Contraxioms

Something that has always been interesting to me is the way that different personalities interact with each other. One, of course, being how geeks and non-geeks coexist. There can be such extreme differences in geeks and non-geeks that it can sometimes be super hard for them to get along. I definitely know a lot about this topic considering I (a non-geek) am dating a geek. Differences in the ways that we both work come up daily and it’s interesting to see how we both react to different situations.

In the book The Geek Leaders Handbook, they make up this word “contraxioms” and give it a definition which is “A matched pair of contrasting axioms that give rise to vastly different worldview.” They give 7 examples of the main contraxioms that come up most often with geeks and non-geeks: work, the future, knowledge, language, lying, good vs evil, and desire. I’m not going to talk about all of the areas because Deloy hates these things if they’re more than 600 words, so I narrowed it down to my top 4.

Work 
This is a big one for a lot of people since it’s such a big part of peoples lives. Working with someone who is a geek can sometimes be frustrating because they see things as very black and white and get frustrated when people don’t do things the way they want them done. That being said, doing group projects with a geek can also be helpful because they see things differently and can add a new perspective while still keeping everyone on track. In the book, it calls geeks problem-solving creatures which is a trait that makes them good in situations where you need someone to take that role.

Future
This is one that I encounter a lot with dating a geek, and when I read the chapter it made so much sense to me. They said, “Geeks consider the future a fantasy unless there is a clear plausible plan to create it.” This is basically Peter in a nutshell because he is such a planner, that if he can’t plan things a year in advance it stresses him out and is “looming” as the book refers to it. For non-geeks, the future can be exciting and promising because anything could happen. But what makes it exciting to a non-geek is what makes is scary to a geek.

Knowledge
Geeks know things 100% to be true or false. They know things in their heads and it can be pretty hard to convince a geek that something they know to be true is actually false. Non-geeks tend to listen to their hearts and their gut more than just thinking with their head cause they take feelings into account when making decisions when geeks tend to do the opposite because feelings make things more complicated.

Language
It’s no secret that geeks and non-geeks communicate in very different ways. Geeks use language to communicate information and to possibly solve a problem by talking it through with someone. Non-geeks use language to share meaning which can sometimes drive geeks crazy. I know a few geeks and they hate nothing more than having to small talk with someone. They don’t see the meaning to it and they can sometimes view it as a waste of time because nothing important really comes out of a conversation that’s just about the weather and someone’s day. Deloy used an example in class about how before bed Bonnie likes to talk about their days and see if anything big happened, and Deloy doesn’t want to have to relive that day and wants to just move forward with his life. That’s a good real-life example of how geeks and non-geeks interact.

Although we can be very different than one another, it’s important to have both personality types because we balance each other out and help the other see our own point of view. The world needs geeks and non-geeks no matter how much we drive each other nuts sometimes.