Re: Two bits

1

I kind of wonder about the ethics of using real passers-by as extras without their knowledge or consent. I know I've pretty much lost that fight, but it still leaves me uncomfortable to think I could be minding my own damn business and next year find that I'm spread all over a giant movie screen.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:51 AM
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On the topic of Bit 1, there is a popular feed here called "Humans of New York" that shows, oh I'm gonna put this in scare quotes, "interesting-looking" people. The whole thing bugs me immensely but I have a hard time saying exactly why. I think maybe because I have a strong feeling the people who post them would move to the other side of a subway car to avoid plenty of these people in real life, but in a facebook photo thingy they are part of the rich tapestry of city life.

Oh I have been wanting to complain about that somewhere. I am grateful for this post.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:00 AM
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I don't see either of those on my FB feed. Mostly, I just get pictures the kids of people I went to high school with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:05 AM
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I thought Baltimore had the official Goofiest Accent in America.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:09 AM
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, hon.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:09 AM
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Scientist here; I really dislike that group's name as well.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:12 AM
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Years ago, some friends of friends in Prague broke into the set of Hart's War when it was being made, and filmed their own short black and white movie. IIRC, they 'borrowed' some of the costumes, too. I was at a little party they had for the screening.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:17 AM
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OP.3: Goofier than Tahlur, Ticksis?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:17 AM
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Oh, now that's not a real place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:19 AM
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2.1: Huh, they don't look all that weird to me. I mean, Mpls. doesn't have a lot of Hasids, and most of the guys with cowboy hats don't come downtown much, but other than that, the New Age Traveler with the baby is the only one I see that might excite any comment here. Most of those people just look like bog-standard urbanites to me.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:23 AM
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4: You from Baltimore, right? Do you say BAWL-mer or BALL-di-more? Come on, say it. I'll tell you which neighborhood you're from. I rode the streets. I talk to people. Say Baltimore, and I'll tell you within ten blocks where you were born. Yeah, you from here. You got that home grown look. The not too southern, not too northern, not on the ocean but still on the water look. With maybe a touch of inbreeding.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:24 AM
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I like Jason Statham's accent. He seems to even use a slightly different accent in one of the many wacky impersonations he does in the new movie "Pocka".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:25 AM
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I've never actually spoken to anyone from Telephone, Texas, but I imagine their accents are pretty ripe as well.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:25 AM
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2- I hadn't/haven't seen the facebook feed but I find the website pretty charming. Except for the wack-ass punctuation.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:27 AM
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You're not a nerd, geeks aren't sexy and you don't "fucking love" science.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:28 AM
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OP.3: Am curious as to where he is form. The two singers interviewed here (start at about 0:30 and 4:00 respectively, 2nd has a more distinct accent to me) are from Beaumont and just outside of it. Intterviews noted as examples from a language map as Lowland Southern with some Inland Southern words (country singers, though, which I suspect is pretty much an Inland Southern "genre").


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:33 AM
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15: That just makes people who do science seem like whiny bitches. When somebody says they love movies, hardly anybody feels compelled to argue that you don't really love movies unless you like to watch 37 takes of some guy trying to stand the right way in front of a green screen so the CGI works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:34 AM
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17: OTOH, this is spot on: If you think geeks are so sexy or cool, bang one. Go to any university and find a computer or physics lab at 2AM and take your pick.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:37 AM
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Romance isn't that dead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:43 AM
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I basically like the idea that people are crowing about science being cool. I don't know why the particular phrase irks me so much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:44 AM
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18: IIRC the big secret of university culture was that the nerds were getting laid far more often then everyone else thought. The law students were all working too hard, the English students were too neurotic, the politics students were too sociopathic and the medics were too drunk, but the nerds were at it like rabbits.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:45 AM
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Speaking of accents, Jared Diamond's is bizarre. He's from Boston? I was thinking "grew up in Australia but lived in the states for a while." Maybe my brain was misfiring.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:46 AM
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16 - link?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:46 AM
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also, yes to 17.1.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:46 AM
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I like calling people whiny bitches, but a really don't understand the shock that somebody put up a picture of an attractive woman instead of a picture of someone more typical of the type of person who actually occupies that role.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:47 AM
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the politics students were too sociopathic

Shh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:48 AM
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20: Because it claims an enthusiasm for science that isn't really there?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:51 AM
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The Beamont guy here (Texas #14) doesn't sound anything like the student. OTOH, he's not saying the transcribed dialogue at all. Neither is Texas #12, so I wonder if there are some formatting errors in that site.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:52 AM
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22 gets it right. Never for a second in his Colbert interview did I contemplate he might be from America.

The complaints about "IFLS" get it right as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:53 AM
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25: You just want guys who were good with the media! I made the transistor!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:54 AM
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That just makes people who do science seem like whiny bitches.

You see whiny bitches, I see honest-to-god, unlovable nerds. The kind of nerds that used to be around before being a nerd got all glamorous. Those nerds still exist, and its a very real complaint that everyone calls themself a nerd these days, even people with no discernible STEM skills who managed to get laid in high school and never got a wedgie in their life. These people haven't paid their dues.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:57 AM
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21: The hardcore nerd/gamer/SCAdians at my alma mater were famous for fucking each other like crazed bunnies. I missed out on that action due to not being hardcore nerd enough.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:58 AM
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20: Because it claims an enthusiasm for science that isn't really there?

Yeah, the actual things posted do seem mostly to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson peddling bromides.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:59 AM
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The broader problem is that brain-based nerd-dom has been elbowed out by pop-culture nerd-dom. Being a nerd is more than liking Star Trek and comic books and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Its not about fucking loving science, its about doing science.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:59 AM
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31: There is a recent Portlandia bit on this theme.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:59 AM
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These people haven't paid their dues.

That type of attitude is so much more palatable when the person holding worked down a coal mine for thirty years or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:59 AM
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But "I fucking love bromides!" doesn't have the same ring.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:00 AM
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Sorry I sound bitter. Its just that I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:00 AM
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It's not very cool, if that's any consolation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:02 AM
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And Star Trek mostly sucked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:04 AM
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the nerds were at it like rabbits.

My unscientific estimate is that there's a bimodal distribution. 30-40% of nerds went at it like rabbits and another 30-40% are, as spike put it, "honest-to-god, unlovable nerds."

Related: The CJR Profile of Cara Santa Maria was weirdly gossipy, not very good, and sort of off putting. It did not make me want to watch "Talk Nerdy To Me."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:05 AM
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15 You're not a nerd, geeks aren't sexy and you don't "fucking love" science.

I sympathize with not liking the Facebook memes, but whoa. Whoever wrote that website has issues.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:07 AM
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Star Trek was actually a great show, and is beloved by many nerds. But it is not of the essence of being a nerd.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:07 AM
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Most of those people just look like bog-standard urbanites to me.

Hm, now that I look at the website, you're right. The ones I saw on fb were like...guys with weird beards and a strange look in their eyes in Central Park.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:07 AM
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I just figured out that Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a life outside of being a meme.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:08 AM
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Being a nerd is more than liking Star Trek and comic books and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Its not about fucking loving science, its about doing science.

Doing science is being a scientist. Liking Star Trek and comic books is being a nerd. The two things aren't really related.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:09 AM
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Oh, here's the Portlandia thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:12 AM
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What was it like in that window of history between Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson? I barely remember already.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:12 AM
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re: 46

Quite. The couple of working or ex-working scientists I know well aren't remotely nerdy at all. In fact, other than their jobs, they don't fit any of the nerd/geek tropes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:13 AM
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48: LOLcats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:13 AM
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Being a nerd is still not cool. Affecting certain things previously associated primarily with people who were additionally nerds, and which are therefore metonymic for nerddom itself, is somewhat cool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:13 AM
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Consuming the most popular parts of pop culture is cool, as it has always been. Thinking that that makes you a nerd is also cool, which is a more recent development.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:16 AM
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I feel like if I took Spike's comments and the linked post to their logical extreme I would conclude that The Big Bang Theory is a semi-accurate depiction of the people I work with, which oh god no.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:16 AM
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Technically, I think what I do in between comments is science.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:16 AM
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1) There are introverted, slightly anti-social traits that a disproportionate number of mathematicians share

2) You will find your most stereotyped nerd ever in a classroom of students taking remedial algebra, in college. Crawled out from under a rock, reedy voice and enthusiasm for all things dorky, etc.

So it's not that "This Is What A Scientist REALLY Looks Like!" doesn't reveal some stereotypes, but it's not exactly what the super-dork characterizes.

I don't think I'm making a worthwhile point here but I've been typing this on and off for ten minutes, so I'm just going to post it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:19 AM
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I hate "I fucking love science", and everything that appears on it. But that's because I'm an intellectual, and like most intellectuals I'm a prickly little dickhead who runs on rage and resentment. It's obviously a good thing that people are posting Neil DeGrasse Tyson bromides, because the alternative is not that they're going to post insightful comments about science, but that they're going to post bromides about God or positive thinking. Likewise, if fake nerds weren't cool, then the niche wouldn't be filled with real nerds, but with more supermodels and NFL quarterbacks. The NFL would have to expand to fill the demand, and nobody wants that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:19 AM
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Liking Star Trek and comic books is being a nerd.

That my point, its not. Being a nerd is loosing yourself in some obscure corner of science and technology or other specialized academic pursuit, frequently to the detriment of your social life and hygiene.

Frequently, nerds also read comic books and like Star Trek because those things depict a world in which people like them are considered special. But liking that stuff doesn't make you a nerd any more than watching sports makes you an athlete.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:24 AM
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23: 16 - link?

Oops, thought I had included it. (Beaumont speakers).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:25 AM
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Football fans in LA and San Antonio who hate NDGT, I guess.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:25 AM
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55.1 I claim sampling bias. People who prefer solitary, process-oriented work have only a few work avenues open to them, one of which is the exact sciences. Another one is working as mechanics or machinists, another set of people also enriched for OCD antisocial styles.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:28 AM
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I'm in an inexact science.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:31 AM
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I think Steve should look a little more crestfallen in the last panel.

Doing science is being a scientist. Liking Star Trek and comic books is being a nerd.

Doing science is being a scientist, and liking Star Trek and comic books is stereotypically nerdy, but you can easily like Star Trek and comic books without being a nerd (or even be a nerd without liking Star Trek or comic books!).

