“What” you may ask, “is a polyGeek?”
That is an excellent question. Lets break the word down into it’s component parts. First there’s poly– which means “many or much” from the Greek poly- meaning “many or much“. It is clearly a prefix that has remained steadfast in its meaning.
Then there is the word “Geek” meaning person of great creativity and learning in many diverse subjects or fields of study.
Many people use the word geek and nerd interchangeably. There is however an important distinction between the two. A nerd is someone who intently focuses on one subject to the point of being deficient in all others. A good example of a nerd is of the stereotypical sorority girl who focuses all her energy on fashion and conformity to her sisters to the point that she is oblivious to even basic concepts necessary for being a functional adult in modern society. Someone who can give you a detailed explanation of why pink fingernail polish went out of style last Spring yet does not know that the United States are in North America is clearly a nerd.
Contrast that with a geek who can carry on conversations with experts in a variety of fields all the while understanding the core concepts and asking cogent questions. To sum up concisely a nerd is primarily interested in just one thing; a geek is interested in many things. Therefore you might say that the term polyGeek is redundant. However I choose to think of polyGeek as something akin to a modern day Renaissance Man.
Birthplace: Bisbee, AZ – 1967
Measurements: 3 monitor, Intel Core i7-860 2.80GHz, 8GB RAM ( ooo-la-la )
Ambitions: Make enough money to retire to Mars and have fun doing it.
Turn-ons: BitmapData, Generative Art, non-linear dynamics, working on personal projects
Turnoffs: Closed minded, closed systems such as Apple/Steve Jobs
Hobbies: Writing sci-fi, long walks
Favorite Authors: Douglas Adams, A.C. Clark, Azimov, J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite Musicians: Peter Gabriel, Hans Zimmer, Pink Floyd, Massive Attack
Favorite TV Shows: Star Trek.*, FireFly, Farscape
Qualifications for being a polyGeek
My education is a combination of mathematics, astronomy, physics, history and philosophy. While I don’t have a college degree I do have the necessary credits for a double major in History/Philosophy and nearly enough for a degree in Mathematics. While I might struggle to solve some complex problems in mechanics I understand the concepts of Special and General Relativity well enough.
My hobbies include wood work – I build most of my own furniture – welding, robotics, writing – mostly science fiction, geology, geography, astronomy and photography – see XanaduWest.com. My reading interests run from evolution to the Gnostic Gospels. My favorite science fiction authors are Douglas Adams, A.C. Clarke, Asimov, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card and many others.
Professionally I am a software developer and designer. Specifically I work with Actionscript/Flex for most of my work but also rely on PHP/MySQL occasionally. I used to work at XBox as the prototyper for the XBox 360 dashboard and the original Zune. My recent work includes RunPee.com for which I conceived of the idea, did the design and development. It is now my primary income and supports me while I work on the next big thing – I hope.
I have spoken at the 360Flex conference twice now and enjoy public speaking. I have been interviewed countless times on radio, and a few TV shows, regarding RunPee.
I have lived in more places than most people have visited, including: la’Aquila Italy, Wales Great Brittan, Orlando Florida, throughout the US Southwest, Seattle, etc. I have also twice been homeless. First while attending Northern Arizona University. I lived in a tent in the woods for the Fall semester. Then again I lived in my Nissan Pathfinder for 4 months while working at XBox. I parked and slept at night in the parking lot of the Bellevue public library. I was also working on Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
I enjoy long walks and hiking. I’m a decent basketball player for someone only 5’10”. A better racquetball player. I played wide receiver and cornerback for the Guntersville Wildcats High School football team in Alabama – Roll Tide!
- recursion/self-reference: the former gives us beautiful mathematics that the later consciousness.
- philosophy: logic and epistemology, I think.
- asking questions: my definition of philosophy is, “the art and science of asking interesting questions.”
- exploring and creating: both physical and mental landscapes.
- photography: specifically, patterns of light and dark.
- science fiction.
- closed systems: such as the Bush/Republican administration and Steve Jobs walled garden.
- People that are selfish and close-minded.
- ignorance: especially those who take pride in not knowing things (anti-geeks).