The Nerd Handbook

Long ago, when I first launched the Blahg, in a post which is gone due to a now dead webhost and my failure to back up the site, I posted an article about attention deficit disorder.  I linked to, and wrote about my experience in comparision to, Rands’ N.AD.D. article.  Rands is someone who totally gets what being a geek is like (although he uses the term nerd instead), and as a manager of people, he is quite adept at expressing what we are like and how to deal with us.

Not too long ago, he went and wrote another amazing piece on relating to geeks – The Nerd Handbook.  If you have to deal with me, or any significantly geeky/nerdy person, on a regular basis, I highly recommend his handbook as a way to understand and better deal with me/us.

A nerd needs a project because a nerd builds stuff. All the time. Those lulls in the conversation over dinner? That’s the nerd working on his project in his head.

Something so many people don’t get about us.  It’s something that still amazes my wife at times.  We’ll be sitting eating or she’ll be watching something on television (I often sit with her but rarely actually watch the shows like she does), and suddenly I’ll figure out something that I’ve been puzzling over in my mind.  She has often commented on how amazing it is to her that I’m always thinking over these unanswered thats and how I tend to come up with answers at unexpected times.  But really, that’s what we do, generally speaking, and a big part of what makes us tick.

Understand your nerd’s relation to the computer. It’s clichéd, but a nerd is defined by his computer, and you need to understand why.

13 years I’ve been trying to drill that in to her head, but my wife still doesn’t get this.  It is what I know and understand better than anything else in the world.  And like many people, geek and non-geek, I happen to like most dealing with things I understand well.  Of course, I particularly like working on the thing I know best when I’m in the environment I know best.  Or as Rands puts it:

Your nerd has built himself a cave.

Also, learn about our often biting sense of humor.

Nerds are fucking funny. Your nerd spent a lot of his younger life being an outcast because of his strange affinity with the computer. This created a basic bitterness in his psyche that is the foundation for his humor. Now, combine this basic distrust of everything with your nerd’s other natural talents and you’ll realize that he sees humor is another game.

The article is lengthy, but it’s an entertaining and informative read.  As I noted above – I prefer to be called a geek rather than a nerd.  But otherwise, I agree with most of what he says.

So if you are looking to better understand the geek or nerd in your life, please, take the 10-15 minutes needed to consume it all and read The Nerd Handbook.  You’ll improve your ability to interact with us, and we’ll be more pleasant to be around, I assure you.

[tags]Rands in repose, The Nerd Handbook, Geeks, Nerds[/tags]