So I have the word “nerd” right in the title of my blog, and that’s always been the term that I’ve preferred for my part of this nifty little subculture I inhabit. But I’ve never objected to be referred to as a geek, either. I just always felt like “nerd” fit me a lot better, and I’m not sure I can rightly tell you why.
The differences between nerds and geeks a topic of relatively frequent debate, and I think PopSci has given us a really good take on the matter (really, who better to trust on this subject than PopSci?). The basic idea is that “nerds” are more interested in ideas and geeks are more interested in tangible stuff. If a a career analogy helps, nerds appear to be more of the scientist/mathematician type, whereas geeks are more the IT/Coder/Computer people. I suppose that fits, as we tend to call people computer geeks more so than computer nerds.
For what it’s worth, I think I really fall easily into both catagories. I’m a published scientist, and actively pursing my PhD. And I like to write and talk about ideas about feminism, queer life, and all kinds of other stuff here on TNF. But I also love my gadgets, which is attested to by the piles of gear in my studio and the multitude of apple devices you’d find in my messenger bag. I still I think I lean a little more to the nerd end, but I suppose this blog could have just as reasonably been TransGeekFeminist (but that just doesn’t sound as good anyway!).
I don’t think this little post from PopSci is going be the final battleground in defining what it is to be a geek vs a nerd, but it ranks among the best and most sensical ways to give clear identity to each term I’ve heard yet, if you’re into the that kind of thing. But geek or nerd, we’re still all the same community, and I think it’d do us all some good to remember that.