On being a geek and the possibility of knowledge

I'm pissed off at people who brag about being geeks, cause geeks are "cool" now for a while, and they use it to leverage and capitalize on other people's true awkward coolness. This is nothing new, as this is precisely how fashion works, but it's kind of sadder: geeks are indeed a bit obsessively miserable. They've been socially ridiculed for centuries, and most importantly: they've actually *achieved* their status. No one chooses to be a geek, and you won't see any real geeks bragging about it. I think I'm a geek because I get excited when I see clean code, because I literally spent 2/3 of my waking hours playing video games, because when I first heard "Losing My Edge" (think it was 2003) I checked every Google search result (and there were some) to see what people said about it. I could go on, but it would be embarrassing for the both of us.

If you're not a geek, don't steal someone's genuine misery. It's personality theft of the worse kind. The digital commodities age has led us to believe everyone wins when information is replicated. This is why downloading music makes sense to everyone. Does it really matter if both of us have the same data? In the digital age, there's no single physical "source" that one can claim. This falsely creates a collective épistémè (possibility of knowledge), in which it is believed everyone can (or needs) to know everything, to *be* everything. In other words: when everything's a copy, "everything" becomes cheaply accessible. But thievery is still a double-edged sword. When you steal something, even if you merely create a mirror of it - a copy - something still gets stolen FROM someone. When you call yourself a geek, you're actually stealing the possibility of someone else's own geekness.

[This is inspired by a real stupid video someone did, that gathered a bunch of Web 2.0 heads who celebrated their faux-geekness, and by the excellent post Marco Arment wrote that followed it.]

1 comment:

rufus said...

A bit oldschool. but it seems pretty fine to me. it sounds like The Cure. But more on emotional