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View Diary: Sunday All Day Brunch: I’m a Geek (30 comments)

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  •  The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steamed rice, michelewln, krwada, SchuyH

    I was born geeky...parents were teachers, and my mother comes from a long line of scientists and educators (mostly botany and chemistry), including the women, who got college educations at a time when most did not. When Mom was in grad school, she worked in the English Department of UMO (among the undergrads at the time: Stephen King and his wife Tabitha).

    Among my childhood toys were Edwardian-era lab equipment and Victorian novelties like a stereopticon, as well as textbooks from those eras, so I grew up steeped in the Steampunk aesthetic without even realizing it!

    My Mom was a fan of the original Star Trek and so we watched that religiously, both in first run and in syndication; I remember buying books based on TOS with my allowance and babysitting money. My Dad liked quirky British  shows like The Prisoner and The Avengers, and was a huge fan of Monty Python, so we watched those too. PBS (then called "ETV") was the default channel at our house most of the time, and everything screeched to a halt if there was a good documentary on science or space or nature....and of course every time the Doctor Who theme song played.

    Kids used to come to my house after school to watch re-runs of the '60s live-action Batman, another geeky fave, and I used to sneak over to a friend's house to watch forbidden episodes of Dark Shadows, or stay up past my bedtime to watch freaky episodes of Night Gallery. During my self-conscious teen years I channeled my predilection for quirky entertainment into a passion for British music and fashion, as well as speculative fiction, but I never quite lost my Inner Fangirl.

    I was fortunate enough to be working at a university in the early days of the internet (as we recognize it now) and so am an online veteran since Usenet days (22+ years and counting!) which means I was there for early online fandom, too. Then, as now, the hallmark of a geek (or nerd, if you prefer) is their enthusiasm. As author John Green put it:

    “…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. ...when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
    Non-ironic, unapologetic enthusiasm can change the world --- I've seen it up close. I've had the opportunity to hang out with some awesomely geeky people over the years: I know folks who helped build the web and sequence the human genome; people who work to develop Artificial Intelligence and improve search algorithms and protect your online rights. I know people who drive undersea robots, people who figured out how to stop people from dying of AIDS, and people who are creating the way we will be shopping in ten or twenty years. If these folks are nerds, or geeks, then we need more of them. They make me proud to be a geek, and I consider myself lucky to be in their wonderfully nerdy company.


    "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

    by Vacationland on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:18:10 AM PST

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