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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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I spent this weekend in a house owned by my family in the mountains. We do this a few times a year. My father's family had been coming to thisThe day I was chased by a tree - a lesson viscerally learned

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Write a blog post on the same topic as one of my most popular posts. By far, in both page views and comments, myHow to get Silly Putty out of clothes - 7 day challenge

Stay on target. Some guys got together and built a scale model of an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars, complete with an Artoo unit. Then they strapped 4 rockets to it. Lock S-Foils in attack positions

March was a weird month. I actually got outside and did exercise. That's how weird it was. Doesn't sound weird to you? Talk to my doctor. (Actually, if you do talkMarch out

... and then nothing but disappointment. That pretty much describes this podcast. Really there is some interesting stuff discussed somewhere in there, but to get to it, you have toGrand opening...

Woo hoo! I called it! Afro-Blue was surprisingly bad, though, on Monday's R&B episode. I think they got too caught up in trying to take on the judges criticisms and lostThe Sing-Off: The Final Four

I absolutely LOVE this story. On Monday night, a fan at a Phillies game ran onto the field during the game. Not an unheard of event. This is the first timePhiladelphia: City of Brotherly Tasering

I'm winning! That's the excitement of Andy's commentluv contest. Every comment on every participating blog is an entry. I've lucked into winning twice now. The first win was, ironically enough, onI won again!

It looks like we're headed into another year of big movies. I'm getting all fan-boy giddy just thinking about what's coming. On the heels of Avatar, though, it seems like everyMovies 2010 - must see or must miss?

I enjoyed the original Cheaper by the Dozen. [tag]Steve Martin[/tag] is one of my favorite comedic actors, and [tag]Bonnie Hunt[/tag] combines sweet and funny better than almost anyone. Adding [tag]EugeneReview: Cheaper by the Dozen 2

CLO: Survey: One-Third of Candidates Commit a Top Interview Don’t This article is aimed at executive search interviews, but most of it really applies to any interview. Make sure you don'tInterviewing mistakes

Somewhere around 35 years ago, I caught my first episode of Doctor Who. I watched a man with a very long scarf run around offering people jelly babies in prettyThe Doctor Is In

Robert Downey Jr. has been touted as the perfect choice to play Tony Stark. When I first saw the trailer I was doubtful about that choice. I always pictured StarkReview: Iron Man

What follows is a guest post from my wife, who has had a bit of a difficult week so far. I have come upstairs to ... get AWAY from our 2It's Not Fair!

Andre Agassi survived his battle with 8th seed Marcos Baghdatis tonight to move into the third round of play. I only saw about half of the final set of this match,Agassi: Still alive

The Nerd Badge is invalidly valid, therefore I get one

Lee posted his “Nerd badge” score recently. He failed to get it, and rightly so. Not because of any lack of nerd-dom on his part, but because of the idiocy of the test. Some guy posted a list of Twenty Things Every Sci-Fi Nerd Should Own Physically and Emotionally and it’s been making the rounds in the blogosphere recently. If you have or love 12 of the 20 things he listed, you “pass” and can be considered a nerd. I took a look at the list. I’ll go through it. But know this: it’s invalid. It mostly paints nerds as whiny fan-boys, which is stupid. At the end, I’ll tell you why I pass anyway.

