The Author has chosen to again describe the First Principle of Nerd Dominance: Knowledge (however useless) is social credit. But we also catch a glimpse of the Fourth Principle of Nerd Dominance: “There is no such thing as a subject not worth arguing over.”
The Author demonstrates this by first showing an argument that has existed for thousands of years and shapes entire world politics. He then contrasts it with the outburst of “Frank,” who recalls an obscure and largely forgotten territorial dispute with no bearing on anyone’s life as a way to be technically correct at the expense of another nerd. For any socially adjusted person, this action would be beyond tedious and ultimately futile. But Frank, being a nerd who is seeking to rise in the Nerd Dominance Hierarchy, knows that even such tiny quibbles can elevate his status in the eyes of other nerds.