Commentary | Editors’ note: Celebrating geeks

So what is a geek? Is it a pejorative term for the technologically-minded, or maybe does it just require excessive knowledge of something inglorious and bizarre? Throughout this special issue – with articles ranging from bridge to Battlestar Galactica, the McGill Computer Task Force to beer – we wanted to make it clear that the moniker of geekiness is far from set in stone.

These days, we like to think of geeks as those uncelebrated individuals who have a quirky obsession with something found in murkier areas of the mainstream map. Geekdom is no longer confined to the world of computers or Star Trek; one can obsess over far more than ever before. It almost seems as if everyone has a bit of a geek inside.

There’s nothing wrong with being obsessed with obscure things. In the current world of specialization, where we all have to hold on to that little quirk that makes us unique, it’s hard not to be a geek, and the Internet has made it easier for those with nuanced interests to band with others with similarly quirky interest. There seems to be a slow acceptance of geekiness; pop culture now embraces geek icons like Weezer, Steve Jobs, Quentin Tarantino – even Obama sometimes cracks the odd Star Trek joke. We might just be living in the Geek Age, where the onslaught of geekiness has diffused into hipsters, indie rockers, and rappers alike.

From Ancient Geeks like Plato and Parmenides, Newton and Napoleon, Copernicus and Curie, Darwin and Dawkins, our history is full of geeks. So we say to you, bring out the geek inside yourself. Celebrate it, and think about how geeks like yourselves make the world go round.