Nasa / Space

Poll: Do you keep your geekiness up to date?

Justin James says his geekiness is tied to geek interests from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s rather than present day geekery. What about you? Do you keep your geekiness current?

Whenever I talk to other geeks, I quickly realize that my geekiness is fairly tied to a particular time, and when I go beyond that period, it is usually into the past rather than toward the present.

For whatever reason, geek interests from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s are more intriguing to me than the current stuff. For example, I've always been interested in the history of mainframe, and I think the most recent geek author that I got into was William Gibson or Douglas Adams. But I also know people who cut their geek teeth on programming in FORTRAN and yet stay very current with all that is geeky.

What about you? Let us know by taking this poll.

If you do keep your geekiness up to date, let us know in the forums how you do it.

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

24 comments
jfuller05
jfuller05

with the latest in technology. I also take classes on what my employer wants me to learn (they pay of course). As far as geekiness goes, I'm the 80s' 90s' geek. I don't play many new games, I still like the older geek movies better, and the older comics are better too ( 70s' - 90s').

AV .
AV .

My inspiration is that I want to keep my job. I'm a close to retirement Net Admin and about to have to re-learn everything I know when my company moves to a virtual environment. I survived VOIP, MPLS and smart phones. It was pretty painful, but now Hyper-V too? Its going to be an interesting ride. I keep on top of things with all of the trade magazines and newsletters from Computerworld, Network Computing, E-Week, etc. My favorite newsletter is Windows Secrets. Keeping up to date is survival to me. I've always loved working with new technology and I'm very happy that the company I work for is willing to spend the money on it. Lots of new toys to play with. AV

tjsobieski
tjsobieski

Hey,I'm 63. How do you think I'm going to get all those GILF's?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Hang out at MahJongg tournaments. :p

boplatt
boplatt

"But I also know people who cut their geek teeth on programming in FORTRAN and yet stay very current..." What?? There are languages other than FORTRAN to program in?? Why don't poeple tell me these things!?

Hazydave
Hazydave

.... you haven't read up on Algol and LISP? Not much if a geek if you can't keep up with the times. A true geek doesn't necessarily have the time to master all things, but s/he should remain well informed, at least about one's chosen areas of geekdom. I don't have to own the very latest PC hardware, smartphone, camcorder, TV, etc. But if I couldn't "geek out" over a discussion of i7 architecture, AVC vs MPEG vs VP8, Android vs. IPhone, etc. then I ought to hang up my geek cred for good. And good geek is a mix of tech and pop culture, too. In short, it's about one's insatiable curisoty, not one's bank account.

santeewelding
santeewelding

These social ephemera. Being ephemera, let me know how you're able to tell what from what is and from what is not. I'll watch from here. With binoculars. While you chase it.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

you'll be accompanied by your pet rock... ;)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I'll read and absorb the high points of a lot of things, but only that which truly interests me gets a lot of attention. That, and, of course, the stuff I need to know for work.

Jaqui
Jaqui

to busy with keeping current with the rapidly changing GNU/Linux tools. :D

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Some of the new technologies are so clean and shiny, they don't seem right. It's like making out a shiny plastic-y extrovert mac-fiend to be the stereotypical computer nerd. Geek still means freak, right? Or am I hopelessly outdated. Probably the latter. Bah.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

One definition of geek is possessing arcane knowledge. That naturally includes being "in the know" in some domains, but not others. And the idea that you're keeping up with someone else seems counter to it. There can't be a standard for geekiness.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

E.g., I didn't get into blogging until 2006, and I still haven't figured out what's so special about Twitter.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

I use it as a news feed, particularly for sources from outside of the US/in the UK where you might find another angle, or stuff that is just plain hidden from the locals on this side of the pond. The "I'm at Best Buy now" or "I'm out walking the dog" or the latest Justin Bieber updates don't thrill me, but it is nice to find another likeminded spirit occasionally. It also was used at my workplace when I found a new virus in a user's email that AV didn't have in its updates and my CIO spread the news to other people in other companies as well as the AV people to give them a warning. Uses like that may be rare but definitely worth it.

