariahs & outsiders - bullying & threats - bias & prejudice - fairness & justice - TV-inspired dreams - Italy

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