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Old 12-10-2000, 09:22 AM   #1
Questy
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Question What is a Geek?

Hi Gang! Aaron, Steve, WC, and all the regulars that have been around for awhile, if you'd permit me a moment to pick your brain.

We'll be talking history here, you don't need socks as old as Steve's, but I'm on a mission here. I have a Middle School Teacher as a student in a Community College Class I'm teaching, and we got on the subject of internet history. I'd like to do a website on Geek History.

First question that comes to mind, what is a geek? It's used here to describe this forum, this site, but what does it really mean?

First looking to Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: geek
Pronunciation: 'gEk
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from English dialect geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German
Date: 1914
1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake
2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disapproved of
- geeky /'gE-kE/ adjective

I learned BASIC back in '75, the first computer I personally owned was a Commodore VIC-20, I've been told that makes me a Geek.

Is being a Geek a state of mind? Is it as negative as it once was? Is it now cool to be a geek? What's your thoughts?
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Old 12-10-2000, 05:25 PM   #2
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State of mind: no, geek is an adjective, it doesn't control everything. This is how 'geeks' can still maintain a social life.

Negative or not?: Not negative. We make money. People like money, people like geeks. There you have it.

Cool?: Well, we don't have geek superstars or anything, but it's not negative - as I said, we have money http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif
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Old 12-10-2000, 10:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by YeahBuddy:
Negative or not?: Not negative. We make money. People like money, people like geeks. There you have it.

Cool?: Well, we don't have geek superstars or anything, but it's not negative - as I said, we have money http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif
PFFFFFFFT, money isn't the world, and people who "like" you JUST because you have money only "like" you because they are looking to use you.

Further, being a geek doesn't automatically make you rich, and you can just as easily become rich without being a geek.

A geek to me is somebody that spends tons of time on a computer, doing, well, whatever geeks do on computers, it doesn't really matter, what matters is the fact that they use computers.

COOL!? NOT, Geeks are generally considered to be bad, its not normally a good thing to be a geek, whether you have money or not. Even though geeks are generally not popular, that doesn't mean that they can't be popular or normal. Infact, I think that as the world starts moving onto the internet and generally becoming "geekier" then geeks will stop being labelled in the negative sense and start getting respect (and NOT for their money)...
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Old 12-11-2000, 02:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Questy:
.......
We'll be talking history here, you don't need socks as old as Steve's, but I'm on a mission here.
HAHAHA http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif Q Let's leave my socks out of this one if you don't mind http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

I use the word many different ways under many different circumstances. This doesn't necessasarily help define it but might prove interesting.

1) In class and thats the brick-and-mortar world I'm fond of introducing my two TAs as "Geekettes" Supreme. They are both female in gender and very talented artists and designers who happen to produce work with a computer as well as pen, ink, bristol, markers, oils, and much much more. I often greet the class with a "How are you Geeks tonight. Alwyas draws a laugh and a smile. In this context a geek is any person who sits at a computer and wants to or currently makes their living sitting at a computer. I'm using the term in a warm and fuzy manner and have never had a complaint.

2) GEEK is sheik here in San Diego, CA, USA planet earth, solar system RAM. I often get cornered at partys with people wanting to pick my brain as soon as they learn what I teach and what I do for a living. I'm sure the same happens for many of you.

3) Iv'e even used the term to introduce my self to ladies I do not know as in "hello, I'm a geek and what are you?

Please remember readers that this is done in person so they see my inflections, body language, and smile.

Iv'e seen sites titles:

GeekGirl
Geek Squad which is very cool

Imagine for a moment what this site and BB would mean or could mean if we changed the order of the words to:

VillageGeek

Aaron came up with a cool name which you see at the bottom of every page of the BB and it reads:

Team Geek

Hope this helps a little GEEK!



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Old 12-11-2000, 11:59 AM   #5
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Hi Questy!!

I've always worn the title "geek" with pride - when people ask what I do I usually answer that I'm a "web geek."

I like to use the term loosely, to represent someone who's very learned/focussed on something. I think of one buddy of mine as a "car geek" for example. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

I don't usually feel that people dislike geeks, but simply view them as very smart, and to be envied, since the world is moving irreversably to involve computers for everything. Being geeky is just getting to be more and more useful...

"The Geek shall inherit the earth." - Linus 5:5
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Old 12-11-2000, 02:43 PM   #6
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I believe that the one major difference between a geek and a nerd is that a geek chooses to be geeky, whereas a nerd is naturally nerdy. It's a choice which many of us make with pride.

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Old 12-12-2000, 08:10 PM   #7
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Being a geek vs. earning money.

I would actually argue that the best geeks devote a lot of time to their "Geek Community" without any regard for money. Geeks are the folks that work on the open source code browsers at mozilla.org. Geeks are the folks that work on learning and perfecting other open source code products like Linux, and Apache Web server. Geeks are really folks who do it for the "love of the game."

