20×20 PechaKucha

For any of you who have been to a lecture that has gone on for way too long can understand why PechaKucha was established. The name steamed from the Japanese term for “chitchat” also relating to its format: 20 images x 20 seconds a slide. In turn the presentations are concise and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

PechaKucha Nights are informal and entertaining gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts—just about anything. 

I was invited to participate in a PechaKucha event in Minneapolis, MN focused around the theme “Geeks”. Anyone who knows me, knows I know more about this topic than any other topic. I’ve been a geek my whole life: wear a calculator watch I got when I was 18, only write with .5 mm black quick-dry sharpie fine point pen, my laugh is obnoxious and I appreciate Askie Art.

But seriously I can speak to this topic because I’m a lurker or an observer of culture. I’ve noticed something interesting about the classified term “Geek”. It’s no longer a bad term, Geek’s are chic. It’s time to face reality. Being computer savvy is no longer just for nerdy computer lab dwelling geeks, it’s a must to succeed in the wired future of tomorrow. People are celebrating their geekiness in a variety of ways, from ironic T-shirt  to cell phone carriers.

Knowledge is power and geek is chic. I believe the fashion world is taking inspiration produced by the “geek” and made a little less disingenuous coining “geek chic”. I also believe that geeks are the true originators of most everything brilliant from computers to music. Now there is a big difference between the terms Geeks and Nerds.

Geek: someone who is inquisitive, thinks on his or her own, who is a little bit off-center, who doesn’t follow the crowd. Basically an individual who is perceived to overly obsessed with one or more things including: science, civics, board games, typography, beer, movie, fashion and even hoaxes. (reference to the other speakers lectures)

Here are some visual cues that you are looking at a geek: 95% wear black framed glasses and has an extensive collection of ironic t-sheers, normally hangs with a circle of tight knit friends, mostly life-long friends possibly considered an outsider in high school or college due to said geek obsession, starts a lot of conversations with “did you know” and can re-sight word for word Star Wars movies and facts.

Not to be confused with Nerds.

Nerd: A socially awkward person who has learned technical skills due to the spare time they enjoy from being generally neglected.

Dork: A person who, although also socially awkward, doesn’t have the intelligence to fill the void with technical pursuits, like a nerd, and is forced to do mindless activities.

The entertainment industry has simply wised-up and pushed geek-friendly into mainstream.

 For example:
Threadless with it’s endless variety of ironic T-shirts.
Harry Potter with its fantasy reading—all D&D fans are thrilled
Phiber Optik AKA Mark Abene the first popular hacker – he crashed AT&T. Hacker’s was based off of.
The Descendents, the foursome declared their war against mediocrity
Black wide framed glasses are made by Prada now
Steve Jobs ruled the nation

These are all geeks that have changed our culture. GEEK is not a phase or a trend: that’s what we do and it’s how we evolve culture. STAY OBSESSED STAY GEEK.