Monday 7 June 2010

Nerd Vs Geek a Taxonomy

Twas only last weekend when thwe Arch Bishopess of ITIL Ms Eileen Fitzgerald and her chums Clara and Máireád plodded 22 miles around the north coast of Northern Ireland. Many and various were the topics we covered in those miles. One of said topics was the great Geek Vs Nerd debate. Both Clara and Máireád mistakening thought that Eileen and I were nerds ... OH how we laughed at that one.

Eileen deffered to my age, experience and abilty to gesticulate in 6 languges only 2 of them human. When I had completed my explanation of the difference tween "The Nerd" and "The Geek" she implored me to write it down as the insights I managed to impart were largely unknown by the general population.

Firstly the Phyllology :

"Geek" is from the dutch "gek" which means Crazy, which indeed a lot of Geeks are.

"Nerd" is from Medieval Latinate "Nerdicticus" meaning spotty oik with a lot of different coloured quills

From a taxanomic point of view, Nerds are a sub species of Geek as you can see below

"Heavens to Betsy!" , I hear you cry "The scales are falling from eyes"

But caution and common sense must prevail for all is not as clear as it may seem in the world of pie charts and bar graphs. Teams of undercover antropologists from the University of Milton Keynes have , at great personal cost, spent the last 20 years inveagling themselves into the natural habitat of the Geek and Nerd.

A little known footnote on this work was noted in "What Do YOU think?" the UK trade journal of counsellors. The bill for helphing the researchers get through PISSED (Post iPad Sensory Stress Erecitle Disorder) could keep the average geek in coffee for 22 years!
Many years of work and peer reviewed sciency shit have shown that a geek is a person who has chosen concentration over conformity; one who pursues technical know how heavily spiced with imagination over mainstream social acceptance. Geeks usually have a strong case of neophilia, (they like new particulary shiney things)

Most male geeks are adept with computers but crap with washing machines and irons however the female geek is generally good with both. Most geeks can spell properly but chose not to, preferring the patois of the keyboard and the effusive melodrama of the emoticon.

A recent repeat of the classic 1987 experiement by Ross, McKenzie and Privett "Geekosity: flow charts and DTDs" proved once and for all the skewed nature of the Geek's ability to prioritise simple tasks.

Take 100 geeks an place in a hot, airless office with a difficult technical problem
Buy 100 iPads
After 10 hours let the geeks out and give them the following options
1. Have a shower and something to eat
2. Have an evening of gratuitious abandon with the partner of their choice
3. Play with the iPad

The results speak for themselves!

Nerds on the other hand, exhibit all of the above characteristics but have few extra phenotypic markers worthy of note. They keep their pens in a pocket proctector ordered alphabetically by colour. Levels of OCD are higher amongst the nerdish geeks, either compulsive tidiness offset by unreadable code or a complete tip of a work desk with really well laid out code is common. The soft very pale belly skin of both the female or male nerd will almost never have seen daylight and is reputed to be translucent. (The rarer ginger nerd's is both translucent and covered in freckles is a much sought after in the illegal skin graft black market)

Unlike their more socially adept Geek cousins, Nerds are inclined towards taciturnity everywhere but their Blogs, Facebook and Twitter streams. This lack of small talk builds up and up and up an up until at least once a year driven by an urge as old as time, Nerds and Geeks head for a "CON" This could be a TrekCon, a ComicCon or a User Group convocation. The little known Turing Gland swells as these functions approach and secretes a heady cocktail of endorphins, caffine and doughnuts directly into the blood stream. Like salmon the geeks and nerds will gather for a few days, perhaps a week and in a bachanialian orgy of excess expend all the pent up normality they have accrued through the previous months ... at the end of the "CON" period the Geeks and especially the Nerds will lie, gasping and spent on hotel recpetion sofas, easy prey for passing bears.

So the next time you pass a Geek or the more secretive Nerd, be nice to them .. they have had a hard life.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Offical Minutes of ILUG2010 Committee Meeting

This evening just after 10:30pm i heard my PC give the "Boink! you Have New Mail" noise and surprise surprise it was the minutes of the most recent ILUG meeting. Since they were silly enough to send me a copy I publish it here in a spirit of openness - I have redacted the names to protect the guilty.

Title: ILUG 2010 Committee meeting minutes 

Status: ** Top Secret ** Eyes Only
Date: Tuesday 1st June 2010, 21:00 hrs BST
Location: Various
.o0 ---------------------------------------------0o.
The chairperson having set in place the Rhombic Dodecahredal Encryption protocols called the meeting to order. However the rest of those present had forgotten that the meeting was meant to be top secret and as a result were treated to a what sounded like a chipmunk singing "Nessum Dorma" recorded after a big sniff of helium and played backwards in a tin box underwater in the sink of a caravan that was falling into a very deep well. The quorum of committee members scattered electronically to the 16 corners of the skypeverse agreed that this sounded perfectly normal for one so recently nuptualised.

Having sorted out the encryption to the satisfaction of the Senior Administration Mistress, iPad goddess and official dancing queen, normality was resumed and a roll call was taken. As it was an Irish LUG meeting this was done in Gaelic. ******* had primed ******* the English speaking xPages guru rather inappropriately and his innocent exclamation of "YES! my underpants are full of eels! Pass me a repeat control Vicar this one is spilt" elicited much teenage giggling from ********* and ****. The perpetrators were soundly told off by ****** **********.

Since a quorum had been reached the meeting was called to order.
This failed to happen as quickly as it usually would. A Bacardi Fueled Choir of Lego MiniFigs appeared to be doing something they REALLY enjoyed under a table but within reach of a microphone, however this delayed the meeting only moments.

The first order of business was audience participation. It was suggested that after "that" incident at UKLUG 2009 extra help should be sought in case someone got a body part stuck in a kettle spout again. It was suggested that ********** approach the usual emmergency provider who would at least know the name of a plumber with Xtreme ironing skills.

The next order of business was the fact that this years venue had heard of the problem when ******* presented at UKLUG and it was agreed by unanimous vote that should ********* present this year that the audience be supplied with adult nappies (or Diapers for visiting Americans)in the event bag. This, it is hoped, will lessen the chance of a recurrence of damp seat syndrome

It was agreed by a vote of 4 to 3 that a Fourth strand be added to the main 3. This would be the "Unlikely to attract a big crowd" strand. A review of the floor plan lead to the discovery of the perfect venue! It was therefore agreed that this strand would be held in the 4th cubicle from the right in the gents toilet. ******** had for some reason pictures of this convenient convenience (the reason for this was felt by the rest of the committee to be an avenue of enquiry best left well alone)

Next the thorny issue of session selection was discussed at some length. Eventually it was decided that the fairest way was to employ Colin the ILUG male chicken. ********** would print off the session abstracts and leave them on the floor of Colin's pen, those that he shitted upon would be accepted those he did not would be rejected. This would be henceforth knows as "The Cock Selection Process"

******* brought up the issue of uniform, he stated that he and *********** would NOT be wearing sponsored Mankinis this year unless ILUG paid for the full body wax which he maintains is not tax deductible as a business expense, even if his attachments were visibly smaller because of it.

The floor was opened for any other business and ******** who had been silent all evening raised his hand up. ********** was not impressed and asked ********* to remove his hand at once ********* apologised profusely explaining he really only wanted to be excused.

The next meeting is scheduled for last Friday when ********** will come and show us how to use the Calendar function in Notes.

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe