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Thread: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

  1. #1
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    Red face The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    I was reading an article today in the Sunday Times (blah) about the rise of women on the internet, and it mentioned that net users and tech savvy people are beginning to lose their stereotype of a pasty-faced guy with glasses (*cough* my avatar *cough*) and instead apply to anyone. It also mentioned that even though there are more women using the web (specifically social networking and blogging sites), the people who build the sites and write software are predominantly men.

    So, here's a completely flexible "mini survey" about the stereotype of being a "geek" or not. You can answer any of these questions - you don't need to answer all of them if you don't want to.

    EDIT: Definitions of a "geek" (specific to computers) according to Wikipedia:

    A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. This definition is very broad but because many of these interests have mainstream endorsement and acceptance, the inclusion of some genres as "geeky" is heavily debated. Persons have been labelled as or chosen to identify as mathematics geeks, engineering geeks, sci-fi geeks, computer geeks, various science geeks, movie and film geeks (cinephile), comic book geeks, theatre geeks, history geeks, gamer geeks, music geeks, art geeks, philosophy geeks, literature geeks, and roleplay geeks.
    A person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media. Most geeks are adept with computers, and treat the term hacker as a term of respect, but not all are hackers themselves.
    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?
    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    Last edited by Mazza558; March 9th, 2008 at 02:33 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Yes, but I hope to become geekier.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Minority
    5. No
    6. Yes
    7. Double plus yes
    8. Only One

  3. #3
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?
    Most definitely, yes.

    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    Yes.

    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    Kind of. I don't live with my parents, so I'm no longer their main tech guy. And my friends are either tech savvy enough to fix their own problems, or they know someone (other than me) that they can ask.

    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    Hmm. They do fit the profile in that most of them are what I suppose you could call outsiders, but they're not really geeks. I'm probably the only real geek among us.

    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    No, but I think the idea of what people perceive as geeky is changing. Suddenly it has become kind of a fad to be a "geek". And everyone who has ever read a comic book, or knows how to use the extremely non-geeky <FONT>-tag are calling themselves geeks.

    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    Not really. I have pale skin and I'm pretty skinny, but those are really the only characteristics of a geek that apply to me.

    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    No, not really. Most people don't know what Linux is, and if I were to tell them, they'd just go "oh, that's nice".

    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?

    I try not to talk about it all that much. My friends are really not the Linux types (except one, and he's the one that converted me), and I know that if I introduced my family to it, I'd have to be their main tech guy again.

    EDIT: XD A minute after posting this, a friend of mine says to me over MSN "Haha, I'm such a nerd! I just bought a webcam! How geeky am I?"
    Last edited by Nevon; March 9th, 2008 at 02:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do you think you are a "geek"?
    I guess so...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do your friends / family think so?
    Probably
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    Yes, although I tend to delegate Windows jobs to my brother
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    A minority (although a fairly large minority)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    Well, that's what the Sunday Times says, so it must be true
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    Possibly, depends how 'geeky' they are. If they're wearing a "I will not fix your computer" T-Shirt
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    Meh, depends. For me it does because I spend my whole day tinkering with it
    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza558 View Post
    Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    Some do - between a third and a half, at a guess.
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  5. #5
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?
    Yes

    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    YES!

    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    Yes, but I only do Linux, Mac (OS X), and BSD. I remember zero common fixes in Windoze because I haven't used it in over six months.

    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    Well, I have a friend who is learning web programming/markup. He wears glasses, but he isn't pasty. He does however spend a lot of time in the basement (but we're 13 and there's a 50-inch TV with a Wii down there, so that's excusable). I have one more friend who wants so badly to be a Linux nerd but his dad has a massive dam full of FUD so he's stuck with Windoze. My other friends aren't very technical and I'm cool with that. Makes me feel smarter around computers.

    I myself don't much fit the stereotype. I am a pale-ish white guy but that's it. I'm a kid (to some, TECHNICALLY a teenager) who skateboards, plays trumpet and guitar, and happens to enjoy nerdy stuff too.

    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    Yes, because the stereotype was wrong to begin with.

    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    No, unless they're like me and have shirts with Tux on them.

    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    No, I just feel I learn more using it and I feel more secure online with it.