IOW, I agree with Spike's 57.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:34 AM
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28: OTOH, he's not saying the transcribed dialogue at all. Neither is Texas #12

Confused me as well, but turns out they have them read a stock "story" first and then get into to their own stories. So if you listen for a while you get to the transcribed stuff. #14 got somewhat more twangy on his own reminisces than the story, but if it was way off it probably not SE Texas. For slightly more inland E Tex (or ArkLATex) I use Ross Perot as my exemplar. Or someone for whom "Hep-Ur-Sef" could really be "Help your self."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:41 AM
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Which Star Trek are we talking about? I never even watched the one with the guy from Quantum Leap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:49 AM
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Nerds who aren't good at science are the saddest nerds of all.


Posted by: Rober Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:55 AM
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So I went over to This is What a Scientist Looks Like and does anyone know where this photo was taken? I saw it and immediately thought of this still from the credits to Days of Heaven that I've always been captivated by. (along with every other frame of that movie.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:55 AM
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The definition in 57.1 would seem to open the possibility of the "investment banking nerd" or the "corporate CEO nerd" which I think stretches things a bit far.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:00 AM
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Kids need to learn that not all scientists are cool, adventure seeking, charismatic renaissance people. Some are shut-ins with bad skin and acerbic personalities.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:00 AM
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"investment banking nerd"

These exist. They are called "quants."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:03 AM
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The definition in 57.1 would seem to open the possibility of the "investment banking nerd"

There are definitely investment banking nerds. Quants.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:03 AM
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Damn.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:03 AM
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67: It looks to me to almost certainly be Southern Utanh/northwestern Arizona.Trying to pin it down more closely. It's Monument Valley-type rock.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:08 AM
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So what exactly is the legal basis on which Disney could enjoin distribution of the movie in OP.2? The article only mentions trademarks specifically--is that really what would do it? Halford?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:10 AM
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I hate "I fucking love science", and everything that appears on it. But that's because I'm an intellectual, and like most intellectuals I'm a prickly little dickhead who runs on rage and resentment.

Cosign!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:11 AM
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Trust me, there are an extremely large number of investment banking nerds. The sector I cover is absolutely full of them.

For the hardline nerdists in this thread, I wonder how I would be classified.I self-identify as a nerd. Definitely not cool though. My main hobby is computer games (and strategy games at that). I read more sci-fi than all other fiction put together. I read many comics. Probably three quarters of the books I read are about science - typically cosmology, neurology or evolutionary biology. I subscribe to at least a dozen science podcasts and read many science blogs and news sites daily.I'm a huge xkcd fan. And PhD Comics. And SMBC. I write about arcane financial and legal issues for a living. But I've no formal science training beyond a maths A-level. I'm not sure why that alone should disqualify me, but for some on here it would seem to.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:11 AM
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Kids need to learn that not all scientists are cool, adventure seeking, charismatic renaissance people. Some are shut-ins with bad skin and acerbic personalities.

Next you're going to tell me that archeologists don't all fight Nazis and look like Indiana Jones.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:11 AM
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73: violating the terms of service of entering the park? just to bring back a productive topic


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:18 AM
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77: but that can't actually have an impact on the legality of the resulting film, can it? I mean, I suppose it makes their presence trespassing, but ... why does anything follow from that?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:19 AM
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75: Can you code? Ever been shut in a locker or had your underpants run up a flagpole? Were you legally an adult by the time lost your virginity?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:20 AM
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For the hardline nerdists in this thread

Just remember, at some point Lord Castock will be by to remind us what horrible people geeks are.

[Side note, the distinction between "geek" and "nerd" isn't completely clear. My preferred definition is that geeks are people invested in geek culture in some way, nerds are people who are invested in some specialized technical field of knowledge. By that criteria you could certain have an investment banking nerd, just as you could have a sailing nerd or a music theory nerd.]

Personally I find the idea of policing real and fake nerds simultaneously obvious and bizarre -- it was never much of an issue in my (geeky) group of friends growing up. It was clear that some people were geeky largely because of proximity and would become much less geeky if they started hanging out with a different group of people, but I don't recall that being contentious.

I do think the internet raised the stakes significantly for intra-geek/nerd conflicts, but I'd need a longer comment to defend that thesis.

Anyway, I'd certainly be happy to call you a nerd if that is how you self-identify.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:21 AM
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Probably three quarters of the books I read are about science - typically cosmology, neurology or evolutionary biology. I subscribe to at least a dozen science podcasts and read many science blogs and news sites daily.

Less facetiously, I think this qualifies you as a nerd. Formal training at this stuff is far less important than the fact that you would go seek this stuff out because its interesting to you. As long as its not the "I Fucking Love Science Podcast."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:22 AM
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For the hardline nerdists in this thread, I wonder how I would be classified. I self-identify as a nerd.

I think ever having played Dungeons & Dragons is the gold standard.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:24 AM
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re: 82

I don't know. There was an RPG group among my high school circle of friends. About half of the kids involved were nerdy as all fuck, but there were a few who were really by no standards nerdy at all. Some were (non-nerdy) girls, even. I was sort of borderline, and could have gone either way. As it was, I went down the non-nerdy route, but I don't think that was fixed in stone aged about 13 or 14.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:26 AM
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@83

When was this? Now that I'm thinking about it I seem to recall a brief period in the early 80s when D&D was much more mainstream than it subsequently became, so a lot of non-nerdy types might have played it at least for a while.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:34 AM
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86: There was a really horrible animated TV show, which is how we indicated important cultural phenomena back then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:35 AM
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There was also a period of time when VtM was big enough that non-nerdy people got involved -- at least here in my neck of the woods.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:36 AM
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re: 84

About 85/86, yeah. It wasn't actually D&D, but similar types of games.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:41 AM
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85: Yeah, CA recently bought the series dvd. (No, really.)
Also, there were fabulous concern trolling books-made-into-protoLIfetime-movies starring Tom Hanks!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:44 AM
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Side note, the distinction between "geek" and "nerd" isn't completely clear.

I think this suffices.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:46 AM
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My unscientific estimate is that there's a bimodal distribution. 30-40% of nerds went at it like rabbits and another 30-40% are, as spike put it, "honest-to-god, unlovable nerds."

As an alumnus of one of the world's great nerd-producing institutions, I agree with this basic take. Although there were too few female CS students for any significant amount of (het) rabbitry. IIRC one graduating class had only one woman. Obviously some of the other STEM departments were more balanced, but there wasn't a lot of, um, cross-pollination.

This probably goes without saying, but the drama students were just as rabbit-like as you'd expect, and the musical theater kids even more so.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:49 AM
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This whole conversation is confirming my general belief that you should invest as little as possible in issues of personal identity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:52 AM
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If you invest enough in personal identity mutual funds, when you retire, you have enough stories to keep from being instantly boring to young people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:54 AM
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Yes there are quants but if the definition of "nerd" is someone who works too hard then e.g., Jack Welch is a "nerd."

I'd like to see less glorification of the nerd and more talk about how being socially maladjusted is actually not that great a thing and a problem, both for the person themself and those around them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:57 AM
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I think that both geeks and nerds can agree that its the dorks who are giving the rest of us a bad name.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:57 AM
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Yes there are quants but if the definition of "nerd" is someone who works too hard then e.g., Jack Welch is a "nerd."

Except CEOs basically prosper on their social skills, which is a totally different thing than nerd-like mastery of a subject.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:01 AM
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93.2: We can all tell how much you've been working on your social adjustment and we're very proud of you. But obvious fishing for compliments isn't helping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:01 AM
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91: Well, right -- words mean very different things if they're being used as insults or as identifiers of membership in a group.

I'm somewhere around as nerdy as Ginger Yellow (less comics and gaming, slightly more but not all that much academic science background). I end up thinking that if someone wants to use 'nerd' as an epithet, I'm nerdy enough that it applies to me. If someone wants use 'nerd' to define a social group that they belong to with boundaries that they think of as important, on the other hand, I'm probably not one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:02 AM
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Being a nerd is loosing yourself in some obscure corner of science and technology or other specialized academic pursuit, frequently to the detriment of your social life and hygiene.

Nerds should learn the difference between 'lose' and 'loose'.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:03 AM
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No, no, he meant 'loosing' as in 'letting yourself off a [metaphorical] leash'. Honest!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:05 AM
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I'm a software nerd, not a spelling nerd.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:07 AM
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|| My grandma called this weekend and I didn't call her back because I am crunched on a brief and now she is in the hospital or maybe dead and I'm still not done with the brief and I never called her back. I never called her back. |>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:09 AM
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"Caries" just means bone or tooth decay. The fact that it looks like a plural (and looks like "cavities") is a coincidence as far as I can tell.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:09 AM
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I like that I'm incredibly fucking nerdy by any conceivable measure but I've also totally been to better parties in LA than Halford has.

That facebook group does bug me, although I think under the harsh glare of self-examination there's not anything terribly bothersome about it. The name is fairly stupid, and posts in it tend to get shared by people who are not only not scientists, nor very nerdy, but who don't seem terribly interested in science in its particulars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:10 AM
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Oops, wrong thread.

Dungeons and Dragons must have been more mainstream circa 1980 than it was circa 1990 for this movie to make any sense.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:11 AM
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That sucks, Di. My sympathies.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:12 AM
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I know we've covered this before, and I'm pretty sure that my definition was opposite to the consensus, but, back in HS (when I was trying not to be a nerd or a geek, at least one of which I surely was in Jr. High), nerd specifically meant math/science dork, whereas geek was any [loser] who was a little too much into whatever they were into - eg "band geek". Nerds were smart, geeks not necessarily so.

As for broader social opinion, I certainly felt, in the mid-80s, that being a nerd was not in any way desirable, and probably expended a bit too much effort distancing myself from nerdery. It probably helped that I relocated between 8th & 9th grades, and so was able to reposition myself socially. I was smart and not especially socially adept, so I covered by mostly hanging out with riffraff my freshman year. By sophomore year, I was better situated and found my peers (mostly helped by finding my best friend, who was similar in many ways but clearly more handsome and charming, and so clear of any nerd taint).

Oh, and while I find the show dull, BBT certainly is reminiscent of people I knew at CMU.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:12 AM
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Oh shit, Di. I hope it's not that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:13 AM
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I like that I'm incredibly fucking nerdy by any conceivable measure

Are you? I wouldn't think you are by the Spike measure, which apparently requires one to be socially really unpleasant. I just don't find that to correlate very well with people who actually work on science, or at least the social unpleasantness I do run into is of a very different type than anything stereotypically "nerdy". Instead it runs more toward "intensely arrogant and dismissive".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:15 AM
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I certainly felt, in the mid-80s, that being a nerd was not in any way desirable

Apparently somebody never watched War Games.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:16 AM
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BBT certainly is reminiscent of people I knew at CMU.

I mean, it's reminiscent of some people I knew in college too, but most of them were completely inept at anything technical and not really interested in much outside of video games. The people in that group who did become scientists shed all the BBT-like characteristics pretty damn fast once they got out of college.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:18 AM
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For some reason the particular mode of identifying with Science!! in that facebook group puts my in mind of this essay be Meghan Daum.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:18 AM
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Apparently somebody never watched War Games.

Or Real Genius (1985).

My sympathy Di.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:20 AM
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75: Can you code? Ever been shut in a locker or had your underpants run up a flagpole? Were you legally an adult by the time lost your virginity?

Not at all well, though I did spend a summer learning C++ when I was 12. And one of my uncles taught me BASIC when I was 8.

We didn't have lockers at my schools. I have been stuffed in a dustbin though.

Yes.

I think ever having played Dungeons & Dragons is the gold standard.

Well, I fail by that standard, though I did play an awful lot of Games Workshop games as a kid and had a substantial collection of badly painted Warhammer 40k miniatures. And I've played a lot of D&D based CRPGs, which obviously isn't the same thing.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:21 AM
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"Intensely arrogant and dismissive" seems somewhat field specific. Or at least, that's a stereotype I've carried about your field for many years.

Yeah I don't quite know what to make of Spike's definition. The smartest, most hard-core technical people I know were definitely social outcasts at one point in their lives (earning potential and/or friendly confines serves to paper over that by adulthood, often) but have never had unpleasant personalities.

I think my stereotype actually runs the other way, that people who were uncomplicatedly popular (because of physical attractiveness, athletic success, family circumstances, whatever) at key moments tend to be much shittier people because they have been able to get away with it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:23 AM
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114 to 108, loosely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:24 AM
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I associate shitty people with being, at best, complicatedly popular -- drama, machinations, and so on. People who are uncomplicatedly popular, in the sense that they just have a very easy time making friends, are usually IME decent, pleasant people who also have some or all of the advantages you mention.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:27 AM
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the Spike measure, which apparently requires one to be socially really unpleasant.

I hope it hasn't come across that I mean to say that social unpleasantness is a requirement for being a nerd.

I would say that social awkwardness is a rather common attribute of nerds - though not a requirement - and that I think a lot of the recent promotion of nerd culture as a cool thing overlooks that, and thus tends to marginalize a large part of actual, lived nerd experience.

Its one thing to say "hey isn't it cool to like comic books?" Its another to recognize that a lot of nerds got into comics because it was something they could read when they were spending time at home alone because they didn't have any friends.

Same with Star Trek. A lot of nerds watched every episode in syndication, sitting on the couch in their parents basement, because they didn't have anything better to do on a Friday night.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:28 AM
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Very sorry to hear about your grandmother, DK.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:29 AM
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Not at all well, though I did spend a summer learning C++ when I was 12.

You're in.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:29 AM
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Its another to recognize that a lot of nerds got into comics because it was something they could read when they were spending time at home alone because they didn't have any friends.

Thing is, that doesn't explain why it's comics as opposed to, say, Dickens. The nerdiness of comics has at least something to do with their subject matter and mode of expression.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:32 AM
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People who are uncomplicatedly popular, in the sense that they just have a very easy time making friends, are usually IME decent, pleasant people who also have some or all of the advantages you mention.
Man do I hate those people.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:35 AM
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117 - Nerds could have been reading Elizabeth Gaskell or William L. Shirer or Barbara Tuchman or Jorge Amado when they were sitting in their basements, forever alone. I don't think it's a great stretch to recognize that fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero comic books have a certain pandering appeal to people who think the dumb jock world doesn't appreciate their tormented inner genius, and I say this as someone who can name all the Robins.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:37 AM
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Plenty of nerds have gotten into Dickens, that just never made it on the pop-culture radar. Comic books is just a thing that had critical mass of nerds awkwardly communicating with other nerds about, so that it eventually made it into the pantheon of nerd stereotype.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:39 AM
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I'm with snarkout. Spike is No True Nerd! Cast him out! Cast him out!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:40 AM
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121: another instance of the iron law that the supreme asshole move is actually not being an asshole.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:40 AM
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122 - Personally, I read more Barbara Tuchman than comic books.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:41 AM
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Sympathies, Di. REALLY don't beat yourself up. You can't plan this sort of shit.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:41 AM
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Seriously, Barbara Tuchman was on the bookshelf, but Spiderman cost 75 cents a pop. I couldn't afford that shit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:44 AM
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127 gets it right. My sympathies, Di.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:47 AM
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Di, I'm sure all the times you were good to her were far more important to her. Because you work and are busy and she presumably had plenty of free time, it ups the odds on any given occasion that you mightn't be able to get back to her for a few days. I hope she either makes a good recovery or if not possible has an easy time.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:02 PM
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127 does get it right. Thoughts, etc. with yuo.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:03 PM
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Apparently somebody never watched War Games.

Only every chance I got. But Broderick didn't really have any strong nerd characteristic in that movie, other than the computer stuff. I mean sure, he wore a hoodie, he whined some, he didn't know how to swim, but I don't think he was meant to be read as King Nerd.

Or Real Genius (1985).

Actually, for some reason, I never did. I saw the one where the two Cories animate a hot chick while wearing underwear on their heads. Definitely nerdy, pretty clearly not desirable.

The people in that group who did become scientists shed all the BBT-like characteristics pretty damn fast once they got out of college.

Well that probably makes a fair amount of sense. FWIW I'd say there was a pretty clear divide between the natural science kids, who were basically normal*, and the CS and ECE** kids, many of whom really fit the nerd stereotype and were, pretty much by definition, super-fucking smart . But I suspect most of those grew up to be rather more socially capable.

* actually, IIRC, they were kind of the filler between the weirdos working on computers and the weirdos in fine arts. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one classmate who was in the sciences, but there would have been hundreds. It was sort of unmarked, like being a liberal arts major.
** electrical & computer engineering; I don't know if that's the universal acronym


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:11 PM
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Geologists seem kind of like the most badass/least nerdy of the scientists. I guess there's a shorts with workboots thing going on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:13 PM
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Di, I'm so sorry and concur with 127 like everyone else.

As a teen, I spent Friday evenings taking a trip to the library, returning with a bag of books, then devouring them throughout the rest of the weekend. I didn't read any comic books until 19 or 20, and that was under duress and very difficult for me to learn because I don't have good visual skills. Not sure that's non-nerdy.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:18 PM
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Revenge of the Nerds, there was a good 1980's pro-nerd movie.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:22 PM
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135: Never rewatch it and remember as little of it as possible.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:23 PM
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and I say this as someone who can name all the Robins.

Huh. There was Dick Grayson (who became Nightwing, IIRC?) and then the one the Joker killed -- Jason Todd? -- and then the one who was actually around at the time I was reading Batman comics and whose name I can't remember at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:24 PM
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133: Not paleontologists?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:24 PM
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Yes, sympathies with Di, and I think chris y really gets it right. The fact that your grandmother would call you at all means you had a closer relationship than a lot of grandchildren have with grandparents; don't fret over the timing of that one call.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:25 PM
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Gray Dickson?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:26 PM
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Dick York and Dick Sargent.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:28 PM
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Sargent York


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:29 PM
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Sargent Shriver.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:30 PM
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I'm not sure what I was trying with that one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:30 PM
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137 - Tim Drake. There's was also a very brief interlude in which Drake's girlfriend Stephanie Brown was Robin and the current Robin, Damian Wayne, Batman's kid with Talia al-Ghul. And that is what I did instead of reading Elizabeth Gaskell. I hear North and South is very good!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:38 PM
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Di, I hope things turn out with your grandmother, and concur with everyone else regarding the correctness of chris y.

and I say this as someone who can name all the Robins.

What kind of nerd does it make me if I thought this was a reference to all the fantasy/sci-fi authors with the first name of Robin? (There seems like a lot, to me, but I may put extra weight on the name, for obvious reasons. Also, due to the playground torments of "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." I've done my best to forget that particular Robin.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 12:46 PM
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a totally different thing than nerd-like mastery of a subject.

I know that's not meant to be a claim that mastery of a subject is itself sufficient for nerd-dom. But I always push back against it, because my experience in the humanities (philosophy and English) is that while there are some pretty damn nerdy philosophers, a lot of the best philosophers I've met aren't nerdy at all. Assholes, sometimes, yes [although that's less common than stereotype sometimes has you believe], but not nerdy in the archetypal sense.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:07 PM
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Drake's girlfriend Stephanie Brown

I remember her as The Spoiler.

Damian Wayne, Batman's kid with Talia al-Ghul

Batman and Talia had a kid? Whoa. That was either after I stopped reading or I forgot about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:24 PM
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I never read any DC comics.

Here is my nerd card, dudes.

(All the people saying "you girls who like the Avengers movie aren't real nerds!" are dudes, yeah?)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:30 PM
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This thread makes me wonder what people would think of Nerd Nite. Specific questions:

1. Does it make it better, or worse, to know that the presentations seem like they're about genuinely nerdy topics? A presentation on the RIAA from the perspective of copyright law - which isn't STEM, admittedly, but is still a fairly dry and cerebral topic - a presentation on how genetics influences thing people might not think of like musical talent, and another one on the history of some font, for example. The most general interest, least authentically nerdy presentation I can think of was about panda care, and even that was mostly focused on the practical difficulties of the job.

2. Does it make it better or worse to know that the event is held in a fairly trendy bar, with indie rock bands playing in the intervals between presentations? The bands aren't famous enough to be recognized unless you're really into that kind of thing, and the place is small enough and the acoustics crappy enough that I don't expect anyone would go there for the bands (I'd love to see an acoustics geek explain exactly why the sound in that room sucks), but still, the venue is very mainstream.

