Leonid Fridman emphasizes the importance of people to be more in favor of nerds instead of social skills and physical prowess, if America wants to stay as a world-class power. Initially, Fridman establishes the idea of "anti-intellectualism" by mentioning that "Even at a prestigious academic institution like Harvard" the concept of anti-intellectualism is widespread. Fridman uses elaborate diction and imagery to portray Harvard as imperfect in order to grab the reader's attention. Usually, if people see a dominant university such as Harvard in a passage, they tend to read and think over it more, because it is so famous for its education. Fridman wants his audience to understand that even in top-ranking universities, "Nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized" which means that America is grasping the wrong set of values and there needs to be an action taken soon if it is happening at such high-level schools. .
Next, Fridman uses analogy and comparison to show the readers how different America is to our rival countries. He starts off by talking about how we encourage anti-intellectualism more than most other countries in the world. Also, he states that in most industrialized nations around the world, a kid who studies hard is lauded and held up as an example to other students. Fridman does this to show the audience how different our values are to other countries, particularly our rivals. Fridman supports this by further comparing our beliefs to those outside of America who do not think the same. He says that while in many parts of the world, university professorships are the most prestigious and materially rewarding positions whereas in America, average professional ballplayers are much more respected and better paid than faculty members of the best universities. Fridman intends to prove to the audience that America is going astray because we are giving importance to all the wrong things.