Nerds of the world, rejoice. You are now officially cool. Just don't try to ask the head cheerleader to go to the prom with you.
More seriously, I think that the reason that nerds are getting cooler is that the age at which people get exposed to the real world is getting lower and lower.
In the old days, high school was a world in and of itself. The Friday night football game was the be all and end all of the hometown. Today, high schoolers are reading about Iraq straight from Iraqi and American soldiers' blogs, and are likely to play online games with teens in Malaysia or South Korea.
As a result, people are judged more on what they can do and what difference they make, and nerds, thanks to their intelligence, focus, and passion, have a major advantage.