The iPhone is the nerd’s revenge

Nerds!In an earlier post I talked about how much I admire Apple as a company and how they devastate beyond the desktop. Today, on the eve of probably their biggest and most hyped technology release (in case you somehow hadn’t heard, the iPhone), I’m watching report after report after report come across my news reader of people standing in line to get their hot new product.

I haven’t seen anything this big for the geek world since the release of Star Wars: Episode I in ’99. Back then I remember standing in line with a whole legion of costumed Yodas and Darth Vaders to get tickets, coordinating with a friend who was standing in line at a different theater just to make sure one of us could get those $9 pieces of paper. We were all more excited than a group of Tri-Lambs about to win the interfraternity olympics.

This time, I’m not in line, and I’m not going to get an iPhone (at least, not immediately) but I still feel the excitement. And the thing that is different about this event is that it is the type of geek celebration that everyone can get into . . . but why is that? Is it that the release of a new phone is any less geeky than the release of a new movie, or have we become more geeky as a nation?

Last year I visited my sister in Dallas. She is no slouch intellectually, but is decidedly the least geeky person you could run across. She’s the one who taught me that “any woman can dress well, but not every woman can accessorize.” However, during this visit I watched in wonderment as she pasted javascript snippets into her Myspace page, relaunched her page, then spent some time fine-tuning its appearance.

So the answer is YES, with the prevalence of consumer technology and the Web coming into its own, we have all gotten more geeky. So today is your day, America. Go out, get in line, get an iPhone (or not, who cares?), and celebrate your inner (or outer) nerd. Geek culture isn’t just for geeks anymore, and perhaps the nerds’ greatest revenge is that we would all eventually join the ranks.


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