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The idea of geeks being marginalized

UniqueSnowflakeUniqueSnowflake Registered User
edited April 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
What does everyone here think of the idea that geeks are marginalized/oppressed in society?

Inspired by this: www.succeedsocially.com/marginalized - which lists a bunch of indicators a group is marginalized (e.g., references to being in the closet, pride movement, trying to reclaim words) and then concludes geeks fit the bill.

My own opinion is that I technically agree that geeks are marginalized, but I can't exactly get riled up about it either. My life isn't really that bad day to day. I've met lots of other geeky people who are super bitter about it though...

UniqueSnowflake on
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Posts

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I never understand why people try to sum up their entire personality with one word.

    For example, I hate it when people say something like:

    "I'm Joe and I'm a Christian.", and leave it at that.

    I mean, WTF does that mean? Explain to me why it's important enough that you had to bring it up to my attention. Also, is that all there is to you? Just a word that has been changed so often that it's now effectively meaningless?

    Casually Hardcore on
  • HonkHonk Honk is this poster. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't think Geek is a valid group to be honest. Bro's can be Geeks. The president might be a Geek.

    I attend a technical college and the majority of students are geeks, then they graduate and become the highest paid working group in the country.

    Honk on
    PSN: Honkalot
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    Geeks are "marginalized" in the same sense that any other non-popular subgroup of kids are marginalized in high-school. If someone is trying to equate being a "geek" (however you define that) with being gay or a racial minority, that person is a damned fool.

    ElJeffe on
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  • TehSpectreTehSpectre @PixelateJake on TwitterRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Deleted my post to just agree with ElJeffe.

    TehSpectre on
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  • Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm going to pull out a quote by someone on these forums when we were going over the Dickwolves thing--

    "As a group, nerds (particularly older nerds) should understand how it feels to be shamed, to be made unwelcome, and to have a safe inclusive space to be ourselves. But we’re not so good at making non-straight white male nerds feel included. Sexist jokes, gay jokes, racist jokes, and of course rape jokes all conspire to produce a pretty coherent message that nerd stuff is a hobby for white straight males."

    I'll take the idea of nerds being marginalized seriously when they realize that larger context that this marginalization occurs in.
    Also when nerds realize that past a certain point that marginalization has less to do with every other human being and more to do with things going on with them.

    Ethan Smith on
    I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks..
  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The worst thing that could happen to nerds, geeks, freaks and dorks is some sort of awareness program or some outsider wringing their hands trying to figure out how they can help out.

    Highschool is the only thing that be really bad. Most other parts of society are pretty accepting.

    And the internet is our homeland. We're the boss here.

    Loklar on
  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Being "geeky" is pretty mainstream now, at least compared to the mid-late 80's. I've been out of grade school too long to comment, but after high school few people give you flak for being able to quote the Similarion instead of the bible/sports scores/etc.

    Caveman Paws on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    And high-school is generally terrible for almost everyone in some respect, including most of the popular kids.

    But the biggest tip-off here should be that some are trying to equate something a person likes to do with a fundamental aspect of who someone is. You can grow out of gaming. You can opt to give it up for whatever reasons. You can't grow out of gay.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    gay4jesus.jpg
    edit: Stop starring at my puppy so creepy like Jesus.

    Caveman Paws on
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    And high-school is generally terrible for almost everyone in some respect, including most of the popular kids.

    But the biggest tip-off here should be that some are trying to equate something a person likes to do with a fundamental aspect of who someone is. You can grow out of gaming. You can opt to give it up for whatever reasons. You can't grow out of gay.

    While I find it hard to get on the "geeks are oppressed" bandwagon, the author of the linked article is at least self-aware enough to try and at least make an effort towards avoid claiming that "geeks" are oppressed in the same way as the gays:
    The first (complaint) is that it's petty, clueless, and offensive for groups like geeks to complain about having it hard in society. Some people would argue it's extremely insulting to truly oppressed groups like racial and sexual minorities when, say, a bunch of upper-middle class white males complain that they sometimes get made fun of for liking anime and computers (not to mention that those computer skills they're carrying around like a cross are probably going to get them good jobs one day).

    I'm not saying for a second that geeks have it as bad as groups that are truly discriminated against. On the other hand, I don't think marginalization is a contest or a zero sum game. No, geek or introverts or whatever are not nearly as oppressed as some groups. However, that doesn't mean they're not marginalized at all. If a group feels it's being treated unfairly it has a right to make those complaints heard.

