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Difference Between Nerds and Geeks

February 23, 2010 1 comment

To the uninitiated is should be known that there is a difference between Nerd and Geek. In fact, the difference is such a large divide that to mistake one for the other is a travesty. Indeed, if you were to call a Geek nerdy, why, you may just get a beat down! (note: a “geek beat down” usually consists of slanderous words hurled from a distance and copious amounts of pizza arriving at your house for which you did not call)

Lets start off with Nerd. The typical nerd is comprised from 1 part anti-sociality, 1 part geek ( will get back to this in a moment) and 2 parts intelligence. In other words, a Nerd is someone who is anti-social/socially awkward, but intelligent. These are the kids who get straight A’s in class, but never talk to anyone…ever. Also, people who prefer the company of their own drawings/writing to human interaction could fall into this category. Basically these are those who choose to isolate themselves from society, but have strong, intelligent hobbies.

A Geek is something similar, but with one distinct difference: they don’t isolate themselves. Sure, they have activities like Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft that keep themselves occupied, but they are not doing these things as escapes from the real world, rather it is simply an enjoyable experience for them.

Another thing about Geeks is that they are many times the people who are most fun to be around. They have funny stories, are good conversationalists, and tend to be outgoing. The main thing that separates them from everyone else is a “geeky” pastime which most people can’t appreciate/don’t understand. Geeks also have the advantage of usually having a talent associated with their hobbies. Computer/drama/band geeks would be prime examples. Nerds on the other hand, do not have these qualities.

Now I want to get back to something I mentioned earlier. The fact is Nerds can have geeky (notice the lower-case “g”) qualities about them. They can be good at computers, or an instrument. The thing is, they don’t like to be around others, and they can’t usually operate well in groups. That’s what it really comes down to.

Now you understand the important difference between the Nerds and the Geeks. Hopefully you have come to a more complete picture of the controversy. And yes, others do have different opinions on the issue, but they are wrong.

And please, do be kind to the geeks. After all, they will be the ones controlling everything when computers are integrated with businesses and healthcare and government…oh wait…

-Trenton Stahl, Geeky and Proud

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Lets Accept All Views, Except Those We Won’t

February 19, 2010 1 comment

Oh Really?

Why don’t we ever seriously look at the racist viewpoint? Seriously, lets allow the skinheads, the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan their say in the history books. Let’s allow the bigots their chance to help us understand what they are feeling.

Whats that? You don’t think that would be OK? Well, surprise surprise. The fact is we as a society (and really the world at the moment) are not even considering the possibility of any racist/sexist/bigoted comments to be heard. In classrooms, in the work place, in churches and even families. Everywhere you turn, views that express opinions of dissent toward one race are not allow an audience. But why is this?

After all, in today’s day and age, we are an accepting society. You can have any religion, any personal opinions, any political association, any family structure, anything at all that you want. And with the first amendment, you can voice these beliefs for all the world to hear, providing you aren’t a hate monger. But, why is that?

With liberal ideals running rampant proclaiming that we should all say what we think is right, and that no one person can say THEY are right, whats wrong with some racism? After all, there are many people who argue that one race is inferior to another. Even Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species said very clearly he thought this was true (it’s in the title people: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life).

So why won’t we allow these disfavored ideas to come to light? Because we as a society, no, as a world have decided that such things are wrong and shouldn’t be taught or discussed. Oh don’t get me wrong, we talk about racism, but have you ever heard of a racist described for their good traits, or their contributions as individuals? How about an in-classroom discussion on the merits of Hitler’s opinions on the Jews? What of the slave owners who gave shelter to their slaves, and that treated them like children? No, these are never discussed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t believe these things are good. Racism (in my opinion) was because of mistrust, and misunderstanding of different cultures which manifested itself in the form of slavery and persecution. With that being said, can I say I know the ins and outs of the situation? No. I am deeply aware of the mindset of the Jews during world war 2 because of all the anti-Nazism that’s spread throughout society, but I have no idea about the potential reasons behind Hitler’s SS (besides the ever present “they were evil/insane” argument).

So what’s the point I am trying to make with all this? Well, it’s that truth is relative. Let me explain myself before you guys start to look for my address: if enough people believe in something, that then becomes “truth” as it were.

Let me give you an example: if I said 2+2=5, that would be wrong. However, if the vast majority of the people on the planet believed whole-heartedly that 2+2=5, then it wouldn’t matter if I was correct, everyone else says I’m not. If I spoke out with that belief, it would shunned and not given any attention. By de facto I would be wrong. In the same way, people in the south during the 1850’s wouldn’t ever consider hearing the possibility that black people should be considered equal. Another example would be if the Nazis had won, do you really think the holocaust would be considered an atrocity? No! It would have been equated with something along the lines of a Holy Cleansing.

