The Nerd’s Burden by McClellen

This is not part of my Nerd’s Burden series (see part 1 from earlier this evening), but I thought this English class parody of Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s Burden (which you can read here) by McClellen of Not So Realistic Fake Apple is pretty good.  Read one of the verses:

Take up the Nerd’s burden.
The savage wars of stars.
Don’t let others be fooled
The original trilogy is best.
When your goal is near
Someone won’t have seen it.
And punish heathen blasphemy
About the special effects.

Now go and read the rest of the poem.  While you are there, read McClellen’s self-introduction – I don’t know much about her, but her introduction paragraph is hilarious.

The Nerd’s Burden (Part 1) – Information is Cool

I have referenced a lot of information about being a nerd.  If you have been following along, by now you know that nerdiness is ever so much more than pocket protectors and taped glasses.  The randsinrepose Nerd Handbook talks about “the amazing nerd appetite for knowledge.”  While this can result in amazing stores of useful information, skills, abilities, and trivia, it is also an incredible burden.  I am drawn to new knowledge like Mothra to Burning Man.  I deal with this all the time.  Today I had an experience that is typical of the nerd relationship to information.

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Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder

Image Credits:
Book Girl photo in the header and post feature graphics used courtesy of and copyright DeviantArt user faestock

Trying to add some order to the massive pile of junk that is my bookmarks bar, I ended back on this afternoon.  I have written before (also here and here) how much I love that site.  Thanks to the Rands (in case you wondered, the author’s name isn’t Rand) blog, my wife understands me as a nerd and is somewhat slightly more forgiving; I have been able to get advice from friends without the fear of being screwed over; I have been able to better interact with the rest of the management team, better manage the people who work for me (and others), help my supervisor better manage me; and I now have a framework for thinking about my own motivations and actions.  Back on randsinrepose, lost in new posts that I hadn’t yet seen, I realized that I have have never written about Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder (N.A.D.D.). The author explains the term:

“My mother first diagnosed me with NADD. It was the late 80s and she was bringing me dinner in my bedroom (nerd). I was merrily typing away to friends in some primitive chat room on my IBM XT (super nerd), listening to some music (probably Flock of Seagulls — nerd++), and watching Back to the Future with the sound off (neeeeerrrrrrrd). She commented, “How can you focus on anything with all this stuff going on?” I responded, “Mom, I can’t focus without all this noise.””

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The Nerd Handbook

A couple of months ago I found The Nerd Handbook at Rands in Repose.  “Rand” has a number of very interesting a useful articles, but I found The Nerd Handbook to be the most interesting.  There are a number of insights in the article that, being a nerd myself, I found enlightening.  Things like the pressing urge to create or make something that I have felt constantly without relief throughout my life. What a relief to find that it is a common ailment for nerds.  Or my tendency to drop activities once I’ve mastered the new and interesting skills involved, even if the task is not yet complete (and sometimes just feet in front of the finish line).

I have been much for conscious of the word “cool” since I read the article – Rand mentions that he often finds himself saying it when he has all the information he needs, or has filled his interests, and the topic of conversation continues.  While I am pretty shure that cool is not the word I use to fill that role (although I have realized since reading The Nerd Handbook that I say cool a lot), I am pretty sure I must have something like it.  I often find myseld in meetings or on conference calls where I have everything I need to know in the first couple minutes of a several hour conversation.  What more is there to talk about?  Tell me what you need done, and when you need it done by, and I’ll take care of it.  Just don’t make me sit through the meeting.

The last thing about The Nerd Handbook – I immediately emailed it to Becky.  We’ve been married for almost ten years, and she knew me for many years befor that.  It’s about time she gets an explanaition of what she got herself into.  It took a couple months of reminding, but she read it, and like me, Becky recommends The Nerd Handbook as required reading for anyone with a nerd in their life.