Yes, it appears that I have won the great ScienceBlogs nerdoff/geekoff. [Janet announced the results yesterday][geekoff], and despite [much][orac-whines] [whining][pz-whines], I’m proud to say that I was the winner. There was some stiff competition, particularly from Orac, but in the end, no one could quite exceed my pathetic level of geekiness.
In answer to a question I’ve heard a couple of times: Janet called it a “Nerd-Off”, but I’ve preferred to call it a “Geek-Off”. I consider them roughly equivalent. Depending on where you are, geographically, I’ve found that the differences between the two vary by location. Growing up, I always heard “nerd” used as a sort-of-positive thing (Nerds were smart people with odd interests, etc.); and “geek” was purely pejorative (geeks were obnoxious twits with no social skills). When I went to grad school, everyone there used the two words in exactly the opposite fashion: Geeks were the good ones, and Nerds were the obnoxious ones. So why do I like geek better? Because my wife has an “I love my geek” shirt that she likes to wear. And hey, if you’re a total geek like me, and by some incredibly strange stroke of luck, you somehow wind up meeting and marrying an amazing, brilliant, gorgeous, brilliant woman, you pretty much do whatever she prefers. (and yes, I repeated brilliant on purpose; she’s just that smart.)
Anyway; I think that my winning had something to do with the slide rules… so, as an award for myself, I ordered a brand-new slide rule – the Pickett whose simulated image I used for the slide rule posts last week. I’ll need a second one at some point anyway, since I have two kids, and I want them each to have a rule to learn on.