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Thread: Does doing science increase the risk of being nerdy?

  1. #1 Does doing science increase the risk of being nerdy? 
    ox
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    Got to confess: when it comes to the slang terms of nerd and geek I get a bit lost in the fuzziness of their meanings.
    Nerd: ineffective, boring, conventional, studious.
    Geek: as above but also a simpleton.

    Then there is the curious tribe of scentific nerds and geeks. They are not stereotypes but real people. I have even met a few. They have limited social skills. They are fond of technical jargon. The men wear beards and glasses. The women wear glasses and are withdrawn. They have names like Duncan and Amy, rather than Dave or Amanda. They are most commonly to be found in IT with degrees in Physics or Mathematics.

    But we have the Triumph of the Nerds and the Revenge of the Nerds and we even have a Geek Nation (India).

    The point is this: If the brain uses up more than 20% of its allotted energy, is it inevitable that some of us will become like scientific nerds or geeks?


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    What?

    I have bad news for you: although (with regard to the thread title's question) it's the reverse - being nerdy leads you into doing science - you should be aware that even thinking of that question indicates you're nerdiness-prone.
    It may not be too late for you, seek help, buy a few six-packs and get the entire Baywatch series on DVD.
    This may alleviate some of the symptoms.

    I'm not going to "debate" your (seriously flawed) defintions, except to say that they're stunningly wrong.


    Last edited by Dywyddyr; July 17th, 2013 at 11:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Got to confess: when it comes to the slang terms of nerd and geek I get a bit lost in the fuzziness of their meanings.
    Nerd: ineffective, boring, conventional, studious.
    Geek: as above but also a simpleton.
    Without working on pinning down a more accurate description of both terms, it would be hard for any one of us to answer the thread question; and determine if there is an increment in chances of being "____________" (fill in the blanks).
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Got to confess: when it comes to the slang terms of nerd and geek I get a bit lost in the fuzziness of their meanings.
    Nerd: ineffective, boring, conventional, studious.
    Geek: as above but also a simpleton.

    Then there is the curious tribe of scentific nerds and geeks. They are not stereotypes but real people. I have even met a few. They have limited social skills. They are fond of technical jargon. The men wear beards and glasses. The women wear glasses and are withdrawn. They have names like Duncan and Amy, rather than Dave or Amanda. They are most commonly to be found in IT with degrees in Physics or Mathematics.

    But we have the Triumph of the Nerds and the Revenge of the Nerds and we even have a Geek Nation (India).

    The point is this: If the brain uses up more than 20% of its allotted energy, is it inevitable that some of us will become like scientific nerds or geeks?

    No, I don't think liking or learning science will necessarily make you a nerd or geek, what I do think is that doing anything obsessively might though.
    When people get obsessed by one thing to the exclusion of having any interest in anything else then they may well be on the way to being classed as a nerd or geek.
    When comes to science it can become quite addictive, you learn one interesting thing and want to learn more and so on, this is why it can seem that often many people that like science can appear obsessive about it.

    So, so long as you still have an all round balanced life, are still interested in other things as well, then it's quite possible to interested in science without becoming an obsessive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    The point is this: If the brain uses up more than 20% of its allotted energy, is it inevitable that some of us will become like scientific nerds or geeks?
    I don't really understand this. (It seems backward, rather like assumption in the thread title.) Where does this "20% allocation" come from?

    The brain uses some amount of energy. This increases slightly when you do something "hard" that requires concentration. But that increase is pretty small (a few percent, at most, I think). So I'm pretty sure that if your brain was only using 20% of its normal energy consumption, you would be dead.

    On the definition of "nerd", I heard some interviews with kids in prison the other day. Their idea of a "nerd" was someone who read a book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Then there is the curious tribe of scentific nerds and geeks. They are not stereotypes but real people. I have even met a few. They have limited social skills. They are fond of technical jargon. The men wear beards and glasses. The women wear glasses and are withdrawn. They have names like Duncan and Amy, rather than Dave or Amanda. They are most commonly to be found in IT with degrees in Physics or Mathematics.
    By the very fact that you have pointed them out to be a distinct group you have stereotyped them - cant be helped its a pitfall of categorisation. I think what you mean is that there are people who fall into that stereotype and that's not really a groundbreaking observation.

