Growing up, I never thought of myself as a nerd. This is mostly because I am tall, didn't have severe acne, and never was into any of those godawful sci-fi television shows. But I did like reading philosophy, Kurt Vonnegut, and leftist literature. I also got into gaming. I played Counterstrike, Starcraft, DOTA, World of Warcraft, etc. In college, I got into Anime and Manga, which I still read for enjoyment today. Now, I do a lot of board gaming. Perhaps the nerd meter is rising. Perhaps I was always a nerd because I taught myself how to do computer programming in 7th grade?
I guess that even though I never called myself a nerd, other people might have called me a nerd. Maybe I'm a nerd just because I don't watch or play any sports. Somewhere during my time growing up, I think a new definition of nerd kicked in and now everyone is a nerd, nerds are cool, and people with genuine interests in esoteric things are part of some nameless class of uncool people.
Well, I've got news for you: those people are nerds. A nerd is not a fashionably dressed, tall person who has good interpersonal skills and just happens to wear glasses. That's a hipster. The class president, outside of blockbuster hollywood moves, is not a nerd no matter how bookish she looks.
Maybe at its very core, nerdiness is a fascination with the real and imaginary workings of objects outside of the bounds of the social - the social world being our duties and obligations to each other and society, and the resulting system we use to judge each other on so many levels.
Ok, so that's a nerd, and you know a nerd because he tells you all about something that you perceive as being completely irrelevant. Before this whole new definition came around, nerds didn't call each other nerds, and popular kids called plenty of people who weren't nerds.. nerds! This is the same thing that happens when people call me a fag when they see me riding my bike. We are not about to change the definition of what a "fag" is so that I can be a proud faggot riding my bike around to save the Earth (and for your information I support gay rights without being gay myself).So how did this happen to the nerds? It was a coup d' etat by the popular kids. A change in the winds of fashion blew them into the world of Firefly, Harry Potter, Twilight, and other shamefully marketed shit. But unfortunately, when the popular kids arrived in the world of the nerds, they usurped them. They didn't try to learn from them - instead they defined them out of existence.That's why I won't call myself a nerd. The word doesn't mean anything anymore.