  1. Conan The Barbarian Soundtrack –  No. I’m sure it’s very good, but I prefer Conan The Musical.
  2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – No, I don’t own, nor have I ever read this. Yes, I do know it’s the book “Blade Runner” was based on.
  3. The Twilight Zone Collection – No, although I do love the shows and I bought a season for my brother-in-law once. Do I get a quarter-point for that?
  4. The Original Star Wars Trilogy – WITHOUT ANY ADDED CRAP – Yes, I have the original VHS copies, which I keep meaning to get digitized. Though really, they aren’t the original originals either, you know. But Han still shoots first, and that’s what’s important. And do you know why it’s important? Because it’s a character change at the deepest level. I actually don’t have a problem with about 90% of the Special Edition changes (I don’t think they were all necessary, but I don’t lose sleep over them).
  5. A Profound Hatred for Star Trek Enterprise – No. It wasn’t great, but I disliked Voyager more. Yeah, it took a while to get past the theme song, but I did. It was actually pretty good by the last season. This is where the test starts to fall apart, though. Hatred? Disappointment, perhaps…
  6. The Lord of The Rings Extended Edition, The Soundtracks and all of the books – Okay, I get partial credit here. I own one extended edition and one theatrical. I don’t own the third movie at all. I want all the extended editions, though. I also own the first soundtrack and, yes, all the books. Multiple copies, in fact – well, technically I guess they belong to my wife, and she’s the one who has read them all over and over. I’ve read them all at least once (except Silmarillion – but I really did try; I just couldn’t).
  7. A Profound Sadness for the Way Battlestar Galactica Ended - Again… profound sadness? No. Disappointment and confusion, especially right after it aired, but guess what? I’m over it. It’s a TV show, people. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the series – especially the first season – and I’d be willing to watch certain episodes again, but that’s the most attachment I can muster. Disgust or profound sadness? Can’t get there.
  8. A Passionately Favorite Version of the REAL Doctor Who – I can sort of see the argument for “new Who” and “old Who”, but both are “REAL Who”. The insinuation that the new stuff isn’t valid because it has good special effects is sort of stupid. And I really like Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Patrick Troughton, and all three of the new set, so… I can’t say I’m passionate about an individual version. But when someone mentions Doctor Who, Tom Baker is still the first to spring to mind, so maybe that counts.
  9. A Fear That Will Smith Will Someday Star in The Movie Adaptation of Your Favorite Book – I don’t have a problem with Will Smith. I actually like what he’s done in a bunch of movies. I also hate some of the movies he’s been in, but I don’t have a problem with him in those movies, usually. Most book adaptations are failures anyway. Even if they aren’t abject failures (like The Dark Is Rising), they’re usually missing something important (like Hugo). But again with the hatred in this test… why pick on Will Smith? Plenty of good actors out there who star in bad films.
  10. Toys from Your Childhood That You Refuse To Part With – I’ve got a couple Tranformers and some Star Wars stuff. I might even have a stuffed animal somewhere. I’ve passed a few things on to my kids. So… yeah I get points for this one.
  11. The Belief that the Word Midichlorian Was Just from a Nightmare and NOT a real Star Wars Movie - Again with the Star Wars hatred. I don’t have a problem with the concept of Midichlorians in the context of the story. Not my favorite aspect as it detracts a bit from the “magic” of “The Force” but … it’s a movie. It’s a valid way to go, story-wise. There are much better things to complain about in The Phantom Menace.
  12. The Original TRON Movie - Yep. Fun flick. You can even hear me talk about it.
  13. An affection for the TV show Firefly - Yep. Love it. Might even be time to watch it again soon.
  14. A Hatred for Chris O’Donnell - Once again, we’re back to hatred and a specific actor, for a specific role. Yeah, he was Robin in two horrible Batman films. But I like him. He wasn’t even close to the worst thing in those films, either.
  15. You Know Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics - Yeah, but I think this one is implying that I’m an Asimov reader, and I’m not. I don’t think I’ve read any of his books, actually. Possibly a short story or two. I do recognize that he’s very good, though.
  16. You think Cheetara is HOT! - Well, I did. And nostagically I still do, I suppose. But… cartoon.
  17. You Believe Aliens are our REAL Gods - No. That would be proof that I’m an idiot, not a nerd.
  18. You Have a Favorite Animated Cult Sci-Fi Movie - can’t come up with one, though I do like a lot of animated movies, so I’m willing to bet there’s one of my favorites that qualify as cult and sci-fi. Still, I’ll take no points here.
  19. You Blame Hot Rod for Optimus Prime’s Death - I barely remember Optimus Prime’s death, though I do vaguely remember being upset about it (and for those who are confused, this was back in the cartoon, not the Michael Bay movies).
  20. You DESPISE Michael Bay for [pissing] on your Childhood - (okay, I changed a word a little because I thought it was slightly less disgusting for some reason). Do I like the Transformers movies. No, can’t say I do. And Michael Bay has a habit of throwing explosions on a screen a calling it a movie. But in both cases sometimes it’s fun to watch. And again… despise? That’s a bit harsh. I disagree with a lot of his choices and am disappointed in the films he produces, but I’ll give his other films a chance, too. They’re over-the-top time-killing popcorn flicks, and there’s a place for that. I’ll probably even watch Battleship eventually.

Generously, I get 7 points. Very generously. Well below the 12 point threshold.

But I get a badge anyway, and here’s a taste of why:

  • I went to a Sci-fi convention before it was cool. Back when they were still being held in a couple of small conference rooms in a nondescript New York building with no elevator. I met Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation), who was the guest. She wasn’t on a stage separated from us geeks, she actually was only a few feet away. I had no idea who she was at the time. I can’t remember what year it was, but TNG may not have even aired yet, or possibly just started, so somewhere around 1986 or ’87 (when Comic-Con itself only had 5,000 attendees, as compared to over 120,000 these days).
  • Through college I went to multiple larger conventions and have seen almost all the main TNG actors, plus some from TOS. Again, back when you were more likely to get laughed at (more derisively) for going.
  • I played a Doctor Who Roll-Playing Game in my friend’s basement. Yes, that was even more nerdy of an experience than Dungeons-and-Dragons.

Those are the tip of the iceberg, but let’s just say you’re still on the fence about this. Here’s the final reason: the test is invalid. As I mentioned, it’s got a lot of negative bandwagoning going on, which is more about being a fan-boy, not a nerd. So it’s not a nerd test, it’s a fan-boy test (and technically there’s not a lot of sci-fi in there, so we’re just going to ignore that aspect).

Now, here’s where I blow your mind: Yes, the test is invalid, but that’s what makes it valid.

I can hear your brains beginning to pop. Stick with me.

One defining thing that a nerd will do is argue what to many people are insignificant and potentially tangential details of the target of their nerddom. So in presenting a list that is obviously invalid, the real goal is obviously to get the nerds to argue over it, thereby validating the test. But the real test is whether you’ll argue about it, not how many items you can match.

Hence, therefore, and ergo, the mere existence of this post proves my nerdity. Hand me my badge and don’t forget to clean up those brain spots you’re leaving on the floor before you leave.

 

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5 comments to The Nerd Badge is invalidly valid, therefore I get one

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