Tag Archives: Geek

47 Random Questions

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English: Zelda Sayre at about 18 in dance costume.

My life is busy beyond belief, but I still want to blog. You know what that means…. QUESTIONNAIRE TIME!!!!

  1. My full name- This is the internet, soooo no. My first name’s Robyn though, not Juliet, just FYI.
  2. Zodiac sign- Scorpio, but I’m not really the mystical type
  3. 3 fears- Llamas, elevators, and lack of control.
  4. 3 things I love- Musicals, mud, and the color purple.
  5. 4 turn on’s-  This
  6. 4 turn off’s- ^^^^^^
  7. My best friend- I have a cluster, not just one individual.
  8. Sexual orientation- Heterosexual. Sorry ladies 😛
  9. My best first date- It wasn’t even supposed to be a date, but we ended up getting milkshakes in the middle of a grocery store. It was a blast.
  10. How tall am I?- 5’8 and a half. Yep.
  11. What do I miss?- Believing that growing up meant kissing boys, getting a driver’s license, and going to college.
  12. What time was I born?- Evening, like 8 o’clockish, I think.
  13. Favorite color?- Black, unless you count that as the absence of color. Then purple.
  14. Do I have a crush?- Yep.
  15. Favorite quote- At the moment?”She refused to be bored chiefly because she was not boring.” ~Zelda Fitzgerald
  16. Favorite place- There’s a certain resturant
  17. Favorite food- Stir fry. This is a recent development. Formerly, I would have said lasagna.
  18. Do I use sarcasm?- Never
  19. What am I listening to right now?- A Tour in Italy by Bandaid. It’s ridiculously catchy.
  20. First thing I notice in new people?- Vocabulary
  21. Shoe size?- Why? Do you have a foot fetish, questionnaire?
  22. Eye color- Hazel
  23. Hair color- My friend Max says it’s “dirty blonde”
  24. Favorite style of clothing-A mix between high fashion and the soccer field.
  25. Ever done a prank call?- Yep!
  26. What color underwear…is this a real question? No.
  27. Meaning behind my URL?- See this from two years ago
  28. Favorite movie- It changes constantly, but right now it’s Reality Bites
  29. Favorite song- Again, this is constantly changing, but probably Roll to Me by Del Amitri at this moment. I’m on a 90’s kick.
  30. Favorite band- Possibly The Mountain Goats
  31. How I feel right now- Tired
  32. Someone I love- Josh. I love Josh.
  33. My current relationship status- Perpetually single 😛
  34. My relationship with my parents- Complicated. Just don’t bring up spoons or windows…
  35. Favorite holiday- Which ever is next. That means it’s currently Halloween!
  36. Tattoos and piercings I have – My ears are pierced.
  37. Tattoos and piercings I want- None. There’s little that could convince me that I need more needles in my life.
  38. The reason I started blogging- It’s cliched, but I wanted to be heard. I like writing and can only take so much approval from my mother.
  39. Last book I read?- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  40. Do I ever get “good morning” or “good evening” texts?- Occasionally
  41. Have I ever kissed the last person I texted?- It was my classmate Gloria, so…no.
  42. When did I last hold hands?- Friday, I think?
  43. How long does it take me to get ready in the morning?- Maybe 15 minutes.
  44. Have I shaved my legs in the last three days?- Um, I actually don’t know…
  45. Where am I right now?- At home, exhausted.
  46. If I was drunk and unable to stand, who’d be taking care of me?- Usually I’d say my friend Jess, but if I’m drunk…she probably is too! So I’ll go with Nate, my poor neighbor/surrogate brother.
  47. Do I like my music at a loud or reasonable level?- Define “reasonable”.

You know far more than you ever wanted to about me. But in the interest of fairness, if you answer the survey and link it in the comments, I pinkie promise to not only read it, but to leave a comment of my own. Deal?

 

Nerds Works Cited

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Cover of "Nerds: Who They Are and Why We ...

