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'Long Before Being Nerdy Was Cool, There Was Leonard Nimoy.' RIP Spock.

The "Star Trek" actor dies at 83.

Screen Grab via Netflix
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

There are people who didn’t watch “Star Trek,” and it turns out I work with a couple of them. So we can’t say that everyone loved Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock.

But a lot of people certainly did, which is why Barack Obama just mourned Nimoy’s death, at 83: “I loved Spock,” the President of the United States of America wrote in a statement.

We should also note that Nimoy did other things than play the half-Vulcan on a low-budget but highly adored TV show, and then in a series of movies. But whether Nimoy liked it or not — and he seemed to go back and forth on this — the public thought of him as Spock, and that’s who they’re remembering today.

Obama’s statement also spells out why Nimoy’s death may have resonance for people who have special affection for technology: Spock was a proto-nerd, and his blend of brilliance, inability to understand the way regular humans behaved and surprising kick-assitude made him an unlikely hero.

“Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy,” Obama wrote.

Now nerds may be the dominant social force, and it’s not unusual at all for brainiacs who have difficulty relating to regular people to run some of the world’s most important companies. You can go ahead and think of your own examples.

While you’re doing that, enjoy some Nimoy/Spock highlights.

A compilation reel of some of his best takes on logic and illogic:

And things he found fascinating:

Spock going mano a half-mano with James T. Kirk:

And his famous death scene from “Wrath of Khan”:

And here’s Nimoy jousting with Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the most recent “Star Trek” movies. It’s a pretty nice note to go out on:

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