There are a plethora of self-help titles floating around the ‘verse. So many in fact, trying to find the right one for you can be a lot like Harry Potter trying to track down horcruxes, or the crew of Battlestar Galactica attempting to find Earth in the vast expanses of space... only you don’t have any Sacred Scrolls or magic powers to guide you on your quest. Until now, that is. We collected the best advice we could find from our very own Fandom-tastic titles. (Two of which are only $3.99 until the end of the month: Geek Wisdom and Geek's Guide to Dating, just sayin'!) Just don’t let the cylons and muggles know.
1. The Three Laws of Robotics
“A robot shall not harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot shall obey the orders given by a human being, except where this would conflict with the First Law. A robot shall protect it’s own existence, except where this would conflict with the First or Second Law.”
In Geek Wisdom, Stephen H. Segal reimagines the classic robo laws in a more human-centric way: “It’s important to take care of yourself,” he says, “but it’s more important to spread happiness, but it’s even more important to hold life sacred.”
2. Take Life’s Second Chances
“The geek canon, for better or worse, strongly encourages do overs,” says Eric Smith, author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating. “Sometimes, these second chances give us something incredible. Other times though, we aren’t so lucky. So when it comes time to reboot, restart, or just move on, remember to take it slow and enjoy every exciting little moment that comes your way.”
3. Extinguish Flames, Don’t Feed Them
AKA, Don’t feed the trolls. “The Internet makes jerks of us all,” warns Sam Maggs in her new book The Fangirl’s Guide to Galaxy. “Don’t let nasty comments - about your ship, your site, or yourself - get to you. Keep your online presence a positive one, and block the hell out of anyone who tries to upset you.” She also advocated for Wheaton’s Law, named for Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton, which is the simple mantra of, “Don’t be a dick.”
4. Be Responsible
“With great power comes great responsibility.” - Stan Lee, Marvel Comics. You’re probably smart, or talented, or at the very least responsible for something or someone. Remember that as geeks it’s important to be thoughtful about our actions - with friends, family, coworkers, and especially ourselves. (Geek Wisdom)
5. Use Technology as a Tool, not a Crutch
Technology can be a blessing or a curse. “Technology and the gadgets we’ve been blessed with have certainly made life easier,” Eric says, “but as much as modern tech and the internet have made the world feel a little smaller, they’ve also managed to push us apart.” The key to staying connected in meaningful ways, he says, is to “use technology as a tool, not a crutch.”
6. Don’t Harass Anyone, Ever
While this advice from Fangirl’s Guide comes from the "Conventions, Do’s and Don’ts" section, it applies to all people, all the time. Maggs warns that things like glomping, attack hugs, or taking stranger’s pictures without their permission can all count as harassment. Unless you’re a zombie searching for brains, don’t walk around with your arms outstretched.
7. Embrace All People
Superman doesn’t discriminate when saving civilians from a burning building, and neither should you. Whether this means embracing intersectional feminism like Sam Maggs, or questioning the “cake” promised by politicians like Stephen H. Segal, or just giving someone new a chance in the dating world like Eric Smith, this might be the most important rule of all. As geeks, we know what it’s like to be excluded or feel marginalized. It’s important to reach out a friendly nerdy hand to all people. And who knows, maybe the person you embrace is a nerd just waiting to happen.