Sunday, April 5, 2009

Renaissance Geekiness

The ideal of the "Renaissance Man" has been around since, well, the
Renaissance. As recently as 25 years ago, college students were
encouraged (and required) to take a mixture of arts and sciences
electives so that their education would produce well-rounded
individuals prepared to learn almost any profession. As the world
grows increasingly complex, however, particularly in the area of
technology and science, the tendency has been to specialize in a
particular area and to do it at an earlier age. Few can claim to be
Jack of All Trades. On the artistic side, the number of choices has
exploded in areas such as music, television, and the Internet. Thus,
it becomes less likely at the office that you and a co-worker share
many experiences or tastes in common. Your best friend may be someone
you've never met, although you converse daily electronically.

While technically savvy people are admired for their brains, they are
often labelled as "geeks." Being called a geek can be taken as a
source of personal pride, marked with a high level of individual
achievement. Sure, Albert Einstein had some problems, but his genius
was celebrated. The stereotypical geek is used to figuring out things
on his or her own, not as a team member.

Yet an appreciation for varied interests and values is crucial in
advancing social justice and economic prosperity. The ability to
empathize and communicate with people from all walks of life is a
valuable asset. Cultivating the ability to learn from history and to
plan together for our children's future is enlightening.

I hope to expose our beloved geeks to some wholesome
character-building virtues, recognizing and minimizing weaknesses, and
reminding them of their already formidable strengths. Whether you are
a geek or you are mentoring a geek-in-the-making, effort spent on
becoming more well-rounded and on teaching others how to do it can
lead to personal benefits as well as increasing the degree to which
society values your contributions.

Of course, I will also post about events that are impacting my life,
plus reviews of music, movies, heroes, and books. Gotta stay

No comments:

Post a Comment