Also, sorry Di. Good luck.

148
I remember her as The Spoiler.

Yes, and after that, she was Robin for a brief period.

Batman and Talia had a kid? Whoa. That was either after I stopped reading or I forgot about it.

Damien was introduced around the age of eight or 10 or so, having been kept a secret from Bruce until then. I think that was around only three years ago real time, and things have been weird in general with DC continuity since then, so I can see how you could miss it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:30 PM
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150.1, .2: geez, they got those everywhere, now. Weird. Seems like such a Boston (and SF?) thing to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:34 PM
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God, this thread is totally cinching how cool I am.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:36 PM
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Also, Di, I'm so sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:36 PM
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Man, now I want to hear all about panda care. I bet some lurker here does that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:38 PM
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150.last: Huh. Yeah, I haven't read a new Batman comic since, I dunno, 1999 or 2000. Wikipedia tells me the son was originally introduced in an Elseworlds story before then, but I guess not in standard continuity.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:39 PM
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A presentation on the RIAA from the perspective of copyright law

Undoubtedly 100% accurate, to be sure.

The "nerd nite" thing is the kind of thing that pisses me off. I'd actually be pretty interested in going to something like that. But self-identification with "nerdiness," even as a re-appropriation, pisses me off. Yes I'd like to hear about I dunno, someone talking about qasars in a bar, but I don't see why that needs to be identified with comic books or Star Trek or being a whiny little fuck or whatever other core "nerd" traits are supposedly being reappropriated by the purportedly oppressed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:43 PM
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QUASARS goddamnit. And why can't we learn about Quasars in an environment where everyone is reasonably dressed, smells good, enjoys a nice cocktail, is interested in novels that don't involve spacecraft, and has taken reasonable steps to maintain physical attractiveness?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:45 PM
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How's this for a general theory of nerd-dom: a socially inappropriate amount of attention and intellectual effort directed at any topic? It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty good.

Particular topics of expertise are nerd-associated because the socially appropriate amount of attention and intellectual effort to be directed at them is (or was in recent memory) none, as in comic books. When they get fashionable, it gets less nerdy to be interested in them, so the level of interest required to demonstrate nerdiness gets higher (reading comic books as an adult? Not nerdy, really, these days. Being able to explain in detail what's going on in all the alternate universe whatever in the superhero comics lately? Still nerdy.)

Expertise in something significant, like that any working academic has? Not nerdy. An obsessive interest in the subject of your expertise such that you are socially inappropriate about it? Nerdy.

(And Di, I'm really sorry. Don't blame yourself, though -- like everyone else said, the fact that you had an active phone relationship means you're a better granddaughter than most.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:49 PM
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You had to go and correct that. There I was, working on my "Qasar walks into a bar and orders fermented mare's milk" joke.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:49 PM
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Speaking of High Nerdery, everyone's been reading "Larp Trek", right?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:53 PM
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I, too, would actually enjoy an event like that, but would be put off by the branding. Though perhaps for different reasons than Halford's NEERRRDDDS! line of reasoning.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:55 PM
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Also, I went on a mini-quest to find out where that student is from, but was unsuccessful. I'll just have to ask him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:55 PM
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How's this for a general theory of nerd-dom: a socially inappropriate amount of attention and intellectual effort directed at any topic?

I like it; though I'd prefer some word other than "inappropriate." Perhaps "unusual" though that isn't strong enough.

I would also append, "particularly as a hobbyist." I think amateurs and autodidacts are generally nerdier than people who are invested in a job/school related field.

I never read any DC comics.

Really? Did your local comic shop not have a 10¢ bin? I mostly read Marvel comics, but I ended up with a (small) number of random DC issues just because they were cheap.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 1:56 PM
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163: I think you need the 'socially inappropriate' to differentiate 'nerd' from 'anyone who's really interested in anything'. It's not that a nerd has to be obnoxious or socially unpleasant or unskilled, but I would say that unless their interest in whatever their topics are is expressed in some way that would make Joe Perfectly-Average-And-Normal roll his eyes disbelievingly, it's not nerdy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:01 PM
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And then all of the nerd branding is, I think, just defensiveness: "I know Joe P-A&N is going to call me a nerd for going to a lecture about quasars. Fine, I'm a nerd. Still interested in quasars, though, and being called a nerd won't put me off -- I'll even call myself a nerd before he does."

And by Joe P-A&N, I mean of course, Halford.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:04 PM
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156: Yes, because the really oppressed people work in copyright law.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:04 PM
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I guess quasars are still a thing but I think these days the broader term "Active Galactic Nuclei" (AGNs) is what you would look for. Try the seminar series at one of your local astronomy departments.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:04 PM
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They would probably not turn you away if you showed up with booze and tried to turn it into a cocktail hour.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:05 PM
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Having an opinion about DC vs. Marvel is a marker of something at least a little bit socially inappropriate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:07 PM
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156: We have a bunch of stuff like that here that doesn't reference nerdiness. There's a few different political ones, at least one general interest one, a science one, and now a quiet reading time night at the punk bar. That's the benefit of -2 F highs -- keeps the riff-raff out and smart people in the bar.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:08 PM
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Joe Perfectly-Average-And-Normal roll his eyes disbelievingly

Yeah, that sounds about right.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:09 PM
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QUASARS goddamnit. And why can't we learn about Quasars in an environment where everyone is reasonably dressed, smells good, enjoys a nice cocktail, is interested in novels that don't involve spacecraft, and has taken reasonable steps to maintain physical attractiveness?

See, that's the thing. What "nerd" means is that you're interested enough in learning about the first thing (that is, you consider the first thing compelling enough) that worrying about the latter things is a distraction at best, and likely a case of missing the point. It's great when people are attractive and smell good and enjoy nice cocktails.

163.last: I started out by reading a collection that was owned by the (older) son of a family friend. By the time I actually got to buying my own comics I was pretty sucked in to Marvel. It's not like I never read any DC comics, but I didn't pay a ton of attention to them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:19 PM
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Having an opinion about DC vs. Marvel is a marker of something at least a little bit socially inappropriate.

This is why I prefer Archie.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:23 PM
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God, this thread is totally cinching how cool I am.

Not possible--you are a parent. If there is one hard social fact, it is that parents are not cool. And anyone who tries to be a Cool Mom or a Cool Dad is even less cool.

For me, having a definitive answer to the question "Am I cool?" was one of nicer perks of being a parent. That's one thing I definitely don't have to try to be. Now if only I could definitively prove that I am not a nerd, I'd be golden.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:24 PM
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And anyone who tries to be a Cool Mom or a Cool Dad is even less cool.

My son thinks I'm cool. Probably because I read him comic books and teach him how to code and I've installed Linux on his computer, and I've convinced him that's what cool is....

Eventually, I'm going to get found out


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:27 PM
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Oh, man am I not a cool mom. Sally keeps on coming to me with questions about skin care/nail care/fashion and so on, and my answer is always some version of "Beats me, I never got the hang of that shit. It can't be that hard if you're interested, though, so figure it out."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:28 PM
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(I am still useful on algebra, history, and politics, so I have a function in the household. Just not a cool one.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:36 PM
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162: Also, I went on a mini-quest to find out where that student is from, but was unsuccessful. I'll just have to ask him.

Thanks, I wouldn't want all these nerds with their nerd shit to get in the way of a legitimate inquiry into the characteristics of Texas sub-regional dialects as embodied in a student at Heebie U.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:42 PM
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Criminy, Spike, lay off the Joe Peacock-in-the-manger. I am personally disgusted by tru-nerd policing, of course, because it would take less collusion with the photographer for me to look like the brunette in the task chair (in link in 15) than to look like Einstein. Mysteriously, tru-nerd policing colludes with the power structure in forgetting the nerds who were least like the power structure to start with. So they put them down below, where they were the first to go; it was sad when that great ship went down.

I don't have a theory of nerd or geekdom, other than the one Scalzi propounds:

the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It's the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say "Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love." When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say "ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER."

Sometimes that's socially inappropriate love. Sometimes, yes, it's in the terminal (computing) ward at 2AM.



Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:42 PM
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I read comics in college to meet women. There was a coterie of comics-reading women, and I would borrow their back issues as an excuse to chat them up.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:43 PM
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I agree with ttaM in 147, but I'd add that we appear quite a bit nerdier to non-philosophers than we might first think.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 2:44 PM
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Not possible--you are a parent. If there is one hard social fact, it is that parents are not cool. And anyone who tries to be a Cool Mom or a Cool Dad is even less cool.

I'm so cool, I'm embarrassed to be seen with my kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:05 PM
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I'm so hip I have trouble seeing over my pelvis.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:08 PM
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Pass me the rap rod, Plate Captain!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:10 PM
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and I would borrow their back issues as an excuse to chat them up

Fecialphilia FTW.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:11 PM
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-i.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:11 PM
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If you wanted to perpetuate stereotypes of geeks, it would be hard to do better (worse?) than this picture (the expression on the face of the guy in the black t-shirt kills me).

That said, the game they're kickstarting looks neat.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:18 PM
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Ooh, Newt might like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:20 PM
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It impresses me that you followed the link and replied in less time than it took me to compose the comment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:23 PM
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Clew, I don't actually care if anyone is a true nerd or not. Joking aside, I have no interest in being the nerd police. I'm in agreement with the comment above about investing as little as possible in issues of personal identity.

My point is that, those nerds who are being derided as whiny bitches, its not like their complaints are coming straight from the aether. Those are actual nerds, and are really not very much at all like the glamorized pop-culture nerds you see hyped in the media. They are misfits and often smell funny and are not well-adjusted socially. And many of those nerds have invested quite a bit in their identity because, with a sad frequency, that's all they've got.

So being a nerd used to be a identity. It was at the bottom of the social heap, but it was something. Then the cool kids came and co-opted the surface qualities of nerd-dom - the Star Trek and the comic books - and redefined being a nerd to being somebody who likes that stuff, disregarding all the pain and awkwardness that contributed to the original development of that culture.

But there are people for whom that pain and awkwardness is still very real. They are sitting on the couch in a basement somewhere, lacking the social skills to be ascendant in a world where nerds are supposed to be cool all of a sudden. They aren't going to go dress up in a silly costume at ComicCon, because they don't have any friends to go with and prefer reading Barbara Tuchman to comic books anyway. They can't even live up to the stereotype.

