March 6, 2003 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Geek: Proud Label or Slanderous Epithet? On becoming comfortable in your own skin. via InstaPundit
posted by vito90 (13 comments total)
The first and easiest marker of a true Geek is the deeply ingrained love of technology.

i disagree. i've been a theatre geek for about as long as i've been a computer geek, but a not all theatre geeks are computer geeks. yet they are still geeks.

is that a geeky thing to say?
posted by grabbingsand at 7:49 AM on March 6, 2003

The source of my discontent lies in the sudden appropriation of 'Geek' by all sorts of people who really have no clue what it is to be a Geek in the first place. Because it is suddenly cool everyone thinks they can lay claim to the title. The ranks of our brotherhood are swelling but I am noticing that too many of the initiates into our motley band no longer display the traits that identify us. It is almost as if we require a guide now on Geek validation, to separate those of us who truly live with the shadow of it on us from those who would just seek to grab the glory without having suffered the pain.

Wow... geeks have become a clique? The new cool kids, trying to keep the outcasts out? Being able to configure a router is the new equivalent to being able to bench 250 lbs?

I think this guy vastly overrates the social value of being a geek. Sure, you get to feel superior to all the drones at the office who can't figure out how to do a mail merge in Microsoft Word, but at the end of the day, when a popular kid gets a call, it's probably another popular kid inviting him to go to a kegger; a geek gets a call, it's probably his dad asking him how to program the VCR again.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:50 AM on March 6, 2003

The page renders in a 1-4 point text therefore causing eyestrain.

If you can't make your material readable, then what good is your argument?

Moving on to more readable material.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:45 AM on March 6, 2003

I think this dipspork wishes he was a geek. I don't think he is one. I think he is a geek wanna be. He is, in fact, a nerd.

"I am standing in a store aisle lusting after some new technological toy when the lady in the purple dress suit approaches me"

In your dreams nerd boy.

"Yes ma'am, what can I do for you?"

[snort] Whatever. I changed my mind. He's not a nerd. He's a dork. And a long winded dork at that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:15 AM on March 6, 2003

I've always viewed all these terms as a spectrum. From best to worst:

Dork > Geek > Nerd > Dweeb

Dorks can be dorky about anything; it's not limited to technology. I usually say dorks are just very passionate about their interests, generally things that aren't fully mainstream.

Geeks are similar to dorks, but just a little less cool or confident about it.

Nerds and geeks are kinda interchangeable. I just think I'd rather be called a geek than a nerd.

Dweeb is like, the stereotypical geek/nerd-- socially awkward, and even denegrated by geeks and nerds for their total lack of coolness.

Granted, these are all my personal definitions, and I have specific people in mind when I think of all of them (mostly from high school).
posted by gramcracker at 9:39 AM on March 6, 2003

wow - longwinded indeed y6. i don't think this guy is a member of said group either. also, geek shouldn't be capitalized should it? and grabbing - i'd agree with you, this topic is much more a sublte thing, requires a longer essay, easier on the eyes (though you can change font sizes), and requires a better author.

the part i did like was So it was that in those bright-eyed little girls was born... that was a nice image.
posted by folktrash at 9:43 AM on March 6, 2003

I am quite comfortable with the label 'geek'. I wear it proudly. On my site, one of my FAQs is this:

Q: You play video games on the internet, are a geek or what?

A: First of all, without us geeks, you non-tech types would still be sitting around the campfire, dressed in hides, grunting about bad rashes on your privates instead of sitting in front of a computer surfing the internet. Yes, I'm a geek and we make the world livable. If you don't like that answer, fuck off.
posted by Argyle at 9:47 AM on March 6, 2003

gramcracker, you may be missing one important character who is close to but slightly off your list: freak. To me the freak is the person who is socially different but does not in any way care about what the typical social order would conscribe. In a way this would make the freak anything from the punk to goth to many who would fit in the nerd->dork group. however, i'd say the freaks have the ability to be completely sociable but just chose to do it in thier own way. i'd also agree that geeks come in many forms (theatre vs computer, i happen to be a engineer one myself).
posted by NGnerd at 10:11 AM on March 6, 2003

So, when did the Geek litmus test come out? If the author wants to label himself as a geek, then what harm is there?

Didn't we stop tallying who belongs to which clique when we left highschool?
posted by onhazier at 10:56 AM on March 6, 2003

I'll not have you ripping on nerds like that. :)

The way I define it, a geek is someone who is _say_ too much into one thing, be it computer games, playing heavy-metal guitar in his basement, or obsessing over sports cars.

A nerd, in my humble opinion, is just a smart, probably slightly eccentric, and academically inclined individual.

Nerdish zeal is what drives many people to acheive and solve difficult problems. Geekiness just means someone wants to escape into a world with different measures of merit and easy-to-understand rules, as opposed to the real world which has complex, often nonsensical rules, especially the world of middle and high school where most geeks are born.

"I'm not a nerd, nerds are smart." - Milhouse Van Houten
posted by Space Coyote at 11:04 AM on March 6, 2003

NGNerd: Good point. I totally missed that category, but it definitely belongs in the spectrum.
posted by gramcracker at 11:47 AM on March 6, 2003

pfft... a freak is someone who, regardless of what he/she believes, acts in a way intended to disturb and "freak out" the people around him. Or a slut -- but that's a new meaning.

I think geeks should be free to call one another geeks, but should take violent offense at anyone else using the word. That's worked so far for a different segment of society.
posted by clevershark at 1:06 PM on March 6, 2003

I remember yeeeears back the good old Geek Code. Now there was a way that you could concisely sum up your inherent geekiness - will they ever update it?

Version: 3.1
GAT d-(dpu) s-:- a-- C++(+) UL P+>++ L+ E- W++ N o- K w++
O- M V PS+ PE- Y- PGP- t* 5+ X+ R tv b+++ DI++++ D++
G++ e>++++ h- !r-->++++ !x-

posted by Mossy at 5:48 PM on March 6, 2003

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