Topic: "Nerd culture" as the latest incarnation of Western dualism
1. For this post, nerd culture is defined through the fetishization of pop culture and science, as seen in programs like The Big Bang Theory or Tyson's remake of Cosmos.
2. Nerd culture has taken over, so much so that it's arguably become the dominant form of American culture in recent years. Movies based off of comic books are ubiquitous, graphic novels are hip, and binge-watching television series is suddenly seen as a normal act in recent years. As for "science" (not the method itself, but the image present in Facebook pages and popular discourse), people routinely "cite studies" they read online or share goofy images from I Fucking Love Science on social media platforms.
3. Nerd culture is the latest incarnation of culture under both post-Fordist capitalism and the Spectacle. It is based around consumerism - buy the complete comic set/DVD series/card game/whatever - and its morality system is tetherless and nonprescriptivist. Science doesn't prescribe, it just tells. This is the perfect religion for late capitalism, as it doesn't interfere with the current status quo.
4. The fetishization of pop culture and pop science is a schizophrenic strategy for attempting to reorder society and produce meaning in a world where religion and statism are largely discredited. It's schizophrenic in the sense that it bounces back and forth between the opposites of absolute significance (science) and absolute insignificance (entertainment/fiction).
5. This strategy is a further incarnation and evolved form of Western dualism: not only is there mind and body (considered as completely separate by dualists), but now a degree of separation is considered in what is seen as truth (science), and what is seen as entertainment (pop culture).
6. This dualistic split bankrupts both, and on average, likely makes people feel sad and aimless. Science without a supporting narrative is just numbers (meaningless), and entertainment without "truth is just like bubblegum: tasty, but certainly not nutritious.
7. This tendency was probably latent throughout most of the 20th century, but religion clung on until the bitter end, stifling it.
8. Ultimately, nerd culture, like all culture, is an attempt to deal with and solve the human condition and produce meaning. Unlike most cultures, however, which do this with " true stories" (religion or cult spirituality), nets culture tries to achieve its aims by segregating what it considers its stories and truths. Stories without truth are probably what allow Spectacles to manifest themselves in the first place. In other words, a culture based around a Greek/Abrahamic/Buddhist/whatever cosmology can exist on JUST those myths for centuries, maybe even millennia. Modernity, on the other hand, needs thousands of movies, blogs, and books to quell its hunger for just a single year. This is, really interestingly, great for capitalism, because the hunger for spiritual wholeness and concrete narratives can produce thousands of different kinds of jobs, keeping the economies running smoothly. If religion was the opiate of the masses, entertainment is a fistful of NSAIDS taken to stop the headaches resulting from withdrawal. It takes away a bit of the pain, but the stomachs of the dispossessed slowly trickle with blood.