Let’s talk about a not-even half-baked idea I came up with this morning.
This concept will make you smarter, happier and more interesting to be around. It’ll also help you with everything else.
That probably sounds good. So let’s get on with it.
Learning complex systems will make your brain better and you more successful.
But learning stuff is hard and brain training – the type that isn’t the stupid nootropic + “one weird trick” software that certain gurus push – is difficult.
So let’s talk about how to maximise your potential whilst having fun.
Let’s talk about nerd hobbies.
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I define nerd hobbies as hobbies where you learn multiple complex systems that would otherwise be unrelated. It’s a far-cry from what you’ll get if you run a Google search for nerd hobbies right now.
You’ll get boring stuff like “computer games” and “learn programming.”
Now… programming can be a part of a nerd hobby. It’s a complex system, but you want to combine them.
Video gaming isn’t really a nerd hobby unless you’re one of the tiny fraction of people who plays something like Europa Universalis or other grand strategy games that require you to learn about history and economics and stuff.
Because of the nature of this idea (i.e. I don’t really know what I’m talking about yet) I’m finding it a little hard to describe.
So I’ll talk in terms of a couple of quick examples.
Example One: Electronic Music
I was talking to a guy a few years back. He was really into creating trance music.
Now, you might think that trance music isn’t the nerdiest of hobbies. After all, it’s designed so people can go outside, talk to people, dance, take ecstasy and otherwise stay out socialising until the small hours.
And at a glance, trance music is pretty simple sounding.
So you’d think it wasn’t a nerd hobby.
But it is.
The guy I talked to knew about various complex systems: He could tell you about PC hardware, sound frequencies and music theory. He also knew a surprising amount about dance, the history of music and the history of tech.
Now, he wasn’t what you’d call a nerd or a music historian or anything – he’d picked up his knowledge of all these various things in order to get better at the hobby.
Example Two: Raspberry Pi Gardening
You could be mistaken for assuming the outdoor folk and indoor folk never mixed.
But here’s another example.
If you want to get better at a ton of things, then get a Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi’s are miniature computers that you can program to do all kinds of things. You could create a media centre for your household and sync all your devices to it.
Or you could try automating your gardening with it.
Raspberry Pi can help you automate the weirdest of tasks. I’ve seen people build automated chicken coops, automate their greenhouse watering systems or build home security systems with cameras.
With a Raspberry Pi hobby, you can learn about electronics, programming and whatever you’re automating.
These are all complex systems that’ll make you more intelligent and knowledgeable.
Like I said in the introduction, this is a half-baked idea. The general consensus though is that you should find hobbies which will allow you and in some cases require you to learn how various complex systems work.
It’s not enough to be a master of one thing anymore. In order to stand out from the crowd, you should mix various skill sets. Picking hobbies you enjoy that let you be a total nerd whilst also building interesting skills into your life is great. Picking nerd hobbies where the complex systems feed off each other is even better.