126 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

“Like “geek”, “hacker” is a word with a well-defined meaning that does not admit arbitrary redefinition.”

Hahaha, since when? Man, every example you bring up is someone directly engineered to subvert your own point moreso than the last one. Seriously, I’ve seen just as many people argue over the “true definition” of what it means to be a hacker as I have over what it means to be a nerd.

Protip: there is no “well-defined meaning” for subcultures and hobbies like what you’re trying to suggest. You won’t ever be able to point to one, and only one set of traits, attitudes, and practices and say “THIS is what it truly means to be a nerd/hacker/sports fan/whatever” that people will agree with you on. Maybe people should stop trying to do that so much. The underlying problem isn’t conflation of opinion and fact, the underlying problem is people trying to pass off opinion as fact. I refute the assertion that you need to be obsessive and/or socially impaired to be a nerd. That sounds to me like the sort of thing a bunch of obsessive, socially-impaired people would say to try and keep people less socially maladjusted out of their super secret clubhouse, and anybody who earnestly believes that can go right on fuming.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Our culture mixes cultural fashion/ingroup identifiers and factual descriptors.”

““overly intellectual”, “obsessive” and “socially impaired”” – all factual descriptions, no value judgements here, nope, none at all. Totally clear and discernible traits easy to identify in oneself.

ReplyReply
mygif
FeepingCreature said on October 16th, 2012 at 7:55 am

Hey, blame Wikipedia. And yeah, I’m gonna fight for “literal” too.

ReplyReply
mygif

Point is, this aren’t factual descriptions, and if you argue that ‘nerd’ is, that you’ve got to, at the very least, find a better definition.

ReplyReply
mygif

Coming back to this I do want to clarify my earlier post, in that I didn’t see this image and go “ARTIST HATE WOMEN HULK SMASH RAR”…I’ve just seen enough similar jokes to assume “Look at this frakking geek girl, shyeah right” was meant to be the joke here, since it usually is when I see a cartoon like this.

And then went off and thought about everything else in the world.

ReplyReply
mygif

While I’m for the idea of nerddom being more inclusive and not being so dickish about who is and who isn’t a nerd, we as nerds do need to do a LITTLE bit of policing our community.

Noah Antwiler said it best on his Spoony site when he said that if the Anime/JRPG community doesn’t start doing a better job of this, they will end up with a reputation and being remembered for being a bunch of people who do creepy cosplay (because the creepier stuff people cosplay as is more memorable than reasonable people just wearing Cloud and Sephiroth) and create disturbing fanmade porn.

Yes, we need to make sure people don’t associate us with fans like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, people who look down their nose at “non-nerds,” who don’t know the right amount of continuity, the n00bs, etc. because they have a chip on their shoulder from when society used to frown upon our particular entertainment of choice.

But we also don’t need the patronizing people who find the most tenuous links to us because they HAVE to be liked by everyone that’s around them and thus they need their nerd friends to feel like they’re one of them (like a politician pandering for votes).

I have friends who aren’t nerds, but some of them do have moments where they say stuff like what’s in this ad, and I’m thinking, “Dude, 90% of your day revolves around ESPN and COD. It’s nice you want to make me feel like less of an outsider, but telling me about how you play COD doesn’t make you just like me because you don’t deal with any of the admittedly small stigmata I do for liking what I like.”

ReplyReply
mygif
Anticorium said on October 16th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

“hacker” is a word with a well-defined meaning that does not admit arbitrary redefinition

Of course it doesn’t. The word means the same thing that it did the day it was coined: college pranksters who really, really like model trains.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on October 16th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

But we also don’t need the patronizing people who find the most tenuous links to us because they HAVE to be liked by everyone that’s around them and thus they need their nerd friends to feel like they’re one of them (like a politician pandering for votes).

And …. why?

What about someone saying they’re a nerd, because: “I think it was cool that time when Kirk said, ‘What does Khan need with a starship.’ In Star Wars VI.”; in any way shape or form affects your nerdom to the point that they have to be ‘policed’?

We don’t need them, because they’re just ‘pretending’ to like it so that their nerd friends like them?

Really?

Yes, yes we do.

Because they *are* us.

Maybe they will never go to a Star Trek Convention with their own homemade uniform. Maybe they’ll never do the homework it takes to get their I.D.I.C. badge.. but they’re still us.

I am far happier with people expressing a connection to the fanbase, however tenuous, to people disregarding it, dismissing it, and deriding it. That you think it’s a problem, to be honest, confuses the fuck out of me.

ReplyReply
mygif

And …. why?

Uh, because I just said it was patronizing, which also tends to be insulting. For one, while I’d say a large part of my life is comics, I wouldn’t say comics define me. They’re just one aspect of who I am. So when someone who is trying to get me to like them sizes me up and decides that “nerd” is what’s most important about me and tries to throw me a bone based on their stereotypes, I get annoyed. Just be nice to me and don’t judge me for what I happen to like; you are not just like me because you checked out the first volume of Scott Pilgrim from the library to see what all the hype was about the movie, so please don’t pretend that you are when we both know better.

