Friday, December 21, 2007

The Nerd Handbook

Lots of posts for me today... It's slow at work since nobody is here (I have one of those jobs where I'm either daydreaming about product enhancements with my headphones on, or I'm calling programmers and people that can actually code things, and with Xmas approaching nobodty's around). Erm... where was I? Oh, yeah.

Saw this article called The Geek Handbook over on The Rabbit Cave, and liked it so much that I thought it needed... NEEDED... to be reposted. I see more than a little bit of myself in his descriptions of the archetypal nerd, even though I'm certainly not a programmer, coder or web designer. I found this particularly true, and the moment I stopped laughing I started looking for the tiny cameras the author had obviously planted in my house to observe me:

How does a nerd watch TV? Probably one of two ways. First, there’s watching TV with you where the two of you sit and watch one show. Then there’s how he watches by himself when he watches three shows at once. It looks insane. You walk into the room and you’re watching your nerd jump between channels every five minutes.

“How can you keep track of anything?”

He keeps track of everything. See, he’s already seen all three of these movies… multiple times. He knows the compelling parts of the arcs and is mentally editing his own versions while watching all three. The basic mental move here is the context switch, and your nerd is the king of the context switch.

The ability to instantly context switch also comes from a life on the computer. Your nerd’s mental information model for the world is one contained within well-bounded tidy windows where the most important tool is one that allows your nerd to move swiftly from one window to the next. It’s irrelevant that there may be no relationship between these windows. Your nerd is used to making huge contextual leaps where he’s talking to a friend in one window, worrying about his 401k in another, and reading about World War II in yet another.

Seeing as how I'm typing this post in Firefox, where I currently have 44 separate web sites open, each on its own tab, I think he hit the nail square on the head here. Not bragging... just sayin'.

Anyway...enjoy, and, once again, Happy Holidays!


Anonymous said...

The nerd TV thing. . . oh, how I hate it. My dh does it and it makes my eyes hurt. UGH!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your dear family!

Matt Cook said...

Polite geeks wait until they're alone to strobe-shift the TV... they know that normal folk can get seizures form the rapid channel-shifting. =)

Merry Christmas to you, as well!!

Matt Cook said...

PS - LOVE the look of your blog, Malkatsheva! Pretty snazzy!