    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    My mom is an averager (does it email and browse? okay it's good), my dad worked with computers since the days when you splurged to get 10k of RAM (which he did) and you loaded your homemade programs in on a precise volume on a tape. He finds it absolutely amazing.

    My friends...well, one of them has simply seen IceWM and thought it was awesome. Wait till I show him KDE4 and Compiz! (He has an awfully high-powered laptop.) I might just convert his whole family and subsequently many people in Chattanooga or Knoxville. This family publishes a free magazine (Natural Awakenings TN - the site runs on Python, Zope, Plone, on Apache running on BSD) and if they happened to recommend Linux...dang!


    So, those are my answers.
    Last edited by sajro; March 9th, 2008 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?
    Not really.

    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    No.

    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    Usually. I charge people nowadays.

    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    I have so many. A few are geeks, some are more geeky than me. I guess very few of them fit the sterotype. Maybe only 3-4. More of them are geeks than fit the stereotype.

    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    I think so. From being the weird nerd in grad school, high school and college I'm now a cool guy because I can do things they can't.

    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    Not anymore. We look like everybody else.

    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    Surprisingly many of my friends have an idea of what linux is

    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    They very much do. Some of them want it, they all like to use my computer(s) and they are almost all curious. It helps to show off stuff like compiz and blueproximity
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    Post Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?

    According to the posted definition, yes, but only because of the 'mainstream' part.

    2. Do your friends / family think so?

    I don't know if geek is exactly the right word... I defy being categorized... anyone that knows me will appreciate that.

    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?

    Definitely. I have fun with it, though. Lots of opportunities to learn.

    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?

    No... few of my friends share my enjoyment of computers.

    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?

    They are now- the new 'cool.'

    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?

    Not really, but maybe if you know what to look for, I think the geek stereotype has shifted.

    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?

    Nah, baby, I'm a trendsetter.

    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?

    No. Absolutely not.

  8. #8
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a geek?
    Sometimes, but postmodernity makes static definitions of identity tough to fully achieve.

    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    I'm not sure. They probably do sometimes, but I've never asked.

    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    A friend of mine once became confused as to why my desktop looked so unlike his Windows laptop's. Upon explaining that it was, in fact, not Windows, he told me that I was "such an eccentric."

    Here's eccentricity as defined on Wikipedia.
    In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive. Eccentricity is contrasted with "normal" behavior, the nearly universal means by which individuals in society solve given problems and pursue certain priorities in everyday life. For people who consistently display benignly eccentric behavior, there is a label: "eccentrics".
    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    Only those who are actively interested in it, as far as I know.

  9. #9
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    1. Do you think you are a "geek"?
    Yes
    2. Do your friends / family think so?
    Yes
    3. Do you act as the "computer repair man/woman" of the family / friendship group?
    Yes
    4. In terms of friends, do the majority fit the "geek" stereotype, or are you the only one or a minority?
    Yup they're all geeks in their own fields
    5. Do you think tech-savvy people are losing their stereotypes?
    Yes, with all the jobs out there now that demand tech-savvy people, it is now alot cooler to be a geek.
    6. Do you think it's easy to spot a "geeky" person if you're walking down a street?
    Yes, my geeky-sense tingles.
    7. If you answered "yes" to the first or second question, do you think using Linux makes you seem "geekier"?
    Oh ya, by far!
    8. Do your friends / family find Linux interesting?
    Yup especially my old man. He's a programmer that is stuck using windows at work and he started taking notic to Linux after I showed it to him.

  10. #10
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    Re: The "Geek" Survey - Stereotypes

    @ the OP

    As Im sure you know the sunday times is written by people who dont have a clue about the subjects they are writing about. I read that article today too (we get the sunday times in the place I work) and it is typical of the kind of crap they always write.
    Just like the articles they write about computers using linux (see any eee review in any paper) that claims linux is only for low end / old machines, etc.
    The writers in the sunday times call crackers hackers, have only the most shallow/basic/surface knowledge of what they are talking about (in most subject areas not just tech) and just to set their stupidity in stone they write asif they speak the absolute truth about everything.
    Girls on the internet wooooooo thrilling and newsworthy, yeah right, they fill a large section of the page with that crap and other (world news) only gets a few square inches. Bah.
    The main papers are a joke.
    Not quite sure where this rant is going but Im at work with only that terrible rag and a narrow net connection to keep me sane.

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