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Nuggets of history from groups.google.com. - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 11th, 2003

11:10 pm - Nuggets of history from groups.google.com.

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Check it out, it's my .sig from April 1993. I was such a dork.

-- 
Zachary Miller (E-Mail)     | IMSA               |babbelon| Semper ubi sub ubi!
wolfgang@imsasun.imsa.edu   | 1500 W. Sullivan   |:)      |     6x9=42
zarf.mouse@bbs.oit.unc.edu  | 01D23              |;)      | Semprini? OY OUT!"
ai312@yfn.ysu.edu           | Aurora, IL 60506   |@=      |    DON'T PANIC

Comments:

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From:mr_ducktape
Date:December 11th, 2003 09:16 pm (UTC)
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HA! That's awesome.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 11th, 2003 11:49 pm (UTC)
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I figured you of all my friends would appreciate this the most.

It's SOOO dorky.

2 FreeNet email addresses because I thought it was "cool" to have extra email addresses. A bunch of really dorky injokes. I have no idea why those smileys were there, mainly because I thought smileys were the coolest damned thing ever and I wanted to show them to everyone,

I had completely forgotten that I had an early obsession with the "@=" before adopting it as my "my world is exploding" symbol before adopting it as my general identifying symbol. In this sig it was only there because I thought it was cute, like the other two smileys. A bunch of obscure injoke quotes. A spurious double-quote mark with no matching quote that apparently was in my .sig for months before I noticed it. ASCII lines to make it look extra cool. GOD, I was a geek.

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From:boannan
Date:December 12th, 2003 01:57 am (UTC)
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And the fact that you now notice the extra quote mark establishes that you've advanced to the profitable stages of geek-dom! So would you say you're still a geek but that you have left the dorkage factor in the dust? My friends and I (ahem uss_hairball) recently debated the difference between those two terms (probably and old debate and a dull one).
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 12th, 2003 09:14 am (UTC)
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Heh. I think "geek" "dork" and "nerd" only have precise meanings when they are being debated. I can come up with all kinds of very specific distinctions between them. I can't say I actually stick to that paradigm in actual usage though. In actual usage, it's all about context.

For instance:

Geek - someone who knows an obsessively large amount about a particular topic.

Nerd - someone who is smart to the point of being socially incompetent.

Dork - someone who is socially incompetent.

Geeks need not be nerdy or dorky. Geeks can be cool.

But actually, dorks can be cool too. And nerds can be sexy. It's a strange world we live in.
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From:aethyric
Date:December 12th, 2003 10:55 am (UTC)
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i thought "geek" involved circuses and biting the heads off chickens or something... (once had a friend who took great offense (silly rabbit) to being referred to as such, you see.)

let's see what the OED says (`cause dict isn't helping today).

U.S. slang. (See quots. 1954 and 1961).

[1876: see GECK n.1]. 1916 Wells Fargo Messenger Oct. 29/2 A new Wells agent struck our town the other week, and say{em}you never saw a more enthusiastic geek! 1954 WEBSTER Add., Geek, a carnival ‘wild man’ whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake. 1961 Times Lit. Suppl. 27 Jan. 62/2 He picks up waitress, a simple girl, and enslaves a ‘geek’, a dumb sideshow stooge whose daily routine consists of being exhibited in a pit which he has to dig for himself.

(okay, that's just gross.)

nerd is partcularly amusing, as an OED definition, but it's kind of long, so i'll leave it at "geek". *gigglefit*
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 12th, 2003 11:06 am (UTC)
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This is all about subcultural Jargon though.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:

  geek
       n 1: a carnival performer who does disgusting acts
       2: a person with an unusual or odd personality [syn: {eccentric},
           {eccentric person}, {flake}, {oddball}]

From Jargon File (4.3.0, 30 APR 2001) [jargon]:

  geek n. A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity;
     one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not
     mainstream social acceptance. Geeks usually have a strong case of
     {neophilia}. Most geeks are adept with computers and treat {hacker} as a
     term of respect, but not all are hackers themselves - and some who _are_
     in fact hackers normally call themselves geeks anyway, because they
     (quite properly) regard `hacker' as a label that should be bestowed by
     others rather than self-assumed.
  
