Essentials of Being A Geek

In addition to an academic, I also consider myself a “geek“. But am I really one? It seems according to BuzzFeed, I don’t make the cut. However I cite the following:

  • I have a love of learning in depth information on a variety of subjects.
  • I independently seek out new items to geek over, since I know if I took everyone’s suggestion, I’d probably be very unproductive (for example, I’ve been avoiding Doctor Who for a few years now since I have a feeling I’d probably fall hard for it)
  • I own more gadgets than everyone in my family combined.
  • I consider building VoIP phone systems, creating new software products, and configuring network services on my home network “leisure” activities.

Yet when I took the BuzzFeed quiz a few weeks go, it told me that I was barely geeky. Surely, the BuzzFeed article must be wrong! Upon closer inspection…

  • The first 40 items relate reading comic books
  • The second 40 refer to playing traditional ‘geek’ games, like D&D, Magic, etc…
  • Then a giant chunk on gaming, tabletop and video
  • Around question 140 we get to books (Oddly Star Wars books are mentioned, but not Star Trek)
  • For about 100 questions we cover Science Fiction franchises.
  • Around question 237 we hit computers, and cover them for only 30 questions.
  • The remainder hits academia (Because us academics are geeks now, thanks probably to The Big Bang Theory),  and science.

It’s interesting to me that the BuzzFeed staff seems to have a bit of a skewed idea of what a “geek” does. Most the list (80%) focuses on consumption of content, versus creation of content. I suspect though that the ‘geekiest’ among us probably are more than passive absorbers of material. How do you fix the list? In my opinion, weigh the “create” items heavier than the “consume” items, but that is just my geeky opinion! What’s yours?

Diagram By: Duncan Hull

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