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The Geek community is sometimes one of the easiest demographics to peg. Go to Star Trek conventions, have a level 78 wizard in a MMORG, collect manga? OK, you’re in. Try that with soccer moms or middle managers. You’re likely to end up running into a soccer mom who is a middle manager. One of the most gregarious attributes of geeks is that when you have one geek mad at you, they’re all mad at you at the same time.
Here’s something that I think may help non-geeks deal with geeks a little easier: when you have a whole slew of geeks mad at you, and you don’t know why, check this list:
Laziness – Number one, and probably numbers two through five as well. I’m not talking about body-lazy; geeks here are indifferent. But mental laziness drives geeks to scream and claw down masonry. If you ever want to get flamed to a golden brown with a side of Hollandaise sauce, just pop into a chat and ask a question that Google could have answered, or post in a forum with a question that’s answered on page one of the manual.
Irresponsibility – Geeks are big believers in “they are best helped who help themselves”. If you got into a jam through your own stupidity, a geek will be more likely to point it out to you than offer sympathy. Did you get ripped off in a 419 scam, get a virus from an email attachment, or get your site hacked from leaving a gaping hole in your password verification method? You should have known better, sniff the geeks.
Greed – Now, a little greed isn’t too bad. Geeks have jobs and like to make money, too. But when a corporation or industry takes it too far and does stuff like… oh, say… force a mom to take her baby video offline because it contains a Prince song. Stuff like that draws the ire out of the community. Boooo! Mean, mean Universal Music Publishing Group hates mommies and little babies!
Inept Bureaucracy – Geeks lack patience. When they go to the government or their management to get this simple little thing done, and it takes filling out mountains of paperwork to do it, they’re just as likely to say “forget it”, or else try to look for clever ways to bypass it. To a geek, time isn’t just money; it’s life’s breath.
Hypocrisy – Ooooo! Don’t say one thing and do another around a geek; they will catch it, document it, and post it for all time. For instance, if you’re a paid corporate shill, that’s all you; the most you get is mild dismissal. But keep being a paid corporate shill while pretending to be one of the geek bunch, and may Cthulhu have mercy on your soul!
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