calling all nerds

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annapt
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calling all nerds

Postby annapt » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:06 pm

Dear Long Winters fans,

I am new to the boards and a bit apprehensive about posting because everyone here seems to know everyone else, SO I want to get to know you all. Here is my idea:

John said last night at the Bowery Ballroom show that his fan base is mostly nerds, and I am curious to see if it holds true. It certainly does for my friends who are into TLW, but most of my friends are nerds anyway. The question is: would you call yourself a nerd? what kind?

me, I'm a biology nerd, with a side of art history nerd thrown in there somewhere.

-anna

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Postby sour29 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:51 pm

I'm a geek, which is a completely different thing than a nerd. So I guess I'm an abnormality. But yeah: Film Geek. *raises hand*

Hi Anna. I'm Jason. I spend entirely too much time here, and I'm just getting to know who's who myself. Don't be intimidated, because I'm undoubtedly the biggest jerk here, and I'm usually pretty nice. I think sometimes my (lack of) humour is misinterpreted. I say it's lost in Canadian-to-American translation. See? I spell humour with a U. That's how you can tell I'm the odd one out. I will also fight tooth and nail with anyone who says they prefer MP3 to lossless audio. To the death, in one case. No one misses inverted/converted anyway. KIDDING.

But seriously. Welcome. Put your feet up and get comfortable. Stay awhile. We like new recruits here.

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Postby annapt » Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:29 pm

sour29 wrote:I'm a geek, which is a completely different thing than a nerd.


so is that in a "bites-the-heads-off-live-chickens" sense, or no? :P

is there any reason you prefer geek over nerd? i am curious about these things!

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Postby Liesbeth » Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:03 am

does it mean I'm a nerd when I love a topic about our nerdiness? I'm a nerdy collector, that's for sure.
and hey, I also spell humour with a u, because I'm closer to England than the US. Any American spelling I use is entirely unconscious and may be pointed out to me - which is not a stab at American English, but once you make a choice you ought to stick to it.

anyway, long way to say welcome to the board

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Postby grant » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:26 am

I usually use "nerd" to refer to a second-level geek (one who has become aware of hir socio-psychological difference, but not yet embraced it -- a geek in denial).

But I realize that for the most part this is a private languange.

I embrace my inner nerd and celebrate it in all its wretchedness. This makes be a third-level geek.

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Postby annapt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:28 am

grant wrote:I usually use "nerd" to refer to a second-level geek (one who has become aware of hir socio-psychological difference, but not yet embraced it -- a geek in denial).


interesting. i've had many a debate with friends about the distinction between geek, nerd, and dork, and i've never come to a conclusion, really, but i've always gravitated toward the word "nerd", for no reason in particular. perhaps, by your definition, i would be a geek of some level - i certainly embrace my nerdiness.

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Postby sour29 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:46 am

annapt wrote:so is that in a "bites-the-heads-off-live-chickens" sense, or no? :P

is there any reason you prefer geek over nerd? i am curious about these things!
I've never been close enough to a live chicken to either confirm or deny. Or at least, not that I'll tell you about.

I prefer geek over nerd simply because that's what my high school film teacher called us -- the Film Geeks. It just sort of stuck. Sounds a bit better than "the Film Nerds", too, doesn't it?

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Postby annapt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:55 am

you're right, sour29, Film Geek has a much better ring to it. Maybe that's why I prefer nerd - bio nerd works better than bio geek.

I see you're from Toronto - I'm road-tripping there in a couple weeks. Anything I absolutely must do when I'm there? Any good bands coming to play between October 15 and 18?

(can you tell that I'm milking this opportunity to meet new people for all it's worth?)

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Postby the new girl » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:14 am

I'm a nerd. Bigtime :)

Case in point, in the past 4 days or so, I've explained both organic chemistry and cell biology on a related band's message board. Sad, sad, sad. I'm completely secure in my nerdiness though, so it's ok :)

As for the distinction between nerd/geek/dork, we've had this discussion in the lab several times (we mostly associate with nerd as well...possibly because biology nerd does have a nice ring to it), and we've come up with a couple very unscientific conclusions.

Dork: This one is the most distinct of the three. A dork is someone who has many nerd/geek qualities but lacks any semblance or social skills. This one is probably the most insulting of the three as well--I'd call a coworker a nerd or geek in jest, but most people I work with don't fall into the dork category.

Geek/Nerd: These are pretty hard to differentiate and I think it's more of a personal preference thing. The lab consensus however, is that geek is more applicable to somebody who works with technology/computers/etc, while a nerd is more of an investigative type, and somebody who is maybe a little more capable of working/interacting with others than a geek.

The dork is the one with thick black glasses that are taped together :)

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Postby annapt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:26 am

new girl, your definitions are the closest to how i see them.

and !!!!!organic chemistry!!!!cell biology!!!!

glad to know there's someone else on here who enjoys these things. i'm taking advanced organic next semester, and cell bio right now. i'm loving cell bio. i'm one of the few people i know who appreciate how elegant and sexy science can be. i guess that's what i get for going to a largely science-phobic college.

