General Discussion

NERDS!
ozoneocean at 9:43PM, Feb. 20, 2011
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I was thinking on this…
The definitions and community attitudes to nerdy, dorky culture and people and things have changed a LOT over the yeas, haven't they?

Nerds like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and pals are the rulers of the universe. Knowing a LOT about nerdy things like technology gets you far. Knowing about nerdy stuff like comics now keeps you on the cutting edge of popular culture. Being into nerdy stuff like games is now just bog-standard mainstream.

*Are there any real nerds anymore? Really?

*Has popular (stupid people) culture caught up with the fact that nerds are now everybody?

————-
In answer to the second one, I don't think it has yet.
There are still shows like “Big Bang Theory” where the people are meant to be nerds, but dress like tragic hipsters, behave like tragic hipsters (mostly), with some scientific trivia as garnish added to their conversations.
You still have events like Comic Con described as a mecha for “nerds” when in reality it's mostly a big meeting for media promoters and media consumers…

Where did all the nerds go?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 11:45PM, Feb. 20, 2011
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Some came here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ozoneocean at 12:09AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Genejoke
Some came here.
But that's the thing though, isn't it?

The old idea was that “nerds do webcomics” but it just doesn't work that way.

People that work on webcomics come from such diverse backgrounds and abilities. Most of the high profile Web comicers on the net are graphic artists and people with an arts background. They might be please to be titled with the modern conception of the word “nerd” as a sort of badge of their knowledge, but they certainly don;t fit into the old stereotype!

People on a place like DD will even be less of the old type since this is a hosting site that makes it easier for people to express themselves creatively without needing to have the technical knowledge to do so.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 12:42AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I think the internet has brought nerds together and more people have come out of the closet, also people seem less inclined to move on from being a geek and embrace it as a full adult rather than hide their star wars figures in the loft.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Skullbie at 12:50AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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ozoneocean
There are still shows like “Big Bang Theory” where the people are meant to be nerds, but dress like tragic hipsters, behave like tragic hipsters (mostly), with some scientific trivia as garnish added to their conversations.

Omg thank you, that is exactly why i resent that show and cringe every time my mom says “you'd like it because it's funny and they are nerds XD”. No mom, no they are not.

I blame hipsters for the mix-up between dipwads who look like they ran through “The Imbacil” thrift store and people who have genuine passion for something not getting ‘cool points’.

But with my hobbies i prefer the term ‘collector’ or even pokefag over nerd >_>
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
Genejoke at 12:53AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I thought hipsters were a type of jeans.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Adariel at 2:15AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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well, think about it, its a matter of territorial perspective. I with all the guys here in this site who share a common interest could talk about the popular stupid culture and laugh at how they could not see anything past their noses.

On the other hand, some guy somewhere in his gym attire could be having this conversation (with a gym buddy probably) talking about the loser crowd who knows nothing but sit in front of their computers and doodle stuff people don't really care about. This same crowd would be the loser idiots who waste their time ‘imagining’ stuff instead of getting out and getting some action.

then they'd go ‘those nerds, don’t they know comics are dead?'

but then again, i don't care what they think anyways. At least I get the Big bang Theory jokes and laugh at it instead of looking like a dumb rock whenever the show is on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
ozoneocean at 5:29AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Skullbie
Omg thank you, that is exactly why i resent that show and cringe every time my mom says “you'd like it because it's funny and they are nerds XD”. No mom, no they are not.
Exactly

Genejoke
I think the internet has brought nerds together and more people have come out of the closet, also people seem less inclined to move on from being a geek and embrace it as a full adult rather than hide their star wars figures in the loft.
Adariel
well, think about it, its a matter of territorial perspective. I with all the guys here in this site who share a common interest could talk about the popular stupid culture and laugh at how they could not see anything past their noses.
I disagree.
I think the idea of the “nerd” has passed it's moment in history.

Think about it- We only had the concept of the “nerd” because slightly technical things like computers (for example) baffled the majority, while a minority excelled at them.

ALL the things once considered “nerdy” have become solidly mainstream. There can't BE such a thing as a nerd any longer- not as defined as an overly technical knowledgeable social outcast. Everyone likes games to some extent, everyone knows how to use the internet and download files (grandparents are doing it!), everyone has a computer, gaming devices, mp3 players etc, etc. Everyone knows what Star Wars is, what lord of the rings is.
If you DON'T know those things then you're considered a bit of a moron.
If you excel in these things, it carries no stigma. Quite the opposite.

Sure, we still have the dork… they dress badly, they're awkward and all the rest, but they can't claim the special technical skills of the nerd.

