Personally, I cringe every time I hear the word ‘nerd’ being used in a negative, stereotypical context. I consider myself a nerd, even though I don’t wear my pants mounted under my armpits, and don’t wear jar-like glasses.
Nerd-ness, for me, goes back to the pursuit of knowledge. Nerds are studious people – information junkies – maintaining their mental fitness, and getting smart in the process. Nerds crave knowledge.
It’s time to throw out those Steve Urkel-ish stereotypes, and go back to the real nerds; people like Leonardo Da Vinci, NiccolÃ² Machiavelli and John Dee.
The Age of Enlightenment is long past, but there’s still place for those real nerds in our current society. The global education system is skyrocketing – best of all – the internet is here to stay. A worldwide network of knowledge, if you know where to look.
Below are some of the best and most interesting websites for studious people and information junkies.
University Lectures – Academic Earth
With a little Googling, you’ll quickly find a number of accredited universities posting their lectures online. Justin has just posted a great article on the subject. However, as is expected from most .edu sites, there’s little overview. Academic Earth makes an (unexpectedly) great alternative.
The site has previously been mentioned in the directory, but quite surprisingly has never been mentioned in an article before.
Academic Earth combines an enjoyable interface with often fantastic material, offering lectures from the biggest universities – complete semesters even! With Academic Earth, you can study at all the world’s best universities, the only thing missing is a diploma to prove it.
Riveting Talks – TED.com
Mind you, being an information junkie does not necessarily make you captivating. Interesting and boring are sadly not mutually exclusive. If you attended university, you probably know what I’m talking about. Worst of all, you can hardly blame them – having to repeat the same stuff over and over would dispirit many men.
TED doesn’t broadcast university lectures. They aggregate the interesting. Every year, some of the world’s most brilliant minds come to talk at TED. It’s a place to be ponder, question and be amazed. They’re ideas worth spreading.
Information on Everything – Wikipedia.org
Wikipedia needs no introduction. Everybody should know the wiki-based encyclopedia by now. It’s one of the internet’s most massive accumulations of information. Most people are familiar to using it when they’re dumbfounded by a particular term, but the underlying potential is much greater.
There are those information junkies who busy themselves with ‘reading Wikipedia’. You start at an interesting subject, and visit page after page by using the articles’ hyperlinks. It’s interesting. It’s addictive. Don’t try it at home.
Beauty. It’s in the details. Finding out how things work is a personal fetish of mine. I’ve always tried to understand technology, and the systems that are weaved throughout our everyday life. It’s strangely empowering to know what’s happening behind the scenes at any given moment.
HowStuffWorks writes articles on everyday subjects – and the systems behind them. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re wondering about (and interested in) the process.
Literature eBooks are almost too easy to find. It was only recently that I encountered a truly great site for free informative eBooks. Free-eBooks.net offers HTML and PDF eBooks on numerous diverging topics, ranging from advertising to philosophy to youth.
Do you know any other cool sites for a knowledge junkie? Post your own favorites in the comments section below!