Nerds Who Aren’t As Smart As They Think They Are, The First in a Possible Series

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

In this NYT profile of 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, Anne’s mother Esther has this to say about her daughter dating Yankee* Alex Rodriguez:

“I liked A-Rod, he was a very nice man,” Esther Wojcicki told me. “He came from a Hispanic family. We liked them, they were very sweet. He seemed to be genuinely in love with Anne. But I right away figured out this was a mismatch. He had no academic background. We couldn’t have an intellectual conversation about anything. His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball. He could park himself in front of a TV and watch baseball for 10 hours a day. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to go on the yacht with Anne because the TV might not be working.


“I didn’t realize that you need special channels to watch sports games,” she says. “Alex is a really sweet guy. He’s a smart guy. He’s a good person. Alex lives in this world of cash-flow businesses, and Silicon Valley lives in this world of the potential of the future. So it was actually kind of a really fun conversation. Alex was really into car dealerships, and I was like, ‘We’re all about self-driving cars. Nobody’s going to buy a car. You want to buy a car dealership? I’m going to short your car dealership.’”

This story is typical of a tendency I see in a lot of nerds and so-called intellectuals: if they don’t know it, it’s not worth knowing. The ease with which they dismiss entire realms of knowledge is kind of incredible. Imagine you have sitting in front of you, as the article explains, “one of the 10 best baseball players who ever lived,” and you’re not going to be curious? You’re not going to ask questions to try and learn something? And not just a dumb jock who knows how to hit a ball, but a person with a real talent for explaining the game.

Furthermore, baseball is a game with a proven track record for attracting nerds, stat geeks, and other pointy-headed dorks, providing an easy in for “intellectuals” like Ms. Wojcicki. But I’m sure the Wojcicki Thanksgiving dinner conversation about driverless cars will be utterly fascinating.

*As a Los Angeles sports fan, it was utterly painful for me to write anything positive about a Yankee. I thank you all for your support during this difficult time. Also, anyone who mentions this year’s World Series will be banned from the blog in perpetuity throughout the universe.


About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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8 Responses to Nerds Who Aren’t As Smart As They Think They Are, The First in a Possible Series

  1. Glengarry says:

    ‘We’re all about self-driving cars. Nobody’s going to buy a car. You want to buy a car dealership? I’m going to short your car dealership.’

    Lol, what is this woman even saying? Better chew that VC wisdom a second time before you try to regurgitate it, old girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haven’t you heard? “Nobody” buys cars, dude.


    • Hal O'Brien says:

      Let me introduce you to insurance companies. The difference between the safety of a human-driven car and a computer-driven car will be so great, only the extremely rich will be able to afford the premiums.


      • Jeff R says:

        Doubtful. It’s more likely that as accidents decline, car insurance will get cheaper no matter who or what is driving your car. I’d say shorting the insurance companies, really, is the smart play.


      • Glengarry says:

        It’s a wonderful world, isn’t it?

        I’m looking forward to resolving whether it’s Uber or Tesla who are fully liable for damages, crashes, injuring passengers or bystanders, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hal O'Brien says:

    This may perhaps be a specific blind spot towards sports. And it has been ever thus.

    ‘The art of conversation is dead!’ exclaimed Seneca. ‘Can no one today talk of anything else than charioteers?’


  3. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    I’m sure Madame Woj is a fascinating conversationalist who can hold forth expertly on a great range of subjects.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. bjdubbs says:

    She’s a good example of how confidence can make up for average looks.


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