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Net-Set to Replace Jet-Set as New Elite

Roblimo posted more than 15 years ago | from the not-that-you-didn't-know-this-already dept.

News 191

toe bee writes "An article at the Merc claims that some social scientists believe that folks like slashdotters, the geeks of yore, are going to be the social elite of the next century and that the 'geek/nerd' facade is quickly fading. There is justice... or is there?" Uh, oh. I can see heads starting to swell already. Well, at least it's easier to become a member of the meritocracy-based "Net Set" mentioned in the article than it was to make it into the old-fashioned "Jet Set," and (IMO) the average 21st Century Net-Setter is more likely to be worth knowing than most Jet-Setters ever were.

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As God is my witness I WILL BE THAT CLOWN! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776548)

I'm going to plaster Linux bumperstickers all over my car. I'm going to wear ALL my Linux T's at once. I will be the poster boy for the 'net elite.

I will carry BO2K on CD for easy distribution. I will have Trinix floppies available for anyone who asks. I will always have a bottle of Jolt in hand. I will NEVER use fewer than 4 TLA's in one sentence, LOL, IMHO.

Meritocracy HAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776549)

Have you ever worked at a corporation with more than 10 employees?

Large orgs destroy the meritocracy as the first order of business.

Internet is home of the new 3l33t (4)

Zonker Harris (12889) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776550)

Uhhhhhhhh... sure.

The ability to use the Internet does not grant people social skills. I think we can all find an example of this in someone we know.
And why were the "Jet-Set" so popular and envied? Because they provided society with some service? Because they were masters of new technology? Because of their tans?
People don't envy the programmers who build products or create new ways to interface, etc.- they envy the CEOs. They envy money.
But of course, to quote the article: ``A central fact is that wealth and social power, which mattered most in the old jet set, does not matter at all in cyberspace.''
I keep forgetting. (Of course, you have to be in the very small minority of the world population that can afford a computer and has access to the Internet.)
If your ability to use the Internet is what makes you popular, expect your conversations to consist of offering advice to clueless newbies, et al.
When cars became mass-produced, did auto mechanics become celebrities? Think about it.

Re:revolution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776561)

I think he meant that we'd be the ones revolting...
I think the pallid, flabby, unbathed geeks sitting in basements clicking on their keyboards and mice with pizza-greasy fingers are already revolting.

Re:one word! (1)

SpIcEz (44207) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776562)

Well sorry mister Anonymous Coward!!!

English is not my native Language.
I would like to see you spell anything in french!!

Oh and please no stupid french jokes, I heard em all.

p.s. I hope the future "geek elite" wont bitch and backstab like the Jet Sets...

Eleetness is lame (2)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776563)

This article is for the most part true, but who cares? The problem with eleets is that in a very short time, it degrades into snobbery and putrid stagnance. The jet-set were lame yuppies, and if (when) there is going to be a net-set, they will be lame yuppies too. You can see the signs of it already, aol-user-bashing, stigma for people who use services like hotmail and geocities, bashing people who use microsoft software, etcetera.

But I disagree with the article when it says that the general public will look up to a general type of lifestyle which the net-setters live. I dont think the general public will care. Individuals will always strive to be better at using new technological mediums, but they will not strive to achieve the particular lifestyle set by the net-setters. Rather, than 1 elite dominating the scene, there will be a fragmentation into multitudes of different groups with their own focus and agendas, and people will find refuge in these countless groups rather than in the mainstream. The ultraconservatives, the fundamentalists, the libertarians, the pedophiles, the socialists, the hackers, the crackers, the neo-nazis, will all have their representation, for better or worse. So again, who cares about the net-setters? They'll do their thing, just like everyone else.


Gazelles? (5)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776564)

The world belongs to those who can shuttle between websites with the ease of a speeding gazelle. I have in my hand $126.37 USD. I will give it to anyone who can show me a gazelle capable of surfing the web - even web-tv will count. I'll make that an even grand if you can get the gazelle to surf while loaded on meth as the article specifies.

