Last week’s post generated more views and more comments than anything else I’ve written thus far. Since it’s posting, I’ve thought a bit about a particular comment and my response. In it, I tried to discuss why we, as geeks, should have a lot more openness to each other. Specifically, what I said was:
I wish there were more discussion. I think each of us have a tendency to sit in our groups (Atheists, Gays, Christians, Democrats, Republicans, whatever) and believe that the absolute worst of the other group represents reality. It doesn’t. That’s why I love being in the geek community too because I think our mutual love of things geek can overcome that mistrust and allow us to associate with each other.
Diversity of opinion is a great and wonderful thing. But as I see more and more name calling and the lessening of civility in our culture, I’ve come to believe that we Geeks can really save the world. Not in the sense of Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day but in the sense of coming together and appreciating the diversity of our culture. Some Star Trek novel I read said Vulcans value IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. That’s what we have in our culture today and Geeks are uniquely positioned to show how to embrace that diversity and work towards a common goal.
As a geek you really begin to appreciate the diversity of people. Every week in my Comic Book store or in-game sessions I see people from a variety of backgrounds and I end up talking to all of them. And the beauty of it is once you get to know the people, you realize it’s pretty hard to pigeon-hole them, much less demonize them, because their beliefs or politics differ from yours. Can you still disparage them? Can you still make overbroad statements like “all people who believe/do whatever are all scumsucking morons.” It’s pretty hard. At the least, you have to say, “except for this one girl I know, she seems OK.”
We’ve never been in a better position to save the world than we are now. Geek is chic. Big Bang Theory is the top rated show in America. Comic Book movies are blowing the doors off the theaters. Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are hugely popular TV shows (I know it’s reached saturation because my Mother watches Game of Thrones. Trust me, society is all in.) President Obama even threw out a Vulcan salute recently.
So let’s use our power for good. Let’s show people how to come together. Invite your friends over for a game. Bring your Christian friend together with your Atheist friend and roll some dice. Show your Republican friend and Democratic friend how to settle Catan. Teach your jock buddies why you should never pick up a duck in a Dungeon. We can do this and we can do it one friend at a time.
Who’s with me?