What is the greatest moment in geek history?


#1

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#2


#3

June 8, 1955 when Sir Tim Berners-Lee was born


#4

No Charles Babbage in the list.


#5

That time Ozzie bit the head off the bat.


#6

But Ada Lovelace is on there.


#7

I’d go with ‘production of first reliable agricultural surplus’.

Geeks can’t really be a thing, much less experience great historical moments, until agricultural surpluses and division of labor makes ‘geeks’ as a population possible.


#8

Yeah, but Babbage should be getting top billing too - and up against the transistor - that’s a tough opening.


#9

Big Bang, then.


#10

Hands down, 1947 - the first transistor.

Edit: Without the transistor, the flux capacitor would never have been developed.


#11

8 May 585 B.C- Thales of Miletus ended a war by predicting an eclipse


#12

Well, but don’t we need to give “history” a definition, outside of “all things that ever happened”? So, for many historians (except this new “big history” wave that people like Gates really seem interested in), we really tend to focus on history as people made it and even then, we need to have textual/material documents to consult. In that case, the agricultural surplus really helps to get “history” in that definition, rolling. So, I’m kind of with @fuzzyfungus in this case, for whatever that may mean.


#13

Fair enough. I was just going with the extreme logical conclusion of their line of reasoning.

By your definition, I’d go with “the invention of writing” as the finest historical geek moment, as the clever hack that allowed the permanence of though and “known history” itself.


#14

Yeah, and there is a movement within some circles to move back to bigger picture of history, but some of it’s controversial because it does seek to incorporate things like the big bang:

https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home

But not everyone agrees that that is “properly” history (I’m skeptical on incorporating that far back, because I think you need a discussion of human agency in history - history, I think, is made, it doesn’t just happen). My own project fits into the revival of studying capitalism as a category of analysis, looking at larger swaths of time (for me, it’s just the breadth of the Cold War).

Yeah, I think I can get behind that. Which reminds me of this bit of cleveness:


#15

That’s an interesting movement I didn’t know about, thanks for sharing.

Also, really digging Aramaic Falcon’s fashion sense there. Mohawk, necklace and a beard?


#16

So far, it seems like everyone is focused on technology, but what about cultural events? How about the release of the first D&D book? Or the success of Devo on MTV in the early 80s?

Or the first time a guy bit a chicken’s head off in a sideshow! :wink: [edited to add] Or more seriously, when do we shift from geek as a sideshow performer to being a term related to a particular sort of work/culture? Do we properly have geek culture before that connection is made? Or should we think of it as “proto-geek”?


#17

See, that would be a great long term history project - the history of hairstyles - how do we get from the Aramaic (radical) falcon to Mr. T?


#18

OK. This isn’t fair. Pitting D&D against Star Wars?! How can you possibly make that decision this early in the bracket?!

Edit: Broken webpage, can’t vote in the last two items. Don’t blame the browser, hate the game.


#19

They’re both just avatars of Horus.


#20

And how am I supposed to decide between the Wright Brothers and Nicola Tesla, when they show a car on the ballot and don’t use his first name… so it looks like the car company but reads like the inventor of Alternating Current and all the other good stuff. Shenanigans!