Nerdiness and Geekdom

Posted: April 5, 2010 in Culture, Idle Nonsense

This Venn diagram from Great White Snark struck my fancy:


I don’t buy for a moment the arbitrary distinctions between the nerd, the geek, the dork, and the dweeb (my preferred term is goober), but it’s a humorous picture to contemplate. Polling for how one identifies also runs the obvious risk of false self-reporting, the results slanting safely heavily toward geek. Of course, it’s undoubtedly a mark of my own nerdiness that I appreciate the humor in, of all things, a very unscientific Venn diagram. But as a friend of mine once remarked, it may not be considered cool to be a nerd, but it’s a lot more fun to indulge one’s enthusiasms without worry about keeping up an image. (Fanboys and -girls dressed in costumes from Star Trek, Star Wars, or Harry Potter clearly have more fun than jocks and bimbos who have adopted the pointless pose of sulking detachment. It’s revenge of the nerds in real life.) The whole point of Nerd Approved is to highlight such enthusiasms in a veritable nerdgasm over products such as these by Fred and Friends.

In a similar vein, two webcomics make me laugh by combining tidbits of technology, math, goofiness, and subtle cultural criticism: The Abstruse Goose and xkcd. Considering just how uneducated much of the public is, I’m suspicious that the humor is lost on those without a decent grasp of science.

  1. Personally I’d say the stilletto is on the other foot now.

    (If I can’t do html that comment will be incomprehensible…)

    • Brutus says:

      Your comment works fine. I just saw an article at the same website saying how much fun Renaissance fairs are, which are all about costuming and make believe. I’ll admit I’ve sometimes been a musical performer at a local fair, though I don’t join in the geekery nearly so much as some.

      • One can probably learn skills that will later be useful during powerdown…

      • Brutus says:

        Unless you expect to be jousting, sewing clothes, or traveling around as a minstrel, probably not. It’s make believe; most of the food and craft goods are produced using modern techniques based on oil and electricity.

  2. Ah, so no equivalent of the Creative Anachronists then. Still, sewing clothes is not a bad thing to learn!

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