Cover via Amazon

For those of you who care about such things… Also, I have a list of other resources I perused if anybody’s interested. 😛

Works Cited

Abele, Elsa, and Denise Grenier. “The Language of Social Communication: Running Pragmatics Groups in Schools and Clincial Settings.” Asperger’s Syndrome: Intervening in Schools, Clinics, and Communities. Print.

Anderegg, David. Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2007. Print.

Green, John. “Quotes.” Good Reads. 2011. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1406384.John_Green?format=html&gt;.

Harper, Douglas. “Nerd.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2001-2010. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=nerd&gt;.

Hunter, Allison. “High-tech Rascality: Asperger’s Syndrome, Hackers, Geeks and Personality Types in the ICT Industry.” New Zealand Sociology 24.2 (2009): 39-56. Http://saanz.rsnz.org/journal/index1.html. 2009. Web. 22 Apr. 2011.

Klawe, M. “Refreshing the Nerds.” Communications of the ACM, 44.7 (2001): 67-68. Print.

Nugent, Benjamin. American Nerd: the Story of My People. New York: Scribner, 2008. Print.

Nerds are Cool Part 4

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People with Asperger's Syndrome are often preo...

Image via Wikipedia

Why is that? Why are nerds unable to empathize with the people around them? Surprisingly, the answer may lie in their brains. As early as 1986, scientists began studying unsociability in nerds. A common trait that keeps popping up is Asperger’s.  People with Asperger’s

“…often and unintentionally behave in what others experience as an irritating manner. They consistently invade others’ personal space, carry on about arcane topics, interrupt conversations, talk more loudly or softly than a situation dictates, or speak with an incorrect emphasis on words or word syllables in a sentence. Such a person might change the topic of a conversation abruptly, or gaze in a different direction from the person to whom he or she is speaking, exhibiting poor eye contact. These are the children who have few or no friends or the adults we might tire of at a cocktail party.”  (Abele and Grenier)

Nugent, himself a sufferer of Asperger’s, describes it as a “…neurological condition whose outward manifestations, at their mildest, resemble [being] …nerdy.” And there are many shared traits between nerdiness and Asperger’s, like social phobias, rule-bound speech, spastic movements, and an intense focus on a particular subject, or set of subjects. Does this mean that every nerdy person has Asperger’s?  No. But it does raise the question about similarities in the brains of the two.

Alison Hunter, a lecturer in the School of Computing and IT at Manukau Institute of Technology, was curious about the connection between Asperger’s and nerdiness, and she decided to take it a step further by adding personality exams. Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), she determined a “typical” personality file for a nerd, and then compared the results in behavior of all three categories. The typical profile was ISTJ or Introversion (“Inwardly oriented; Prefers solitary pursuits or small, known groups; Most comfortable with detailed knowledge based on concepts and ideas; Reflective.”)Sensing (“Perceives information through senses; Relies what is real or experienced; Practical Realistic, and Observant; Prefers factual, precise and concrete data; Best suited to practical, hands on approach, based on commonsense. Typified by a ‘specialist’”) Thinking (“Makes judgments objectively, dispassionately and analytically; Logical and consistent. Uses formal reasoning methods and ignores personal factors. Typified by a ‘scientist’.”) and Judgment (“Prefer orderly and controlled experiences; Rely on plans and orderly existence; Reluctant to deviate from goals set according to initial judgments; Decisive”).

When Hunter compared Asperger’s, nerdiness, and the ISTJ personality, she discovered many similarities. All showed a lack of desire to interact with others, poor communication skills, self-containment, diligence, interest in technical work, lack of empathy, fascination with technology, a dislike of change, and a love of order. The data is still being analyzed.

Nerds are Cool Part 3

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Dilettante

Image by Sapphireblue via Flickr

Hi. I was on vacation. But I’m back! 🙂 Let’s see, where were we…

Originally, being a nerd was associated with people who worked with computers. Even today, computers and electronics are considered “nerdy” interests.  Really, though, it’s evolved to mean someone who is enthusiastic about any one thing.

