Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Nerd, Geek, or Dork

I have a confession to make: I’m a nerd. And a geek. And a dork.

The way I understand it, the fundamental differences between these three awesome personality traits are:

  • Nerd: Someone who loves to learn. May have an academic-type passion, like science, math, or languages. Prides herself on having a strong grasp of a particular subject.
  • Geek: Someone who is enthusiastic about a “non-traditional” hobby, pastime, or kind of entertainment. Common types of geeks include comic geeks, video game geeks, sci-fi geeks, and gadget geeks.
  • Dork: Someone who is unconcerned with standard social conventions. A dork may come across as socially awkward, but often it’s because we’re so busy being nerds or geeks that we forget about other people.

How about you, Persephoneers? Which, if any, of these categories describes you? Or, like me, do you hit the trifecta?

36 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Nerd, Geek, or Dork”

Total trifecta. Always have, probably always will. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
But is it possible to also be a cool nerd/dork/geek? Or at least badass?

Sidebar: the ants in my house figured out they can get water if they crawled down the airbubbler tubing in my fish’s tank. Now the fish has figured out it can lurk just below the air bubbles and wait for an ant, jump up, snag it, and eat it. He’s just a GOLDFISH! This makes me love him so much.  It’s freaking amazing to watch.


That nerd thing: I have a tendency to get really absorbed in a subject and want to learn everything about it, even when there’s no super good reason for it. I sometimes find it annoying about myself: for instance, shouldn’t I spend my Saturday doing normal things, instead of glued to my laptop researching some ridiculous topic? But I’m trying to make my peace with the fact that my brain just works that way.

Oo…I’m definitely a nerd and a geek and occasionally a dork too–maybe more than occasionally. :) Even Pottermore proved the first two by sorting me into Ravenclaw. Ha! I can be a dork, and I don’t mind it, when I hang out in groups of people.

Definitely a nerd, possibly a book geek, maybe a dork because I tend to talk about my favorite things way too much and people seem to find it off putting.  Now, I NEED to hijack for a minute here.  It’s IMPORTANT, because this site got me interested in this show and I’m confused.

Started watching Dr. Who.  (I started with the 2005 reboot, though.)  I’m only three episodes in, but I’m a little confused.  And hopefully you can explain this or tell me that it will BE explained.  Here’s what I don’t get:  His planet was destroyed.  He, and his fellow planeteers, are time traveling aliens.  Now, going with relevant time travel theory (Ie, all time must exist simultaneously) wouldn’t that mean that he WOULDN’T be the last Time Lord left?  Like, if they’re all running around all over time, then wouldn’t he run into his fellow Time Lords now and then?  If they can exist at any point in time they want to (Thanks to the TARDIS) why aren’t there other ones still around?

This bothers me immensely and I need it to be cleared up at some point.  Thank you.

Eventually there will be an episode that explains “fixed points in time and space” that can’t be changed or altered by anyone without the universe coming undone. The Timelord/Dalek war is one of those points, so anyone who was there is gone now. They never fully explain why he would never accidentally bump into someone in his travels except that it would loop his path through time and space which also creates difficulties (there’s another episode about that). In fact there’s only one character who successfully loops him without complete destruction happening, but I’m not going to tell you about it because it’s a Huge Spoiler. So long story short, keep watching; the show explains its universe’s rules pretty well a little at a time.

I hope you’re enjoying the show. :)

@veruna basically hit the points. They also refer to that war as the “Time War,” and it’s supposed to have happened “outside of time” or something like that. In my mind, it’s sort of like the people who were killed in that war had been “cut” out of the time-space continuum.

Thanks, ladies.  I have a hard time suspending disbelief if there’s sciencey stuff afoot.  I’m REALLY enjoying it (it falls into my love of “campy fun”) but that was bugging me and making suspension of disbelief hard.  I’m just happy to know it gets explained in time.

I can be all three, but I’m not all of them all of the time necessarily; I can force myself to be…more sociable than my introverted self really wants to be, for example. I’m an awesome networker for limited bursts of time, but it drains me. If I’m my ‘true’ self, I am amazingly socially awkward. And, lately, I have found that my tolerance for accepting others’ social norms feels oppressive to me. For instance, I HATE shaking hands. I think it’s kind of gross, and passive-aggressive, and there’s no real good reason for it. So I stopped shaking hands, because I am uncomfortable with it, but then some people think it’s rude not to. Well, I think it’s rude to try and force someone to do something they’re uncomfortable with just because it’s the ‘socially done’ thing to do. And I think it’s rude to not respect someone’s desire to not shake hands and make it an issue. So trying to make me shake hands feels like bullying to me, but of course I’M the bad guy for not doing it. SO annoying. Ugh.

As for the geek stuff, I’ve always loved sci-fi and music and movies and pop culture and technology, and I got my kids into comics and video games so I could live vicariously through them. But I try to avoid the more dork-geek crossover communities where you have to ‘prove’ your worth through being drilled on the amount of trivia you know. I like knowing facts, but I grew really tired of having to ‘earn cred’ to impress people. It started to make it less fun, and why be into it when it’s not fun?

And the nerd thing…I’ve always been pro-active in learning, but again, it’s something I do for myself, not to impress others. My patience for people who want to play dueling-banjo-intellect is almost non-existent at this point. I do love people sharing information and exchanging ideas, but I tune out with the people who just want to spew out regurgitated words that they read or heard somewhere.

