D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 9:29 AM

First go read Chris' post here. Now, for my response.

This might be deep, but I think there's some truth. Think back, geek reader, to your childhood. All of it. Do you remember being popular? Do you remember wearing jogging pants up to grade 10 or 11 or higher, and other fashion disasters (some might not need to look quite as far back for them, but I digress..)? Do you remember NOT having alot of friends that were girls? Do you remember not having many friends at all? Being picked on, beat up, laughed at, mocked, etc.?

Here's my point: Many geeks remember their realization-years that way. We had to build up alot of defenses to ward away the evils of the liked and popular. We didn't really hang in packs, so we didn't really deal with alot of team involvement. It was mostly you against the world, and the one thing that we had over our counterparts was our intelligence, knowledge, and skills with a 20 sided die.

Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and now we're full fledged IT geeks forced to work within the constraints of companies that preach teamwork and cooperation which to many geeks are foreign concepts. It wasn't all that long ago that developers would just be happy to sit in front of a computer and not have any interaction with people (the old “just slide food under the door” jokes).

This isn't true for everyone obviously, but there definately is a hint of chestbeating...I've noticed it and experienced it. One of the most annoying things to me is when people throw their experience around as a broadsword of “shut up and listen to me”, when mutual respect and teamwork mean more (personally).

Anyway, that's my thoughts. You might have different ones...but who cares, my 50th lvl Paladin can kick your Ranger's ass any day. :P



# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

I got two words for ya... Columbine. (Ok wait, that's only one word, but anyway...)

We as a society can only torment those that are weaker, stranger, smarter for so long before they snap and kill people. Now granted, Columbine is an extreme example, because those boys had a lot of issues beyond just getting picked on, but the fact is that most monsters are made, not born.

Sorry, back on topic... you mention teamwork and cooperation being foreign concepts to many geeks.

It's true that some geeks (myself included) may lack certain social graces, but we are (mostly) an intelligent bunch, capable of learning new things, which INCLUDES being able to fit in to a team environment, communicate ideas clearly, wash ourselves DAILY and deliver a firm handshake. Being picked on as a kid is not a sufficient excuse for being a dipsh!t when your company is paying you significantly higher than what the jackasses that tormented you as a child are now making. (And listen up folks... employers are paying you for more than just your skillset, whether you like it or not. Getting along with Biff is just as much a part of your job as writing code, so please get over yourself.

Geek stereotypes exist for a reason. Lets all strive to create some newer, more positive ones. 7/13/2006 9:46 AM | Blogus Maximus

# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

Ok, to read my response to D'Arcy check out my blog at. ....

lol, just kidding although creating a chain of responses would be amusing to me.

Well, guys, I think your response both indicate your age. There's a new generation of "geek" out there and we're no longer basement dwellers. We play in rock bands, we play sports, we have hot girlfriends and we can code with the best of them.

The stereotype of the geek has shifted, check out Hollywood for confirmation of this. Gadgets and geekiness is the new cool. Go be a Buck Rogers and sit outside a high school and look for the geeky guys.

They have girlfriends now. And they are attractive girls. My wife loves my geekiness and her friends find it awesome too.

The social skills of the geek have improved and our status in culture is not the same as it once was. That's not to say there aren't still old relics ;) roaming the halls of the business world, preferring to sit in a dark room and code (and not that there aren't a new generation of that type), but there is a new breed and we like talking with people at work and telling jokes and having a personality and not being French Canadian (just for you D'Arcy ;) ).

So, good points, but you guys are kind of old.

Did I mention you were old? 7/13/2006 10:09 AM | George

# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

Valid point, there is a new generation of slightly more hygenic geeks (although the new Mac commercials make me question this) but the fact is... the old school geeks are still in the vast majority. You younguns haven't taken over the workforce yet.

In fact, I was recently a host for a career day and the kid I got for the day was just about as "old school geek" as you can get... including the complete lack of social integration and hygeine skills.

So its still an issue. The only difference is now they're playing World of Warcraft instead of D&D... so in many ways they're even LESS social than before. Prior to MMORPGs, you had to at least socialize with other geeks IN PERSON to play. Mothers basement not withstanding. 7/13/2006 10:15 AM | Blogus Maximus

# Why is at at 29 I feel like I'm 54?

I think that the diff is that IT is now attractive to more than just the nerds...its an accepted kewl industry, and the acceptance of the internet is a huge key to this (way more youth are exposed to computers earlier...All of the youth in my church have MSN messenger accounts, all my friends my age and older not so much).

If you look at most of the people from the older generation (read: late 20's and older), I think the argument about being loners and ignored in school is more truer than nowadays. But like you both said, there's still those types of kids in schools today as well.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my 29 year old ass to some corner and cry about being called old by some young whippersnapper. ;)


7/13/2006 5:55 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

lol, well, one year older than me is still old i guess. 7/13/2006 6:43 PM | George

# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

I'm better sure *any* class can beat a Ranger, D'Arcy. 7/13/2006 6:57 PM | Justice~!

# re: Stubborn, Sensitive, and Hung Up...I blame society.

D'Arcy.....I'm sorry about that commnet I made the other day, about you using an upatched windows system, and linux and apple calculating the correct odds....blah blah blah. That was wrong of me and I'm sorry. 7/15/2006 5:31 AM | Shaneo

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