    And maybe I'm biased here, but to me there's a substantial difference between "geek" and "introvert" when it comes to the concept of social marginalization.

    Lawndart on
  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The first (complaint) is that it's petty, clueless, and offensive for groups like geeks to complain about having it hard in society. Some people would argue it's extremely insulting to truly oppressed groups like racial and sexual minorities when, say, a bunch of upper-middle class white males complain that they sometimes get made fun of for liking anime and computers (not to mention that those computer skills they're carrying around like a cross are probably going to get them good jobs one day).

    I'm not saying for a second that geeks have it as bad as groups that are truly discriminated against. On the other hand, I don't think marginalization is a contest or a zero sum game. No, geek or introverts or whatever are not nearly as oppressed as some groups. However, that doesn't mean they're not marginalized at all. If a group feels it's being treated unfairly it has a right to make those complaints heard.

    And maybe I'm biased here, but to me there's a substantial difference between "geek" and "introvert" when it comes to the concept of social marginalization.

    Yeah pretty much this exactly. What it comes down to is people don't really make fun of someone for liking anime, they make fun of someone for being way too obsessed about it or relating everything they do to anime. It's about how you carry yourself and not what tv shows you watch.

    randombattle on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    Granted, I guess the argument could be stupider.

    I still don't see how you can say geeks are oppressed without defining "geeks" and "oppressed" in totally unrecognizable (and generally useless) manners. Especially in today's climate, where very few people consider strong computer skills to be a negative thing and video games have gone legitimately mainstream. Even things like anime have become generally tolerable, unless you're the sort of person who self-identifies as otaku, in which case you're not so much being marginalized as you are opting to marginalize yourself.

    As you point out, the stigma is not against geeks so much as antisocial introverts, and while there's certainly some overlap between the two, they're in no way the same thing. And antisocial introverts are kind of stigmatized by definition. I mean yes, if you don't know how, or refuse, to interact with others in socially accepted ways, you are not going to be a part of mainstream society. Whoo, insight?

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Essentially, it is better not to think in the group mentality. People just are who they are. You actually run into the opposite of this with "geek" types in the workplace. Programming is a good example. Some will act like if your not a "hardcore" programmer, you should not be programming. I find those kinds of people really obnoxious.

    Krathoon on
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    One of this guy's "proofs" of the marginalization of geeks is that they're subjected to a horrible unfair double standard:
    One double standard that exists today is that if a guy is obsessed with sports and statistics, and has memorized all kinds of totally useless facts about various teams, that's a normal thing to do. If a guy acts the same way, but with Star Trek, he's an unhealthy loser.

    You know what? I'll say it: Star Trek isn't real. It's a show where everything's made up and the numbers don't matter. Nothing is influenced by Star Trek aside from other episodes of Star Trek, and knowing how many photon torpedoes a Bird of Prey can hold is not in any way useful information. In Star Trek, your analysis of anything is futile, because the only thing that's going to happen is whatever the writers say will happen.

    Sports, however, take place in the real world. They are highly popular with a huge number of people, both as a leisure activity and as a form of entertainment. People watch sports, people talk about sports, people spend money on sports. In sports, knowing that Jimmy McButterhands had 712 fumbles last year actually can be useful information: you know that betting on his team to win is probably a bad idea, especially if their starting quarterback is Jimmy's brother, Timmy McButterhands, who got sacked 24 times during his only start last year. In sports, numbers and analysis and probabilities do matter, because of the combination of chance and skill involved in any physical competition: your understanding and appreciation of the game is deepened by a knowledge of a player's or team's statistics, you can recognize how *unusual* it is for a batter to get a hit in his 14th consecutive at-bat.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a huge fucking geek, and big meaty chunks of my brain will forever be clogged with trivia about video games and fantasy novels that I deliberately packed in there even though I knew perfectly well that my safety or physical wellbeing would never depend on being able to remember the stats on the Langseax of the Wolves from EverQuest (19/44, 5str, 5sta). When I play a game like EQ or WoW or TF2 or even freaking Puzzle Quest, I theorycraft, I run the numbers, I familiarize myself with the mechanics and the details. But I do that knowing and accepting that it is a geeky and socially marginal thing to do. I don't think it's explicitly unhealthy, but yeah, it's a purely entertainment-based interest with no real-world applicability and there are relatively few people who follow it, so I fully expect to put up with some shit over it from friends and coworkers who don't share that specific niche interest.

