October 23, 2003

Fascinating research: the organized geek

Category: Tech — Biella @ 8:07 am

Danny O’Brien of NTK is a purported total 100% disorganized mess but damn a great writer.

One of the things that interests him is how certain geeks organize to get things done and how they do so technically. He is going to start a small research project to collect the information and present it at a conference and he is asking for some help and suggestions for specimens.

This is a topic that has fascinated me throughout my research so I can’t wait to hear his results. But one thing I would have him look for are the “little” and minute practices of efficiency that might go unnoticed just because they are so so so second nature. The one thing I am thinking of is in particular is the keystroke. It amazes me how programmers and technical types are able to move about their environment almost entirely punching keys, avoiding entirely the rodent apparatus to their side. Switching windows, desktops, moving about text in a way that makes click, highlight, cut, and paste seem entirely at turtle speed modus operandi. I am enthralled by the damn keystroke and am only slowly getting the hang of it to move around in my own environment. I think that geeks embody forms of efficiency even when they might be outwardly disorganized!

Anyway, good luck to you Danny and yes, I would love to see a Soap Opera about geeks. You could star as the evil villian who would muck their almost perfect artistry of efficiency!

If there was a soap opera for geeks, it would be all about people juggling sixteen projects while filtering sixteen thousand emails on twenty monitors. It would be called “Shoulder Surf” and would be on at five in the morning and to save time it would be broadcast in fast-forward.

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