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.


Nerd Q&A: How Do I Get a Nerd To Go Out With Me?

Pierre Willemin - Nerd Power

Here's a question I would like to see more often.

I'm a very outgoing woman but I'm attracted to a shy, awkward nerd: how do I get him to go out with me...and maybe take things further?

You may have noticed this already: the majority of nerds are, as you put it, shy and awkward. A lot of nerds don't realize they're attractive, or they're simply insecure, which means they misinterpret signals that other people easily pick up, so they don't typically make the first move.


Nerdism: Meatspace

Sergey Galyonkin - Orlovsky & Occulus Rift
Meatspace -- Refers to real-life, as opposed to the virtual world including social networks, gaming, chat and streaming video.

Meatspace is a fun word that plays on the growing irony of how we have to define our realities. The term originates in science fiction (particularly cyberpunk) as the antonym of cyberspace. We don't use the word cyberspace much anymore, but nerds still like to toy with accepted convention by bending terminology to our whims. Until this century, virtual reality was a science fiction concept, and the most advanced examples of it were clunky toys that no one took seriously. 20th century humans didn't have to preface a meeting with non-virtual, but 21st century people spend a significant amount of time immersed in some sort of digital facsimile of life.

This nerdism hasn't broken into the mainstream yet, but it's more and more applicable every year as people regularly use online services for making friends, chatting, gaming, dating and nearly any other interaction that used to happen only when two people were within touching distance of each other. We're already at a point where it is sometimes necessary to clarify if something happened online or in meatspace, and it's likely we'll soon have to specify that our friends join us at the Starbucks in meatspace, rather than using their smartphone or Oculus Rift.