    And, you know, I would expect the same thing if I was heavily into model trains, or 18th century French literature, or female Olympic badminton players, or any other comparatively obscure hobby. Seriously, by this guy's definition, fucking everyone is marginalized and ZOMG OPPRESSED in some way.

    Kate of Lokys on
    I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight [. . .] So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    One double standard that exists today is that if a guy is obsessed with sports and statistics, and has memorized all kinds of totally useless facts about various teams, that's a normal thing to do. If a guy acts the same way, but with Star Trek, he's an unhealthy loser.

    You know what? I'll say it: Star Trek isn't real.

    Sports are real in only a rather attenuated sense; as if this ball going there in that timeframe were some universal human activity which we all identify with by our vary nature, whereas flights of fancy are something else entirely.

    Rather, I'd point out that sports geeks--the type that really memorize rosters, statistics, and etc.--are most certainly not mainstream, and do, in fact, get made fun of.
    ElJeffe wrote:
    I still don't see how you can say geeks are oppressed without defining "geeks" and "oppressed" in totally unrecognizable (and generally useless) manners. Especially in today's climate, where very few people consider strong computer skills to be a negative thing and video games have gone legitimately mainstream.

    Most people I know will like you more if you're into videogames, or math, or whatever stereotypically nerdy concern. I don't live in the deep South, so I have no idea how it goes there, but there are at the very least huge cultural islands where being nerdy is not only a disadvantage, but actually counts as a plus. I had several friends in college whose pants would be around their ankles as soon as the world "WoW" left a boy's lips.

    MrMister on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    And high-school is generally terrible for almost everyone in some respect, including most of the popular kids.

    But the biggest tip-off here should be that some are trying to equate something a person likes to do with a fundamental aspect of who someone is. You can grow out of gaming. You can opt to give it up for whatever reasons. You can't grow out of gay.

    In my experience, anyone who loved highschool is at least a little crazy.

    Anyway, I don't think geeks/nerds are marginalized any more than they choose to be. The lack of social skills and awareness is generally what seems to put people off and after many years of that stereotype being reinforced it's kind of assumed that anyone who identifies as such will also be socially awkward. However, I have yet to see anyone who likes geeky/nerdy stuff marginalized on principle.

    Is it fair that you get pre-judged? No. But it's usually not a good indicator if videogames and comic books are your go-to subjects when you introduce yourself.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Granted, I guess the argument could be stupider.

    I still don't see how you can say geeks are oppressed without defining "geeks" and "oppressed" in totally unrecognizable (and generally useless) manners. Especially in today's climate, where very few people consider strong computer skills to be a negative thing and video games have gone legitimately mainstream. Even things like anime have become generally tolerable, unless you're the sort of person who self-identifies as otaku, in which case you're not so much being marginalized as you are opting to marginalize yourself.

    As you point out, the stigma is not against geeks so much as antisocial introverts, and while there's certainly some overlap between the two, they're in no way the same thing. And antisocial introverts are kind of stigmatized by definition. I mean yes, if you don't know how, or refuse, to interact with others in socially accepted ways, you are not going to be a part of mainstream society. Whoo, insight?

    After high school, geeks are largely as marginally as they choose to be. In "geek culture," at least insomuch as there is one, one of the more popular pursuits seems to be hating anything that's popular. I don't know if it's some backlash against the mainstream that rejected them as kids, or if being into geeky shit really does just make you tend to hate popular things, but that's not exactly the kind of thing that's going to help you integrate into the crowd.

    I mean, I get it. You hate American Idol, you hate most sports, you hate Madden, you hate any TV series that doesn't feature Nathan Fillion, you hate most mainstream music, whatever. Then you wonder why you have a hard time socializing with most people.
    I really hate American Idol, though. Just sayin'.

    mcdermott on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Y'know... labels make things easier, frankly. Everyone is guilty of using them, even if you argue against their use. The only argument I have regarding labels is when you're applying them to others. Labeling yourself, whatever. It allows for convenience to some degree when you're meeting / getting to know people. I generalize myself as a nerd; Star Wars, video games, video game music, not really being outdoorsy - it's all true of me. But I bathe, my clothes don't have cheese-dust on them, and I'm actually social and people tend to want to hear what I have to say (contrary to my forum posts). But all that takes time to explain, so I just leave it at "nerd." I don't complain, and nobody else I know does.