TL;DR; I am a grump, and get off my lawn :)

I feel you on the geek-cred thing. I wonder if people are harder on women about it, cause we can’t possibly be a geek like them! :/

Okay, so I never watched Battlestar Galactica, but I used to be able to recognize which Star Trek: TNG episode I was about to watch just from seeing the title or the first couple minutes.

For me, I think the problem is twofold:

First, I do tend to have to ‘prove’ myself harder than men do. I used to work a secondary p/t job as an Apple Specialist (and I knew my stuff). Guys would come in and either drill me to ‘make sure’ I knew what I was talking about, or would refuse to have a ‘girl’ help them. The guys who worked there would even ask me for the answers in front of the customers, but without the male filter my words were considered meaningless.

Second, having knowledge REPEATEDLY reduces me to ‘sexy.’ Oooh, I know about computers, that’s hot. Ooh, it’s so sexy when I talk about Doctor Who. I am capable of liking things and thinking things without it being about serving to turn on a guy. Couple that with being a redhead (with glasses) and I constantly get reduced to wish-fulfillment. It got to the point where I had to start backing out of the tech community because I got so tired of every guy I know thinking it was a right of theirs to inform me that they ‘had a crush’ on me and that I was expected to be flattered with it (or else, what? I’d, again, be the bad guy).

Ugh, I feel you. There’s a reason why, despite my love of geeky things, I do not tend to consider myself part of “geek culture.” Geek culture as a whole makes it abundantly clear that it either doesn’t believe I belong, or that I only belong as a sex object. So, I only frequent geeky spaces that don’t try to continually “remind” me of this.

That is very true! As much as I like sci fi and video games, they are definitely created with the male gaze in mind. It frustrates me that so many of the games I enjoy playing can be misogynistic. Great example: Assassin’s Creed. Awesome game play, great story and concept, but Ezio Auditore is such a douche. Women aren’t portrayed well either.

Oh Ezio, the biggest Mary-Sue to ever exist. I fucking hate Ezio. I remember throwing a fit about the portrayal of his “love interest” in Ass-Creed: Brotherhood. She has an injured ankle…or something…(it’s not like they SAY why she can’t walk), so he has to carry her. And set her down whenever any killing needs to be done. And she doesn’t move. She just expresses that she doesn’t want to be left behind.

Talk about making a supposedly strong female character entirely helpless and stripping away her agency.

It’s legit to be injured and not be able to walk, but that was just…ridiculous.

Yes! That quest was so annoying! I think she was injured because Lucrezia had walloped her with a stick. Um…? It was even more annoying because she had seemed strong in previous portrayals.

Even when there are women who are assassins themselves, they are relegated to working through the brothels because apparently, a woman is only as strong as her vagina. (There is one exception to this in Brotherhood that I’ve noticed thus far in that you can recruit women to your assassin’s guild.)

Oh god, yeah. And it’s not like we really get to see competent women doing all that stuff they supposedly do. The brothel houses are basically just turned into “safe houses.”

I did enjoy getting to recruit women to the assassin’s guild. But I thought the whole recruiting thing was a superfluous mechanic to the game anyway…

I didn’t like Brotherhood very much. Can you tell I didn’t like it very much? The only bit I really really enjoyed was the crossbow. I abused the hell out of that weapon.

The recruiting thing is kind of annoying, and even having six recruits or so doesn’t help when I really need it (like when I’m trying to get rid of certainBorgia captains that WILL NOT DIE!). However, the crossbow has been very handy.I wish that the game makers would make a sequel with a woman in the lead, hopefully without making her another Lara Croft.

The BF and I’s consensus on the progression of the Ass-Creed games:

First game ——————————Last game

Bad gameplay ———————–Good gameplay

Good story —————————- Holy fucking shitass story

These are analogous continuums.

I would LOVE an Ass-creed with a woman as the main historical character. It would totally be in-keeping with the setup they have, since it’s Desmond’s genetics. Nowhere did they say it had to be MALE genetics! Of course, as you say, they’d have to do it right.

No Laura Crofts or Bayonettas for me, please and thank you!

How peculiar. For the past few days I’ve been wondering quite what the actual difference is between nerd and geek. I don’t think I really fall into either, though, as it happens. I do love to learn, and though I have – what I consider to be – a strong grasp on several subjects, it never seems to be quite enough to be considered properly nerdy. Though I’m quite fond of nerdfighteria. As for being a geek, I don’t think I have the required enthusiasm. I was thinking about it as I moved our graphic novels earlier – they’re much enjoyed, but not pursued with the same vigour as friends of ours do. And being a dork? By my interpretation of “standard social conventions”, they’re a concern, for sure. Perhaps it’s down to the Britishness I can’t quite shake. So I think I come under the “Jack of all trades, master of none” category.

And so, I think I shall perhaps carry on with acknowledging my affinity for felines. It suits my laziness perfectly.

I know I fall in nerd status. But not dork. I have a very ‘people person’ type personality.

I do think my geekyness could be rather uncommon. I geek out on gardening (as one grasping onto their remaining months of 20somethings, that’s pretty unusual). But then I geek out on fashion which is not uncommon.But maybe since all my friends are science, tech and comic book kids, what is unusual to us may not be unusual to others and vise versa.

So, I’ll sit in the nerd chair and just kick my feet up onto the geek seat and have a beer.

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