I say, the nerd's time has passed. The nerd is dead.
Because nerd culture took over and became the mainstream.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
PIT_FACE at 5:48AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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well to me, being a nerd means having a slightly more abrasive personality than what you take interest in alone.
a tech enthusiast'll know alot about gadgets n what not, the nerd version of that will talk yer ear off for hours, day in, day out about the newest phone or ipad or game counsel, wether ya care to hear it or not.

just like someone who likes to read comics, is well,a comic reader, where as a comic nerd, one of archetypes of nerdum, will explain to you the whole DCU,then compare it to the marvel Universe with extreme opinionation, and then tell you about how he wants to be reencarnated as Alan Moore. once again, wether you wanna hear it or not.

ya see where im goin with this? i mean i know there's certain ways of dressin and what not that make ya seem nerdy, but like any other counter culture, or whatever ya wanna call it, it takes more that dressin the part to BE the part.

and yes…these people DO still exist, in droves.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
ayesinback at 5:59AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I'm still not clear on what the various labels denote. I have Always considered myself a nerd — my Mom use to call it a bookworm.

Years ago, nerd, geek, retard, loser — generally seemed to be labels about social inadequacy more than an individual's interests. I think that has shifted.

Also, being a Mom of an autistic son has been an eye opener. It's called an autistic spectrum for good reason, and like any category used to describe people, I believe Everybody fits on the spectrum some place, and shifts from spot to spot given what he/she might currently be going through.

The number of autistic individuals identified/diagnosed has gone up from 3 in every 1000 back about 15 years ago to 3 in every 100. I doubt there's actually that many more autistic - I suspect that years ago the autistic were simply labeled differently (nerd, geek, retard, loser).
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
A Reaver at 6:03AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Im sick of scene kids acting like nerds. Being an outcast is apparently what's in and the ting that annoys me about it is the irony of the entire situation. Being an outcast makes you more popular? I can't say Im old enough to remember the golden days of the nerd but god damn it Ive been one my whole life and I refuse to let some rainbow faggot take my culture and obscure it.

Shiny new comic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
I Am The 1337 Master at 6:10AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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There are real nerds and then there's me nerds.

I am considered some type of nerd but I am the least nerdy person I know.

HOW DOES THAT WORK?!

I might know my internet meme's but that has nothing to do with it.

I might have a collection of childrens trading cards but that too has nothing to do with it.

I might go on drunk duck and make my crappy comic and then sit on the forums for hours but THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!!!


Besides. I will admit that I'm way not as book smart as the jocks in my classes.

“No DAVE! You solve the Chemistry problem like this!”
*Ten minutes of fighting over the problem later*
“Oh…you're right Nate.”





So nerds are actually jocks now.


Besides. Like SAME said, being an outcast is more common, but unlike his statement, outcasts do not have a lot of fun or be ‘popular’. I would know.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:55PM
A Reaver at 6:18AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I Am The 1337 Master


So nerds are actually jocks now.


Besides. Like SAME said, being an outcast is more common, but unlike his statement, outcasts do not have a lot of fun or be ‘popular’. I would know.

What I mean by that is “outcasts”
People who try and make themselves sound like outcasts to get pity and friends when really they have about 300 friends and 10,000 online.

Shiny new comic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
HippieVan at 11:38AM, Feb. 21, 2011
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ozoneocean
Skullbie
Omg thank you, that is exactly why i resent that show and cringe every time my mom says “you'd like it because it's funny and they are nerds XD”. No mom, no they are not.
Exactly

I agree with that too.
Growing up with scientist parents, every time I've watched that show it just makes me cringe how the characters are presented.



In high school there are still “nerds” who are treated poorly. Being one of the smarter students in my classes, and being someone who enjoys learning has not helped me make any friends.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
NickyP at 1:00PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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ozoneocean
Knowing about nerdy stuff like comics now keeps you on the cutting edge of popular culture. Being into nerdy stuff like games is now just bog-standard mainstream.

You say that now, but you and myself and every other man here would fail 90% of every first date, if the majority of the conversation was about gaming and comics. I would bet money on it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
Abt_Nihil at 4:54PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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These days, everyone thinks there are a lot of people like themselves. Because they go on the internet, and bam, there they all are. (It's the same sort of reinforcement that turns frustrated people into terrorists and/or makes suicidal people actually kill themselves.) I barely know any nerds personally.

People watch live-action comic book adaptations these days, but no one actually reads the books (but me).
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
ozoneocean at 5:05PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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NickyP
You say that now, but you and myself and every other man here would fail 90% of every first date, if the majority of the conversation was about gaming and comics. I would bet money on it.
Not sure what you mean about that, but yeah, the only game I play is mass effect and I don't know much about non-webcomics, so maybe that's right :)

Abt_Nihil
These days, everyone thinks there are a lot of people like themselves. Because they go on the internet, and bam, there they all are.
This misses the point.

