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Are we Nerds?
And did we start life this way...

 2:07 am on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm jumping off another Foo topic on this one. I’m just curious...

Today - Nerd?:

Webmaster that builds his own computers, does some coding, and I can pretty much repair anything in my home. I’m about as mellow as they come, never a sign of road rage, wouldn’t hurt a fly. I’d rather walk away than fight with someone, even if I knew I could knock them silly…

Past Life - Jock:

I played baseball (pitched in High School), also threw the javelin and shot put in both HS and college. I played football (left OT) in high school and defensive end in college (small college). I was second team All State in Football and threw the shot over 54 feet in high school. I lifted weights all the time and could bench press around 350 pounds.

Am I the anomaly here? I hope not…



 2:39 am on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Part time beach bum here. IT consultant at a big 5 firm in a former life. Now I mix 'n match. Work hard, play hard and make the rules. Know not to talk tech to girls or drinking buddies :)

Love the nightlife and have to be able to plan working hours around my party schedule... Used to have a DJ residency 3 nights a week at a busy bar in addition to my nerd work. Paused that for 2 years due to a web project, going back to playing 1 night a week this month.


 4:51 am on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Today - Nerdy "building caretaker". (A step up from homeless nerd) Whenever the boss needs computer help I'm there. Built and maintain the corporate website. Got here by learning Lotus 1-2-3 way back when.

Then - It must be genetic. As a young boy I was always trying to figure out how to use scotch tape to fix the world. Logic is the new scotch tape.


 2:40 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

BillyS I was the same way. I really think we/you have mellowed and found there is more to life than trying to impress the world, besides no one really cares.

My CEO gave me a book to read it was a small book so I could handle it. Anyway it was a book this guy that went around the world interviewing top CEO's of major companies and what most of them had common.
It was a turning point so to speak for me. What he found out is that most of them had this one comman trend.

No one really cares it your alive or dead, excet close family and friends. If you took that number and got the % of the world that cared what you thought, if you had rode rage, if you blew up at the airport because the flight was late, if you blew a fuse because the food was cold and on and on, you would see such a small percentage that it is a total wate of time to lose it.

Be polite when something goes wrong because the one that did it could care less. Forget the horn, stare, finger, or yelling if they cut you off because they don't care. Why waste your time, energy, blood pressue on someone that doesn't care.

I think this is called the 2nd stage of your/mine life were we have gotten past the little things to focus on the big picture. This is a good thing and by no means a nerd, but a new self with much to offer and one worth listening too.


 3:04 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Are we Nerds?

Do you know PI to 50 places?

Do you speak Klingon?

Forget the horn, stare, finger, or yelling if they cut you off because they don't care.

That's true.

I was coming back from lunch one day and let a tailgater get really wound up as I slowed down another 10MPH just to get his rage up and running.

What he didn't know, that I did, was the police had a speed trap set up about 1 block ahead so when had got the chance and shot around me he sped up to show off and that's when the sirens came after him.

We drove by, pointed and waved frantically, made a u-turn and went past again with the windows down yelling "NEENER NEENER" out the window.

That's how you get Revenge of the Nerds.

Trust me, the guy I tricked into getting a ticket, HE CARED!

brotherhood of LAN

 3:22 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Same past list as you BillyS, except for me I played a lot of rugby and was involved in athletics 3 times a week for many a year, til other distractions arrived.

I had a computer around since I was 4 so it was inevitable that I'd try making some money from what I knew already.

imo most of us probably are nerds as defined by the mainstream... give it another decade before knowing 'internet stuff' is a regular thing, when the majority kids of today mature and have grew up with it.

[edited by: brotherhood_of_LAN at 3:26 pm (utc) on Apr 5, 2010]


 3:25 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm a nerd. Sorry, but there's no other way to put it. I program at work, I program for college classes, I program for fun.

I know PI to 80 places, though I unfortunately don't speak Klingon (I have an innate ability to memorize numbers--memorizing PI to 80 decimal places only took about 45 minutes--but don't ask me to remember someone's name; it'll be gone 30 seconds after it was mentioned).

I've had a grand total of one girlfriend (that was several years ago) and know 10+ programming languages (and multiple frameworks within each language, in most cases). I carry a roll of electrical tape, multitool, and small well-sealed bottle of trumpet valve oil with me at all times, allowing me to fix nearly any mechanical device I come into contact with. I take notes in classes on my phone, which I use with a pocket-size unfolding keyboard. My notebook is made of duct tape.

Yes, I am a nerd. And I'm proud of it.


 3:41 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

To misquote Shakespeare: "Be not afraid of nerds. Some are born nerds, some achieve nerdiness, and some have nerdiness thrust upon them."

So there are apparently 3 paths. :)

I mostly took the 2nd path, with some help from the 3rd path (got glasses and braces within 1 week of each other in 6th grade) and perhaps some decent genes.

I really distinguished myself in junior high school- bicycling to school instead of taking the bus and wearing one of those elastic straps to keep my glasses on (still can't believe I actually did that!). I was the only 7th grader in my math classes and one of my teachers didn't even bother making an answer key when he made quizzes and tests- he just used my answer sheet. Started playing D&D in 8th grade. Then joined the badminton team in high school. (Hey- Most Improved my freshman year on the JV team, lettered 3 years on the varsity team, and got MVP my senior year!) We got our first computer (Applle II+) in high school, and learned quite a few tricks from a friend of mine (including how to hack the physics computer and award ourselves 200 extra credit points).

After high school I went to Caltech. There I was able to hone my skills and take nerdiness to a new level (Senior Ditch Day, steam tunnelling, kidnapping Rudolph from the Pasadena Christmas display and leaving him as a present for the Master of Student Housing- ah, good stuff!).

But I finally decided I needed to have a real life. Transferred to UCLA, switched to doing less nerdy things, and started growing an awesome pony tail. I still continued with the IT skills, although I started focusing on more useful things instead of "cool" things. One night while working the night shift, the mainframe broke down and the repair guy showed up in a faded Harley-Davidson t-shirt- a hard core biker who was also a brilliant IT guy. I started realizing that you could be a nerd without having to appear nerdy.

We drove by, pointed and waved frantically, made a u-turn and went past again with the windows down yelling "NEENER NEENER" out the window.

A true nerd would have stopped in front of his car while he was getting the ticket, gotten out, taken a picture, then explained to the driver and the cop that you just wanted to add it to your scrap book.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 4:02 pm (utc) on Apr 5, 2010]


 3:59 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is all kinds of nerds. The defination of a nerd.
Nerd is a term, often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests that are age-inappropriate, rather than engaging in more social or popular activities.
So with that said mainly a nerd is one that doen't go along with the crowd. I would put every webmaster here in www as a nerd then.

Bill that is so right on. Nice job.


 5:20 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

PI to the 50th decimal or the BPM and mood of 1,000s of songs :)

I don't think nerds should affirm and perpetuate the "socially awkward / inept" label that media has created. We're rock stars of our own - I was a whiz kid at 14 and still am one in my 40's...


 6:13 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a friend who is a very obvious nerd. He looks like a nerd and does computers and electrical things for a living. It's all classic nerd stuff.

Yet he is the most intelligent person I have ever met, he does sports for a hobby and is very fit, and he has the most astonishing social skills - everybody likes him no matter what their background and he is at the centre of anything he gets involved in.

Being self employed on the internet can be insular and lead to the nerd label. Makes getting out all the more important.


 7:06 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think I have enough technical skills to qualify as a nerd; I'm a marketer more than a techie.

But I do have a pretty good collection of multitools.


 8:00 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

buckworks this makes you an automatic nerd.
But I do have a pretty good collection of multitools.
man that has a good collection of tools doesn't go around doing what everybody else is doing, he is to busy trying to fix what he broke while trying to fix it.... I got me some of them multitools to....

 8:24 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

you only need one tool for DIY, i've found -- a hammer. with one of them you can do everything. if its bent you can bang it back, if its broke you can bang it and if it sticks out you can bang it some more. everything can be fixed with a hammer.


 8:51 pm on Apr 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hammer: the original multitool!


 1:09 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Okay, now I'm getting scared. I memorized PI to 12 decimal places because that's all my HP-12C showed me. Yes, I preferred a calculator that used RPN. And I bought two of them - just in case.

I've also purchased A LOT of tools over the years. My man "cave" is starting to look like a hardware store. I don't own a multi-tool, but I did buy one for my dad...


 4:12 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm gonna show this thread to mrs. lawman as proof positive that I'm not a nerd.


 5:02 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Everyone I know considers me a nerd. It's a term formed out of jealousy because they don't know a process from a blender, an application from Elmer's glue, a CPU from a BMOC.

