Today, May 25th, we celebrate the Geek Pride Day, the international day of geek pride, that is the enthusiasm and cultural value of that subculture (in some ways now mainstream ) made up of immoderate passions for technology, gadgets, information technology, video games, internet, but also comics, science fiction, TV series and pop culture in general. Without falling into easy stereotypes, a common thread can be drawn that connects geeks of every era, from the ante litteram ones like Leonardo da Vinci and Ada Lovelace to the more recent ones like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Rosie Cross. And on this day, in fact, we want to enhance their interests and the many reasons why these people are charming and very active in society.
Geek Pride Day, as we know it today, was born in the mid-2000s. Although since the late 1990s there had been several sporadic initiatives bearing this name or preluding its formula, it is customary to indicate the beginning of this tradition on May 25, 2006, when the Spanish blogger Germán Martínez (known as Señor Buebo ) announced on its portal the first day of geek pride, finding great success thanks to online word of mouth. Initially, the initiative was intended to bring attention to this type of consumer, pushing e-commerce and companies to discounts and special offers, but it soon turned into a series of varied events: the first took place that year when 300 people played the Pac-Man game live in a square in Madrid.
THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM GEEK
Since the first edition in 2006, one of the favorite activities to celebrate the anniversary is seeing the Star Wars series , and fanatics who dress up as characters from Star Wars or Star Trek are in fact among the most common types of Friki. The Friki, in short, is a set . Of computer science , electronics, science, mathematics, philately, video games , comics , anime, science fiction, fantasy , horror , or more. It is the subset of the computer and electronics obsessed Friki that is a Geek . Geek in English comes from a dialectal geck which stands for “foolish”. It too is a term originally indicated for a freak phenomenon: in particular, for those who performed by eating live animals, often insects . But errors in computer programs are called ” bugs “, bugs . And those looking for computer bugs for work have therefore been assimilated to those who make a living by eating insects: eating bugs for living . By extension Geek is someone with an unusual fixation, at least for their age. A radio amateur, a Star Trek fan. But also an adult who hunts Pokémon.
THE PRIDE OF THE NERD
The Geek is in some respects associated with the Nerd, a term of uncertain origin. Among the hypotheses, Nerd would be a fictional animal from a 1950 book, the puppet of a famous ventriloquist, the acronomist of the Northern Electric Research and Development company . However the stereotype is set by the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds.
To be clear, he is a bit of our nerd, more inclined to new technologies than to the humanities. The definition was then extended to good computer scientists and to those who had made money with computer science. In short, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the like. The sitcom The Big Bang Theory describes the scenario very well. The Nerd can also be recognized by the look: out-of-fashion clothes, bottle-bottomed glasses, little care for physical fitness. From a character’s point of view, he is clumsy with the opposite sex. And he has geek hobbies. In short, to clarify the hobbies to be a Geek, the skills to be a Nerd.
But why the 25th of May Geek Pride Day?
A series of coincidences led to the choice of this date: on this day in 1977 the very first Star Wars was released in American theaters, but May 25 is also Towel Day in honor of the celebrated Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who died. right on this day in 2001, giving rise to the tradition of his fans who walk around carrying a towel; fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld saga, on the other hand, celebrate the Glorious 25th of May. In short, no date could be more symbolic, and more geeky, than this.