Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “Generation C

Nerds vs. Hipsters – Why it’s a thing

If you’re looking for the social media stuff, it has moved over to Social Media for the Common Man. I will be updating that with both basic and advanced techniques for interacting on the web with your fellow man. You’re free to take or not take my advice. I will also take suggests in comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, and through email. Feel free to contact me.

I’m working three jobs and having a fairly good social life (much to my surprise), so updates may be sporadic.

Speaking of a “social life”, I had a ticket to ComicCon (#sdcc) on Sunday and guys…

Seriously, guys…Nerd overload

Anyway, lately I’ve been contemplating Nerdom, my current status within the hierarchy of Nerdom (I mean, c’mon; I made the pilgrimage to Nerd-Mecca [on the Sabbath, no less]) and I wanted to point something out.

Nerds and hipsters are in a culture struggle. My real contemplation started when I pinned an infographic on Pinterest. At first, I thought it was a joke, but I got several responses to it.

Then, I tweeted something about Shark Week and soon found myself shoved into some hipster strewn corner of the Internet. It was like I was living on a Risk board. When did the hipsters take Shark Week?

In Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America (and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope) David Anderegg says,

“Young adult urban hipsters embrace nerd/geek stereotypes and costumes because this is a way of distancing themselves from mainstream America.”

The thing about stereotypes is that you tend to brush against the walls of your stereotype no matter how atypical you try to be. But, one of the really great things about nerds is that they usually don’t care. Often times, a nerd will place practicality over appearance. That’s not to say that don’t care about cleanliness (stereotype) or attracting a mate (stereotype), they just have other things on their minds.

I wear glasses because my eyes aren’t so good. I prefer to wear jeans, a t-shirt with a pop culture reference, and a pair of Converse. I really like the way those shoes look paired with boot-cut jeans. I suppose that’s my costume, but it’s what I’m comfortable in.

I’ve been working with web technology since 7th grade. I love Apple products. I grew up surrounded by them (my dad had a Newton!). I have a lightsaber, I love television shows, mostly scifi dramas, and Joss Whedon is one of my heroes. Not ironically.

Apple Newton

This. This is a Newton. Unpopular ancestor of the iPhone

The hipster is extremely concerned about their appearance, which is interesting that the opposite intent often yields the same result.

Nathan FillionHowever, the big difference between nerds and hipsters is enthusiasm. My ticket to ComicCon was too last minute for me to wear a costume (got the ticket Saturday night at 8, had to leave at 6am Sunday). I didn’t feel right throwing something together half-assed.

The thing I’m really getting to is: hipsters like things ironically. What does that mean? It means they’re either a) too afraid to admit they like something in actuality or b) they say they like something to sound outrageous or cool or hip.

Nerds don’t love things ironically. They squee. They freak out when they see Nathan Fillion. They work all year on a costume they wear once a year…and they don’t even get in the door.

Hipsters’ attitude and their tendency to disguise themselves as nerds may have led to nerd chic, but now it’s giving nerds a bad name.

The next time you see a hipster and mock them, stop and think.

Perhaps it’s only a nerd.

P.S. We’re f*&king taking back Shark Week.


Aside

Items of Interest: Ep. 14

Mind the gap.

No, not the warning in the Underground.

I’m talking about the generation gap. That’s right. Here it comes:

Items of Interest: Ep. 14

Generation C, the DIY Generation

Generation C is not your typical generation. It’s not defined by dates, birth year, decades. The “C” stands for Content. 

This phenomenon captures the avalanche of consumer generated ‘content’ that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis. They’re using technical tools to create and publicize their own content. It’s easy. Blogging, social media, self-publishing, YouTube videos, Flickr. There are hundreds of ways for you to spread your content far and wide. You also have the opportunity to focus your content laser on the people who are interested in what you have to give.

The ultimate shouting into the void.

And, it’s not limited to content. The upcoming generation has taken a Do-It-Yourself approach to business. The entrepreneurial spirit has captured the young generation. Look at Google. The founders didn’t even meet each other until 1995 and now it’s one of the most influential companies in the world. Apple has changed from living in Microsoft’s shadow to a leader in technology.

What is bolstering this Do-It-Yourself spirit?

Technology. Need to make a bank deposit? Use a machine. Need to hang a shelf? Go to the hardware store and buy the materials. Need to rewire your house? I’m sure there’s a YouTube video on that somewhere…

But, wait! There’s more!

Most professional content industries (production studios, publishers, news corporations, recording studios) have gatekeepers. And, they have gatekeepers for a reason. There is value in the gatekeeper.

Let’s be honest. I can take a picture of a pier. Doesn’t mean it belongs on a poster or postcard. It’s just something I put up on my blog when I *cough* don’t have anything to write that day.

Just because I can record a song in GarageBand doesn’t mean I can cut an album (nor should I). You can list every successful content creator out there, but for every one success story, there are hundreds of failures. Why?

I’ll tell you.

In Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihaliyi tells us why being “creative” isn’t enough. You must know your domain and know the rules of it. What’s a domain?

Like Psychology or Literature. The category of “thing” you want to contribute to. 

Then, you need to be in a field, a place where people can judge if your innovation is novel and relevant enough to be added to the cultural knowledge base. While the Internet is used by millions of people, how many visitors do you get on your blog?

Think about it. There were nearly 290,000 books traditionally published in the US in 2009.

Which ones did you read? (What Oprah told you?)

I’m proud to be part of Generation C. I love hanging out on social media. I like blogging about things I find interesting.

But if I want to be added to the cultural knowledge base, there are a few gates I need to crash.

Read more about Generation C here.