Ridiculous (2)

HSinclair (64082) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776565)

The "Jet Set" had style, beauty and class. Everyone turns on the TV and appreciates the beautiful people on there and wants to be like them. Who wouldn't want to be Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts? Bill Gates is rich and talented (hey, to make that much money you have to be), but he's a fsking dork. Everyone pokes fun at his glasses and his haircut and his goofy expressions. They call him a dork: Who would call Brad Pitt a dork? Who would call Brad Pitt anything but good looking and a good actor? (Don't argue, I'm just using him as an example). The only people who can appreciate the knowledgable "net set" are people in it already. To the rest of the world Linus Torvalds is a funny looking geek with an accent. They can't understand a word we utter once we start speaking geek, and the only thing we do to ourselves when we do that is ostracize ourselves further.

The only geeks that are going to be in any sort of elite are the ones like the people in 'Hackers' or 'The Net', the ones who say "I'm not a geek, but I play one on TV."

Socialization (1)

Mountaineer (72209) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776566)

Those of us who actually spend time with others will always be elite, those who don't won't. It's the way that it always has been, doesn't matter if you're tech savvy or not.

We beat 'em up just by living well. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776567)

Being "cool" or a "jock" seldom leads to a good career. That why you don't see these qualifications listed on resumes. Women too, eventually learn that hanging a cool guy on their arm won't get 'em a nice home or provide for their children. Then who do they turn to?

As Oscar Wilde once remarked, "The best revenge is living well"

Where's the mirror? (1)

Jonny Royale (62364) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776568)

I'm not worried about being the "net-set" until we get a lot of pandering through fluff articles looking to cater to us because we have some disposable income.

Re:Obscene computer jokes (1)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776569)

Our industry is just too easy to make those kind of jokes. Yet another reason why computers should be abandoned - yea verily the modems should be beaten into plowshares. Okay, so beating on a modem turns it into cracked plastic, but you see my point. Lame computer related pickup lines are proof of the degeneration of this industry. Could you imagine Alan Turing saying "Hey baby can I scan your ports?" Well maybe you can, but not to a woman at any rate.

This article isn't about who WE would call "nerds" (1)

sethg (15187) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776570)

Researchers believe that the nerdy image of the Internet user has given way to a new elite that shops online, trades stocks in cyberspace, buys plane tickets and performs a multitude of other daily tasks with seemingly effortless ease.
In other words: to qualify for the "Net Set", you have to use the Internet to buy lots of stuff. Any other Internet-related knowledge or skills are irrelevant, as far as these "researchers" are concerned.

What community in the real world has an admission requirement like that?

one word! (1)

SpIcEz (44207) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776573)


Well... (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776575)

At least we might have some intelligent people in high positions instead of the (a)typical morons there now.

revolution (1)

psaltes (9811) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776577)

I dont really find the comparison to the french revolution particularly promising...wasn't a pretty event.

highschool? (2)

Dark Fire (14267) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776579)

so in highschool the nerds will pack hunt & beat up the jocks? that would be a change...

Yep... it's already starting (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776581)

and (IMO) the average 21st Century Net-Setter is more likely to be worth knowing than most Jet-Setters ever were.

Let the elite snobbery begin^H^H^H^H^H^H continue!

I'm only half joking.

Yuck (2)

Misfit (1071) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776583)

Not sure I like the idea of being popular.

It's too much of a pain to figure out who is really your friend, and who is just using you. Usually I think it's both. Leastways that's what it is like on 90210.


I don't think so ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776585)

Just because you successfully installed Linux on
your system does in NO WAY make you a geek.
But as it looks, a lot of jerks out there think

Re:revolution (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776587)


Hordes of netless proles rioting in the streets, breaking into your house

"He's got a modem, and look, network cabling, he's one of those netsetters

to the Guillotine!"

