Someone else's words almost always work better than my own.
Nerds tend to eschew formality of any sort. They’re not impressed by one’s job title, for example, or any of the other appurtenances of authority.
Indeed, that’s practically the definition of a nerd. I found myself talking recently to someone from Hollywood who was planning a show about nerds. I thought it would be useful if I explained what a nerd was. What I came up with was: someone who doesn’t expend any effort on marketing himself.
A nerd, in other words, is someone who concentrates on substance. So what’s the connection between nerds and technology? Roughly that you can’t fool mother nature. In technical matters, you have to get the right answers. If your software miscalculates the path of a space probe, you can’t finesse your way out of trouble by saying that your code is patriotic, or avant-garde, or any of the other dodges people use in nontechnical fields.
- Paul Graham(link
The reason I like House is because the main character is an uber nerd, albeit a medical one. If you think about it, there is no other (western) TV show which has a nerd as the main character, especially one which upholds one of the golden tenets of nerd-dom. Hell, there’s even a bit in the show when he tells Wilson and a coma guy about why he became a doctor, and it was basically what good ole Paul Graham wrote: He wanted to be right, because no matter what, one day people will have to listen to you (if they want to live).
Now I’m just waiting for Knuth to write something about Vampires and I can explain why Van Helsing is such an awesome movie.