An Unexpected Connection

Blue whales.

I couldn’t stop researching blue whales. I was 12, and my teacher had just explained to the class that blue whales are the largest mammals on planet Earth.

In hindsight, this reaction was my first confirmed sighting of what in the Nerd Handbook1 I call the “annoying efficient relevancy engine.” Something in the phrase “largest mammal on earth” started the relevancy engine, and once it starts, it’s not going to stop until the relevancy is understood.

Two Buckets

The relevancy engine is the nerd’s ability to instantly and with little conscious effort parse all incoming information into one of two buckets: Relevant ...

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