For a very long time, I’ve been looking for or coining a word.
I needed a term to describe the mental brown dwarfs and black holes in cyberspace. One with clear connotations of insult, but one focused on the target and not likely to give offense to others.
In the past, I’ve come up with terms like AMDroid and Intelvert to describe particular subspecies of what I’m talking about, but I needed an all-purpose generic term.
Today, I think I came up with one: Geektard.
I’m not the first to come up with it, but it’s rarely been coined before.
What Is A Geektard?
A geektard is person who:
A geektard is not a person who misses the forest for the trees. He misses the tree for a leaf, or even the leaf for a single vein in the leaf.
Geektardation is always a process of mental exclusion. It always involves excluding some, most, or practically all of reality from one’s life. It is an effort to create a self-contained universe with few, simple, clear-cut rules, and if reality doesn’t fit the rules, reality gets tossed.
Geektardation almost always shows a complete inability to comprehend that a view or values other than one’s own can be just as rational a view as their own for others. A geektard will often effectively say, “This is my universe; there can be no other.”
Geektards worship “facts” and “numbers.” (In severe cases, it can be just “a fact” or “a number.”) They assume god-like status, regardless of their origin, manipulability or relevancy to the situation at hand.
To a geektard, 138 fps is always better than 136 fps because 138 is more than 136. That is his “fact” and to him, that’s all he needs.
He does not understand that there is no practical difference between 138 and 136. He does not understand that in such a situation, he needs to consider other factors. He does not understand that numbers can be manipulated. He really doesn’t understand that when the whole ballgame rests on that one number, people out to sell him stuff will shoot to meet that single number, and to hell with anything else. If you don’t think so, what was “Quack 3” about?
Geektards hate interpretation and analysis (or at least any other than their own). They discount if not completely discredit the power of reasoning from facts and making inferences from there. To them, it’s just the expression of a personal opinion. They don’t understand that you can create facts from other facts. They don’t understand that a reasoned opinion carries more weight than an unsupported one.
Mind you, they’re not disagreeing with my reasoning, they disagree that reasoning is of any value.
The main reason for this is that geektards are bipolar. Not emotionally bipolar as in manic-depressiveness, but mentally bipolar as in yes or no. Geektards hate ambiguity and lack of certitude. Terms like “probably,” “maybe” or “might” don’t exist in the geektard’s mental vocabulary. Only “yes” or “no.”
If you say, “AMD is probably having a problem with SOI in making Hammer,” they reject that. To some, there is no problem until AMD says “we have a problem due to SOI.” If it’s not certain, it doesn’t exist. He never thinks that AMD might not want to tell you they have a problem with SOI.
If they say, “This is better than that,” and you say, “but that will be upgraded to be better than this next month,” that does not compute. Like a digital Doubting Thomas, until he can put his hands into the package, it’s not something to even be considered.
Bipolarity also extends to competing products. It’s Us vs. Them. AMD vs Intel. ATI vs nVidia. Linux vs Windows. Mac vs PC. You’re with us or against us, and anything else doesn’t register. If you stand between the trenchlines, you just get shot at by both sides.
When I write something critical of AMD, someone always tells me how Intel-biased I am. When I write something critical about Intel, someone always tells me how much of an AMDroid I am. I can write the two articles the same day, and I’ll still get that. What neither side can comprehend is that I can be anywhere other than their side or the enemy’s.
We All Are Guilty
Everyone is an idiot at times. The only difference between a genius and a true idiot is how often.
All of us show signs of mental geektardation at times. The question is: how often?
There’s one good thing of geektardation. It’s almost always easily treatable. The problem usually isn’t the treatment; it’s getting the victim to accept it.
Let’s Have Some Fun With This
Most of you have probably heard Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck If . . . .” or derivations from that.
Let’s see what we can come up with the topic is “You Might Be A Geektard If . . . .”
Remember, we’re not talking geek, we’re talking geektard.
We’ll put the best ones up on Friday. If you send one in, if you want to take credit/blame for it, please say you want your name and/or email attached to it. Otherwise, I won’t.
If you have real-life examples, we’ll use them, too, though we’ll sanitize them to protect the guilty.
Just to start you off with an example:
You might be a geektard if you use Mandlebrot fractal scores to prove your CPU is better.
As usual, you know where to find me.