Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

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Overview

THE GEEKS HAVE INHERITED THE EARTH.

Computer nerds are our titans of industry; comic-book superheroes are our Hollywood idols; the Internet is our night on the town. Clearly, geeks know something about life in the 21st century that other folks don’t—something we all can learn from. Geek Wisdom takes as gospel some 200 of the most powerful and oft-cited quotes from movies (“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”), television (“Now we know—and knowing is half the battle”), literature (“All that is gold does not glitter”), games, science, the Internet, and more. Now these beloved pearls of modern-day culture have been painstakingly interpreted by a diverse team of hardcore nerds with their imaginations turned up to 11. Yes, this collection of mini-essays is by, for, and about geeks—but it’s just so surprisingly profound, the rest of us would have to be dorks not to read it. So say we all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594745270
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 08/02/2011
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 539,240
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.32(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Stephen H. Segal is the Hugo Award winning senior contributing editor to Weird Tales, the world’s oldest fantasy/sci-fi/horror magazine, and an editor at Quirk Books. His geek portfolio includes work for Tor Books, Viz Media, and WQED Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon. A native of Atlantic City, he lives in Philadelphia.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

A Note on Spoilers

I. My Name Is Inigo Montoya
(wisdom about the self)

II. Form Feet and Legs
(wisdom about relationships)

III. We Are All Individuals
(wisdom about humankind)

IV. Knowing Is Half the Battle
(wisdom about conflict)

V. Billions and Billions
(wisdom about the universe)

VI. In the Year 2929
(wisdom about the future)

Table of Contents

Introduction

A Note on Spoilers

I. My Name Is Inigo Montoya
(wisdom about the self)

II. Form Feet and Legs
(wisdom about relationships)

III. We Are All Individuals
(wisdom about humankind)

IV. Knowing Is Half the Battle
(wisdom about conflict)

V. Billions and Billions
(wisdom about the universe)

VI. In the Year 2929
(wisdom about the future)

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Geek Wisdom 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
CuteEverything More than 1 year ago
The pop-culture philosophy of Geek Wisdom, edited by Stephen H. Segal, includes a famous quote on each page from nerdy sources, with a paragraph of musings on its context, meaning, and impact. It’s a brilliant concept that leads to (what I personally found to be) surprisingly profound observations on life and living. Quotes run from “With great power comes great responsibility,” to “There is no spoon,” to “Don’t Panic,” to “My God — it’s full of stars!” An extra footnote at the bottom of each page includes a fascinating factoid about each quote; did you know that last quote only appears in the novel version of “2001: A Space Odyssey?” I really enjoyed musing over the musings in this book.
LiterarylionSB More than 1 year ago
Science fiction and fantasy permeate modern pop culture: from the internet to cell phones, television, the movies--even books have gone high tech. The geeks are everywhere which makes this the perfect time to celebrate your own inner geek. Geek Wisdom is a collection of short essays about famous quotes from all over our world given unique geek insight. Don't miss out on the footnotes at the bottom of the pages; some of those on their own are well worth the read. Grab your over-caffeinated beverage of choice and enjoy; you might even learn a thing or two about the world we all live in.
stretch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Geek Wisdom is full of some of the greatest geek quotes of all time, add the quick philosophical blurbs and this book is certainly more than meets the eye. Truth be told I only requested this book with a train wreck mindset, so I was a bit hesitant when I actually won it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, it's funny, often witty, insightful, and never seems to take itself too seriously. Quite the accomplishment considering all the directions that this book could have gone. Like all book of quotes there is always going to some quibbles over ones left out and may appear dated decades from now, but who really cares when your looking for a fun quick read.
quilted_kat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Geek Wisdom is a collection of geeky and pop-culture movie and literary quotes, followed by philosophical explanations. Partly a celebration of the religion of science fiction, and partly a celebration of geek culture itself, it is a fun read through oft-repeated quotes and their context.
kaelirenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I became a geek at an early age, when I started putting library-card style checkout cards in the back of my books. I wore my nerdiness indelicately for the first 20 years or so. Then I embraced it with both arms. This book in an homage to the geeks who came of age in the 70s, 80s, and 90s¿before nerdy could possibly be cool. It understands the difference between wearing glasses to looks trendy and actually needing glasses because every waking moment is spent reading fantasy or trying out a new line of code. Not only does it give a geek a chance to revel in his own geekiness by remembering the quotes and how often he has gleefully recited the speeches from the Knights who Say Ni (quotes which are amazingly absent from this book), it points out the depth that these quotes often hide. The editors capture much of the lessons we¿ve taken from our popular culture touch stones. This book covers a myriad of important lessons about our role in society, our responsibilities to each other, and what the future holds for humanity. Most of my fellow geeks certainly picked up this book with full intention of pointing out what was missing from this handy little guide, possibly ready to guffaw at the immense number of quotes from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the paucity of quotes from Monty Python. This is admittedly what I did during my first read through. Then I started reading the comments, which I expected to be about how the quote fit into the movie. The comments made the book. The authors took insight out of pop culture and cult classics. They showed the wisdom in everything from ¿Snozzberrys. Who¿s every heard of a snozzberry?¿ to ¿Good, bad? I¿m the guy with the gun.¿ This book is enjoyable, insightful, and funny. Because a book is almost always the perfect gift for a nerd and because we are ridiculously hard to shop for, I suspect this will be given to many geeks as gift. Whether you are a geek, know a geek, or are trying to coax a geek into embracing his geekiness, this is a great book to share.
Magus_Manders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heheh, what a fun little book. In the introduction to Geek Wisdom, Segal glibly states that as a child, his religion was science fiction ( full disclosure, so was mine). He and his co-writers have done their best to sum up the most important lessons in life through the medium of the geeky bon mot. Movie quotes, internet memes, quirky tee-shirts, it's all here. Each quote gets its own page, which expounds upon what we've learned of human nature, good and evil, ourselves, and the universe, through the media we consume. Some are quite funny, some serious, and some a bit far fetched, but all of them are loving and hold special places in the geek's (or at least my) lexicon. There are points where Geek Wisdom can't decide if it's being written for an audience of categorical media-consumers or the average mundane, but it takes itself with enough humor that one can vest in it as much or as little weight as one chooses.
detailmuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nicely put together collection of approximately 200 quotations from mid- to late 20th-century popular culture (science-fiction/fantasy books, film, television and video games), each accompanied by a short essay that illuminates the quotation¿s philosophical (¿sacred¿) teaching, and some footnoted with a bit of playful trivia about the quotation¿s source.For example:It¿s people. Soylent green is made out of people. --Detective Thorn in the 1973 film Soylent Greensuggests that, whether it's a food supplement made from the recently dead or ¿children in sweatshops or migrants working under substandard conditions, the lifestyle of comfort that we likely take for granted has been built on a foundation of systemic dehumanization. It¿s made out of people.¿Or:Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible. --Rod Serlingdiscusses geeks¿ interest in other worlds -- maybe to escape personal dissatisfaction or maybe to daydream an increase in human satisfaction.A few of the quotes were totally new to me and quite a few of the sources were relatively unfamiliar, so I wanted more background and context. But the true-geek audience won¿t need that and besides, it¿s not the purpose of this collection -- the philosophy is. And here, the philosophy is individually encouraging and societally positive.
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen H. Segal has gathered a collection of quotes from a wide variety of sources that don't have much in common except that they can all be described as "things enjoyed by geeks." So we've got Yoda and Kurt Vonnegut, Inigo Montoya and Nikola Tesla, Rod Serling and Carl Sagan and Monty Python and two different characters named Morpheus. For each, there's a little page of commentary on the quote or the character or the source material, relating it to some aspect of life, the universe, and everything. (And yes, of course, Douglas Adams is in here, too.)As someone who deeply loves the stuff of "nerd culture" and who is infinitely more likely to ask herself "What would Mr. Spock do?" than "What would Jesus do?", this seemed right up my alley. But I'll admit I was a little trepidatious going into it. There are so many ways something like this can go wrong. It could be another insipid attempt at "inspirational writing." It could be painfully over-earnest or embarrassingly self-mocking, or even just a cynical attempt to cash in on an audience that tends to be enthusiastic to the point of obsession. I've seen stuff like that before. I don't remember All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek very well -- which may be for the best -- but I do remember thinking it was terribly lame.So I'm delighted to be able to report that this book avoids every one of those pitfalls. It really is genuinely thoughtful, sometimes even surprisingly insightful, but it doesn't take itself too seriously, either. In fact, it's got a terrific sense of humor; I repeatedly found myself laughing out loud. And the contributors are plugged into geek culture in a way that's impossible to fake. I can tell they love this stuff just as much as I do, and that alone is enough to make this entertaining in much the same way as those long-ago dorm room conversations in which my friends and I would sit around analyzing Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. And who knows? Maybe the next time I'm feeling in need of a little nugget of geeky wisdom, I'll pull it back down off the shelf, flip it open, and see if Gandalf or Galileo or has something worthwhile to say.
