Steve Sailer writes:
The emergence of nerds as a self-aware group is one of the least predicted social phenomena of my lifetime. (…)
How far back nerds go in history is uncertain. (…)
Clearly, computerization hastened the emergence of nerds. But my impression from late 1970s new-wave rock is that the nerd trend was also a covert white pride movement after the long domination of American music by black cool.
The aesthetic architect of the new era, Johnny Ramone, called his music “pure, white rock ’n’ roll, with no blues influence.” A few years later nerd wave bands emerged, such as Talking Heads—a provocatively unsexy white funk band fronted by the geekiest rock star imaginable back then—and Devo, whose “We’re Through Being Cool” struck a chord: a dire song, but a new attitude. If you were a 60s Englishman like Mick Jagger, pretending to be black was cool. But if you were a 70s American, it was silly.