There’s a lot here that feels familiar.
As a nerd myself this is very interesting. Especially considering its the first statistical analysis of of Geek vs. Nerd that I’ve seen.
To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)
In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:
- geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
- nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.
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“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.”
The above quote is by my favorite author J.R.R. Tolkien, and it greatly discribes the point I am in my life. I’m a student, a scientist, and a photographer living in the scruffy little city of Knoxville. After getting through a valley in my life, I’ve decided that a fun activity to help me keep a grander perspective will be to record my time and life in the city. Hopefully you’ll find it as interesting (or not) as I do.