Sunday, June 22, 2008

Are We Geeks?

Excerpt from "Geeks", p. xxx by Jon Katz (Warning: terms used maybe archaic - book was printed in 2000)

People email me all the time asking if they are geeks.

In this culture, I figure people have the right to name themselves; if you feel like a geek, you are one. But there are some clues: You are online a good part of the time. You feel a personal connection with Technology, less its mechanics than its applications and consequences. You're a fan of The Simpsons and The Matrix. You saw Phantom Menace opening weekend despite th hype and despite Jar Jar. You are obsessive about pop culture, which is what you talk about with your friends or coworkers every Monday.

You don't like being told what to do, authority being a force you see as not generally on your side. Life began for you when you got out of high school, which, more likely than not, was a profoundly painful experience. You didn't go to the prom, or if you did, you certainly did not feel comfortable there. Maybe your parents helped you get through, maybe a teacher or a soulmate.

Now, you zone out on your work. You solve problems and puzzles. You love to create things just for the kick of it. Even though you're indispensable to the company that's hired you, it's almost impossible to imagine yourself running it. You may have power of your own now - a family, money - yet you see yourself as one who never quite fits in. In many ways, geekdom is a state of mind, a sense of yourself in relation to the world that's not easily rewritten.

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