Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Are Geeks Countercultural?

It's hard to be a real geek these days.

Online gaming is almost mainstream; everyone is hooking up through MySpace or some other similar website; collaborative sites like Flickr abound; everyone has email.

Even geek fashion is everywhere - between the 70's revival and Napolean Dynamite, plaid is scarce.

During the dot-com boom, computer people were trendy and popular, and everyone wanted to be a webmaster. We're still in the halo from that time.

So geek culture is slowly inching its way into the mainstream, but from a flanking angle.

We're not yet totally accepted, but we're no longer pariahs. The schoolkids are still vulnerable to Lord Of The Flies scenarios, but less so after Columbine.

The downside is that with this explosion of mainline geekiness there is a greater capability for the less-geeky to better harass those they dislike. Online bullying is almost trivially easy, and the posting of embarassing photos to websites can draw volumes of ridicule from across the nation.

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