The Whole Geek: Geekery Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

A thing that happens to me a lot. I want to say, "Yeah, that’s not how that works," about some over-simple explanation, usually something around using inorganic reasoning about humans. But when I go there, I know we’re gonna go instantly to vast areas of study & insight that most folks aren’t comfortable with.

And it’s exhausting, and I’ve limited energy.

They see the exchange — they see all of human discourse as far as I can make out — as a figure taking place against a fixed & stable ground. They take for granted so many things I’m unwilling or unable to take for granted.

Because I’m in a minority when I talk & think this way, it often hurts, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m possessed of extraordinary privilege and remarkable lifelong luck. I’ve nothing like the experience my many friends in, say, the various diversity movements, get. I’m very rarely threatened with violence, or doxxed, or any of that.

I think they mostly don’t do any of that to me cuz they don’t see me as a threat, not because they wouldn’t do it in a second if they did. I dislike the pose of "voice in the wilderness". But I often feel it, just the same.

Here in a bit, I’ll do another muse about something practical in the trade. And it’ll get some support, and a snark or two.

That support is fabulous, it keeps me going, makes my days, warms me to an extent I can’t even describe.

I love it when my ideas move people to think. But it’s frustrating, too. What they’re getting is the place where my ideas can overlap enough with geekery that they perturb them.

I just want to say, though, that those geekery-related ideas aren’t just a separable stream. They derive — the part of my success that isn’t privilege or luck derives — from the backing ideas, and those live far beyond the limits of what mainstream geekery talks about.

Five samples:

  • "communication isn’t primarily information transfer."
  • "reality doesn’t fit inside experience, and experience doesn’t fit inside language."
  • "Thinking isn’t logic."
  • "Aiming too hard does even more damage than aiming too little."
  • "Kindness matters more than anything."

Five more:

  • "Structure can block health, but it can’t create it."
  • "Try different wins more often than try harder."
  • "Most of us are decent and serious."
  • "Hate breeds hate."
  • "Novels will help more than textbooks."

We take from a writer whatever we can take from her, and that is mete & just. If my stuff perturbs you in a good way, that’s a win.

My ideas about geekery come from a place that is far thicker than lines of code, or TDD, or "Agile", and that place is vested in a deep critique of stock western-idea footage. Talking geekery pleases me. If you want to talk about that other stuff, it’d please me, too.

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