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January 07, 2005

A Terrifying Moment of Personal Introspection


Balding? Check.
Unshaven due to deadline? Check.
Hand brace to avoid RSI? Check.
Strange Horizons t-shirt? Check.
Stack of anime DVDs? Check.
Aggressively messy desk? Check.
Geeked-out dual-monitor computer set-up complete with Web cam? Check.
Glasses? Check.
Haven't seen anyone but family and pets in over a week? Check.
Employing mediocre Photoshop talents to avoid actual work? Check.

When was it exactly that I became the stereotype of a science fiction writer? Because, baby, I'm so there.

Yes, I know, top of the geek food chain and all. But, come on.

And now I'm off to find a woodchipper.

Posted by john at January 7, 2005 06:25 PM

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RooK | January 7, 2005 06:42 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that whole org chart is downstream of "real" geeks: engineers, scientists, guys who bite the heads off of chickens. What you have there is clearly the ordering of BETA geeks.

Nice picture, though. I've showed it around the office. It was good for a chuckle, even for the guys that wear suspenders.

John Scalzi | January 7, 2005 07:04 PM

Nah, see, that org chart is for social geekdom. What you're talking about is professional geekdom. They're on separate axes. So you could have, say, a nuclear physicist (high up the pro geek chart) who also writes furry Star Trek stories (way low on the social geek chart).

Jim Winter | January 7, 2005 07:19 PM

John, in 1996, when I decided that 30 was a good age to start college, I was Bill Gates sans the glasses. A funny thing happened along my path to IT glory: I became so totally ungeeky. I drive a sedan with golf clubs in the trunk, have a surprisingly large middle-age paunch, and a conservative haircut. Managed to fight off that whole vote Republlcan thing though.

I went from geek to low-rent yuppie.

Maybe if I get a Shut Up! deal on my next contract, I can have my publicist help me develop that whole aging rock star motif.

Too bad I'm married, 'cuz I'd probably score a lot otherwise.

And avoiding the alcoholic writer by forty stereotype is alway a good thing. Too bad I'm a Starbucks addict for my efforts in that direction.

Andrew Gray | January 7, 2005 07:21 PM

One of these days I will read lines like "the guys who wear suspenders" and not immediately jump to The Most Wrong Conclusion Possibly Imaginable In Context. Damned common-language thing.

Mitch Wagner | January 7, 2005 09:23 PM

Say, aren't the walls vertical today?

Mitch "Wearing Suspenders" Wagner

RooK | January 7, 2005 09:48 PM

"Nah, see, that org chart is for social geekdom. What you're talking about is professional geekdom. They're on separate axes."

It's possible that implying a concept like "social" as some sort of understandable phenomena automatically relegates you to the "beta" or lower classifications. Alpha-geekdom wouldn't be distinguishing "professional" and "social", partially because all they do is within the realm of their geekiness, and partially because their ability to socialize is severly stunted.

JamesG | January 7, 2005 10:04 PM

Wow! It's like looking into a mirror. Well except for the balding, hand brace, glasses, Strange Horizons T-shirt,Anime,dual monitors,isolation, photoshop and being the top of any food chain.

Other than that, the resemblance is uncanny! :)

Bruce Adelsohn | January 7, 2005 10:35 PM

Damn. And here I thought a modern geek was someone who bit the heads off of disk drives while they were still spinning.

Bill Peschel | January 7, 2005 11:26 PM

What a great chart! I miss the Brunch.

Soni | January 8, 2005 02:16 AM

Hmmm...Trekkie, but don't speak Klingon and got married in the standard faux-virginal regalia. Heinlein fan like you wouldn't believe. Role player (rarely, but enthusiastically), but definitely NOT into furries.

Yep. Geeky enough to get funny looks, but not geeky enough to get "cred." Crap.

RooK | January 8, 2005 02:48 AM

"Yep. Geeky enough to get funny looks, but not geeky enough to get "cred." Crap."

Hey, at least you're not wearing suspenders.

mythago | January 8, 2005 04:22 PM

Uh, John, you have a chix0r. Way not geek.

John Scalzi | January 8, 2005 04:56 PM

Yeah, but if she ever stops to think about the implications of this picture, perhaps not for long.

Scott Lynch | January 9, 2005 08:20 PM

Yet we geeks do not measure our personal appearance by ordinary standards, John. I believe our baseline is, "Do you look tough enough to kick Tucker Carlson's ass?" By which measure, you're a Royal Marine Commando. Your marriage is safe.

John Scalzi | January 9, 2005 08:23 PM

Hell. Athena could kick Tucker Carlson's ass.

Soni | January 10, 2005 12:41 AM

"Hey, at least you're not wearing suspenders."

Ummmm...not at the moment, no. But, uh, I used to, back in the 80's when they were all the rage. With a California Raisin novelty pin stuck half-way up. (very Wang Chung/Cindi Lauper/Duran Duran)

Does that count? (this is all soooo embarassing)

Tripp | January 10, 2005 11:56 AM

Suspenders on a female showed you had style. Suspenders on a male show you have a gut, or as my son said, "all gut and no butt."

These are not nearly the same thing.

Mitch Wagner | January 11, 2005 08:47 PM

Tripp - Your son is right.

Mitch "still wearing suspenders" Wagner

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