    Henroid on
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Henroid wrote: »
    Y'know... labels make things easier, frankly. Everyone is guilty of using them, even if you argue against their use. The only argument I have regarding labels is when you're applying them to others. Labeling yourself, whatever. It allows for convenience to some degree when you're meeting / getting to know people. I generalize myself as a nerd; Star Wars, video games, video game music, not really being outdoorsy - it's all true of me. But I bathe, my clothes don't have cheese-dust on them, and I'm actually social and people tend to want to hear what I have to say (contrary to my forum posts). But all that takes time to explain, so I just leave it at "nerd." I don't complain, and nobody else I know does.

    Labels make things easier, I suppose, but they are also woefully inaccurate

    I don't fit a label, or labels and frankly very, very few of my friends do.

    plus, I don't like the idea. "That's Zombie, he's a nerd/hippy/manchild." I don't introduce myself as a selection of social categories. I'm me, for all the good and bad that comes with it and I prefer not to be described in one word.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    One of the hard parts is for people like me who don't really fit the label 'geek' but have a hard time identifying as anybody else.

    Nerds were the mathy ones, the math and science wizards who made stats and calc and trig look easy. Geeks were the ones with the computer games, the video games, the roleplaying games.

    I'm not so good with the math, and I haven't really played all that many video games or computer games, although i did roleplay online for a long long time.

    But computers and programming and other 'geek' things to do? I'm fairly useless. Now, you get me into a conversation about Shakespeare's use of sexuality in his tragedy Romeo and Juliet, and I can geek out pretty much. But not many people that I hang out with want to have those conversations.


    So, am I a geek? I don't fit the mold, I can't spout off star trek or star wars (although i have seen all of bsg, buffy, angel, and charmed), but I can go into a detailed discussion about the world and places and people in the Wheel of Time.


    It's so difficult to say 'geeks are marginalized' because the next question is, 'ok, well, which geeks?' The whole concept is not quite well defined at all.

    and I say this as a girl who opted the other night to watch Totoro with english subs in hopes that I could gain some more geek cred (did it work? :P ).

    lonelyahava on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Geeks who think they're marginalised are, mentally, still in high school. Someone really needs to tell them they're free.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The only geeks I've seen be marginalised are the ones who are fucking boring.

    You know, like boring people everywhere - it's not confined to people who like anime or play video games. Maybe if they shut the hell up about [insert their passion here] for five minutes and tried to have a conversation that wasn't centred around them, people wouldn't mind hanging out with them.

    Rhesus Positive on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    On further thought, I find myself mightily offended by the notion of geek marginalisation. Marginalised is when you can't get a job or healthcare because of your neckbeard. Is this the case? No, I rather believe that it is not. Unless you happen to be living on an Indian reservation with a lifespan 20 years behind average and you can't get to a comic book store without hitching a lift for fifty miles, perhaps you should shut up. Think of this as a little addendum to ethan smith's excellently succinct post above.

    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture, because lets face it, these guys aren't complaining about being shunned by the local survivalists or quilters or soccer players. The problem is that they think that that other subculture is the 'real' culture, just because it happens to contain people who get, on average, a lot more media attention. But this is because those people are largely a part of the media. They write the magazines and take the photos and own the clubs. That doesn't make them magically best. And this subset of geeks never seem to see past the glitz to the coke habits, the STIs, the twisted ankles from dancing in platforms, and the credit card debt. When I point that out, I'm not bashing clubbing enthusiasts, just pointing out that almost no-one's life is perfect. You can make your life really miserable by resenting other people for what you think they have, though.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What is a 'geek', anyway? The term is so broadly defined as to be meaningless.

    Also I agree with the Cat.

    Crimson King on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    On further thought, I find myself mightily offended

    this, this I thought was funny

    Anyway, if geeks are 'marginalized,' (the salient question of course being compared to what) they're certainly less marginalized now than they've ever been. And as a subculture, they're trending the right direction.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Granted, I guess the argument could be stupider.

