Offworld Report

Editorial – September 2023: Becoming Or Being Geek.

Hello everyone,

I assume most of you here have geek qualities if not being total geeks. In our case, most of it is a specialised knowledge of Science Fiction and sometimes its grey cousins, fantasy and horror. Among other things, we collect or hoard our tastes. Not necessarily to show what we are but because it has meaning to us. We might be creative, demonstrating talents in writing or art or both amongst other abilities. But does that still make us all geeks or creative geeks? The so-called ‘normal’ people don’t see us as belonging to their ‘crowd’ and hence we’re also called oddballs. I think I prefer geek. Nerd sounds too rude.

When I was young, I was introduced as being an eccentric but then, although the terms ‘geek’ and nerd’ existed, they weren’t really applied to the population at large. Locally, as far as I knew, I was the only person like me for a long time and even the rare other comicbook fans didn’t have my range. In fact, the first time I saw someone with similar tastes was teen Mark Petrie in the 1979 TV series of ‘Salem’s Lot’, showing his collection and model-making skills to a wide-eyed schoolmate. Hardly surprising, as we were hardly role-models back then and few lived close to each other to compare notes in the UK. The aspects of the film matched Stephen King’s novel. I checked King’s hobbies but other than reading with a little writing on the side, he doesn’t match the geek profile but probably recognised the type needed as a vampire survivor. King probably saw himself as Ben Meres and needed a similar type but not quite who could be convinced vampires were real. A young geek interested in horror movies wouldn’t bat an eyelid if there were real vampires. Short of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, at least in film or TV, I never saw anyone matching the geek profile and these there they characterised it by being highly intellectual, although there, I tended to downplay that aspect.

Editorial – September 2023: Becoming Or Being Geek.
Editorial – September 2023: Becoming Or Being Geek.

I’m a loner creative geek and the, shall we say, more sociable geeks are less keen on people like me. People think they have collections until they see my grotto. I never did it to outdo anyone, just the nature of my collecting or, in my case, hoarding and a certain luck at being at the right place at the right time at the right price a lot of the time. Not a particularly geek ability but I suspect we all have unusual talents or taste to spot something before anyone else. Whether group geeks are the same as loner geeks is debatable or just facets of a similar nature. I’m less bothered about belonging to a group, mostly because my geekiness grew from being alone with prolonged illnesses.

There are various lists of geek talents on-line and it looks like I tick the boxes in most of them (have a look at, even those I never considered as geek talent, I just thought myself extremely lucky. Oddly, I have a wide base in Science Fiction yet never focused on one particular aspect which is handy for a job like this. SF is too expansive these days, it would be a big task to be expert in all of its areas but just being knowledgeable is relatively easy. There is no choice but we have to discriminate or be overwhelmed. Even so, as a geek, it isn’t that difficult to at least know a bit about everything.

Oddly, I think I accepted being regarded as eccentric long before deciding geek was a better word in the past couple decades. General Semantics says no one fits any definition label but the list makes hits on every talent although my intuitive knack isn’t there. No wonder some people get envious when I can look at something and get an almost instant understanding. Without anyone looking over my shoulder I was roaming the Internet in 2 seconds of going on-line back in the early 1990s.

If there is a problem being geeky, then its staying in one particular frame of mind to get something done. Saying that, I did do that at work for many years simply because I could do much of it on automatic and do something else with my thinking. I also tend to think people like the idea of being geeky but not the dislike for being idle and not being particularly sociable. Even before my diabetes and my more recent agoraphobia, I wasn’t that keen on holidays. There’s also a level of lack of ambition, too, and any competitive spirit mostly because I’m competing with myself not others. Am I hitting on anything familiar to any of you out there?

Oddly, when I have to put serious thinking before making a decision or being stressed, agoraphobia does that, it does mess up my intuitive reasoning. Of course, that probably goes hand-in-hand with being a clinical empath and more so with being a type one diabetic and juggling them all for safety. If anything, General Semantics tends to integrate them all together. I had a google look on intuition and this link,comes%20to%20making%20a%20decision popped up and I hit all 5 marks with ease and probably a few more besides. I can only hope other people have these to some degree. Just because you think you are a geek doesn’t mean you have all the qualities or even thought some of them were.

