Sometime last year I got into a conversation with someone (Dan?) about the difference between a geek and nerd. This post on reminded me of that conversation… These are the points he made (also the same ones I made last year!):

Nerds are:

  • Generally socially inept
  • Usually not fit and not good at sports
  • Lacking in interest in and/or awareness of in popular culture
  • Extremely focused on and often very talented in academics
  • Not very well respected outside of nerd circles nowadays

Geeks are:

  • Fascinated by technology, but often in how it connects people and organizations
  • Intellectual but not at the expense of being able to make smalltalk
  • Generally comfortable with machines AND people
  • Often fascinated by science and technology, but not necessarily ‘experts’
  • Typically engaged in popular culture, but feeling more passionate about ‘alternative’ entertainment (e.g., “They Might Be Giants,” “Monty Python,” etc.
  • Often figuring out how to tie technology in with useful and or social endeavors (e.g., using a Palm Pilot to look up a restaurant review)
  • Probably seen as “the norm” in many places, including various cities (San Francisco) and demographics (Ivy League colleges).

Good list, but I’m sure there’s more, can you think of any? Personally, I think ‘geek’ is more of a compliment than nerd. No one wants to actually be a nerd, no matter how many 80’s movies show them getting laid. :)

That being said, I’ve been thinking about putting my BBS back on line, but I don’t think it’ll get much activity. Are people still into BBSes? Are there any still up in the New Orleans area? Does anyone still have modems in the computer? (Can you tell I’ve had a broadband connection for a few years?)