What's sad is the conformist turn this thread has taken. What happened to the rebelious spirit of the internet generation? People shouldn't make judgments based on somebody's clothing. We are supposed to be beyond the point where one needs to be "pleasurable to everyone" in order to be respected. Also, if anything, shirt-and-tie clothing is quite impractical, how about putting some brains to work to come up with self-cleaning/self-healing clothes?
Another thing: by creating a strong impression of seriousness, jacket-and-tie creates a false , narcissistic sense of self-worth that can limit the true drive to succeed and that's a sad, sad thing when it happens. It's just an appearance after all.
Taleb may have been referring to certain "conference-whores"  who dress up like geeks to fit into the crowd. Hopefully, in science and technology, actions matter more than words and dress up, and that's one of the reasons we like it.
Suits are one of the many well-known ways to get (certain) people to like you and respect you. If you've ever failed to reach your goals due to other people's suboptimal reception of your presentation, consider this:
"Your business suit will probably cost about as much as a computer monitor. You only need it once in a blue moon, but when you need it you’ll be really, really, really glad that you have it. Take my word for it, if I wear everyday casual when I visit e.g. City Hall I get treated like a hapless awkward twenty-something, if I wear the suit I get treated like the CEO of a multinational company. I’m actually the awkward twenty-something CEO of a multinational company, but I get to pick which side to emphasize when I want favorable treatment from a bureaucrat." 
Now, obligatory suit-and-tie-wearing can certainly be seen as a form of workplace oppression, but the motivation to positively impress business associates is perfectly valid. On the flip side, dressing down and cursing like a sailor can also be a form of calculated personal branding that conveys the desired impression (confident, powerful outsider) to certain prospective clients in certain situations. 
So, I like wearing the suit and tie and you probably think I'm "conformist". I also tend not to judge people based on how they dress or look. I make active efforts to be as non-biased by peoples' physical appearances as possible. Yet I know (from experience) that it's an unreasonable expectation of other people to hold them to this same status and that, in the real world, appearance matters.
What I've learned, the hard way, is that you have to spend a considerable amount of your work time deciding for other people how they perceive you, and this is a subtle art. If you don't manage your image actively, others will manage it for you. This is as true, if not moreso, in a startup than in a big company. At least the social status rules of large companies (as broken and antiquated as they may be) are documented. In a startup, you often have situations where there are 20 employees who all think they're the alpha dog.
Wearing a suit and tie is a very cheap, efficient way to manage other peoples' impressions of you. Sure, it's silly, but the reward-to-cost ratio is very high. It's a lot cheaper and better than, say, sticking around the office till 9:30 when you finished productive work 5 hours ago.
It's true that our basic needs haven't changed much. We 've become a little more brainy but our basic needs are served by relatively little technology. That's because humans haven't evolved visibly since ancient times. Our way of life will truly change once we start altering ourselves in substantial ways. The future will be very cool in a world where people can grow wings at will.
We don't necessarily need to know all the inner workings, just the important things to do our job. Cavemen didn't know about torques, loads and angular velocities when they invented the wheel. Thus i am hopeful that i will live to see the major breakthroughs in genetics and neuroscience.
I suppose that's true; its also a good summary of how molecular biology has been done thus far and we've managed to learn quite a bit. Translating it into practical applications has been more of a challenge. I'm skeptical that we'll see any breakthroughs in transhumanism in our lifetime, although naysayers are always being proven wrong— I sure hope I am as well.
Yet the success of airbnb means that there is strong need to amend or extend these laws. After all, it's a different kind of lodging in which the consumer accepts nonstandard services for a smaller fee. At this point, the airbnb model has gained enough momentum to be unstoppable by local lobbies.
Currently, especially in europe, airbnb seems to be borderline legal for people who don't own licences. Inevitably airbnb will have to find common ground with local authorities, instead of relegating the issue to individual users. After all it's in their interest.
Facebook is also enforcing new terms for its developers: From December on, applications that run on external domains instead of appearing as an iframe inside facebook will be severely restricted in their access to facebook. This move is supposed to force indie developers to move their games to facebook where they can't use AdSense (it's not allowed by facebook) and can only use facebook's own payments system (it's mandatory).
Zynga could have used this 2 year time window to grow an independent social gaming network, but they failed to do so. It was inevitable that this would happen.
> "Geeks like to win arguments and value facts above opinions."
I'd rephrase that to be "geeks like to win arguments and like to think they value facts above opinions"
In my experience geeks are no more objective than any other messed up human being on this planet. We just have a giant collective superiority complex about our own supposed factualness.
This is related to the many, many posts you see on HN where programmers belittle professionals of other fields as if they were economists, political scientists, biologists, medical doctors, rocket scientists, architects, structural engineers, or what have you.
True, but the current geek cultures are very much an extension of those departments. Anthropology is the study of men, and men do not often develop entirely new traditions. It would also be worth exploring if similarities between physics geeks and guild societies before that existed.
It tends to be more about ethnicity than nationalism per se, but yes. Your membership in the Albanian/Serb/Roma/Croat/etc. community is central to your personal identity in the Balkans, far outweighing where you happen to live or where you happen to spend your Sunday mornings/Friday afternoons.
They're all interrelated though, so it gets complicated rather quickly. But yes: Serbs are proud to be Serbs.