My Google Geek Holiday Calender told me today is Nerdpride Day, or Geekpride Day. This day is celebrated on May 25 since 2006, celebrating the premiere of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.
The stereotypical nerd is intelligent but socially and physically awkward, according to Wikipedia. Hm, that doesn’t count for me (at least not all features!), but I’m not exactly a nerd. I feel comfortable when talking about the weather as well as about Linux, although talking about the weather makes me feel like playing a role in a sitcom.
In my daily life as a teacher I can observe every day that my pupils’ struggle for life is about wearing the right shoes or clothes, having the newest and most expensive cell phones, I pods and how cool it is to spend as little time as possible for school.
I have no problem with getting older, but now and then I wonder how life would have been for me if I had had access to computers and the internet when I was twelve. I bought and read as much books as I could afford then and didn’t worry about my mother’s complaints that I hadn’t any social life and wasn’t interested in girls – I knew there was nothing to worry about. I’m sure I would have spent all my time on reading RSS-feeds and hanging around on forums like Slashdot; I do that now as much as possilbe, but it is much more difficult to find the time – not nerdy enough to say “no” to family and friends (yes, I have some – I’m actually quite normal). So, I can only agree with the following quote:
My idea is to present an image to children that it is good to be intellectual, and not to care about the peer pressures to be anti-intellectual. I want every child to turn into a nerd – where that means someone who prefers studying and learning to competing for social dominance, which can unfortunately cause the downward spiral into social rejection.
— Gerald Sussman, quoted by Katie Hafner, The New York Times, 29 August 1993
Basic rights and responsibilities of nerds.
A manifesto was created to celebrate the first Nerd Pride Day which included the following list of basic rights and responsibilities of nerds.
- The right to be even nerdier.
- The right to not leave your house.
- The right to not have a significant other and to be a virgin.
- The right to not like football or any other sport.
- The right to associate with other nerds.
- The right to have few friends (or none at all).
- The right to have all the nerdy friends that you want.
- The right to wear witty t-shirts
- The right to not be “in-style.”
- The right to be overweight and have poor eyesight.
- The right to show off your nerdiness.
- The right to make an attempt at being as nerdy as Morgana Summers, and the right to fail. (Topher Stumph came quite close, but he too, failed).
- The right to develop serious crushes on Randall Munroe, Shane Carruth & Bo Burnam, as opposed to say… James Franco. (See 11).
- The right to carry a Thesaurus with you at all times, as opposed to an iPhone. (See 11)
- The right to execute shameless self advertisement via the Wikipedia Geek Pride Day page. (See 11).
- The right to falsely assume the surnames Finkleton, Waldman, Stratzer and Krukemeyer.
- The right to take over the world.
- Be a nerd, no matter what.
- Try and be nerdier than anyone else.
- If there is a discussion about something nerdy, you must give your opinion.
- Save any and all nerdy things you have.
- Do everything you can to show off your nerdy stuff as though it were a “museum of nerdiness.”
- Don’t be a generalized nerd. You must specialize in something.
- Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every nerdy book before anyone else.
- Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related t-shirt, all the better.
- Don’t waste your time on anything not related to nerddom.
- Befriend any person or persons bearing any physical similarities to comic book or sci-fi figures.
- Try to take over the world!