To be honest with you, I don’t feel like a geek. I get called one a lot (in fact la inamorata recently said this very blog was so boring that I should stop doing it), and I act like one a lot (staying up until 1:30am writing recursive directory parsers and mod_rewrite functions in PHP is not the sign of a healthy mind). But still … do I qualify as a real geek? I have no qualifications in anything technical, have little experience other than my employments over the last 5 or 6 years, and certainly wouldn’t be able to stand my ground against “real” geeks in the realm of application programming, processor architecture or the intricacies of Linux.
The other thing that sets me apart from a lot of other geeks is my acceptance of the spiritual side of life. Normally geeks, like lots of other groups, are very logical people. They have to be – if something doesn’t work there’s a reason why it doesn’t work. And if there’s a reason, there is a solution. It might take weeks, months or even years to find the solution, but it’s there. Please avert your eyes from the gross generalisations, I’ll tidy them up when I get time.
So in the area of spirituality, geeks are at a disadvantage. Understanding the spiritual side of life is not a logical thing, it questions, bends or even breaks the rules that would otherwise givern the geeks life. Rules like time, the finite universe, even (depending on which strand of spirituality you follow) evolution itself. In fact, that’s an interesting point – evolution is inherently logical. Person A is more suited to their environment than person B, so person A is the one who (over time) will prosper. It makes sense, it works, we’ve seen evidence of it happening time and time again. But, just occasionally, that logic breaks down – the exception that proves the rule. Let’s take a geeky example – internet browsers. Look at the differences between Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Byt rights the program with a huge multi-national company putting it on 95% of the worlds computers for free should be enough to assure market dominance. And that has been true, until now. We could be experiencing the first rumblings of a whole new era of computer history.
Anyway, back to spirituality. I’m not going to get into specifics and beliefs for several reasons. What I will say is geeks who use their logical, formula-driven brains to come to the conclusion that there is nothing more than the mechanics of what we see around us are missing an important point. After all, any system developer can see beyond their source code to the final functionality of a program. Surely the developers of Terragen must see beyong the clever bits of code to the beautiful images it can create. Maybe the analogy is a bit poor, please accept my apologies for that. However the truth is that what we see, the source code, isn’t the end of the story. At least it isn’t for me.