When people talk about geeks or nerds, their initial reactions are usually negative – geeks are anti–social and sit in front of the computer all day. However, many innovative ideas and technologies are often developed and inspired by geeks. Where would be we with out PCs, Macs, mobile phones, Facebook, Whatapp, PS4 and thousands of others. These products and their founders were unpopular when they started but became household names loved by millions. This realization might prompt you to ask a question. Can you live without these innovations. Can you live without embracing to some degree geek culture. It might even be fair to say you can't live without it.
Clark Cai is a Masters student student studying engineering at the University of Toronto. He is a self-described hardcore fan of various geek fandoms. He believes geeks have and will continue to change the world and improve living standards of people around the world.
On innovation, could you imagine 10 year ago ideas that sounded like pure science-fiction. Cai asks, "who would have thought they could own their own personal handheld device and for free, could verify their identity with a retinal, facial or fingerprint scan?
Cai, like many engineers is a gamer. He hopes to work as a programmer at the Blizzard Entertainment. He believes the biggest benefit video games bring to the society is to foster innovation, problem solving and fully immersive experiences. It doesn't hurt too that the gaming industry generates massive revenues every time a big release happens.
Indeed, according to Cnet, The Straits Times and Kotaku, scientists are researching the possibility of substantiating state-of-the-art technologies like Gundams or the Star Wars light sabre. (See references) More importantly, some new technologies have already come out. The Virtual Reality idea from the Japanese anime Sword Art Online (SAO) has turned out to be pretty common today. Although the maturity of VR is not yet comparable to the Anime (people can literally live in the Virtual World in SAO), it is a good start for a brand new experience.
When asked about the speed of technology, Cai confidently says, "I truly believe beyond even the VR world like SAO, that science fiction plots will happen, in real world, sooner or later.
Geeks embrace passion and innovation
Geeks embrace their passion and innovation. Hardcore fans are even more likely to take risks and try new things. In others, they move things forward faster because the break away from tradition before everyone else.
Wear your geek on your sleeve
Geeks haven't always worn their geek on their sleeve. But they should. Famous geeks like Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg bypassed conventional wisdom and took a road less travelled that paved the way for massive improvement for society and people everyone.
We need to pay more attention to geeks because they challenge societal and social norms and often change things in a big way. If you're a geek or a nerd, then wear your fandom on your sleeve and keep asking questions and challenging the status quo if you feel something is missing. You'll be in excellent company if you remain curious, ask questions and solve problems like those who came before you.
Geeks deserve our support
The world is changing and innovating at break-neck speed. Geeks have and continue to play a big role because they often dream the impossible, challenge the status quo and innovate. The next time you meet a proud geek, think about how your world has changed and give them a high five. They just might be the next geek who changes the world for the better.