People

the scribblings of a maniac – pt 1

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The world seems to have lost, if not everything, then at least something. When I read of the chaos of this planet’s chief inhabitants, and when I walk out into the cities and towns surrounding me, I see nothing but hopelessness. Hope is there, certainly, but it exists not in the tangible, solid, and ever-present grandeur that defines this mess. The world is in chaos, and salvation does not seem likely.

Connection is, perhaps, what the world needs, but everything is connected. Roads span continents, and shipping lanes and airplanes can take a man wherever he desires. The phone lines and invisible wires of radio that entangle the atmosphere connect all to all. The mass of servers and computers and phones and all manner of electronic devices has woven itself into our society, yet the connection is not there. Cliques and clubs and schools of thought all converge and connect and mingle, but the outsiders have no place. Even those organizations created to connect the forgotten alienate by their very nature.

To walk through a crowded street in one of those seething anthills of people and their vehicles brings on an overwhelming sense of alone.

So much noise.

So many people.

Yet none even look twice.

Families walking through the parks look so content, sometimes. At others I see the parents and their children at odds: yelling, glaring, fussing, and pouting. Why? They have connections. They have love. They have a place to stay and an environment that provides. They hate their Audis because they are not the Mercedes, and they wish that their yacht was a bit larger than the one next door. Is this a reason to be discontented? From whence does it come?

I walk through a dirty, rough, sweaty street in a country that has the wealth of a large US-run business. The kids that play on the side of the road do so with playthings made of trash and old clothes. The clothes that serve their intended purpose look as though they had done so for many years, and would not for too many more. People watch as I walk by, and the dead stares give away nothing but a slight interest in the change of scenery. The children are a bit more interested, but they look more for what I might throw to them. Is there candy in that pocket?

The connection here is lost, or perhaps it never was. People live to survive; people die; the world spins, and the moon continues to stare on in silence.

Music floats down the roads. The sounds of people engaged. The words are obscured, but the tune is old and the sounds fervent. Here, perhaps, is a connection. I receive looks as I walk in the door, but the welcomes are hollow. Perhaps they are out of necessity. Perhaps they are not true. Perhaps they could be, but I am not listening.

Fade to black.

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The Hipster Paradox

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I have a question to ask of my readers. How does one become a hipster? If a person wants to be a hipster because he likes the style or idea, is he not simply a “follower.” Would not a true hipster shun even the title of hipster? After all, the goal of a hipster is to be completely unique. This is just a question. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If the current hipster ideas become mainstream, then will Justin Bieber be a hipster? Food for thought.

I hope your day is one that will become paragon in your future musings!
~XK

How To Classify a Geek

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So, you want to classify that nerdy kid that sits next to you in class? Perhaps you want to figure out that guy that works at the computer store.  Maybe you wish to learn more about yourself. You’ve come to the right place!

Missing Image Alert!
See footnotes for differences between Nerds and Geeks.

The term geek is thrown around quite a bit, often in a derogatory manner. I thought it would be nice to disperse some of the confusion surrounding this term and bring to light some of the smaller nuances and discrepancies of its use. This term is actually quite inclusive and has many subsets. Let’s take a look at some of the groups…

The Common Geek:
Often thought of in a negative light, the common perception is that this person will be male, scrawny, glasses-sporting, and socially awkward. Unfortunately, this stereotype is often correct. Now, before we jump to the conclusion that all common geeks are this way, let me state that there are exceptions. The only actual requirement for being a common geek is a love for some type of technology. Therefore, many doctors, scientists, engineers, and even pilots are geeks.

The Gamer:
Gamers tend to come in two flavors. First, there are the loud, obnoxious, and socially awkward types. Then, there are the quiet, reclusive, and socially awkward types. Whilst the label “Socially Awkward” is here applied, it must be noted that many gamers are avid socializers. Their preferred method of human interaction is via LAN parties, the Internet, and, of course, gaming chat interfaces. Gamers will love all things shiny. They love pretty graphics, fast computers, and new releases. Gamers love to have the best, latest, and newest of everything. Everything in life is usually assigned a priority, much like in an RPG (Role Playing Game.) Get food +5, go outside for air +1, complete three more quests in Skyrim +23. Often, gamers will not care as much about the hardware of their computer as its performance in certain games.

The Computer Geek:
Guilty as charged. The computer geek is a lover of all things electronic. Computer parts, microcontrollers, solder guns, LEDs, and Potentiometers, there is nothing that runs on batteries that a computer geek can resist tinkering with. Or destroying…The computer geek will often have at least two computers–one of which he built himself. He doesn’t care as much about performance as he does about customization. Everything is custom, from the UI (User Interface) to the mousepad.

Click on the image to view more awesome art by the geek *cough* artist that drew this. 😀

The Innocent Geek:
This person is truly a unique and interesting individual. The innocent geek seldom realizes his true level of geekiness; if he does, he just doesn’t care. This person will flaunt his knowledge, talents, and geekiness for the whole world to see–not because he is vain, but merely because he doesn’t think it’s abnormal to know the firing-rate and name of every blaster used in Star Wars. The innocent geek can be a great companion, especially when he is willing to learn and try new things. Hey… wanna try levitating granite? It’s fun!

The Artsy Geek:
This geek is one of the most socially acceptable of the geek family. Often, the geekiness of the person is not even known until the area of infection is broached in conversation. The art geek can focus on anything, but tends to fixate on the tools just as much as the medium. If it is photography, the geek will love all things camera. Be it art, the geek will be constantly focusing on new styles painting or the newest Wacom tablet. Here the concentrations begin to converge and overlap, as is often the case. See Computer Geek. If the area of interest is literature, be warned! Once a conversation is started upon Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, the clock may seem to move much slower than is normally its habit.

The Female Geek:
A bit more rare, these are the most unique of the lot. The female Geek will often be socially shy, but not awkward unless she desires to be. Please note, any of the above geeks can be female, it is just more common for the female to stand apart from her male counterpart. The female Geek is often characterized by her vast knowledge of fictional lands or works. Complete knowledge of the characters and plot of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, or Lord of the Rings is not uncommon. Often, the female geek will be fluent in a fictional language–most commonly Tolkienian Elvish or Dwarvish.

That covers most of the main types of geeks. As I stated in the common geek explanation, anyone with an overt love for anything can become a geek in that area. Bicycle geek, donut geek, music geek, lawn mower geek, pop tart geek… I digress. Now you know what to look for. Do you know any geeks?

Take Care,
~XK

Disclaimer and other assorted footnotes:
Perhaps a quick explanation of the difference between a Geek and a Nerd is in order. Actually, this has been the topic of much debate, and I merely used the safest assumptions for the guide given above. Hover your mouse over the terms Nerd and Geek to get an idea of the definitions of each, as given by the Oxford English Dictionary. As seen from the definitions, there is little difference in the terms, and therefore only cultural references to distinguish the two. it appears that nerd can formally refer to an expert in a field, but culturally, nerd tends to be a more derogatory term directed at science, math, and computer techies.
Perhaps a clarification of the term “socially awkward” is in order. Often, it is expected that people interact with each other via verbal communication. Unfortunately, there are those who have trouble expressing themselves in a way that matches the normal conventions and expectations. Usually, it is the topic or manner in which the conversation is held, but it is also sometimes merely that the person who is awkward does not want to hold a conversation. Thus, socially awkward is the inability to, lack of desire to, or ineptitude in speaking with others in normal topics and conversations. No! I don’t want 8 Pop Tarts… I want 12, I want 12 of them! Click here if you have no idea…