Those people are nerds. They are deep, hardcore nerds, and now their identity as nerds is no longer even theirs to own. The popular kids took it, just like they take all the pretty girls and don't get picked last when choosing sports teams.

What would you do in such a situation? Maybe lash out and defend your turf? That's what these people do, and they get called "whiny bitches" for their trouble. They aren't even derided as nerds anymore.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:29 PM
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This is level upon level upon level of meta, but don't you think that of the 'real nerds', the ones who are complaining about having their turf trespassed on are the ones who are more, rather than less, socially successful as nerds? I don't think someone who's having trouble talking to people and is reading in their parents' basement is all that likely to get pissed off because popular pretty people call themselves nerds now. Someone who's protecting turf is someone with turf, in terms of friends and social status, to protect.

Also, not to be too much of a humorless feminist, but:

The popular kids took it, just like they take all the pretty girls

This is an unfortunate phrasing of a grievance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:40 PM
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187 - The guy in the picture who is alone at the table behind the table full of geeks in the foreground? THATS the kind of nerd I'm talking about. Spare a though for the complete, social outcast who can't even find people to play with him at a nerd convention.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:41 PM
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191.last: rather.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:42 PM
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Being bitter that the popular kids boys took all the pretty girls is central to being a nerd. That's why they won't admit girls to the nerd club.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:43 PM
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The guy in the picture who is alone at the table behind the table full of geeks in the foreground?

The expression on his face screams "GM" to me. I assumed he was just waiting for players to show up.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:44 PM
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194: Oh, I've known lots of nerdy guys who weren't that sort of jerk -- I wouldn't call it central. But it does show up in association with nerdiness a fair amount.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:47 PM
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187: 3 or 4 women, 100 neckbeards. Yep.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:48 PM
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the ones who are complaining about having their turf trespassed on are the ones who are more, rather than less, socially successful as nerds?

I think the nerds who are more socially successful as nerds are more like me, in that they don't really care who is a nerd and who is not. Its the ones who are unsure of their place that feel the strongest about protecting what little they have.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:48 PM
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In other words, a bunch of nerds who identify as nerds mainly because they feel like misfits and resent the popular boys, i.e. they are whiny bitches, are the whiniest bitches about the "nerd" label being appropriated. Surprise!


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:53 PM
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191.last: I don't mean to be sexist, just trying to illustrated the point of view. In my experience, many male nerds are, in fact, sexist pigs.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:55 PM
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I'm pretty sure the only comic books I've ever read have been Archie comics and I doubt I've read more than five of them. I watched Star Trek and the next generation version but was never really into it. I tried to watch the recent Battlestar Galactica but couldn't take the "this is serious, we are dealing with serious things now, watch us be serious" seriousness after a while.

And yet, on the strength of doing well in math and science as a kid, I was probably in the nerd category for a long time. It didn't really matter much at my schools. I did play Dungeons and Dragons a few times with friends (occasionally fun, usually bogged down by incredibly tedious arguments about process) and some of my friends were into pseudo-SCA kinds of things. We went to a park sometimes to fight guerrilla battles with homemade foam weapons. More fun than role-playing games but I drifted away from that group of freinds after a while. When I was most socially isolated, I read books and watched sports.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 3:56 PM
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I associate the people Spike is talking about with pretty extreme misogyny. Maybe this is unfair.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:02 PM
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In my experience, many male nerds are, in fact, sexist pigs.

This makes me feel like asserting my nerd credentials, as an act of nerd solidarity.

So . . . which would people say is a nerdier thing to have done in high school: (1) run a couple of board games* at the (very small) local gaming convention or (2) played duplicate bridge** mildly seriously?

* Battletech one year, Star Fleet Battles another year. I still remember the moment when, as I was explaining the game, I started to absentmindedly shuffle the stack of impulse cards.

** There were two weekly games. The one I went to more often was at a retirement community. The other was at a masonic temple.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:03 PM
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Insofar as I've got a handle on who Spike is talking about, it's people whose interpersonal problems aren't tightly related to being nerdy -- it's not that they're overly interested in something regarded by most people as peculiar that's the trouble, it's that they're nerdy but also unpleasant to be around.

At which point, I can sympathize -- that's a rough position to be in. But defending their nerd turf isn't going to do them any good at all, and hostility in that regard is just lashing out randomly. It might be excusable from someone whose troubles generally are bad enough, but it's not a sane or functional response.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:08 PM
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To be semi-serious for a minute, I don't really understand the framing of the "nerd" as "enthusiast." I associate the term with a particular kind of social isolation -- that, really seriously, sucks, that is a problem, and that (in a better world) would be managed better by both the isolated person and the people doing the isolating. That seems to be what Spike is talking about, as well as the kind of defensive response to/banding around that isolation which is what L. seems to be talking about.

I mean, most people are enthusiasts about something. Are hardcore surfers "surfing nerds."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:18 PM
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If the definition I tried out in 158 works, no, because there isn't much of a level of surfing-obsession that will be treated by non-surfers as socially inappropriate. Surfing is cool, and makes you pretty with nice muscles and bleached hair, so you can talk about it all day and the non-surfers will nod along (I'm guessing? I'm from NY, I don't know surfers. One works for Buck, but he's in San Diego.) Likewise, an obsessive interest in popular music doesn't make you a nerd because it's socially acceptable to be very, very involved in popular music.

Nerdy obsession makes you socially isolated because people think you're weird for your level of enthusiasm. And people who were socially isolated already develop nerdy obsessions because of the isolation. But the isolation isn't the core of what's going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:30 PM
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Yes but at this point how is it possible that comic books or science fiction (the stereotypically nerdy pursuits) or even an interest in science (cf, I fucking love science) fall within that definition. I mean, "weird for your level of enthusiasm" can also govern people's response to football players or popular music fans -- it has to be that the activity itself is somehow disdained, which as I say right now can't conceivably apply to, say, comic books, computers, "science," or science fiction,* all enthusiasms that are now totally and completely mainstream.

*I'll give you enthusiasm for Dungeons and Dragons.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:40 PM
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Or, more precisely, that the activity is disdained because it itself is evidence of a tendency towards social isolation/social unpleasantness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:42 PM
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"is seen as"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:42 PM
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The people I think Spike is talking about have been ramping up the misogyny a lot recently, hence the Scalzi smackdown. It seems to be related to financial/popular success for the industry as a whole, hence worse at Comicon than, say, Readercon, though Readercon has had its own bitter pill. I'd guess that a lot of the rage is that some unpleasant people have discovered that even being associated with something popular isn't making them popular. It's the bitterness of middle-age writ large: is this all there is? I'm not the protagonist?

But dude, Spike, one of my formative experiences with nerd-dom was having the rest of the high school math team joke about raping me (and, in one case, try). To be fair, the two jerkiest guys joked, and the rest looked uncomfortable. But if we're playing Most Bullied to win nerd-dom, they lost the goddamn round and they did it by sins of commission. DNFTEC.

(Side note: surf nerdery can, in my extremely limited experience, be found among board-makers, who aren't all good at surfing.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:44 PM
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it has to be that the activity itself is somehow disdained, which as I say right now can't conceivably apply to, say, comic books, computers, "science," or science fiction,* all enthusiasms that are now totally and completely mainstream.

Well, there's drift in what's fashionable. If your interest in SF or comics has led you to be treated as a nerd for most of your life, then you're not going to drop that sense of yourself just because it's less socially penalized than it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:45 PM
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I'd guess that a lot of the rage is that some unpleasant people have discovered that even being associated with something popular isn't making them popular

Or, people who were big fish in a small pond resenting being smaller fish in a bigger pond. It's not abject losers, but people who saw themselves as having power in the nerd world and losing control over it as their topic gets broadly popular.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:49 PM
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I'M STILL KING OF THE NERDS LB


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:52 PM
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So am I the only one who's had "A Shave and a Haircut" stuck in their head 'cause of this post?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:54 PM
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210.2 Ugggh, that's awful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 4:55 PM
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192
187 - The guy in the picture who is alone at the table behind the table full of geeks in the foreground? THATS the kind of nerd I'm talking about. Spare a though for the complete, social outcast who can't even find people to play with him at a nerd convention.

Hey now, you can't jump to conclusions about people based on things like that. Sure, I may find myself sitting alone a lot of the time at events like that, staring at the wall or my phone or silently watching other people play, and when I do make conversation it's just about the game itself before trailing off awkwardly, but I have plenty of friends who just don't go to those events with me and I'm perfectly sociable when playing card games with people I already know or in non-gaming-related contexts and I haven't sounded this defensive in years.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:02 PM
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not abject losers

Abjection is roiling about keeping the waters cloudy, though. There's a big ol' calendar-and-plastic-statue genre about male monsters and sexy women that has, I think, no parallel with female monsters. And, to have a bob moment,

From Kristeva's psychoanalytic perspective, abjection is done to the part of ourselves that we exclude: the mother. We must abject the maternal, the object which has created us, in order to construct an identity.

Dunno.

215: I won, though. Which I might not next time and it didn't make life un-scary and I don't know if it did much good for the next girl, but it has its upsides.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:06 PM
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It seems like in almost any sport you get what could be called within the bounds of this thread "gear-nerdery." I had friends into mountain biking and rock climbing who had these really strong views on how to outfit a bike or what to take on what kind of climb.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:07 PM
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Likewise, an obsessive interest in popular music doesn't make you a nerd because it's socially acceptable to be very, very involved in popular music.

You can definitely be a pop music nerd though if you have an obsessive enough interest.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:11 PM
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re: 218

Yup. Not sports, but some of my guitar playing friends, and a higher percentage again of people I know who are into photography are deeply into 'gear-nerdery'.

Funnily enough, the sport I do, no-one cares. Most people wear scabby squash shoes, and use bashed up gloves they've had for years. Even though there is fancy/pro gear out there.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:18 PM
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Oh and also! Geek Social Fallacy #1; for practicum, When a Fan Hits the Shit. (I should run the GSFs through Laws of Peoples, but that would be actual work.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:18 PM
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The distinction seems uncomplcated to me: nerdy obsessions are those that revolve around a fantasy world. Non-nerdy obsessions are those that revolve around the real world. Music can go either way because it can either be a social pursuit or a hermetic one. Surfing specifically is extremely closely tied to being in, and experiencing the world. Comic books (which are still very nerdy if we're talking about books as opposed to movies) are very much about imagining another world. Sci-fi, same deal. Anything that involves building another world (RPGs, programming, Minecraft) is nerdy as hell. Traditional novels do not so much scratch the itch because they are not expansive enough (one book, not a series) or they are too close to the world-as-it-exists (something like mystery novels).

