The ideas in EOC, in Dorkadore

October 26, 2009

Picture 3Today’s news is mainly that my piece about EOC influences has gone up on Dorkadore’s mighty, colourful site. In the article I do say I don’t find it helpful to self-identify as a geek, which is true, and I wonder if I should explain this a bit more because clearly a lot of my interests can be labelled in that way. Oh, hmm, it looks like it’s been edited out. No matter. Anyway – what I mean is…

…that ‘geek’ has become such a way of trying to appear different while remaining firmly inside the dominant group (regular internet/computer users) that it’s lost almost all of its original, positive meaning for me. I even liked it when it was a bit derogatory, because it confirmed that sense of going against the grain.

But now it is the grain. It’s a fully documented thorough how-to with all the words and tastes and behaviours you need to play a role and fit in. I don’t want a book of instructions telling me how to be unusual. And self-identifying as anything seems to me to be about projecting a persona on the world, shielding something real, and that in itself seems anathema to the artless authenticity of the true outsider. Or the outsider-ness of the aspirant authentic. Of course, I’d love for people to think that I have a sense of curiosity about how things work and a bit of an eccentric way of going about things, but I’m just not sure we get to choose our identities to that extent.

There’s also a thing about devaluing and attempting to create a specialness that doesn’t exist. I’m not clever or unusual because I know a small amount of HTML. I’m just someone living at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Albeit someone with issues around using this kind of language, obviously.

Anyway, that’s what that’s about. Article also features references to rare Ian Livingstone gamebooks, Ceefax, text adventures and hackers. Hope you like.

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