Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture book review

Geek-Wisdom

This book was edited by Stephen H. Segal and contains numerous commentaries on some of the most often said quotes from our favorite movies, cartoons and comics.  Everything from, Princess Bride the Bride of Frankenstein, or Doctor who, to Zelda even The Tick are covered in this book. While Nerd culture will hold these favorites the highest, and there are some quotes that are even obscure to me in the book, for the most part these quotes discussed have launched beyond just nerd culture to pop culture.   We nerds though, have a special attachment to many. “Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say YES!” –Winston on Ghostbusters.  I of course don’t agree with that statement theologically, but I can’t help but recognize that I have used in the past for humor, and a kind of grand version of the lie to cover your own but.  The authors take that idea and runs with it.

The book begins when the author is asked, “What was your religion when you were growing up?” he states that is answer was, “u, science fiction, pretty much.”   While the author goes on to admit about Isaac Asimov, “He was not, obviously, God. He didn’t create the universe, humanity and everything in between” He does still contrast himself with a catholic friend who studied the gospel, while he read I, Robot.

Each of the nerd sayings included in the book can teach a lesson, or have come to represent something to us as a culture.  He divides it into six sections: My name is Inigo Montoya (wisdom about the self), Form Feet and Legs (Wisdom about relationships), we are all individuals (wisdom about humankind) Knowing is half the battle (wisdom about conflict) Billions and Billions (wisdom about the universe) and In the Year 2525 (wisdom about the future.)  The overall affect is to make cannon of important Nerd Dogma.  To the author, this would be the road map to understanding philosophy, theology and metaphysics through the lens of nerd culture.

I’m not yet 30 (but darn close) and I can remember a time when being a nerd, meant being an outcast. In present day this is no longer true, the nerds indeed have had their revenge. With the age of technology and the internet nerd likes and views, are affecting the world around us. Nerds like Bill Gates now have the money. Comic book movies have saved Hollywood and continue to dominate the box office.  Comics themselves are no longer throw entertainment, but collectable treasures. Nerd t-shirts are no longer a way to get beat up at school, but are a popular way of expressing yourself, just like a band t-shirt.  I can see the author’s point clearly; the nerd’s have reached escaped velocity from being outcasts and are now their own culture with norms and folkways which are presented clearly in this book.

In short, pick up this book. Each quote is a trip down nostalgia lane, and a call to ponder about it’s deeper meanings.

 

As a believer, i had additional thoughts about this book I included in the original review over at Nerd 4 the Lord concerning how this relates to Christians who are nerds, as religion comes up in this book several times.  Click here to check out those additional comments.

Or click here to talk about the book on our forums. One of the neat things about our forums, is that we do allow talk about religion, philosophy, even the hot topic of Politics!

-revsears