July 31, 2007

More Science: Nerds May Be Found Nearly Everywhere
— Ace

And what makes them nerds? They're "hyperwhite," it seems.

There may be something to that -- if a black student who's somewhat bookish is described by his peers as "acting white," then I guess full-out nerdism could be said to be "hyperwhite." But one element that makes a nerd a nerd is technical prowess and mad skillz, and I wouldn't be as giddy as this researcher is to term such a thing "hyperwhite" as if it's an insult. There may indeed be an insult there, but not the one this researcher thinks.

The researcher, who has spent twelve years studying nerds, by the way, says nerds are "hyperwhite" partly due to their rejection of hip-hop and black culture, which non-nerd "pseudowhites" are, it seems, into.

She's spent twelve years studying nerds and hasn't come across any nerds that are into rap? Really? Because from my more limited and less-rigorous experience, nerds tend to be big into that as well as metal. And nerds, being sort of obsessive, get really into anything they're into at all.

But apparently all those nerds walking around with stinky NWA t-shirts were exlcuded from the category of "nerd," simply because by embracing black pop culture they were no longer "hyperwhite" and hence no longer nerds at all.

The entire mostly white staff at Rolling Stone is ga-ga over rap. Nerds? Well, I've seen pictures. My preliminary conclusion is "Hells yeah."

Twelve years to conclude that white is kinda nerdy and black is kinda cool. I question the funding.

Via Instapundit who has more.

Nerds Just Don't Dig On Rap: Embrace the hyperwhiteness.

Hyperwhite Or Hyperyellow? someone questions how this researcher overlooked the Asian Nerd Hordes at UC.

On a related note: sweaty Chinese feller electrocuted by his computer.

Apparently he didn't bother to turn it off before opening the case.

If I were to guess why he did such an insane thing, my guesses would run towards things like "not wanting to interrupt a download of either porn or the movie Stargate in progress" and "not wanting to logout of WoW, where he only had six minutes left on an auction for the Sword of Misfortune."

Posted by: Ace at 11:15 AM | Comments (110)
Post contains 377 words, total size 3 kb.

1

Question, Rate the following in order of importance for the progress of the human race.


Acknowledgement of non-western cultures, and an accepting them as equals


Continued debate on our philosophical and theological place in the univers.


Flying effing Cars.


Nerds will out themselves most ric and tic I tell you.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 11:20 AM (QTv8u)

2

Oddly and inconviently, the Amish are the least nerdy people of all, and they're about as white as all get out.


 


Posted by: BumperStickerist at July 31, 2007 11:20 AM (wieXQ)

3

I read this on Goldstein's site a couple days ago...pretty good.


I especially liked this comment of his:


If a white person refuses to “act Black” in limited situations — and in an homage to his own cultural history of raping and pillaging the culture of the Other and incorporating it into his own historical hold on hegemony — he is a racist. For not being a conventional white racist. Which is the new color blindness.


And the terrorists will have one.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 11:24 AM (m6c4H)

4 I'm sorry, I was wrong with my last comment.  Wrong thread, thats how you identify dorks.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 11:25 AM (QTv8u)

5 She looked at UC and thought nerds were *white*?  Um...

Posted by: someone at July 31, 2007 11:28 AM (eCH82)

6 You mean Asians?

I don't know if I'd call Asians nerdy myself.  There's a whole new word needed for that.  It just seems different.

Maybe it's because white nerdism is a choice, whereas Asians are just born that way?  I dunno.


Posted by: ace at July 31, 2007 11:31 AM (1UCRY)

7 Nerd + money = HOT. 

Posted by: kevlarchick at July 31, 2007 11:32 AM (Absaq)

8 Why do I think that this was written after putting the newest wierd al CD on repeat, then preening off the undesirable songs, until the only song playing was white and nerdy, while doing pilates?

Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 11:33 AM (QTv8u)

9

KC,


one armed hunch backed mutant, from the planet grelbath + Money = Hot a lot of the time.


Of course we can't prove it, since grelbath's culture is turned off by breasts.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 11:34 AM (QTv8u)

10 This is just a confusion of two completely differently social phenomena. Things that used to be consider "black" (certain slang words, Rap music, ect..) have been embraced by the popular culture. Nerds don't embrace the popular culture (which is, of course, part of what makes them Nerds). But of course, not confusing the obvious doesn't get you 12 years of funding.

I went to UCSB. This makes me wish me and my roommate had tried to get funding for any of our Undergraduate Research projects (the mating habits of the college-aged female, the drinking habits of the college students, ect . . .). If they funded this crap, we could've been funded for decades.

Posted by: Nick at July 31, 2007 11:35 AM (dAr2P)

11 I must be an uber-nerd.  I got into LOTS of stuff.

Posted by: Ron Jeremy at July 31, 2007 11:36 AM (8Dgyh)

12 If I had money I would be so hot.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at July 31, 2007 11:37 AM (pzen5)

13 Flying cars, hands down.

Posted by: ushie at July 31, 2007 11:37 AM (ljcNo)

14

Why do I think that this was written after putting the newest wierd al CD on repeat, then preening off the undesirable songs, until the only song playing was white and nerdy, while doing pilates?


Why, is that a normal day at chez Wickedpinto?


Seriously, the difference is that since most Asians (especially in college) are, essentially nerds, the male Asians still get hot (though nerdy) Asian chicks. Hmmm so the Asians are really superior since their nerdy chicks are mostly hot, whereas white nerdy chicks are mostly not, with a few exceptions.  And even hot nerdy white chicks often date non-nerds, just because they can.


Posted by: holdfast at July 31, 2007 11:38 AM (Gzb30)

15 I shredded this one over at JYB a couple of days ago.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 11:39 AM (T4Hli)

16 WP, the first two are just academic exercises. Flying cars is REAL progress.

Posted by: Tushar D at July 31, 2007 11:41 AM (IlgNp)

17

Jeez...I wish they would fund my study on how fishing for reds impacts my freezer...I could so get into that.


It could pay for the gas,tackle,snacks and the cold brews. I'd be in heaven.


Posted by: Bosk at July 31, 2007 11:42 AM (+aNmG)

18 O.T.:  I'm suffering from Beauchamp Beatdown withdrawal. Wasn't that fun last week?  I wish the army would issue their findings.

Posted by: dave at July 31, 2007 11:43 AM (CQYpd)

19 12 years of research explode into shards of screaming cognitive dissonance with a 3 minute Weird Al video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw

Posted by: Il Padrino at July 31, 2007 11:44 AM (o98oZ)

20

>>Maybe it's because white nerdism is a choice, whereas Asians are just born that way?


Probably true. I guess by Asians you mean them slitty-eyed fellers. Them there are some nerds! And they are into tentacle-pR0n.


