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: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Stan Lee by Gage Skidmore
Here's a phrase that was considered cliché when William Lamb used it way back in 1817.

So why is it so popular with nerds in the 21st century?

To start off, in 1962 Stan Lee (that dude to the right) used a variation of this phrase in the very first Spiderman comic book. You see, Spiderman didn't start off as a hero. When he discovered that he had super powers, Peter Parker wanted to use them to make money. He actually had the chance to stop a burglar, but chose not to because it wasn't his job. Later, that same robber killed Peter's uncle Ben, who was Peter's surrogate father. Talk about learning your moral lessons the hard way. Stan Lee adds the narrative note, "with great power there must also come--great responsibility," burning the words into nerd consciousness.  

Over the years, the phrase has been tightened up, but the idea remains the same.

Of course, like any good cliché it's also true. It's been used by political leaders for centuries to give careful consideration before handing the reins of power to a single entity who could cause significant problems with their new found strength. This idea resonates with nerds who often discovered themselves at the mercy of people who were bigger, better coordinated, or more popular.

Generally speaking, it's not a bad mantra. Consider it the next time you hold someone's fate in your hands, whether it's approving a developing nation's trade agreement or letting that guy change into your lane on the highway.

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