“My idea is to present an image to children that it is good to be intellectual, and not to care about the peer pressures to be anti-intellectual. I want every child to turn into a nerd – where that means someone who prefers studying and learning to competing for social dominance, which can unfortunately cause the downward spiral into social rejection.” – New York Times
I have been boggled down into the world of nerds and geeks for quite a while now and how to unleash the one within your own self. This is an insight into the life patterns in general of a geeks daily life and an overview into a Nerd’s brainstorming thoughts. There is a subtle difference in a “Geek” and a “Nerd” even though the two terms are being used in similar contexts. Nerd is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, out of the world knowledge and technical and scientific endeavors rather than engaging in social activities. Geek is a term defining a peculiar person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, technical computing, scientific phenomenas etc.
A stereotypical Nerd is intelligent, a mastermind but socially awkward and are generally considered to be physically unattractive. Typically nerds don’t engage in much of social activities which is a consequence of lack of confidence and the negative perceptions and ridicule received by the peers and the society around them. They show pronounced interest in the fields of study which others find dull, boring, complicated to comprehend and over-mature for their age such as topics related to Mathematics, Quantum Mechanics, Science and Technology which comprises out of the box thinking. There is also a different side of the spectrum which involves showing interests towards activities which society might find quite immature for their age and mind such as playing cards, comic books, science fiction serials and movies, video games etc. Two most common physical awkwardness and symptoms noticed in a stereotypical Nerd are Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Asperger Syndrome.
OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produces anxiety by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety, or by a combination of such thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions). Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, and people with it therefore show significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. – Source: Wikipedia. Nerds normally stand apart from the rest of the crowd and are unwilling or are unable to become a part of the community having a spectrum of thoughts beyond natural human thought trends. It’s a pride to be considered a part of a “Nerd” community in one respect even though the term is used in derogatory sense in society.
A geek is normally referred to a person obsessed by the intellectual interests for it’s own sake and looking for knowledge outside the world of books in an academic scenario visualizing things in a real practical world. They often lack some physical and social attributes essential in a modern day living but thirst and passion for knowledge beyond boundaries of normal human perception is what matters the most. Have you ever tried applying stochastic and random processes and probability to predict the stocks and shares? Have you tried applying multi-variable calculus or Gaussian distribution function to understand the traffic density on roads? Or while looking at the movement of pigeons or hearing the chirping of birds, have you tried to figure an algorithm to develop patterns of movement or sounds of nature to develop a symmetry of thoughts? Well, if you think in the same dimentions then you can categorize yourself as a “Geek” in certain respects.
I have got few open questions for the reader here before ending this article for self-evaluation. Have you ever programmed and build a computer or an electronic gadget using micro controllers ? Do you possess microscope, telescope or oscilloscope? Do you know Maxwell’s, Schroedinger’s, Gaussian Equations and fundamentals behind Einstein’s theory of relativity? Can you solve a Rubik’s cube? Do you wear t-shirts with mathematical symbols and equations inscribed or geeky quotations ? How many functions does your wrist watch have or do you wear a scientific calculator? Have you ever interpolated or extrapolated? Have you ever reached sexual climax while programming a computer? Did you hack into any of the government official portal or bank/e-mail accounts? Have you read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy”?……Well, it’s an endless list of questions but the idea behind every question is the same. Can you unleash the Geek within??