Learning to speak Geek

 

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When I was a child if we didn’t understand what somebody was saying we would use the phrase “it’s all Greek to me”.   Quite frankly that phrase should be changed to “it’s all Geek to me”!

Now it is quite possible that simply by my use of the word ‘Geek’ I am placing myself in a particular category: old fogey! I’m kidding! I’m still young at heart. It’s the rest of the world that has moved on and left me behind. Once upon a time being called a geek was an insult. Now it’s a badge of honour. For you see it is the geeks of the world who understand how it all bloody well works! And quite frankly most of us aren’t smart enough to be geeks. But I’m learning.

There is a different language out there in the world that has no connection to a country or to a culture. But perhaps that is its culture, it’s supreme being, its master: the computer. There are those who excel at the use of this entity that was originally made by man. It has been given life by its users. Are you afraid yet?

Our world is not run by computers. Our world is run by a chip. A chip. A small device that 99% of the world don’t understand. It’s a micro chip. Micro meaning small. There’s one in your phone, your car, your TV, the list is endless. Hospitals could not survive without their computers and so their chips. Our financial mountains would collapse into dust without their chips. Chips. Such a silly little word. And what happens when there is no power. I love this part.

No power, no computers, no chips. Those of you who are in your 40s and older would probably complain bitterly about the state of the world with no power and then get on with living in. Under 40, this is a horrible generalization, but most of you don’t how to make fire. Can you add without a calculator? I once built an abacus. I could even make it work.

I am pleased that there are those out there speaking Geek brilliantly. I am pleased that the world does seem to be evolving, mostly, in the right direction. But I do worry about our almost pathological reliance on a chip. Technology has become a tether not a tool.

As for those chips? In England I would like them with a little malt vinegar. In Canada I would like them crispy with a side of gravy. Or salt and vinegar in a bag. My chips are edible!

 

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13 thoughts on “Learning to speak Geek

  1. Sunshine Jansen

    I don’t know if you know about the Makerspace movement but I take comfort in knowing that a fairly large part of the modern “geek” culture puts serious value on old-fashioned inventiveness and do-it-yourself knowledge. Admittedly, the majority of Makers seem to be in their 30s and 40s but I have to tell you: among that circle, in 2016 building your own abacus would put you at the apex of geek chic!

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  2. scifihammy

    Yes, you are so right. Today’s youngsters can twiddle their thumbs and press buttons, but most of them do not know how to think! As to surviving anywhere without their social media – forget it!

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  3. strzy-a

    I’m pretty sure that you have mixed up these two words: geek/nerd. And it seems to me you are not talking about neither of them: being tech-dependent, Facebook-loving, yay-computers doesn’t make you a nerd (or a geek). Geeks know how to make a fire: at least in theory, because they read A LOT and some of them are into LARPing and that really helps. Nerds should also know it, or at least understand the physics of an open flame, plus they usually know how to build important stuff. Computers and Internet are what made it easier for these two groups (but are they even groups?) to live and find friends, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have to struggle at schools/universities/work (real life) with others calling them uncool or not adjusted (grow up already). These are subcultures, and subcultures never have it easy. So are you sure you’re really writing about geeks and not just kids?

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  4. quiall Post author

    I did not mean to offend as this piece was written in jest. I have several friends who refer to themselves in these terms and they are my reference. Theory is one thing, practise another.

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