Thursday, January 28, 2010

Geek/Nerd Law

One of the Blogs I read that keeps me up to date on Geeky and Nerdy things, recently held a contest. To enter the contest, people were encouraged to sent in their Nerd Laws—twenty of which were assembled into a list of Nerd Commandments.

The Winner wrote a "Law" that Truly Spoke to me. The Blog is Topless Robot, the author of this Law/Commandment Identified him/herself as Chapka.

The Law is as Follows:

"Thou must obey the Law of the Golden Mean.
What is it? Glad you asked:
• Any thing that can be purchased, achieved or obtained that consists of a discrete number of individual parts, issues, episodes, or location; such as issues of a comic book, trading cards in a set, or action figures in a line is subject to the Law of the Golden Mean.
• Any nerd in possession of more than 61.8% of the individual items in such a series must, if at all possible, either proceed to acquire each of the remaining items so as to complete the set, or sell one or more items on eBay until the nerd again owns less than 61.8% of the total series.
• If the items owned make up a complete set of a more specific series, the law is satisfied.
Example 1:
Peter owns seasons one, two, three and four of Babylon 5 on DVD. Peter owns 4 of 5 (80%) of Babylon 5 on DVD, and so must also purchase Season 5 to complete the set, even though it kind of sucked.

Example 2:
Clark owns the first nine of sixteen collected volumes of Dave Sim's "Cerebus the Aardvark." Clark owns only 56.25% of the Cerebus books, and therefore may stop purchasing them without violating this Law once he realizes that they've gotten longwinded, incomprehensible, and obnoxious.

Example 3:
Logan owns all of issues 27 through 860 of Detective Comics except for Issue #449 ("Midnight Rustler of Gotham City"). Logan owns 96.7% of all Detective Comics issues and would ordinarily be required to complete the set. However, by buying Issue #449, Logan can complete the more specific set of all Detective Comics issues published since the introduction of Batman, after which he does not need to purchase issues 1 through 26.

Example 4:
Reed has photographs of himself with William Shatner, Majel Barrett, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Walter Koenig. His photographs comprise only 55.6% of the original nine-member regular cast of Star Trek: The Original Series, and it is unnecessary for him to stalk either Nichelle Nichols or Grace Lee Whitney, although I bet that won't stop him.

Example 5:
Bruce has 300 issues of Fantastic Four from the 1960s through the 1980s in plastic storage tubs under his bed. Because Bruce owns less than 61.8% of the 500-plus Fantastic Four issues, he is not required to purchase the entire set. However, Bruce's collection likely includes more than 61.8% of those Fantastic Four issues inked by Joe Sinnott, and if Bruce is aware of this, he will be required to complete that subset.

For most nerds, failure to abide by the Law of the Golden Mean will result in madness, obsession, and eventually a [hazy, sleep deprived] late-night sale of the entire remaining collection on eBay."

I don't know what it is about being Geeky, but there is an obsessive need to collect and categorize stuff. Reading over this Law, I realized that I've been living that way instinctively. My They Might Be Giants music collection, at one time was 100%. Then we had a falling out (i.e. they were donating money from album sales to a cause that I cannot support). Since then I've learned that it was only money from a particular Album (a compilation with other artists for the express intent of raising money for that cause) and it drives me a little insane that I'm missing Nine of their Albums.

This is the precise reason that I do not purchase T.V. Series on DVD (That and the fact that I would never sit down and watch through them). Though recently I purchased Seasons one and two of Zorro because it was necessary to keep complete my selection of Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets.

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