I'd better build a priesthole in my house and hide all my computer stuff there.


The Net-Set more pleasant to know? (1)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776589)

You want to get an idea of how much better to know the Net-Set is, why not go to Linux world and mention that you think maybe there's a few good Microsoft products.

See how pleasant it is to be around the new elite then.

Using the word social in the same sentence as the net population doesn't really make sense.

More proof that men earn wealth; women marry it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776590)

It's amazing how little "modern" society has really changed.

Re:Internet is home of the new 3l33t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776591)

You got it. The Internet doesn't matter to 95% of the world. Being able to load Linux doesn't matter. Knowing how to configure Apache doesn't matter. Having a T-1 to your house doesn't matter.

Money matters. Money is abstracted power. The more money you have, the more power you wield. We will be just highly paid technicians. Experts in our filed who command top dollar.

This will only be important to people who are after your money (watch out for those babes and hunks who check out your Platinum cards at lunch). If she's more interested in your stock options than your hobbies, she's probably not going to stick around long. Have fun, but remember, you first concern should be yourself and that includes your finances.

"Why should I get married? Why don't I just find a woman I don't like and buy her a house?"

How fantastically dumb (1)

konstant (63560) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776592)

1) Women will never be attracted to doughy geeks with stringy unwashed hair and a nervous stutter, so just forget it. The jet set (aka daddy's little boys & girls + 20 years) were glamorous because they could afford to be Beautiful People and excelled at - and were interested in - very little else. These "researchers", who are searching for tenure rather desperately I must add, are not talking about all the pimply salivating AC's posting right now. No, the fictional people referenced in this "study" are the finely chiseled slogan-beshirted models on the cover of wired. Of course those people are attractive. They look nice and they have cash. They also don't exist.

2) People inventing utopian futures always manage to put themselves on top of the pile. The very first utopian, Plato, did the same thing in his Republic. "There will be a perfect society... ruled by philosphers!" This study is playing to our egotism and the credulity of the press to earn a few uninspired professers a little extra kudo-money at lecture time. Done.

3) We are all slaves. The jet set were the infant spawn of powerful business moguls who could afford the gift of indolence for their kids. We, the geeks of the world, are functionally the hirelings of those same moguls. We occupy the same space in the corporate hierarchy that clerks held in Dicken's time. Oh ye geeks, full of self importance, just wait until our talents become common in the marketplace. Very soon it will be clear how much a technical mind is valued.


Who rules the world ??? (1)

wilee (9970) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776593)

Well this should surprise no one,

Banks need geeks to make e-money go

networks that e-commerce deps on need geeks to make go

In short the jocks of our youth are now ill equipped for the new arena competition

where brains matter more then brawn,

so fellow geeks sit back and enjoy the ride in your nice sports car {911, MR-2, Corvette }

as you watch the pay checks come in, as you ponder

of your high school reunion.

Re:Not quite. (2)

razorwire (35010) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776594)

Well, we wouldn't rely on our physical strength alone! We'd use those kickass sharpshooting skills we learned from playing Quake and the bombs we learned how to build from surfing the web! Duh.

net rhymes with jet - give me a break (1)

Burnon (19653) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776595)

The article is pretty sketchy regarding the "research" that shows that the "geek image" is passing. Most likely, the research is someone noticing that "jet" rhymes with "net".

Hmm... if we're so elite (1)

JohnZed (20191) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776596)

Why is this still my typical party conversation?
Her: So, what're you majoring in?
Me: Well, I don't know... maybe CompSci.
Her: Oh. . Do you do that sort of thing a lot, I mean computer stuff?
Me: Oh, you know, I to keep it diverse, but there's so much happening in computers these days, it's really interesting stuff.
Her: Well, did you do that sort of thing a lot in high school?
Me: No, I actually wanted to me a comp lit major, or maybe econ, but the CS department here is just really great, and it's a fun place to be.
Her: Well, I gotta go. ..
Me: No, wait! Really, I just want to start a net company and get rich! I swear!
Her: Oh. That's cool. Give me a call sometime. Preferrably right before your company goes public.

