Geekness and the Fear of Death

My son is a geek. This is how i know. When I ask him what time it is, he goes looking for a computer, no matter how many clocks are on the wall. Last week I saw him start up a computer and wait for it to boot up, just so he could see what time it is. What a geek!

I also have a few geeky tendencies. One of them is using Google search engine as a spell checker. I type the word in question into the search box, hit search, and in a second, Google comes back and says . .

“Don’t you mean ______________”. (You moron!)

“Uh huh, thats right. I knew that!!!”

The other sign of geekness is an almost absolute terror of writing a book. The very idea of a book both terrorizes and paralyzes me. Hypertext is so natural. It is how my mind thinks.

Some words from Robert Coover (The End of Books) were comforting to me this morning, as I read yet another New Media book in the bathtub. According to Coover, it is the FEAR OF DEATH that prevents me from writing an actual (pre-hypertext, print media) book.

“And what of narrative flow? There is still movement but in hyperspace’s dimensionless infinity, it is more like endless expansion . . . How does one resolve the conflict between the readers desire for coherence and closure, and the text’s desire for continuance, its fear of death. Indeed, what is closure in such an environment? If everything is middle, how do you know when you are done, either as a reader or writer?” Robert Coover, The End Of Books, The New York Times Book Review, 11, 23-25. June 21, 1992


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

1 Comment

  • Isaac says:

    Haha.. Classic, Andrew!
    I also use Google as my spell checker. I use Firefox, and it’s so easy to hit ctrl+tab and search Google.

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