“You should download Firefox 3.“
“Because it’s better than Internet Explorer.”
As a geek, I usually sit on that bleeding edge of knowledge and technology, living my life in my own eccentric world every geek shares. The problem often comes when we have to step over that gaping chasm that divides the non-geek and us and walk into the real world. This act is dangerous, often forcing the geek to come running back into his own world in disappointment, cynicism and frustration. But this is important in many ways, as it forces us to acknowledge that there is in fact another world out there and it’s populated largely by non-geeks who use their mobile phones as just a phone and their computer to read their emails once in a blue moon.
Geeks often forget that the rest of the world doesn’t want or need, let alone understand why you should get programs that can read your mind as your type or phones that are high-tech enough to email videos of your genitals. Non-geeks are simple people. They live in a world revolves for as long as nothing stops it from revolving. They don’t need to fix things that don’t need fixing. They don’t need to know things that aren’t part of their routine lives. They don’t find humour in trying to square root a negative fraction of love.
We often try and press the issue to non-geeks that things like Firefox or Linux is better because it’s so much more secure and stable than Internet Explorer and Windows, we end up buying that load of bullshit for ourselves, never admitting that the real reason why we use such things in the first place isn’t because of all that marketing crap. The reason we started using them in the first place and kept on using them was because it was so much fun for us to play around with it. The geek world is populated not by abstracts of functionality and practicality, it’s populated by whether it can turn us into 8 year olds again just by messing around with or not.
In a way, that is scary to have a technological future be determined by whether or not a geek can squeal in kiddish glee. But to live as geeks on that edge, there is no greater pleasure that comes from it, regardless of its outcome in the real world. These days though, I tend to think that as geeks promoting new technology to the masses, we have forgotten to have fun. It’s no longer about whether it’s good or bad, it just matters that the rest of the normal public swallows it. That gaping chasm separates geeks and non-geeks is quickly being filled up with a seriousness that stops us from having fun. Stops us from feeling like we’re kids in a brand new world.
Well I’m not going to let that happen, at least not where I’m standing. I don’t have to explain to you why you should get a brand new browser if your old one works perfectly for you. I don’t have to explain to you why I think Doctor Who is perhaps the greatest science-fiction story of all time when you think your Grey’s Anatomy is awesome. I don’t have to explain to you why you should get a new phone or a new laptop unless the ones you have are beyond salvage.
All I am going to do is help you continue your routine life around the sun with as little interruptions as possible. All I am going to do is fix the things that are broke for you and explain the things that you need to know to get your work done. All I’m going to do is to let you enjoy your world so you’ll let me enjoy mine. I don’t want to have to start using all the marketing jargon to explain why my latest and greatest is better than what you’re using because I’m too embarrassed to casually remark and then explain that it’s simply because I like to play with it.
I like geeking out too much to ruin it with the cynicism and the wannabe seriousness of that side of the world so I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can; wearing my shoulder holster that’s packing gadgets, under my lab coat, in front of a 21-inch monitor, that’s connected to an automated fluorescent microscope. Pure awesomeness if you appreciate these sorts of things.