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Re: Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:

by BioNrd (Monk)
on Jun 27, 2008 at 03:39 UTC ( #694308=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:


Has anyone meet a scientist or a professor that was not geeky about their specific topic of interest. (from wiki "a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of *intellectuality*, electronics, gaming, etc.") As a grad student, I am surrounded by scientist and professors, and they are some of the biggest geeks I know (as a scientist I include myself in that bunch). Just because you can't code in perl, or speak the parlance many of you can, does not mean you lack geekdom. I (somewhat like tubaandy in a post above) am slightly offended that they even made the list of "non-geeks"...But I am happy to see they are not getting many votes :)


---- Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
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Re^2: Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:
by radiantmatrix (Parson) on Jul 01, 2008 at 17:51 UTC

    Has anyone meet a scientist or a professor that was not geeky about their specific topic of interest.

    Abso-freakin-lutely. I've met:

    1. A professor of biology who was (thankfully) ultimately fired because he (a)stopped keeping up with the state of his profession after achieving tenure, and (b)slowly forgot even some fairly basic biology. He was actually imparting misinformation to his students.
    2. A political science professor who insisted that the modern Republican party were on the "far left" of the political spectrum, but refused to explain that position.
    3. A neuroscientist that believes in Facilitated Communication (which has been thoroughly debunked by the neuroscience community on mechanistic grounds, and by skeptics of many stripes on "it has failed every controlled test" grounds).

    And that's just in recent memory. Just like with programmers, there are a lot of professors and scientists that entered their field for some reason other than interest/love, and either fake it or only do well enough not to get ousted.

    Ramblings and references
    “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” Herm Albright
    I haven't found a problem yet that can't be solved by a well-placed trebuchet

      The worst professor story I've heard happened to a friend, who was called stupid by an English professor for (if I recall) something pretty basic, like asking for extra some help.

      Of course, I was an engineering student, who started at IIT, where there was one tenured faculty spot in all the humanities department (which grouped, as I recall, English, History, and foreign languages).

      Some of the science, engineering, and mathematics faculty were decidedly odd, like the physics professor who started the semester by jumping up on a desk and proclaiming his name, and never erased the (double-hung) blackboards during class, instead relying on multiple colors of chalk. One was a fan of Velikovsky. Another would smoke while he taught, lighting a cigarette, taking a puff, and then standing it on its filter, never touched again; instead, he would repeat this with a second cigarette.

      Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

        All great points, and there are plenty of examples even among geeks where they get caught at a given point and never progress (I work with a very geeky engineer who for the longest time wouldn't move some perl scripts of his beyond perl 4, even though perl 5 had been around for several years, and the time to rewrite would probably have been minimal).

        As a chemistry grad student, a couple of my chem profs were near retirement, and just never picked up email or much beyond MS-DOS. The one has gotten into a lot of that since then, the other one, I'm not sure (no one seems to know what happened to him).

        radiantmatrix, sorry you had those experiences, that isn't good. Clearly, those folks need to find something else to do. swampyankee, same thing.


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