The Definition of Geek

What is geek?

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#1 jeremejazz  Icon User is offline

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The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 01:26 AM

To you guys out there, how do you define geek?
And do you believe that "Geeks are born not made?";






__ some schoolmate of mine kept on insisting that geeks are made believing that geek only pertains to computer experts..
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#2 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:14 AM

I think that yes Geeks are born.. Not Created..
Must have something to do with some geeky Genetic functions that makes geeks, geeks..
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#3 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:14 AM

I think they are created. I am #8 of 14 children. I am the only geek among us.

There are nurses and medical technologists and successful business owners and construction foremen and architects and welders and truck drivers. But I am the coder.

In high school, they were cheerleaders and athletes and voted "Most Popular" and "Most Likely to Succeed". I was a band geek, on the quiz bowl team, debate team and chess team, and treasurer of the Spanish club.

We were all raised the same way. We were all taught the same things. We were all dragged to the same places. Yet somehow I alone became the geek.

Or maybe geeks ARE born. And I am a MUTANT! Posted Image
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#4 blutrane  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:29 AM

I think we have confirmed B9's de facto non-normal heritage, whether it be mutant, divine or otherwise.

Everyone is a geek about something IMO. Some just haven't uncovered it yet. I have seen several of my friends who were stereotypically jocks or preps in high school get down and dirty on D&D. In fact, over half of the group I play with never would have considered themselves as "geeky" prior to being introduced to the game. ITO, they led normal non-geeky lives, except for the role-playing bit.

But I don't think they were made to be geeks, I think it was already there in their subconscious, waiting to be released. There wasn't a geek training montage. They already had predispositions to reading for fun, enjoying math and playing video games (not strong devotions, but enjoyed good gaming sessions).

This post has been edited by blutrane: 29 December 2010 - 07:37 AM

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#5 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:02 AM

Well I'll traverse to etymology for the meaning of geek. It's not the 'definition' (which is a changing thing), but instead the history of how people used it.

It originally pertained to carnival side show men, and not just chicken head eaters which was popularized in 1946 in the book "Nighmare Alley" and in 47 in a film of the same name. It's believed to be a slang twist of an older word 'geck' meaning 'fool' or 'simpleton' and even 'freak'... The etymology for which can easily bring you back to all sorts of names for entertainers... like 'jester' also commonly called a 'fool'.

Of course the word has evolved. It generally has been a pejorative to describe those who are not in the social norm. Slang didn't actually attach it to the intellectual or computer nerd type until roughly the early 80's (pop culture wise turning up in movies like 'Sixteen Candles' circa 1984).

In present form it generally pertains to those who are tech or knowledge savy. As a pejorative it is used to describe someone as socially awkward and intellectually pious. But in recent years has also been adopted as an affirmation by the 'geek community'... and instead wears it as a symbol of pride. Instead of being socially awkward, we are our own society... but still rather pompous about the intellectual bit.

(data gathered from quick etymology research, rooting through pop culture history, and personal observance of the word's use)




So that's how I define geek.

Oh yeah I have seen in even more recent times the need to differentiate 'geek', 'nerd', and 'dork'. Describing them as 'geeks obsess greatly on a small group of topics (usually odd topics like star wars), the nerd expands on knowledge across a gamit of topics (usually industrious topics like math or science), and a dork is a fool'. Though the masses still interchange them... you're a history geek, not a history nerd.


As for are they born or made... nurture or nature??? I'm under the impression it could easily be a combo pack. For example I could easily be described as a geek:

socially awkward
book savy
tech savy
has bitten the heads off of living creatures

There is history of intellectuals in my blood; philosophers, physicists, etc. On the other side there are farm boys, drug dealers, carnies, and doofuses. The latter of which can still fit into the older etymology of the word. But also my raising nurtured a 'geek' type personality. A study ready mind, a tech interested hobbiest, and plenty of chickens in the yard to practice on.



Nature gives you the propensity to be one thing or another, nurture decides how/when/if it comes out.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 29 December 2010 - 08:11 AM

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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

Here's the chart. Use it.

Posted Image
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#7 jeremejazz  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 09:03 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 29 December 2010 - 07:07 AM, said:

Here's the chart. Use it.

Posted Image


Yeah the hierarchy chart is cool.


this also makes a good definition

lordofduct said:

Instead of being socially awkward, we are our own society... but still rather pompous about the intellectual bit.

This post has been edited by jeremejazz: 29 December 2010 - 09:09 PM

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#8 jeremejazz  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 29 December 2010 - 09:18 PM

Are all coders geeks? :ph34r:
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:14 AM

I'll ask it - why are you so hung up on labels and putting yourself in a box? Is it so necessary to define and label oneself that it becomes paramount to just "doing"? "<...> live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life* <...>". Just do and let the idiots worry if Greedo shot first, if the latest comic book movie was to cannon, and if 'Encounter at Farpoint' was considered one or two episodes.

*Henry David Thoreau

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 30 December 2010 - 12:14 AM

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#10 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:15 AM

I dunno modi, I think that the term has become more about what you do than who you are. In the past it was a derogatory term, implying skinny, pale bespectacled people playing dungeons and dragons in basements or whatever, but I think it has evolved to imply certain skills or interests that are no longer considered socially unacceptable.
Even the cool kids have computers now, which means the cool kids have computer problems. Many people I know use the term geek not in an insulting way, but to describe a person to whom they would beg and plead for help if for some reason they couldn't log in to facebook.
It used to be that every family needed 3 things, a lawyer, a mechanic, and a doctor, these days it's 4 and the 4th is a competent geek to install their printers and use windows search to find out where that download ended up.
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#11 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:17 PM

View Postjeremejazz, on 30 December 2010 - 01:18 PM, said:

Are all coders geeks? :ph34r:


Definitely, you have to be - lets face it anyone who works a technical profession has a certain geek element, they may be normal during other hours however you need to be into that sort of stuff to do well and enjoy your work. Saying that i love what i am learning and what i do, i find i think about it all the time - i can also digress and head out surfing for hours or be in social situations. So yea some people are just geeks more of the time than others... In the end we are all geeks at some point in our day.
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#12 codeMode  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:04 PM

Nerds
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#13 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 31 December 2010 - 02:59 AM

Being Geeks Pays..
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#14 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:58 PM

"Geek" here means extramarital sexual partner; even people who only speak english and have technical careers or interests don't use it to describe themselves after they learn that (because besides 'extramarital partner' it also implies you're the one bending over- kind of like 'gay' could technically mean 'happy' in english, but really doesn't anymore).
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#15 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Definition of Geek

Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:08 PM

Is installing GNU/hurd for fun geeky? :online2long:
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