Posted by: grokscience | March 16, 2011

New Cool

The FIRST competition brings together students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. On this program, Neal Bascomb profiles one such team in the New Cool.

Where’s the Fonze? 😉




  1. Frank: Glad you made it out in time. You might like to know that the 9.0 is not Richter, it is moment magnitude.

  2. I heard about “new cool” in science and tech before. Every so many years, they say that, but every single time, it’s the same old thing. The nerds are never cool. This was in the 60’s and 70’s with space program, 80’s with computers, 90’s with the Internet, and so on. Even successes like Bill Gates, who actually codes and is technical, is not cool. But non tech like Jobs, who is just a manager who pushes around bunch of nerds, is cool.

    But it seems this is American thing. I talk with folks from other countries, especially Asia, and to be cool requires certain minimum academics, and aspiring and preparing to go to college. Those minimum could land you as certifiable nerd in the USA. And the trend seem to be those countries’ bar for academics to be cool is getting higher where as USA lowers them. Is it any wonder why the USA is falling behind?

    Here’s an example. I was involved with several very high tech companies, and only 1 or 2 people were born in the USA. Usually, those that are born in the USA tend to hold menial jobs such as janitors and receptionist. All engineers and scientists were born outside the USA, most went to K-12 in their native countries. I can’t imagine they would’ve done so well if they were bullied as nerds by going to school in the USA.

    I’m now facing real problems. I can’t find anyone qualified as foreign engineers to hire in my company. I go though hundreds of resumes, every single time, top guys (also almost always guys) are foreigner who need H1 sponsorship. I have to tell them that we cannot sponsor them as the US government limits the number of foreigners in a company. I may have to settle for someone who is woefully under qualified for the job because of this reason. Why would anyone want to keep a company in the USA when the government is trying to legislate mediocrity? If USA is going down in flames, one should only look how we treat the “nerds”.

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