A young guy casually said to me the other day, "Smart is what you settle for when you're too much of a wimp to be macho. Seriously, all those guys back in high school who prided themselves on their brains, they were all wusses. If any of them had been tough, or strong, or even good-looking, they would never have positioned themselves as brains.
"Plus, most of them aren't actually any smarter than anybody else. Talk to them and you find they're not witty, or charming, or quick on their feet. You'll also find that most of them have no real intellectual interests, and no original way of looking at things. They're just grinds.
"They're nerds because they have no choice."
I'd never thought of it in quite those terms before, but once the young man said it, I realized he was right.