Favorite exclamation that reveals their insecurity: "Well I'm not a computer whiz like you!"

But tell ya what. I can belt out Def Lepperd like a 20 year old, play Deep Purple like Blackmore (or think I can :-) ), out run guys half my age, and am no stranger to a chainsaw or a splitting maul, strike a fire in wet woods without a match, hang sheetrock, roof a house, and rebuild an engine if I have to.

Adaptatron, that's what I am. :-)


 6:04 am on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I memorized PI to 12 decimal places because that's all my HP-12C showed me.

Wrote a routine in my TI-58 calculator (circa '78) to calculate 400! (!=factorial if you forgot) and stored all the digits. Printed out the whole number, it was long, then compared the results to the CRC Math Hand Book just to make sure it was accurate.

Took it 2 days to compute.

BTW, anyone remember those early 'screen shot' printers that used some electrostatic printing process to print on what looked like a roll of galvanized toilet paper?

OK, admit it, how many people here have owned/used a pocket protector and had a slide rule over 2ft long with it's own carrying case?

Nerd joke:

After the great flood, the Arc landed on dry land and all the animals left 2 by 2 to be fruitful and repopulate the world. One of Noah's sons came to him with 2 Adder snakes, both male, and said "Dad, I think we have a problem, these snakes are both male!". Noah calmly instructed him to put the snakes on a log table and they would spawn. Sure enough, after putting the snakes on the table they mated and laid eggs! Noah gloated "Anyone knows if you put 2 Adders on a log table they will multiply...."


 6:40 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

^^^ LOL <groooooaaaaan> :-)


 6:52 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you were a true nerd, or at least a nerdette, you'd probably wear these [boingboing.net].


 12:28 am on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bill, I have owned a pocket protector but only used it when I was wearing a lab coat. I have used a slide rule, and at this very moment have one that is 12-inches long right next to me in my desk drawer. It is made by Pickett and it is in its very own case. Never have seen one longer than that. I'm pretty sure I have one or two more stashed away somewhere.

LifeinAsia, those aren't my style. Comfort is my game.


 11:01 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great topic, great posts (except this one).


 1:14 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm gonna show this thread to mrs. lawman as proof positive that I'm not a nerd.

I'm sorry to point this out, but isn't this the same person that talks about stuff like this?

I'm pretty sure stock pulley is 2.8". The one I put on is 2.65"

Sounds like a webmaster with a lot of tools to me... I wouldn't be showing this to mrs. lawman if I were you.


 3:55 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually, thinking about the issue some more, I feel there is a subtle difference between being a nerd and being a geek.

To me, being a geek is being extremely knowledgeable about a particular subject that now many other people may be (like lawman :) ). Yet in other ways, geeks are pretty much "normal." Often, that knowledge is revered by other people, and geeks are seen in a good light (e.g., Best Buy's Geek Squad).

Nerds, however, while having geeky qualities, also tend to be socially inept. Any enduring geeky qualities are overshadowed by more obnoxious traits, making them social outcasts.

So there is a fine line between being a nerd and a geek, and it's usually from the perception by others. So nerds would probably consider other nerds as mere geeks, except for those uber nerds that even other nerds ostracize.


 7:09 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nerds, however, while having geeky qualities, also tend to be socially inept.

Some speculate due to the social ineptitude that true nerds are just highly functional autistics.


 12:30 pm on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

LifeinAsia holy smokes I am in serious trouble
obnoxious traits
thats me. I drive our office staff crazy I mean to the 10th degree.
being a geek is being extremely knowledgeable about a particular subject
well I could be Geek. I am knowledgebale in many areas just enough to be dangerous. I call it being multitaskable. So I am at a delima what am I? A Geek a Nerd or just some smart a-- that think he knows everything?

 11:05 am on Apr 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good news for nerds and geeks alike, from the WSJ:

Computer engineer Barbie "won the popular vote" and anchorwoman won the girls' vote.

Barbie landed her first gig as a teenage fashion model in 1959. Since then she's been an astronaut, a surgeon and a presidential candidate. Her latest career choice? Computer engineer.

The result is a ponytailed doll in black leggings and a top decorated in binary code that spells Barbie, and lots of pink accessories—geek-chic glasses, Bluetooth headset and shoes.

Times They Are A-Changin'

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