The Guardian has a long, fairly interesting piece on the mainstreaming of geek culture. From the article:
What does it all mean? Has geek finally been absorbed and neutered, its network of rich and sustaining subcultures that were rooted in a real love of pop-culture minutiae and genuine expertise in matters technical now reduced to an unearned T-shirt and a pair of heavy-framed glasses with no lenses in them? Or has it, Borg-like, assimilated the mainstream and begun to subtly direct our world via its norms and memes? (Example:people actually know what memes are now.) Is geek just the post-noughties' fleeting equivalent of punk or lad culture, or does it mark a more fundamental realignment in our society? Above all, have we finally reached Peak Geek?
Chris Coleman is head of print and graphics at fashion trend forecasters WGSN. He puts the Rise of the Nerds in straightforward economic terms. If education, once free to all, is now scarce and expensive then you'll begin to unconsciously flaunt your commitment to the life of the mind. Thick glasses and a cardigan thus become the red braces and power-shoulders of the 21st century. Enticingly, you become both an outlaw and a member of an elite.