Friday, January 09, 2009

Lynne and the Dork Board

Lynne Featherstone writes:
I am so excited about fronting the new Technology Board for the Party. Clever move by Nick Clegg I think as I think / hope this will be a good match between me and the need for a non-geek, non-nerdy human being to lead the way (vital and lovable though geeks and nerds are!).
Malcolm Redfellow commenting on Iain Dale's blog seems to take exception to this, writing:
How unfluffy and non-chick-lit of her.
I agree with him... Mainly because I'm a nerd and LibertyCat is a geeky nerd. Lynne sounds like she believes we need a liaison officer to communicate with the outside world (Lynne: give me a shout if that's not what you meant! :))

I make the distinction between geeks, nerds and dorks as follows:

Nerd: A cultural group consisting of people who unselfconsciously enjoy 'uncool' things, such as anime movies, role-playing games and science fiction. This list used to include Apple products and computer games. However, since the Nintendo Wii and the iPod, this is no longer the case. Nerds disproportionately work in 'tech' creative jobs, such as computer programming and digital marketing.

Geek: Someone obsessively interested in one or more topics. These topics are usually something non-mainstream and extremely specialised. Men who know 20 years of match scores for obscure non-league teams are, for example, rarely called 'football geeks'. Politically geeky topics Lynne might encounter include Single Transferrable Vote and historical by-elections. Geeks are so passionate about their specialist topic that they could happily talk to someone for six hours about voting irregularities in Upper Snoring from 1923 onwards.

Difference between geeks and nerds: A nerd will watch anime movies. A geek will have libraries of anime movies and spend hours tracking down obscure titles. On a positive note, geeks have made most of humanity's biggest scientific and technological discoveries - obsession is VERY useful.

Dork: Someone who doesn't realise their listener is asleep/dead/has wandered off [delete as appropriate] when talking about voting irregularities in Upper Snoring.

Difference between geeks and dorks: A geek is quite happy to talk about voting irregularities for six hours but, if they're not a dork, they are socially adept enough to realise it's not a great idea. Unless, of course, they've met someone who shares their interest. A dork... just isn't. You can get dorks who aren't geeky or nerdy. A non-geeky, non-nerdy dork might be the boring guy who bellyaches for hours at dinner parties about how much he earns. You look bored and everyone else can see you're bored, but he fails to notice.

In summary: Nerds and geeks aren't dorks. Geeks, nerds and dorks are often lumped together because you may only know you are talking to a geek or a nerd if they're also a dork. If you're not interested in trainspotting or Studio Ghibli cartoons, a non-dorky nerd/geek will wisely stick to chatting about the weather.


  • At 9:57 am , Blogger Will said...

    I use the three terms in the same way. I prefer to be a geek, then a nerd, and don't self-identify with dorkdom.


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