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Postby philistien » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:31 pm

the new girl wrote:I'm a nerd. Bigtime :)

Case in point, in the past 4 days or so, I've explained both organic chemistry and cell biology on a related band's message board. Sad, sad, sad. I'm completely secure in my nerdiness though, so it's ok :)

As for the distinction between nerd/geek/dork, we've had this discussion in the lab several times (we mostly associate with nerd as well...possibly because biology nerd does have a nice ring to it), and we've come up with a couple very unscientific conclusions.

Dork: This one is the most distinct of the three. A dork is someone who has many nerd/geek qualities but lacks any semblance or social skills. This one is probably the most insulting of the three as well--I'd call a coworker a nerd or geek in jest, but most people I work with don't fall into the dork category.

Geek/Nerd: These are pretty hard to differentiate and I think it's more of a personal preference thing. The lab consensus however, is that geek is more applicable to somebody who works with technology/computers/etc, while a nerd is more of an investigative type, and somebody who is maybe a little more capable of working/interacting with others than a geek.

The dork is the one with thick black glasses that are taped together :)


i totally just made the connection that you are the same person on both boards. wicked cool. i'm all for knowledge and awesomeness and if those things make me a nerd/geek/whatever, then such is life.

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Postby John » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:27 pm

I am a nerd because I will happily talk about any esoteric topic with complete earnestness, I believe that information is intrinsically exciting, I aspire to always use my language and science knowledge at the very outside of its envelope, risking making humiliating mistakes, and I'm unnconcerned with what people think of me enough to act this way in almost any company.

I'm not a geek because I get laid.

I'm not a dork because there's no gravy on my shirt.

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Postby annapt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:58 pm

John wrote:and I'm unnconcerned with what people think of me enough to act this way in almost any company.


the mark of a true nerd, i think. perhaps i will test your willingness to engage in conversation about these things (as well as that of the other posters here):

i've been reading my cell biology book and it mentioned the fact that all living organisms are come from lines of repeated cell divisions going back to the origin of life itself. do you ever think about things like that? the fundamental biological basis for everything? these ideas fascinate me.

...or maybe that is just my own, very-biologically-minded outlook on the world.

new girl, above, mentioned an interest in cell biology, so hopefully i'm not the lone person here who thinks about these things.

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Postby LoveSickJerk » Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:13 pm

grant wrote:I embrace my inner nerd and celebrate it in all its wretchedness. This makes be a third-level geek.


Hey, so am I! But when equipped with my comic books, camera, and iPod, I can cast fourth-level spells.

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Postby the new girl » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:00 pm

This might start me moving closer to the realm of geek-dom (although if I use John's justification for not being a geek, I'm safe), but there's little that I enjoy more than some good science-philosophy debate/discussion. I was lucky enough to have a good philosophy department when I was an undergrad, and those classes required such a different way of thinking than most biology/chemistry that they were great fun (writing my reasoning/arguments for phil. papers also made my science writing 100x better).

As for the origins of life & evolution to where we are today, one of my favorite topics to read/discuss/think about is how that single cell evolved into us. It's absolutely mind-boggling and a little overwhelming, so I usually concentrate on the ends of that process...

...the start, aka how did conditions suddenly allow for those early single-celled organisms to come to exist? Probably due to my good old liberal arts-Jesuit education, there's always the possibility of some kind of Creator kicking around the back of my mind, but I think if that's the case, he/she/it played a role really, really early on then was pretty darn hands-off after that (none of this [un]intelligent design crap for me). I had one hell of a good time defending/arguing that viewpoint in a Faith & Reason class a few years back :)

...and the end, aka what's really the difference between the great apes & us? There are some really interesting theories out there about brain function/differences (although they often initiate my anti-neuroscience gag-reflex...) and about the evolution of thought/ideas/language. The question of how we're different from the great apes often comes down to our ability to use language and our ability to think symbolically rather than merely literally and there's a ton of good literature out there trying to figure out exactly what it is that makes us different. I find it incredibly interesting (I said I'm a nerd :).

Finally, I love me some environmental/animal ethics, even if they make me feel a little guilty sometimes...I'm pretty good on the environmental end--biking, recycling, buying wind power, not buying crap with styrofoam/excess packaging, etc, etc. but I wouldn't make a very good vegan so there's always a little twinge of guilt about not buying free-range/open pasture eggs/meat whenever I read the animal ethics stuff (that said, I couldn't put down Peter Singer's new book...damn readable for philosophy).

