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My Faith in Nerds: Stronger Than Any Gelatinous Cube
Merlin Mann | Sep 10 2010
Let's be honest. I don't go...mmmm...places very often.
I sit in this chair. I go to the Safeway with my daughter. Sometimes, I take the train downtown to get a haircut. I check the mail.
But, by and large, like most nerds, I'm without question, a bit of a shut-in.
Which wonderful conference placed me inside a very royal complex, alone on a very large stage, 90 seconds after being informed I'd better be entertaining, because I'd be conducting my oration on the same spot where, a scant 36 years earlier, ABBA had become international stars by singing an up-tempo number about giving up. So, y'know. No pressure.
Thus, I stood on that stage for over 35 minutes, rambling to 800 talented, creative people about Dungeons & Dragons, japanese toothpicks, torrenting Photoshop, as well as what I used to find myself doing after a long evening of shooting mutants in Stargate.1
But, mostly? Yes. Mostly, I stood on a stage thousands of miles from the chair from which I barely move, and I told a lot of really smart people that they were nerds. I also told them they should get out more.
I swear: it made sense at the time.
Some Serious Talent
My talk about the challenges and opportunities of being a giant nerd seemed well received. Honestly, I'm very happy with how it turned out. But--oh, brother--was I ever up against some heavy hitters. Serious Lou Gehrig shit.
I'll leave it to other, more eloquent folks to tell you what a wonderful day this was. But I will very much suggest you learn this for yourself by listening to the audio of the fantastic talks. Because every one of them is a corker.
Great speakers, great hosts, wonderful attendees (who aren't above buying a yank a pint [thanks, everybody]).
And, Thanks, dConstruct
I have to admit, I'm kind of over conferences as a thing, which makes it even more crazy when I go to one, and it blows me out of the water with the care and quality of the event, the speakers, and the attendees. dConstruct was absolutely one of those blown-out-of-the-water events.
As I learned over and over again--yes, like me--these folks are nerds. But, brother are they ever talented nerds who care and care. Which I just love so much.
I'll take a nerdy bunch of fontdorks and cellists over a splashy mega-conference full of VC pitches and skanks pushing free Red Bull anytime. Anytime.
dConstruct was simply a top-notch operation from end-to-end, and I'm insanely grateful that I was invited to participate. Thanks, Clearleft.
And, you, the reader? If you get the chance next time, go. Heck, I might even leave this chair and go there, myself. Maybe.
I suppose when Dr. Who's over, I could just let these 20-sided dice decide for me. Lemme see...what's my Armor Class and Hit Points...?
Listen for Yourself2
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