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.


Epic Nerd Camp

ENC Productions wants to turn summer camp into a nerdfest...for adults.

This isn't a camp about hiking and swimming (although you can do some of that if you like), this is a camp about LARPing, video games, tabletop, role playing, and other nerdy pursuits.

The first Epic Nerd Camp starts June 11th - 18th 2016 in the Poconos. If you're interested in being part of the epic nerd fun, take a look at the ENC web page.

(I am not affiliated with ENC nor being compensated for this post, I just think it's cool.)


FBI Wants to Use Inept Terrorists to Compromise Data Security of U.S. Citizens

The Farook and Malik "terrorism" case has been all over the news (somehow finding a narrow slot in between coverage of Trump and Clinton in the presidential candidate debates), and Apple's resistance to FBI requests to create a back door into the IOS operating system has generated a certain amount of controversy...at least at CNN...over a company's responsibility in the face of rampant terrorism.

But wait! Could it be that the FBI is using a couple of workplace shooters as a smokescreen to advance the U.S. intelligence agenda to compromise the data security of U.S. citizens?

I hate to make light of tragedy, but I think it's a travesty for a government agency to leverage public fears in an attempt to force one of our largest providers of data security to give federal agencies carte blanche access to citizens' private data, when the FBI already has a crap ton of information on the criminals and their communications from telecommunications companies who freely divulged information about the criminals personal devices.

This may seem like a political statement, but it's definitely nerd and geek relevant because it goes to the heart of cybersecurity and how even the U.S. government uses social engineering to break into secure data.

Find more details at The Grugq's Medium article, Feeble Noise Pollution.


Nerd Q&A: How Do I Know?

Modified Version of Andrew Filer's The Physics Lab

How do I know if I'm an authentic nerd or geek?

This question concerns me.

While I don't think the person asking intends the subtext I'm reading, the question implies that there's some official measurement, or perhaps a governing body, to determine a person's nerd quotient, and this idea has caused a lot of grief in nerd circles, particularly for female nerds who get accused of faking their nerdiness. I never thought I'd see a day when people were accused of false nerd credentials, but here we are.

Yes, there are nerd and geek tests that score how big of a nerd/geek you are, but these are memes similar to the "which Harry Potter wand are you" quizzes, and aren't in any way a reliable method of determining if a person is or is not a nerd.

I'm going to take the scenic route to answer this question because it's important to understand that cultural authenticity is subjective, particularly when talking about arbitrary social labels like geek and nerd, or even jock, goth, emo, etc. Who decides what criteria add up to an authentic geek? Who approves membership to the nerd club?