From Reamde, a pretty good (but atypical) novel by Neal Stephenson (sorry, excimer), a pretty insightful quote about people and being nerds:
In so many areas, it was not possible to be knowledgeable without getting a Ph.D. and doing a postdoc. Guns and hunting provided an out for men who wanted to be know-it-alls but who couldn't afford to spend the first three decades of their lives getting up to speed on quantum mechanics or oncology. You simply couldn't go to a gun range without being cornered by a man who wanted to talk to you for hours about the relative merits of side-by-side versus over-and-under shotguns.So, so, so true. Nerdness is all over, some areas are just a little more obscure than others.