Is Being a Geek the Antithesis of Success?
I “de-winterized” the boat today. Now you may call me a renaissance man because I bake cookies, travel the world, and know how to attach hose-clamps on an inboard motor, but I’m not. I’m a geek.
Apparently the skills it takes to figure things out are considered really geeky. It may be “intellectual curiosity” or it may be being a smart-ass (“Well, a guy built it, so I should be able to figure it out”) but it’s really just taking a minute or two to look at a problem and solve it. And then practice that skill.
It’s just kind of odd to me that the skills that you use to engage the universe around you are “geeky” but the skills of leisure are the “successful” skills. Think about it -- if I said, “I had the boat put in the river today” you’d get the impression of some rich dude with a “man who does that for me.”
I suppose the “having a man to do that” means you have a skill in managing other people, but what it really means is you have the resources to pay other people to think and do for you. And then, oddly, discount the value of people who think and do.
What I don’t understand is when people say, “I don’t do that…” whatever “that” may be. Or the, “Wow! How did you figure that out?” Those people are very often the same people who spend an hour on a crossword puzzle or solving Sudoku. They DO figure stuff out, but they choose to figure out things that don’t explode if you do it wrong.
And yet, even when you could die from your mistakes, figuring stuff out is what we do. Everyone drives a car. I mean everyone. Those very few people who don’t know how to drive have figured out something far more complicated than operating 2,000 pounds of gleaming steel at high speed. They’ve figured out Public Transportation.
What it gets down to is what’s important to us. Personally I think it’s important to know how the things I use work. I think it’s important to know how to prepare my own food and clean my own clothes. I think it’s important to engage with the things that are around us every minute of our lives.
But that’s me. There are plenty of people who aspire to never having to pick up a brick and stack it on another one (although I get lots of compliments on my garden wall). There are plenty of people who would love to have every day be a “lay on the couch and watch movies and eat fancy food I didn’t have to prepare day” (don’t get me wrong, I love those days).
And I’m certainly not someone who is going to go out and work hard in the yard just because I “need something to do.” I’m perfectly happy killing time with a Netflix marathon or at the pub. Or lazing on the river on the boat.
I’m just trying to figure out people who don’t like to figure out stuff. And if figuring stuff out is somehow a liability in our society.