Friday, November 04, 2016

Geeking Out


At Barnes & Noble today, I perused a book suggesting that "nerd" as a label might be part of an oppressive dominant culture's mythology, which has, in times passed, classified both homosexuality and the desire of slaves to be free as treatable mental disorders.

Actually, on further research, I see the memeplex relating autism to nerdiness is well-developed, and rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Whereas I would agree that control over "what's a mental disorder" is a key controlling technique, I'm not persuaded:

(A) that Geek and Nerd are synonymous -- what a waste of a good word if so -- or that
(B) Geeks lack social skills.

On the contrary, geeks have collaborated to create new ways of working together on complex projects that big business is striving to emulate.  They call it Inner-Sourcing, which means using what we learned doing Open Source to do something a bit more hush hush and proprietary.

I've held in my namespace that "a nerd is actually the larval form of a geek" which I know sounds somewhat gross, which is all part of the spin.  An ugly duckling, socially speaking, may turn into a swan, given growth-fostering conditions.

Building the new software infrastructure of the planet, with open hardware and open data in the pipeline, took sociality to a higher level.

For my part, I consider myself a geek who is pretty well endowed with diplomatic skills.  I'm not especially shy nor retreating, though I'd cop to being on the quiet side.  Some might claim I was never a nerd then, and probably never bullied sufficiently.  We could argue.

I'd say these are not terms with any fixed or immutable meaning, so allow me my own dialect, how about?

Anyway, the geeking out I did today (Walter Cronkite's 100th birthday (he died in 2009)), involved updating the Jessie distro on my Raspberry Pi 3 (R-Pi 3) to the latest version, sporting the PIXEL desktop with integrated RealVNC.

Thanks to VNC, I was able to connect to the R-Pi in my basement from the Mac Air upstairs, not just through ssh, but in such a way as to show the desktop. I can use this new capability in my upcoming classes I bet.

I also worked on a puzzle involving transportation systems and Dijkstra's algorithm for finding the shortest distance from A to B in a weighted graph.  I wasn't aiming to solve a specific puzzle, just spin my wheels a bit as a coach and mentor.

Earlier, also under the heading of geeky, I got the firmware on my Netgear router to upgrade, finally.  The "Yes" button had been obscured by a Help Bar I couldn't move out of the way, a flaw in the GUI design I finally managed to get around.

These are living standard boosts worth making.  One needs perseverance and concentration.

Why not study "the Work" as shared by Maurice Nicoll if needing more power to focus?  As disciplines go, the Fourth Way folks seem pretty reasonable.  Alex sees connections from the Ouspensky lineage to est through Silva mind control. I'd say even more directly through Mind Dynamics -- before my time really.

I do see the link in the emphasis on machine-like behavior.  In what sense is our intelligence already robotic and therefore artificial?  The esoteric religions and cults do overlap in what they preach.

In Fuller's namespace, we look at mind versus brain, meaning intuition versus conditioned reflexing.  A lack of social skills may relate to both automaticity and an inability to upgrade / reprogram.

As code schools merge with schools more generally (witness the "boot camp" phenomenon), why not look at psychology and mental discipline, in addition to physiology and working out?

Scouting was always about mind and body both, right?  But then of course many critics would share my tendency to lump a lot of these teachings together, as a prelude to tossing them out more than anything.  New Religious Movements (NRMs) definitely spawn their share of detractors, as do the older ones.

Controlling the R-Pi from Mac Air over LAN

:: R-Pi desktop in a window in the Mac Air ::