Written in the context of a discussion on the cultural development of the "extrovert ideal" in Susan Cain's excellent book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking," the following quote ends with some gentle sarcasm. Cain carefully distinguishes "shy" from "introverted" - one fears social judgement, the other doesn't - and points out that the presumption about what the shy and introverted should like doesn't go in the other direction.
The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves, and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up. The number of Americans who considered themselves shy increased from 40 percent in the 1970s to 50 percent in the 1990s, probably because we measured ourselves against ever higher standards of fearless self-presentation. 'Social anxiety disorder' — which essentially means pathological shyness — is now thought to afflict nearly one in five of us. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), the psychiatrist’s bible of mental disorders, considers the fear of public speaking to be a pathology — not an annoyance, not a disadvantage, but a disease — if it interferes with the sufferer’s job performance. 'It’s not enough,' one senior manager at Eastman Kodak told the author Daniel Goleman, 'to be able to sit at your computer excited about a fantastic regression analysis if you’re squeamish about presenting those results to an executive group.' (Apparently it’s OK to be squeamish about doing a regression analysis if you’re excited about giving speeches.)
And the nerds rejoiced. We need every kind of mind.