1. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Nerds

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Gonissa, Feb 25, 2012.

    Okay. So, I'd just like a little feedback on the subject of nerds. I've been thinking about it recently, and I'd really like to get other people's opinions.

    So-
    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd?
    2. If so, are you below 20 or above?
    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no

    n/a... but, for the record, i'm 3x20 +++ and have been running across the critters ever since jr high, which is when ted geisel originated the term in 'if i ran the zoo'... which i'm sure i'd first read to my little sisters...

    back then, it was slang for a 'square' or a 'drip'... nowadays, it's more connected to loners who are heavily into learning, but are socially inept...

    supposedly, yes... meaning a sorta freaky kinda nerd... one who takes nerd-dom to it's peak, often meaning one who's technically proficient in something mechanical [and beyond], like computers... the term arose around the same time as 'nerd' and was originally similar in meaning to 'dork' or 'dweeb'... all of which we, who were teens in the 50s, can be blamed for making them popular...
     
  3. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    The terms 'nerd' and 'geek' have specific definitions; they are often confused or used interchangeably, but they are quite different, IMO.

    A Nerd is someone who is intellectual but socially inept, as mamma said. This term can apply to someone who is considered 'bookish' or obsessed with learning, and can be prefixed with other words to explain exactly what their nerdism consists of: science nerd, history nerd, literary nerd, fantasy nerd, etc.

    A geek is someone who is specifically interested in physics or technology, from what I can gather, but it has become almost automatically associated with the term 'computer geek'. But geeks are different from nerds, in that whereas nerds isolate themselves from people and pursue their specialist subjects for their own sake, a geek is the kinda person you can call on when your hard drive crashes and you need someone to fix it. They obsess about stuff, but their knowledge has a more practical application. At least, that's how I figure it.

    I'm proud to be a bit of an ancient history nerd, and yes, I'm above 20 :D
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To me, a nerd is someone who boringly studious and socially awkward. I'm an ex-nerd, I guess. I'm still studious, but I'm much better socially these days than I was in high school. I'm way above 20.

    A geek is someone obsessed with something specific - science, computers, comic books, action movies, whatever. But a geek isn't necessarily socially awkward, in my view. You can be suave and cool and still be a geek.
     
  5. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am a Nerd and a Geek. I'm 39. I'm proud of my Nerdiness. Nerds rule the World. :)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I am not a label. I am a free man.

    But I carry many of the seeds of nerditude and geekdom, and have proudly passed them on to my progeny.
     
  7. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. No. I imagine that I'm the furthest thing you'll find from a "nerd" - which probably isn't a good thing. Isn't a balance better?

    3. By the same definition you'll find in the dictionary.
     
  8. DAHart
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    DAHart Banned

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    Does it matter if you're a nerd or a geek? You have the definitions but is being either a problem for you? If you're under 20 it might seem like a burden but as you age being nerdy or geeky can work to your advantage. Kids are cruel, grownups, not as cruel. Bottom line, don't change who you are to satify someone else.
     
  9. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I'm under 20 and consider myself a nerd, and I think most people on this site are to some degree. Afterall non-nerds tend not to have intricate knowledge of fictional universes. :p
     
  10. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd?

    YES

    2. If so, are you below 20 or above?

    Above but not by much

    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different?

    Nerd: stereotype to define one who is logical and appears and possibly is smarter than the rest in any subject.

    Geek is more of having a hobby or talent that is out of the norm but is considered normal to those who have similar interests.
     
  11. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    We're meant to have knowledge of fictional universes!?

    :confused:
     
  12. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Can someone put this back in the Character Development thread? I'm asking people their opinions for the purposes of a book, and I'd like the questions to be taken appropriately seriously.

    Also, note that I'm just gathering opinions, not necessarily trying to make a comment.

    Okay, further questioning.
    4. Do you think nerds are a good thing?
    5. What kind of nerdy experience have you had, as a nerd or as someone around a nerd?

    So, Cogito, you are thereby implying that the term "nerd" has no logical applicability? That it is meaningless? Why then do you say you have nerdy characteristics if being a "nerd" means nothing?

    I guess what I really mean is this: what do you mean when you call the word "nerd" a label?
     
  13. munkyphile
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    munkyphile Member

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    Hmm.

    1. Do I think I'm a nerd? No, not really. People do perceive me to be a nerd or geek because I am generally antisocial, and very awkward around people in real life. Part of this behavior comes from having been home schooled I just didn't get the socialization that most other people got through out their various school careers. I remember I went to a public school for 1/2 of a semester, and asked my parents to home school me again. I couldn't handle being around that many people all the time. It just felt wrong. To this day, I still can hardly smile at someone if I haven't known them for a good long time already.