RE: >> I like to use the term loosely, to represent someone who's very learned/focussed on something.

Much like a "guru." A guru being a spiritual leader and teacher, I see true technology geeks as leaders and teachers.

RE: >> I often get cornered at partys with people wanting to pick my brain as soon as they learn what I teach and what I do for a living. I'm sure the same happens for many of you.

I know this all too well. Working for a public school district, and a community college, in a relatively rural area, my name is often associated with my profession. I've actually had two different instances where police officers have asked to speak to me. Kinda weird at first, especially when you wonder what they need to talk to you about, only to have them ask, "aren't you the computer guy?"
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Old 12-15-2000, 05:35 AM   #8
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There are a lot of computer places round here

When you see people coming out of their office looking at the Evening Standard, reading today's headline, which can be paraphrased as "Extremely noisy aircraft to fly low over my house again and make my furniture shake", and smile, I think you know they are geeks.

BTW this included me.

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Old 12-15-2000, 10:20 AM   #9
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Knix, you misinterpreted me. I said that in reference to the "dot-com millionaires" that all non-dot com millionaires are in awe of and wish they could be so lucky.

I agree with Aaron and Sterlingbeck, definitely. My friends, (and for the record, I'm probably a "geek", but I have plenty) instead of viewing my "geekiness" as a negative point, think it's very cool because I *do* make money off of it. I'm in my teens and money is not that important, but we're always looking for ways to make it.

Geekiness is certainly more a labor of love than a desire to make a quick buck. It is ridiculous to say that we'd all have a desire to code for hours upon hours upon hours just to make a few bucks a month. My most recent site was the first I put any form of advertisements on, and I was bitten by the moneymaking bug, so I have "beginner's sickness" and overenthusiasm for the capitalist side of geekiness.

Questy, you said it well too. Sorry that my comments were confusing. I'm a simple, straightforward, site/graphic design geek.. not hardcore, but a loyal member of the geek community. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif
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Old 12-16-2000, 12:59 AM   #10
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Hey! I think we DO have geek superstars. They are in the news daily....

Steve Case, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs....

Aren't these geek superstars?

In my real world job as a public school teacher, I don't teach tech but fine arts...but I pick the brain of the tech department staff and my favorite geek students all the time. I'm not a programmer but a creative brain that sees the visual art of the internet as a wonderful world to dabble in. In fact, I've had to learn geekness as I've built my site....because I had to...The traffic on my site and its gaining popularity demanded it. (And demanded I team up with other people for tech help)

I love the term "geek". For me it is a symbolic text for the world of today: technology and its mystery that moves the world into a network of communication exchange. We couldn't do it without geeks.

In fact...I think I'm the geekiest art teacher I know. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

I love my geek friends. I'm glad to number among them in a crowd.
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Old 12-16-2000, 08:41 AM   #11
Questy
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To all of you, thanks! You have inspired me to some great ideas to cover in geekhistory.


Quote:
Originally posted by Kathy:
Hey! I think we DO have geek superstars. They are in the news daily....

Steve Case, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs....

Aren't these geek superstars?

Actually Kathy, I hope my web site will help kids to learn some of these geekhistory hall of famers:

Marc Andreessen - on the team that created the graphic web browser (Mosaic), with NSF, who co-founded Netscape in 1994.

Tim Berners-Lee - If any single person can take credit for inventing the internet it's this guy, not Al Gore, as this guru is the father of HTML and the WWW as we now know it.

Linus Torvalds - Surprisingly enough finished above Princess Diana and Pope Paul V on Time Magazines Person of the Century Poll. Linus is, of course, the founder of Linux.
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Old 12-16-2000, 10:41 AM   #12
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Since Dr. Q intends to document Geek Superstars it's time for a quiz http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Raise your hand if you can tell me who "Woz" is and what he did for personell computing?
http://www.woz.com/

He was recently featured on an A&E Geek Bio. He embodies the true "geek spirit"

Another hero of mine is Steve Gibson. Although I overeacted to some of his earlier findings you can bet your last floppy disk that when Steve talks the IT world listens.
http://www.grc.com/

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Old 12-17-2000, 01:00 AM   #13
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well.....

I think being a geek is good.

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Old 12-22-2000, 04:16 PM   #14
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Dr. Q?

Now that really sounds like a sci-fi character "Dr. Q" (I should be so lucky!)

Cool Site! http://www.woz.com/

As far as this guy http://www.grc.com/ he out geeks me by miles.

I grew up in radio, back in the days of tubes. Speaking of which, how about this geek quiz, who was Vladamir Zworykin? Philo T. Farnsworth? or David Sarnoff?

(Hint, they are "players" in the 1930's version of Microsoft vs. the world)

Happy Holidays you geeks!
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Old 12-25-2000, 02:27 PM   #15
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Farnsworth invent the television... I don't know the others though...
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