0747: "Geeks and Nerds"

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Lonewolf I
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0747: "Geeks and Nerds"

Postby Lonewolf I » Mon May 31, 2010 3:52 am UTC

Image
Alt text: "The definitions I grew up with were that a geek is someone unusually into something (so you could have computer geeks, baseball geeks, theater geeks, etc) and nerds are (often awkward) science, math, or computer geeks. But definitions vary."

Funny. My personal definition for those two words is flipped.

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glasnt
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Mon May 31, 2010 3:55 am UTC

So what you're saying, Randall, is that anyone who has opinions on the naming convention is indeed a subset of both?

How very self-referential.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby LakatosIstvan » Mon May 31, 2010 3:58 am UTC

I just came to the same conclusion. RANDALL, get out of my head!

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby redoran » Mon May 31, 2010 3:59 am UTC

I've always thought the two were interchangeable other than when they are traditionally attached to certain phrases such as 'band geek' or 'computer nerd'.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby lovedstar » Mon May 31, 2010 4:05 am UTC

I think that a geek is someone who is tech-savvy, while a nerd is one that is highly "into" things.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Xander » Mon May 31, 2010 4:05 am UTC

I'm just bothered that Randall says in the alt-text that his definition of "nerds" holds them as a subset of "geeks," but his Venn diagram clearly suggests a population of nerds that are not geeks. Whatever everyone's opinions on the final matter of geeks v. nerds, that is a small jump in logic there, innit?

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ysth
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby ysth » Mon May 31, 2010 4:07 am UTC

Ah, but is a soft science geek a nerd?
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oxy
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby oxy » Mon May 31, 2010 4:14 am UTC

I believe this is a reference to this, no?

I have had at least one argument with a friend over this. I suppose that makes us both both nerds and geeks.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby pensive bosom » Mon May 31, 2010 4:18 am UTC

Xander wrote:I'm just bothered that Randall says in the alt-text that his definition of "nerds" holds them as a subset of "geeks," but his Venn diagram clearly suggests a population of nerds that are not geeks. Whatever everyone's opinions on the final matter of geeks v. nerds, that is a small jump in logic there, innit?

If it's a Venn diagram, as opposed to an Euler diagram, then the section representing non-geek nerds can simply be empty.

EDIT: Actually, I guess it can't, since the alt-text says that nerds are necessarily geeks.
Last edited by pensive bosom on Mon May 31, 2010 4:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Mon May 31, 2010 4:20 am UTC

HI LakatosIstvan!

I take the opinion that geeks are enthusiastic in regards to technology and sciences, while nerds are more slanted towards the pocket-protector glass-bottle glasses appearance side of things, while still having a great interest in maths and sciences.

If you can't distinguish an enthusiast from a general pleb based on appearance alone, then they are outside the nerd category.

That's my thinking anyway.
Spoiler:
My own definition places me strongly in the geek category, which makes me happy. I am not a nerd.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Glenskey » Mon May 31, 2010 4:22 am UTC

I tend to look at it as if geeks have knowledge +obsession, where-as nerds have knowledge+obsession+skill --which is a derivative of that venn diagram that was floating around a while back

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby DrEasy » Mon May 31, 2010 4:26 am UTC

Is there something like Russell's Paradox going on there? If nobody believed there was a difference between geeks and nerds, that intersection would be empty, therefore the sets would be distinct! My head hurts.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby III_Demon » Mon May 31, 2010 4:29 am UTC

i've long said that the difference between a geek and a nerd is that anyone who argues about the difference is one.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby allo » Mon May 31, 2010 4:33 am UTC

i think a nerd is someone, who gives much to achieve something, not necessary successful. A geek is someone, who has a single field, where he is great (i.e. computer geek).

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby awhansen01 » Mon May 31, 2010 4:34 am UTC

lol
my definitions were the exact opposite of randalls!

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Omegaton
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Mon May 31, 2010 4:37 am UTC

This reminded me of this diagram:

Image

absolem
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby absolem » Mon May 31, 2010 4:37 am UTC

the alt text might just point out that the computer geeks are at the intersection ;)

gereffi
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby gereffi » Mon May 31, 2010 4:42 am UTC

Spot on here. I'm definitely a geek. I can tell you at least half the starters on any MLB team and the important players on any NFL team. I spend a lot of time on /sp/ as well. I play Magic, but not on Friday nights with everyone else. My Friday nights are important for other things. I got a 790 on my math SAT(second highest in my class), but I don't give enough of a shit in school (35th in my class of 485). I'm not socially awkward and I can even talk to girls. Hot girls. I can't really do anything really cool with computers, even though I probably could if I tried to. So yeah, total geek.
Last edited by gereffi on Mon May 31, 2010 4:46 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby westrim » Mon May 31, 2010 4:46 am UTC

What about freaks? Can they make this into a triangle, or is the definition too unambiguous?

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby dmdmdmdm » Mon May 31, 2010 4:47 am UTC

The one thing we can say for sure is that watching Glee does not make you a nerd. Moreover, you are not a nerd if you have ever uttered the sentence: Ohmygod I am such a nerd!.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Coquelicot » Mon May 31, 2010 4:49 am UTC

I might be neither one, since I'm not obsessed with math or science, but I'm obsessed enough with other things to feel like one or the other. Am I a language geek or a language nerd? A history geek? A Beatles nerd? Or none of the above?

ETA:

westrim wrote:What about freaks? Can they make this into a triangle, or is the definition too unambiguous?


