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The word “geek” used to refer to certain sideshow performers whose act consisted of outlandish things as eating glass or sticking needles through their bodies. Some people decided that it would be an appropriate pejorative, and it began to be applied to those whose interests ran to academics, particularly science. While such interests may have not have been popular in high school, geeks were well positioned to do well in real life.

Geeks have their own favorite movies, books and games that they sometimes use to share feelings or meaning within the geek community. Don’t expect to pass yourself off as a geek without a well-rounded understanding of science fiction, fantasy, actual science and, of course, mathematics.

What makes geeks, well, geeky? First, they don’t mind being different – at least most of the time. They tend to be creative, trying to figure out how to overcome a particular challenge without worrying about whether it’s the best way or even practical. Most importantly, they have a nasty streak of optimism that is nearly impossible to extinguish.

I recently finished a book I got for Christmas – Geek Wisdom; The Sacred teachings of Nerd Culture edited by Stephen H. Segal. It’s a fun read if you’re a geek or if you just want to try to understand the geek in your life.

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