Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Copying Works: What It Means to Be a Nerd

People are still buzzing about the jury ruling against Samsung this week. Some analysts have noted that the $1 billion plus judgment could be the best money Samsung has ever spent, because it validates the design and marketing decisions made for some of its smartphones. As one writer noted, copying works.

What does this have to do with being a nerd?

Nerds copy what works.

Gaming? Nerds know that the lateral exploration of the self that gaming permits leads to a broadened sense of experience. Foreign travel is great, and nerds often indulge in it, but gaming takes you farther.

Idiosyncratic behaviors? These are often learned through observation, reading, and/or exploration, then adopted purposefully. Example: This normal person's chaos is that nerd's highly systematized filing system. This is not to say that nerds don't always live in clutter--I'm a poster child for the office organized into piles of objects and papers--but don't glance at a drawer of items and think there's no organization. Sometimes a Fibonacci sequence is not readily apparent.

New tech? As early adopters, nerds realized that grokking new tech now means being ready for new tech tomorrow. It's an evolved application of the Boy Scout motto because it brings a little piece of the future into today.

Futurism? Even SCA nerds are futurists. Never worry about the future; there will always be a nerd creating it. And probably creating simultaneous alternatives.

Back to Samsung v Apple...Surely the powers that be in Cupertino realize that, far from having the upper hand after this one court decision (others have gone against them), Apple is now on its back foot. The crest of Apple's innovation has already passed. The evidence is in the products: What's worth keeping has been copied elsewhere.

We nerds have copied what works and moved on.

No comments: