NerdShift (formerly Wikinerds Portal) is the primary website of the Wikinerds Community, founded by Nikolaos S. Karastathis in 2004.

What is a nerd? How it differs from a geek?

This page describes our official definition of nerds, according to the webmaster of Wikinerds.org, NSK.

A nerd is an intelligent person fascinated by knowledge and learning. In contrast, a geek is a person merely fascinated by technology. Not only that, but many geeks also watch cinema movies or read fiction books. A typical geek's brain probably has active both its logic and imagination centres, while the brain of a nerd may have an extremely active logic centre and an underperforming imagination centre.

Usually most nerds like technology, too, but their primary focus is on theoretical knowledge, mostly on scientific topics. Watching movies or reading fiction books is not part of the nerd culture. True nerds read 1500-page hardcore science books and rarely go out with friends (if they have any).

Many geeks are selfish and utilitarian, but most nerds have altruistic tendencies. Both nerds and geeks are ambitious, but in different ways (Geek: "I want make money with my great programming skills!!", Nerd: "I want to become a famous scientist, more famous than Einstein!!").

The life of a nerd is about accumulating knowledge. Nerds rarely think of using the knowledge they posses. Geeks, on the other hand, do use their knowledge and apply their technological skills in their daily life.

Both nerds and geeks often find it difficult to concentrate on the same activity for too long. This is called attention deficit, and it means that whatever you do, you like to make a pause every some minutes and do something else, and then you return to your previous activity, only to interrupt it soon and resume it later. Nerds that manage to solve this problem can proceed and become real scientists in the academia, since academic positions usually require devotion to a single subject for years (something inconceivable to nerds that have attention deficit problems). Although this is a problem, many nerds feel proud of their attention deficit, because it's something that makes them different and special.

It's also not uncommon for nerds and geeks to have some forms of high-functioning autism. This means that they may have some difficulty communicating with their social environment. Similarly with attention deficit, some nerds are proud if they are autistic.

It is possible for a nerd to have a geeky side. Similarly, some intelligent geeks may have some nerdy characteristics, such as a special interest in science. Actually most nerds and geeks share many common characteristics.

Philosophically, nerds, and in to a less extend geeks, seek self-realisation through the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom.

A geek usually has more social contacts than a nerd, but both geeks and nerds have poor social skills. Both geeks and nerds are proud of their superior intelligence, but usually nerds are more intelligent than geeks.

Nerds like to use their real names on the Internet, often abbreviated as a three-letter acronym formed from the initials of their first name, middle name and last name. Nerds may also form nicknames which may include or be based on their real names, but they never or rarely hide their real names. Geeks on the other hand prefer to hide their true identities and use nicknames, often based on science fiction stories or operating system mascots.

Although nerds and geeks have similarities, they often dislike each other. However, they know that they can enrich themselves via their interaction (for example, a nerd may know perfect Computer Science and Mathematics, while a geek may possess superior programming skills).

NSK believes that a large number of modern nerds overspecialise on some topics, mostly on computers and technology, and invest virtually no time on learning about other fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, medicine, et cetera. A strong characteristic of many nerds is that they seek general in-depth knowledge in every possible field, even if this knowledge is far outside their own area of specialisation (compare this with most geeks who overspecialise and often ignore general in-depth scientific and technical information outside their field).

Mainstream culture hates the geek and nerd subcultures, but after the emergence of computers society started to accept geeks out of necessity (because of their technological skills). Nerds, however, are still shunned by the society.

Whatever the society thinks of them, both nerds and geeks are proud for what they are.

This page contains a mix of humour and truth. You have to find what is what.