I was talking with some friends the other day about when they realised they were geeks. And one of the friends in the conversation claimed – shock horror – that he wasn’t a geek. Ridiculous! I claimed, of course he was. He argued that he didn’t care that much about computers, but that isn’t actually the point – the point is that a geek is somebody that is obsessed with something. The kind of person who knows where the best shops to go for their particular obsession are, the kind of person who starts thinking about a small corner of their chosen subject and six hours later realises they have forgotten to do anything other than think about the problem. This is different than the nerd, the nerd is the person who is so absorbed by the subject that they can’t do anything else.
Imagine, to pick a neutral subject, that we were talking about cooking. A geek would be the kind of person who would love, no, need to spend time in the cookery section of the book shop, loves going to cookery accessory shops and picking things to own, might even have a wishlist of things to own. The geek loves cooking, loves experimenting and enjoys it. The nerd knows that the Mixifier 5000 is better than the Ingredalot 360 because the different attachments are far superior and are interchangable with the entire Emulsify range. They don’t ever use any of the things that they buy, they keep them in the original box and eat processed cheese on toast.
So I guess my friend realised he was a geek right then, when we were having the conversation, and maybe reading this you are recognising this in yourself. My question is this, when did you realise that you were a geek and what happened to let you know?