With Google and Apple ranking among the most successful companies in history, Bill Gates the richest man in the world and Disney in possession of the "Star Wars" franchise, evidence that geeks and nerds run the world is everywhere. But what would it take for those of us who believe in the wisdom of "live long and prosper" to take the reins and really rule the world? Like, in the formal, political sense of the phrase?
Sure, President Obama -- as he's proven with his campaigns' skillful use of social media and data to crush his last two competitors -- is more of a nerd than any other recent commanders in chief, but he's no Larry or Sergey or Alexis Ohanian or Bonnie Burton!
Am I being serious? You tell me. When the Washington Post mashed up favorability ratings for certain "Star Wars" characters and a few likely candidates for the American presidency in 2016, it found that the public has a higher opinion of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Yoda and even Darth Vader than they do of Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul or Paul Ryan. To be fair to our leading politicians, most of them still crush Jar Jar Binks in opinion polling.
If the populace is that much more excited about decades-old characters, perhaps it's time we harnessed this power -- this pop culture Force, if you will -- to remake democracy.
And this isn't just a thought exercise for our American democratic system either. Heck, Darth Vader was actually running a strong campaign for Ukraine's presidency earlier this year before that country's Central Electoral Commission denied the candidacy of the chosen leader of the wacky Internet Party.
If all the nerds and geeks were to unite to organize a political party, I don't think it would resemble any of our existing political parties, be it the Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Labour, Liberals, LibDems, Communists or whatever. Here in the US, tech, gaming and other areas of nerdery consist of a healthy mix of conservatives, liberals, libertarians and others, but I do think we could all agree that a political party for the world's geeks and nerds should be just that -- for all the world's dorknificence, from all nations.
But what other issue planks might make up the platform of an international political movement of geeks, nerds and whatever the 21st century equivalent of a "dweeb" is? And what would it be called? I'd say the Tesla Party would be good, but that might get confused with Elon Musk's next barbecue.
I propose the Geeks and Nerds United party, or GNU, which is also an awesome triple entendre for fans of both open-source software and wildebeests. It could also be pronounced "new party," since it will also be just that, a new political party.
Great. Now we have at least a temporary name, but what would the GNU Party stand for? What unites us all? Of course, there are the clearly awesome things we often discuss here on Crave, like lightsabers and robot butlers for everyone, building more key government buildings with Legos and resolving all international conflict via massive LARPing tournaments. But what else?
On a serious note, I imagine most of us might be able to agree on the importance of preserving some level of a free and open Internet and to enshrining access to information as a human right. And without getting into any of the typical left-versus-right rhetoric, I imagine we can all agree that we should work to build a world that ensures both ample opportunities for success under the most broad definition of the word, while at the same time striving for equal access to these opportunities for all, be it the chance for a young engineer in Bangladesh to finally build the first hoverboard or for some dude in Alaska to share his amazement over the sound of skipping stones with a global audience.
What do you think? Would you join the GNU Party? To be official, we'll need a manifesto that lays out the vision for a better world that all nerds and geeks share. Let us know in the comments and by tweeting @crave and @EricCMack what that vision looks like to you.