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Geeks I know value skill and creativity over knowledge. Getting things done instead of getting stuck in pointless intellectual and political considerations. There is a growing contempt for the old academic intelligentsia more concerned with 'clan politics' than actual knowledge creation. The system looks like it is meritocratic, but whoever dwells there long enough knows how far this is from meritocracy.

What seems to be the consensus is that academia has not brought in any revolutionary innovation for decades. Whenever practical innovation came, it came from characters as far from the 'standard intellectual stereotype' as could possibly be. As a result there is a haughty "keep debating while we get the job done" attitude, which may be mistaken for anti-intellectualism. In reality it is not that geeks dislike experts and intellectuals - it is that they've met too many would-be-experts who failed their most trivial relevancy tests, so the term 'expert' raises a BullshitIncomingException almost immediately in any geek's mind.




There is a growing contempt for the old academic intelligentsia more concerned with 'clan politics' than actual knowledge creation.

But lets be clear, this is the case everywhere. Geeks have the same clan politics. The difference is rarely the politics, but where you sit in the pecking order, that changes your perspective.

I actually think the problem with academia in CS today is it's too applied. They should NOT be focused on today's problems. The Cloud is not something one should do research on in academia. Industry will tackle the cloud from a million different angles. But what's after the cloud? What after touch and Kinect? Precise mind control and HUD in glasses/contacts really should be the mainstream in academic research today, but it's actually a fringe.

I think academia should be way out there more than it is. The geeks will protest that they do nothing of relevance, but that's how it should be. :-)


I don't think that "mind control" is the most PR-friendly term for the tech in question.


Those geeks you know (and I really wish you wouldn't generalize here) are being extremely shallow, since those practical innovations almost always build on decades of academic and industrial research. Yeah, the people who put in the last piece of the puzzle needed to commercialize those innovations (which is a great accomplishment in itself, don't get me wrong) tend to be more practically oriented, big surprise there.


Yes, but it is more romantic to attribute everything to one man cough Steve Jobs cough than to the decades of development that went before.

Generally folks who have seen far recognize the shoulders upon which they stand, but those who idolize them seem to see them floating in air.


Do you know how crazy that sounds, typed in a medium invented by a theoretical physicist? Of course I am referring to Tim Berners-Lee.

What counts as "innovation" these days is what, LOLcats?


What's worse is that if you ask, you'll be given a long list of "innovations" created by people who "get things done"... only that they started as research projects in academia before that. The thing is, anti-intellectuals don't look at history to see if their claims are valid.

Very convenient. Also not far from the same-styled groups in the political spheres these days.


Of course they don't, history is just intellectual propaganda :P


Tim Berners-Lee created something practical to solve a problem he and many other people actually had.

What most geeks are against in terms of 'anti-intellectualism' is the difference between X.400 and SMTP. You can build a somewhat functioning SMTP server/client in a day, try doing that with X.400.


And lets not forget hardware... high brow physics, snooty maths, prima dona chemistry, diva material science all go into the design and fabrication of IC's. These are not 'Learn X in a weekend' and show someone my weekend project.

Those spouting anti-intellectual dribble often forget the well worn, time tested shoulders they are standing on.


I think you missed my point. It is not against theoretical science. It is against scientific politics that seem to dominate academia.

Regarding Tim Berners Lee, he is imho all but an 'average theoretical physicist' - which further proves my point.


An average physicist in an international particle physics institution and collaboration, supported by grants, developing for the sake of sharing science, especially experts so they could collaborate with other experts.


Being against "politics" in anything always seems to be shorthand for being against having one's world view challenged. This old meme gets trotted out by corpratists all the time: "X process has become so politicised, if only it were more efficient". It's becoming quite tiring and doesn't actually help advance anyone's argument forward - which I guess is the point.


"Politics" seems to be an excuse for giving up these days. I think baby boomer parenting techniques have left a generation with very little resolve in the face of adversity.


Except "geeks" often live in their own little warped world where trivial relevancy tests might be something like meme recognition, something I'd be more proud of failing than passing half the time.


Traditional "Great Books" academia, or even the liberal arts, has never made the claim to produce innovation. It's quite the opposite. They produce students.


sounds like a depth vs. breadth issue...only in this issue, both sides are being validated.




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