Sunday, September 09, 2007

We have both, geeks and nerds.

[Note: the string of thought of this post is neither finished nor homogeneous]

Of some people you meet at university you hope that they get lost on a lonely island far far away. (Occasionally you also meet people you'd like to get lost on an island with, but this happens very rarely. One of the latter triggered this post...)

University seems to be a cradle where people can survive who, in other surroundings, would get declared mad and handed over into medical care. Science is a collection of weird people, some of them harmless, some not. Most of them don't realize how weird they are and that they sometimes annoy people or scare people (sometimes I fit into this category as well). And it will get worse, as we want more and more "elite" students. It is only possible to reach the high demands to enter these closed circles of higher education if you sacrifice your life. Pupils need to do only science in school, then as students only do science, as PhD only science, as Postdoc, as Prof, only science.

The only social contact they get will be with other nerds, exactly like them. Althugh this might be an interesting psychological experiment, this will create some seriously disturbed people, especially in physics, where (at least here in germany) 90% of the students are male.

This is the part which scares me most in the race for the best students and the "elite of tomorrow": the creation of Frankenstein's Monsters en masse.

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