    I don't know about the names though I think you are reaching a bit there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    But we have the Triumph of the Nerds and the Revenge of the Nerds and we even have a Geek Nation (India).

    The point is this: If the brain uses up more than 20% of its allotted energy, is it inevitable that some of us will become like scientific nerds or geeks?
    I don't see what the link is between brain energy usage (and I don't think it has "allotted energy" it just uses whats available or not) and the likelihood of having one personality over another.
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    ox, I've read youropening post and have good news for you. You are in no danger of becoming a nerd or a geek - traditionally they use logic and make sense.
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  9. #8  
    ox
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    The point is this: If the brain uses up more than 20% of its allotted energy, is it inevitable that some of us will become like scientific nerds or geeks?
    I don't really understand this. (It seems backward, rather like assumption in the thread title.) Where does this "20% allocation" come from?

    The brain uses some amount of energy. This increases slightly when you do something "hard" that requires concentration. But that increase is pretty small (a few percent, at most, I think). So I'm pretty sure that if your brain was only using 20% of its normal energy consumption, you would be dead.

    On the definition of "nerd", I heard some interviews with kids in prison the other day. Their idea of a "nerd" was someone who read a book.
    I understand that the brain is only 2% of the body's mass but it uses 20% of its energy.
    What happens when it uses more than 20% on a daily basis?
    Do you have a tendency to forget to shave in the morning? When I worked in IT there were certainly more guys with beards and glasses than in the average population, and they were the ones with different values when it came to basic social skills.
    Is nerdism a case of nature over nurture or nurture over nature?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I understand that the brain is only 2% of the body's mass but it uses 20% of its energy.
    Ah, I see. It isn't "allocated" that as some sort of limit. That is just what it uses (typically).

    What happens when it uses more than 20% on a daily basis?
    You will get hungry and eat more. (As with increasing any other metabolic process.)

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories?: Scientific American
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I understand that the brain is only 2% of the body's mass but it uses 20% of its energy.
    What happens when it uses more than 20% on a daily basis?
    Do you have a tendency to forget to shave in the morning? When I worked in IT there were certainly more guys with beards and glasses than in the average population, and they were the ones with different values when it came to basic social skills.
    Is nerdism a case of nature over nurture or nurture over nature?
    I think you need to read a little more and hypothesize a little less at the moment because none of what you are saying makes any sense. Define nerdism first without resorting to anecdotal, personal experience and lets see if there is an actual homogenous group to discuss....because I rather doubt there is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I understand that the brain is only 2% of the body's mass but it uses 20% of its energy.
    The brain is the 'United States' of the body.
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    "a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too" ROFL

    If you're worried about, then go into the natural sciences, where you're more likely to wear a diving suit, hip boots and require a 4x4 vehicle or canoe than sit all day in a lab wearing white.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    "a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too" ROFL

    If you're worried about, then go into the natural sciences, where you're more likely to wear a diving suit, hip boots and require a 4x4 vehicle or canoe than sit all day in a lab wearing white.
    I was on a wetland mitigation site a couple weeks ago plowing around in a Ford Escape that was CLEARLY built only to navigate urban 4x4 obstacles like puddles or a leaf. The person who managed to rip off the most plastic ground effects won.

    I also spent some time on a boat in Patoka Lake.

    So yeah, if you like being a nerd who gets muddy and sunburned, get into the physical sciences.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; July 25th, 2013 at 03:21 PM.
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    There are nerds and geeks in all walka of life. Science, Music, Accounting, Computer, Mechanical, Medicine, Sports, Designing, Automobile, ......I don't think it applies to any one category of interests.
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