See how the truth can be subject to perspective? That’s the point I am trying to make. I will say it again, I am NOT a

What Will It Hold?

racist, or a sexist or a bigot of any kind. All I am attempting to get across to you is the concept that not only could you be wrong on your perspective of issues in the world, but the world itself could be wrong.

Let me leave you with this: we look back and see that the church burning “witches” during early America was wrong, that slavery was abhorred and that the nazis’ view was despicable. But consider this, what will out great-grandchildren look back and say we got completely wrong?

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Weekly Pictures, Theme: Guns

February 16, 2010 2 comments

directorblue.blogspot.com

motivatedphotos.com

photobucket.com

-Trenton Stahl

Note: I do not claim to own, or to have made any of the above pictures. All pictures are watermarked/captioned to their respective owners.

Food For Thought V

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

startrekshirt.comEver heard the question “Could God create a boulder he couldn’t lift?”. It’s a common question posed by atheists to stump theists about the nature of God. If you ever find yourself in that situation, here is what you should say: “What does the color green smell like?”. They will initially look puzzled and then say that green doesn’t make a smell, and they would be right.

Asking what the color of green smells like is an illogical question, because it doesn’t have a smell. Similarly, asking if an INFINITE being could be limited by THEIR OWN powers in the form on a FINITE object is illogical. Something to keep in mind.

Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Top 5 Webcomics

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I am a big proponent of time wasting online. In today’s world there are far worse things someone could be doing than drowning their existence with the entertainment of others. This post is about my favorite webcomics. These have all been on the net for years, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. All of them are funny, all of them are worth looking into.

Be warned, though. By reading any further, you will almost certainly be signing away countless hours of your time to reading these spectacular artistic endeavors.

These comics are in no particular order. Also, the links are to their first issue, not the latest.

1) Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques

A comic focusing on the adventures of a early 20-something indie rock loving guy named Marten Reed and his many friends that are girls (see what I did there?). Also his little anthropomorphic, sentient robot named Pintsize as comic relief. This comic has over 1500 issues, and is updated every weekday. Situational comedy surrounding relationships is the primary advancing device of the plot.

2) Real Life Comics by Greg Dean

This one is about a group of friends (the characters of which are added to and subtracted from over the course of the comic) who live their lives to the fullest. The main character is Greg Dean who lives with his friends. The cast is almost entirely consisting of nerds and geeks (yes, there is a difference) and how they live their life. Shout outs are given to recent movies and video games the the artist takes interest in. There are computer savvy interests here as well. Geek-comedy and pop-culture influences are the driving forces.

3) Abstruse Goose by [author won’t divulge name]

A comic very similar to XKCD, (which hasn’t been listed here for it’s sheer number of fans) the artist is very familiar to high mathematics and physics concepts. There is no named characters, but the one that appears in almost every issue is a blue-hatted geek that is either trying, or has gotten a girl. Also, consistent referenced to Star Trek/Wars is notable. Less about laugh-out-loud humor, and more subtle, almost British humor. Those geek-savvy will be the best audience.

4) Ctl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley

One of the most popular comics online, this particular gem is a classic gamer comic. It centers around two guys, Ethan and Lucas, who love video games and other nerdy things. Pop culture references abound here. This comic is also praised as being (as of the last few years) one of the best looking online. Consistent updating and a loyal fanbase has driven this one to the top for very good reason. Video games, movie opinions, hilarious situations and relationship interweaving are primary plot points.

5) Sequential Art by Phillip M Jackson

Having over 600 issues, this comic is amazingly unknown. Being more a side project to the artist than anything else, SA is a masterpiece in it’s own right. You have a cast of just about every viewpoint and character. There is technically a main character (named Art) but he is co-starring with several friends, all of which have their own characteristics and observations. This comic can appeal to just about anyone, and everyone should give it a chance. The emphasis on artistically-inclined characters lends itself to that community more, but this reviewer is not artistic at all and loves it dearly.

There you go. With all of this info I wish you luck in not calling in sick to work/school tomorrow after delving into these works of genius. After having read all of this, did you noticed me missing anything? Are there any comics you read that should be on this list of awesomeness? Please drop a comment below!

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Those Pesky Transitional Fossils

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment

As many of you know, I am a believer in the theory of Intelligent Design. Now, going to a public school, this tends to lead to conversations with atheists. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk to people, as long as they’re willing to keep an open mind (believe it or not, I am too).