    I still don't see how you can say geeks are oppressed without defining "geeks" and "oppressed" in totally unrecognizable (and generally useless) manners...
    As you point out, the stigma is not against geeks so much as antisocial introverts, and while there's certainly some overlap between the two, they're in no way the same thing. And antisocial introverts are kind of stigmatized by definition. I mean yes, if you don't know how, or refuse, to interact with others in socially accepted ways, you are not going to be a part of mainstream society. Whoo, insight?
    This is pretty much the crux of it. Regardless of your hobbies or lifestyle or job, as long as you are capable of socializing with other human beings none of that shit really matters. Even if you're fanatically obsessed with the animoos and SRPGs and [whatever the fuck the author of that article assumes being a "geek" is about], as long as you're socially aware enough not to open conversations with "Hi I'm Jaef did you see Naruto's awesome magic spell this week?" I don't see how it's even possible to be marginalized as the article approaches it.

    That's not even touching on the rather awful content of the article.

    "Geek" and "Nerd" mean less and less as things like that used to be confined to the realm of the socially awkward introvert become ubiquitous.

    JAEF on
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  • CalixtusCalixtus Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    One of this guy's "proofs" of the marginalization of geeks is that they're subjected to a horrible unfair double standard:
    One double standard that exists today is that if a guy is obsessed with sports and statistics, and has memorized all kinds of totally useless facts about various teams, that's a normal thing to do. If a guy acts the same way, but with Star Trek, he's an unhealthy loser.

    You know what? I'll say it: Star Trek isn't real. It's a show where everything's made up and the numbers don't matter. Nothing is influenced by Star Trek aside from other episodes of Star Trek, and knowing how many photon torpedoes a Bird of Prey can hold is not in any way useful information. In Star Trek, your analysis of anything is futile, because the only thing that's going to happen is whatever the writers say will happen.

    Sports, however, take place in the real world. They are highly popular with a huge number of people, both as a leisure activity and as a form of entertainment. People watch sports, people talk about sports, people spend money on sports. In sports, knowing that Jimmy McButterhands had 712 fumbles last year actually can be useful information: you know that betting on his team to win is probably a bad idea, especially if their starting quarterback is Jimmy's brother, Timmy McButterhands, who got sacked 24 times during his only start last year. In sports, numbers and analysis and probabilities do matter, because of the combination of chance and skill involved in any physical competition: your understanding and appreciation of the game is deepened by a knowledge of a player's or team's statistics, you can recognize how *unusual* it is for a batter to get a hit in his 14th consecutive at-bat.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a huge fucking geek, and big meaty chunks of my brain will forever be clogged with trivia about video games and fantasy novels that I deliberately packed in there even though I knew perfectly well that my safety or physical wellbeing would never depend on being able to remember the stats on the Langseax of the Wolves from EverQuest (19/44, 5str, 5sta). When I play a game like EQ or WoW or TF2 or even freaking Puzzle Quest, I theorycraft, I run the numbers, I familiarize myself with the mechanics and the details. But I do that knowing and accepting that it is a geeky and socially marginal thing to do. I don't think it's explicitly unhealthy, but yeah, it's a purely entertainment-based interest with no real-world applicability and there are relatively few people who follow it, so I fully expect to put up with some shit over it from friends and coworkers who don't share that specific niche interest.

    And, you know, I would expect the same thing if I was heavily into model trains, or 18th century French literature, or female Olympic badminton players, or any other comparatively obscure hobby. Seriously, by this guy's definition, fucking everyone is marginalized and ZOMG OPPRESSED in some way.
    I'm not really tracking. Sports are essentially a form of actor based entertainment that is less scripted than another form of actor based entertainment - like Star Trek. I don't really see how this makes it any more... reall? But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we could switch the example to Starcraft trivia. "e-sports" sounds weird, but hey, it works the same way.

    The socially competent knows when to explode all over her audience with niche-interest trivia, and when to not. Putting some niches above others, well... Maybe some survivalist-junkies who would do better in a zombie apocalypse could be given a free pass, but pure grading pure entertainment along a "reality scale" isn't really accurate. It's more of a sign of social conditioning than anything else.

    That said, The Cat's second paragraph is brilliant. The geeky niche interests might not go that far in TV shows or in the media, but in my daily environment... I don't follow competitive Starcraft more than I follow competetive soccer, but sheer osmosis means I pick up more terms from the former. And these aren't from people who live in their parents basements, nor will they be doing so in a few years time.

