A nerd is a person who gets immersed in, and passionate about what he or she does . One of the reasons for why there has been so little activity on this blog lately (in addition to that I am a “slow blogger”) is that I am a bit of a (computer) nerd myself. I have been spending quite a bit of time hacking away on my video player software project. The rest of my free time I have been a “horse nerd” as that time has been spent in the stable, riding, and on show jumping competitions.
Whenever I fire up Visual Studio and decide to test a new idea or add some functions to my software, I am pretty much hooked until it works. I lose the sense of time flowing. The same thing can happen during an intense horse ride or a great snowboard run. This is the state of flow described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi . Or like Queen sings in their magnificent Innuendo: “Be free with your tempo be free be free; Surrender your ego be free be free to yourself.”
While the word “nerd” is mostly associated with somebody very interested in science, computers, mathematics and other intellectual topics, I would like to extend the definition to anybody who often gets deeply immersed in what they do. There are thus running nerds, horse nerds, golf nerds, sports car nerds and a zillion of other kinds of nerds.
For some people like me, being a nerd from time to time is first and foremost a joy and a source of energy that is needed for those less inspiring chores in life. I also like to believe that many of the great inventors and scientists were nerds.
One of my worries is that less people today take the time, or are given the time to be nerds, to get immersed in what they do, both at work and during their spare time. Kids (and quite a few grown-ups) today are constantly being interrupted by electronic messages from various channels that they feel they need to respond to to “exist”. Many people today are so busy telling other people what they do and where they are through text messages, Facebook, Twitter and what not so that they don’t have time to do much else!
So if you are a nerd, be happy and cultivate it! Be a slow blogger and leave that Twitter-thing alone!