Net Set != Code Jockies. (1)

Zebulun (14800) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776597)

I was about to rip the article to shreds when i thought about what this future-social-elite "Net Set" person is: someone who knows how to really use the web. This is *not* a coder, a hacker, programmer, or computer junkie. Because coders, hackers, programmers, and computer junkies care more about creating their own set of rules, web sites, scripts, hacks, cracks and whatnot that they are more likely to spend their free time whippin up spiffy DHTML, a new app, or some dynamic perl underbelly to a site than tinker around the web using all that commercial shit out there.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that "Net Set" people are the flaky no-lifers that spend their time "surfing" and downloading, not inspiring or creating cause people who inspire and create dont have time to piss around the web.

my 2 pfenigs


Stukas over Cupertino (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776598)

I'm a wandering geek, both net and jet set. My work (in IS) takes me all around the Americas. (The opportunity to travel is the main reason I chose my current career path.)

As far as who is more entertaining to know, give me the well-travelled over the basement-geek anyday. Of course, I sing the praises of the well-travelled geek above all.

A (surprisingly! shockingly! who'd have guessed!) good article appeared in Wired about the peculiarities of work-travel in the current era. The quirks of living for the miles (We live for the Miles, we die for the Miles) was something I recognized instantly. 100K or bust!

The article, of course, referred to the "jet set" in terms of those children of privilege who travel freely and glamorously in their youth, rather than those of us who've earned our miles through the sweat of our brow and the keen of our wits.

Re:I don't think so ... (1)

Sloth503 (46658) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776599)

The only reason this article was writen, or that this ever came up was simply because both jet-set and net-set end in "et-set." That is it, end of story.


*sigh* (1)

coug_ (63333) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776610)

Why couldn't it have happened right before I started high school? Maybe I could've gotten laid more often.. *shrug*

Re:Ridiculous (2)

belial (674) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776611)

*I* would call Brad Pitt a dork.
He's not a good actor either.

I think his best role was in True Romance.

Re:How fantastically dumb (1)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776612)

I basically agree on points 1 & 2, but disagree on 3.

While reading and writing can be learned by almost anyone, technical aptitude is limited to a smaller part of the population, and many of them don't want to be geeks, if only for the social stigma. I believe the techie job market will remain better than that of the economy overall for at least another decade, but then there could be some major shifts by then, technologically, or economical that could prove this completely false.

who wrote this? (2)

jmvidal (21345) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776613)

Im sorry but; "they fathom the great Internet mystery."...what mystery?

and "shuffling between websites with the ease of a speeding gazelle" is just hilarious.

Watch me as a I click that Submit button with the ease of a speeding gazelle.

Easier to be "Net-Set" than "Jet-Set"? (1)

superdoo (13097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776614)

I think I disagree with the idea that it's easier to be a net elite than a member of the jet-set. I know for myself (and I'm only a yung'un) that I've spent a huge number of my waking hours reading, coding, learning, researching, debating, .... to end up with the amount of knowledge and experience I already have. I wouldn't say that it's easy to become a geek. It takes years of hard work and is a constant struggle to keep up with the times. Much like any other clique it takes hard work and some talent to become a member of the elite.


You need social skills to be the social elite (3)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776615)

Sorry, but it'll never happen. Geeks, just don't have what it takes to be involved in any kind of social scene. Oh sure, geeks can get together and talk amongst themselves, but that communication is typically limited to cursing at the Quake server.

A bunch of overweight, pimple-faced, poorly dressed Linux users in one room do not constitute a gathering of the future social elite.
Timur Tabi
Remove "nospam_" from email address

Re:one word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776616)

Voulez vous couchant avec moi, mon frog de la pissoir?