These pursuits appeal to people who are shunned (primarily through no fault of their own, Halford, meanie) because they allow them to really embed themselves in a reality that is not the one where things are sucky. It's different from the temporary escapism of movies.

The link to science, especially science that concerns phenomena at non-human scales, is presumably obvious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:19 PM
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216 -- I didn't have anyone to play with at the last board-game drop-in I went to, but it was because my timing was awful and no-one knew me to split a role. Or maybe it's because we are the most nerd. We losewin.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:26 PM
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222 makes a lot of sense.

However

one book, not a series

Balzac!*

*Not a counterexample, since it's close to world-as-it-exists, just something juvenile to yell at someone.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:28 PM
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re: 224.last

Rougon-Macquart!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:30 PM
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In fact, for some guitarists (and for a fucking LOT of photographers) the gear, and talking about the gear is the hobby. Long involved disputes over exactly which already-better-than-any-sane-person-could-ever-need lens is best, or endless guitar/amp tinkering looking for one's 'sound'. Playing or taking photos are a distant second.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:32 PM
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So am I the only one who's had "A Shave and a Haircut" stuck in their head 'cause of this post?

No. And worse, I keep hearing it in Roger Rabbit's voice.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:33 PM
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Palliser!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:33 PM
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The link to science, especially science that concerns phenomena at non-human scales, is presumably obvious.

Not really at all, at least to me. Science seems like literally the opposite of a fantasy world. I mean granted there can be escapism from ordinary reality in contemplating science, but that doesn't seem qualitiatively different from any other intellectual pursuit, artistic pursuit, or even from a physical pursuit that provides some mode of escapism (surfing, actually, or, say, hiking). I'm not ready to cede escapism to the nerds alone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:34 PM
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I bet there are sex grotto nerds in Palm Springs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:36 PM
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the last board-game drop-in I went to

I am happy and sad to think that board-game drop-ins are a thing.

I miss gaming. It's more accurate to say that I've "gotten away from" than I've been forced away from it. But there are times I wish that real life didn't take so much time away from my hobbies . . .

Thankfully there is always unfogged (which isn't overly nerdy, but does give some of the same feel of being part of an ongoing thing).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:40 PM
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Science seems like literally the opposite of a fantasy world.

Oh yeah?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:43 PM
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229: it's not exactly the same as escapism; regular movies are escapism, and pretty much everybody likes those. Novels are escapism. Going for a run is, on some level, escapism. Everybody likes occasional escapism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 5:44 PM
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The "gear obsession" ties in with the essay I linked to up thread. It's about being a high school music geek (Title: "Music Is My Bag"):

Having a Bag connotes the state of being overly interested in something, and yet, in a certain way, not interested enough. It has a hobbyish quality to it, a sense that the enthusiasm developed at a time when the enthusiast was lacking in some significant area of social or intellectual life. Music Is My Bag is the mother of all Bags, not just because in the early 1980s some consumer force of the public radio fund-drive variety distributed a line of tote bags that displayed that slogan, but because its adherents, or, as they tend to call themselves, "music lovers," give off an aura that distinguishes them from the rest of the population. It's an aura that has to do with a sort of benign cluelessness, a condition that, even in middle age, smacks of that phase between prepubescence and real adolescence.

This is the essence of Bagdom. It is to take greater pleasure in the reverb than the melody, to love the lunch break more than the rehearsal, the rehearsal more than the performance, the clarinet case more than the clarinet. It is to think nothing of sending away for the deluxe packet of limited-edition memorabilia that is being sold for the low, low price of one's entire personality. It is to let the trinkets do the talking.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:23 PM
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There might not be an inherent structural distinction between the nerdish and the non-nerdish. Once something is a little nerdish, for random or contingent reasons, visibly paying attention to it is a signal of being bad at social signals, so it gets marked as more nerdish.

That said, Tweety's `alternate world' story makes sense to me. (Fans are slans; SCA; otherkin.) Some fans get pissy about `novels with maps', as being too obviously escapist.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:25 PM
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a lot of the best philosophers I've met aren't nerdy at all. Assholes, sometimes, yes [although that's less common than stereotype sometimes has you believe]

I assume everybody's already seen the Scumbag Analytic Philosopher meme going around the interwebs, but if not, well, now you have.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:26 PM
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And ugh, I hope things turn out okay with your grandmother, Di. I second those who're saying sensible things about how you couldn't have known and not to beat yourself up over not returning the call.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:27 PM
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Yes I'd like to hear about I dunno, someone talking about q[u]asars in a bar, but I don't see why that needs to be identified with comic books

Now you know.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:30 PM
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The purest demonstration of nerdy-pursuits-as-longing-for-a-better-world in my personal experience came, for me, with this dude I used to play RPGs with in high school. He lived with his (single, pretty young) mom in a crappy basement apartment where the power regularly got cut, and had a terrible family history full of abuse-y uncles. He didn't graduate from high school until he was 21, because he got redirected for a while into the impossible-to-graduate-from alternative school for druggies after discovering acid his freshman year. He was physically distinctly unattractive (greasy hair, thick glasses, terrible posture), entirely unathletic, and obviously too poor to afford new clothes (he had one pair of black sneakers and like two pairs of black jeans at most). Whenever we played RPGs (mostly Cyberpunk 2020, sometimes Rolemaster or other things) his characters would be totally focussed on finding a nice spouse, settling down, and getting a regular job. They (he) would get completely frustrated that every time it seemed like things were getting into a groove, some goddamned adventure would upset the applecart. He really seemed to believe, every time, that this time his character in a science fiction/fantasy adventure game would be able to live a quiet life as an untroubled homebody. It was like a pathological version of Bilbo in the Hobbit and really rather poignant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:35 PM
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60

55.1 I claim sampling bias. People who prefer solitary, process-oriented work have only a few work avenues open to them, one of which is the exact sciences. Another one is working as mechanics or machinists, another set of people also enriched for OCD antisocial styles.

That isn't sampling bias. It might be selection bias but the result is that certain types really are over represented among mathematicians.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:35 PM
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Thanks, all. She passed. 92 years old. I'm told there will be no wake, funeral, memorial, or other traditional rite of grieving.

I talked to her boyfriend for a few minutes tonight. All available good vibes should be directed his way. He was so good to her and now he is so lost. She was the love of his life.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:41 PM
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239 is poignant. Do you know what happened to him?

also, the Music Is My Bag essay is an amazing balance of love and hatred, and makes me want to go practice. Quietly. I've been hoping for an easy unequal-temperaments-through-my-computer for years, but all I get pointed at is wildly expensive atonal keyboard-like things.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:41 PM
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Aw, Di. Should you have a wake? You could get btocked and tell us about her. Not the same, but here we are.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:42 PM
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Very very sorry to hear that, Di.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:46 PM
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My thought for you, your grandma, her boyfriend, and the rest of the family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 6:57 PM
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Ooh, I like clew's thinking! When Lee was headed to her sister's memorial service a few weeks ago, sn elderly relative confided, "You know, Grace wanted to be cremated, so we won't even see the body. I guess they'll just put her in one of those whadyecallit, urinals!" Lee didn't have the heart to suply the right word, but Grace would have appreciated the story.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:01 PM
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So sorry to hear that, Di.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:03 PM
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I'm so sorry, Di.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:03 PM
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My condolences and well-wishes, Di.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:07 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about Lee's sister also. I hadn't heard that before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:08 PM
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Very sorry, Di.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:09 PM
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Sorry di

217:If this thread is winding down I suppose I could contribute some too much Lamarre:

Thus need turns into desire. The lack is no longer purely physical but largely psychological. A person will latch onto various little objects (referred to as object petit a) that promise to make him or her feel whole. These are often dubbed partial objects. Fetishism then is one way of latching onto a partial object or a set of partial objects in order to deny one's fundamental incompleteness in the world.

If fetishism is deemed to be somehow "abnormal," it is because partial objects are supposed to function in the context of sexual development as "transitional objects," as objects that ease the transition from an imaginary sense of wholeness and completion (that comes of being with the mother or some other caregiver) into the bigger world where one can only fit in by acknowledging and working through one's "castrated status," that is, one's incompleteness in relation to the social formation, a realmof law, language, and paternal authority, which for Lacan is symbolized by the Phallus. The basic scenario is written in highly gendered terms--in terms of the Oepidal movement of little boys from a cuddly infatuation with mothers into a world of law symbolized in the father's prohibition, his "no, the mother is not for you." Even though gendered terms such as mother and Father are, in theory, symbolic placeholders and open to any gender, it has proved very difficult in practice to get beyond them. The psychoanalytic scenario tends to presume the unity of male desire, which is why Chobits most resembles psychoanalysis when it centers attention on Hideki, shrouding Chii in mystery.*

What also demands attention is how psychoanalysis situates technology, especially technological devices like the PC. In the psychoanalytic scenario, technological devices function as partial objects, to which the subject adheres in an attempt to avoid a confrontation with lack, and thus to avoid the realmof law, prohibition, and authority. The association of personal computers with the home and with personal communication, for instance, might be taken as a prime example of how technological devices reflect a desire to remain in the realm of cuddly domestic intimacy rather than go out into the world. This is true of Hideki: he is presented as a young man who is as yet unable to enter the bigger world. He has left his parents' home but remains immature in the sense that he still cannot address the task at hand: to study for and pass the entrance exams, and enter society. Chii remains at home, and when she takes on a part-time job, the arrangement is thoroughly domestic. In this sense, she/it is symbolic of Hideki's desire to stave off or deny his entry into "castration," that is, into the bigger world of law, authority, and prohibition.

*Chii at the beginning is as empty as a computer without software.

I think you could say that since the alternative is entry into the fucking repressive patriarchy in any of a number of roles, Lamarre very much approves of fetishism, perversion (onanism), and otaku nerdiness for guys as a possibly less damaging and more empathetic subject position. It involves, I think, a literal deconstruction of otaku moe objectifications.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:10 PM
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Oh, and at the end, Hideki serves Chii with absolutely no demands. He really doesn't know how to demand. I suppose the question is what or who he is serving.

