The nerds have truly triumphed: Tech executives are basically rock stars (or supervillains), comic book characters dominate at the box office, and even President Obama is boasting about his nerd cred.
Here's how he responded when Popular Science asked whether he considers himself "a nerd":
Well, my administration did write a pretty detailed response to a petition, explaining why we wouldn’t build a real-life Death Star, so I’d like to think I have at least a little nerd credibility built up.
Of course, Obama tactfully left out that moment when he referred to "Jedi mind melds" — which was either an embarrassing slip where he mixed up "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" lore or a subtle sign that he was a dedicated fan of "Star Wars' " (now defunct) Extended Universe.
But even beyond the Death Star petition response, signs of Obama's nerdery (which appears to include an appreciation for both Trek and Wars sagas) have long surfaced. He's reported to have read every "Harry Potter" book and collected comic books, with the latter fact even coming up in fundraising emails.
Humorist John Hodgeman went as far as suggesting Obama was the United States' "first nerd president" during the 2009 Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner — an event where the president flashed the Vulcan salute not once, but twice.
Then-candidate Obama also flashed the famous gesture at Spock himself when he spotted Leonard Nimoy from across the room at a 2007 fundraiser, according to the Los Angeles Times. And when Nimoy died last year, Obama released a touching statement that started by declaring "[l]ong before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy."
An acknowledgment that nerdy is now cool — and a Vulcan salute reference — made it into his PopSci interview too:
What’s remarkable is the way "nerd" is such a badge of honor now. Growing up, I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who read "Spider-Man" comics and learned how to do the Vulcan salute, but it wasn’t like it is today. I get the sense that today’s young people are proud to be smart and curious, to design new things, and tackle big problems in unexpected ways. I think America’s a nerdier country than it was when I was a kid — and that’s a good thing!