Social Question

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Do you have a hierarchy of geeks in your head?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14270 points ) February 11th, 2013

I was introduced to this concept recently while browsing the internet, that people rank nerds into different levels of social failure based on their various interests.

Do you find yourself perceiving nerds this way? In your worldview, is a Doctor Who nerd more or less socially awkward than a Star Trek nerd? Are they both above or below a Star Wars nerd?

Where does coin collecting and taxidermy fit into your scale of awkwardness?

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25 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Speaking as a board certified bona fide geek who watches Star Trek and Dr. Who, plays Dungeons and Dragons, reads books on physics for fun, plays the banjo and does astronomy as a hobby we are NOT socially awkward. I’m the one that’s cool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhgupR565Q

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Felicia Day is made of win..

Rarebear's avatar

Indeed she is.

El_Cadejo's avatar

There is, IMO a huge difference between a geek and a nerd. The biggest that while a geek and nerd still know the same amount of knowledge about a given topic, a nerd has the social skills to convey it to the masses that a geek does not posses. The geek is to overly obsessed with his/her own realm to think about adapting it to the greater social hierarchy.

Mariah's avatar

I pretty much can’t even see geekiness anymore unless it is extreme. I go to a tech school, so you’re the odd one out if you don’t like Pokemon, Big Bang Theory, Dungeons and Dragons, calculus, etc.

But those extreme cases…they are here…and yeah they’re on a whole separate tier. I won’t judge you for your hobbies or interests! I think it’s cool to have those things! Heck I have friends who LARP which is about as nerdy as you can get. So I won’t judge based on interests. I am definitely repelled by some of the personalities if they’re over the top.

Like if you’re a dude, and there’s a girl you’ve never seen before sitting alone at the dining hall doing work, and you sit down across from her without asking, and then don’t say anything for a few minutes, and then start asking her if she plays particular video games, and start talking about them anyway when she says no, with no prior introduction…it’s awkward. True story from last week, lol.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Mariah good job being a stealth geek

Mariah's avatar

Code doesn’t write itself man.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Mariah Pfft. Even your code girls paid zero attention to men who were unfit So I am gonna say you people did it for perv reasons. :)

ETpro's avatar

Ha! Bill Gates may or may not have been a socially awkward teen. But Melinda Gates found him attractive enough to marry when his geeky brain turned him into the world’s richest man. She’s a really beautiful woman and a brilliant geek as well. On her own merits, before marrying Bill, she had worked her way up to Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products.

So I have my hierarchy of geeks and am quite comfortable keeping them.

augustlan's avatar

The Geek Gods. I welcome my new overlords.

FutureMemory's avatar

I don’t consider Star Wars geeky at all. Well, the original trilogy films anyway.

Star Trek though, when you start going to those conventions and buying old wardrobe shirts for thousands of dollars…you’re a lost cause.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@FutureMemory Star Wars is definitely geeky. But I’m talking EU here. I mean I’ve read 93 Star Wars novels so far :P

And as far as conventions go, there is also the celebration where you’ll see the same things as the trekkie conventions except star wars based.

ucme's avatar

No I don’t, making lists of that nature, even mental ones, is tantamount to geekdom/nerdship.

Seek's avatar

@uberbatman I went to my favourite used book store last Saturday. Couldn’t buy a single Trek book. I already had every one on the shelf.
Have you read The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Vols. 1 and 2? So far, and by far, the best Trek books I’ve ever read. Close second: Destiny trilogy by David Mack.

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought – I do think there is a bit of a heirarchy. It’s flexible, because as nerds we geek out over each other’s creations, discoveries, and obssessions, but I think it’s definitely there.

Scientists are our rock stars. Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins… guys like that are the kings. They wouldn’t take a crown, and they share their “wealth” and are happy to do so, but they are the kings.

Just below them but equal in power – I’d perhaps say the “Bishops” of Nerddom – are the Gene Roddenberrys of the world. And by that I mean, the world creators. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Ursula K. LeGuin, Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke. These are the people who bring poetry and magic to science, and capture the imagination of young nerds who then aspire to become scientists or world creators themselves.

When you get down to the common nerd, there’s a bit more obvious hierarchy. I also consider this list collapsable. If, for example, you’re a Trekkie, you’re probably also a video-gamer and occasionally a NerdLite.

Nerd Lite is something like the teenager that watches Doctor Who because they think that the current Doctor is physically attractive. These people are merchandiser’s bread and butter. They buy the T-shirt, they buy the toy Sonic Screwdriver, and next year they’ve moved on to some internet cartoon and are buying their t-shirts and toys. Fair weather nerds. These people blend with their non-nerd compatriots well, without any adverse affects.

Somewhat more hardcore are the video-gamers. They can get along well enough with non-nerds, because who doesn’t like a good game? You know 60% of them hide their Magic cards when the football players visit their house for a little Call of Duty, and they probably don’t broadcast the fact that they have every episode of the first three seasons of the ‘90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon on VHS, and they still watch it at night before they go to bed.

After that? Trekkies and Warsoids. The geeks willing to fight for what they believe in. I’m not talking the ones that pay thousands of dollars for one of Michael Dorn’s castoff “turtles” (affectionate name for Klingon forehead prostheses), just the ones willing to get into a debate over whether Hyperspace travel or Warp travel is more feasable, or who would win between the Defiant and the Millennium Falcon. They probably don’t get along well with others, at least not mid-rant. They likely have at least a couple of non-nerd friends that smile and nod while they babble about the obvious plotholes between Caprica and Battlestar Galactica.

Then, Rennies. I place myself in this category. What? Spend every weekend for three months dressing in uncomfortable, vaguely anachronistic clothing and pretending to be a fairy/pirate/bellydancer/knight/all of the above? Yes, please! Rennies are also likely Paper Gamers: Dungeons and Dragons (1st ed. AD&D if they’re hardcore), War of the Ring, I could list more but honestly all the games that I have are from the 70s and likely unavailable now. I don’t even bother with new games. The rules are too easy. They mostly hang out with other Rennies/PaperGamers, or other nerds that accept the lifestyle.

Next: SCA and LARPers. I aspire to be an SCA member, just haven’t done it yet. They’re like Rennies, but historically accurate. You want a dress? Start spinning some wool, bitch. Or at least, trade a spinner, a weaver, and a seamter(ess) for your mad-awesome leatherworking skill and get a dress that way. LARPers are hardcore PaperGamers. With weapons, and armour, and bruises.

augustlan's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You should write a book. For real.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr GA! To answer your question though, no I haven’t read either of those books, as you illustrated in your post there is that divide between the Star Wars nerds and the Trekkies. I am very far to the side of star wars nerdery and honestly can’t stand Star Trek at all :P

that said I never gave any of the books an honest shot and its very likely that the books are far better than the shows/movies as is also the case with Star Wars.

Seek's avatar

Han Solo’s Revenge is the only Wars book I currently own, but it’s not bad, I will say! I will also say I totally read your post as “I’ve read 93 Star Trek books so far. Oops

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr If you want to read a good star wars trilogy read the Thrawn trilogy. Hands down the best star wars novels I’ve read. It takes place 5 years after RotJ. Anything written by Timothy Zahn is pretty awesome though.

FutureMemory's avatar

Whoa… @Seek_Kolinahr had a nerdgasm or something.. :P

Seek's avatar

That’s what you get when you ask a nerd to describe nerdiness. ^_^

Rarebear's avatar

@uberbatman “There is, IMO a huge difference between a geek and a nerd.”

http://xkcd.com/747/

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear That’s hilarious. How do you find these things?

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I’m a geek! :-)

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear And here I had you in my head as a nerd.

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