Contrary to popular myth, you don't have to be a nerd to be a hacker. It does help, however, and many hackers are in fact
nerds. Being a social outcast helps you stay concentrated on the really important things, like thinking and hacking.
For this reason, many hackers have adopted the label ‘nerd’ and even use the harsher term ‘geek’
as a badge of pride — it's a way of declaring their independence from normal social expectations.
If you can manage to concentrate enough on hacking to be good at it and still have a life, that's fine. This is a lot
easier today than it was when I was a newbie in the 1970s; mainstream culture is much friendlier to techno-nerds now. There
are even growing numbers of people who realize that hackers are often high-quality lover and spouse material.
If you're attracted to hacking because you don't have a life, that's OK too — at least you won't have trouble
concentrating. Maybe you'll get a life later on.