... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

191: it's a funny joke

I’ve written a joke:

What’s the difference between nerds and geeks?

“I don’t know, what is the difference between nerds and geeks?”

Before I address the question of the differences, please allow me to first address the similarities.  The two terms are commonly used interchangeably to describe a physically-unimposing person with specialist knowledge or shameless enthusiasm for specific intellectual pursuits; for instance, technical or scientific subjects often coupled with deep knowledge about a hobby.  Hobbies popular amongst geeks and nerds include but are not limited to science fiction/fantasy, comics, superheroes, manga/anime, puzzle solving, history, and even sports statistics.

A geek or nerd is typically more concerned with cerebral matters; placing their own interests above more conventional pursuits such as socialising.  Obviously these descriptions are stereotypical and should the statistics be collected, they may show that many nerds or geeks do not conform.

For instance many geeks/nerds have gone on to significant achievement, both intellectually and socially.  Some examples follow:  Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Ross, Spiderman, and Barack Obama.  Further analysis would undoubtedly provide more examples.  I have not done the research, and at this point must defer to those who have to provide deeper understanding, and to correct me on any errors I have made.  As a minor comic aside please allow me to quote a scene of dialogue from popular American animated situation comedy, The Simpsons:

Lisa: Nerds are nothing to fear, Dad. In fact, some nerds of note include popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher, rock star David Byrne, and Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Homer: Oh no! Not Souter! (buries face in hands) Oh nooo! 

Joking aside I will now proceed with regard to the original question highlighting the differences over the similarities for comic effect.  N.E.R.D. are a hip hop group featuring Neptunes members Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, plus drummer Shay Haley, whereas ‘geeks’ are touring carnival side-show attractions whose act consists usually of some form of wilful bodily degradation, the term originally deriving from an old German word loosely meaning fool.  There may be other subtle differences between the two words, however these are undefined and open to dispute.

Thank you for listening to my joke; I hope it has provided the requisite satisfaction.  Please consider this an experiment during which I have been collecting data.  With that data I will draw conclusions and plan further experiments.  I will eventually publish my original hypothesis, experiments, and data, along with my conclusions so that others may verify or discredit my work.

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