    Calixtus on
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  • UniqueSnowflakeUniqueSnowflake Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture

    I think something along similar lines. I think some "geeks" want to do well in certain nightlife/partying cultures mainly because, when it all comes down to it, they want to hook up with the girls in them.

    They'll go to a bar or a frat party or something like that, and they couldn't care less about being accepted by the bros there, but they're normal males who want to hook up the hot club or sorority chicks, just on a purely physical level. But they don't have much luck, and then start thinking, "Okay, how can I fit into this scene better?"

    ---

    Another thing is I think some geeks are still stuck in that high school mentality and they're still reacting to the 'mainstream' that rejected them. They can't let it go and subconsciously they think "If I could just get these types of people to like me, my self-esteem will be whole again" So they try to fit into whatever they see as the cultures of the "cool" or "popular" people.

    But yeah, club culture is pretty warped, and only looks good superficially.

    UniqueSnowflake on
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Geeks may have it bad, but dweebs and spazzes really take the brunt of it.

    No but for real, I think it's pretty silly honestly. In the real world, you make your own barriers. Want to go dancing? Go dancing. Want to play football? Play football. Want to watch Star Trak, go right ahead. Basically, when you don't worry about fitting in, you'll have no problem fitting in. Or something.

    Also the idea of club kids being jealous of the local quilting circle is pretty damn funny :)

    firewaterword on
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  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The author of the article says "even if there's no magic line that distinguishes a geek from a non-geek or an introvert from a non-introvert, I think what's important is that some people who identify themselves as being in these groups feel they have a lower status." He follows this up with a checklist of ways in which a group might be marginalized.

    The whole thing is a self-pity horoscope.

    taoist drunk on
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The whole thing is a self-pity horoscope.

    Seriously though.

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll go and write a blog!:whistle:

    firewaterword on
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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Calixtus wrote: »
    I'm not really tracking. Sports are essentially a form of actor based entertainment that is less scripted than another form of actor based entertainment - like Star Trek. I don't really see how this makes it any more... reall? But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we could switch the example to Starcraft trivia. "e-sports" sounds weird, but hey, it works the same way.

    It isn't that they're more 'real,' it's that the sort of people who call Trekkies 'dorks,' but applaud people for being able to recite the statistics for game 3 of the 1972 World Series, don't care about Star Trek trivia; and those people are in the majority. People who share in-depth knowledge about subjects that the observer finds unfamiliar and uninteresting, if not outright alienating, may not be received very well.

    I know a silly amount about Star Wars because, unlike baseball, it amuses me. People who know an equal amount of baseball trivia might as silly a nerd to me as I may be to them. A third party's determination of "geeky weirdo," it isn't a question of which interest is objectively better, merely which is more popular or which subject the observer is more comfortable with.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Frankly if you've never felt weirded out by somebody who knows waaaay too much about sports, you either 1) know waaaay too much about sports or 2) haven't met enough sports fans. There's probably just as many nerds/geeks/neckbeards/whatever out there who can tell you all about the starting lineup of the 1986 Red Sox as there are that can explain how a warp drive works.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    or do you believe?
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Calixtus wrote: »
    One of this guy's "proofs" of the marginalization of geeks is that they're subjected to a horrible unfair double standard:
    One double standard that exists today is that if a guy is obsessed with sports and statistics, and has memorized all kinds of totally useless facts about various teams, that's a normal thing to do. If a guy acts the same way, but with Star Trek, he's an unhealthy loser.

    You know what? I'll say it: Star Trek isn't real. It's a show where everything's made up and the numbers don't matter. Nothing is influenced by Star Trek aside from other episodes of Star Trek, and knowing how many photon torpedoes a Bird of Prey can hold is not in any way useful information. In Star Trek, your analysis of anything is futile, because the only thing that's going to happen is whatever the writers say will happen.

