Category Archives: Geek Stuff

Just Because You Can?

A while back I had occasion to review the design of a very high-end residence hall facility at an institution of higher learning I can’t name. It is not in the US, so it is unlikely your alma-mater.

There seemed to be no limit on the budget. Each room was equipped with full digital video/voice/data and Internet connectivity. Outside each room a digital touchscreen “whiteboard” where the occupant could leave messages for their buds, who could then leave replies.

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Putt, Putt

In the mid 70’s there was a series of articles published in Research & Development magazine by Archibald Putt titled “Putt’s Law: The Successful Technocrat”. I was just a young Science Geek at the time, had been doing research on blowing holes in stuff with lasers, but wanted to develop chops as a Business and Management Geek. This became my motivation to do so. Archibald Putt was a management genius, right there with Peter Drucker, Laurence Peter, Tom Peters and Sun Tsu (who was known as “Pete” to his friends). I copied all the articles from the magazine and still have them in my files.

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Teaching

We in the US are in the unfortunate position of dealing with many years of “dumbing down” of our education system. Efforts to standardize education–while noble in concept–have really just established a standard for conformity and only served to maximize mediocrity. A car race where everyone is required to drive 55 offers little motivation for those who can go 100.

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Geek, Nerd, Dork or Dweeb?

This beautiful diagram is best definition I have found those of us who are more complex than ordinary folk. Not entirely complementary, but accurate.

If a picture is 1,000 words, then a well-crafted diagram is 10 times that.

In November, 2010 BBC Four aired a 6 part series titled “The Beauty of Diagrams”. In the series, beginning with the Vitruvian Man, mathematician  Marcus du Sautoy explains how and why pictures really do serve a thousand or more words. It is currently available on BBC’s iPlayer, and possibly on internet repositories like Netflix.

/r

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Presidential Geek

No, it is not who you think! While it is evident our current president has certified geeks in his employ, he is really a poseur (“poser” for you millennial readers) when it comes to true presidential geeky-ness.

Before the word “geek” acquired its current meaning, the concept was most often applied to engineers. And in that context, the true presidential geek was Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer who proudly made his living in the profession. His defense of his work is classic:

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