The entries have been gathered, the aspects of geekiness quantified, and the composite scores calculated.
While computer-love made a positive contribution in the nerd index, the development of knowledge in other venues (and frequently, in multiple areas for the same nerd) was factored in as well. After all, the thing about nerds that made those beautiful people in high school so scared is that nerds enjoyed learning things for the sheer joy of learning them. That this is learning for learning’s sake is pretty evident from some of the areas to which the formidable brain power on display was applied. Being able to name Jupiter’s moons, or to do a mental sort of states by area or population isn’t a wildly handy skill, but it does give a nerd a sense of what his brain can be harnessed to do.
Given that the social difficulties of the nerd seem to arise in large part from living in a world where the love of learning is feared, rather than cherished, there were no nerd points awarded for social awkwardness per se. However, glorying in one’s nerditude despite social pressures, setting aside appearances, or challenging the fashionistas with a geeky T-shirt, earned points.
Nerds read books, watch TV and movies, play games, collect toys, go out (albeit to fan cons and ren fairs, libraries, geological expeditions, and nerd proms), play and listen to music, and tell jokes. They raise nerd children (or expose the kids they babysit to geeky ways of knowing), and they make their parents and partners accessories to their mental conquest of the world. Sometimes, their mental activities leave a permanent mark on the landscape. All of this was factored in to the nerd index.
I’d share the algorithm, but it’s proprietary.
There were many impressive nerds in the field of competitors, but a few attained nerdliness orders of magnitude above the pack. And, we may all be just a little bit nerdier for having trotted out our geek bona fides.
Results for the nerd-off after the jump.