Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho

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9780767906999: Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho
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Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, they had almost no social lives and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers and every spare moment on-line. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them.

But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago—geek style. Told with Katz’s trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology.

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Teenage hackers Jesse Dailey and Eric Twilegar are the heroes of Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho, a thoughtful, affecting pop ethnography--and heroes is exactly what Jon Katz wants you to see them as. To the rest of the world, themselves included, they are geeks, which is a complicated thing to be these days. With the rise of the networked economy, the world and its wealth have become increasingly dependent on the expertise of Star Wars-loving, cola-swilling propellerheads everywhere. Yet at the same time, the typical geek--especially the typical adolescent geek--remains a consummate outsider, with passions for technological arcana that are both alienating and empowering.

Katz, a writer for both Rolling Stone and the profoundly geeky Web site Slashdot.org, does a fine job of mapping this ambiguous new state of affairs (the Geek Ascendancy, he calls it). But the book's heart and soul is the well-told tale of Jesse and Eric's adventurous flight from lonely, dead-end lives in Idaho Mormon country to brighter possibilities in Chicago.

Katz argues that this great escape couldn't have happened without the networks (both social and technological) that are the lifeblood of '90s geekdom, but he doesn't let his celebratory argument get in the way of the story. Although he's a tireless advocate for geeks (the last chapters retrace his impassioned advocacy for brooding teenage weirdos in the face of post-Columbine media attacks), he presents their culture warts and all, with its tendencies toward social awkwardness and arrogance recognizably intact. He doesn't demand your sympathy for his heroes and their world--but he wins it anyway, by bringing them vividly and honestly to life. --Julian Dibbell

From the Back Cover:

“A story of friendship, optimism, social despair, and an updated version of that American icon, the tinkerer.” —USA Today

“In Geeks, Katz displays a deft reporter’s touch and shows us the geek truth, rather than simply telling us about it . . . Too often, writing about the on-line world lacks emotional punch, but Katz’s obvious love for his “lost boys” gives his narrative a rich taste.” —New York Times Book Review

“An engaging story of salvaged potential...Ultimately, Geeks is not a story about the Internet or computers or techies. It is a story about personal bonds, optimism, access to opportunity and the courage to dream.– Salon

"Geeks is a story of triumph, friendship, love, and above all, about being human and reaching for dreams in a hard-wired world."—Seattle Times Book Review

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Book Description Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc), United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, they had almost no social lives and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers and every spare moment on-line. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them. But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago--geek style. Told with Katz s trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology. Seller Inventory # AAS9780767906999

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Book Description Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc), United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, they had almost no social lives and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers and every spare moment on-line. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them. But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago--geek style. Told with Katz s trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology. Seller Inventory # AAS9780767906999

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Book Description Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc), United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, they had almost no social lives and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers and every spare moment on-line. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them. But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago--geek style. Told with Katz s trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology. Seller Inventory # BTE9780767906999

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