Monday, September 24, 2012

Nerds & Enthusiasts

I just have to say this real quick, as I feel it bears explaining.

There is no such thing as a "nerd", at least not how society defines it.

We humans are pack animals.  Ironically, we feel the best route to define ourselves is to identify with certain groups of our choosing -- Race, Ethnicity, Conservative, Liberal, Rap, Rock, Microsoft, Sony, Paper, Plastic, whatever have you. You'd think most of us would be a little more diverse in our tastes, but, for the most part, we love the mob mentality.  It's the warm fuzzy feeling of being a part of something, as if we are so insecure about our own opinions that we crave validation.  It's easier to belong than to think critically.  Maybe that speaks to how alone we really are.  Maybe I'm reading much too far into this.

My point is, whether you like it or not, we are all nerds.  That is one sect of life that none of us can escape from, no matter how hard you try.

The reason for this, is that the term "nerd", when applied in any practical sense, really just means "enthusiast".

We as humans have an inherent desire to define ourselves by the packs we run in, and once we snuggle up with one, we must do what is necessary to survive in the wild:  attack the other packs and establish territory.

It just so happens that in today's contemporary society, packs like, say, "sports enthusiasts" have typically won the territorial fight for mainstream acceptance against, say, "video game enthusiasts".

During the Enlightenment, "Art and Philosophy" enthusiasts won out.  During the Dark Ages, "God Enthusiasts" did.

What is accepted as "normal", "mainstream" culture always changes as the years roll on, just as those who dominate it will always find a way to marginalize and categorize the rest with more negative connotations in order to validate their own beliefs, however similar each groups' beliefs may all actually be.

Today, that connotation is "nerd".  But when you really think about it, everyone is a nerd.  All that really matters, is what you are a nerd about.

There is no Alpha.  There is no Beta.  It's like and dislike.  That is what makes you who you are.

If only it were that simple.


1 comment:

  1. If only it was. I've always kind of noticed this about our species, our need to fit in, wherever we feel the most comfortable. It's sort of weird that whole mentality, maybe it's some kind of old survival instinct that's just sort of mildly evolved as technology and civilizations grew larger.

    We're a strange species indeed.