Being a geek has always been cool

Reading my RSS again and Den of Geeks hit me with the post titled When did geekdom become ‘cool’?

You can’t walk down a busy street without seeing a T-shirt with the word ‘Geek’ on it, it seems. So: is this a good thing or bad?
It can’t just be me that does a double take walking down the high street now. After all, more and more people seem to be wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Geek’ or ‘Nerd’ on them, as if geekdom has accidentally come into fashion. Lots of people who – at face value – would never be seen dead with such clothing on just a few years ago are now embracing it as a fashion choice. I’d be lying if I said I’ve got used to it.

The whole thing then goes on to slam people who jump on the bandwagon of geek culture. I get it but it seems too simplistic…

I’ve learned that being interested in quality films, shows, comics and books has far more advantages than not. Not since my younger days have I looked at something hurling out the word geek in a derogatory manner and wished I could change places with them. I think my life improved once I worked that out. That notwithstanding, it’s an interesting cultural change that’s taking place. Because not only is geekdom less frowned on, apparently, I’m informed by far more fashionable people than me, it’s ‘cool’ to be a geek or a nerd now. Who’d have ever thought that ten years ago?

I understand the instant feeling of bitter distaste of those people gatecrashing our party. I mean its our party and all those other people use to take the mick out of us, so screw them right?

The problem is with this all, is its too simple!

Through out the whole post, theres references to the most typical of geeky and nerdy stuff. Board games, Comics, role playing, etc. These are but a scratch on the surface of what a geek is. I’m sure I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again.

Geek is anyone with a passion boarding into obsession.

There are geeky designers, geeky writers, geeky motorbikers, magicians who are geeky, geeky chef’s, geeky fashion models, people who do up cars who are geeks, knitting and crafty geeks, etc, etc… You don’t think DJs are one of the most geeky people you know? Or heck how geeky are professional photographers!

The post is so badly leading towards the technical realm, it hurts to even read more. We should be encouraging people to look a little deeper within themselves and find what really makes them tick, not pointing the finger back on them and laughing. We’re better than that (I hope).

Luckily theres a bit of what I suggest in the final paragraph…

as a result of cultural shifts going on, I can but hope three things.

One, more people get to enjoy said films, comics, games and shows.
Two, it opens a door for people to enjoy stuff they’ve never thought about trying – and that, in turn, they’re welcomed for doing so (as opposed to being criticised for not being ‘true geeks’, as I’ve seen over the past weeks).
And finally, that those who choose to bully and criticise those for liking something ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ just think twice about it. If that last wish comes true especially , then Next can sell all the ‘Geek’ T-shirts it likes as far as I’m concerned

Fashion and brands pick up on whats in the zeitgiest, but thats not a good enough reason to get our own back, take the higher road!

Difference between Nerd, Dork, and Geek

A friend of mine from Bristol (Amy) seems to get very confused about the differences between a geek, nerd and dork.

She calls me a nerd and I usually have to remind her that I’m actually a self described geek.

Finally someones drawn up a diagram highlighting the differences…

To all of you nerds and geeks who–like me–have been unfairly and inaccurately labeled “dorks,” only to then exhaustively explain the differences among the three to a more-than-skeptical offender, I say:

You’re welcome. This nerd/dork/geek/dweeb Venn diagram should save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.

Venn Diagram for the differences

To those of you who have been called “dweebs,” I say:

Stop hanging out with people from the 1950s.

Via Matthew at Sed Contra, who will see you at the intersection of Blogging and Things that Have Latin Names.

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.

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