The Nerdish guide: why do I need this app?
You’re here, and that means you are a curious human being. Nerdish set out to provide you with answers to your questions: and here we explain the best way to do it.
Why we decided to make Nerdish
Humans are infinitely curious species: it is natural for us to wonder. Why do things happen the way they do? What awaits us around the corner?
Curiosity is inseparable from our adaptability. When we’re young and our brain is flexible, we constantly ask questions. Many of us are lucky enough to retain this gift of constant wondering and mental flexibility at older ages. So, perhaps, this very yearning for knowledge brought you here: to Nerdish.
The app you’re exploring right now is an attempt to give concise answers to curious human beings like you. We’re sure you have numerous questions: the ones that nagged you forever, the ones that came to mind at this very moment, and the ones that might spring up in a conversation you’re planning to have with a new acquaintance.
On the flip side, knowledge is not only about curiosity. Today’s world is quite demanding when it comes to small talk and sociability. People expect others to understand cultural references and jokes, scientific and technological metaphors. The world tells us, “Be interesting, be creative, be flexible, think outside the box, be innovative, don’t miss out.” Knowledge about many things can prove crucial when you’re out to get your dream job, find friends, or impress a romantic interest.
The pressure is real. Yet, our resources are limited: there is never enough time to satisfy all the curiosity. The internet has so much noise that it’s hard to make sense of the news. We often have a dedicated field at which we consider ourselves experts—and making time for systematic learning outside this field is difficult. It is double difficult for those with demanding jobs, studies, kids, or little siblings to take care of.
If only we had a knowledgeable nerdy friend to talk to once a week over a cup of tea! A friend to answer our random questions and explain all the amazing things the world has—or at least outline what’s crucial and where to look when there’s time for relaxed research. So, we decided to create an app that could serve as such a friend. And here we are.
Nerdish finds the answers for you and delivers them right to your phone. You will discover something new the minute you’re up to it: be it the realm of Arts, Natural Science, History, Social Science, or Technology. We also investigate the history behind seemingly simple daily objects like sugar, coffee, or passports.
Let us show how we do it.
How Nerdish delivers knowledge to you
There’s so much to learn about the world! Yet, sometimes it’s hard to decide where to start. The news and social media constantly inflate the hype around complex issues. On the internet, we all sometimes feel the pressure of “how come you don’t know that?” and scrolling through various feeds leads to information fatigue from all the background data noise.
At Nerdish, we deliver concise and comprehensive knowledge free from the news’ agenda. We aim to tell you about the wonders and intricacies of the world at a slow, comfortable pace when you’re ready to learn. You simply open the app, see the topic you want to know more about, and discover new exciting things while drinking your morning coffee, waiting for a friend, or commuting to work.
The app’s Recommended screen features topics that cover frequently asked general questions about the world. Those who like small rituals and prefer scheduling things can enable notifications to get reminders about a new topic in the app. We’ll send them to your phone no more than once or twice a week at about lunchtime.
The questions we answer can be complex, like “What are epigenetics?” or general, like “What happens when we get old?” In any case, simple fact sheets, encyclopedia articles, and dictionary definitions are not enough to answer them fully: alone, they can’t provide the contexts necessary for systemic understanding.
At Nerdish, we craft a narrative for every answer. Here’s a peek behind the scenes:
- We start with a general question about the world around us.
- We decide what key points are crucial to understand the topic and how they are related to other things you might already know.
- Our authors process dozens of encyclopedia articles, textbook chapters, expert articles in specialized journals, and other verified sources. When the topic is new or has no established academic background, our authors identify trustworthy voices from the crowd of experts and opinion leaders.
- When the data is gathered, our authors and editors arrange the facts into an engaging story and double-check them for documented proof.
In other words, Nerdish helps you learn something you don’t know yet without spending much time on research.
- Nerdish suggests the gaps in your outlook to close so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the options.