'The Social Elite'? (3)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776617)

Excuse me if I am not looking forward to a future populated by chat rooms and disconnected OS wars.

This is just another in a continuing series of articles that are simply trying to attract readers who style themselves 'geeks'. Katz suffers the same symptoms - by glorifying the ideal of 'being a geek' (without truly understanding what he's saying - i.e. that anyone who is different on even a remotely intellecutal scale is suddenly a 'geek' according to the new Geek Chic social forces), and by attacking old social structures (not realizing that any new ones that get built will suck just as much for those who aren't a part of them) he feels he is now sufficently rebellious and intellectual to hand down 'Geek Manifestos'.

This article is just more of the same, just not from Katz. It's writer is just trying to appeal to geeks that have inferiority complexes, without really realizing what a 'Net-Set' crowd would be like (i.e. sitting around trading pr0n and playing Quake is what I would imagine a 'Net-Set' get-together would be like).

How can you have a social elite comprised of a (by the classical pop definition of 'geek') socially inept group of people?

(The social elites of the future, btw, will likely be those who further mutilate thier bodys and minds in order to become physically and sexually attractive - and most of us will care less and less, just like it's always been) (because, when you get right down to it, the social elites are the ones that you see on the cover of tabloids and on TV tabloid shows, etc. And I wouldn't wish being a 'social elite' on my worst enemy.)

or maybe the anti-elite... (1)

MissionControl (45029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776618)

I think your suggestion that the increasing wealth of the Net Set might actually be making them an anti-elite is a valid one (and not off-topic, as your reply's score says).

There appears to be more to eliteness than money. Other than Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, how many computer celebrities can the person-on-the-street name? And just how fondly do they think of BillG, anyway?

Someone else mentioned in another reply that the idea of geeks in general being elite is just wishful thinking. It seems to me that the elite have to have entertainment value, and geeks are entertaining only to themselves. For geeks to be deemed truly cool and elite, the rest of society would have to adopt the values of geeks... meaning an end to social elitism! So, the idea that the Net Set is the new Jet Set would be paradoxical. (How's that for simplistic thinking :) )

Anyway, aren't the Jet Set people the ones in the tabloids? Of course, no sane person would want to be in the tabloids, but the fact is, I've never been paying for my groceries and seen the headline, "Exclusive! Microsoft-Intel Meeting Ends in Messy Tryst!"

C'mon (1)

_nexxus_ (66125) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776619)

Do we really believe that the elite of the world will give up their power to a bunch of hackers/geeks like us?

I don't think so.

Most likely, in an effort to maintain their status, they will become geeks (or try like hell, or fake it, or something) as well as the philanderers, cutthroats, etc. that they already are. That is, if that's what it takes to continue their 'ascent to power'.

Either that or they'll make rules to keep the poor poor -- Just look at the stockmarket.. who gets richer? The rich. Who stays poor (or gets poorer)? The poor. The RedHat IPO is at the heart of the matter -- to take advantage of the enormous profit potential, you must either A) have a lot of money, B) have a lot of money, or C) be willing to lie your ass off and pretend like you have a lot of money. Hmm. Where does that leave most of us? Money obviously begets money, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's someone somewhere sitting and snickering because (s)he knows that most people don't have the opportunities to make money that they do, and that the profit is all theirs. How many of us have the US$5Mil that it takes to open an account with Goldman-Sachs? I'd be willing to wager that not many of us do.

.. And if we do make it to to the top ? Well, as someone mentioned before.. Power Corrupts. I know I'll have no problem living the good life..and I'll probably want to stay there. As Frank Herbert put it: 'Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely' ..

The cycle will perpetuate itself, ad infinitum, IMO.

Just my $.02 --

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt (1)

db (3944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776630)

Now, hang on, this doesnt apply to me. I've been 3r337 since the day I was born....