Posted by: Tushar D at July 31, 2007 11:45 AM (IlgNp)

21 "Maybe it's because white nerdism is a choice, whereas Asians are just born that way?  I dunno."

Heh.  You mean you chose the Ace-of-Ewoks lifestyle?

Scary thought.

Posted by: someone at July 31, 2007 11:47 AM (eCH82)

22 12 years.

12 fuckin' years, yo!

Posted by: z ryan at July 31, 2007 11:47 AM (DG+tE)

23 Oh, and give her a pass on missing the existence of Asian nerds.  UCSB, for some reason, doesn't have very many Asian students (not just not many Asians for a UC, but not many Asians at all.)

Its kind wired. Maybe the lingering party school rep scares them off. Or its the shitty studies published by linguists that send them elsewhere. Never can be too sure.

Posted by: Nick at July 31, 2007 11:51 AM (dAr2P)

24

This study rocks in indescribable ways.


Everyone who is white is proven to be a racist twice over and a race traitor at the same time.


Nerds are race traitors, since they reject their racial heritage - (white racial heritage is stealing racial heritage from other races in order to be hegemonic over them)


Nerds are also racists though, since, despite it being their culture, they reject all things black.


But those kids that embrace ebonics are all racists, in the classical sense, because they are being hegemonic and stealing black culture.


Also, the study thoroughly confounds the words "cool" and "black".


If I didn't know any better, one would think them synonyms.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 11:52 AM (m6c4H)

25 Nick, as a fellow Gaucho I'm surprised that you forgot "Studies in Contradictions: The Dreadlocked Caucasian".



Posted by: IllTemperedCur at July 31, 2007 11:54 AM (tVbxd)

26

Actually I think the kind of "nerdism" the original writer refers to might be a kind of high-functional autism that may be most prevalent in white males. It's probably no accident that there are only two "real" kinds of prodigies: in math and music. And since math and music are closely intertwined, the same phenomenon probably accounts for both. And males seem to be far more likely to be prodigies than females (or even to be high achievers in the narrow area of symbolic visualization and manipulation). There might -- *might* -- be a racial component to this, but I doubt it; I suspect that there are proportionally just as many Asian, Latino, Black, and Samoan nerds as Caucasian ones.


So if you've ever wondered why there are so many more male nerds than female ones, it's apparently an evolutionary artifact.


And lest the ladies feel that I am suggesting they are less smart than the guys...not so. However, there are lots of reasons to believe that males are far more inclined to numeracy than females are, even when cultural factors are weighed in. Females, on the other hand, tend to be more adept at verbalization and socialization than men are -- which is probably why females tend to mature faster and to live longer.


It's science, baby.


Posted by: Monty at July 31, 2007 12:02 PM (/V4PN)

27 This study rocks in indescribable ways.

Racist assumptions, racist analysis, racist conclusions. Does she really believe that black = cool, nerds only reject black culture (rather than all pop culture), and that nerds are best characterized by the negative (what they aren't) rather than the positive (what they are)?

As I said at JYB, nerds value erudition and expertise more than pop culture. In fact, they have difficulty, and little interest in, dealing with pop culture and its trends. There's no racial component to it at all.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 12:02 PM (T4Hli)

28

Monty, I kinda agree, but autism is a bit much, the description of nerdism doesn't have to be an affliction, or at least an involuntary one.


There are a lot of people who are so isolated, and socialy retarded, that they become friends with thoughts rather than with individuals.  An inability to, or indifference with direct social interaction without it being focused on a single particular subject doesn't require being born that way.


No offense believers, but you see it in some of those who are very strong in their faith, you see it anyone who finds that all social interaction must be focused on a single concept, rather than allowing themselves to be a part of the broader strata of subjects that might be involved.


Call it sociopathic specilization?  hows that sound?


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:06 PM (QTv8u)

29 "Maybe it's because white nerdism is a choice, whereas Asians are just born that way?  I dunno."

I think it's the haircuts.  Especially the guys.

Posted by: someone2 at July 31, 2007 12:08 PM (P+Cx4)

30

I also find it interesting that over the years "nerdiness" has tended to become narrowly associated with numerically-intensive pursuits: math, computers, and so on. And yet I know guys who are almost supernaturally-good car mechanics, or carpenters, and one guy who is a virtual encyclopedia of birds. Another is a complete fanatic about the U.S. Civil War.  But no one refers to these other guys as "geeks" (well, the Civil War guy is also a good programmer, so he qualifies, but you know what I mean...).


 


Posted by: Monty at July 31, 2007 12:10 PM (UdJCa)

31

Also, the study thoroughly confounds the words "cool" and "black".


If I didn't know any better, one would think them synonyms.

In a certain mindset, it's not diversity if no black people are involved.




Posted by: someone2 at July 31, 2007 12:11 PM (P+Cx4)

32 I also find it interesting that over the years "nerdiness" has tended
to become narrowly associated with numerically-intensive pursuits:
math, computers, and so on.


Maybe I haven't been keeping up with the patois, but I always felt the numerically-intensive nerds were "geeks," leaving a larger tent for nerds.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 12:18 PM (T4Hli)

33

I think that the difference is the specialization.


You can make friends with a geek.  To a nerd you are just a collection of data that they might find interesting.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:19 PM (QTv8u)

34 I didn't mean specialization, I just typed it more times than I have in pretty much my entire life in the last few minutes.  I meant ability to socialize.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:22 PM (QTv8u)

35

WP:


"Autism" is probably the wrong word. I have been a programmer for over twenty years, and consequently I find the concepts and practice very easy to grasp...almost second-nature. And yet most people find this area of knowledge completely opaque, almost incomprehensible -- it's as if I'm practicing magic. And yet I also have pretty good communications skills, which is somewhat atypical for most computer programmers (although not for UNIX people, which is a phenomenon very interesting in its own right).


I think that males *tend* to be better able than females to achieve a "deep focus" on narrow technical issues, and that this is probably an evolutionary thing. Autism is a focus that is *too deep* and which renders the person unable to deal with "distractions" (i.e., the outside world). I think this also explains why although men and women tend to be pretty evenly-distributed among practicioners of various scientific disciplines, men tend to dominate the really high-achievers at the far right end of the bell curve.


 


Posted by: Monty at July 31, 2007 12:23 PM (/V4PN)

36 ...says nerds are "hyperwhite" partly due to their rejection of hip-hop and black culture.

Then I am a hype-rwhite nerd. I can't stand Rap, Hip-Hop or what evah you want to call that shit ass "music". But then again, I love Delta Blues, and Motown, so I can't be all hyperwhite, I must be just hyperoffwhite, kinda a hypercream colored. Oh, and I am good at math and sciences, I have a EE degree and have worked as a Chem E, ME and IE. Ok, so that makes me a hypereggshellwhite.


Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 12:28 PM (NJi0O)

37

I know what you mean monty,


I was never the best at what I did, but I was always pretty damn good once I got the feel, and it was first pointed out by a very large man named rob, who was a customer back in my contract maintenance jobs (fun job, just too obsessively political for my tastes)


I would work on machines, loud machines, and I would hear something that didn't sound right, or sorta just pick up on something that didn't look right, and rob said that after a while he realized that I was about to fix something that noone knew was broken yet. 


I've noticed that in other people, but I could never voice it.  It's not a big thing, just a slight change in demeanor, where you stop being a human, and just become one more part of the machine meant to do something.  Looking back on it, it would happen all the time when I had to fix shit on a deadline back in the service, but yeah.


I think men are able to internalize things like that without becoming consumed by them, sorta as you described, I just don't know how to express it properly, and then they flip the switch, become a machine, then they flip the switch back for humanity once they are done.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:30 PM (QTv8u)

38 We're not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe thing again.

Posted by: The Nerdy Black "Banana in the tail pipe guy" at July 31, 2007 12:32 PM (GPVwP)

39 I love Motown too, Mr. Minority.

Monty, men also tend to dominate the low end of the bell curve.

Anyway, I think everyone should know that I am a) a huge nerd* and b) attractive and c) taken.  *thppppbbbbttt*



*also, you guys have the dfs backwards.  A geek is someone who specializes in only one subject, like computers, cars, or sports.  A nerd is someone with the same ability to focus as the geek, but who has varied interests that are typically viewed as "uncool" (computers, math, the science news, space, etc.).  Typical pillow talk for nerds includes phrases like "I read about this study in the science news the other day..." and "That shrimp we had for dinner last night was really good.  Shrimp are Arthropoda, right?  Is Arthropoda the class or the order?  What about Crustacea?"  Geeks, on the other hand, don't have pillow talk at all.

Posted by: Mrs. Peel at July 31, 2007 12:38 PM (GmJEF)

40 Typical pillow talk for nerds includes phrases like "I read about this
study in the science news the other day..." and "That shrimp we had for
dinner last night was really good.  Shrimp are Arthropoda, right?  Is
Arthropoda the class or the order?


Schwing!!

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 12:40 PM (T4Hli)

41 Is Arthropoda the class or the order?

It is a Phylum darling.

Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 12:40 PM (NJi0O)

42

unless they are talking to their pillow while making love to it.


And Mrs. Peel I don't think either of us meant to say that women are incapable, but that it's more common in men, though with the revolution of women coming into the technical fields they are making up the gap.


Now I got a female cousin, I told a story about her at IB, in the inappropriate laughter thread.  NERD!


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:41 PM (QTv8u)

43 I think everyone should know that I am a) a huge nerd* and b) attractive and c) taken.

Mrs Peel, you are breaking my heart. It is extremely hard to find a good nerd woman, especially an attractive Texas Nerd Woman.

I'll be in my bunk.


Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 12:42 PM (NJi0O)

44 She's too young Mr. Minority, at least in the new sense of chivalrous courting, of whom I believe I am the only one within that group.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:44 PM (QTv8u)

45 Say what you will, the future belongs to the nerds: which is to say, the technology capable.

Posted by: ricpic at July 31, 2007 12:46 PM (0FRi9)

46 ...of whom I believe I am the only one within that group.

And which group/phylum would that be? Arthropoda?

Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 12:47 PM (NJi0O)

47 I don't know, but I am definately in the family mamalia.  ( I think I got that right, biology kinda bores me, or excites me )

Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 12:49 PM (QTv8u)

48



Nerds know certain things.



Brain areas are involved.

Posted by: Science at July 31, 2007 12:51 PM (JLI/R)

49 "Maybe it's because white nerdism is a choice, whereas Asians are just born that way?  I dunno."

It's not a choice!  I was born this way!  Curse you bigots!  3pi percent is not enough--recruit recruit recruit!


Monty, you're definitely onto something.  I've lost track of how many nerds I've worked with who admit to being diagnosed with Asperger Disorder, a form of autism.

Posted by: Heather at July 31, 2007 12:51 PM (yG+tb)

50 Yeah, wickedpinto nailed it.  The researcher screwed around for 11 years, 10 months with nothing to show for it.  Then she was browsing youtube and came across Weird Al's rap video "white and nerdy".  Instant research paper.

I wonder what she though about "Amish Paradise"?


Posted by: wooga at July 31, 2007 12:52 PM (t9sT5)

51

Nerds don't like rap? WTF? Wikipedia has a frikkin article on Nerd-core (aka Geekster) hip-hop rap.


http://www.mchawking.com/ bitches.


Dumbass sociologists.


Posted by: The Atom Bomb of Loving Kindness at July 31, 2007 12:59 PM (Kz30m)

52 Like Nick earlier in the post. I would have stayed at UCSB for the past 12 yrs as well had I know they where handing out grant money for this B.S. Can you just imagine the room full of nerdy prof and grad student ssitting in her lecture.

Posted by: Lou at July 31, 2007 01:07 PM (DngOs)

53

I think everyone is autistic to a degree.


They say everyone suffers from multiple of various psychological/mental illnesses, such as ADD, dyslexia, OCD, etc., just in such small small amounts, it is not a real problem. Just tiny tendancies. It's just a bit of individual quirkiness.


Autistic people are exceptional one specific area, and generally disfunctional in every other.


Everyone is like that....to a degree.


No one is a total moron when it comes to everything. All people are better at some things but worse at others. And generally, it seems to me that almost all people (including autistic ones) could be described as 'net neutral'. Genius being a fine line away from insanity, it does seem the better you are at some things the generally worse you are at others. All the real brainiacs are allways very quirky, no? Everyone knows Einstein was diagnosed as retarded and looked less well-groomed then your average chimp. Call it eclectic.


Autism is this taken to an extreme, I would guess.


As far is it only applying to math and music...well, maybe the name (not the phenominon) only applies to math and music.


Imagine a social prodigy that can't divide 64 by 8. We wouldn't really notice. We'd just call you dumb.


There are so many mathematical retarded people out there it's hard to say how many of them would fit the bill.


And autism does sometimes seem to lend to other talents...like the ability to learn languages very easily. There was a guy on TV I saw become fluent in some impossibly difficult scandi language in about a week.


But when you can't say hello without becoming irate, but can compute the square root of 402429429876651 in your head, we tend to notice something is not quite right rather quick.


At any rate, I don't quite buy any of this from either of you (WP or Monty) because I'm not so sure nerds need to be socially inept. I think numeracy/sociability is a false dichotomy, and if anything it's much more complex.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 01:09 PM (HgAV0)

54 I'm not so sure nerds need to be socially inept. I think
numeracy/sociability is a false dichotomy, and if anything it's much
more complex.


