Differentiation 201

Ice cream day. Off to park for constitutional. Less wind speed than yesterday so less cooling. (Is “cool” as a social noun meaningful? “Cooling” has thermodynamic – reality – meaning but not “cool”, nor “cold”. Language is implicitly whacked?) 

I reflected on the difficulty of telling geek from nerd. It is relatively easy to tell bog from either, for example when I arrived at park this morning there was a pickup truck already present. The truck sported as ad hoc pole with a Confederate battle flag attached. This combination identified its owner/driver as a bog with 0.99 confidence (minimum.) 

While bog – geek and nerd differentiations are relatively simple, those between geek and nerd are less so. Sometimes it takes time and observation to distinguish talk from do. But yesterday while I was reviewing tabs, I came across an excellent differentiation example. I quote:[Link]

“We often use old sci-fi movies as reference points for our own hopes and fears about our present reality. That computer interface is so Minority Report, we might say. That food is something out of Soylent Green. That building is so Jetsons. It’s imperfect, but it’s a shorthand to talk about the way that the world is changing, for better and for worse.”

which is admittedly taken a bit out of context – addressed a bit below.

One moderately robust differentiator rests on a bit of language usage. In contemporary usage, “sci-fi ” usually refers to video, either television or cinema while “science fiction” usually refers to print, either periodicals or books, including eBooks. The quote above is clearly about sci-fi although at least one component, “Soylent Green”, is based on science fiction in the form of Harry Harrison’s “Make Room, Make Room” book. I will refrain from quality comparisons at this juncture.

As a rule subject to a sliding scale, Geeks watch sci-fi while Nerds read Science Fiction. In my analysis this seems to be related to what I call NERD STEM Writing. Nerds who are STEM have to compose as part of their doing. Geeks do not. This is a bit strange. One would think that those who talk would also write but for some reason they do not, in the main. There are, admittedly, exceptions but the exceptions tend to be “professional” people such as justicers, medicalists, and the like. 

I am told this carries over to cosplay, which I am only observationally familiar with since it was in its early diffusion when I was unstaid enough to participate. Graduate schule tends to damper one’s social life and my expression of counter-cultureness was miniatures war games.

Anyway, supposed.y Geeks tend to wear costumes of video characters while Nerds wear costumes of literature characters. I grit my teeth over that last since saying there is a “science fiction literature” demeans science fiction. To me literature is old, uninteresting books mandated as a wellfare project for literature geeks who can only survive so long as universities and public schules waste time and resources on them to the detriment (?) of their customers/consumers. I add the question mark since I once knew a regimental sergeant major who “loved” literature and constantly read and reread these academic behemoths. He was, I suspect, a striving literatureist who was insufficient in some aspect to be a public parasite. But nonetheless a righteous human.

As a result, there is a replication of the bog/geek+nerd phase differentiation at cosplay events. The majority, the geeks, are attired as sci-fi video characters and all know who the other is. But the minority, the nerds, are attired as science fiction characetrs and are mostly known only to other nerds so the Geeks are doing the Bog think of asking “who is that weirdo supposed to be.” 

I can attest to this by happening to be on TDY to a conference being held in a Yankee city where a cosplay convention was also being held. I was attired in twill trousers and a tweed jacket and a rep tie and while returning from a latrine (entropy transfer!) wandered through a group of cosplayers and was asked who I was supposed to be? Struck for once with a flash I told them I was attired as Richard Ballenger Seaton, a statement that brought great puzzlement from the geeks and admirational recognition from the nerds.