Dave Brooks (

Will school will be different then? (1)

Captain_Lou_Albano (14154) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776631)

Maybe instead of Football and Basketball teams in Highschool maybe now we will have HTML and Perl teams. We can sing songs like "They call him mister Java..." instead of mister touchdown. The cheerleaders will call the other team "Wimps" (Windows Icons Mice and Pointers). The BMOC would be the guy who can set up virt user tables the fastest instead of the Quarterback.

This would also eliminiate all this school violence because the Football dorks wont be able to look on the internet on how to make bombs. And since they don't play Duke Nukem, they really wont even have the desire for such behavior.

The best part though is that I'm gonna get laid!

Re:More proof that men earn wealth; women marry it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776632)

It's slightly more complex than that.

Women make the choice on who to marry. But there is also the phenomena of the "First Wives Club". Where the first woman is dumped for a younger, more attractive one when the male's income increases. This is also known as the "Trophy Wife".

Very successful males (Johnny Carson) have displayed behavior known as "serial monogamy" where they will focus on a single woman during her most attractive years and discard her for another when she starts to show imperfections.

A young, attractive woman can get just about anything she wants. But her window for such is limited (from age 18 to 25 approx). The male, on the other hand, can increase his attractiveness as he gets older. Compare the difference between the common, young actresses and how many are successful after age 40. Then compare how many young actresses get paired with Sean Connery or Harrison Ford or Clint Eastwood. How often do you see an older actress paired with Leonardo?

Societaly, men look good longer than women AND they don't have the career limitations that women do.

It's not fair. But I'll take it until I can get cheerleaders after me because I know Kant and Skinner.

I can see it now (3)

jabber (13196) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776633)

Sometime in the middle of the next decade, we'll all be sitting around a virtual cafe, talking on our cellular iPhones, paying for our Java applets with eCash, comparing notes on our vacations.

Say, Buffy, tell us again about how you were slummin' it with that computer illiterate English Lit major... Is it true that he really didn't know how to use Linux?? And did he really use one of those... umm, those, you know. Them keyboard things without a monitor... You know, where what you type goes right onto paper, and there's no UNDO or anything.. Man, I'll tell you what! That's down right arcane. Let them use T-1's is what I say.

So, Trevor ol'chap! How's that new IPv6 multicast router project coming along? Have you uploaded your IPO proposal to First Virtual Bank yet.. Oh, hold on, my PalmPilot is beeping:
[aside: talking to live vid on PalmX] Hi hon, no, no, yes.. Well just email the grocery store and have them deliver another gallon of milk then.

No thanks! The upper crusties will always and forever be the rich, pretty, Ivy and ascot types. We're Morlocks, and now and again we'll get to eat us an Eloi debutante. And that's fine.

Let THEM eat their damn cake. Let them play their golf and go to their cheese and wine shindigs. We have more substantial and satisfying things with which to occupy our craniums than social politics.

If we ever become da'shit, we'll probably be to busy to notice.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776634)

What makes you think that this poster's wife married him/her for money?

Re:Obscene computer jokes (1)

zagmar (20261) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776635)

Considering he was gay, I'd say you were right. However, I bet Isaac Newton got some girl in the sack by asking her to help integrate his functions, or somesuch.

It is true! (1)

Pasc (59) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776636)

Whenever I visit my relatives, they regard me as 'hip' and 'with it.' To them, being on the net and writing code is exciting. They wish they could do it... seriously!

My Uncle S. is always asking me what is the newest happening thing going on with technology. I've talked to him about Linux,, and more recently the Red Hat IPO. This is happening shit, man!

I know my life seems pretty typical to me, but to others it is like "whoa... he like knows where to find stuff on the web and a talks to people over the Internet and he writes cool programs... wow..." It is wierd.

Thanks for deciding that I'm not happy for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776637)

>For some of us, living well includes being fit.

Fair enough. To each his own. You're seem an OK guy.

