Conversational Mannerisms of Geeks

I always put up a mental barrier when reading articles such as this as I am of the opinion that it is difficult to successfully produce generalities about a subset of people unless you are quite intimate with their idiosyncrasies.

Philip Guo overcame this barrier in his article looking at the conversational behaviours of “geeks, nerds, and other highly-smart technical people”. These behaviours:

  • Struggling with turn-taking.
  • Obsessing over correctness and completeness.
  • Preferring exact numerical responses.
  • Using technical terms without checking for understanding.
  • Focusing on the how rather than the what or the why.
  • Favoring complexity and detail over simplicity in descriptions.
  • Rapidly enumerating long lists of items.
  • Showing a lack of interest in outward appearances.
  • Evangelizing their favorite technologies.

The Hacker News thread discussing this article is also worthy of a casual look.

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