From computer based knowledge, to those who have an anorak intelligence over films and music, there is a Geek in all of us.
But what would happen if some of these Geeks had their way with the world? Where would relatively mundane things from now be left? And would the change be better?
Ashley Scrace suggests 10 things that may change if Geeks did rule the world (though there are probably 314.1516 different ways it would change)
1 – Language
Many words are wasted. Just read this article – most of it is unnecessary. Succinctness is key.
But what if language can be replaced by numbers? They are all-telling, unarguable, simple data forms.
And that is where binary comes in. Long gone are greetings of ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Welcome streams of numbers ‘0110100001100101011011000110110001101111’ and ‘01100111011011110110111101100100011000100111100101100101’
And while the language may be hard to learn initially, it’s only a few numbers. How hard can it be? 01010000011100100110010101110100011101000111100100100000011000100110110001101111011011110110010001111001001000000110010001101001011001100110011001101001011000110111010101101100011101000010110000100000011000010110001101110100011101010110000101101100011011000111100100101110
(The above: “Pretty bloody difficult, actually.”)
2 – Food
Digital food is a concept which has appeared in sci-fi for a while – the idea that via a command a certain food will be in front of you, with no use of ingredients whatsoever or seemingly any cooking equipment.
To be perfectly honest, I would not necessarily consider this development a bad thing. Gone would be struggling on stale bread because the inclement weather prevents a large Asda shop. No longer would you have to stumble to the pub or the takeaway on those lonely nights.
All you would do is command your computer to produce the food and feed it to you, possibly in a Wallace and Gromit style method.
While it would put chefs out of business, it would certainly make sure my girlfriend leaves the kitchen tidy at least.
3 – Sex
Maybe it is stereotypical, but I like to assume most computer geeks do not have sex. And, if they do, it is probably with a cyber-girl named Cindy on ‘Second Life’ who has been designed exactly to the specifications of the user.
But as odd as this may be, think of the selfish positives. A partner who does what you want, when you want, in the way you want, and has all the attributes you desire. Yes, a computer-generated world may well take away physical passion, but it would take away small talk, flirting, and endless games also. Just log on to your computer, and plug in to your partner. Literally.
Now – how many uses does a disc tray have…?
4 – Encyclopaedias
Remember how simple your first Encyclopaedia was? It had the ability to list broken down blurbs of rather complex topics in digestible ways.
Not if geeks ruled the world. Imagine it – every possible geek in every field listing every major and minor detail of a topic no one really cares about. Gone would be the simple, one-paragraph explanation of Newton’s law of gravity. In comes a 2,000 word thesis which merely acts as an introduction.
These books of knowledge would expand to millions of pages, boring readers to tears, and destroying forests at an unimaginable rate. Still, at least it would give the printing business a boost.
5 – Architecture
With no real sense of adventure besides their computing systems, architecture would most likely resemble the latest Nintendo DS. Imagine it – the screen could be the windows to the office space, and the buttons could be landscaped gardens of some description. And the other details? Well, further landscaping.
There are a few downers to designing buildings based on computing equipment, though. An Xbox 360 looks like a standard factory, and anything disc-like will most likely be mistaken for a UFO – coincidentally, by fellow geeks.
6 – Music
Most likely, every musical piece would feature an Ocarina – probably always referred to as the ‘Ocarina of Time’. This would probably be accompanied by a myriad of drum effects, sound effects, and possibly even internet connectivity noises. Imagine the result to be something of a cross between Wolf Eyes, Sigur Ros and the soundtrack to Donkey Kong.
Beats all that Katy Perry rubbish, though.
7 – Crime
I like to think crime would not exist – that we’d all live in some Minority Report type place where geeky tech-types could predict misgivings before they happen.
But, as the aforementioned film suggests, not all would be as it seems. Someone could hack the system, the system could be wrong, and the human element of understanding, empathy, and context assessment would be gone.
Still, having the law enforced by some form of Robocop would be impressive, especially if they come equipped with Pete Weller’s gruff vocals and taste for ultra-violence.
8 – Comedy
Big Bang Theory is the worst comedy on television, now and possibly ever. I do not care who argues against that point. It is the most unimaginative, unoriginal, unfunny morsel of TV trash ever produced.
Imagine what would happen if geeks took control of humour. No longer would we be allowed to enjoy Family Guy or even Friends, instead we would have to put up with more Big Bang Theory – hours of irritating cretins poking fun at HTML, space travel, or Indian geek stereotypes. Thrilling.
9 – Work
We would all work in IT. Simple. To a large extent, we all already do to varying degrees. Business meetings would be a thing of the past, notepads would be deemed archaic, and there would be no need for diaries. Everyone would function on some kind of tablet, probably adhering to the Apple brand.
However, this would not be a particularly bad thing either. I would love to avoid people on a daily basis, instead talking my computer through my work problems. And it would stop the constant smudging ink I have on my left-hand from hours of note taking.
10 – Me
Let’s face it – we would all change, myself especially. I am a secret geek at heart. If geeks ruled the world, finally I could break my socially acceptable bonds and continually babble about every single detail of 1970s’ West Coast US rock music, about all the hidden shortcuts in Mario Kart, about all the technicalities of HTML and other web-based intricacies.
Yes, I would be boring. Yes, life would be all too methodical. But do you know what? Who cares. That inner-geek is part of me, and it needs to come out.
So with the best Vulcan salute I can offer, peace be with you.
Words: Ashley Scrace
Images: Stolen from Sam J. Valdés Lopez’s computer.