A geek is someone who spends time being "social" on a computer. This could mean chatting
on irc, playing multi-user games, posting to alt.sex.bondage.particle.physics, or even writing
shareware or free software. Someone who just uses their computer for work, but doesn't spend
their free time "on line" is not a geek. Most geeks are technically adept and have a great
love of computers, but not all geeks are programming wizards. Some just know enough unix to read
mail and telnet out to their favorite MUD.
Geeks are generally social outcasts from mainstream. The ranks of geekdom are swelled
with gamers, ravers, science fictions fans, punks, perverts, programmers, nerds, subgenii, and
trekkies. These are people who did not go to their high school proms, and many would be offended
by the suggestion that they should have even wanted to. Geeks prefer to socialize with other geeks,
the self proclaimed weird. Therefore they go online to organize parties, food runs, drink runs, and
movie nights, and be assured that their companions would rather talk about technology and computer
science than the latest football scores.
Geeks are their own society: a literate, hyperinformed underground. The community accepts people
from all walks of life, assuming they have access to the net and the skill to use it. Geeks are rather
openminded with regards to nonstandard lifestyles. Many geeks are queer, more practice non-monogamy,
and the most common religion is neo-paganism. You can't tell if someone is a geek just by looking at
them, there is no dress code. Some dress casual, some prefer silk - but few pay attention to current
fashion. You are more likey to see a geek in a renaissance bodice than a dress from glamour magazine;
or a tiedye instead of suit and tie.
The unwritten geek credo states that originality and strangeness are good, and that blind conformity
and stupidity are unforgivable.
Take care not to confuse the terms geek and nerd. A nerd is a person with no social skills, usually
obsessed with science or technology (geek is more computer specific). Nerds are known for their pocket
protectors, taped glasses, and plaid shirts. Many nerds are also geeks, using the net as a safe screen
to hide behind while practicing their social skills. However they rarely come out to be seen in person
at live geek events, so there is little reason to be concerned.
The term hacker tends to refer to the more programming intense set of the geek crowd. However the term
is overused in the popular media, and therefore is no longer much used among "real geeks". Hacker also
has negative connotations related to cracking, or illegally obtaining access to computers and accounts.
Geek can also be used as a verb. "To geek" is to sit online and read mail, news, chat, and otherwise
waste time in front of a keyboard. This "geeking" often consumes many hours, even if the intention was
to "just log in and check my mail." Some would say this time would be better spent being social in
person or even just being curled up in a sunbeam.
Last modification to this page: 26 November 2007 12:09:45.
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