    Sports, however, take place in the real world. They are highly popular with a huge number of people, both as a leisure activity and as a form of entertainment. People watch sports, people talk about sports, people spend money on sports. In sports, knowing that Jimmy McButterhands had 712 fumbles last year actually can be useful information: you know that betting on his team to win is probably a bad idea, especially if their starting quarterback is Jimmy's brother, Timmy McButterhands, who got sacked 24 times during his only start last year. In sports, numbers and analysis and probabilities do matter, because of the combination of chance and skill involved in any physical competition: your understanding and appreciation of the game is deepened by a knowledge of a player's or team's statistics, you can recognize how *unusual* it is for a batter to get a hit in his 14th consecutive at-bat.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a huge fucking geek, and big meaty chunks of my brain will forever be clogged with trivia about video games and fantasy novels that I deliberately packed in there even though I knew perfectly well that my safety or physical wellbeing would never depend on being able to remember the stats on the Langseax of the Wolves from EverQuest (19/44, 5str, 5sta). When I play a game like EQ or WoW or TF2 or even freaking Puzzle Quest, I theorycraft, I run the numbers, I familiarize myself with the mechanics and the details. But I do that knowing and accepting that it is a geeky and socially marginal thing to do. I don't think it's explicitly unhealthy, but yeah, it's a purely entertainment-based interest with no real-world applicability and there are relatively few people who follow it, so I fully expect to put up with some shit over it from friends and coworkers who don't share that specific niche interest.

    And, you know, I would expect the same thing if I was heavily into model trains, or 18th century French literature, or female Olympic badminton players, or any other comparatively obscure hobby. Seriously, by this guy's definition, fucking everyone is marginalized and ZOMG OPPRESSED in some way.
    I'm not really tracking. Sports are essentially a form of actor based entertainment that is less scripted than another form of actor based entertainment - like Star Trek. I don't really see how this makes it any more... reall? But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we could switch the example to Starcraft trivia. "e-sports" sounds weird, but hey, it works the same way.

    The socially competent knows when to explode all over her audience with niche-interest trivia, and when to not. Putting some niches above others, well... Maybe some survivalist-junkies who would do better in a zombie apocalypse could be given a free pass, but pure grading pure entertainment along a "reality scale" isn't really accurate. It's more of a sign of social conditioning than anything else.

    That said, The Cat's second paragraph is brilliant. The geeky niche interests might not go that far in TV shows or in the media, but in my daily environment... I don't follow competitive Starcraft more than I follow competetive soccer, but sheer osmosis means I pick up more terms from the former. And these aren't from people who live in their parents basements, nor will they be doing so in a few years time.

    Baseball is more 'real' than Star Trek because it follows set rules and the laws of physics rather than shifting attempts to avoid writer's block and the laws of physics as understood by Gene Roddenberry. A Deus ex Machina can't interrupt the playoffs and deliver the Cubs a pennant. Meanwhile Q or Scotty can do practically whatever and then maybe fix it later with a ret-con.

    Not that this really matters in terms of acceptance on the geeky scale. Neither really matters outside of certain contexts and the simple fact that different sports are more popular generally/broadly mentionable than the intricacies of Trek-dom is only relevant inasmuch as recognizing that niches exist and social interactions mean you can't try and shoehorn everything into your own. Even so, this still sort of approaches things from the mindset of a sliding scale of appropriateness rather than a sliding scale of contextually relevant. Which is sort of the major key to all this discussion. Life is about dealing with and enjoying your time with actual people, not attempting to meet some arbitrary ideal as determined by the cool kids or the Jones' or whoever. There are ~7bn people on this planet. If your interests are truly 1 in a million that still means you can hang out with 6,999 others and have fun. Who cares about what Regina George thinks?

    moniker on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    On further thought, I find myself mightily offended by the notion of geek marginalisation. Marginalised is when you can't get a job or healthcare because of your neckbeard. Is this the case? No, I rather believe that it is not. Unless you happen to be living on an Indian reservation with a lifespan 20 years behind average and you can't get to a comic book store without hitching a lift for fifty miles, perhaps you should shut up. Think of this as a little addendum to ethan smith's excellently succinct post above.

    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture, because lets face it, these guys aren't complaining about being shunned by the local survivalists or quilters or soccer players. The problem is that they think that that other subculture is the 'real' culture, just because it happens to contain people who get, on average, a lot more media attention. But this is because those people are largely a part of the media. They write the magazines and take the photos and own the clubs. That doesn't make them magically best. And this subset of geeks never seem to see past the glitz to the coke habits, the STIs, the twisted ankles from dancing in platforms, and the credit card debt. When I point that out, I'm not bashing clubbing enthusiasts, just pointing out that almost no-one's life is perfect. You can make your life really miserable by resenting other people for what you think they have, though.

