Discussion Nerd\Geek, are you one?

Joe Ellis

I've always felt this is a golden question that no one really ever talks about.. are you a nerd?
I don't consider myself as one, and most people I've ever met in my life haven't said that I am.
People have said that I'm slow, but that's cus I have aspergers so I normally take longer to take things in and reply, but no one has ever referred to me as a nerd or a geek.
I was just wondering what everyone else on here has experienced, and whether you actually call yourself a nerd?
I consider nerd & geek to be a negative stereotype, and really everyone is unique and some people have certain things about them that are nerdy, but it's normally kind of cool, like a weird interest in something.
For me, I call people nerds when they just play mindless games online with chat for hours on end, and they have all this lingo and just familiar chat type talk about battle plans and things. I mean, that kind of thing is bad, they're just wasting their lives,, I mean, that's what I call a nerd.

But anyway, I'm really interested to hear what everyone else on here thinks about this :)


I'm interested in why the percentage of programmers with autism is higher than any other group I've ever seen. Strange correlation.
I'd say most people have nerdy qualities. I don't think doing wasteful things is nerdy. Like, I do a lot of psychedelics without any gain. That's not productive at all and I'd be surprised if any one finds it a geeky hobby. But then I do things like.. Magic the gathering as well. Kinda nerdy. Raves/Festivals not so much. Gaming in general, nerdy.
It all kind of balances out for most people. Having no sophisticated or challenging hobbies would be just as bad as having only those interests.


Forum Staff
Aside from peeling off stickers from plastic bottled and sticking them onto me, I prefer not to label myself. (There should be exactly one person here who gets this... :p)

Such terms are often highly subjective and the ways the people I know would interpret them are vastly different, so I avoid them. I'd rather tell people I'm interested in anything related to computers and involved in software development as both a part of my job and my hobby. It gets the point across without any chance of misinterpretation.


Such terms are often highly subjective and the ways the people I know would interpret them are vastly different, so I avoid them.
This is true.

I always took geek to mean someone who was overly obsessed with some hobby or activity, but in a positive way, i.e. making social connections through their interest (sports geek, comic geek, etc). I took nerd to be the anti-social / socially inept version of this, or someone who overly priorities an intellectual pursuit in spite of people.

Some people think the two are the same, or that both are socially inept. Either way, it has negative connotations and I'm not sure anyone wants to label themselves any of these (or should want to) although sometimes being a "geek" is meant to be fashionable in a contrarian way (thick black glasses frames had a reawakening in fashion a few years ago for this reason).
When I was in school, Nerd was mostly a term for overly smart kids. The ones who were good at maths, and science, and even English, etc. Whereas Geeks were just the less popular kids, generally into stuff like video games and DnD, etc.
Both often still used negatively(which is so weird...)
That's still kind of how I see them, so even though I'm not a big fan of labels, in that aforementioned context I always considered myself more a geek when asked, since I'm not that smart but I'm into a lot of stuff.
As defined by Google:

Geek: an unfashionable or socially inept person.

Nerd: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.

I'd say a nerd is someone who knows an excessive amount about a single topic, while others feel being a nerd is about the look or just being smart in general. I always thought geeks were the definition of someone that ate live animals. Woops.

I'm interested in why the percentage of programmers with autism is higher than any other group I've ever seen. Strange correlation.
I hear people with autism are good with repetitious tasks... such as sitting in front of a keyboard for long hours. Then again, that can be said about factory work, but autists aren't comfortable in public and most factories have people, while programming can be done anywhere.
Eh, once I left highschool, I literally lost all negative associations with geekdom, etc behind. Everyone who knows me knows I geek out wildly on tiny bits of lore from the franchises I love, I'm a computer nerd to the very core, but I also play rock music and drink/take drugs with the best of the "cool" peeps (in the popular sense of the word, drinking or drug taking isn't actually cool...do it if you want or don't, whatever) and I'm very successful socially. If someone wants to give me a detailed explanation of how the Star Trek warp engines run based off the latest scientific models (let's say an Alcubierre drive or something), I'm all ears...if someone wants to hit up a party and needs a wingman or a drinking buddy, I'm all ears...

I'm very open in proclaiming myself a geek or a nerd. I see no shame in it whatsoever, but it doesn't define me.


King of Raccoons
Of course im a nerd, who else is going to invent lasers that shoot mosquitos, create your next iphone,
Manage your bank, restore an Apple IIc, softmod game consoles, make your games and the consoles, make your next espn or fifa game,

Of course im a nerd and i love every day of it.