Brendon Walsh
Character Flaws of a Geek

Character Flaws of a Geek


My passion for technology often leads me to form unusual philosophical opinions on matters of user interaction (see The Dvorak Experiment and UI's in Media for examples). It's fairly safe to say that this post will likely fall into the same category.

This post may be difficult to understand from the perspective of (what I can only describe as) an average user. I can't imagine this will be much of a problem to many of the RCG members that I expect will read this.

Allow me to give you all a hint as to what direction I'm taking this by forwarding you to this comic that struck a chord with me earlier this week.

In my opinion this isn't even so much comical as it is a depressing realization for myself. All too often I've been in this situation. Wherever I go I tend to make a name for myself as the ranking go-to geek. I tout this app and that web service that no one has ever heard of. I advocate the use of the most obscure input methods. And most importantly, it doesn't matter what OS you're using or how you're using it: You're not using it as efficiently as you could be.

This is a character flaw of many geeks I believe. We all want to help and make other user's experiences as gratifying as our own, but at the same time, we all want to assert just how much more we know on the subject than you do. This is the nature of the alpha geek. As much as we want you to learn, we can't have anyone contesting our "informational turf."

There are very marginal exceptions to these habitual responses. When an alpha geek meets another geek of exceptional aptitude, a free exchange of information between the two is deemed as acceptable.

Talking with another geek is a welcome change to regular conversations with those who don't understand the importance of an open API or the joys of being "fluent" in more than one OS.

This is my enduring hell and has been for the last year roughly. Odd that I haven't been able to find even one geek in the last year that can even come close to conversing with me on an equal plane in the way that was so common with friends back in Ontario.

I've been suffering the affliction of my own alpha geek egotistical character flaws for a year now with only fleeting relief from online conversations.

I am right, am I not? Or am I the only one that suffers from these afflictions of geek character?

As a closing note, I am writing this at an hour that I don't normally exercise any higher brain functions. So I may have rambled incoherently for a while.