Contraxioms: A Conceptual Framework

When looking at a list of strengths from the Gallup Strengthfinders test, one of the strengths is Futuristic.  The definition for this strength is, “People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.”  Many people would look at this strength in a person and agree that it is a positive one to have, for a suit.  However, geeks might look at this strength and criticize it because the person is too busy looking ahead when they should be focusing on the problems now.

Life is unpredictable. There is no possible way for someone to know the outcome for a situation because they are not God, they are not a time traveller, and they cannot see the future.  You may make plans for the next day and something could happen that completely ruins that plan, so you would have to make a new one.  This is illustrated in the graph below.  No one ever thought that the Library of Alexandria would burn.  It was a beautiful place filled with knowledge where many of the most famous thinkers of that time would come to study.  This place was one of the most significant libraries of the ancient world.  But it burned and an incalculable amount of information and knowledge was lost, thus proving that there is no solid evidence that the future will be one way.  This is why geeks prefer to live in the present.  They want to be able to touch, see, feel, and taste a project instead of trying to design something for a future project that has not yet been confirmed.

Burning of Alexandria

The future lacks hard evidence and is more of a speculation or a “gut call” rather than an observation.  Geeks rely on the facts.  They do not want to make decisions off of a gut feeling, unlike suits.  This is one of the reasons that I immediately thought of the show “Bones” when Professor Cole was talking about Suits vs Geeks.  The main male character is Special Agent Seeley Booth.   He has worked for the government all of his life, first in the army as a sniper and now for the FBI solving murders where the bodies are not recognizable by either decomposition or some other gruesome circumstance.  He is in every way a suit.  His job is to make the gut decisions in the field.  To observe the situation and quickly decide what he thinks is the best option without all of the facts.  The main female protagonist is Dr. Temperance Brennan or, as Booth calls her, Bones.  Ever since her parents abandoned her as a teenager, she has focused on facts, gaining three doctorates and working at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington D.C.  Usually she works identifying bones found from centuries past, but since being persuaded by Booth, she now works with current murder victims.  She focuses on the facts shown to her by the bones and does not like to jump to conclusions.  A wonderful example of a geek.

During many episodes, Bones has made it quite clear that she hates speculation.  Though she has come to terms with Booth’s use of his gut to make decisions, she does not allow the scientists or interns who work for her to do the same.  On many occasions, someone in her lab will say something about the victim before they have gathered all the facts and when will quickly shut them down.  This is demonstrated in the video below.

Unlike Bones, I am a mixture of a suit and a geek but I lean more toward the suit side.  When taking my Strengthfinders test my Freshman year, my fifth top strength was Futuristic.  I love dreaming about the future.  I had my entire college class schedule planned out by the second semester of my Sophomore year.  Of course I had to make some changes when different things arose, like my internship last semester and the advice of my advisor, but for the most part, I did not have to worry about what I was going to take and when I was going to take it because I already knew.  But I also grew up with geeks in my family, my father to be precise.  He is also a mixture of a geek and a suit but leans more toward the side of geek.  Ever since I can remember, he has been good with technology.  He even started his own computer programming business with three other men after we moved to St. Louis, MO.  Growing up with him, I have adopted some of his thinking skills and have brought myself back to the present (for the most part).  So I am able to understand the differences between geek thinking and suit thinking very well and I am able to adjust myself to better suit their way of thinking if I am in a group with either.

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