Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Geeks: born or made?

My recent post on WarGames made me wonder something: Are geeks born or made? Certainly when I first saw David Lightman and his computer skills, I thought it must be the former. No way, no how, was I that smart. Now that I've had a bit more experience in life than I did when I was nine, I think it leans in the other direction.

I believe that a fundamental quality of geekiness is curiosity. I have learned far too many things to list by hearing a random line in a movie or on TV and going to look up related topics on the Internet. Add books to the mix and I easily double that. And let's not forget the great conversations I have with my friends and coworkers which spark their own round of net questing. I know other geeks who are not quite as varied in their geekiness, but they all tend to have the quality in common that they are curious about one thing or another. My husband has been a sports geek most of his life. He could care less however about one of my geeky passions: cooking.

If we are born with any part of geekiness, it would be the curiosity. The additional element, the knowledge, is certainly made. I am not a geek just because I own a computer. I am a geek because I have read many books, magazines, and articles on the Internet about computers. I am a geek because I can tell you exactly what parts are inside my computer AND give you reasons that I chose them. I was not born with any of this knowledge. I had to take the time to learn about the things I was curious about. I continue that habit today.

If you are on the outside looking in at geekdom, take heart in that you can come in and be welcome any time you like. All you need to do is cultivate your curiosity, and take the time and effort to learn about the things that interest you. Come to the geek side... we have cookies! :)

1 Comment:


Well said!