    2. 24

    3.I don't know how to really define either term. I only know that I am generally tossed into those crowds by being a general outcast.

    4. If most other nerds have the same societal ineptitudes as I do, then no, I would not consider nerds to be a good thing.

    5. I really don't know how to answer this one, other than just that I feel awkward and out of place just about anywhere, no matter who is around me. With the exception of being at home of course.
     
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  14. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Ouch. That's not good. You seriously need to make yourself get out more. It won't be comfortable, but nothing happens if you don't try. Start slow by hanging out at a cafe and writing, but you don't have to talk to anyone. I got more comfortable around people at my job, because well, when you work in customer service you have to learn to look somebody in the eyes and smile.

    Okay, question for you. Do you feel you actually are a nerd, or merely mistaken for one? What kind of job would you like if money/education/transportation were no object?
     
  15. munkyphile
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    munkyphile Member

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    I feel I'm just mistaken for one. I have lots of varied interests, a good mix of intellectual, and physical activities that I enjoy. People just mistake my inherent shyness for purposefully being antisocial, or for just being "weird".

    I actually have the perfect job for me already. I do technical support for veterinary management software. I talk to people all day, just on the phone where I don't have to look at people or be looked at... It's fantastic.
     
  16. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Having been different from those surrounding me, due to different interests and hobbies, I think some people might consider me being a nerd. Even though, I don't see myself as such. Like munkyphile said, I am socially awkward, not that I don't make friends and such but it's diffecult for me to be around people, my only real friend is my boyfriend.

    Back to your questions:

    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd?
    see above

    2. If so, are you below 20 or above?
    I'm above 20.

    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different?
    I think a nerd is a person who's obsessed with learning and is sort of a bookworm. They tend to socialize very little and have no actual relationships unless hobbies and interests are shared. Due to that they have a naive look on life and limited social experiences.

    A geek is more like someone who's very good in a specific field of knowledge, usually technology related. They are those who know how to fix a computer no matter how hopeless the case is.

    4. Do you think nerds are a good thing?

    Everything has it's good and bad aspects. Being a nerd is certainly good for finding jobs and knowledge but being socially disconnected simply to learn can't be a good thing.


    5. What kind of nerdy experience have you had, as a nerd or as someone around a nerd?

    Well, it seems that many people seem to pull away from me simply because I like reading/writing or self-learning. Until this very moment none of my friends share my hobbies, except for my boyfriend when it comes to writing/reading poetry. I'm not sure this is an experience but yeah.
     
  17. Zappy
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    Zappy Member

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    1: I don't consider myself a nerd for that is a derogatory term that I honestly don't think anybody really knows what it really means.

    2: I'm below 20

    3: A nerd in my imagination is a person that is very intelligent but has major social issues and usually bad taste in fashion. A geek is a more science based "Nerd".

    4: Heh, you cannot label a person by merely good or bad. Nerds are usually trustworthy which is good but the social issues in the thorn in their foot which gives it the derogatory meaning.

    5: I love learning and gaining knowledge, so sometimes I can seem a tad obsessed. I love books which automatically stereotypes me in the eye of the public as a "Nerd". My friends are actually very socially outgoing and athletic so I can't really answer the last part.
     
  18. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    I kinda like when people call me a nerd or geek! I'm not overly smart or do any kind of science, but I love gaming, technology, anime and movies that are considered nerdy/geeky. Also yeh I'm over 20! Not really sure what specifially defines those things, but according to my friends those qualities define me as one :D Forever proud to be one! Rather a nerd/geek than doing drugs!
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see a nerd as someone who:

    1) Has an intense interest in a subject or subjects that require a good deal of intellectual effort to master. You could be a computer nerd, a car repair nerd, a sewing nerd, a cooking nerd, whatever. The stereotypical subjects are computers and science, but I would allow any subject that qualifies under the "intellectual effort required" requirement.

    2) Has little to no interest in "surface" social issues. They don't care about clothes, haircuts, who's where on the social ladder, how to most successfully "pose" socially. Yes, I realize that this description comes from the nerd's point of view - from the other side, I would argue that _some_ of the social conventions that nerds disdain do have value, and I might use Linda Grant's statement, "You can't have depths without surfaces."

    Nerds may have a sense of social survival that tells them that they'd do best to just duck their heads and avoid all social interaction with non-nerds, or they may be socially tone-deaf to the extent that they don't know to do even that much. In adulthoods, many nerds master the social rules sufficiently to have a satisfying, if low-key, social life; through high school, odds are that they're ignored at best or, more likely, tormented.

