Patton Oswald on geek culture

Wake up, geek culture. Time to die, a Wired article by Patton Oswald.

When everyone has easy access to their favorite diversions and every diversion comes with a rabbit hole’s worth of extra features and deleted scenes and hidden hacks to tumble down and never emerge from, then we’re all just adding to an ever-swelling, soon-to-erupt volcano of trivia, re-contextualized and forever rebooted. We’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever.

There are a number of quotable paragraphs in the article, but I went with one that seems vaguely hypocritical for posting. You should read the whole thing. Nerd culture may be harmed by the overabundance of information related to minutiae. The internet creates an instant otaku.

Oh no, words!

Nation Shudders At Large Block Of Uninterrupted Text. The Onion, spot on as usual.

Unable to rest their eyes on a colorful photograph or boldface heading that could be easily skimmed and forgotten about, Americans collectively recoiled Monday when confronted with a solid block of uninterrupted text.

Dumbfounded citizens from Maine to California gazed helplessly at the frightening chunk of print, unsure of what to do next. Without an illustration, chart, or embedded YouTube video to ease them in, millions were frozen in place, terrified by the sight of one long, unbroken string of English words.


Paul Shaw looks at the use of “ethnic typography” for Print Magazine, and finds that it serves its own purpose.

They are shortcuts, visual mnemonic devices. There is no room for cultural nuance or academic accuracy in a shop’s fascia. Restaurant owners want passersby (often in cars rather than on foot) to know immediately that they serve Chinese (or Greek, or Jewish) food.

His article also examines the background behind a few of the more popular typefaces. I understand that these typefaces serve a purpose, but I still balk at the use of Papyrus as an “Irish” font.