Episteme

Mike's random thoughts and ramblings

Nerd Culture

So, I was originally just going to post a link to Jeremy's newest post about the geekiest song I've ever heard. Seriously, this line killed me:

"You’re running csh and my shell is bash, You’re the tertiary storage; I’m the L1 cache.
I’m a web crawling spider; you an Internet mosquito;
You thought the 7-layer model referred to a burrito.
"

And then I started looking around the RhymeTorrents site. And there are 7 albums of the stuff. I've spent most of this afternoon (when I should have been working) listening to songs like Beefy's Internet Celebrity. And then I found out that this isn't just one site - there's a whole culture of nerdcore (detailed at the blog Hipster, Please. There's even a tour going on right now (I'm incredibly jealous of those on the West Coast).

And all of this reminded me of something that an old friend wrote recently on the site of his newest project - an art gallery called 20 goto 10:

"after a while i started noticing a huge change in the hacking culture. everyone started getting jobs. all the 16 year olds seemed to have grown up and stopped sticking it to the man and soon became the man, or at least corporate schmuchs working for him. at least we didnt have a work dress code but even that started to fade. i realized that i was just sitting behind a desk, clicking away at nothing. i was a corporate nobody, and to some extent i still am. but im trying to change that.

i used to enjoy presenting at all the computer security and hacking conferences, but i recently became really fustrated with the fact that people would either present content that now only applied to the current security industry, or even if they had new and interesting ideas, then the audience, now made up of security professionals, didnt really care because it didnt apply to their job. all real creativity had been stomped out."

It's interesting that as an industry matures, those with a passion to create radical and really new things sometimes move on to other areas. Yet, it was that real nerdiness and ability to be creative that drove them to the industry in the first place.

I'm excited to see the nerdcore scene, and really excited to visit the 20 goto 10 shows next time I'm in San Francisco. It's always exciting to see someone geeking out and creating new things with their passion, and doing, as Tom Peters calls it, "WOW! projects".

Now, I've got to go back and listen to some more geek rap.

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Michael Murray

Michael Murray