Survey: What are your hobbies?

Dividualist has/inspires an interesting question: What non-STEM related hobbies do female nerds have?

Let’s expand this question to everyone who reads this blog: What are your hobbies? Are they mostly STEM-related or non-STEM? (And do you consider yourself a nerd?)

For example, hobbies like “building lasers” or “writing a blog on HBD” count as STEM-related; playing WoW or gardening is non-STEM.

(Then discuss whether this distinction between STEM and non-STEM hobbies is valid.)


For myself: There’s an obvious complication that humans are social creatures and I do a lot of things because other people around me are doing them. EG, I play and enjoy some videogames with my family, but if I lived alone, I wouldn’t have bought a TV, much less a game system.

Similarly, there are things I would like to do if I had more time and money–billionaires can afford more hobbies than we mere plebes. These can be listed as “interests.”

Obviously my chief “hobbies” are writing this blog (which requires a fair amount of reading) and homeschooling my children. I won’t duplicate the blog by listing everything it covers.

I also enjoy writing fiction and reading about topics not covered in this blog, like physics. (Layman level reading.)

Navigation: I am strongly aware of the shape of the local geography and spatial relationship of the sun, shadows, curve of the Earth, progress of seasons, animal migrations, the way prevailing winds shape the local trees, etc. The slanting rays of the afternoon sun have a deep emotional effect.

I like plants and would enjoy having a small farm with more plants, bees, and some chickens. I am fond of afternoons in the woods and foraging for wild edibles.

I enjoy making things, like arts and crafts. I’ve made a number of toys for the kids, built them a small wooden “play house,” and recently finished sewing a dress. If I had money and time, I would invest in woodworking tools and a 3D printer.

I struggle to delineate, exactly, whether these are STEM hobbies or not; “STEM” itself is not a word I like, though I employ it because it is short and utile.

Things I have little to no interest in: sports, cars, travel, sightseeing, holding still (“vacation,”) makeup, celebrities, celebrity gossip, most TV or movies, cupcakes, drinking, bars, hair salons, modern fashion, handbags, and most striver bullshit. These are my misery zone.


What about you?

8 thoughts on “Survey: What are your hobbies?

  1. i am an AVID crafter, in a very obsessive systematizing, process oriented way. i needlepoint, cross stitch, knit, crochet and quilt. i become very obsessed with the state of the art or most advanced form of the craft and work exclusively towards mastering it and then i move on. i become obsessed with the materials involved or the various designers, the history of the craft and techniques and researching it. it is very consuming. i think there may be a loom in my future

    other hobbies ive obsessively burned trough were playing guitar, fishtanks and being a realtor (though some peopel call that a “job” thingy)

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  2. Writing sf stories. Actually I got paid for two of those, but since you can’t make a living out of writing sf in Poland, I guess it counts as a hobby, right? Reading about biology/HBD. Gardening. Painting the figures.

    Not exactly a nerd, but close enough.


  3. Cooking. Gardening/Permaculture. Reading fanfiction. Reading non-fiction (mostly history, natural history, science). Reading my RSS feeds. I watch very little television (and only have one b/c of my SO). I enjoy the symphony now and again – I like instrumental music generally. I like simple (i.e., short) board games and game apps (iPad). I spend a lot of time walking my dogs.

    Misery zone: gossip and all small talk, late nights “on the town”, watching movies, anything more than perfunctory fashion/hair/etc., currently popular music (most), comic book anything, crowds.


  4. My main hobbies are – first, fanfiction. Writing, reading, and dicussions around it. In the communities I’ve been involved in, this is a hobby made up almost exclusively of female nerds. (Of whom I myself am one.). Second, con-going sf fandom. This appears to be a very evenly gender-mixed hobby, both social and full of nerds by definition. Third… writing a sort of Dark Enlightenment blog ‘into a drawer,’ for now, which is why the website link’s empty – mostly about the intersection of history, social sciene, archaeology and anthropology, with a fair bit of sf literature discussion thrown in.

