Unauthorized Thoughts

The killer of 32 people at Virginia Tech used a .22 caliber and a 9mm pistol.

Why wasn’t this guy rushed by anyone?  He’s calmly picking people off.  Bloodshed all around.  Imagine you’re there, trapped in that classroom.  You know you’re as good as dead if you just sit immobile like a juicy target, so you may as well lunge for him and drive your thumbs in his eyes.  You might still die, but you’ve improved your odds dramatically, especially if you go at him during a reload.  He’ll maybe get off one or two shots at you but handguns are notoriously inaccurate, especially when a person is running into your face disturbing your zen-like aiming.  You’d stand a good chance of him missing or you incurring a non-fatal flesh wound.

So a rude thought intrudes.  Engineering campus.  Nerds.  A taxonomy of guys who’ve probably run from fights their whole lives.  Total inexperience with summoning the warrior animal spirits.

There are times of crisis when brainy deliberation or pavlovian avoidance response will do a man no good.

Maybe the bullets were flying so fast, the killer so accurate (from marathon sessions of video gaming I bet), the timeframe so compressed, that in the chaos no one had an opportunity to do anything.  Well, except for this guy.

But if that’s not the case, then I’ll be uncharitable and ask…

did nerdiness cost lives?





Comments


  1. The classes that he attacked were language classes, for the most part. They were housed in an engineering building, but it also supported other classes.

    Tech is not just an engineering school, though it did start out as that, yes. I do know from personal experience of being at UVa’s engineering school for a while (got out of it), that not all engineers are nerds. I’d say its really about 25% ‘nerd’ and the rest are regular peeps who have a passion for tinkering or building.

    ‘Nerds’ I’ve found to be more typically in the hard sciences, like Physics or Chem… though I had a good friend who is a PHD in Physics and he lifts weights, drinks tons of beer, and likes to be the asshole in the punk mosh pit… so go figure. Nerds can be in every aspect of life, not just engineering.

    I think they were just shocked, too shocked to move. That is very unfortunate, but hindsight is 20/20 or sometimes even more precise….

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  2. yeah, i’ve changed my thinking on this. i think passivity is a systemic problem with men in the West, not just relegated to nerds. i’m pissed that one guy was able to calmly kill 30 people without anyone at least trying to subdue him, so that colored my reaction.

    i talked to a guy recently who went through nyc police training and he told me that a certain percentage of people will go into shock and do nothing in the event of a crisis. the nypd trains their recruits by having them walk around corners and get “shot” unexpectedly with harmless plastic caps. the first few times it happens the recruits stand motionless in shock.

    after a few rounds of this training the recruits are able to think better on their feet and react quickly.

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  3. i’ll admit that i certainly agree with your view on that. our fight or flight response has been dampened too much, that sometimes one can’t even pick the ‘flight’ path.

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  4. Two things:

    Cho was an English major, apparently he didn’t have classes in the Norris building. I have to wonder if he chose to attack Norris Hall because he thought there would be more nerds and less jocks. Yeah, pretty thin, I know.

    Also, he apparently was not a big gamer. His roomies said they never saw him playing video games.

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  5. I sometimes ask myself the same question regarding German Jews in II World War. How could it be that they didn’t revolt against the Nazis when they were slaughtered like cows? I mean, they didn’t have anything to loose, specially those in concentration camps, they were going to die anyway.

    I think a lot has to do with genetics. Certain races (jews) and individuals (beta males) have what I call a “slave” gene that predisposes them to be easy meat for the alpha males.

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  6. Battle hardened Russian soldiers as well as captured Allied soldiers were just as passive in Nazi death camps. And these were soldiers used to fighting!

    Not to mention Allied captives of the Japanese. Pretty lamely passive as well.

    Jewish civilians actually provide one of the few examples of suicidal resistance to the Nazis – the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

    Modern Israelis don’t seem that passive to me, either.

    I’m not Jewish myself, but from my interactions with Jews they generally seem more aggressive and “alpha” than the typical gentile, an important factor in their success in business, Hollywood, and most other fields.

    I would guess the testosterone level of Jews to be higher than Northern Europeans – they are more hairy – it’s just that allied to their high intelligence this aggressiveness doesn’t turn into violence but gets channelled into social and financial success.

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  7. 2 years later but wtf – – – –

    Somebody wrote a book called “The Territorial Imperitive” which explained the passivity as resulting from not having a territory to defend.

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  8. “Modern Israelis don’t seem that passive to me, either.

    I’m not Jewish myself, but from my interactions with Jews they generally seem more aggressive and “alpha” than the typical gentile, an important factor in their success in business, Hollywood, and most other fields.

    I would guess the testosterone level of Jews to be higher than Northern Europeans – they are more hairy – it’s just that allied to their high intelligence this aggressiveness doesn’t turn into violence but gets channelled into social and financial success.”

    Um, no. When you get a chance, pick up Culture of Critique by Kevin MacDonald.

    http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Critique-Evolutionary-Twentieth-Century-Intellectual/dp/0759672229

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  9. I agree people are too passive. It’s not racial or cultural, it’s just what happens when people live comfortable lives. The army trains recruits in a hard-ass way to wring out this limp-wristedness and get you to harden the fuck up, for example.

    The stuff about WWII camps is wrong. There were multiple escape attempts and a couple succeeded. Google “Escape from Sobibor” for one example – that was led by a Ukrainian in the Russian army, and a Jewish guy working in the camp. Out of about 600 prisoners, about 75% took part in the break out (which involved killing guards and running machine gun fire), about 150 true sheep refused and stayed put. The sheep who remained were executed within 24 hours.

    Based on that, about 25% of people are true sheep, maybe 5-10% are leaders or resilient lone-wolf types, and the rest are neither sheep nor warriors, just normal people who with good leadership can do great things, but without it will not.

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