    -----

    Item (2) doesn't mean that nerds don't care about other people, but it does mean that they cannot master, or will not take the tremendous effort required to master, the incredibly complex social ballet/dodgecar-game that is surface, small-talk, what-brand-are-you-wearing, is-that-this-month's hair, social interaction. Their interaction with other people is likely to be with compatible nerds, and if they can't find them in their own habitat (either because there are no others or, more likely, because they're all hidden from each other as a consequence of hiding from the non-nerds) they'll find them online, or they'll get synthetic human interaction from books or television until they reach adulthood and their choices widen.

    If you want to learn more, Google for "Why nerds are unpopular", a very good essay, and "Voices from the Hellmouth", an article and hundreds of comments on Slashdot that came out of the nerd-harassment that came out of Columbine.

    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd?
    Yes.

    2. If so, are you below 20 or above?
    I'm between forty and fifty.

    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different?
    I see a geek as being more about enthusiasm and a nerd more about knowledge. Geeks also tend to have more social ability, and are less likely to disdain social skills.

    4. Do you think nerds are a good thing?
    Are they a good thing? Yes. We need people who care deeply and intensely about the things of the world.

    Is it a good experience to be a nerd? No. Would a nerd choose not to be a nerd, would he give up his passionate interests and focus a great deal of time and energy on mastering surface social requirements that to him have no underlying meaning or value? No. He'd love it if the world would change and stop hating him, or at least him alone, but he's not willing to join the Borg or solicit a bite from a vampire in order to be safe from those threats.

    5. What kind of nerdy experience have you had, as a nerd or as someone around a nerd?
    I find that I'm feeling a nerd's suspicion of a non-nerd's curiosity. Perhaps is hasn't been as long since junior high as I think it has.

    ChickenFreak
     
  20. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I am above 20 and totally consider myself a nerd. Nerds are cool.

    Not only do we need nerds - because they are the ones who become doctors, CEOs, etc - but nerds are also typically way more independent and capable of thinking outside the box than non-nerds. Nerds don't blindly follow crowds or obsess about fitting in with the "popular kids."

    When I was in middle school and the early part of high school, being a nerd really sucked. But as an adult, nerdiness is awesome.

    ;)
     
  21. wilprim
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    wilprim Member

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    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd? Hell yes I do!
    2. If so, are you below 20 or above? I'm 21 :)
    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different? Geeks are the ones who are interested in leaning hobbies or subjects that are usually esoteric, nerds are the geeks that like to do stuff with what they learn.
     
  22. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Thanks, you guys. This is really helpful. I'm trying to gather opinions for a book, and this is really clarifying.
     
  23. JPGriffin
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    1. Do you consider yourself a nerd?
    Personally, yes. For multiple reasons, too.

    2. If so, are you below 20 or above?
    Below. 17, specifically.

    3. How do you define a nerd? Is being a geek significantly different?
    Significant? Yes. Mentally, not really. As I see it, a nerd is someone who focuses on a specific topic, subject, or object for mostly entertainment purposes. They sometimes lack the ability to apply this obsession to the real world, but in the end it doesn't really matter, as they do it for fun, not for results. Geeks tend to learn for the sole reason of application, learning how things work either because they enjoy it or because it has a useful purpose in their lives. They can apply it when needed, and often won't hesitate to do so.

    4. Do you think nerds are a good thing?
    In most cases, yes, I'd say nerds are a good thing, although I hesitate because of the stereotypes and hatred often directed at the "weak and socially awkward". The pride of being a nerd, though, is what differentiates the "social hermits" and the "supernerds." Me? I try and keep in a middle-ground. I tend to keep secret my writing (outside of the community, that is), amongst other things, but I will openly share some other "nerdy" hobbies with the world. What's so great about being a nerd, though, is that nerds are able to explore their interests unhindered. They can look at the world and see what suits them, where they belong, (hopefully) without fear of judgement.

    5. What kind of nerdy experience have you had, as a nerd or as someone around a nerd?
    One of the things that I find exciting as a nerd is when ideas come together, when things just mesh together to either pay homage to each other or to simply work well, often randomly and surprisingly.
     
  24. Jayyy1014
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    Jayyy1014 Jerrica Contributor

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    Well got to say something here...... I'm a PROUD Nerd/Geek, and I'm almost 16. :p I don't care to be myself. :)
     
  25. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    No, not in my definition.

    Below 20, but getting close.

    I'm thinking that a nerd is someone who extensively attempts to acquire knowledge over most other things. This often makes nerds appear very smart, yet socially inept.

    Geeks are people who immerse themselves in a certain technology, or a product of such technology. For example, someone who plays too many video games or watches too much Star Trek, would be called a geek.
     

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