So when I talk with a believer in Evolution (thats macro evolution people) the first thing I make clear is that I love nothing more than hearing their perspective, but I want something from them first. I tell them that I want a clear transitional fossil of macro evolution (one species turning into another). That might sound like a lot, but according to Evolution we have been evolving for BILLIONS of years on this earth. Now, assuming this is true, shouldn’t there be many clear examples of this happening? I mean, come on, we should be tripping over this crap in our backyards!

Charles Darwin (you know, the father of the theory itself) said:

Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?  Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely – graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.*

Interesting. There are many scientists that claim to have such fossils. Also interestingly, one of the most well recognized proponents of the theory is late Stephen J. Gould, an ardent evolutionist, and he admits that they just don’t exist:

The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary states between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediated in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.**

Note that he didn’t just say there weren’t any fossils, but that they haven’t been able to even imagine what they might be. Here also is a quote from the late Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, and author of the book, Evolution. A reader sent him a letter questioning him why he had not presented any transitional forms and in reply he wrote:

I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book.  If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them ….  I will lay it on the line – there is not one fossil which one could make a watertight argument.***

So why do so many scientists persist that there are fossils where none exist? The answer lies in them not wanting to be wrong. Unlike most theories in the scientific community, Intelligent Design is never considered because people feel it bears too close to God and religion. Science has gotten to the point where they believe they can learn everything, and that God has no place in the equation. Considering that the first pillar of science is to not have predisposition to a belief before experimentation, this seems highly hypocritical.

In another post, I will soon explain the many fossils pro ported to be transitional, but in fact aren’t. For now, I urge all of you to do your own research and find the truth. Keep in mind the difference between micro and macro evolution: micro is small things like birds getting different beaks due to different environments, and humans getting darker skin color. Macro evolution is the transition of one distinct animal species to another.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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*C. Darwin, Origin of Species, 6th ed. 1872 (London: John Murray, 1902), p 413

**S.J. Gould, in Evolution Now: A Century after Darwin, ed. John Maynard Smith, (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982)

***C. Paterson, letter to Luther D. Sutherland, 10 April 1979, as published in Darwin’s Enigma (Green Forest AR: Master Books, 4th ed. 1988), p. 89

Is School Killing Creativity?

January 6, 2010 2 comments

I’ll be honest with you all, I didn’t come to ask this question on my own. There is this amazing video of a TED presentation made by Ken Robinson about how he believes the school system as we know it is killing creativity in young people. [see end of post]

Now I don’t think of myself as a psychologist or sociologist by any means. Instead, this article is mostly centered around the perspective of a student, currently enrolled in the public school system. Also, I was in a private school from the grades 7-10, and have that perspective as well.

Lets look at the goal of the school system. The purpose surrounding it all is to educate the youth of America for as many career opportunities as they can, in the shortest time possible. In theory, this is a very worthy goal. After all, many people, either due to family situations or personal preference, choose not to go to school, and need to have all their education in grades 1-12. But here is where we start to have an issue: instead of giving the youth as wide of horizons as possible, the schools are focusing more and more on 3 main subjects. Math, English and Science.

If we were all Vulcans this would be just fine. But we’re not, we are human beings and as such we need things like music and art to have a deep culture with ties to the past. Look at the french, as far as they have gone to contribute in the fields of science and literature, they are most proud of their artistic expression and heritage. As one of the most, if not THE most, powerful nations on the planet, we are striving to make our children have a leg-up on the international competition, but at what cost?

In reality (as Ken points out) we are a society that is making the college professor (PhD of course) the ideal intellectual goal. Unfortunately it’s not just us, almost all countries are doing this! With international travel and cooperation at an all time high, it is getting easier and easier for our Asian cousins to take the high paying jobs that we would otherwise have had. With that in mind, what’s the problem? Why the heck shouldn’t we do anything and everything to stay at the leading edge in the race for intellectual superiority?

I’ll tell you why: because it’s killing us. Millions upon millions of people around the world are going to a workplace every day that they hate, to a job that pays too little, to be berated by a boss that thinks he’s god. As a result, happiness in the workplace is so low that there are psychiatrists who make their whole living off working specifically with white collar businessmen who have trouble dealing with the stress. This is ridiculous.

To get back to the point, what I am saying is the same as Ken: put more emphasis on the arts. Ensure that art classes have the same funding potential as any other, because what use is having all the knowledge in the world, if the only people around to share it with are mindless slaves to their “intelligence”.