Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Don't pick on the geek

This article has some references to Magic: The Gathering (MTG), but it serves only as a basis of a story of initial ridicule, but caught fire on the internet to drive a huge backlash from the internet users. You may have already guessed, but this is around the story of an internet website editor dating a MTG former champion - Alyssa Bereznak and Jon Finkel.

The dust has somewhat settle, and the internet has responded:
The summary was that Alyssa, who herself works for an IT related journalist web site, was labeling someone she had met on an online dating site, as a geek or nerd. On top of that, she was upset that this fact was not disclosed to her in his profile. It appears to be a pot labeling a kettle. And then the internet "had their say"...

There is one thing that Alyssa, and I am guessing a lot of people (regardless of gender) are missing - without geeks or nerds, your world would be different - VERY DIFFERENT INDEED. You would not have:
  • Industries built on Information Technology (IT)
  • The internet (ie. you would not be able to read this blog post) and its websites
  • Computers
  • Mobile Phones (and this would probably extend to regular phones)
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Medicines
  • Electricity
  • Food technology (although some may argue that genetically modified food is harmful)Link
  • Video games
  • Credit cards
  • Cars and most other forms of transport
  • Everything cool that Apple makes (iPhone, iPad, iMac)
  • Countless other items
All these aspects of modern life came about due to involvement of nerds and geeks.

I am not going to put forward the argument that the world is a better place with ALL these items in it, but I will say that it is a very different place. I am not saying that entertainers and sports people do not have their place in society either, but if you seriously think about it, being able to kick a ball does not assist in helping to solve communication issues between countries separated by geography. I do appreciate watching sports, but it is as a distraction. As Chewie said to me recently, "If it wasn't for all the distractions around us, we would get more time trying to solve things and better ourselves."

Next time you want to label something as "too nerdy" or "geeky", take a look around you and at your own life. If you are reading this article, it was because a nerd or a geek thought up the technology to bring it to you. Your mocking (no matter how "playful" or "innocent" it may be) may be having a profound negative impact on someone around you.

Well done to the internet community in raising one voice against people like mean girl Alyssa. And to Alyssa: "Your opinions are not always appreciated!"

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