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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Geek? Are You?" Part 1: The Definition


Just one question: “How could you tell that you are a geek?”

For me, it’s not just about the penchant for techie stuff. It’s all about where your passions lie.

While Fashionistas go for the beautiful clothes and the style and flair, the athletes go for sports, geeks... Are anyone with a passion for something obscure and intellectual in nature. Rather sedate and even sedentary, as opposed to “active.”

It struck me as rather funny that the word “GEEK” had started out to mean:

“...A carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs.”


Pretty strange how that word had evolved to mean:

"...A peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, gaming, etc.”


But the ultimate Wikipedia definition of the word “Geek” may well be this, for me:

“A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance.”

The Urban Dictionary lists quite a number of definitions, and here are my favorites:

Rank #2

The term "geek" originally referred to the carnival performers whose act consisted of biting the heads off chickens and eating glass. Over time it came to be applied to anyone who got paid to do work considered odd or bizarre by mainstream society.

The term now enjoys a special status within the technical community, particularly among particularly knowledgable computer programmers. To identify oneself as a "geek" indicates a recognition that most people still consider programming computers to be a bizarre act, along with a certain fierce satisfaction in being very good at their inglorious profession.

That most software geeks now easily earn twice as much as the average laborer just sweetens their defiant embrace of the term.

Note: Unlike the word "nerd," which is always pejorative, "geek" often carries a positive connotation when used by one of the group. The use of the term by outsiders is considered insulting.

"If you really need the right answer, check with Bob; he's our resident alpha geek."

Rank #4

It doesn't seem to refer to 'computer programmers' as much as it once did when computers weren't so damn cool handy. Geeks are pretty much people who have a real understanding for a certain topic eg Films, music, cars. It's usualy that they are totaly obsessed about the topic, or it's just something they think alot on.

"Pete is such a film geek."

Rank # 5

One of four titles used to classify someone based on their technical and social skills. The other three titles are nerd, dork, and normie. The difference between the four titles can be easily shown in table form:

................ Technical ...... Social
Title ............ Skills ......... Skills
---------- ---------------- ------------
Normie ......... No ............. Yes
Geek ........... Yes ............. Yes
Nerd ............ Yes ............. No
Dork ............ No .............. No

Normie: A normal person. Blah.

Geek: An outwardly normal person who has taken the time to learn technical skills. Geeks have as normal a social life as anyone, and usually the only way to tell if someone is a geek is if they inform you of their skills.

Nerd: A socially awkward person who has learned technical skills due to the spare time they enjoy from being generally neglected. Their technical knowledge then leads normies to neglect them even further, leading to more development of their technical skills, more neglection, etc. This vicious cycle drives them even more into social oblivion.

Dork: A person who, although also socially awkward, doesn't have the intelligence to fill the void with technical pursuits, like a nerd, and is forced to do mindless activities. Almost always alone. Usually with an XBox. Like playing Halo. All day. Every day. Not even understanding how the Xbox is making the pretty pictures on the screen. Very sad.

If you met me at a party, you would have no idea that I enjoy finite element analysis-based inviscid flow modeling using computational fluid dynamics. That's because I'm a geek.

Rank # 6

There are certain signs to being a geek and not a nerd. You would be a geek if:

1. You have a "My other car is a Millenium Falcon" bumper sticker on your car.

2. You think your retainer resembles a Klingon Warship.

3. You can can tell what speed a computer is connecting just by the sound the modem makes.

4. You think your computer speaks to you in English.

5. You can write papers in Binary.

6. You use a VoiceModem headset when making calls.

7. Your idea of a house party is snacking on Rice Krispy Treats and watching Tron.

8. You've seen The Guyver.

9. You have the TIE Fighter ion cannon as your ringtone.

10. You call your bedroom the Fortress of Solitude.

11. If you are able to give ten identifying signs of a geek.


Rank # 7


Someone who spends a lot of time and energy in a certain area, not necessarily computers or technology.

She is such a theatre geek! She has been there every day this week!

Rank # 9

A Geek Should NEVER be Confused With a Nerd. Geeks are different in that they do possess social skills, albeit Bizarre ones. Geeks like Star Trek, etc, but also have friends usually, among the mosher/goth community, if not other geeks. A geek is usually physically weak, but his/her goth/mosher friends will often stand up for him/her, as the geek usually puts his friends first. They have a pathological hatred of Townies, Preps}, and [Chavs, and tend to have good taste in music i.e. Punk. They do not get on With Nerds, but will unite with them to pick on dorks, unfortuneately.

Joey Ramone was a geek and was picked on, but he became a Rock Star and a legend.

If the Geeks were to Unite, Millions of Chavs would die. Horribly.

Rank # 10

1. A nerd with (some twisted variation of) social skills.

2. Someone who has an obsession with computers and/or whose life cconsists of computer related tasks

3. Someone with a greater than normal computer skills.

A nice geek helped me set up my printer and explained how to use the Internet to me last night. charming fellow, really.



And my personal favorites:
(Using “Geek” in context on Rank # 3):

Only a geek would waste their time on the internet, defining “geek” on urbandictionary.com.



And the Ultimate Definition:


The geeky kid now owns a million dollar software company.


Agree? Disagree?

Comment! ;)

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