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Geek Chic
I just caught the end of Dark City. I love this movie, despite its cheesiness, and I think it speak volumes of you, as a nerd, as to where you stand on this flick.

In general, I see the computer geek community as comprised of two camps: the slashdot community, made up of the engineering (and engineering aspirant) type; efficiency, economy, practicality rule above aesthetics. Things that kick ass are valued more than objects of elegance. Principle carries more weight than pragmatism.

Then there is the other group. This is a nerd set that values form, as well as function. Perfection gives way to pragmatism. Strong coding skills aren't necessary (they help, of course), because "rules" are an "impediment to creativity". "Innovation" is the watchword above "propriety". Thankfully, I would place a vast majority of #code4lib in this arena.

"Thankfully", for two reasons:

  • It shows hope for the library development community

  • I hang out there all day, and I tend to dislike the former group

Another way to look at this schism is "The Matrix" vs. "Dark City". Both movies are based on the same premise: Cartesian logic. They both center around thinking things that cannot be certain that anything exists besides themselves. The difference is that one is a kick ass blockbuster smash and the other is a low budget cult classic.

You can enjoy both movies (I certainly do), but if you laugh more at "I know kung-fu" than seeing the wires attached to Rupert Sewell as he fights with the bad guy who looks like Reducto from "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law", you squarely fall in the innovator more than engineer camp. What is your Keanu tolerance? It says a lot.

Although I'm not sure why, the world does need both "The Matrix" and "Dark City" fans. They serve different purposes.

But when you're recruiting a geek, it's good to know what you're getting. Try "The Matrix" vs. "Dark City" question and evaluate from there.


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