Could There Be Peak Geek?

You've probably heard about Peak Oil – sometimes its portrayed as "oil running out" but is really more "demand growing greter than we can get it out" (of which running out may be part of it).

I've been wondering about Peak Geek.

I don't think we're going to run out of geeky, creative, smart, information-driven people.  But I've started to wonder, at least in America, if we're not cultivating them and if we're going to regret it later – if not sooner.

Innovation is the name of the game in today's world, if only because we have to come up with ideas brighter than the ones that got us into trouble.  But if we don't cultivate innovative people who can come up with those ideas – or implement them – we're in trouble.  Innovation is something you can't mine or clone.

We need enthusiasm, especially when the economy is the slow-motion plodding semi-disaster it is right now.  If we don't cultivate people who l0ve what they do, they'll be ground down in these pretty lousy times.  Enthusiasm has to be real.

Information is needed to get things done – we need people who are knowledgeable.  If we don't find them and educate them, knowledge becomes stale and dry, in books and records, not being put into heads and meeting with creativity and enthusiasm.

We need an enthusiasm for technology (which geeks of most any stripe are good at) because pretty much that's the future.

We need people who can dream of the future – because they're gonna make it.

In short, we need geeks.

I think it's a battle in America.  On one side is our high-tech culture, the innovative cities and megaregions, and the highly-interlinked net groups.  On the other is a weird anti-education/anti-intellectual bent, slashed school budgets, and a lack of imagination.

If we want a future we need geeks – and we, the individual geeks, ahve to work damn hard to cultivate them.  We can either stagnate and go backwards, loose our imagination and enthusiasm, or keep innovating.

I never want to worry we don't have enough Geeks.

Steven Savage