If they weren't socially inept, we wouldn't call them nerds.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 01:18 PM (T4Hli)

55

Everyone knows Einstein was diagnosed as retarded and looked less well-groomed then your average chimp.


I thought that was one of those godhead myths, to establish that it wasn't that einstein could be wrong, but rather that everyone else was so wrong they thought he was retarded.


I'm sure there are links galore that can argue against my godhead myth thing, but I saw a docu about him that resoundingly defied the idea that einstein was bad at math, cuz well, it's kinda hard to say the things he said in the way he did, if you weren't pretty fucking good at math.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 01:32 PM (QTv8u)

56 Asian nerds are bananas
Indian (South Asian) nerds are coconuts


I can't stand that word...nerd...hate that shit.



Posted by: Uniball at July 31, 2007 01:34 PM (27iEn)

57 Nerds are so far to the white end of the spectrum--hyperwhite, if you will--that they loop around and become brown people.  Scary.

Posted by: Emperor of Icecream at July 31, 2007 01:34 PM (w4Bx4)

58 In our family we call it Assburger Syndrome

Posted by: Uniball at July 31, 2007 01:37 PM (27iEn)

59 ...but can compute the square root of 402429429876651 in your head

20060643.805138732386385162510615

Thanks for coming, tip your waiter & try the veal, I'll be here all week.


Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 01:39 PM (gwfvN)

60

If they weren't socially inept, we wouldn't call them nerds.


I don't think so. Maybe at an elementary school level.


Definitely at an elementary school level.


But by the time you reach college level, things have changed alot. Nerds develop social skills while still retaining all their nerdy pursuits, and non-nerds aren't quite as shallow or hasty as 3rd graders in terms of who they accept.


In 3rd grade, the decision to ostracize someone may not even go far enough to take the person's social skills into question. It could just be that his mother gave him a gay haircut is reason enough to dunk him in the toilet.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 01:40 PM (HgAV0)

61

I think men are able to internalize things like that without becoming consumed by them


It's pretty much taken as fact when people aren't being PC that men has evolved tunnel vision and (in general) are much better at focusing on individual tasks and blocking out distractions. They also tend to be better at spacial relationships. Both important skills for spearing a deer. Also important skills for reacting in a crisis.


But while men can focus more intently on one thing, they cannot focus as easily on as many things. Women tend to be better at multitasking. Which is generally better for avoiding a crisis in the first place.


WP,


how would you compare your super machine sensing skills to being "in the zone" playing sports, or paintball, or reacting in an emergency?


I think it's the same thing.


Bruce Lee, in teaching of Jeet Kun Do, said "The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action"


This is, some sort of a zen far-eastern way of saying "be in the zone". Don't let your conscious thoughts distract you, let your entire mind concentrate on only the task at hand.


I think, in all these cases, as well as in a fist fight, you're thinking and acting at the same time. So you're not thinking about things before you do them (or at least it doesn't seem that way) you're must just doing them. It's hard to describe because the linguistic part of the brain is not even involved...I get ideas that I couldn't begin to express in words because they didn't come to me in words, just concepts.


It's all about getting the proper mode of thinking going and lining everything up and then you kinda just put your brain in gear.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 01:55 PM (HgAV0)

62

Mr Minority


What the fuck?


What the fucking fuck?


In your head? Fuck you.


Seriously?


Fuck you. I hate you.


No way. You cheated. Really?


You suck.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 01:58 PM (HgAV0)

63 If they weren't socially inept, we wouldn't call them nerds.

I don't think so. Maybe at an elementary school level.


I don't know, I think that nerds are introvert/extroverts. Socially introverted, and when you get them in their area of expertise they become extroverts.

I know for myself, going into the military after high school instead of college, forced me to develop social skills, and that helped when I got out and when to college.

The thing about nerds (as in any social group) is that you can't generalize and get a coefficient factor of >.92, thus the generalization is invalid.

Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 02:02 PM (gwfvN)

64

The thing about nerds (as in any social group) is that you can't generalize and get a coefficient factor of >.92, thus the generalization is invalid.


Well...that means the term is meaningless and useless and we waste our time...


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 02:04 PM (HgAV0)

65

No way. You cheated. Really?


You suck.

Entropy,
What makes a good Engineer is that he/she knows how and where to find the tools he/she needs to complete the task.

It's called copy and paste into and out of the calculator that is in Window's Accessories directory.

Hell Ya I cheated, I am smart, but I am not Rainman!


Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 02:06 PM (gwfvN)

66

Phylum or class? After the cladistic revolution in genetics I don't think you can really - hey, get AWAY from my lunch mon - OW! QUIT THAT.


Excuse me, I have to recover from a wedgie.


Posted by: David Ross at July 31, 2007 02:10 PM (hcx4A)

67

knows how and where to find the tools he/she needs to complete the task.


How do you think I knew you where right?


Or at least close...Off a bit, but Windows Calculator wouldn't take the last decimal place.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 02:10 PM (HgAV0)

68

I missed the bit about the guy getting electro-convulsive therapy from his computer. I have opened cases for computers and servers that are on. Quite frequently, actually. It isn't rocket science to avoid the bits that will kill you. It especially isn't rocket science to figure out that sweat (aka salt water) is an excellent conductor, and it may be a good idea to hold off on being near a hot circuit when you are sweaty.


So he wasn't a nerd or a geek. Just a dumbass. He could have taken up studying nerds for 12 years.


Posted by: The Atom Bomb of Loving Kindness at July 31, 2007 02:15 PM (MJbn9)

69 I don't understand how the guy got killed by opening his computer with it on. Unless he fiddled inside the powers supply, the worst he would get shocked with is 12voltsDC. I have zapped with a hell of a lot more DC voltage than that, and I am still here to type about it.

Hmmmm....

Posted by: Mr Minority at July 31, 2007 02:19 PM (gwfvN)

70

how would you compare your super machine sensing skills to being "in the zone" playing sports, or paintball, or reacting in an emergency?

I think it's the same thing.

I agree. I wrote a series of posts on "flow" on my site last year, claiming that Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow was the same as the Buddhist's zen and the athlete's zone.

Nerds develop social skills while still retaining all their nerdy pursuits, and non-nerds aren't quite as shallow or hasty as 3rd graders in terms of who they accept.

I disagree. Poor adaptation to pop culture is inherent in the definition of "nerd," and is what distinguishes them from the merely smart. If they've adapted to society, developed social skills, and assumed society's trappings, then they're no longer nerds. And acceptance by non-nerds is irrelevant to the definition.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 02:24 PM (T4Hli)

71 Well, I went to nerd high school (North Carolina School of Science and Math) and taught at nerd camp (Mathcamp) (and went to grad school in applied math, but we'll ignore that one), so I may state definitively that amongst their own kind, nerds are highly sociable. The majority, that is. There are some people with emotional disabilities so severe that even their fellow nerds can't stand them, but it takes some really extreme personalities (like setting an office partner's dissertation on fire) to put off the rest.

Yes, the nerd population tends to skew towards people of pallor (of whatever race... don't get out in the sun a lot), and definitely male. As a female nerd, I greatly enjoyed that fact. From age 16 on, I never lacked for male companionship. Wooohoo! Let's hear it for the nerds!

Posted by: meep at July 31, 2007 02:28 PM (LBCYq)

72 I may state definitively that amongst their own kind, nerds are highly sociable.

I agree. When they meet people who share their value system, nerds chatter away.



Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 02:37 PM (T4Hli)

73

So a nerd who has friends and likes to go out and drink sometimes, but when he's not socializing, he's reading about the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics instead of watching Suvivor, is not a nerd?


So it's, then, purely a bad thing I take it?


It's certainly not only used that way. No one would self-identify like that. As it is, many have embraced nerdness.


Take for instance Mrs. Peel, who claims to be a "huge nerd" and yet also claims and seems to be socially compitent.


The problem I think, the reason why I said "false dichotomy" and "more complicated then that", is because I do not think anyone can be said to be truly "good at social skills". Or math skills. Not without approaching the extreme we would call autism.


You are good at SOME math skills. Not others. You're good spacial concepts, but not abstract logical constructs, or vice versa.


You are not good at ALL social skills. You are good at SOME social skills.


Maybe you rock with the ladies but piss your pants if I put you on a stage.


Frankly, I'll make an ass of myself in front of 500 people with no problem, I've been successful in sales jobs, and been told I have great oratory / public speaking skills, but have an asthma attack if I get too close to Mrs. Peel unless I pretend she's a dude until I get to know her.


So I don't buy that it's as simple as social vs. numerical. Everybody (except at the outlying extremes) have a combination of both.


So you say a nerd is "socially inept". In some ways, yes. But not neccessarily in all ways. He may be quite socially apt in SOME ways while still remaining very nerdy and introverted in other areas.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 02:39 PM (HgAV0)

74 "Take for instance Mrs. Peel, who claims to be a "huge nerd" and yet also claims and seems to be socially compitent."

Chicks can get away with that stuff.  Esp. attractive ones.

Posted by: someone at July 31, 2007 02:42 PM (eCH82)

75

Poor adaptation to pop culture


Is this different then a conscientious rejection and/or willful ignorance of pop culture?


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 02:42 PM (HgAV0)

76

Entropy,



Bruce Lee, in teaching of Jeet Kun Do, said "The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action"


Yeah, I wouldn't say it is ninja shaolin monk skills or nothing, but as I would tell mOZ (the online moniker of my ozzy girlfriend) I would "go away."


I sublimated everything when I was performing a task that started to overweigh me.  Something, like my ninja skills as a elecmech guy, only the elechmech stuff was fundamental to me, it hand already ben engrained in me (correct term?) so I was able to interact with the real world at the same time.  When I was a wrestler, or when I would try to be a pitcher, I would just "go away," the person that was me, didn't exist for more than glimpses in between moments of success in the task.


Good example, I hate running, and to run well I would "go away" and I hated humping and to stick with it I would "go away"  at leat at first, later, I developed the skills to do well without sublimating myself, and I was able to use self-mockery as a motivation for myself and my fellow Marines and wrestlers.


True story following, and yes it is a true story.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 02:43 PM (QTv8u)

77

My best friend outweighed me by at least 80lb's, he was a fat fuck, but then again I was a skinny one.


When we would pair up, my coach had no problem with us doing the "bridging excercises" (I'm talking about wrestling) with eachother as partners.  (your partner sits on your stomach and lifts their legs, while you hold a "bridge")


Anyways, when time came for certain weight excercises, like sprawling and all that jazz my coach kinda liked the skinny kid and the fat kid training together, cuz I would have to deal with my friends mass, and react to it, and my friend had to react to my speed and agility, it was actually a valuable practice.  Though other practices require someone with your same skills.


Anyways, one of the things my friend would do when he had me completely incapacitated under his mass, and I would keep struggling, but there was no way I was getting lose, he would grab my collarbone in the vulcan neck pinch, so it was a sort of small in joke.


One time, at a tournament, I wrestled someone who really had no business competeing, and I did that just before I finished the match.  I'm on top of the dude, and I start to grab his collar theatricaly, and my best friend (his name is jerry) was laughing.  My mother (who only ever missed one of my tournaments cuz my fucking coatch abandoned me, no shit, my fucking coatch left before the end of the tournament, but thats beside the point) asked my friend, "whats (wickedpinto) doing?"


"he's embarassing him, and he's telling me a joke Mrs. Pinto."


Mom was actually kinda pissed that I would be so carefree during a tournament to embarass another kid like that, but really, it isn't like anyone else got the joke, and if they did, they probably thought I was doing it inadvertently.


That was the only time I did that though, I still think it was funny.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 02:57 PM (QTv8u)

78 Entropy:

I'm saying that the definition of a nerd involves some social ineptitude. It is by definition. If that social gulf doesn't exist, you're not talking about a nerd. By definition.

As one ages, the gulf diminishes and becomes less important - people in their 40's no longer worry much about nerds (thankfully). But the social maladjustment component to nerdity is inherent to the definition.

The major reason that gulf exists is that nerds just neither understand nor value fashion or social trends. They don't understand the "cool culture," and what they do understand they don't like.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 03:16 PM (T4Hli)

79

But geoff...


Belonging to a minority subculture is not the same thing as being socially inept.


These are two totally different things.


Who you choose to socialize with is not soley determined by your ability to socialize.


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 03:38 PM (HgAV0)

80 Belonging to a minority subculture is not the same thing as being socially inept.

I'm not sure what your point is. If your minority subculture is populated by people sharing a diagnosis of social ineptitude, then it is a difference that makes no difference.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 04:45 PM (T4Hli)

81 <i>In our family we call it Assburger Syndrome</i>

Is that an anaphylactic reaction to Ass burgers?

Posted by: baldilocks at July 31, 2007 05:18 PM (26Vjl)

82

What I'm saying geoff, is if you define "nerd" as social ineptitude, well it is what it is.


What you seem to be saying is that just because people play D&D doesn't make them nerds. Because just because you play D&D doesn't mean you are a socially inept person.


But I daresay that is not a majority viewpoint on what a nerd is.


Now 3 out 5 people playing D&D may well be socially inept.


But that leaves 2 people who sit around playing D&D with nerds all day who are, I guess, not nerds themselves? Or would you insist that all 5 of them must be socially inept because if they weren't, they wouldn't be playing D&D?


Even this study (which is shit) identified nerds by such things as having good grammar.


