Peter is getting momentary fame over at Half Sigma with the Peter Principal Rule, which states: Non-athletic activities which only men participate in, yet are not viewed as traditionally masculine, are the nerdiest activities.

There’s a back-and-forth over at Half Sigma where Engineer makes the strong counterargument that it’s not that the nerdiness of the activities define the nerd but rather that the nerdiness of the actors determines the nerdiness of the activity.

Kevin K, on the other hand, suggests that it’s the difference between doing and simulating. If you’re actually hunting, then booyah, but if you’re simulating it on a computer, then that’s nerdy. By this standard, fixing a car is doing… but so is fixing a computer. Are they received the same way? Probably not so much.

All of this is a long way around to wondering how nerdy the following video is. I mean, creating comic books superpowers? Engineer would say nerdy because it’s not the sort of thing that popular people would be into. But the dude’s creating fire, which would meet with Kevin’s approval of masculinity.

Personally, if that’s being a nerd, then I wouldn’t ever wanna be cool.


Category: Coffeehouse

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4 Responses to St. Izzy’s Fire

  1. W. says:

    Ok, that was interesting.

    A few weeks ago.

  2. DaveinHackensack says:

    It looks cool to me, but hasn’t that always been true of playing with fire?

  3. Barry says:

    Can’t view the video at work, but I went to the site and made a comment. Here’s what I said regarding “nerds” and D&D:

    I think stereotypical nerds are far from stereotypical, and are based on one’s own personal experiences. If you played D&D as a kid (or still do) and the vast majority of players that participated were unattractive guys, then that’s who you assume is associated with the game all over the world.

    I played for several years in college and even some after, and can personally attest that of all the players I played with, probably 30% were woman, and of all the players I played with – men or women – at least 75% would be considered at least nominally attractive to the opposite sex, some a great deal so, and nowhere near the social outcast that is such a stereotype of D&D “nerds”.

    So while the argument can be made whether D&D is a “nerdy” pursuit vs “non-nerdy” like football, some stereotypes simply do not hold up across the board as to who actually participates.

    While the game may be “nerdy”, playing it does not make you a “nerd”. In fact, at the heart you really can’t separate playing D&D from playing chess, checkers, Scrabble, Monopoly, Spades, Go Fish or even Poker (gasp! Poker is nerdy! Someone alert ESPN that they’re airing a nerdy game from the Rio hotel in Las Vegas…)

  4. Kirk says:

    Some stereotypes exist simply for the purposes of fiction and casual conversation. Cheerleaders, for example, have never seemed to me as to be as mean or popular as they’re shown in fiction. I figure it’s the same with D&D’ers.

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