Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Can Haz Geek Pedigree?

Tonight I attended the inaugural Edmonton Girl Geek Dinner. It was a wonderful gathering of like minded women from the Edmonton area and I am very much looking forward to being a part of this new community.

At the dinner we were asked to introduce ourselves and part of that introduction was to describe what makes you a geek. This got me thinking about my geek "credentials" and as I listened to everyone list off theirs I realized, with some shock, that EVERYTHING I do makes me a geek. More so, I've pretty much been a geek forever - even back when it wasn't cool to be one.

I'm not sure if people still hold stereo types of the traditional "geek" but for all intents and purposes I look/act fairly normal (or so I think). So, what makes me a geek under the hood?

1. I love the internet. Twenty years ago I was using the "internet" in the army before it was even the internet. Two years later I was Co-Sysoping a 10 line STS Chat system, using new technology called "dial up" from a computer in my own home - a snazzy new 486 that I don't even want to think about how much I paid for. The internet has come a long way since those times. I grew up in, and live in, the Internet Age.

2. I work in the Technology Industry. I work at a local software company called Yardstick Software Inc. and we offer a proprietary software that allows our business partners to offer training, testing and certification - online, of course. I'm not a programmer but I work with some real uber geeks so that's got to count for extra, or something.

3. I'm a Gamer. I spent many childhood hours in a place called an "arcade" plunking quarters into games like Pac Man and Space Invaders, but my life changed forever around the age of 10 when my Dad brought home our first home game console - the ColecoVision. Sometimes I would wake up in the night actually hearing the sounds of Frogger even though everyone was asleep. By 1985 Nintendo ruled in our house and gaming was an entrenched part of life. I once actually got tendinitis from playing too much Super Mario/Duck Hunt and had to wear a wrist brace for 6 months! I'm nearing 40 (no, not really) and I still game - Diablo2, Civilization, Dragon Age, HALO, etc. I can't imagine a time in life when I won't want to game. Actually I like to imagine a time in life where I am inside the game itself... holodecks, virtual reality, the matrix - here I come!

4. I love all things SPACE. From the first time I stayed up all night just to watch the stars move across the sky, to the first planet I ever saw, the first time the Space Shuttle flew over me to actually knowing someone who was on the International Space Station... my dreams have always been somewhere in outer space. When I was a child I wanted to be an astronaut more than anything else and even though today that is highly unlikely I now live in an age where space is perhaps more accessible to me than it ever could have been then. If I wanted I could even be buried in space!

5. I love technology and the gadgets that come with it. I remember taking a course 20 years ago to learn something called DOS so that I could use the new "laptop" computer we had in the army. While I was fairly impressed with that piece of kit back in the late 80's/early 90's I still would not have guessed (and if you had told me I probably wouldn't have believed you) that I would one day carry around a small tablet like device that could access the entire world via the internet, satellite and telecommunication systems - in my pocket. Today I can't imagine not using a tool like my iPhone.

6. I love the geekdom of popular culture. Before I was even 7 years old there was Star Wars, Battle Star Galactica and then Star Trek to cement a life long obsession with Science Fiction (I recall having quite the crush on Starbuck - then fast forward to 2004 to find I once again had a crush on Starbuck). I later developed a love affair with fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter), anything that offered some form of societal critique and the the early internet meme's like HI BINGO, All Your Base, Weeeee and Badger, Badger).

7. I live in a Social Media world. Given my relationship with the internet, online social networking makes a lot of sense to me and my web presence grows accordingly: I've been blogging since 2003; Flickring since 2003; Facebooking since 2005; Twittering since 2007; and, starting this year trading on Empire Avenue. I have, and will continue to, used social media to meet people in places I travel too and to converse with celebrities whom I previously would not have had access too.

8. I have Geeky hobbies and interests. This is where it is hard to nail everything down. I collect things (like hockey and Pokemon cards, rocks and shells); I love firearms, explosions, jet fighter planes and am awed by weapons technology; I appreciate a good car (a Lamborghini will make my heart skip); I am interested in both politics and religion and LOVE to mix them whenever I get the chance; I adore "end time prophecy" and know more ways for the world to "end" than most people dream up in their nightmares; I am fascinated by things like UFO's, crop circles, ghosts, theoretical physics and afterlife studies. Oh, and Terry David Mulligan signed my grade 12 yearbook at my graduation. Now that's geeky.

Technology is propelling us into the future by leaps and bounds but to me it seems like a logical flow. The events of my grandfather's lifetime must have seemed more abrupt - he went from horse and buggy to man on the moon, what a whirlwind of excitement that must have been. I'm not sure I can imagine the kind of world my children will raise their families in but I sure am game to get my geek on!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha!You sound like me.I got my video system at about 11 years old.It was intellivision and Atari.I remember my folks saying that playing games all day wont get you anywhere.Now 25 years later what was that Ma?LOL!
Space sci fi is my mainstay interest.Its human destiny to reach for the unknown be it the stars or multi dimensional travel.One can always dream!