So, while I've been following the Vlogbrothers and have read a few John Green books, I don't think I necessarily fit into the category of what might be considered a "nerd."
Not that I have any desire to.
The term "nerd" becomes problematic in its own right.
Let's find a definition and go from there. (I hope that Wikipedia will suffice for now.)
"A nerd (adjective: nerdy) is a person, typically described as being overly intellectual, obsessive, or socially impaired."
From here, we must go further to define what "intellectual", "obsessive", and "socially impaired" actually is.
I know the pride from many people in this community comes from their crowning achievements in science/physics/hard sciences--rightfully so, because they are difficult topics to master and study for. These are considered "intellectual" topics, requiring quite a bit of cognitive work.
But does this mean only the people who are rewarded with recognition/grades deserve the title of "nerd" or "intellectual"? Can the term also be used to describe people who are simply curious?
Likewise, I have seem claims to people saying that they are a "grammar nerd." Does this mean that their strengths are figuring out the actual punctuation/syntax, or does it mean that they are able to spell better than other people their age?
If you are a "grammar nerd," does that mean that you are able to figure out the rules and differences of when to use preterit vs imperfect in other languages, such as Spanish?
Does this also include considering Black English as a different language? (Something that over 90% of linguists agree upon, anyway? So, yes, "James drunk" vs "James be drunk" have entirely different meanings and are actually legitimate sentences.)
What is "intellectual"? While many may roll their eyes at the notion and scoff at someone who has never read Ulysses and instead choses to read "See Spot Run," this may actually be a challenging/intellectual read for someone. If someone at the age of one and a half somehow matured earlier and developed the ability to read/speak "See Spot Run," we hail them a prodigy. But anyone older who makes the same effort who has trouble with reading is considered "below average."
I guess my point is that "intellectualism" is paired with age, and what others are able to do, comparatively.
Of excessive degree in nature. Does this mean that my love for dance makes me a dance "nerd"? Does this make anyone with Asperger's syndrome a "nerd"? Or do they have to have the combined obsessiveness (which is not clinically defined or proven) with the "intellectualism" as described above?
What about someone who is genuinely OCD? Are they a nerd about an anxiety disorder? (The obvious answer is no.)
Underneath this umbrella--anxiety disorders, phobias, psychopaths/sociopaths, feral children.
Do you see my point?
Instead of making Nerdfighting about the exclusiveness about how one might be an intellectual badass/outcast, how about inviting people in? There is nothing better than information and experience when shared.
Maybe I'm simply bitter because my specialty is more so with English, semantics, culture, and critical thinking/theory, and being considered "less than" intellectual because it takes me twice as long to figure out a difficult math problem.
I also try to discourage exclusivity, because I know firsthand how hurtful it is when people don't give you the opportunity to learn.
"You don't know how to do XYZ? Wow. It's actually really simple---"
People do not learn the same. People do not process the same. Stop holding others to the same esteem as you. Empathize. Be part of the human experience. If helping others against Worldsuck and better understanding others is part of Nerdfighting, count me in!