"Otaku" of course means another's house or family, an honorific second-person pronoun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:20 PM
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I'm sorry, Di, both for you and for your grandmother's boyfriend.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:56 PM
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239 should come with a warning label: "Will Make You Cry".


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 7:58 PM
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Ah, you know. He still had fun playing. And Car Wars games were free from such obvious emotional undercurrents.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:08 PM
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239 really is sweet.

Grandma's boyfriend grew up in foster homes where people told him how stupid he was. Grandma lived through some tough times, too. But for more than 30 years they had each other. He adored her, took such amazing care of her even when she could barely walk or climb stairs. I can only hope to someday have someone care for me the way he cared for her.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:13 PM
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Oh, Di, don't beat yourself up about the phone call. If you're looking for Something To Do, try to help the boyfriend, if that's feasible.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:17 PM
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Did JM just suggest that Di should have sympathy sex with a nonagenarian?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:21 PM
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Just a handjob, VW, geez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:24 PM
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259 and 260 are creepy and gross.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:26 PM
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261 is ageist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:27 PM
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262: Or, you know, you are talking about someone who is like a grandfather to me. But whatever.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:29 PM
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260 not intended in any way but a laughter-as-best-medicine one. Sorry if it fell flat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:30 PM
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I was going to say, thirty years is a long time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:31 PM
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263: again, Di, I'm very sorry for your loss. And if the joke actually hurt your feelings, which it seems it did, I'm sorry about that as well.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:31 PM
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I'm glad I didn't mention the traditional sympathy-food of my people: cream-based casserole.

Seriously, Di, I'm very sorry.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:34 PM
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VW totally nerded on that one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:34 PM
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I'm so sorry, Di.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:37 PM
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Thinking of you and yours, Di.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:38 PM
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I'm sorry, Di. I have a particular soft spot for unmarried partners who lose their loves and don't always have the support or role a spouse would have. I'm glad you and your grandmother love and loved him and helped him find a way to love and be lovable. That's a powerful story.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:40 PM
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(191.) I can never stay on top of these conversation, so sorry if this has been explored, but...

I don't think someone who's having trouble talking to people and is reading in their parents' basement is all that likely to get pissed off because popular pretty people call themselves nerds now. Someone who's protecting turf is someone with turf, in terms of friends and social status, to protect.

In my moderately culturally nerdy experience*, that is generally backwards. The less social turf one has, the more aggressively one defends that turf.

I was among the more well-adjusted nerd-types of my cohort. I could actually talk to girls and stuff. And I can fake my way through normal social interaction. The biggest repellants when it came to excluding outsiders tended to be those for whom nerdity wasn't just home base, it was home. And outsiders, particularly those that don't have to resort to nerdland to be liked are more likely to be found irksome among that group.

Let too many of them in and the same social hierarchy that forced them to nerdland to begin with has suddenly invaded. Suddenly you're having to compete socially with people who shower, who groom themselves. That type of stuff is most likely to instill fear in those that are lost in the game of traditional social convention. Their very identity is being intruded upon.

(I should probably write a post on this rather than ramble on here...)

* - Of the cultural sort more than the academic sort. I collected anime, comic books, am older-school into computers and gadgetry... but am not the smartest guy in the world in terms of math and science.


Posted by: Trumwill | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:41 PM
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When my grandma died very suddenly, the ritual of gathering for the memorial service was very meaningful for me, in the sense that it helped me accept the reality of her loss and emphasized how important she had been to people besides myself. I really believe that post-death gatherings are for the living. Maybe something informal would help?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:41 PM
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273: yes. i agree completely. Gonna go be sad for awhile, but I genuinely appreciate all the kind words of support.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:52 PM
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273: yes. i agree completely. Gonna go be sad for awhile, but I genuinely appreciate all the kind words of support.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:52 PM
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I'm so sorry, Di.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 8:55 PM
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I'm so very sorry Di. What happened with that phone call reminds me very much of what happened with me when my grandfather died.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:33 PM
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Tweety nailed it in 222 -- it's about avoiding the actual world. There's a real distinction between escaping from your everyday routines into something else and escaping from all of reality. Geeking out obsessively about some dimension of the real existing world is not true nerdiness, for example someone who spends all their time in their garage restoring old Porsches or all their time in the basement making beautiful furniture is not classically a nerd because they are too fully engaged with the real physical world. Even though they are escapist. Surfing is obsessive and escapist but even less nerdy because you are engaged with both physical nature and your own physical body which typically are things nerds flee in their effort to escape reality.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 9:41 PM
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Tweety nailed it in 222 -- it's about avoiding the actual world.

And retreating into pure instrumental reason!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:25 PM
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||

I'm writing a problem set for the first time and I feel like it's turning out to be much more... chatty... than any problem set I was ever assigned.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 10:28 PM
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My sympathies, Di.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:18 PM
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66: It's definitely somewhere on the Colorado Plateau, most likely southern Utah as JP suggested. If I had to hazard a more specific guess I would say somewhere in the Cedar Mesa area, but I'm not totally certain about that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-13 11:53 PM
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Hugs, Di.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 1:26 AM
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All available good vibes should be directed his way.

So directed. With a little spare for yourself.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 3:48 AM
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278 explains why these people, who have lovingly hand-crafted clothes and tools like a bunch of Brooklyn hipsters and are running around having a grand time in the woods on a fine autumn afternoon, are canonically non-nerdy.

There's a flipside to this -- I have a friend and former coworker who's now the CTO at a small NYC startup, and she has zero interest in nerd culture stuff. She could talk you about big O notation or alternate Ruby runtimes or her nails or the best taco trucks in New York or Lost, but (e.g.) has never, to my knowledge, seen an episode of Star Trek. And from talking to her, she sees a lot of the emphasis on nerd culture over hacking/making as boundary policing so that young women who are interested in computers and robots but not Slans know that they're not welcome.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 6:36 AM
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285.1 ignores that there's a real degree of truth to 278 in favor of linking to those lightning bolt kids, but I think there's still policing about what counts as "related to the real world". People who were super interested in farrier competitions or gothic lolita fashions or doing lumberjack sports strike me as arguably more connected to the "real world" than people who were really into their office fantasy football league or "American Idol", but the latter group is marked as an acceptable interest.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:27 AM
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What about lumberjacking while sporting gothic lolita fashions?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:30 AM
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On Wednesdays would you go shopping and have buttered scones for tea?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:31 AM
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Anyhow I actually do think people with an obsessive level of interest in fantasy football or American Idol would read as nerds; it's just that neither of those things is terribly well designed to support that level of interest. Somebody who was constantly going on about DVOA and the all-22 film and who spent all their team working with the season manager in Madden (I have known people like this) will most likely have more in (obvious) common with gaming geeks than with ex-jocks. But you really don't need to know about any of that stuff (none of that stuff is terribly necessary) to play fantasy football, which is basically a mildly interactive gambling game that requires no deep knowledge.

Anyhow the comments from your former coworkers are interesting. The woman I know who is now extraordinarily successful as a nerd entrepreneur came through the hacker scene and is now a leading light of the maker world, but she also was head of the strategic games club at my high school a few years after I was. I have often been impressed with how well she navigated some deeply dudely-ass worlds over the years, but I don't think the hacker scene was less dudely than the gamer one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:42 AM
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More rambling: if I had to guess I would imagine that LARPing had way better gender balance than tabletop roleplaying, and among gamers LARPing is sort of the embarrassing cousin people declaim. How much that is gender issues ("ew so much focus on playing dress-up") and how much that is a dlslike of the way it forces your imaginative play to interact with the real, visible world, and how much I totally made up all of this, I dunno.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:45 AM
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OP3: I just bumped into the student again! He's from Luling, Texas. While that name is about as yokel as possible, it's actually not very far away and most people there do not sound quite like this one student, so let's just call him a unique outlier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:54 AM
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The canonical sport for nerds to follow is baseball.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:56 AM
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re: 292

Absolutely. Completely alien from my UK perspective.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:58 AM
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I mean, this kid sounds like a parody of a southern accent. Foghorn Leghorn with the RPM slowed way down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:58 AM
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I was thinking about more comments along the lines of 289 in my head and now I can't get the image of Roman from Party Down saying "I'm into hard sci-fi" out of my head.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:58 AM
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Roman is so, so great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:01 AM
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heebie, you should surreptitiously record this accent and post it to the blog!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:06 AM
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for example someone who spends all their time in... the basement making beautiful furniture is not classically a nerd because they are too fully engaged with the real physical world.

You're telling me this guy isn't a nerd?

Very sorry for your loss, Di.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:06 AM
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295: That was the best.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:06 AM
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297 is magically on the threshhold of totally unethical and incredibly tempting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:07 AM
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The student left his notebook in my office, actually. How does one easily record something, using a fake iPhone or a ordinary computer?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:22 AM
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If you are 16 and in high school, and only have two friends, then I can understand the impulse to find a social circle where you can feel special. Likewise if you're 35 and unemployed and live with your parents. But if you are 35, and are a working scientist or engineer, then you are pretty fucking privileged. "Scientist" is a high status job. It's not as high status as "investment banker" or "ruler of Latveria", but it's high enough that someone in that position should outgrow the need for a little world where they're special. You know what's a low status job? Walmart greeter. Walmart greeters can form special clubs that no one else can join.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:12 AM
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290: LARPing is IME very much more family friendly than RPGs. I know families where it's the official family play time and everyone gets to be part of the fun. Kids as young as four are playing dress up and lets pretend and having a blast while daddy beats the hell out of someone with a padded sword and mommy sings and dances (or beats the hell out of someone with a padded sword). It's so fucking wholesome I could puke.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:32 AM
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Surreptitiously recording someone without their consent may or may not be legal depending on what state you are in.

