Click to visit our sponsors!

homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

  The Geek Culture Forums
  Ask a Geek!
  a computerless world

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   a computerless world
skylar
Newbie

Posts: 6
From:
Registered: May 2002

posted June 02, 2002 07:20     Click Here to See the Profile for skylar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
if the computer had never come to be, then what would geeks do?

what i mean is, what would define a geek as a geek? or, would geeks not exist at all... would there be only nerds?

IP: Logged

Snaggy
Moderator

Posts: 1569
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted June 02, 2002 08:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This AY2K episode might help clear things up.

IP: Logged

uilleann
Geek

Posts: 62
From: St Albans, Herts, England
Registered: Apr 2002

posted June 02, 2002 11:02     Click Here to See the Profile for uilleann   Click Here to Email uilleann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are other types of geek out there other than computer geeks, for example geeks of chemistry or maths. I think I'd even classify my dad as a geek, even though his interests are clocks, vintage radios and old guns. It's just the way that he is (and not his interests, though they are geeky anyhow) that counts - being a geek is more about a way of life; non-geeks can use computers too :-) Though, yes, a large proportion of geeks here do seem to be computer geeks (like me).

But, hrm, no computers... I'd have to imagine back to before I got interested in them. Heh, I don't think I'd really be any different, just the same weird guy but doing different stuff.

The question really is, what effect does computing have on the geek mindset? Does it make us hide away in the lab or our room, or would we do that anyway with something else? Anyone have a clear enough memory to remember that far back, or are you all like me and can't hardly remember the day before? ;) How do computer geeks see themselves in comparison to non-computer geeks (and vice-versa)?

- Uilleann

IP: Logged

skylar
Newbie

Posts: 6
From:
Registered: May 2002

posted June 02, 2002 12:54     Click Here to See the Profile for skylar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i consider myself to have been a non-computer geek before i was ever a computer geek, and i think that the effect computers have is that they intensify geekiness, if you see what i mean.

computers allow geekiness to be given a creative mode of expression, one that is constantly changing and developing. many other geeky obsessions have a finite range of interest, for example your dad's vintage radios and guns, uilleann. however, computers have an almost endlessly expansive future, which is mainly what keeps geeks fascinated, rather than their past.

the computer geek has the opportunity to usefully apply their obsession, and have it constantly challenged. and computers have made geekiness fashionable, and far less exclusive. they reach into so many aspects of life that far more people can become obsessed with them than with, say, maths or physics.

so, maybe, computer geeks can't really be called geeks any more. the term geek implies isolation, going against the grain, teenage years locked in your bedroom. if that's what everyone's doing, then either everyone's a computer geek or nobody is... what do you think?

IP: Logged

quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 784
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted June 02, 2002 17:42     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Ulleann hits geekiness right on the head with his comment about his father. That is perfectly valid geekiness - an unabashed interest in things that most other don't think are interesting or "cool". I've been using computers since they had magnetic core memory. I've forgotten more than most people will ever know, but I don't think of myself as a "computer" geek. Being able to recite huge chunks of dialog from "The Holy Grail" and knowing which Star Trek eposide it was just by the incidental music at the beginning - those are things that make you a geek.

Knowing a lot about computers is really just like knowing a lot about cars. They are mechanical things and you can build them and/or drive them, and some people are really good at building and some are really good at driving, but some like to do a little of both. No one ever calls the gear-heads who hot-rod their cars geeks. At least not any more. 100 years ago they were, but not now, not that everyone uses them. Now you can either be an engineer who designs the cars, or the mechanic who works on them, or just a guy who changes his own oil. But the words are now "professional", "loser" and "thrifty".

I've seen the same thing happen in the last 30 years. People who could get a computer to do anything usefull were once wizards, Now, when every kid grows up using them, know *about" computers gets a big yawn. It's a big intellectual challange to write production quality software, but we don't call it geeky - it's a profession.

Finally, let's look at the TV show "Beat the Geeks". They also got it just right. There are 4 geeks - Movies, Music, TV and something else. None of these guys know anything about computers, yet they know so much about their area of interest that you reguard them as freaks. That is what makes them geeks. I may be about to make computers sing and dance, but I look up to those guys.

IP: Logged

uilleann
Geek

Posts: 62
From: St Albans, Herts, England
Registered: Apr 2002

posted June 02, 2002 22:32     Click Here to See the Profile for uilleann   Click Here to Email uilleann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hrm, interesting.

