Editorial – May 2019: Where have all the geeks gone?

May 5, 2019 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

When you were young, did you make the assumption that all people were the same as yourself and when did eventually concede that they weren’t? I tended to assume that most people didn’t use them publicly, under-used or chose not to develop their abilities or spent too much time socialising rather than think I was particularly talented as I just took it for granted. Even so, it took even longer for me to realise both intelligence and mindset weren’t always the same. Mind you, I was always something of a loner so never made that much of a close connection to think otherwise. When there are gaps like that when young, the imagination tends to fill in the gaps rather than build up with observed facts. That somewhat changed as I slowly turned into a scientist.

Even so, over the years, there becomes a transition time when you discover people aren’t like you or seeing the divide getting ever wider. In the early days, being a geek never had a name, we were just eccentrics. We literally weren’t part of the crowd. The socialisers saw something different in us that we didn’t recognise in ourselves. It was hardly like I had ‘loner’ flashing above my head when I tried to join in and it took a lot of effort to join in for a while but was still thought of an outsider even amongst my peer group of other supposed geeks. Is there such a thing as a super-geek?

In some respects, one of the problems of the Internet is that it is homogenising how we see mindsets, mostly because there are so many people and, probably outside of social media, the most you have to distinguish people by is what they write and how you determine how smart they are if you are to follow their advice. This makes spotting geeks even harder.

When you have the problem of discerning who is truthful and who are telling porkies, let alone those who inadvertently spread misinformation, it does become a bit of a minefield. It certainly must produces problems of distinguishing personality types and who is presenting information. Even so, as I’ve commented in the past, humans assume other humans are like ourselves until we learn otherwise.

Although I doubt if we believe we’re all geeks, on sites where we assume we are dominant, the traits that made us are fast fading. Those that are computer connected are losing that lack of connection to other people that developed us into being insular. I suspect it would need for some people to be seriously isolated by illness than interest anymore to develop in ways we older generation were. Even the least geek are familiar with the super-hero tropes and occasionally some of the more significant SF films now. With instant connection to the Internet, even the desire to be a mine of information is sadly going where anyone can look it up, forgetting who is providing the info in the first place.

Whether it beats first-hand experience is debatable. You would have to get into the industry, say, film or comicbooks to have that and, these days, non-disclosure agreements with the former is likely to prevent knowledge getting out. It does make me wonder how many geeks are working in the computer industry and are just kept too busy to do things that other people would see as extraordinary in other circumstances. By nature, a geek is a problem-solver and doesn’t like being beaten and, when seeking a solution, rather prefers to find a viable one then look one up.

That in itself is worrying. Can geeks being doing too much that they haven’t got time to do geeky things in other areas? As I’ve pointed out in the past, the world needs us geeks even more than in the past but if they don’t allow us and new generations to develop then we are not going to be there in the future. That would look like an unforgivable sin.

We really need to work harder to keep geeks going in new generations and not merely be chucked into what is seemed geek jobs. This doesn’t mean that we have to isolate people who have that potential and see if it triggers their imaginations and creativity but to encourage individualism and people thinking for themselves. Very few socialisers like to stand out in a crowd. Look at how tattoos have propagated so much in the past couple decades. Most people would prefer to look the same as everyone else. It’s protective camouflage. We geeks don’t have to worry about such things because we are that way already and don’t need to show we are the same. I still find it odd when non-geeks will wear the likes of super-hero tee-shirts with little knowledge of its comicbook source and who drew it.

The real problem with the likes of the Internet is we are getting hidden in the crowd and lacking a real voice out there unless we do something significant. Are we looking to become extinct? You have to ponder on that idea because who’s going to creating the technological advances in the future otherwise.

Thank you, take care, good night and do something creative and solve something.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info

A Zen thought: War is never civilised.

A Zen thought: Waiting for a slow computer action always seems forever.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: To think outside the box.

The Reveal: Global warming can seriously damage your health.

Observation: For those who took an interest in the 1961 TV series ‘Ghost Squad’, with season 2, we have the return in different roles actor Peter Dyneley (the voice of Jeff Tracy in ‘Thunderbirds’) in the fourth episode and actor Roger Delgado in the fifth episode.

Observation: After mentioning seeing actor Peter Dyneley (the voice of Jeff Tracy in ‘Thunderbirds’ acting 1962 second series ‘Ghost Squad’, he has a better role in the second season episode NAME . Actor Roger Delgado has two different roles as Arabs in NAME and NAME.

Observation: For those living in the UK, keep an eye on Channel 81 where 1950s-early 60s films are shown because very occasionally an odd B-level SF or horror will show up from either side of the pond.

Observation: Now here’s an odd puzzle in ‘2001’. Considering the solid food on the Moon and on the ‘Discovery’, why only a liquid diet on the moon shuttle? Wouldn’t you want something that wouldn’t float around while in zero gee? Of course, there is the assumption that Floyd’s dinner is liquid and not some sort of gel.

Observation: In law, it would be impossible to call a shape-shifter ugly.

Observation: Now here’s one for the book. If you’ve had or experienced problems copying picture files to DVD (I presume the same problem might also apply to CDs) and it comes up with an error saying it can’t save, then the first thing you do is blame the disk and try another one and keep getting the same problem.

At that point you do have to wonder if you have a faulty batch of disks and get another batch and still get the same problem. You might even try a different computer to see if it can copy onto them and that works. Well, only if you change the speed.

Now, before you think you have a faulty DVD drive, try this. If you’ve not very good with computer tech, find someone who is as you’ll need to make a change to the BIOS. Although I’m doing this with a Dell laptop, the technique should work with your computer. On boot-up, press the F12 function key so you get the BIOS screen which runs your hardware. If you’re not fast enough, reboot and try again as it is there.

Search its screens for the one that shows how to go back to the Factory Settings. This is the hardwired BIOS and will over-ride any updates your manufacturer might have done but as one of them has come up faulty it looks like the safest option. This shouldn’t stop your manufacturer doing an up-date in the future but should resolve the problem. Apply the command for the change and reboot. This is likely to take a few minutes so don’t panic as your computer has to work its way through the settings before finally get back to Windows 10.

I have to confess it does feel like you’re walking on eggs once W10 settles down but after a few hours you’ll feel things are back to normal. Now, start your installation to a fresh DVD or CD again and that pesky message and rejection shouldn’t happen and you’ve saved yourself buying a new DVD drive or even a new computer.

I did find one problem and this applies if you are using the Classic Menu so W10 has 1 W7 menu order and it still doesn’t show all the pictures which means this is a different problem. Download it again and when it says ‘Repair’, choose that option. If you have an alternative menu system, then obviously do a reinstallation or whatever it does.

As to why this happens, I’m less sure. A file download can get a wrong digit simply by poor reception or not installing correctly. I’ve noticed that whenever W10 does a major install that Classic Menu takes a few minutes to reassert itself or even a ‘Repair’ but that only appears to be a picture recognition problem. Everything else appears fine, just the combination of two problems at the same time for the poor DVD drive.

If you find your Photo Viewer sluggish or want a quick way to switch them to a different one, right mouse click on a photo, choose what you need and make sure you press the button ensuring its always the first option. Obviously, use the same technique if you decide to change it again.

Don’t forget, the usual remedy for anything that doesn’t work on a computer is a reboot, either of the software or computer first before digging deeper. If this works for you, please let me know.

Feeling Stressed:  You made it so far.






Category: World getting weirder

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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