So it seems smart people live longer. What does that mean?

There was speculation the other week to the effect that smart people live longer – the genes for ‘smart’ and the genes for ‘long life’ apparently being the same.

Sir John Falstaff with a jar of sack. Public domain, via Wikipedia.
Sir John Falstaff – not smart, maybe, but he knew how to drink… Public domain, via Wikipedia.

Once upon a time this would have merely meant that geeks got to spend longer being picked on by bullies. But, of course, one of the big benefits of the information revolution is that geeks won. You know:

Bully: Ha ha, you’re a geek and it’s your own fault. Ha ha.
Geek: Wait, my friend, allow me to activate my RASPEROCITER.
Bully: You loser – ha ha – er – whaaa? I’m MELTING…
FX: Close-up of a pile of reddish goo.
Geek: (turns to camera, scoops up some of the goo, and licks fingers) Delicious! Yes – you too can make your own fresh raspberry jelly with my ACME RASPEROCITER. Bullies, parking enforcers, annoying neighbours – entire Panzer divisions. It’s all the same to the RASPEROCITER. Reduce your enemies to sandwich spread in seconds. Other flavours coming soon.

I think a lot of that is down to the way SF was mainstreamed in the 1970s – largely on the back of Trek and Star Wars. Before then, SF fans (epitomised by ‘Trekkies’) were looked on as maladjusted nerds, unable to cope with the real world and falling back instead on fantasy.

Afterwards, it was a LOT cooler. And the tech revolution keyed directly into it. Yah. Geeks won. And, if this speculation about ageing is right, geeks will also live longer.

So how should people behave now? I think Spock showed us the way.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015


2 thoughts on “So it seems smart people live longer. What does that mean?

  1. Bill Gates once said, “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” I’ve not yet amassed my own horde of subservient minions, but — thanks to your post — I now have hope that at least I’m likely to outlive the thugs who taunted me at school.
    PS: Are you by chance willing to share the schematics for your RASPEROCITER? 🙂

  2. Mind you, the bar for being considered a nerd seems to have been dramatically lowered these days. Share a couple of IFL Science memes on Facebook and suddenly you can go, ‘Haha, but that’s just me, I’m such a nerd!’ I hope the actual, proper nerds are enjoying their moment in the sun, and not just letting the cool kids steal it (as usual).

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