Are people who like cars not geeks because cars are too common, or because they don't exhibit geeky traits (which skylar says to be "isolation, going against the grain, teenage years locked in your bedroom")?

I think that car-loving people tend to typically be regular (non-geeky) people, whereas computer people can be casual users (e-mails, web, etc.), game playing 3l337s, or geeks who hide away and do clever stuff.

I actually find it hard to imagine geeks other than computer geeks, maybe because I can't really picture people sitting in their bedroom doing maths or science; then we have things like theatre geeks, where I don't have a clue - it's probably just their way of saying that they're a geek, and also like the theatre. Unless you really can be geeky over it? No idea :)

This is probably more your area than mine, have fun :)

- Uilleann

(PS quantumfluff, I'm a he (see the All About You forum) ;-)

IP: Logged

MrJ
Geek Larva

Posts: 26
From: Purdue University
Registered: Mar 2001

posted June 03, 2002 02:09     Click Here to See the Profile for MrJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I dare to think about such a world...

Before I was introduced to computers I was into building and fixing noncomputer things. I liked clocks and watches, so I might be repairing or building them. Or anything else I could get my hands on. I had some wood-working tools I liked so that's another possibility. If a certain grandfather were alive while I was growing up that would have been more likely. Weather forecasting is another possibility. I guess anything is possible if it has a puzzle in it.

IP: Logged

quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 784
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted June 03, 2002 06:24     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann: (PS quantumfluff, I'm a he (see the All About You forum) ;-)
Sorry. It's the 'leann' part of the name that tricks me.

I don't think we call gear-heads geeks for several reasons - they are so common that we are used to them and they tend to be anything but scrawny weaklings with glasses. Mostly, however, because only a very few are totally consumed by playing with their cars, to the exclusion of other things. When I see a person skip a party because they want to adjust their engine timing then I see a geek.

IP: Logged

Alien Investor
Assimilated

Posts: 368
From: New York City
Registered: Jan 2000

posted June 03, 2002 08:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Alien Investor   Click Here to Email Alien Investor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were geeks before there were computers. Who do you think MADE the computers?

Back when I didn't know that I could make a living with computers, I thought I would likely become a librarian when I grew up. Or maybe a mathematician.

I've never been a mechanically-minded geek. I'm more of a numbers geek. Back in the day, I would factorize all my friends' phone numbers (with just a four-function calculator) and pore over any kind of picayune statistical report with thousands of numbers, such as election returns by precinct.

IP: Logged

Minsc
Geek Larva

Posts: 29
From: The mist-veiled mountains where the butt-kicking denizens of goodness dwell
Registered: Apr 2002

posted June 04, 2002 07:35     Click Here to See the Profile for Minsc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Back in the day..." prior to the warm allure of the command line in the privacy of my own home, I remember being absolutely fascinated with schematic templates as used for drawing flowcharts and electronics diagrams, as well as taking electronics equipment and creating new cases and bodies for them.
I assume that since we are dealing with a world without computers, we are also without calculators as these are the precursors to the home PC. I guess we are also without those great handheld Mattell football games with the red or green LED display :-( THAT would be a sad world indeed! (Those have been re-released by the way)

------------------
You and Boo and I... Hamsters and Rangers everywhere! Rejoice!

IP: Logged

iballoondesign
Assimilated

Posts: 376
From: Midland, TX
Registered: Dec 2001

posted June 04, 2002 20:22     Click Here to See the Profile for iballoondesign   Click Here to Email iballoondesign     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Albert Elinston is geek, he don't use computer. Spend in math stuff, what he use. George Lucas is geek, he make up story in far far galaxy where we nothing seen before. Ummm, comic-freak-fan is geek, too, huh? And how about old-fasion RPG game, it's geek game, yes?

Without computer, we could at least use electric-wire like Ben Franklin or Edison Thomas, I guess. We could be one of them as geek-fellow.

------------------
Riding on the balloon, flow over the world...

IP: Logged

Erbo
Super Geek

Posts: 151
From: Denver, CO, US
Registered: Jan 2000

posted June 04, 2002 23:04     Click Here to See the Profile for Erbo   Click Here to Email Erbo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If there were no computers...some of us might have gotten into ham radio...

IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

© 2002 Geek Culture® All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47e

homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam