Listen, twenty years ago, it wasn’t so cool to have a calculator watch, right? And spending all day inside playing with your calculator watch sent a clear message that you weren’t doing so well socially. And judgments like ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ and ‘smiles’ and ‘frowns’ were limited to junior high. Someone would write a note and it would say, ‘Do you like unicorns and stickers?’ and you’d say, ‘Yeah, I like unicorns and stickers! Smile!’ That kind of thing. But now it’s not just junior high kids who do it, it’s everyone, and it seems to me sometimes I’ve entered some inverted zone, some mirror world where the dorkiest shit in the world is completely dominant. The world has dorkified itself.
Unpopular opinion time: Relena Peacecraft is my favorite character in Gundam Wing. By far. I like her better than the pilots, the villains, and her brother with the unusually long and glamorous hair for a soldier. I’ve been re-watching GW recently and my love for Relena’s character has only grown. There’s a lot of dislike for her out there, and I have to say I’m not entirely sure where it all comes from. Yes, it is a little ridiculous that someone with Relena’s young age and limited experience can fill all of the roles she inhabits in the series, but it’s also a bit odd that young teenagers are allowed to pilot multi-billion-dollar killing machines, so you have to suspend your disbelief somewhere. This is anime, after all.
Eren is a 22 years old recent college graduate who is driven by passions about social justice and making his favourite social network more accessible to its millions of users. He might be a crypto genius on the side and sought after by many companies, but reality is harsh when his idealism is relentless and he wants to make a change in the world, not just succumb to its shitty rules.
Enter Levi, 35 years old newly promoted front-end software architect at the said social network, with a history of hacktivism and a current hobby of making encrypted chatting tools for journalists and activists. Also a long-time fan of Eren’s very own ‘extension framework’. He might also be a casual stalker of Eren’s personal blog. And perhaps has a wee bit of a (healthy) crush on the young man.
But there is no way that they can actually meet and connect… Or is there?
When was the birth of the nerd? One possible marker is Isaac Newton, who thought that if you could calculate you were better than other people. The nerd personality comes into its own with the arrival of computers, though there was definitely a superiority complex among rocket engineers and physicists. One of the things people used to say when Albert Einstein’s work first became known was, “Ooh, only six people in the world understand relativity. It’s so esoteric.” (If you talk to a physicist, the right answer is that there are zero people who understand it.)