     One description (http://www.darkwater.com/omni/geek.html) accurately
     if a little breathlessly enumerates "gamers, ravers, science fiction
     fans, punks, perverts, programmers, nerds, subgenii, and trekkies. These
     are people who did not go to their high school proms, and many would be
     offended by the suggestion that they should have even wanted to."
  
     Originally, a `geek' was a carnival performer who bit the heads off
     chickens. Before about 1990 usage of this term was rather negative.
     Earlier versions of this lexicon defined a `computer geek' as one who
     eats (computer) bugs for a living - an asocial, malodorous, pasty-faced
     monomaniac with all the personality of a cheese grater. This is often
     still the way geeks are regarded by non-geeks, but as the mainstream
     culture becomes more dependent on technology and technical skill
     mainstream attitudes have tended to shift towards grudging respect.
     Correspondingly, there are now `geek pride' festivals (the implied
     reference to `gay pride' is not accidental).
  
     See also {propeller head}, {clustergeeking}, {geek out}, {wannabee},
     {terminal junkie}, {spod}, {weenie}, {geek code}.

From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:

  nerd
       n : an insignificant student who is ridiculed as being affected
           or studying excessively [syn: {swot}, {grind}, {wonk}, {dweeb}]

From Jargon File (4.3.0, 30 APR 2001) [jargon]:

  nerd n. 1. [mainstream slang] Pejorative applied to anyone with an
     above-average IQ and few gifts at small talk and ordinary social
     rituals. 2. [jargon] Term of praise applied (in conscious ironic
     reference to sense 1) to someone who knows what's really important and
     interesting and doesn't care to be distracted by trivial chatter and
     silly status games. Compare {geek}.
  
     The word itself appears to derive from the lines "And then, just to
     show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo / And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep
     and a Proo, / A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!" in the Dr. Seuss
     book "If I Ran the Zoo" (1950). (The spellings `nurd' and `gnurd' also
     used to be current at MIT, where `nurd' is reported from as far back as
     1957.) How it developed its mainstream meaning is unclear, but sense 1
     seems to have entered mass culture in the early 1970s (there are reports
     that in the mid-1960s it meant roughly "annoying misfit" without the
     connotation of intelligence).
  
     An IEEE Spectrum article (4/95, page 16) once derived `nerd' in its
     variant form `knurd' from the word `drunk' backwards, but this bears all
     the hallmarks of a bogus folk etymology.
  
     Hackers developed sense 2 in self-defense perhaps ten years later, and
     some actually wear "Nerd Pride" buttons, only half as a joke. At MIT one
     can find not only buttons but (what else?) pocket protectors bearing the
     slogan and the MIT seal.

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From:aethyric
Date:December 12th, 2003 11:18 am (UTC)
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man, you totally took me out with that reply. *shake head*
i can't compete!
but i can laugh. and i am. oh, how i am. ow.
(where did you find these?)
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 12th, 2003 11:43 am (UTC)
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Did I mention that I'm a geek. :)

It's all about the Jargon File. Geeks the Internet over know about the Jargon file. It's just tacit knowledge. I don't know where it comes from. Among the geekiest, it's passe, but I think it's fun.
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From:wespennest
Date:December 11th, 2003 09:24 pm (UTC)
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I think the only thing that remains of whatever the hell I was back in my BBS days are a bunch of addons for Legend of the Red Dragon II.

So, if you ever come across anything made by Me (Monty Python) and Talaphid Elsdragon, there you go.

I miss the BBSes, though considering I was 14 back then, maybe it's best that my crap didn't get archived on the net. I do miss the conversations on Icenet, though. Man... today folks get mad when there's a 10 second lag-- I hadda wait till the sysop felt like refreshing the forums to get a reply :D

Man, that makes me feel old.
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From:aethyric
Date:December 12th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC)
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your lj linkup to bbsmates amuses me. *grin*
haven't checked there in awhile.... should do so.
maaaaaaan... now i have a hankerin' to play LoRD.
thanks. ;p
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From:aethyric
Date:December 12th, 2003 06:13 am (UTC)

you know...

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everytime i run past this post, it reminds me that i wasn't cool enough to have a Real Internet Email Address yet. no wait... we were too cheap and lazy to get accounts with ais. i think that's what happened. oh yyyyeahhh... and there was no local access out in bufu mchenry county.

*brain explody*

shouldn't remember all this before 9am.
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From:corvus
Date:December 12th, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
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Very nice!

I only go back to 1995 :-(
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