I say we need to keep some kind of standard for what it takes to be a nerd; now, I’d say the entry bar should be much lower than, say, Comic Book Guy would set it, but lets not completely get rid of the bar.

Basically, anybody can be a nerd, you are just a nerd for something specific, not a nerd in general (which is the use of the word we should get rid of, since it’s essentially obsolete). As my dad says, everyone has some kind of hobby they’re obsessed with beyond what most people would say is normal. It can be sports, music, comics, video games, movies, television, etc.

Someone who owns an issue of Shonen Jump is not suddenly a comic nerd because they enjoyed that issue when it came out two years ago. You have a passing interest in comics, sure, but you are not a nerd for comics. I may like Star Wars a lot, but I wouldn’t say I’m a sci-fi nerd since Star Wars is about the only real sci-fi movie I really love, and it’s more fantasy than sci-fi.

If I was talking to a girl and she was in love with the Scott Pilgrim books and it got her reading some other comics, she’s definitely a comic nerd because she gets a similar level of enjoyment out of comics that I do; I love the X-Men, she loves Scott Pilgrim, but we both really like comics in general. However, you are going to have the misogynistic douche-bag “real nerds” who say Scott Pilgrim is for fan-girl wannabes and they aren’t really one of “us” because of that. This is the kind of person who should be vote-kicked from the comic nerd community because they don’t pass the bar either because of their intensely judgmental personality.

So here’s my point about policing: “nerd” shouldn’t be a catch-all for people like us and something you have to “earn” in our eyes. It’s something that anyone can be, what’s important is the adjective that describes the noun. Basically, you’re someone who likes a particular thing a lot, and where we should have standards is in regards to how much do you have to like something to “like it a lot.” Because this is a hard thing to determine, err on the side of the n00b and keep the bar low. Just don’t get rid of it.

ReplyReply
mygif
Patrick Rawley said on October 16th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

There’s a fan hierarchy. Of course there is. But it goes down, not up.

“I like the show (or saw the movie, read the comic, played the game) but at least I don’t go to conventions.”
“I go to conventions but at least I don’t dress up like my favorite character.”
“I go to conventions and dress up as my favorite character but at least I don’t write fan fiction.”
And then “erotic fan fiction”. And then it gets a little weird for awhile and ends up with you thinking you’re a cat.

Listen. I really like lingerie. I just got into it and I like it and I want to know more about it. But everytime I walk into a lingerie store, all I get are funny looks and an unhelpful attitude. I get it, I’m a man, what am I doing in a lingerie store? Even if it’s not “weird”, it may kinda creep people out. But don’t I have a right to be there, if I’m an enthusiast? I’m not bothering anyone, I’m just taking an interest in a new-found hobby. I wasn’t into it when I was twelve, I was too busy reading comic books.

Being a geek is like being a London cabdriver. You gotta have The Knowledge, mate. You gotta know how to Get There. When you’re new, you need to study or you need someone to show you the way. Ain’t no sense in making fun of someone who doesn’t know something.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Hey, blame Wikipedia. And yeah, I’m gonna fight for “literal” too.”

Nah, I’ll blame people like you who look at a Wikipedia definition and think that means they know authoritatively how to judge whether someone is sufficiently nerdy or not.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Anonymous: So basically, if you start talking about your love of comics with someone, and they respond back by talking about comics they like, your response is, “Screw you for trying to discuss a common interest with me! Your attempts to make conversation display your ignorance of my favorite subject! I suspect that far from being genuinely passionate about comics, you’re just expressing interest in me as a person by trying to find out what I enjoy!”

…something tells me this is not going to catch on.

ReplyReply
mygif
Christian Williams said on October 16th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

@John Seavey.

Thank you. Saved me a much longer post, and was funnier to boot. 🙂

ReplyReply
mygif

John, wow, that was not what I was saying at all. Way to completely miss the point. That post might have actually been funny if it had anything to do with what I was saying.

My point is don’t patronize me. I can tell when someone is taking a genuine interest in what I have to say and when they’re being patronizing or trying to get my attention in an insincere way. So don’t do it.

Let’s say someone asks me about my interests, and makes a genuine attempt at discourse with me about comics; I’m going to get along with them because they actually give a fuck about what is coming out of my mouth, and that’s hard to fake. If they try to pigeon-hole me with stereotypes, telling me the things they think I want to hear to get the conversation over with, it’s not going to be hard to figure out what they’re doing and I am going to be insulted. Part of having social skills is being able to pick up on this shit.

ReplyReply
mygif

Can’t speak for all stores, but my local Victoria’s Secret is always helpful if/when they get male customers. The women who work there are super nice and not about to look down on anyone for their lifestyle choices.

Just throwing that out there.