Everyone I know (not on the net) and work with of all ages has a computer, games (far more than me!), knows scifi and comic pop-culture stuff and all the rest. Nerd culture IS mainstream.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Warpedwenger at 5:49PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Nerd culture has become mainstream because of the internet. The modern world revolves around technology therefore knowledge of technology is power. Power is attractive.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:47PM
Abt_Nihil at 6:37PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Ozoneocean
Abt_Nihil
These days, everyone thinks there are a lot of people like themselves. Because they go on the internet, and bam, there they all are.
This misses the point.

Everyone I know (not on the net) and work with of all ages has a computer, games (far more than me!), knows scifi and comic pop-culture stuff and all the rest. Nerd culture IS mainstream.
It doesn't miss the point, it rather tells you about how subjective the notion of “the people we know” is. One way of selection is the people we know about, and thus, the net. Granted, everyone I know also has a computer, but that hardly makes them a nerd. What I said was: I hardly know anyone in real life who would truly qualify as a nerd (qualifications have also changed over the past twenty years :D). But once you go on the internet, it seems like everyone's a nerd. Again, that's the way the internet selects the people you know about for you:
Warpedwenger
Nerd culture has become mainstream because of the internet. The modern world revolves around technology therefore knowledge of technology is power. Power is attractive.
Exactly. Nerds are at some venues of power (that is: information), but that doesn't make everyone a nerd. What I said was: Pretty much everyone who knows Iron Man these days knows about him from the movies. Knowing about “nerd culture” from the movies doesn't make you a nerd either.
I agree with PIT_FACE: It's not so much about knowledge as it's about dealing with knowledge in a certain way:
PIT_FACE
well to me, being a nerd means having a slightly more abrasive personality than what you take interest in alone. a tech enthusiast'll know alot about gadgets n what not, the nerd version of that will talk yer ear off for hours, day in, day out about the newest phone or ipad or game counsel, wether ya care to hear it or not. (…) and yes…these people DO still exist, in droves.
Also, we apparently don't know the same people in real life :p
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
blindsk at 7:49PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I feel like being a nerd has transitioned, but not too far from it's previous definition! Instead, it's become more specified in terms of label. In essence, the qualifications have become much more detailed and there are more parameters to being a nerd. I think Abt_Nihil touched upon this already, but I'd like to give some examples.

So, I am a gamer. And like ozone said, gamers are more a part of the mainstream now more than ever. Everyone has some sort of console these days and it isn't surprising anymore to hear a public conversation on the latest video game that was released.

However! Not only do I game, but I like to keep up with competitive scenes. That means watching matches of games that I play where professional players duke it out in tournaments and following their progressions. From what I've found, not many people that call themselves gamers actually do this! They find it incredulous that someone would spend free time that isn't playing the game and actually watching someone else play it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I'm a nerd, but I'm not that much of a nerd."

Same thing goes with physics, which I study. I'm more on the industrial side, and they tend to be the ones that have free time and sustain some semblance of a social life. Then there are the theorists and university experimentalists that spend every waking moment of their life doing physics and research. The only time they leave their labs is to go eat (I'm still not sure if they sleep or not, because they're always there). And those I've considered to be the true nerds of the subject.

There are people that do nerdy stuff, but then there are people that do it, and those are the nerds to me.
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Ironscarf at 8:02PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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I was watching tv last night and Samuel L. Jackson came on and said he reads comics all the time. How is anybody expected to be a nerd in the face of that?
And Genejoke, hipsters are definitely jeans.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
NickyP at 9:17PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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ozoneocean
NickyP
You say that now, but you and myself and every other man here would fail 90% of every first date, if the majority of the conversation was about gaming and comics. I would bet money on it.
Not sure what you mean about that, but yeah, the only game I play is mass effect and I don't know much about non-webcomics, so maybe that's right :)

I'm trying to say that while gaming may be presented as mainstream, in the end, you're still considered a “loser” if you show more than a mild amount of interest in it. Especially when you're on a date. Maybe that's here in the US… lol!
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blindsk at 10:10PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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NickyP
I'm trying to say that while gaming may be presented as mainstream, in the end, you're still considered a “loser” if you show more than a mild amount of interest in it. Especially when you're on a date. Maybe that's here in the US… lol!

This is only too true! Actually, gaming in general seems to negative stigma still in the US when other countries don't see it that way. If you're a gamer you're not always a nerd though, just automatically lazy and/or anti-social.
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bravo1102 at 11:40PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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There are nerds and there are dorks.

