The Risks Of Geek Monoculture

from the yeah,-but-what-if-they're-right? dept

The Register has posted a guest commentary piece talking about how geek politics is too predictable. Everyone hates the DMCA and Hollywood attempts at digital rights management. Everyone hates Microsoft and spam. It’s as if you need to hold these beliefs to be a “true” geek. The writer fears that this is creating a dangerous “geek monoculture”. I can see his point. While I definitely agree with most of the positions discussed, I can defend (in amazingly boring detail) why I hold each of those opinions. Unfortunately, I have noticed that more people I talk to today don’t seem to know the basis for their own opinions and bring up vague concepts such as “information wants to be free” without understanding the real meaning behind that. However, I also think (as debates around here have shown) that plenty of geeks don’t walk the straight and narrow line of “geek monoculture”. While there may an overall trend in geek politics, I’m hoping that’s mostly because those opinions make sense – and the people who support them have successfully argued their points in a convincing way that techies understand. Certainly constant debate is healthy. However, we shouldn’t support ideas that are flat out wrong, just to make sure we haven’t become too homogenized. The nice thing about the geek world is that most people have no problem speaking their mind. I don’t think most of the opinions people have come from being browbeaten into submission, but rather a realization that these ideas make sense.

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