ReplyReply
mygif
thatweirdguy said on October 17th, 2012 at 9:24 am

put it this way:
I like a lot of k-pop, have for a while, but now that psy has hit it big, there are a lot of people who are acting like its cool.
what if much like comic book movies are now considered ‘cool’, all of a sudden k pop was popular not because you liked the music, but because media saturation was so huge.

ReplyReply
mygif
Anticorium said on October 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

all of a sudden k pop was popular not because you liked the music, but because media saturation was so huge

It takes a lot of effort for me to imagine millions of people going around saturating themselves with things they hate just because a view counter on YouTube told them to.

ReplyReply
mygif

Ask yourself, do you really want to be the guy saying, essentially, “Well I liked [THING] before it was cool”? Really? The sort of person who exists only as a mockable stereotype of elitist fans whose love for something is so fickle that it can’t survive contact with other fans? Because that’s essentially what you’re saying, thatweirdguy. If superhero movies are “cool” now it’s not because the subliminal messages Big Media encoded into all those TV commercials said so, it’s because Marvel figured out how to reliably make decent-to-excellent superhero movies with appeal that extends beyond the fanboy threshold which, believe me, is what every purveyor of “nerd media” wishes they could do.

“Well now that superhero movies are mainstream people are acting like it’s cool.” Hey, y’know what? Maybe it’s because they are cool. Cooler than comics at any rate. If people seem to think that the Marvel movies are awesome but don’t care much about the comics, it might have something to do with the current state of American superhero comics being more than a bit shit.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Anonymous: Oh, I see! You don’t dislike people who share interests with you, you dislike being patronized! Then you, much like many of the women who have been posting in this thread, must really hate it when some alpha-geek asshole insinuates that you don’t really enjoy the things you enjoy because you don’t have an instant and total command of the trivia associated with it.

Face it, patronizing behavior is far more likely to come from those geekier-than-thou than it is from people who don’t know or care much about the subject. If there’s something that needs “policing”, it’s that. Because that’s what keeps people from getting into nerdy pursuits, the feeling that if you don’t have an instant and total commitment to the subject, you’re a bad person and should shut up. And that’s not something that casual nerds are contributing to.

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on October 18th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

@John Seavey: “So basically, if you start talking about your love of comics with someone, and they respond back by talking about comics they like, your response is, “Screw you for trying to discuss a common interest with me!”

Replace “comics” with “empirics” in that sentence.

ReplyReply
mygif

@highlyverbal: Your complaint that this conversation is insufficiently about you can be addressed another time. 🙂

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on October 21st, 2012 at 1:23 pm

It is so revealing that your inconsistencies are mentally filed as “about” others. How internet-comment-thread of you.

(And if I wanted it to be about me, this low hanging fruit was so tasty and tempting:

@ aboynamedart: “[Big Bang Theory] substitutes wallowing in stereotypes for promoting “acceptance” of geekdom. More to the point, it takes a set of interests that can be part of a good life for a life sentence-as-lifestyle. Is there any doubt that the show will end with Leonard and/or Shelton becoming “normal” because Penny socialized him?”

YOU can be my Penny, bro!)

ReplyReply
mygif

@highlyverbal: Your continuing complaint that this conversation is insufficiently about you can be addressed another time. 🙂

ReplyReply
mygif

All anyone proves by getting twisted over this one ad is that one: they love to jump on the armchair activist social justice bandwagon and get the automatic kudos that come from that, and two: they don’t understand how to take a joke that might, MIGHT hit close to home. Can’t you just learn to deal with it? You should just learn to deal with it.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Wow: I would counter that by pointing out that it can all be applied just as well if not better to the people defending the “joke”. You apparently can’t even take criticism of total strangers who say things you find funny, let alone criticisms of your personal beliefs about women.

As to the “armchair activist social justice bandwagon” and the “automatic kudos”…you apparently don’t notice that every time a post like this pops up about treating women like they were human beings, within a few days people start showing up to insult the person who made it by saying things like, “they love to jump on the armchair activist social justice bandwagon and get the automatic kudos that come from that”. Which is a pretty impressive thing not to notice, given that you’re right there at the time. 🙂 Standing up for feminism, even in the simplest and most basic way like blogging about it, brings its share of nastiness. It’s not something you do if you want to hear nice things said about you all the time.

ReplyReply
mygif

I was shocked and more than a bit up set when they put this on the back of Batwoman #13 you know when she teams up with a little know sissy girl called, what’s her name again? oh yeah, FUCKING WONDER WOMAN! The Batwomen readership is mostly girls, whom I’m sure are being told that they’re faking it for male attention as well. Here is a comic that girls of any sexual orientation can look at and think wow, bad ass! Then you get to the adds making fun of us. Yeah….. uh sweet I feel really great about buying your product now.
So way to go DC, for making us feel that we have to justify even being able to like the products that you produce. A solid business model if I’ve ever seen one.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments