Are You a Geek or a Nerd? The Difference Really Is in the Data
The words "nerd" and "geek" are often used interchangeably, as if they mean the same thing. They actually don't.
The words "nerd" and "geek" are often used interchangeably, as if they mean the same thing. They actually don't:
Or, as Slackpropagation puts it, "Both are dedicated to their subjects, and sometimes socially awkward. The distinction is that geeks are fans of their subjects, and nerds are practitioners of them." In order to clarify those differences, he made this map. You can click here for a larger image of it.
Using that distinction, he pored over 2.6 million Tweets using both the streaming and search APIs for over a one month period. After crunching the numbers to figure out each word's PMI (pointwise mutual information), he got a pretty good predictor of the semantic word similarities between "geek" and "nerd." There were more than he expected, as you can see from the map.
Orange words are geeky. Blue ones are nerdy. The words on the vertical axis become more geeky as you go up, and the words on the horizontal axis become more nerdy as you move right. Slackpropagation continues: "Words along the diagonal are similarly geeky and nerdy, including social (“#awkward”, “weirdo”), mainstream tech (“#computers”, “#microsoft”), and sci-fi/fantasy terms (“doctorwho,” “#thehobbit”)." Other observations from the data include:
All observations quoted from Slackpropagation.
If the map isn't helpful to you, or you'd like another perspective, check out this infographic from Diego Martinez-Moncada at Daily Infographic. The dataset is different from Slackpropagation's, but it comes from the same 2012 time period - and draws the same conclusions:
So now that you have all that, where do you stand?
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
What do the inventions of the future look like?
- Self-sustaining space colonies and unlimited fusion energy would bring humanity to a new point in our evolution.
- Flying cars and robot butlers could be the next paradigm shift in our tech appetite for change.
- Death and consensus reality might soon become obsolete.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
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