Nerds became mainstream maybe starting with the Revenge of the Nerds franchise which revealed that we are all nerdy in our own way. It always coems back to movies determining the opinion of the mainstream. Everyone has something they are nerdy about. Nerdy to me being that enthusiaism for something that is out of the mainstream. This is easily determined by where the magazine dealing with it is on the newstand. Sports Illustrated and People are out front whereas Game Insider and the comic industry ‘zines are one rack in; Military History, Fate, UFO and Skeptical Inquirer are two racks in and you’ll be lucky if you find Miltary Modeling at all but you will find Scale Train Modeling ;)

The socially awkward nerds who talk your ear off are dorks. I had to stop going to Cons because they rubbed me the wrong way. Don't expect the actor who played Scotty to know all the technical aspects of the starship that to him is just a damn studio model! And don't expect me to care about how the main sensor arrays work.

Listen up dorks! You have two ears and one mouth and that determines the proper proportion of talking to listening!
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NickyP at 11:45PM, Feb. 21, 2011
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Sometimes it's funny when I'm introducing myself to a class or people in general. When it comes to hobbies, I tell them debating and gaming, in that order. You almost always see them with very puzzled looks on their faces; almost as if the notion of someone who likes to debate (very sociable and requires lots of research) and is also into video games (very anti-social and lazy) is mind boggling.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
Dodger at 8:45AM, Feb. 22, 2011
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I've always kind of assumed that “nerd” culture has evolved and become more of a social trend rather than a social stigma in recent years because of the internet. The classic portrayal of a nerd is some guy who dresses badly, enjoys things that are more academic or fanciful than what most people of his age/class/gender group enjoy, who shys away from the world or has a very small group of friends who have similar interests. With the internet nerdy people have found each other. For lack of a better term, “we've” connected and amassed our numbers, becoming a new counter culture.

I don't think the term nerd will ever hold the same stigma it once did. You have people who are genuinely gifted at sciences, maths, and the sort… but in our society, we know we need those people and they've garnered respect. Then you have people with “nerdy” hobbies like comic books or video games…. but with all the superhero movies that have come out recently and the fact that most people young and old have played and enjoyed some sort of video game, especially wii, they seem like pretty normal activities. Then you have the recluses; the people who sit in a dark room and know literally everything there is to know about adobe photoshop or dedicate their lives to creating detailed security systems for the government's computers or missiles or sit in a dark room and try to break into those systems or something. Modern medicine tends to label these people as high functioning autistics who have obsessions.

Then, of course, we have hipsters.

Koji Takahashi Stops the World, full color, updating Mondays
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
ozoneocean at 8:44AM, Feb. 23, 2011
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Dodger
post
Seems pretty sensible to me :)

ayesinback
I'm still not clear on what the various labels denote. I have Always considered myself a nerd — my Mom use to call it a bookworm.
Haha, self classification is a fun game! ^_^
For myself, I've always had a foot in both camps… Always found pretty easy acceptance with the cool kids and always looked pretty much the part (on the weirder end), but always felt more comfortable and preferred the company of the losers and the weirdos, -who were way more interesting.
(I didn't label them losers and weirdos myself)

So what was I? A weirdo!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Armagedon at 4:06PM, Feb. 23, 2011
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It seems that these things happen in trends or work alongside with the advancement in technology.

Those considered nerds back in the day, were just people exploring new ideas. Most of the people I saw that were considered “popular” were those who were shut down from those ideas. However, as technology improves, those that were the nerds back in the day, become the icons we see.

So, I guess my answer is, yes, nerds still exist. They are just the people pushing the boundaries even further. It's just the medium changes.

However, the one constant I see… they ALL play Dungeons and Dragons…. it's just a fact of life lol. But there's nothing wrong with it hehe.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
blindsk at 9:18PM, Feb. 23, 2011
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Dodger
Then you have the recluses; the people who sit in a dark room and know literally everything there is to know

Like how it is possible to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. You're not a true nerd unless you agree with it!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
ozoneocean at 1:11AM, Feb. 24, 2011
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Armagedon
So, I guess my answer is, yes, nerds still exist. They are just the people pushing the boundaries even further. It's just the medium changes.
We don't consider those people to be “nerds” now. Perspectives have shifted and the general public understands and values the need for science more than they used to. They're rightly respected as clever people.
-though I would be VERY pleased if people grew up a bit more about people who go to business school: no, an MBA doesn't indicate that a person is clever, no matter where they got it. Scientists are clever, business people just make money.
blindsk
Like how it is possible to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. You're not a true nerd unless you agree with it!
This is very much were I'm coming from here: Star Wars was ALWAYS a major pop-culture phenomenon. …not a nerdy subculture thing.
The Kessel run stuff is part of another pop-culture construction about the stereotype of an “ideal” nerd, not actually nerdy info, since it's so widely accessible.

Your nerds were more likley to argue about obscure things that no one recall from the original Star Trek series or something. Or the beneficial qualities of a battleaxe of +5 smiting in D&D maybe?
I dunno…







 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM

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