“…nerds…are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it…when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.’” (Green)

So, if isn’t computers or glasses that define nerds, what is it? It may be their introversion, and the resulting lack of empathy.  Not only do nerds “seek…to avoid physical and emotional confrontation”, they may not even understand it. Author Benjamin Nugent invites us to think about Victor Frankenstein, a classic example, and what makes him “an ur-nerd”.

“The young scientist…betrays a combination of rational thinking and technical prowess coupled with a childlike inability to fully grasp that other people are just as needy, ambitious, and sensitive as himself- as Harold Bloom once put it, Frankenstein is ‘a being who has never achieved a full sense of another’s existence.’ That’s what enables him to make the monster and fail to think, How would I like it if I had skin that barely held together, was eight feet tall, and had yellow eyes and black lips, so that people were inclined to run from me in terror? How would I like it if I had no family? His failure is a failure to emotionally confront another person, a failure of empathy. In a stupid person, this lack of empathy might not matter, but in a modern man with a godlike capacity for making things, it can create disasters. The root of evil in Frankenstein is the mingling of scientific brilliance with a deficit of emotional connectedness.”

Nerds are Cool Part 2

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Cover of "If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss...

Cover of If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss)

The term “nerd” is a little bit blurry in derivation. Urban legend states that the term originated on college campuses, and was spelt “knurd”. A “knurd” was a diligent student, the opposite of a “drunk”. There is no validation for this theory. According to The Online Etymology Dictionary, it is “…U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert “stupid or crazy person,” itself an alteration of nut. The word turns up in a Dr. Seuss book from 1950 (“If I Ran the Zoo”), which may have contributed to its rise.” The term is still used to describe a nutty or eccentric person, but is more likely someone who is intelligent to the point that they are seen as something “different”. That will be the working definition for this paper. But this is still a little vague, so let’s expand it.

“…some people, especially young people, adopt a broad definition and define a nerd as anyone who wears glasses…glasses must be some kind of badge of nerdity,” says psychologist David Anderegg. Being a nerd really has nothing to do with suspenders, glasses, and pocket protectors. What it comes down to is the way they interact with the world. Nerds

“…tend to remind people of machines by

  1. Being passionate about some technically sophisticated activity…
  2. Speaking in language unusually similar to written Standard English.
  3. Seeking to avoid physical and emotional confrontation.
  4. Favoring logic and rational communication over nonverbal, nonrational forms of communication or thoughts that don’t involve reason.
  5. Working with, playing with, and enjoying machines more than most people do.

…They get stuck with the name “nerd” because their outward behavior can make them seem less than, and more than, human.”  (Nugent)

 

In the past, they were seen as “unkempt eccentrics”.

“…Now they actually mean something along the lines of ‘expert’, ‘clever’, you know a little bit staying up late at night drinking black coffee, ‘keyboard monkey’, but nevertheless they’ve got respect. To say you’re a computer nerd now, people think oh that’s someone who can do something for me. … It sort of now means highly computer literate and quite well respected. I think some people would be proud to be called a nerd…” (Leyton via Hunter)

They are “often regarded as poor communicators, introverted, and inferior team players, although a number of positive attributes such as intelligence, diligence, good organizational skills, and patience offset these rather negative qualities.” (Krawe)

Nerds are Cool: A Different Look at a Familiar Stereotype Part 1

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 In the words of young adult writer John Green, “…on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are…We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”  A key part of this misunderstanding is the use of stereotypes. Stereotypes are a large part of our perceptions of others. We look at their hair, face, and clothing, and then slip them into a predetermined category. It is mankind’s way of dealing with the unknown. One of the main stereotypes in today’s society is “nerd”.  But when you break this stereotype down, it becomes apparent that this label is simply a way of explaining those that we cannot understand. A nerd is simply someone who views the world through wonder-filled eyes.

As a self -proclaimed nerd, I found this idea of stereotypes fascinating. I wrote an entire paper on the topic, in fact.  It’s quote-laden, of course. So I decided to share that paper with you piece by piece this week. It’s fairly short, and I’d like input. How do you view nerds?

Oh! And I’ll do a separate “Works Cited” post at the end for those of you who want to know my sources.