Let that Geek Flag fly—it’s Embrace Your Geekness Day!
Did you and the geeks in your life know that Monday July 13th is Embrace Your Geekness Day? This day celebrates that little bit of geekiness in us all. You don’t have to be a computer whiz or video game master to celebrate. Just grab your smart phone, newest electronic device, game console or latest issue of Wired magazine to participate.
Rise of the Geek
Remember when Geeks were eccentric and non-mainstream people? Back then they were admired for their superior intellectuality and it was assumed they were lacking in social skills. Geeks were labelled as the math geek, the comic book geek, the bookworm and the brown-noser geek. Some were even considered to be alpha nerds – those brilliant kids that grew up to become the adults who rule their corner of the world today.
The programmer’s wife tells him, “Drive to the store, and purchase a loaf of bed. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
The programmer returned home with twelve loaves of bread.
No longer are geeks considered boring, unattractive, social misfits or preoccupied with computing. Today geeks are the individuals who are enthusiastic about a specific subject. They are “collection” oriented personalities, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their specialty has to offer.
What turned it around for Geeks?
The digital revolution elevated all of our propensities towards Geekiness and Geekdom. We all have access to unlimited amountsl of knowledge thanks to the internet and the ease with which we have to connect to it – at home and at work. So – why is it now desirable to be a geek?
- Popular traditional books are being written AND read about geeks (best-selling biographies, too!)
- Digital books have gained significant market share and mainstream people own Kindles, iPads and Tablets
- Movies with a message are being made about the value geeks bring to business (no longer just Revenge of the Nerds) Look at the success of MoneyBall
- Providers such as iTunes have revolutionized the sale of music
- Providers such as Netflix and PVRs have almost negated the bricks and mortar video rental market
- Email has dramatically reduced ‘snail mail’ (including seniors) Email and chat services form the foundation of everyday communication
- Cloud computing allows for online access to multiple applications, recipe books, hard drive backup, etc.
- iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, iPods and mp3 players are commonplace – even for pre-school kids
- There is now a significant acceptance of online shopping, online dating, online radio, magazines and newspapers
- Business Intelligence is impacting everything from what is presented to us online to election strategies
Geeks created Social Media and the world is now a global village!
Geek to Chic – geeks are finally having their day
There has obviously been a major transformation in the connotation of the term geek over the last couple of decades. The label used to be regarded as cruel and now it has become cool. Geek Chic, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “The dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable” Not to be outdone, the American version of Collins Dictionarydefines Geek Chic as “fashion/cultural style of stereotypically “geek” characteristics including black-rimmed glasses and T-shirts with geek in-jokes”.
“When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.”
~J. J. Abrams, Writer, Director, and Producer (Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Star Wars)
Brace yourself. Geek Culture is here!
It’s all Geek to me. Everyday conversation includes:
- Adjectives – Geeky, Geekier, Geekiest, Geekish
- Verbs – Think Geek, Geek Out (past tense – Geeked Out)
- Nouns – Geekery, Geek Trivia, Geek Speak
- Dating Websites – Geek Love (gk2gk.com)
Geek Sub-classifications or Cultural Compulsive Disorders?
People are getting in touch with their inner geekdom and that can take the form of many different kinds of passions or obsessions. It used to be a ‘sports fan’ or a ‘sports nut,’ now it’s a geek.
Some people have the imagination, vision and grasp of what technology can become and this has made them multi-billionaires. Being immensely rich, famous, and most importantly, worshiped by everyone else for their innovations has it incredibly advantageous to be a geek. Recent surveys validate the public finds intelligence and a passionate engagement (with a worthy interest) four times more attractive in a person than simply good looks or dressing well.
It’s hard to pinpoint who were the original cool geeks. Here are some Geek Superstars in no particular order:
- Ada Lovelace (world’s first computer programmer, wrote the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine) Locally, Sandra Wear has organized Be Like Ada to encourage young women to become superheroes
- Bill Gates (Microsoft)
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
- Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla Motors & Space Exploration Technologies)
- Larry Ellison (Oracle)
- Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google)
- Marissa Mayer (Yahoo)
- Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
- Matt Groening (The Simpsons)
- Meg Whitman (eBay & HP)
- Michael Dell (founder and CEO Dell Inc.)
- Padmasree Warrior (CTO Cisco Systems & the former CTO of Motorola)
- Paul Allen (Microsoft)
- Sean Parker & Shawn Fanning (Napster)
- Seth McFarlane (Family Guy)
- Steve Jobs (Apple)
- Steven Spielberg (film writer, producer, director)
- Tina Fey (Patron saint of Geek Women Everywhere)
- Richard Saul Wurman (Ted Talks)
- Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia)
“I’m an utterly average, total geek.” ~Julia Roberts
The High Priest Geek Gurus
Canadian Journalist Malcolm Gladwell, describes the mysterious sociological changes that mark everyday life in his book “Tipping Point”. “Freakanomics” co-writers, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dunbar changed the way we think about our world. Their latest book, “Think Like a Freak”, introduces alternative thought processes for solving problems and making decisions. New York Times polling guru, Nate Silver, is likely the world’s only functioning sports psephologist.
Did you know these Geek Fun Facts?
- Shawn Fanning, inventor of Napster and father of the digital music revolution, named his life-changing invention after his “nappy” hairstyle.
- Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of e-mail, used the @ symbol to match computer to user in his own office building.
- A “year” is the standard unit of time Geeks use for all project development estimates.
- -40 °C is equal to -40 °F.
- The font Comic Sans is based on Dave Gibbons’ lettering in the Watchmen comic books.
- Donald Duck’s middle name is “Fauntleroy.”
- Nicolas Coppola took his stage name, Nic Cage, from the Marvel character Luke Cage
- Michael Jackson wanted to play Spider-Man in a movie so badly; he tried to buy Marvel comics in the ’90s.
- Star Wars: Episode I has made more money than Star Wars: Episode IV.
- “Typewriter” is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of a keyboard.
- The first computer mouse, created in 1964, was made out of wood.
- Geek Squad, owned by Best Buy, promotes their business by having employees dress up vaguely like geeks
- The word “geek” is older than the word nerd, starting out in the early 1900s to refer to a carnival performer whose only skill was the ability to bite the heads off chickens.
- What is the difference between a geek and a nerd? A very clever comparison.
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t. (Couldn’t resist!)
In this age of social media, mobile technology and digital information, it’s impossible to avoid being a little bit geeky. We’re all geeks deep down. Take pride in whatever your particular interest is. If you are a geek, stand tall and proud. Isn’t it great to be so brilliant and gifted!?
- Dress up like a geek
- Share your unusual collections and activities
- Learn a new geeky lingo word
- Eat. Geek. Sleep. Repeat. It’s all Geek-tastic!
Geek out on 9 Party Foods that Embrace Your Geekness
“I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code”
~Source Unknown 🙂