Friday, June 26, 2009 - (see all news for this day)
What makes a geek a geek? - 06:12 PM
(filed under 'general')
I've referred to myself as a geek for a few years. Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as geeky as some, but I think there are a few things which qualify me as a card-carrying geek:
- I've created and maintained my own webcams/blogs/websites for many years.
- I love coding. Even though my brain turned to mush when I was pregnant with my boy and hasn't yet recovered, meaning I haven't coded for years, I still love PHP. I even tried some BASIC way back when I won a Commodore 64 at a skating rink competition when I was 11. That was fun.
- I worked as a website developer and was paid to put my hands inside the guts of computers regularly.
- I'm not fully into sci-fi, but I do enjoy some Dr Who (and perhaps even more so, Torchwood), I love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I loved Firefly.
- Most of my friends are geeks.
I've also realised that most of my serious relationships have been with geeks: my ex-husband is a geek; my previous boyfriend is a bit of a geek; my current boyfriend is a full on geek (and a very cute one, at that. *grin*).
Since I've been using Twitter more, I've tended to follow geeky types, because I enjoy what they talk about and link to. Lately, I've been reading a few articles about geek girls and I just started thinking what exactly is it that makes a geek a geek? Not just girls, but geek boy or girl.
I suspect it's more than just one thing. Any type of person might do or be one or two of the things on this possible list of geeky things, but that doesn't necessarily classify them as a geek, right? Perhaps it's having a few core geeky values, combined with some lesser-ranking geek traits.
So what do you think makes a geek a geek? What can you suggest that would go on this list of geek traits?
It looks a little bit like the song from Weird al Yankovic called white and nerdy
My two cousins and I were standing on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. One of them said that the horizon line was about 100 miles away. My engineer cousin and I looked at each other, shook our heads, then went back home, took out paper, pencil and calculator, and spent the next 30 minutes using diagrams and equations to determine that it was in fact much closer.
We then looked online to see if we were right, and found a NASA site with almost our exact drawings and calculations.
We, my friend, are geeks.
Oh, and just for the record, a good rule of thumb for how far away the horizon is: Take the square root of you height from the ground (in feet) and multiply that number by 1.2. That will be the distance (in miles) to the horizon.
I don't know. I think you are right that it is something more than the some of these attributes, though the phrase "I love coding" is a bit of a giveaway!
But then again "I do enjoy some Dr Who" - What?! Okay, I get liking torchwood better, but only some? That's just plain wrong.
Speaking as geek, the mother of a geek, and the wife of a geek...I've got geek down good. I think some of the traits are a hunger for answers, the almost unstoppable urge to take apart or fix things rather than throw them away, perhaps an attraction to things on the edges of the mainstream. Geeks care more about what they think than what others think. Geeks would rather play geek things than do anything that involves the things most other people like. Like People magazine, going to the mall, and anything to do with celebrities. Unless it's a geek celebrity. Geeks are fine being alone. We'd rather be alone having fun with a game or book or manual than with a whole pile of superficial party types who really don't want to think about things too much. We like computers because computers are systems that never stop being a format and a conduit for ideas and the evolution of ideas. Yeah, geeks like systems. Geeks wear what they like. Geeks know that quality or taste or excellence is a timeless quality and are just as drawn to a good design from 50 or 250 years ago than to something Pottery Barn says we're supposed to like this year. Geeks are complex, deep, emotional, moody. Geeks are deep. I love being a geek. I live life on MY terms. And all my geek friends are the same way. I agree with following geek friends...they post the best articles and blogs and sites.
I love what Ginger wrote.
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