UFC commentator Joe Rogan revealed why he thinks “nerd” is no longer used as an insult during his latest podcast with Lex Fridman.
Joe Rogan has built a massive following from his popular podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, where he covers a wide range of interesting topics.
During his April 8 episode alongside MIT research scientist, Lex Fridman, the pair found themselves in a rather unusual debate, discussing if “nerd” is still used as an insult in modern times.
After watching a short clip of Bill Gates making a jump over a chair during his show, the podcast host remarked that it was “a pretty good jump for a nerd,” which sparked the debate between himself and Fridman.
Lex revealed his take on the term, expressing that he hated the use of it and viewed it as a saying that would often be used to describe someone in a negative manner, before asking, “you don’t think of a nerd as an ideal of a man?”
Joe, on the other hand, believed that the days of “nerd” being used as an insult had passed, and explained that he would use the word to describe someone who had invested a lot of energy into a particular subject.
“There’s nothing wrong with nerds, no I disagree, like I’m a nerd about a lot of things,” he replied, pointing towards “dork” as the term that is rarely used in a positive light, instead.
“It’s very rare that dork is positive, whereas nerd is often positive. Nerd is like a fun way about saying someone is really smart about a certain thing,” he explained.
Joe later admitted that he understood where Lex was coming from, and added that the way to dismantle the stereotype would be to introduce a positive culture of celebrating those who invest their life in science.
“I don’t think the way around that is to eliminate words or even stop using words, I think the way around it is just to appreciate people that are really great at science. The words don’t really matter, it’s perceptions that matter and I don’t think science has a bad perception, it just doesn’t have a glamorous enough perception,” Joe added.
One of the main issues the pair highlighted before moving on was the fact that “nerds” would often play a part in worsening the perception by deciding against activities that didn’t fit the stereotype, such as working out or becoming fight fans.
Although the term “nerd” has not always been associated with positivity, many would claim that the perception has changed in recent years particularly with tech stars such as Elon Musk inspiring many to appreciate the work of those in similar fields.