("I was drunk." "Oh, fine, then.")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:44 AM
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My condolences, Di.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:53 AM
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I'd feel weird getting the student drunk in order to record his accent. Plus it might distort the outcome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 10:00 AM
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Toffoletti, Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls: Feminism, Popular Culture and the Posthuman Body 2007

For the editors of Posthuman Bodies, it is neither possible nor useful to offer an all-encompassing definition of the posthuman. Instead of determining the posthuman in terms of what it is or isn't, Halberstam and Livingstone imagine the posthuman in terms of the processes though which it emerges. They rely on concepts put forward by the thinker Gilles Deleuze like multiplicities, becomings and assemblages to explain the fragmentation of established narratives structuring notions of bodies, identity and humanness. The posthuman body is thus located at the interstices of 'postmodern relations of power and pleasure, virtuality and reality, sex and its consequences' (Halberstam and Livingstone 1995: 3). Their posthuman bodies are the queer body, the technobody and the contaminated body; bodies that rupture a coherent narrative of the human subject in favour of the body in crisis (Halberstam and Livingstone 1995: 3-4).

You know, during all my ignorant ramblings on Lamarre, Chobits, and Oshii Mamoru, some kind soul coulda pointed me toward feminist post-humanism. Not that I am not leery as fuck of some of this shit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 11:31 AM
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@303
LARPing is IME very much more family friendly than RPGs.

So does this mean that you'll be organizing the LARP at Unfoggedydodocon?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 11:45 AM
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Hee: when Roman fails to get laid by a porn star because he rolls his eyes at her for confusing sci-fi and fantasy.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 1:06 PM
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I have a prestigious blog!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 1:07 PM
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God, I'm kind of a whore. I'm letting an ex-boyfriend drive over to bring me cigarettes because I have been grief-drinking and really want a cigarette. I mean, I won't sleep with him or anything, so maybe it's a sort of sanitized version of "whore." But still, once I've satisfied the nicotine craving, I will be so ashamed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 5:52 PM
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And by "grief-drinking," I mean a lame two drinks. A shot of vodka and a beer are apparently now enough to make me incapable of driving.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 5:54 PM
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I still have a few of his things I need to return. Inappropriate to do that when he shows up with a pack of Parliaments, right?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 6:04 PM
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Not one bit. Have him shove the Parliaments through the cat door and then tell him where you stashed his things in the bushes. No one gets hurt.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 6:15 PM
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some kind soul coulda pointed me toward feminist post-humanism

We all thought you knew, Bob.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 6:53 PM
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And yeah, Di, give yourself a pass. People like being helpful, anyway.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 6:54 PM
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282: If I had to hazard a more specific guess I would say somewhere in the Cedar Mesa area

Yes, that was what I was thinking as well. But it could be further north in say the 'Island in the Sky" part of Canyonlands (of which this is one hell of a shot in atypical conditions). Seeing if I can identify the formations--could be Navajo/Kayenta/Wingate (Canyonlands) or Cedar Mesa or deChelly sandstones (Cedar Mesa or even further south--the rock in the cliffs in the background does have a bit of the Monument Valley look, but the further background suggests it is further north).

For more appetite-whetting, a shot of Canyon de Chelly I came across while searching.

I would love to specifically identify the location.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:13 PM
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Yeah, the Canyonlands area (with which I am less personally familiar) is another definite possibility. It still reminds me most of Cedar Mesa, especially the area around Natural Bridges. In fact, the gap the person is jumping across looks like it could be a former natural bridge that has eroded away. It also depends which direction the photographer is facing; I've been assuming south-ish, so the Monument Valley-looking rocks in the middle distance could in fact be somewhere near MV itself (though not there exactly). That would mean the dark ridge in the far distance is probably Black Mesa, although it's partly obscured by the rain (and I'm not sure if it's even visible from that far anyway).

Anyway, that's my thinking on the most likely location. It could easily be somewhere else, though. Canyons like that are a dime a dozen in Utah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:25 PM
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The shadows would seem to indicate it's point sort of westish, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:30 PM
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Depends what time of day it was taken.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:32 PM
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Or north. Or, uh, south.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:34 PM
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Wait, why would the shadows tell you anything? We don't know if we're facing north or south, or like Teo says, what time of day it was.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:35 PM
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Well we know it's not noon in the summer, don't we.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:38 PM
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Because then it would definitely be west.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:39 PM
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To me, the part about it being Arizona makes me think west, but it's not as convincing as the shadows.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:40 PM
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LOOK AT THE PIXELS


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:45 PM
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With a little calculation, we should be able to reduce the parameter space of time of day, time of year, orientation of camera, latitude, and longitude down to some well-defined subspace.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:45 PM
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Can anyone see if there's moss on the sides of those trees? I got close to my monitor but I still couldn't tell.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:46 PM
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I really like the chandelier in the dining room. Both because of the sparkles and because the shadows are so north-by-northeastish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:46 PM
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They don't have proportionally spaced fonts in Arizona.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:48 PM
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Their trees are the wrong height.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:50 PM
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Anyhow, here it is again.

Seems like Canyonlands is right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 7:56 PM
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Here it is from another angle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:09 PM
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332: Nice find. May I ask what search terms lead to it?

Photographer comment: i had him jump it like 20 - 25 times [JPS !!] - and got one pic that came out right (the right body angle)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:09 PM
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"Nine years of ballet, asshole!"


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:12 PM
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I mean, I won't sleep with him or anything, so maybe it's a sort of sanitized version of "whore."

A seldom requested version, anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:14 PM
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A seldom requested version, anyhow.

Pale, nervous girls with black-rimmed glasses and blunt-cut hair lolled around on sofas, riffling Penguin Classics provocatively. A blonde with a big smile winked at me, nodded toward a room upstairs, and said, "Wallace Stevens, eh?" But it wasn't just intellectual experiences. They were peddling emotional ones, too. For fifty bucks, I learned, you could "relate without getting close." For a hundred, a girl would lend you her Bartok records, have dinner, and then let you watch while she had an anxiety attack. For one-fifty, you could listen to FM radio with twins. For three bills, you got the works: A thin Jewish brunette would pretend to pick you up at the Museum of Modern Art, let you read her master's, get you involved in a screaming quarrel at Elaine's over Freud's conception of women, and then fake a suicide of your choosing - the perfect evening, for some guys.

Posted by: Kaiser Lupowitz | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:23 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your grandma, Di.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:26 PM
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It's on the Shafer Trail/Long Canyon Road loop. Here are driving directions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:28 PM
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Sorry, Di. Don't smoke.

LB, the woman you reprobates call Lunchy gets a lot of makeup advice via beauty bloggers/YouTubers. I can't believe how many products some of those girls deploy (seriously: one of them spackled her eyes with eight separate unguents over what I have to think must have been hours), but you might be able to refer to them some of the kid's queries about warpaint.

The rest of you: NERDS! [belches, crushes can against forehead]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:32 PM
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337: That guy was pretty funny. Whatever happened?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:34 PM
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It's kind of tough to find on google maps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:38 PM
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A lone hiker sits atop a hoodoo north, of Moab, UT- as a distant storm rolls in over the La Sal Mountains.

Actually it is the guy who jumped in Tweety's shot. I'm pretty sure from your directions that it is off of Long Canyon Rd. Direction towards la Sal Mts. work (so original shot was pointing NE).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:45 PM
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343: the link in 339 has pretty detailed directions, I just can't find it specifically on google maps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:46 PM
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345

Yeah, eddie_tk was key. I think I googled "canyonlands leap", maybe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:47 PM
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346

I'm pretty sure it is the rock you can see "separated" in the middle here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:53 PM
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347

2nd shot down the page here along Long Canyon Rd.

346 is Google satellite close-up.

I am extremely satisfied, thanks. ... Nerd.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:56 PM
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348

Lower along Long Canyon Rd.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:58 PM
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349

346: yup, I think you're right. I knew the picture was looking west!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 8:59 PM
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350

348: there's a funny picture of an SUV squeezing through that opening floating around (I had it open in an image search, but have now lost it).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:00 PM
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351

350: This?

Pictures are all facing E to NE.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:01 PM
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352

Oops, this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:03 PM
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353

351: no, this one.

351.2: oh, right, north is up. Good call.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:03 PM
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354

the woman you reprobates call Lunchy

I was recently reading Gareth Evans' "The Causal Theory of Names"; in it, he offers "the following tentative definition:

"NN" is a name of x if there is a community C

  1. in which it is common knowledge that members of C have in their repertoire the procedure of using "NN" to refer to x (with the intention of referring to x
  2. the success in reference in any particular case being intended to rely on common knowledge between speaker and hearer that "NN" has been used to refer to x by members of C and not upon common knowledge of the satisfaction by x of some predicate embedded in "NN".

He goes on to note that "the definition does not have the consequence that the description 'the man we call "NN"' is a name, for its success as a referential device does not rely upon common knowledge that it is or has been used to refer to x." Sensibly, however, he does not rule it out that "the man we call 'NN'" might be a name, and I think we behold in our own community the coming into being (if indeed we have not alrady beheld such a coming into being) of "the woman we/you reprobates call Lunchy" as a name for the woman we reprobates call Lunchy. I am fairly certain that, at this point, she has been referred to by the apparently more indirect phrase more frequently than by "Lunchy".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:14 PM
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355

Canyons like that are a dime a dozen in Utah.

Word. This is pretty much the promised land for geology geeks and there's loads of it that you can just drive right up to. We were over at Echo Park area in Oct. with my dad and there was hardly anyone around. So great.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 9:32 PM
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356

I'm still voting for the adoption of the name "Twyrcl" for the woman in question.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 10:44 PM
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357

Nice work, Sifu and JP.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-13 11:32 PM
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358

Twyrcl, Twyrcl, Little B?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:01 AM
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359

I miss Canyonlands; that area is so gorgeous. I recommend that everyone canoe down the Green River.

Di, I am so so sorry to hear about your grandma. I hope you, her boyfriend and the rest of the family are able to mourn her well and take joy in life even without her.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:33 AM
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357: Thanks, I love it when you can get closure on stuff like this. Although there is a competitive searching side of me that now fears and loathes Sifu Tweety.

This was sort of the reverse of when I was in the hills outside of Perth* with a work colleague from there and he started directing me to drive down increasingly obscure tracks until we finally came across a nice open scree slope in the middle of what was otherwise forest. I presumed it was someplace he knew of but he informed me that is was just an interesting feature he had noticed on Google Earth and wanted to check out what it was.

*So not the outback but not a place where we saw anyone else all day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:47 PM
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361

Rarrr!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:56 PM
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362

I'd go give it a try it but our family has a tradition of not jumping across gaps hundreds of feet deep that are visible from space. Just one of those things.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 5:05 PM
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