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Even though he’s apt to vanish for hours, has a strange sense of humor, doesn’t like you touching his stuff, and often doesn’t listen when you’re talking directly to him, he’s a keeper. My advice: Map the things he’s bad at to the things he loves.
You love to travel, but your nerd would prefer to hide in his cave for hours on end chasing The High. First, you need to convince him that you’re going to do your best to recreate his cave in his new surrounding.
Humor is an intellectual puzzle, “How can this particular set of esoteric trivia be constructed to maximize hilarity as quickly as possible? Many years ago, I dubbed this behavior NADD, and you should read the article to learn more and to understand what mental muscles your nerd has developed. Then there’s how he watches by himself when he watches three shows at once. You walk into the room, and you’re watching your nerd jump between channels every five minutes. Your nerd’s mental information model for the world is one contained within well-bounded tidy windows where the most important tool is one that allows your nerd to move swiftly from one window to the next. This is what he heard, “Spent an hour at the post office blah blah blah…” You can be rightfully pissed off by this behavior — it’s simply rude — but seriously, I’m trying to help here.
” Your nerd listens hard to recognize humor potential, and when he hears it, he furiously scours his mind to find relevant content from his experience so he can get the funny out as quickly as possible. It’s irrelevant that there may be no relationship between these windows. Your nerd’s insatiable quest for information and The High has tweaked his brain in an interesting way.
You’re going to create a quiet, dark place here he can orient himself and figure out which way the water flushes down the toilet. Carve out three days somewhere quiet at the beginning of the trip. How about letting him chill on the bed for a half-day before you drag him out to see the Golden Gate Bridge? Food is thrown into the irrelevant bucket because it’s getting in the way of the content. Thing is, you want your nerd to eat healthily so that he’s here in another thirty years, so how do you change this behavior? For me, exercise became the project ten years ago after a horrible break-up.
Second, and more importantly, you need to remind him about his insatiable appetite for information. When the project was no longer the Ex, I dove into exercise every single day of the week. Significant nerd behavioral change is only going to happen if your nerd engages in the project heart and soul. My guess is that, collectively, your nerd interacts with ten times more people than you think he does.
A video game is just one more system where your nerd’s job is to figure out the rules that define it, which will enable him to beat it. Your nerd spent a lot of his younger life being an outcast because of his strange affinity with the computer. He knows the compelling parts of the arcs and is mentally editing his versions while watching all three.He sees the world as a system which, given enough time and effort, is completely knowable.This is a fragile illusion that your nerd has adopted, but it’s a pleasant one that gets your nerd through the day. Whereas everyone else is traipsing around picking dazzling fonts to describe their world, your nerd has carefully selected a monospace typeface, which he avidly uses to manipulate the world deftly via a command line interface while the rest fumble around with a mouse. Grab that seemingly discarded Mac Mini which has been sitting on the floor for two months and hide it.It’s the end of the day, and you and your nerd are hanging out on the couch. There isn’t a computer anywhere nearby, and you’re giving your nerd the daily debrief. Expect active involvement from your nerd when you trip the relevance flag.“Spent an hour at the post office trying to ship that package to your mom, and then I went down to that bistro — you know — the one next to the flower shop, and it’s closed. If you trip the irrelevance flag, look for verbal punctuation announcing his judgment of irrelevance.