You got Monte who calls a computer programmer a nerd.


My point, I guess, is that your definition of nerd as a synonym for social ineptitude is plainly wrong. You can define it however you like, if I say I define nerd as meaning "a pineapple" then I can say a nerd is a pineapple and that is indisputably correct. But this does not comply with the common usage of the term.


There are many people who are socially inept who wouldn't be described as nerds, and many others who aren't, who would. The description is more consistent with choice of hobbies then it is with social skills.


LARP? Nerd. Doesn't matter what his social skillset is.


Nightclub bouncer? Not a nerd - not even if he's a bouncer because he's got an insane napoleon complex and he compensates for feelings of inadequacy with violent aggression. In fact, especially not a nerd if that is the case!


Posted by: Entropy at July 31, 2007 05:47 PM (HgAV0)

83 You got Monte who calls a computer programmer a nerd.

Technically, I was pointing out that nerdism and computer programming skills are highly correlated, but as any statistician will tell you, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

Posted by: Monty at July 31, 2007 06:15 PM (AgSBq)

84

geoff I think entropy means that just cuz you are borred doesn't mean you are socialy innept, it just means that the people you are dealing with are boring.


Really, Imagine a conversation with anyone of the hollywood paparazi targets.


How many of them would interest you?


Yeah some might be cute, but really would it be more than a couple moments?


I've been around the block and a shiny ball of yarn made up of chemical construction designed by another woman I knew and slept with was far more interesting.  I spent days speaking with her, until she proved that she was WAY outside my league, same with the physicist chick, the base programmer, and one biologist, which was REALLY an unpleasant (for me) finality.


I think that was the intention.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at July 31, 2007 06:19 PM (QTv8u)

85 Hyperwhite? Or, like me, hyper fuckin' white?

Posted by: km at July 31, 2007 07:18 PM (ZeIkZ)

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 07:45 PM (T4Hli)

87 My point, I guess, is that your definition of nerd as a synonym for social ineptitude is plainly wrong.

My point is that social ineptitude is inherent in the definition of "nerd." There are smart people who aren't nerds. There are dorks who aren't smart, and are thus not nerds. Nerds exist at the junction of smart and an inability/unwillingness to participate in pop culture.

Here are some more definitions:

1. A foolish, inept, or unattractive person.2. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.

1. offensive term: an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's physical appearance or social skills ( slang insult )
2. single-minded enthusiast: somebody who is considered to be excessively interested in a subject or activity that is regarded as too technical or scientific ( often used in combination; offensive in some contexts )


Here's what askyahoo.com says:

" According to Whatis.com, nerds are people of above-average intelligence who place little importance on their appearance. Nerds are often aware of their status, but they don't mind. In fact, many take pride in the putdown, as it means they're smart and not wrapped up in superficial worries."

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 07:52 PM (T4Hli)

88 FTR, I've never claimed to be socially competent.  I'm very introverted.  I hate socializing in large groups, especially in loud restaurants/bars/parties.  I typically spend such events standing on the sidelines observing in silence.  On the other hand, if you get me and about four-five friends together for board games/card games/D&D/Wii, I will have fun.  But even so, about 95% of the time, I would much rather be by myself.

I am excellent at work-socializing (especially getting difficult people on board with our project), though...

Posted by: Mrs. Peel at July 31, 2007 07:55 PM (GmJEF)

89 geoff I think entropy means that just cuz you are borred doesn't mean
you are socialy innept, it just means that the people you are dealing
with are boring.


That may be what nerds say to themselves, but it's not why the mainstream calls them nerds. Remember, nerds never asked for the title - it's only since the rise of the Internet that the term has gained any respectability at all. Also, nerds couldn't date the Homecoming Queen - they are socially incapable of aspiring to that strata. And believe you me, they'd love to play in that strata.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 07:57 PM (T4Hli)

90 I guess I'm proving geoff's point, but I actually think Entropy is right in that certain pursuits (D&D, for example) are inherently nerdy.  geoff, what about Entropy's example of D&D?  I'm probably the second-weirdest person in our D&D group (my best friend is slightly weirder).  The others are perfectly capable of socializing normally, and none are antisocial.  Would you say that they're not nerds, even though they are playing D&D, ask the DM if a dwarf named Kelvin has a brother named Rankine, have space program posters on the wall, love They Might Be Giants, and wear T-shirts that say "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"?

Posted by: Mrs. Peel at July 31, 2007 08:00 PM (GmJEF)

91 >>And believe you me, they'd love to play in that strata.

First of all, the singular is stratum, and second, I would never date a non-nerd.  What the hell would I talk to him about?  I'll stick with my wonderful boy, with whom I can have a detailed discussion over dinner of the probable tactics in a battle between the Enterprise-D and a Star Destroyer, thanks.

(I know, the plural of anecdote is not data.  I was just making a joke, not an actual argument.)

Posted by: Mrs. Peel at July 31, 2007 08:05 PM (GmJEF)

92 First of all, the singular is stratum,

There you have me, and dead to rights, too.

and second, I would never date a non-nerd.

That's just common sense.

Would you say that they're not nerds, even though they are playing
D&D, ask the DM if a dwarf named Kelvin has a brother named
Rankine, have space program posters on the wall, love They Might Be
Giants, and wear T-shirts that say "If you're not part of the solution,
you're part of the precipitate"?


It's very simple. Does the mainstream think of them as nerds? If so, they're nerds. If not, they're not.

Here's a old joke to help you identify a nerd.

Q. How do you stop a rhino from charging?

Non-Nerd A. Take away his credit card.

Nerd A. Ground him.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 08:13 PM (T4Hli)

93

Anyone who thinks nerds and/or geeks can't socialize has never been at a sci-fi convention after hours and visited the room parties.


Posted by: Cybrludite at July 31, 2007 09:36 PM (XFoEH)

94 Anyone who thinks nerds and/or geeks can't socialize has never been at
a sci-fi convention after hours and visited the room parties.


Been there, done that. But it's irrelevant - we're talking about socializing with people who wouldn't be caught dead at a sci-fi convention.

Posted by: geoff at July 31, 2007 09:59 PM (T4Hli)

95

So what do you call a person who is capable of aspiring to nailing to such social strata, but does not desire to?


Looking at the way you describe social interactions, I cannot imagine 'nerd' is a relevant term to adults. It seems purely an adolescent phenominon. I don't see most adults socializing that way. Most parents aren't exactly huge club-goers, and with all the business of going about their normal life, their job, thier bills, their kids, etc., to go running around trying to win popularity contests.


You take a lifelong nerd who is now a professor of a nerd subject - you're saying this guy can't socialize with the people he meets....in his church group? Most average adults wouldn't be caught dead at a Star Trek convention, but would socialize with a nerd at church or in the PTA or at work.


