May 25 – Proud and Loud

Today’s Factismal: Today is Geek Pride Day – let your geek flag fly!

For many who were teenagers in 1977, one event shaped the rest of their year: the release of Star Wars. The movie radically reshaped how we thought about science fiction and the future (which is amusing, considering that the movie took place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”). But it was also reshaped how people thought about geeks, who came out for the movie in droves (well, most of them rode bicycles); for perhaps the first time, ever, being a geek was cool. And through three more movies, a tragically comic holiday special, and thousands upon thousands of conventions, those geeks grew up to become the powerhouse driving the technological changes that have created today’s world.

Though the exhilaration of the Star Wars phenomenon has abated somewhat, the need for geeks has not. Geeks matter because geeks care about the important stuff that other people might miss. Geeks celebrate their knowledge of arcane and weird subjects and relish the minutiae that others might find tedious. And it is that love that makes them the best mathematicians, planetologists, physicians, and technicians that you can find.

But what you may not realize is that you are probably a geek yourself. Can you recite the starting lineup of your football team, along with the quarterback’s throwing stats? Geek! Do you clip coupons and track which store has the best buy on rice? Geek! Have you ever debated the best way to get to work? Geek! Being a geek isn’t about wearing high water pants or glasses; it is about caring. And if you read this blog, then you probably care.

So don’t just sit on the sidelines today and watch the geek parade pass you by. Go out, proudly show your knowledge, and let your geek flag fly!

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