Friday, January 18, 2008

Of bloggers, geeks and other musings

I had the pleasure of having dinner with R, T and J last night. We engaged in a very pleasant conversation where we frequently used the word "geek". Wikipedia's article on the definition of geek is tagged as needing revision, re-writing and pretty much every other "re-" you can imagine. But the interesting thing is that, at least in my realm (in my day job, I'm an academic and a consultant), being a geek is not derogatory at all.

While the definition remains quite loose, I would say that geeks have particular technical skills in a specific field. For example, I am very lucky to have in my life an information technology geek. He is quite competent with computers and is usually the one to whom I run with questions as stupid as "so which webcam do you think I should buy?" or "how the hell do I recharge my iPod?". Yeah, that's me. The non-computer geek. J often jokes that I'm about five years behind in regards to technology (I don't own a plasma TV, for one, and my cell phone is as basic as you can imagine! - no camera, no data transmission capabilities, etc.)

That being said, I think I could say I'm an enviro geek. I am more than happy to engage in long-winded discussions on climate change, pollution, the state of our world's sustainability, etc. One time, I had a 39 oC- fever and had just flown to Germany to attend a conference. I sat through 4 and a half hours (non-stop) of talks on environmental affairs, and I didn't even twitch in my seat. That's a sign of passion, and I am very passionate about sustainability. I guess that also makes me an enviro geek.

I think (and I don't believe I'm that wrong) that many people equate bloggers with geeks, and admittedly, I can see how many bloggers may have great technical skills (web savvy for example). But I would argue that not every blogger is geeky. I, for one, couldn't backtrack to save my life until Rebecca (aka Miss604) told me that sometimes, trackbacks don't work between Blogger and Wordpress. Yeah, sadly, I'm not that good when it comes to platforms, and so on.

I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on the topic. As I had mentioned before, I feel as though I belong to a community of bloggers, and I wonder if this community thinks of themselves as geeks.

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