And if this only applies to children.....I think the definition is outmoded. I'm hardly the first one to note that the social dynamics in schools have changed from what they use to be. There isn't really anything of a static heirarchy anymore, limited to your Breakfast Club roles. Schools these days are far more cliquey. You've got a half dozen different social groups in any school all persuing social status within their own clique, with what's 'cool' being different between the groups. And neither group is above the other on the social ladder. And the nerd from one group is cooler (to everyone in his group) then half the really cool kids from the really gay group.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 04:01 AM (m6c4H)

96 Looking at the way you describe social interactions, I cannot imagine 'nerd' is a relevant term to adults....Most average adults wouldn't be caught dead at a Star Trek convention, but would socialize with a nerd at church or in the PTA or at work.

I believe I already said (#79) that "nerd," like "jock" or "class clown," is not very relevant to people in their 40's.

And neither group is above the other on the social ladder.

That is not something I've heard or seen. Nor is it relevant to the definition. It's very simple, as I said above. The mainstream invented the term as a derisive label for academically-focused social misfits. The mainstream didn't worry about why they were misfits, they just diagnosed them and slapped the label on them, preparatory to mocking them. It is an external label, not self-applied, and social maladjustment with the mainstream has always been inherent to that label.

As I also said above, the advent of the Internet has given nerds some social cachet, at least in the media. Perhaps that has changed the high school environment, so that there is now a line of students outside the Chess Club, waiting to see if they've got what it takes to make it as a nerd. I doubt it.

Posted by: geoff at August 01, 2007 04:31 AM (434dG)

97

 The mainstream invented the term as a derisive label for academically-focused social misfits.


But the word itself is not as old as some people I know. The term is less then 60 years old. And the term obviously, can change. I would say it is and has been changing in meaning. The fact that it has changed in meaning over the last 60 years is almost undisputable.


You have to take into account the number of people who DO in fact 'choose' to be nerds, in that they self identify themselves as nerds. Either because they have nerdish pursuits or were an involuntary nerd at one time or another. But these people are sociable. This will certainly have an impact on it's meaning.


The same thing is true of geek. Hell, BestBuy has a "GeekSquad".  Normal people who are very sociable, but very technical, will often refer to themselves as geeks.


And these are in fact people in their 40's who are perhaps the impetus for the changing definition. They were nerds and geeks in school, at one point or another, perhaps.


so that there is now a line of students outside the Chess Club, waiting to see if they've got what it takes to make it as a nerd. I doubt it.


No, probably not.


But by the time the nerd is an adult, he is certainly able to socialize within the mainstream.


If a nerd is somebody who puts more attention toward intellectual endeavors then toward socializing, (and I think it is the case that it is often more a question of effort then actual ability), it is probably the case that 'nerds' are more like adults. It is not that nerds are not paying enough attention to being sociable, it's that other kids pay too much. Children are hyper-social.


But you see this disappear amongst adults not least because the mainstream, as it matures, becomes more nerdish.


If a kid is acting like and adult in terms of social relationships, he is socially inept?


Is this not desirable behavior in children that you are identifying as the problem? We label this as 'lacking social skills'? Because they have adequate social skills and balance social life with productive life but not hyper-social hyper-conformist skills that mark social immaturity? And this is on the authority of what - a consensus of 9th graders opinions of why a nerd is a nerd and what he is?


When they get older, they acquire the ability to socialize within the mainstream. But it's hard to say they're no longer nerds, as they don't neccessarily change at all in order to do this. It is the mainstream attitudes in their age group that has changed, while what made them a nerd in the first place remains the same.


And I do wonder if they even have this phenominon in countries that actually foster academic environments in their school systems....


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 05:30 AM (m6c4H)

98 NEEERRRRRRDDDDSSSSS

Posted by: carl carlson at August 01, 2007 05:44 AM (M0ujS)

99 The fact that it has changed in meaning over the last 60 years is almost undisputable.

Then it will likely lose its value.I have shown that, regardless of your personal feelings that the definition is changing, the definition was and is based on the social gulf between nerds and the mainstream. If you remove that part of the definition, then you are left with nerd = studious, with an element of cliqueishness. Semantically useless.

Look, I was an archetypal nerd. Chess club, debate team, math team, only member of the physics club, band geek, etc. Then I went to a university for ubernerds. I obviously don't have anything against nerds, and I believe that their value system is superior to that of the mainstream high school student. But I can't change the definition of the word, and I can't argue that nerds integrated well into mainstream high school society. In my junior high and high school years, nerds were lucky to survive, let alone be accepted socially. And they banded together in pitifully weak numbers for survival, not out of a desire to form a clique.

It is the mainstream attitudes in their age group that has changed,
while what made them a nerd in the first place remains the same.


In my experience, it was a combination of a more mature mainstream and the acquisition of social skills. But it doesn't matter how a person moves beyond nerd status, only that mainstream society no longer identifies him as a nerd.

And I do wonder if they even have this phenominon in countries that
actually foster academic environments in their school systems....


Of course. The social pecking order is hardwired.

Posted by: geoff at August 01, 2007 06:01 AM (434dG)

100 Oops - first sentence above should have been italicized.

Posted by: geoff at August 01, 2007 06:01 AM (434dG)

101

Then it will likely lose its value.I have shown that, regardless of your personal feelings that the definition is changing, the definition was and is based on the social gulf between nerds and the mainstream.


You have shown that it is defined a certain way in the dictionary.


I can demonstrate, if you wish, hundreds of examples of 'misuse' that suggest alternate understandings in the common parlance.


I can also demonstrate that, a mere 50 years ago, it had nothing to do with intelligence or social disfunction but rather referred to a lack of deviancy. A "nerd" was someone who followed the rules. Someone who was boring and bland and average and docile and obediant.


Only after some time of this meaning did nerds start to be portrayed in pop culture as also being socially awkward, - tape on glasses, haircut 2 decades out of style - and only some time after that did it acquire an intellectual connotation.


It isn't personal feelings. If you want 2 dozen links, wait till about 5:00.


I can't argue that nerds integrated well into mainstream high school society.


Neither can I. Nerds are not integrated well into mainstream high school society. That does not make them socially inept.


All socially inept people are not integrated well into mainstream society, but not all people not integrated well into mainstream society are socially inept. I keep trying to say this but you do not seem to catch this point, these are not the same things.


 I believe that their value system is superior to that of the mainstream high school student.


You're doing it again.


Are they a nerd because they lack the ability to integrate themselves into mainstream social situations, or are they a nerd because they have a seperate value system them the mainstream value system which distinguishes them from the mainstream in social situations?


These are two totally different things.