The thing about being a geek is we take what we do for granted without analysing what makes us feeling that different unless we compare our habits to normal. I suspect the same is vice versa. We take our talents for granted and assume the only reason normals don’t use their talents is either laziness or have other activities rather than see them as talentless. Non-geeks can have talents but not necessarily on the geek scale, where we are regarded as extreme. Then we would really be different. When I turned my intuition on myself, I had to compare to how other people see us and some goggle references perceived some talents as geek when we see them as natural. Adults and children might where super-hero tee-shirts but its only window-dressing. We’re geek from the inside first, not the outside.

Having multi-talents often means what to do first and then stay focused to get something completed. I tend to divide work into long and short-term projects and jump from one to the other so keeping myself fresh in all of them and hoping I have enough time for all. The pro-mode means I treat the material I do here is more my ‘professional’ life and get done by deadlines. Oddly, it’s got into my attitude to art. I’m more prone to complete something when I’m being paid than doing it purely for pleasure. I’m working on that. Maybe I ought to include a piece of art here on a semi-monthly basis. Thank the Illuminati for Parkinson’s Law and making time for things that need to be done. Hopefully as it’ll have to be fitted in next month.

Innate abilities do need time to grow and flourish. Having older parents and long term illnesses when young and left to my own devices removed the desire for a herd instinct. I certainly have my Dad’s problem-solving ability just not all in his fields, although he wouldn’t have regarded himself as a geek.

Part of this exploration is akin to not being immune to not excluding myself from any examination, especially as to how others see us and how accurate they are. Those two links above presented a few things I did but took for granted as everyone else had as well, certainly not as things that would make geeks stand out.

It also does raise questions as to whether all geek abilities can arise today in our current environment when mobile phones means you are never truly alone anymore. Mind you, even though I now have a mobile phone for emergencies, I rarely use it. Maybe more modern geeks come from being loners. Then again, I know some people are positively scared of me just for existing. The only thing in my favour is I’m likely to outlive them so I live a live of tolerance but wouldn’t jump on their graves because I’m too nice. Should I explore geek prejudice here sometime?

One observation I’m still pondering on is where do we fit within what is considered human normality. Some of our talents could be considered savant simply because they can work without training although practising and learning can certainly improve them. People want us for what we do than purely for ourselves so much that I get suspicious of anything else.

In the normal distribution bell or Mexican hat curve, we must be at the extreme end. No wonder those in the middle are equally in awe and scared at the same time.

Have I struck any chords? I doubt if everyone here is pure geek. As with all labels there is a span of levels that is governed by upbringing or genetics so most of you will still qualify. Even so, its still nice to know how much geek you are and how many other abilities you have qualifies you as such,

Knowing ourselves better makes it easier to understand other people.

Thank you, take care, good night and feel its great to be geek.

Geoff Willmetts


A Zen thought: Life is.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Being geek is doing what is right rather than self-interest or greed.

The Reveal: The likes of the Loch Ness creature is thought to be a giant eel but eels don’t undulate in loops but sideways to go fast in the water than hang around near the surface.

Observation: Time travel means never living with the consequences of a tragedy because you reset it, even if you don’t know its probably creating a sub-reality.

Observation: I don’t know if these UK TV animated cremation adverts are prevalent in other countries but pictures on cels or digitised can’t actually die.

Observation: Lee Falk’s Phantom has been going for 400 years and Kit Walker is the 21st. That means each one must have been active for just about 20 years each. Not a long life for each Phantom unless they retire for a younger son to take over each time. Of course, some might have lasted less or longer periods of time before being killed.

Observation: When do the predator hunters find time to go to the loo or pooh?

Feeling Stressed: Breathe slowly. Breathing is healthy.



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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