    Other hobbies include cooking – not just as a means to an end, but constantly trying to learn to make new types of things, e.g. bread, pickles, jam, and ice cream – and refining my existing recipes. Making jewelry, even though I don’t wear it, as miniature-scale sculpture because I can’t resist the shininess of the materials. Video editing in the context of the fanfiction communities mentioned above. Recurrent so-far failed attempts at sewing, gardening, and making anything useful with my rudimentary and rusty programming skills.

    I don’t even think of reading books as a hobby, just as what naturally happens when you’re not doing anything else, but I tend to get through one or two a week, on much the same topics as my above-mentioned theoretical blog.

    I have always disliked-to-hated: shopping, partying, ‘going out’ to clubs and bars and so forth, sports, and playing social ‘reindeer games’. I consume very limited amounts of media: movies, TV, music, video games, etc. However, I do enjoy hanging out and even party-like activities with similar-minded groups of nerds.

    Furthermore… I’ve noticed similar trends among the female nerds I’ve known as the ones I see here. Lots of interest in crafting and in ‘homes and gardens’ type hobbies – growing (or gathering!) food, cooking, etc. Reading, writing – possibly more frequently on topics ‘about people’ than STEM-type topics, but pursued with characteristically ‘nerdy’ unusual depth and interest in detail. Lack of interest in what seem the expected mainstream interests of either gender – shopping or partying, cars or sports.

    In response to your linked thread with Dividualist, I don’t find any lack of female nerds to socialize with. … And I’m going to cut off this comment here before it gets into discussing romantic histories, how interesting it is to me to bring up Raistlin as an example, etc. Instead, I’ll just end with: the problem that I find with these female nerd communities is that they tend to be very loudly, thoroughly, and bleeding-edge liberal. The original self-described Social Justice Warriors, I believe.


  5. Walking in the hills visiting archaeological sites. Spent a lot of time in when I was a teenager in the 90’s reading both fiction and non fiction. By the mid 2000’s and 20’s internet took over books and I mostly read non fiction and blogs. Until recently I wasted a lot of time playing video games. The past year I have been trying to make a picture book which is taking a long time because I am not very practiced at drawing and procrastinate. When I was a child I thought music was boring but now I am thinking of learning the guitar.


  6. I play an instrument in community musical theater productions (these days, only if childcare arrangements allow). Sometimes I paint, though I haven’t really had time to do that properly in a while. It’s been a hot and rainy summer, so gardening has fallen to the wayside. I’ve only just managed to tame some of our overgrown hedges.

    I like things being as organized as possible, but there’s a bit of a bootstrapping problem because I have trouble getting started when things are disorganized (I sometimes feel like the only thing between my house and the next episode of Hoarders is that I hire weekly cleaners).

    I do enjoy travel, and luckily have children who are better behaved away from home than at home. I like museums, and they’re also pretty good at those, too. Even the ones that aren’t really aimed at kids. We do some eating out and cooking, but neither my husband nor I are in any way “foodies”… I kind of like cooking, but any attempt at doing anything fancy is a big flop. A mid-20th century style casserole, on the other hand, is right up my totally-not-ironic alley.

    I like some socializing and even “gossip”, but mostly if the gossip is about people we all know. That said, I’m really bad at chit-chat. I’m supposed to ask about other people, but I know when other people try to ask the kinds of questions I should be asking, it feels really invasive, so I kind of end up talking about myself as a preventive measure. It’s not that I think I’m all-that, it’s that I’ve learned that if I spill it all up front, people won’t ask awkward questions later since they think they know everything about me now.

    I’m terrible at sewing, but I love historical costuming, and I get very obsessive about what I see in movies. I’ll forgive a lot of bad plot and acting if they get the costumes right. (and if you’re not bothering to get the costumes, hair, and set dressing right, you’d better have a really good plot, etc.)

    I enjoy just looking at maps. And charts and graphs. I used to read “American Demographics” just for fun, and now I read a lot of blogs with graphs about population trends… hmm…

    I’m trying to think of a current hobby that would count as “stem”… A lot of my casual reading would count (I read more nonfiction than fiction) but the last time I did any coding for fun was with BASIC in elementary school. Sometimes I’ll do math just for fun. And I also don’t like the acronym, even (or especially) with my last “real” employment being teaching math…


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