Ok, I suppose I've put off work long enough for now :)

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Postby annapt » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:51 pm

New Girl, we're on the same page about a lot of this. I've also been lucky to have some very good philosophy classes, which have informed a lot of my thinking about biology and yes, improved my science writing.

as for the animal ethics issue: that's something I've struggled with a huge amount. I was a vegetarian for seven years, and during the last few meatless years I worked in a lab that conducted medical research on mice. That caused a lot of strange feelings for me - I won't eat an animal, but I will sacrifice one and dissect out its adrenal glands? How do I resolve that discrepancy? In the end, I decided that to some extent it wasn't something I could resolve, more just a feeling I had about what I could or couldn't do with a clean conscience.

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Postby sour29 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:15 pm

annapt wrote:you're right, sour29, Film Geek has a much better ring to it. Maybe that's why I prefer nerd - bio nerd works better than bio geek.

I see you're from Toronto - I'm road-tripping there in a couple weeks. Anything I absolutely must do when I'm there? Any good bands coming to play between October 15 and 18?

(can you tell that I'm milking this opportunity to meet new people for all it's worth?)


It's hard for me to say what you must absolutely do in Toronto, because I've lived here all my life and I don't really know what's the cool, touristy things to do. I guess the CN Tower is the big one (pun unintentional), there's a Blue Jays games, which I think are usually pretty cheap, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Yonge St. and Queen St. West are the main shopping areas -- the Eaton Center mall is at the intersection of them, conveniently...the Science Center may be fun, but I haven't been in ages so I don't know how cool it would be to someone over the age of 12. Castle Loma is one of the things everyone loves, but I can't vouch for because I've never been. Lots of decent food and live music down Spadina. Honest Ed's at Bloor and Bathurst is a big massive store that has discount everything. Down the street from Honest Ed's is the best used music store in Toronto, Sonic Boom. And across from Sonic Boom is Lee's Palace, where the LW's are playing on Wednesday (woot!) and Viva Voce is playing on the 17th. I can't vouch for if they're any good, because my CD is in the mail...but they're on Barsuk, so they must be awesome. And it's only $8.50, so yeah. I'll probably go. I don't know if you're into Sparta at all, but they're playing on the 15th, too... but at what might be my least favourite venue ever, the Opera House. I walked out on Rilo Kiley there the sound was so bad (take note on that John).

So, yeah. That's all I really know about, sadly, since I led a sheltered childhood and wasn't allowed downtown until I was like 17 or 18. Then I went to University in Ottawa, so I haven't had a chance to really explore. Hope that's of some help, anyhow!

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Postby ohiofan » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:39 pm

Going by John's guide, I'm definitely a nerd. A spiritual development, love nerd.

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Postby Betty Felon » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:10 am

annapt wrote:new girl, above, mentioned an interest in cell biology, so hopefully i'm not the lone person here who thinks about these things.


Oh honey, you gotta stop worrying about such things. I think you'll find this is your new ehome now. You can fish for a discussion of pretty much anything and we'll bite (excepting the viewpoints of one or the other highly polarized american political parties-- which will be politely ignored.) We are all really nice nerds here.

Anyway, I'm Betty. I'm a second-level nerd, or nerd pupa. Despite my age and all logical conclusions, I haven't fully accepted it yet. I am continually surprised with how remarkably well I fit in with people of the nerd description. Also, I can't control my nerd powers yet, being incapable of consistently distinguishing between what is esoteric and uninteresting to normal people and what is not.

(I think this is because I grew up in a midwestern, workingclass, irish-catholic neighborhood and have a giant extended family that values hard work and simple pleasures(football. dogs. potatoes. and so on.) Thus, acknowledging my nerdity becomes a class issue. Stand back, elitist!)

Someday, if the temperatures are favorable, I will become a mature nerd, come out to my parents, and reclaim the word as a source of pride and strength.

But until then, I'm happy to discuss in scary detail damn near any nerdy thing you like, as long as you don't make me admit to actually being a nerd.

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Postby Liesbeth » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:39 am

my husband once invited two Jehova's witnesses in for a cuppa and a discussion, and now they keep coming round to bring more reading materials when he's not there to tell them he's not really interested. I happily accept it, it makes for interesting reading. The latest brochure was all about Intelligent Design. The whole concept of ID still amazes me to no end. I only found out about that a few years ago: even growing up in a pretty Catholic environment, no one ever questioned evolution.

I am terribly at discussions. At this very moment I'm working on an assignment where I have to dissect a piece from the newspaper's opinion page and counter false reasonings. There are plenty of them in the piece I'm analyzing, but I'm terribly at putting my finger on where exactly the thoughts go wrong.

Ah but environmental and animal ethics, I do love me a discussion about that. I've lived in a meeting centre in France, where we had some sheep and goats. I had the hardest time getting people to respect that I eat vegetarian. Yet when someone suggested we slaughter one of the lambs (totally freerange, would have lived a happy if somewhat short life) all those meateaters were appalled, even more so to hear that I would have eaten that meat. I think it would help if people would actually get exposed to livestock a bit more, so they know where their meat comes from; it might diminish the hypocrisy a little. /end rant


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