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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 16, 2018

According to a conversation I had this week, I've been kicked out of the nerd/geek clubhouse. Their reasoning? I've only seen one of the Marvel movies (deadpool), not watched any of the new Star Trek movies, Never seen Dr. Who, and in general do not give a shit about pop culture. I've reached the point that I don't know who the actors are. Pop music will grate against my brain when out and about and I have no idea who or what the bands are. I heard a terrible song in a waiting room and it turned out to be one of the #1 hits this year.

Meanwhile I sit in a room with more computing power than all of planet earth in 1968, have four separate VPN tunnels, am running (at current count) nine different OS's on 14 running PCs/Pi's/laptops/servers/routers, have five pairs of binoculars, several telescopes, and a library that would have made a monk in the 1800's rage with envy. I have 20TB of raw astronomy data that I have been working on in my spare time (lol), I'm learning how to study for a test to get certifications, I'm active on several forums where the median education is a Master's degree (and I bring down that average having barely graduated high school), and can rattle off ten year old 4chan nonsense which flies over the head of those in the room. Yet I am not a nerd because I have not seen a movie or two. (How many of these Marvel movies are there now?)

After a good bout of friendly back and forth I realized that the words geek and nerd have been lost to people like me (aka I'm old get off my lawn, whippersnappers). Watching TV does not make you a nerd. Obsessing over a fandom where the entry cost is your cable bill... does that count? Knowing actors and roles and movies, does that now make one a nerd/geek? Hell, is there still a difference? Spouting lines of dialogue from a movie that grossed $1 billion, then calling yourself a geek?

Nerds and geeks were the the rejects and weirdos. The people who found something they loved and went all in, for better or worse. This love of betterment generated skills that (sometimes) lead to employment, or maybe enlightenment? A music nerd was someone that could tell you the influences of a band, provide examples, probably had a record collection that rivaled radio stations. Almost to the point you were afraid to talk to the guy because you knew the 3 hour dissertation on how 1970's California Punk fractured and influenced the people who wound up in Seattle and became Grunge. The guy who could tell you why a big-block Chevy engine was awesome, and go deep into detail, to the point of showing off pictures of his latest engine build. The girl who got into knitting and wants to tell you all about the stitches, where they came from, why different needles work with different threads etc. The gardening nerds excited that winter is over and want you to be happy that the tomatoes and peppers are growing.

Add into the mix that the tech industry pisses me off. I spent time looking at how to get a CDL and become a truck driver today. I sit on my ass all day anyway and there is a shortage, not that I would really do that. I caught myself doing the math on how much I really need to earn to live. I wanted to put something here other than a shaking fists at clouds rant, but lost the thoughts in the middle of two boring chapters on Microsoft Server. I can't tell if I am frustrated that our exclusive club of weirdos and oddballs has been burnt to the ground only for an amusement park to be built in its place, or that I've hit the age where everything new is shit, or even if I've lived inside my own head for so long that I'm angry that I did not see all the changes coming down the pike.

Fuck 'em. I am going to rebuild my home RAID as I am running out of room; the 12TB drives have come way down in price and now the controller cards are reasonable, can operate the big drives and all have build-in Linux functionality. I think this summer I will build a 100TB server to help get my mind back in focus. There are a few newer Linux builds that will do a full redundant file system and if you get the right hardware you can even expand the storage as you need more space. I think I can have the full rig done for $5K or so if the 12TB drives hit $300. I'll wipe the old server, put a decent OS on it get it set up and sell it to recover some of the cost. And I was so unsettled this week that I pulled the trigger on a new astronomy camera, so I get that to play with over the summer as well.

lil  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's amazing how culturally rich one's life can be without super hero movies or other expressions of pop culture. And if you hear a reference that you want to understand, Google can usually explain it.

    several telescopes
And while the fictional astronomical universe can be amusing, you have the ability to look at, understand, and teach about the real astronomical universe.

Nerd or geek are words used by people whose imagination is so limited that they think humans can be understandable by reducing them to a classification.

Meanwhile, they make a big deal about the Big Bang -- as if that were the beginning.

kleinbl00  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I grew up in New Mexico. I know nerds. You, sir, are not a nerd... and likely never were.

Guy I went to Odyssey of the Mind with (three times!) programmed the graphics on his HP 48GX to show an animation of a cumshot. Definitely a forward-thinker. Then? Pantsed and abused all the time. Now? Does Reddit AMAs and book tours. Was he a nerd? Mos Def. Is he a nerd now? Tell that to the hundreds of people who pack auditoriums to hear him speak.

But has HE changed?

Nerds were the ones who couldn't socialize and wanted to. The guys who could tell you why a big-block Chevy was awesome were also the guys most likely to beat the shit out of you and the most likely to have cigarettes, chew, and beer. They had friends, they had enemies, they had people who feared them. The music nerds? I mean, they were nerds to someone sure but they also had the hottest chicks.

If you're calling yourself a nerd, that means that you're so fucking isolated that there's no one else to do it for you. I suspect the term has been diluted because society has become so fractious and disengaged that different cliques no longer engage, let alone fight each other.

Into that loneliness flies consumerism.

Girl in my CNC class has an Order of the Deathly Hallows sticker made up of a light saber, Gandalf's wand and some other fuckin' thing.

I liked her a lot better when I thought it was an AA symbol.

Is she a nerd? Yer damn skippy. Why? Because she has no friends and the only fucking thing she aligns with is that "buy me friendship" consumer culture. Does she have to be a nerd? No she does not. But it's the easy choice and one that makes somebody rich, so she's encouraged.

Who are you enriching? Celestron? Unless you're giving your social allegiance to Disney, nobody cares.

By the way, I hope you will choose to enrich Synology. I will say it's because I very much enjoy having two servers under management that work 100% of the time without fail but in no small part it's because I know if you build a hotter one than mine, I'll have someone to ask questions of when mine gives me headaches.

tacocat  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That would be Link's sword in the middle. I know the curiosity was killing you

kleinbl00  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hers isn't exactly that. I'm not so out of touch that I don't recognize a triforce when I see one.

veen  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe it's Doctor Who's Sonic Screwdriver? Seems like Lotr/Who/Potter hits the Tumblr trifecta.

kleinbl00  ·  820 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What's important is I give zero fucks. The symbol is basically merchandising/merchandising/merchandising/merchandising/merchandising and from a cultural perspective, it basically says "I will consume everything you're selling me."

Back in the day we drew band logos on our Trapper Keepers. If you could draw/could recognize the Sepultura logo, you were a member of a secret society the same as any fuckin' shriner. Now? Now we're playing logo bingo and pretending it's culture.