Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Geek Wisdom

When I first heard about Geek Wisdom, edited by Stephen Segal, I was more than a little skeptic. As a self-proclaimed Nerd and Geek (by my definitions, nerd = passionate about academic subjects and geek = passionate about pop cultural subjects), I've seen how geekery has become widely accepted over the past few years. Often, that means it is co-opted by brands and companies that have no idea what being geeky actually means. So I figured this quirky little sampler of quotes wouldn't necessarily mean all that much to real geeks.

Man, was I wrong. There is so much truth in this book. Each page features a quote or two from famous geek texts (ranging from Shakespeare to internet memes, with plenty of television, movies, and novels in among the mix) along with a brief discussion of why this is important to the hordes of geeks out there or what it has to say about how we geeks see our world.

That's not to say that every single brief essay in this book works. With some quotes, the author's barely touch upon the quote itself and deal with another matter entirely. The best of the essays, though, (and I'll say the majority of the essays are among the best) really touch the heart of the quote in question, distilling the ideas that geeks feel in their hearts, even if the mind can't explain it so succinctly.

For example, the first quote in the book is "With great power comes great responsibility," written by the great Stan Lee. This has become one of the tenants of geekdom (closely followed, I would think, by Wil Wheaton's "Don't be a dick"). And really, it's something we all understand without too much thought. But the authors of the book point out how this affected not just Spiderman, but also George Washington, King David, Albert Einstein, and Franklin Roosevelt (and that Paris Hilton has somehow not come to understand it at all).

Even if you don't care about the discussion, this is a great collection of geeky quotes. I kept saying to myself that a particular quote was my favorite quote, but then I'd turn the page and find one I liked even more. I just have so much love for this book! It really is the perfect gift for any geeks in your life (in fact, I'm thinking I should just buy a box to have on hand as ready-made gifts).

5/5 stars

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