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.