Phantasma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
By turns hilarious and thought-provoking, this book gathers together some of geek culture's most bandied-about phrases and reinterprets them in a more philosophical manner. And I couldn't have been more entertained. The writers show us why these phrases are so beloved and how, by embracing them, we somehow also embrace ourselves.
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is what I'd call a 'bathroom book' - little snippets meant to be read in tiny bits and pieces. It's meant to highlight moral truths that we learn from famous 'geek' sayings taken from fantasy and science fiction franchises. Each snippet is written by someone else - which means that they vary wildly in quality. Most aren't really that interesting, let alone that profound. This was disappointing to me, as someone who's spent most my life steeped in 'geek' culture, because I've long believed that these modern fairy tales have a lot to say about morality and human nature. Most of the bits in here just aren't that deep. It's bad when the quote they're discussing carries more weight than the discussion itself. Many times the discussion is basically a rehashing of the quote itself, or the context, without any deeper digging. "With great power comes great responsibility." You don't say? Huh. If only I could have read (or watched) a story that explores that more fully...For a bathroom reader, or something similar, it's fine. It was free (ER book). It's cute and gimmicky and easy to skim. But I wouldn't go out of my way for this one.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got a copy of this book to review through Librarything's Early Reviewer program. It was a super fun read especially for those who are fans of all things geeky.The book is split into four or five parts each encompassing life lessons: wisdom about the self (My name is Inigo Montoya), wisdom about the universe (Billions and Billions), wisdom about the future, etc. Within these sections each page has a quote on top of it and then the quote is discussed in greater (and often humorous) length below. There are usually additional footnotes containing miscellaneous facts about the quote or the person who made it.This book has quote from everything from the Princess Bride to Star Wars to the Big Bang Theory to Edward Scissorhands and even Tolkien. The book pretty much spans a wide horizon of geekiness. There is a lot of humor in here but there is also some seriousness; how to apply geeky quotes to living your everyday life is discussed. The issue of being geeky and a woman is touched on a few times too; usually with a sensitive, yet humorous bent to it. I also enjoyed the discussion on steampunk fans, the new and less objectionable version of a goth.My whole family really enjoyed this book and I think it is a wonderful gift/coffee table book for those self-proclaimed geeks in your life. Just reading the quotes and footnotes are fun. It is also fun to see how many of the quotes you are familiar with. I quizzed my husband on some of them to see which ones he remembered. My son enjoyed the Star Wars ones and got to learn a few new things. Overall this is a super fun book and I really enjoyed reading it. I started reading it with my family and then was surprised when I ended up sitting down and reading the rest of it in one sitting. Aside from all the fun there are some thought-provoking discussions in here as well. Highly recommended!
dschander on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Now this is a keeper. Geek Wisdom is a funny and surprisingly insightful look at the statements we geeks have taken to heart. Each entry begins with a quote -- mostly well-known, though occasionally obscure -- from a book, movie, video game, etc. Segal and his writers then examine the words for a life lesson. I found myself nodding along in places, giggling in others and sometimes thinking "cool, never thought of it that way". What could be trite is affirming instead. It's not a book you'd normally read cover to cover -- just open it up at random and see what you get, I'd say; you'll be glad you did.I also have to give a shout out to the designer. This is one fine book. The dust jacket is quirky and fun, and the actual cover of the book (with "geek" spelled out) may be even better.
Tmyers526 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got this through the Early Reviewers program, and I loved it! So many of the quotes were from things I already enjoy. The footnotes were informative and funny. It did bring me to the conclusion that I might be a much bigger geek than I originally thought.
gilroy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book pulling from references throughout media to bring explaanations to the Geek World. It is definitely designed to be flipped through, caught from time to time, but not read as a normal book might. Each quote or phrase then offers a philisophical consideration. From my reading, I'd say these considerations are to ask the reader to dig deeper, to think about what's being said, rather than just place the plate in front of the reader. After all, this is Geek Wisdom, which suggests thinking. For something to stimulate philisophical thought processes, I can recommend this book.
Christine_reader More than 1 year ago
This isn't so much a book to be read from cover to cover, a fact I realized far too late. Rather it's one to skip around, go back to, re-read. Yes, yes, I KNOW it's a geek book, but it's not all quotes from your favorite (or totally geeked out there) characters. It's got good advice, especially for those still not comfortable in their own skin.