Geeks

Apr. 12th, 2008 12:21 am
scottahill: (physics)
I like that "geek" has gained a positive connotation of late (if only within the geek community), but its redemption does have certain repercussions. I listen to the "GeekDads" podcast (from Wired), and read a blog called "Geek Parenting", and one thing I notice is that these people have much better social lives than I do. Even their stories of childhood seem kind of nice: "I was such an outcast in high school, all I had was my weekly D&D game." Dude, in high school I would sit in my room alone reading my collection of D&D manuals, making up new characters and creatures and whatnot. I could only dream of actually participating in an actual role-playing game with other people (not counting a few times where I tried being a DM at Scout camp for some kids who knew even less about the game than I did). That's not to say I was friendless in high school (some have become lifelong friends, though not as close as I'd like), but I was always uncomfortably nerdy compared to all of them (with one or two exceptions, kids who bordered on Urkelhood). Sci-fi conventions, LARPs, role-playing and other games...that's a lot of social interaction for people who are notoriously bad at social interaction.

While listening to the GeekDads podcast, I realize that the host sounds exactly like my youngest brother M, and that makes me think: maybe that's the sort of person who is being classified as a geek, someone like M. Thing is, in our family M is the socialite. He gets along with people easily (even in the inner-city school he works in), he used to hang out with his friends to all hours even during high school, and he (gasp) even drinks alcohol! But he's also a music theory geek and a music teacher. At his wedding, I described M as "the cool one of our family", which apparently amused a number of his friends, so maybe he is relatively geeky.

The redemption of geekiness means that a lot of socially well-adjusted people are now considered geeks (including most of you, dear readers), while persons like myself can only WISH they were cool enough to be one.

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scottahill

September 2010

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