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Irony Alert!: This blog may be a tad contrary.

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May 29, 2004

Comments

Angus

"I wish this tag had been in vogue ten years ago so I could have used it to joke about certain heads of academic departments"

Ha ha ha I have no idea who you could possibly mean!

Favourite nerds? Definitely *not* Alain de Botton, whose function seems to be to point out how philosophers through the ages have stated the obvious (ie he works in the area of meta-platitude, which is a bit too media-savvy to be truly nerdy).

I'd have to go for Todd Haynes, who is a complete film nerd and cute as a button to boot. Plus a whole bunch of anonymous bespectacled German laptop musicians.

Elsewhere

Actually, I think Alain de Botty looks just a little too moist, as much as anything else.

*Todd* Haynes -- could anyone with a name like *Todd* be genuinely cute? (I'm a bit of an ol' granma as far as music's concerned; I'll have to do a google on him.)

Like the idea of anonymous German laptop musicians tho!

john

That was very interesting. I'm proud to have nudged you, if I did, from musing to actual posting.

I was remembering that some characters in 'Microserfs' have a discussion about the difference between "geek" and "nerd". The conclusion they come to, if I remember correctly is that they're roughly the same, but that "nerd" implies employability; that someone's geek-nature is merely a curiosity, but that someone's nerd-nature might be made use of.

Oh, and I recently posted about pornography -- there was a category for "nerdy girls" in the site I viewed...

Elsewhere

Hi -- and thanks! I'm not sure that I don't almost think the reverse of the microserf's distinction, or at least that 'nerd' and 'geek' are slightly permeable categories (conjuring up visions of Venn diagrams). Anecdotally, some nerds I know struggle with employability (possibly lacking self-promotion skills or savvy to target right niche at right time). Though agree that the category of 'nerd', while fairly broad-ranging, usually covers a set of skills involving proficiency with symbolic information, which can be associated with some top-paying jobs ... IT engineers, lawyers, medical specialist, etc.

Which brings me to geeks -- while geekery might start off as a personal, esoteric obsession, the geek might in the process develop highly marketable & sought after IT skills that other people might buy. My brother is an example of this & the geek/nerd crossover -- he started off being interested in the new technology of computers, but was discouraged from this (because of the expense & perceived difficulty of realising what he wanted to do in the late 70s/early 80s) and was diverted into Maths nerdery at school. He then became an 80s hacker and returned to computer science and geekery at Uni. other thing is that geeks can turn out to have skills that other people will buy. He went on to become a Linux geek (who created 9wm, whatever that might be) and volunteered freelance advice across the world to Bell Labs. US computer companies snapped him up, offering him $100 k starting wage ... Being totally without self-promotional skills or savvy, it could be said he entered an esoteric branch (geekery) of nerdery at the right time.

Anyway, I think there's definite intersections between geekery and nerdery and that the former might be a species of the latter.

Will check out the porn post, as I'm sure all nerd girls will, everywhere...

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