Geek History Month

Website Asylum.com wrote yesterday that August should be Geek History Month, a time to examine the history in all things geek. It’s not a website that I have any experience with: the brief announcement that they made had been retweeted from their own feed by several of the people that I follow, and it seems like a good idea.

Geek things seem to be on the rise, from the movies and books that have become increasingly popular with mainstream audiences to the President of the United States dropping in references to photo ops and speeches. Reading over the news every day, I feel like I am reading stories of advances, events and situations that can only exist in a science fictional universe, and it seems that a dedicated month (while somewhat silly) looking over some of the people, events and works that have created the world that we live in a good thing, and a good excuse to write about it.

A society where geeks, and more importantly, their passion for knowledge, science, literature and technology, are valued is something to be treasured indeed. A love for knowledge is something that drives people to achieve great things. In the past century, there has been a remarkable boom in technology, science, and literature that has completely redefined our understanding of the universe, and our very existence.

Earlier last month, I brought along my iPad to my grandmother, as I’d loaded some pictures from my Brother’s wedding onto it, and wanted to demonstrate what it would do, as she had been talking about some alternatives to her current internet system, WebTV, which has become increasingly outdated. When I left, I remembered that she had been born in the 1930s, when radio reigned supreme for the public, and since that time, she has seen much in the way of technology, from the first atomic bombs to the first men into space and onto the moon, from when computers once filled a room, to ones that could fit into one’s hands and from the first films on the silver screen to the digital theaters’ ability to bring just about anything to life.

Looking back at the history of the twentieth century, it seems that much of what has happened over that time is the product of advancements of knowledge, and the people who pursued knowledge, took risks, and sought to entertain, and along the way, defined our nation, and our world, by their actions. It’s entirely appropriate that these achievements be looked back upon, as everything that has happened in the past has influenced the present and beyond, creating the geeks of today.

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5 thoughts on “Geek History Month

    • Examples are generally pretty good, although I’m not planning on defining it with the series of posts that I have planned. Benjamin Nugent’s book, American Nerd, has a pretty good definition that I tend to work with.

  1. Okay, I have read the above post. It bothers me that the social implications and meanings are dismissed with a parenthetical aside, since my first exposure to the word nerd had a very negative meaning, and geek originally meant something pretty negative too, a sort of 1940s sideshow freak concept. Sure, meaning change (gay is a good example) but there are plenty of other terms which work perfectly well, such as fan, buff or aficionado. Okay, now I’m just griping about words, and I get that it’s not the point. I just wish someone would come up with a word without the (originally) negative coloring. ** sigh **

    • I have absolutely no issue with the word ‘Geek’ – I’m a self-described one, and while there’s similar words, they don’t carry the same connotations for *me*.

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