Justin James
Justin James

Using Twitter to keep up on news is like roaming the streets of Manhattan with a tape recorder in order to find out what people think about the President. The amount of noise compared to the useful information is miserable. J.Ja

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

Just pick the number of entities you can handle and delete them when they either don't interest you or it's too much to deal with. They don't broadcast all the time, every minute, which is why I can handle a decent number of them. If I want "who DUI'ed into a tree this weekend" or "what school is doing a tax levy" or "special interest piece on the 95-year-old who had a birthday last week", I can listen to local news on TV; it is Twitter that gets me updates on targeted stuff that I find far more pertinent and interesting.

jsaubert
jsaubert

I definitely don't actively go out of my way to stay current. Sometimes I wish I did but mostly hear everything I need to know in the modern geek world secondhand. I find myself tending toward older or "classic" geeky things as well. But I do take great joy when suddenly the masses get exposed to something I've always loved, like the original Star Trek or Sherlock Holmes. That actually gets me excited about more current things. It's like a trade off with my friends; I loan them my Greatest American Hero DVDs and they got me watching Big Bang Theory, they load me up with whatever new manga they are reading and I introduce them to Denny O'Neil's run on Iron Man (1982-1986). Discovering new geekdoms is fun but I let it come to me instead of seeking it out.

kandrolewicz2
kandrolewicz2

I think if you want to stay employed in an IT field you need to stay as current as possible especially if you aren't 25 any more. Also, if you are not a guy, you have to compete twice as hard and know twice as much to be considered equal. But that's OK because I'm a true geek at heart. I have to have the latest gadgets, the latest software, know the latest tricks, tips and secrets. I always thought that those of us who were geeks were A.D.D. because once we figured it out we were on to the next gig (no pun intended). Also, it is a high to come up with a solution no one else has found.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

I agree with you that there is something charming about the idea of pimply-faced teen hobbyists tinkering with circuit boards or even plastic whistles to come up with The Next Big Thing just because they are curious about what this, that, and the other is. The era you talk about seemed like it was ripe for anything to happen, unlimited possibilities. Bill Gates says genetic engineering is the new "early stage of computing". I keep up by hanging out with geeks of all ages, chat rooms on IRC, reading Wired and other magazines, and borrowing stuff and ideas from people and pursuing the ones that hold interest for me. My circle of friends is quite diverse and you never know where the next nugget of geekdom will come from. My interests lie in several areas that are required to keep up or drown - tech and medicine - and holding onto old geek wisdom in either is detrimental to modern usage. Having said that, I am not a bleeding-edge adopter, I prefer to let someone geekier than me work out the bugs in the newest-fangled thing and then come to it after various service packs and such are worked out. After fixing computers all day, I just want my own stuff to work well without having to fuss with it too much. The test of a true geek is their motivation. Why do something seemingly pointless and fun only to a select few? Because of the boundless curiosity of "what does THIS thing/command/process do?" In sum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyOBw6D4O28

otaku_lord
otaku_lord

With the economy the way it is I have had to cut out my "tech play." The business that I contract part time to (still waiting for the Stimulus Package to kick in...) has servers that are 8-10 years old.

Ron K.
Ron K.

If I don't need something because something has burned out or quit working I don't study-up on things like I used to. I've mostly lost interest. I could buy the latest, smoking hot fast computer but why? I don't need it for what I do. My Intel Core2 Quad and XP Pro meet my needs just fine. Besides, todays smoking, hot fast computer with all of the goodies will be surpassed tomorrow. Telephones and constant connectivity? My Tracfone serves my needs and I don't care about being connected all of the time. When neural laces become invented and an affordable, foolproof reality I'll have my name on the list to get mine, as long as I don't have to use Verizon.

travelcare_chris
travelcare_chris

I didn't take the question as buying things. If you've lost interest then your answer to the question would be "no" about keeping up geekiness. I consider the measure of "geekiness" to be based more on knowledge than possessions. You don't need to own the bleeding edge as long as you are aware of it and can discuss it. I would probably own a jitterbug right now if it wasn't for the high initial cost. Maybe the measure of "old geek" is knowing what you would become over dependent on and finding more disdain for things than before. For example: I don't want a phone that I am going to become overly dependent on that dies and I lose my ability to navigate around, don't know anyone's phone number, and then feel completely disconnected from the world. I still think it is really cool that phones can do that sort of thing, but I know myself too well at this point. And now that I am old, I find myself complaining that first person shooters come with something called "auto-aim". Just tap a button and aim at the badguy. In an FPS, if you are not aiming, what the heck is the point? I remember that hack in the original Counter-Strike and it was considered a cheat back then. Anyway, I will get down off of my soapbox and quit my aged rambling. The point I started out trying to make is that I think with a few choice RSS feeds it is quite easy to keep up with current geek culture.

ArnoldZiffle
ArnoldZiffle

is me! I always have to see if the new thing is really good enough to replace the old. Whether its a gadget of kind or a new programming paradigm/language. For example my cell phone is from 2004. It has a full keyboard for texting that folds neatly into it and is web capable, albeit a little slow. I can even play Oblivion on it! I am a self proclaimed polymath as well as geek. Can't do without my weekly copy of Nature magazine. I've been 39 for 22 years now. Almost all my friends are half my age because other than people who also do what I do for a living most people just don't get it. I just about fell off the couch when I watched that video. No one seems to understand the passion of doing something like that. Then we move on the next one. And we still have hormones like everyone else. ;^P