Geek Culture! Three Historical Geeks

albert-einstein-1951The concept of geek-ism is nothing new. Geeks have been popping up throughout history, giving us concepts and ideas that have radically changed the world. There were Greek geeks, Roman geeks, and Chinese geeks who came up with ideas and inventions way ahead of their times. I’ve picked three geeks, one who is Baroque-ish and the others two who have fashioned the modern world. Rather than focus a lot on their accomplishments, however, I’m going to share some extremely geeky characteristics of each.

“Oh Diamond! Diamond! Thou little knowest the mischief done!” (Said to a pet dog who knocked over a candle and set fire to his papers) I guess when it came down to it, rather having a dog EAT his homework, the dog burned Sir Isaac Newton’s work and he was not happy about it, no matter how flowery his speech was.

Newton was a sickly, strange man. Besides coming up with theories on physics that ushered in a modern era of new thinking, he also messed around with some pretty strange stuff, such as alchemy. Keep in mind, during Newton’s time, alchemy was still considered a viable science. In his own ignorance, sadly, Newton would often drink quicksilver (liquid mercury). Quicksilver was thought to kill certain diseases at the time and since Newton himself was sickly most of his life, he must’ve thought he was doing himself a favor. In reality, he was poisoning himself.

In true geek fashion, Newton was still an overachiever and was one of the brainiest geeks the world has known. In modern day, I could see him teaching at an Ivy League school or dominating somewhere in Silicon Valley. Oh, and the apple thing….never happened.

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.  I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.” This is one of the reasons why I like Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla. He was the smarter of the two when it came to Thomas Edison, who was his bitter rival.

Tesla was eccentric to say the least. He was possibly one of the first mainstream scientists to theorize about UFO’s, for example. One of the best qualities that made him a good scientist was that he could visualize his inventions to the most minute measurement and dimension, besides having a great photographic memory. He invented the radio before Guglielmo Marconi, pioneered robotics and electronics, and magnetism. And let’s not forget those hella cool Tesla coils.

I believe that if Tesla was alive today, he would be designing some pretty wicked cool video games and systems or designing weapons systems, such as that direct energy ray he theorized.

“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” Ah, Albert Einstein. His brilliance, his snarkiness, his wild hair. Those things aside, he was probably the most brilliant physicist who has lived.

The above quote sort of encompasses Einstein as a person. He was a brat as a child because he always challenged authority and stuck with own ideas, besides being extremely cocky. And like Tesla, he thought out and designed his theories visually. He was also a wonderful musician, too, excelling in the violin. His offices were notoriously messy with papers and books everywhere. Einstein was probably the first scientist to be a celebrity. People would stop him on the street and ask him to explain “that theory” (theory of relativity). He would say that he just LOOKS like the guy who came up with it to get out of the conversation. Actually, he did have a simple explanation for it by stating: There is no hitching post in the Universe- so far as we know.

If still alive, Einstein would probably be teaching at Princeton. Or else he would be a very smart rock star. Perhaps he would even be working for NASA putting those physics theories to use to discover more of the cosmos and even Tesla’s UFO’s.

I hope in some way, shape, or form I have shown off three historical geeks and some of their geeky elements. There are tons of geeks out there, not just gamer geeks, but math geeks, electronics geeks, musical geeks, literature geeks, and geeks who do some pretty weird stuff. Gamer geeks may have some of these qualities. I myself am a music geek. Can we say “marching band?” And I know a lot of you out there have some pretty brilliant qualities in common with these three fine gentlemen. So I say to you, geek it up! We have a fine heritage.

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