Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mean Geeks

Generally speaking, I like Geeks. I should. I spend enough time around them (while I am not a true geek, I have geeky tendencies and often find myself in geeky company). Most geeks are smart, funny, and interesting. They just happen to have a few social quirks and are obsessively devoted to specific realms of knowledge that nobody else really cares about.*

There is, however, one category of Geek that I distinctly dislike, the Mean Geek:

These are geeks who have gone to the Dark Side. Hurt and angered by years of social isolation, they have grown bitter and hateful of others, seeking solace in their superior knowledge of some specific little corner of Geekdom. When dealing with others who don't share their interest or expertise, they are haughty and disdainful.

I was thinking about Mean Geeks I know or have known. A couple of examples sprang to mind:
Henry P. (Mean Math Geek): A college classmate who was insufferably rude to other, less mathematically inclined students. In truth, though, his skills weren't quite as awe-inspiring as he thought (I have to confess, I used to derive great pleasure from giving him mathematical smack-downs when the opportunity occurred).

Senor Poopyhands** (Mean Computer Geek): A coworker with a perpetual "I-smell-something-bad"*** expression on his face. He's fond of saying things like, "Do I really need to explain to you the difference between a WAR and a JAR file?", and "Ugh! They don't even know if they're running 9i or 10g!"
There are certainly plenty of others. Any good examples from the public sphere?

What? You say I'm the one who's truly being mean? They're really just broken little children, and need a hug? You're right. I'm sorry. I'm such a jerk. Ok. Big geeky group hug!

Um... you go first. And I'm not hugging Senor Poopyhands.

* I use the term geek broadly. There are, of course, the classic categories such as Math Geek and Computer Geek, but there are also Music Geeks, Political Geeks, etc.

** Not his real name (oh, really?). This is my personal nickname for him based on his personal hygiene habits, or lack thereof.

*** Maybe it's his hands.


  1. Anonymous11:16 AM

    re: senor poopyhands -- dude, where in the world do you work and should you think about changing jobs?

  2. Not to worry. As long, I avoid coming into direct contact with him or any of his posessions, particularly the books he takes with him to the bathroom, I'm fine.