About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerdism: 42

Any time a nerd has to give a rapid answer to something unknown, the likely response will be:
This isn't because of some cosmic significance (although nerds will argue about this point), but because of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, in which a group of hyper-intelligent beings want the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. They build a supercomputer that takes 7½ million years to compute the answer, which turns out to be...


Unfortunately, no one knows what the Ultimate Question is. The supercomputer can't figure it out, but it does design a more powerful computer that can, a computer so huge it doesn't just take up an entire planet, it is an entire planet. It's designed to run for ten million years with one program, to find the ultimate question.


the computer is Earth.

Of course, no one told any of this to the residents of Earth, including Arthur Dent, the series' protagonist who gets dragged along for a series of misadventures that will leave you needing to borrow someone's ass (because you laughed yours off).

Adams offers up a reasonable explanation for why no one knows the Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer:
Photo by Vox Efx
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory, which states that this has already happened.

Maybe stranger things will happen to you today, but now that I've told you about this secret, you'll notice 42 skulking around the corners of reality, trying to act casual, but you'll know it's up to something.

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