There's definitely been a change in attitudes toward science over the past several decades, bobjengr. When I researched a recent story called, "18 People You Didn't Know Were Engineers," I was amazed to see how many Americans were educated in the sciences back in the 1940s and '50s. Somewhere along the line, that went away. Science and engineering became uncool.
Geeks are those who embrace the lifestyle of the tech-savvy. Rarely do I see these people as outcasts. Many are often quite social, with a lot of friends and social networks. However, sometimes these geeks lack the apt skills their moniker stands for, that's a shame.
Geek is now mainstream... So, no longer synonymous with a nerd. Will.i.am is a "geek" now too...
So, let's define...
Geek = embracing the tech-savvy lifestyle, perceived tech skill, social
Nerd = complete tech skill, lacking some social skill, makes up for it as a useful tool
Great post AND we do rule the world. (The world just doesn't know it.) I have three beautiful granddaughters, 21, 19 and 5 years old. Our two oldest are enrolled at one of the very best universities in the country. The oldest is a biology major hoping to enter med school after her undergraduate studies are completed. I overheard the 19 year old tell her sister, and I quote, "For God's sake don't tell your new boyfriend you are a biology major he'll dump you. They don't like smart girls." As a nation, we don't like smart people---period. Ever watch late-night TV? Even the news is no longer news but merely entertainment. OK--how about Congress? Folks like us really enjoy knowing how things work, discussing ideas, kicking the tires. Eleanor Roosevelt said, and I quote, "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people." We could, once again, be a nation of ideas but I suppose that would take too much effort and might not be PC. Just a thought.
I thought of this story while listening to CBS News this morning. On the Osgood File, they interviewed an evolutionary biologist from Yale, who suggested that the person who can manage all the machines around us may have an evolutionary advantage. So there you have it: Survival of the fittest will favor engineers. See link ("Where Evolution May Take Our Descendants").
And - not sure if this is good or bad, but I noticed that in true geek fashion, the commentary for this video was clearly an exercise in reading - perhaps off the same computer screen that was capturing the video? (OK - I say this as a compliment in the world of geekdom...)
The meaning of words - in a "living" language - are in constant state of flux. It is amazing we can communicate at all.
Geek? I quickly found this on the web....
The first documented case of "geek" dates all the way back to 1916. At the time, the term was used to describe sideshow freaks in circuses. Specifically, it was typically attributed to those circus performers who were known for doing crazy things like biting the heads of various small live animals or eating live insects and the like. These performances were often called "geek shows". The word itself, "geek", came from the word "geck", which was originally a Low German word which meant someone who is a "fool/freak/simpleton".
If asked the meaning of "geek" in 1970.. 1990.. 2010? each would have their own twist on the same word.
I am weird in my own way...
Any single label used to explain or define me, I would find offensive.