Less than Human

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Culture

I was recently looking at my trackbacks and saw this blog post linking back here. Apparently, the guy who runs the site takes issue with me having an interest in technology and certain forms of entertainment, but not identifying myself as a “Geek.”

This is the response I wanted to make to his blog post,

It’s a complex issue, but from one angle of looking at it we can say, “By acknowledging that having interest in technology, certain forms of entertainment, is one automatically a member of the subculture of ‘Geeks’?”

The answer, as far as I’m concerned, is no. Participating in sports doesn’t necessarily make someone a “jock.” Watching movies doesn’t make someone a “film nerd.” Listening to certain kinds of music doesn’t make someone a “< insert label here >.” There are obvious differences in degree that you conveniently choose to ignore, not to mention the differences in kind between people who embrace a given subculture, people who don’t, and people who are stuck there.

Some of the guys at and around Fear the Boot might choose to self-identify as “Geeks” that’s fine and their choice. I know Shamus does. Personally, I feel that “geek” has too many irrelevant connotations. I’m not part of the indie-ironic G4 branch, nor part of the social misfits cesspool. I don’t have any interest in associating with either of these groups. Even though most of the people interested in things like videogames, comics, and roleplaying games are now working adults, we don’t really have a useful way to refer to them, you’re either a misfit, or nerd-chic. There doesn’t seem to be any room in there for seeing technology, roleplaying, and videogames as general hobbies. Why should these deserve any more recognition or disdain than following sports, politics, movies, music, or anything else?

I might also add that, even though there’s been a general movement towards trying to rehabilitate the word “Geek,” and also “Nerd,” “Dork” and other pejoratives, I don’t really want any part of that. I don’t feel a particular need to have society validate things I enjoy, particularly because what I write about on this blog is only a fraction of that anyway.

Unfortunately, this blog (or its comments, at least) seem to be hosted on Tripod, which seems to have the most difficult CAPTCHA I’ve ever seen. Some examples…

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If you guessed the correct combination was “VDRFNY” then congratulations, you’re wrong! I don’t know what is going on there, maybe the smaller, usually-obscured text is also relevant for this inhumane CAPTCHA? Either way, I don’t care enough to try and figure out some feature that won’t let me use it as intended.

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