Are you a self described geek?

…well do you? Why not? Is it because you failed the Geek test or more likely because you dont like the idea of being a geek? Wikipedia takes the sci-fi route but could it be the mainstream view of geeks which is putting you off? There was a short piece in the telegraph recently, which was sent to me by Birch about the fact that the UK Sci-fi Channel now has more Female viewers than Male. Ann McMeekin's quote is perfect if you swap sci-fi for geek, or even nerd, or even techie.

People have an impression of sci-fi fans being small men who sit in the dark watching Star Trek but it's not like that now

Will this perception change? knowing the mainstream media, not anytime soon. But it is certain that the old boys club of geek culture is being slowly taken apart, and I for one think its a good thing. The other day Sarah made a comment to me while I was watching Rocketboom which just celebrated its 1st year anniversary (26th October, which is also shared with me and sarah's anniversary too). Its great to see you watching a great looking geek girl for once. After a brief discussion about what exactly she meant, I got it. Its true all the geek media I watch tends to have a strong male lead and if there are any women at all, there role is usually irrelevent or very small. And shes right, Geek culture is still mainly run by white males. Take for example Nerd TV which still has no female interview after its 8th show now. To be fair Anina is next on the list but shes the only one, not even Molly or Meg Hourihan is on there.

  • Macintosh OS programmer Andy Hertzfeld (9/6)
  • PayPal co-founder Max Levchin (9/13)
  • Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy (9/20)
  • Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (9/27)
  • Internet publisher Tim O'Reilly (10/4)
  • Father of RSS Dave Winer (10/11)
  • Autodesk co-founder Dan Drake (10/19)
  • Intel Capital co-founder Avram Miller (10/28)
  • Anina the WAP Queen
  • Computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart
  • Former Lotus chief scientist Jerry Kaplan
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak
  • Former Apple chief scientist Larry Tesler
  • Google CEO Eric Schmidt
  • The father of Linux, Linus Torvalds
  • TCP/IP inventor Bob Kahn

Yes I know theres many cultural and social reasons for this but you have to wonder how much things have changed. lets not get started on the different cultures and race point of view either, NPR has a few podcasts about this but its American focused, Reversing Technology's Racial Divide and Black Students and the Future of Technology.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.