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.