Saturday, July 19, 2014

Geek vs. Nerd

I disagree with how often the terms "nerd" and "geek" are self-applied, but I have to appreciate a good study of their difference when I see one.

Burr Settles defines the difference:
"The distinction is that geeks are fans of their subjects, and nerds are practitioners of them."
...then uses Twitter data to back his assertion up by calculating the "point-wise mutual information" of nerd and geek with other words to illuminate what Twitter thinks is "geeky" or "nerdy".

"Moving up the vertical axis, words become more geeky (“#music” → “#gadget” → “#cosplay”), and moving left to right they become more nerdy (“education” → “grammar” → “neuroscience”). Words along the diagonal are similarly geeky and nerdy, including social (“#awkward”, “weirdo”), mainstream tech (“#computers”, “#microsoft”), and sci-fi/fantasy terms (“doctorwho,” “#thehobbit”)." 

 Find the full article on the Slackpropagation blog - definitely click through to read more of his conclusions.