    This is a really good post. Thank you for making it.

    Godfather on
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  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Godfather wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    On further thought, I find myself mightily offended by the notion of geek marginalisation. Marginalised is when you can't get a job or healthcare because of your neckbeard. Is this the case? No, I rather believe that it is not. Unless you happen to be living on an Indian reservation with a lifespan 20 years behind average and you can't get to a comic book store without hitching a lift for fifty miles, perhaps you should shut up. Think of this as a little addendum to ethan smith's excellently succinct post above.

    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture, because lets face it, these guys aren't complaining about being shunned by the local survivalists or quilters or soccer players. The problem is that they think that that other subculture is the 'real' culture, just because it happens to contain people who get, on average, a lot more media attention. But this is because those people are largely a part of the media. They write the magazines and take the photos and own the clubs. That doesn't make them magically best. And this subset of geeks never seem to see past the glitz to the coke habits, the STIs, the twisted ankles from dancing in platforms, and the credit card debt. When I point that out, I'm not bashing clubbing enthusiasts, just pointing out that almost no-one's life is perfect. You can make your life really miserable by resenting other people for what you think they have, though.

    This is a really good post. Thank you for making it.

    I'm not offended but fantastic post. Your whole second paragraph is brilliant.

    OTOH, I've seen instances of "marginalization" that made me uncomfortable. I remember a group of friends of mine making fun of a kid who played WoW because of his hobby. It made me unwilling to open up to those people about my own nerdy hobbies because of how cruel they were to this one kid.

    valiance on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Interesting site. I would say that yes, in some ways, "geeks" are marginalized, but that to compare that type of marginalization to that suffered on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion would be like comparing a paper cut to a sucking chest wound.

    I think the Cat is spot on in that those geeks who feel marginalized are those who feel like they are somehow being excluded from the "mainstream" culture that they don't understand or feel comfortable operating in. Introversion, rather than geekdom is probably a more worthwhile thing to look at in terms of marginalization, the two categories overlap but they certainly are not the same thing.

    Over all though, that site has some pretty good advice for people who may have those feelings and how to deal with them. I could probably have used some of that advice as a teenager, so I won't condemn the author too harshly.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    What a certain subset of geeks actually seem to be bemoaning is their desire to be part of a different subculture, one they can't pass in. My observations suggest that this is often Nightclub Culture

    I think something along similar lines. I think some "geeks" want to do well in certain nightlife/partying cultures mainly because, when it all comes down to it, they want to hook up with the girls in them.
    And this has led to a very unfortunate industry: the so-called Pickup Artists who run seminars where they teach guys how to get girls at clubs and bars to go home with them.

    There was a story a while back about a local DC-area guy who holds seminars to teach guys how to score with women. The advice is pretty horrifying and focuses mostly on targeting a woman's low self-esteem issues to the point where she'll have sex with you to get your approval. It was really sad that geeky guys might end up listening to a dude like that in their quest to get laid.

    Modern Man on
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think something along similar lines. I think some "geeks" want to do well in certain nightlife/partying cultures mainly because, when it all comes down to it, they want to hook up with the girls in them.

    And I'd attribute this, at least partially, to some of the mixed messages men receive about sex and dating.

    Anyway, regarding the OP, I've been in working environments where I felt uncomfortable talking about geeky topics. If I'm on a conference call on Tuesday morning, and I spent last night doing a raid in World of Warcraft while all of the management/executive-level people are talking about last night's Monday Night Football game, I definitely feel like an outsider. Those are pretty rare, though, and I think that calling that "marginalization" is an exaggeration. I feel far, far more pressure to hide my relationship choices than to hide my video game habit.

    It might be different if I didn't live where I live. With the possible exception of Seattle, I live in arguably the highest nerds-per-capita region in the US.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think self professed geeks often self-segregate and cut themselves off from aspects of life they don't understand or see the value in. It is like they are climbing inside that stereotype and sealing themselves inside.

    It just saddens me to see people lock themselves into "my only hobbies are video games, comic books, and D&D" and feel like they can't do physical activities or be in to more mainstream stuff. It is such an unfortunate high school kind of mentality.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
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