As part of my work duties and my past academic record, I’ve come in contact with many a person that are referenced as nerds. By themselves too I might admit. This experience lends itself for me to make some observations on the nature of these people.
I’m not a nerd. There would be some notoriety in being but I’m not. My life is a collection of being in the middle, not quite this or that. This has some drawbacks and advantages, among the latter might be the ability to make observations one otherwise couldn’t.
Many nerds seem to be interested in language but language as a system. As a collection of rules and exceptions to those rules. I’m also interested in language, but mainly as a vehicle for meaning, the different ways to portray the same meaning and different meaning with the same apparent utterances.
I think this fascination with rules explains the interest many nerds have with programming. Programming languages are a far cry from the vagueness of human language. My interest in programming is mostly pragmatic, it is a means to an end. Most computer games, even today, are still written in programming languages. If you are interested in realizing computer games, it pays to know programming. I also enjoy solving problems, which programming ultimately is.
The supposed onsocialness of nerds is a muddier issue. Some nerds are as sociable as consultants. Some seem to lack certain confidence that translates in some minds as awkwardness in social settings. Some possess some esoteric interests that might translate poorly into conversation topics in a more broad setting. I like to think myself as socially adept, I have a broad range of subjects I’m somewhat familiar with, I have a quick mind although I have certain hang-ups, I’m not going to go in detail here. Although I’m not that drawn to people as such, I find you humans genuinely interesting.