Monday, February 2, 2009

Nerd v. Dork

There seems to be some confusion over the definition and distinction between nerds and dorks. Being both a nerd and a dork, I feel qualified to try to explain the distinction.

Nerdy is learning an ancient language.
Dorky is learning Klingon.

Nerdy is twittering the status of the Large Hadron Collider.
Dorky is twittering Magic the Gathering eBay auctions.

Nerdy is machining your own bicycle parts to make them more aerodynamic.
Dorky is riding a recumbent bicycle because it's more aerodynamic (and having an orange safety flag!).

Nerdy is eating at a fast-food restaurant because it optimizes the calories per dollar.
Dorky is eating at a fast-food restaurant because they have a batman collectible cup.

Nerdy is making cartographic illustrations of the Riemann Zeta function on Wikipedia.
Dorky is making cartographic illustrations ofTatooine on Wookiepedia. (Thanks to Aaron)

Nerdy is evolving ribozymes as biomarkers.
Dorky is evolving a five armed lizard in Spore.

Nerdy is keeping up to date with copyright and patent laws.
Dorky is keeping up to date with the bi-laws of the Society for Creative Anachronisms.

Nerdy is making a wind chime tuned to mixolydian mode.
Dork is setting your ring tone to the theme from Close Encounters.

Nerdy is configuring your living room for X10 home automation.
Dorky is configuring your living room as a World of Warcraft sanctuary.

Nerdy is giving your avatar attributes from your real-self.
Dorky is giving your real-self attributes from your avatar.


Purum said...

I feel sad/understood by the fast food reference. You should probably work on a scale that helps people determine where they fall in this "continuum". are there other axis that go along nerdy/dorky... geeky?

Also, are you saying that at any given time, most dorks will gather at the fast food restaurant where the toys are best? Hmm...

thomas said...

Do you get notified when someone leaves a comment, or do my 3am responses to blogs-gone-by sit alone in the blog-o-sphere, like some sad hydrogen atom sitting alone for 15 billion years? Please email me. -thomas

Anonymous said...

Is thomas's comment nerdy or dorky? What about this one?

Diane said...

This blog reminds me of a brilliant flow diagram cartoon I saw once, called "Are you a Pimp or a Scientist?"
It was removed from my friend's refrigerator when he moved apartments, and I haven't been able to locate it online. If someone out there finds it, please post!

zoe said...

Ha! So dorks seem to be more science fiction, nerds more science :)