I always thought a freak was anyone who was terrifyingly strange. Definition of "terrifyingly strange" to be determined by the beholder.
Last edited by Coquelicot on Mon May 31, 2010 4:52 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby harvardjanitor7 » Mon May 31, 2010 4:49 am UTC

lol what the heck. a geek is a person who is unusually obsessed about something (star trek, video games, comics), and is generally unsuccessful at everything. a nerd is someone who is unusually good at something that is intellectual, like math or science. nerds usually get rich later on in life.

so basically, you want to be a nerd, but you don't want to be a geek.

how to be a geek: get addicted to something that gives you no real life skills. WoW, anyone?
how to be a nerd: study a lot, and enjoy it.

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FCN
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby FCN » Mon May 31, 2010 5:03 am UTC

The diagram seems to show that everyone in the intersection of geek & nerd has a strong opinion on the distinction between geeks and nerds, and the alt-text seems to define nerds as a subset of geeks, which means that, according to this comic, all nerds have a strong opinion on the distinction between geeks and nerds.

My take on the distinction: geek is something you do, nerd is something you live.
Last edited by FCN on Mon May 31, 2010 5:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Relsqui » Mon May 31, 2010 5:17 am UTC

This Thread: Proving Randall's point since 2010.

Johannes Factotum
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Johannes Factotum » Mon May 31, 2010 5:38 am UTC

Hmmm. When I went to college I noticed that people from different parts of the country had vastly different definitions. Has anyone thought about setting up survey of people's definition by area?

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby dragoneye1589 » Mon May 31, 2010 5:46 am UTC

This comic reminded me of a video from popstrip. http://popstrip.com/geeks-and-nerds-the-video/

I personally like that interpretation of it.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Mon May 31, 2010 5:46 am UTC

...perfect. Just perfect. When I was that close to joining the dark side, Randall pulls through.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Mon May 31, 2010 5:58 am UTC

Where 'Nerd', 'Awesome' and 'Spy' all Intersect, you get Chuck.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Cmebeh » Mon May 31, 2010 6:09 am UTC

DrEasy wrote:Is there something like Russell's Paradox going on there? If nobody believed there was a difference between geeks and nerds, that intersection would be empty, therefore the sets would be distinct! My head hurts.


this implies that the axioms on which the cartoon rests are inconsistent => http://xkcd.com/704/
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby thret » Mon May 31, 2010 6:12 am UTC

I always thought a nerd was a wannabe geek? Socially inept but not actually brilliant at anything. Not according to wiki though so I *must* be wrong.

Most Australians if asked would probably think that 'nerd' is American for 'geek'. Geek is overused here, I am not sure I ever heard someone say nerd in highschool. .

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby mbogot » Mon May 31, 2010 6:16 am UTC

The New York Times wrote an article about the history of the definition of "nerd" a couple of years ago.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby skine » Mon May 31, 2010 6:51 am UTC

A geek is one who bites heads off of chickens.

A nerd is one who knows this definition.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby femtometer » Mon May 31, 2010 6:55 am UTC

So since I have no strong opinion on the distinction of the terms "nerd" and "geek," that means that I can't fall into either category myself?

ax.bishop
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby ax.bishop » Mon May 31, 2010 6:57 am UTC

Geek: superlative levels of obsession.
Nerd: superlative levels of obsession with intellectual/academic interests (usu. Science/Math)

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Posi » Mon May 31, 2010 7:09 am UTC

Geeks are nerds with social skills.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Grayda » Mon May 31, 2010 7:37 am UTC

As I see it, a nerd is someone who is talented at everything while a geek is someone who is talented at one thing.

But I also see a geek as being someone who bites the heads off chickens.

So when people at work ask me if I'm a nerd, I say "no, I'm a geek -- I bite the heads off of chickens for a living". They walk away rather quickly.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Outchanter » Mon May 31, 2010 8:09 am UTC

My theory is that geek and nerd were initially interchangeable insults which were later reclaimed by the targets of those insults. Some reclaimed "geek" as pertaining to smarts and skill while shunting the lack of social skills part of the definition onto "nerd". Others did the opposite, reclaiming "nerd" for the good parts and shunning the term "geek".

Of course this leads to awkardness when people who self identify as smart and savvy meet others who think their chosen identity implies social awkwardness and lack of practical skills. Hence the fierce arguments over definition basically boil down to "I identify as X, therefore X is the good one. Ys are wannabe Xs who don't have the intelligence/social skills to make the cut."

Or something. Who cares? Have some tea.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Hectamatatortron » Mon May 31, 2010 8:44 am UTC

How incredibly relevant and xkcd-like, compared to recent comics, all of a sudden.

and here I thought I had the end all definition
I always considered geek to more refer to people who were just plain awkward and obsessive and that "nerd" implied some level of superior intelligence
so I'd always be irritated by being called the former but not the latter
who knew the definition was so recursive

Though I still left room to consider that a nerd was to a geek what a square was to a rectangle.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby sokoban » Mon May 31, 2010 8:47 am UTC

The mouseover and diagram are at odds, I think.

According to the mouseover, nerds should be a subset of geeks.

Awkward nerds should be a further subset of nerds.

Those who have a strong opinion on the difference between geeks and nerds should be a set which includes some geeks, some nerds, and some awkward nerds, but not all of either.

Thus, the diagram could be most accurately drawn as 3 concentric circles which, from largest to smallest represent, Geeks, Nerds, and awkward nerds. A 4th circle should intersect each circle.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Lion_Knight » Mon May 31, 2010 8:48 am UTC

Technically a geek is the person that did sickening things at a carnival like bite the head off a chicken. I assume it was then used a derogatory term for a very weird person and then eventually got an association with less than popular people because they are out cast and different. So geek has purely derogatory roots.

Nerd is a person who follows predominately intellectual pursuits, I think it actually came from some college.


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