"Being socially inept" is not a value system. If all nerds are socially inept, there is absolutely no reason to claim they have a distinct value system, and the same is true vice versa. If social ineptitude is the hallmark of nerdism, there is no "nerd value system" because nerd is not related to values. It is related to social skills and these are 2 entirely different things. There is no "obese value system". Not all fat people share a value system distinct from skinny people because they are fat. Because fatness is not about values. If it was, you could be skinny and still be fat.


This is slightly frustrating. Do you not see this contradiction in your opinion?


In my junior high and high school years, nerds were lucky to survive, let alone be accepted socially.


If homosexual students (who DO share a value system) have a hard time being accepted by their mainstream peers....does this mean homosexuals are socially inept?


The fact that they aren't accepted by the mainstream in highschool does not neccessarily mean they lack social skills in highschool. Perhaps they have a different value system. Perhaps they are countercultural.


Please help me understand what our major miscommunication is here because this is boggling to me.


But it doesn't matter how a person moves beyond nerd status, only that mainstream society no longer identifies him as a nerd.


They no longer consider him a nerd because they no long consider him anything. They're no longer trying to assign people into social cliques. 40 year olds don't call each other jock or a preppie either. It's not that he's ceased to be a nerd, it's that they've ceased to base their reactions to people on such categorizations.


Of course. The social pecking order is hardwired.


Well I definitely dispute that.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 06:43 AM (m6c4H)

102

And since you pointed out you were a nerd in highschool and college - lest anyone suspect you of bias - let me point - lest anyone suspect me of bias - I was not a nerd in highschool or in my singular year of community college.


Unfortunately.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 06:53 AM (m6c4H)

103 All socially inept people are not integrated well into mainstream
society, but not all people not integrated well into mainstream society
are socially inept. I keep trying to say this but you do not seem to
catch this point, these are not the same things.


It's because it's irrelevant, as I have also repeatedly pointed out. Mainstream society doesn't really care why they're not integrated - it bases its diagnosis on the symptoms, not the disease. Although in my personal experience with hundreds of nerds, it was always a matter of "can't" not "won't." As soon as they figured out how to fit in with the mainstream, they raced to do so, mainly to get chicks (and that's not at all an exaggeration). Pre-Internet, there were no cultural advantages to being a nerd. Even now they are exaggerated in the media.

I would bet that the number of young people who hide their intelligence is far greater than the ones who celebrate it.

Also, lack of acceptance by society is not inherent to the definition of homosexuality. It is inherent to the definition of nerd, which has been reasonably static for 30 years. Maybe it's about to change, or perhaps it's just misused, but that's true of many, many words. As a nerd, I prefer to use the accepted definition, rather than trying to follow the latest pop culture patois.

If social ineptitude is the hallmark of nerdism, there is no "nerd value system" because nerd is not related to values.

As I have also said, repeatedly, and as the definitions indicated, there are two components to being a nerd. Two. Social maladjustment is one. One of the two. The other is an emphasis on academics and erudition. That emphasis is indicative of a value system which treasures academics and erudition. Nerds do not value social maladjustment - they just rate academics and erudition far above social matters. Whether that ranking is the cause of their social maladjustment or caused by their social maladjustment is irrelevant, as I stated above. But again, in my experience, the latter was overwhelmingly the case.

40 year olds don't call each other jock or a preppie either.

Yeah. I think I said that. Twice.

It's not that he's ceased to be a nerd, it's that they've ceased to base their reactions to people on such categorizations.

Partly that, partly that nerds learn social skills or at least coping skills as they mature. And in my case, that I married a norm who dresses me, so that I'm well-camouflaged.

Posted by: geoff at August 01, 2007 09:25 AM (rD0xE)

104

It's because it's irrelevant, as I have also repeatedly pointed out. Mainstream society doesn't really care why they're not integrated


The fact that it is irrelevant is irrelevant. I don't really care what mainstream society thinks about why they're not integrated.


Just because there is a concensus viewpoint, doesn't make it true.


- it bases its diagnosis on the symptoms, not the disease.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 09:50 AM (m6c4H)

105

Damn new comment thingy...


- it bases its diagnosis on the symptoms, not the disease.


If mainstream society based it's diagnosis on symptoms instead of disease and declared that all people with speech impediments where drunkards, would you argue it so? It is not correct.


I would bet that the number of young people who hide their intelligence is far greater than the ones who celebrate it.


What is your point?


Perception of social ability by the mainstream is not determinate of actual social ability. Many people hiding intelligence does not mean those who do not lack social ability.


I don't deny that a "nerd" is not well integrated into the pop culture. But this does not mean he lacks the ability to integrate into the pop culture, or that he's socially inept.


Whether or not "most people" think he is socially inept has absolutely no bearing on whether or not he actually is.


Whether or not most people think the earth is flat has absolutely no bearing on whether or not it actually is.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 10:06 AM (m6c4H)

106

BUT


You could come along, Geoff, and say that since most people beleive the earth to be flat, a "flat disc of land at the center of the universe" is the literal definition of "Earth". Therefor, the Earth is, by definition, flat.


If it's not flat, then it's just not Earth.


That seems to be what you are doing with "nerd".


You seem concerned with the word itself.


I am not speaking of a word, I am talking about the people it's associated with.


Posted by: Entropy at August 01, 2007 10:09 AM (m6c4H)

107 I don't know how this has gone on as long as it has, but I'm talking about the definition of "nerd." If you're using the word, you should follow the definition; otherwise we can't hold a discussion. The definition of "nerd" includes two things: 1) an emphasis on erudition and 2) nonconformity with mainstream society. I've told you that in my experience, that nonconformity is almost entirely due to social ineptitude.

If you know nerds who are socially adept, fit in well, popular with the mainstream, they're not nerds. If you know nerds who are socially adept, but choose not to fit in with the mainstream, they are nerds from the mainstream's POV, but faux nerds from the classical nerd perspective. I don't know those kinds of nerds. I wasn't one of those kind of nerds.

Why are they socially inept? In my experience, it is mostly because they don't have the faculties to sense fashion, social trends, grooming styles, speech patterns, and fads, and because they place no value on those aspects of social intercourse.

In my case, for instance, I never notice anybody's hair or clothes. On one occasion I was determined to overcome this fault by commenting on my wife's new haircut. I wrote a reminder to myself, and promptly told her "nice haircut" when she came in the door. "I didn't get it cut," she replied. "Uh, oh really? Well, it still looks nice," I stammered. I have no sense of fabrics, colors, or style, nor any comprehension of why anybody would ever care.

Am I socially inept in those areas? You betcha. And several more, to boot. Do I choose to be inept? No, I've tried on several occasions to notice these things and figure out what sort of system governs them. No dice. It's nice of you to claim that this is some sort of lifestyle choice, but it's not. And why would I choose this? There's no advantage to it - it just annoys the people I care about.

Posted by: geoff at August 01, 2007 10:56 AM (rD0xE)

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