ScienceBlogs: Home of Hot Nerds

ScienceBlogs: Home of Hot Nerds September 8, 2006

I don’t know how many of my readers saw this, but last week someone decided to have a hotornot contest for the ScienceBloggers. But it was based on pictures placed on technorati, and since I don’t have a picture there, I was left out of the field of entries; I’m not the least bit disappointed by that. But this week, Janet has decided that rather than a “who’s hotter” contest, we should have a “who’s geekier” contest, so she has declared a nerd off. Shelly is all in for it and posts some pretty compelling evidence of nerdiness. Chris has likewise issued a dork manifesto of his own, complete with physics jokes. But I don’t think anyone is gonna beat Orac on this one. I think he’s the Uber-nerd.

As for me I’m afraid I’ll have to sit this one out. The only thing really geeky about me is my love of books. But the fact that none of those books are sci fi or fantasy generally leaves me off the nerd list. That and the fact that I positively loathe Star Drek Trek, wouldn’t play Dungeons and Dragons (or any variation of it) if you put a gun to my head, and wouldn’t be caught dead at a Ren Faire pretty much rules me out for this title. Consequently, when I took the nerd test I didn’t score very well:

I am nerdier than 34% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

That’s well below the next lowest score on Tim Lambert’s chart of all the ScienceBloggers. I am apparently just a nerd wannabe.

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  • John

    Is is OK to admit that I go to Tara’s site at least once a day, just to look at her picture?

  • David Durant

    Ah, only 92% myself – must be slipping… 🙂

    > wouldn’t play Dungeons and Dragons (or any variation of it)
    > if you put a gun to my head, and wouldn’t be caught dead at
    > a Ren Faire pretty much rules me out for this title.

    I think the write doth protest too much… 😉

    Seriously Ed, have you tried either of those things? Roleplaying covers such a *huge* spectrum of experiences that it’s extremely hard to characterise it at all.

    Meanwhile a well organised Ren Faire is more like a living history lesson than an excuse to dress up and speak with a silly accent. Do some research to find one near you that is run by genuine historians and you may be pleasently surprised.

  • llDayo


    Not bad, I must say!

  • I got a 67 which I thought was high.

    I include as a “graphing calculator” Excel because, well, you can graph equations with it.

  • 96%. I’m astonished. I was so nerdy I that I didn’t even realize how nerdy I was.

  • Will

    Well, I wouldn’t watch basketball, watch a poker tournament, or go to a bbq if you put a gun to my head. But I am a nerd.

  • Ed Brayton


    On roleplaying games, I just could not possibly have any less interest in them. This probably has something to do with the fact that I have little interest in fiction writing as well. I have read fewer than a dozen novels in my entire adult life. I read almost exclusively non-fiction. I just have no interest in fantasy; I much prefer reality. Which is not to say there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my thing.

    On Ren Faires, I suppose one that really focused on the history might keep my interest for a bit. I am certainly a lover of history. But the moment you put on costumes, you’ve lost me. I don’t understand why anyone would want to dress up and reenact King Arthur’s court anymore than I understand why someone would want to dress up and reenact a Civil War battle, or want to go to a Star Trek convention dressed as Mr. Spock. Again, that doesn’t mean people who do are wrong, it’s just a matter of personal preference. I just don’t get it; I never have. I’m sure others just don’t get why anyone would watch a basketball game or play poker or spend 8 hours smoking a brisket.

    Now that I think about it, there’s probably also a connection here to other things I dislike. For instance, I did a musical once in high school and I absolutely hated it. I’ve never had any interest at all in pretending to be someone else, which may be connected to my distaste for fantasy. I can understand why others do like it, I just don’t like it myself.

  • Pieter B

    I get a 72, about what I estimated.

    I do RenFaire, but not cons or RPGs. Actually, I work at a RenFaire, with the Best Job At Faire™ — I sell beer. My attitude toward costumes is that all clothing is a costume, and that putting on the appropriate clothing for what you’re going to be doing helps get your head into that space. For me that’s true of everything from a T-shirt and shorts to a tux or tails.

  • Have you forgotten what anniversary September 8 is? I haven’t.

  • Ed Brayton

    I’m afraid you stumped me. What anniversary is September 8?

  • Ed Brayton

    Ah, then I follow the link and see for myself. It’s apparently the 40th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek on TV. Of course, being an anti-trekkie, that means about as much to me as the debut of Cop Rock. But you real nerds knock yourselves out celebrating. 🙂

  • Matthew

    I don’t see why we have to declare anniversaries for things every 5 years. It’s enough, really. 40 isn’t that important. Let’s make a big deal out of it when it’s been 50 years.

  • Hm. I didn’t really find any of the professions appealing, so I just chose one randomly and got a 71, which is better than I was expecting….

    Of course, when I chose engineer, which is the only one even remotely related to my interests, it bumped up to 79.

    Hm. But does this mean now I have to change my answer to “Do you plan on telling others your nerd score?” from “No way!” to “Maybe, depends on the score”? ‘Cause that’d bump me up to 74/81….

  • I’m sure others just don’t get why anyone would watch a basketball game or play poker or spend 8 hours smoking a brisket.

    *raises hand* Yeah, that’d be me.

    On the other hand, I agree with you about Star Drek Trek. But have you ever seen Babylon 5? That’s some good tv viewing, there (first season isn’t so great though, so if you don’t want to sit through 22 episodes to get to the good part, I don’t blame you).

  • kehrsam

    I came in at 97, which is way higher than I would have guessed, even if I have worked a few years in tech support.

    I must say I enjoy Ren Faires, but mostly for the low-cut bodices. And that’s the type of music I listen to in any case. But the food is always miserable.

    Our local Faire will be sponsored and run by the local amateur Shakespeare group this coming year, so it should be a bit more highbrow than the average. If anyone is in the Asheville area next May or so, please stop by.

    I really don’t care about Trekking or Sci-Fi, and like you, Ed, I read very little fiction. On the other hand, I’ve been working on the ultimate RPG for a number of years now….

  • Phillip J. Birmingham

    I took it a while back and got an 87. In the interim, I subscribed to Make magazine (I counted it as a science mag) and bought a microscope, and my score skyrocketed to 96 (I’m guessing that in the interim a lot of lesser nerds took the test and skewed the results as well, as I see that the score is a percentile, not an absolute.)

    And I do enjoy a good game of poker, and making a nice smoked pork shoulder or turkey breast.

  • luna_the_cat


    SF? Check. Renfaires (including costume)? Check. RPGs? Check. Graphing calculator? Check. Period Table of the Elements right next to me? Check. Yep, pretty clear where I fall.

    And, poker and sports and smoking briskets just bores the bejeezus out of me, too.