Thursday, February 01, 2007

Never mind God, geeks will inherit the earth

I can't be the only one who hoardes papers; whole papers, not cuttings that are easy to identify but entire editions put aside because there was an article worth reading when I got a moment.

I threw away a few dozen yesterday. In most cases I was baffled as to why I kept them at all. There were a few finds though, such as The Independent's Dec 4 two-page Q and A with the campaigning atheist Richard Dawkins and the Guardian's Jan 22 appraisal of Britain's motorways.

The Dawkins questions ranged from "Is it child abuse to force your kids to adopt your religion" to "What will you say if you ever reach the pearly gates".

The fun was in the wit and style of his answers but I was struck by the number of times he took the opportunity to back up his arguments with web references.

The best bit was when he was asked "how did such a geek like you get such an attractive wife" (he's married to the actress Lalla Ward), He laughed off the question but objected to the use of geek, likening it to the sort of racial epithets I won't repeat.

I've been reprimanded a few times for using the term but I'm nopt sure why. It's an endearing collective for everyone from the systems admin lot that boot our PCs to the hard-coders who give us the platforms we covet so much. They don't have to dream in binary.

A few post-grads had the giggles when I said it recently and it drew the odd muted gasp at a after-dinner speech. I mentioned it over drinks afterwards and opinion was split. In my corner was a teacher who married one. In the other was the chap who gave the vote of thanks who said it was a "mite offensive".

Offensive? Do me a favour . . . Geeks are the new avante garde and should celebrate the fact. The term has Orwellian simplicty and a resonance that rivals hack (which I don't mind being called as you drop the prefix drunken old). I draw the line at nerd to keep the few teccie friends i have.

Incidentally, it was never Jack Bauer that saved the world every 24 hours, it was Edgar Stiles. My system crashed when the terrorists got him. Point made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Geek' is a fine word, it's been fully reclaimed from the insulting Beverley Hills 90210 references of 'popular' teens.