Nerd Lunch Podcast 32: Nerd Heritage

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Nerd Lunch Podcast 32: Nerd Heritage

Venn diagram

Our old buddy Fitz returns to the show for our companion piece to Episode 148 of The Atomic Geeks, “Geek Dads!”. We spend the first part of the show talking about our upbringing and the formative experiences that made us nerds, geeks, dorks, and poindexters. After that we briefly touch on how we hope to raise the next generation of nerds. In our To-Dos this week, we learn about Fitz’s initiative to crowdsource some toy shopping, hear CT’s latest update on his quest for Young Justice action figures, and get a mini-review of “Return to Oz” from Pax.

About the Author:

Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host


  1. Chrisloc1701 February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Great episode guys. I would consider myself a geek/nerd because at times i was socially awkward but I have come a long way since then.

    I grew up in a very small town, my graduation class was only 12 people if that is any indication. But I was a openly geeky guy, people knew I was into Trek and comics. I did get teased at some points growing up for my geeky ways but for the most part it was good. I was a geek but I was also athletic and I played a lot of baseball growing up, so I kinda fit in with every crowd. But I was always honest with myself and those around me with my geekery, I never tried to hide it. I've always maintained be your own person and don't worry what others think you should be.

    And now you know….the rest of the story…

  2. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Jack, you bring up a very good point that I contemplated bringing up on the show and decided against in the interest of time. But yes, I believe that "nerdin'" (or "geekin'") is not exclusive to sci-fi, comics and role-playing. In fact, as much as they hate to admit it, sports fans are typically huge nerds. Especially the ones who do fantasy baseball and stuff.

    As the guy with the oldest of the children on the show, I can already see that you're completely right on your last point. These kids have their own personality. Often times, my kid's personality is a lot like their dad's, stubborn and obsessive, but what their interests are…I have no real control over. I know in the case of me with my dad, there was a lot of stuff that I didn't like as a kid but grew to appreciate later or even just recently. So I just want to throw a bunch of stuff out there, we'll dwell on the commonality and maybe pick back up on the parts where we don't intersect later in life.

    James! Thanks for stopping by. I should have mentioned you when I referenced the Sportsmaster figure. I've actually got a lead on the two missing YJ figures and I'm hoping to know by this weekend if it worked out.

  3. James Y. February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Great episode guys. I thought Fitz was going to keep talking about me and never mention my name. He finally did. My first mention on the Lunch, I feel special! CT, don't worry, I am still searching high and low for those stealth figures for you.
    Take care.

  4. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Jeepers, Wally, that was one heck of an episode! I could probably do a couple of paragraphs on every point you raised, but I'll confine myself to a couple of the points that most resonated with me.

    I am squarely in the middle of the Dweeb camp on your Venn diagram. I am far too committed to the laid back west coast lifestyle to ever develop an obsession about anything. It was interesting to me that you kind of dismissed Social Ineptitude as a legitimate trait, possibly because it is the most subjective. In my case, I share CT's gene that makes me highly resistant to anything the "herd" embraces; if I was in high school now, I'd would doubtless be an outcast for finding The Hunger Games utterly repulsive. Couple that with my unerring knack for bringing a conversation to a full stop by saying the exact wrong thing, and you have a textbook definition of Social Ineptitude. People afflicted with this tend to identify 1 or 2 people they can trust to cut them slack on that issue, and make them close friends to the exclusion of all others.

    In your discussion of what makes a nerd, you focused largely on a love of scifi, comics, action figs, and the like. I'm going to omit Social Ineptitude for this discussion, as it just clouds the issue, but CT, for example, is quite intelligent, and obsessed by his own admission with the various writers of comics, which (absent Social Ineptitude) makes him a geek. But is a guy who is obsessed with Washington politics, or all the minutiae of his favorite NFL team any less of a geek based solely on the subject matter? Here's how porous the line between nerd and cool is: Through most of my school days here in San Diego, I was not accepted by anyone who was cool, but for one semester of 10th grade, I attended Monterey High School. Monterey at that time was a dying fishing village, far from the tourist mecca it is today. I was the same kid in the same situation, but during that semester, I was sought out by the cool kids, befriended by jocks and senior cheerleaders, based solely on the fact that I was from the "big city," where everyone there couldn't wait to escape to. Draw your own conclusions…

    Finally, you're going to have a lot less planned influence on your kids than you think. During that phase, generally between 3 and 10, when your kids think you hung the moon, they're going to emulate what you're doing as you follow your own leisure time interests. Some they will like and keep with them, and others they won't, no matter what you try to do. If you try to force them to become comic writer experts, for example, you'll just alienate them. It's easier to keep them close if you watch what they're into, and find some interesting part of that to share with them. The closest thing I have had to an obsession is my 30-year love of video games, but I probably never would have touched one if it hadn't been for my sons' consumption of them. They're 35 now, and I have to thank them for 3decades of enjoyment.

    And thank you for a year and a half. Looking forward to lots more. I'm outta here!

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