- You set your own pace of ambient learning with Nerdish, so you don’t experience information fatigue or pressure.
- Nerdish always gathers information from multiple sources to give a neutral and diverse perspective.
- We always keep in mind the difference between facts and opinions and provide you with facts only.
Why Nerdish: connecting the dots, boosting creativity, and helping you socialize
It is no secret that creativity is helpful in every life situation, from approaching new tasks at work to overcoming difficulties in daily life.
Spontaneously learning new things helps us see familiar things from an unexpected angle and adapt to unique circumstances. Breaking the routine creates new neural paths in your brain. Innovative thinking patterns boost your mind’s flexibility and reduce anxiety when things take an unexpected turn.
Nerdish has something to offer here, too. For every new topic, we show the connections between its key points and other issues that might seem irrelevant at first glance. The idea behind this approach is that intuition and creativity aren’t magic—they are trainable skills based on identifying subtle connections between things.
There are also emotional benefits: new angles to mundane things provide intellectual enjoyment and thus help you deal with burnout from routine.
Nerdish also keeps in mind the social side of the human species. Social mixing is essential for us: it brings us the joy of love and friendship, helps us survive in cooperation with others, and ultimately gives us purpose in life.
In today’s world, being sociable means constantly trying to be on the same page with your peers, both culturally and intellectually. However, with all the cultural differences and diverse backgrounds, it’s sometimes challenging to understand each other’s needs, show empathy, and feel confident.
Acknowledging cultural diversity is one of the Nerdish values. We aim to give you different perspectives when it comes to cultural and historical issues.
Being sociable also means being interesting and sharing knowledge. Throughout our lives, we constantly learn something from other people, and they learn something from us. At Nerdish, we hope to encourage you to share the things you’ve learned here with the people in your life. We also hope to help you make friends, be fun at parties, feel confident in social situations, and maintain soft skills that might be necessary for your dream job.
Ambient life-long micro-learning with Nerdish
Historically, learning has been associated with early age and youth, mostly confined to school and academia. And while the neuroplasticity of a young brain is undoubtedly higher than that of an adult’s, humans are very capable of learning and studying at any age.
Adults seldom have much time for studying something outside their specialization, and that’s one of the reasons we created Nerdish: to give people of any age an opportunity to learn whenever and wherever they’re up to it.
In the world, as it is today, in economic and social terms, extensive systematic reading (or even attending online classes) is a luxury. Therefore, Nerdish is a space for those who need a friendly, non-pressing, and comfortable environment to take in something new.
There are emotional and neurological benefits to ambient learning. By learning ambiently—that is, creating new neural paths in your brain without stress or pressure—you’re training your mind to remain sharp under duress, or in the case of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety disorder.
Ambient learning is a hot topic for research in cognitive training and preventive mental health care. Latest studies show that ambient learning may protect the brain by creating a reserve of skills and background knowledge. Thus, the brain retains its capabilities even when it is damaged or has some of its functions disrupted.
It is similar to how doctors advise you to walk at least 8000 steps a day or engage in sports for cross-body training: when something goes wrong, the whole system is ready to cover for those parts that can’t take the load. At Nerdish, we offer you a range of 20-minute “cross-brain learning walks.” Set your own pace: we have new topics published every week, and there is an extensive topic archive under the Explore section at the bottom of the screen.
Perhaps, you already know that the human mind can work efficiently for about 3–7 minutes before external factors inevitably divert your attention: other people, loud sounds, phone calls, or chat messages. At Nerdish, we break topics into bite-sized chapters that match an average human attention span. This technique is called micro-learning, and it’s highly suitable for those who can’t afford commitment to learning activities for more than 10 minutes at a time.
All in all, we design Nerdish to make learning accessible for people of any age, vocation, or lifestyle. A Zoomer or a Boomer, you’ll find here a quiet place to discover something new at the pace that makes you comfortable, from anywhere in the world.
Now, let’s learn something new together!