>Doing nothing but computers isn't living at all, let alone living well.

Well there goes the 'OK guy' description. Who are you to say what is a good life and what is not. I'm a programmer. So is my wife. We're not the athletic type, but we're happy together. What an arrogant bastard of a person it takes for you to tell us our life sucks. I think I speak for both of us when I say, "You sir, can go to hell".

Re:We beat 'em up just by living well. (1)

SingleTracker (38396) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776639)

For some of us, living well includes being fit.

I ride a mountainbike on some of the nastiest singletrack you can dream of every night. There's a lot more to life than sitting in front of a computer every hour of every day.

When I go home from work, it's time to do something else. Sometimes it involves geek stuff like building radios, networks, or writing code...but it usually involves being out of the house doing something more worthwhile.

Doing nothing but computers isn't living at all, let alone living well.

Re:one word! (1)

SpIcEz (44207) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776641)


You have managed to efficiently scrap a language!

*snort* *gurgle* *spews coffee over the monitor* (1)

Zarchon (12168) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776642)

WTF? "Those who fathom the internet?" Give me a break. There can't be that few of us around, can there?


Um, the poster did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776660)

>What makes you think that this poster's wife married him/her for money?

Well, the original poster said,

>Now that geeks make a lot of money too suddenly we will all find ourself awash in babes.

followed up with:

>That explains why my new wife, who is incredibly attractive, married me, who is NOT.

But you're right, maybe I'm misinterpreting something here. Please feel free to point out my error.

... out of the mouths of babes ... (2)

MissionControl (45029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776661)

I think you unwittingly revealed what might be the reason that the geek elite will never be.

Let's take on one facet of social elitism: attractiveness to the opposite sex. Most geeks will remain unattractive to the opposite sex (in general) because of the nature of the geek community. To wit, geeks -- guy and girl geeks alike -- have a reputation for asexuality. Geeks live in a world of ideas. Non-geeks live in a world of physical things. It comes down to values. Maybe the article would be more accurate if it's point were that the geek community now is complex enough to have an elite and whatnot. Which is hardly a revelation, but I guess it sounds more interesting to compare them to the Jet Set.

Re:... out of the mouths of babes ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776662)

>To wit, geeks -- guy and girl geeks alike -- have a reputation for asexuality.

Not true. Geeks get married, hav kids, etc. They just tend to do so a bit later in life. Once having done so, they are no longer regarded as geeks, but as regular folk, thus maintaining the truism of your statement without it actually being true.

Re:Not quite. (1)

Error 404 (50896) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776663)

M[r|s]. Wire, please report to the office. Doctor Jones would like a word with you...

Fear my wrath, please, fear my wrath?

This is sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776664)

"And what they live is the cyberlife -- more thrilling to many than the old high life of the jetsetters because in cyberspace there are virtually no limits to what you can purport to do."

Yes, you can drink, alone.
You can dance, alone.
You can masterbate to online porn, alone.
You can chat with a 13 yr old boy pretending to be a 26 yr old stewardess into bondage and light S&M.

And someone considers this to be a LIFE?

Get real. This isn't a life. This is a hobbie. This is a means of accomplishing a task. Providing the infrastructure for all of this is a job.

The writer is totally clueless and doesn't even interview people anyone has ever heard of.

Does anyone remember Bill Gates' thing about the "Internet Lifestyle" that we would all be living soon?

Re:Hopefully that won't happen... (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776665)

I guess we should fire Linus and Alan.

No, no, no. Those two are leaders, who are respected by their peers. That's different from blind media worship.

Michael Chisari

Re:Hmm... if we're so elite (1)

MissionControl (45029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776667)

Try this one on for size:

Him: So, what's your major?
Me: CompSci.
Him: Um, oh.


heehe (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776668)

Yes, I agree, Brad Pitt played a wonderfully believable stoner. LOL
Reminds me of my comment on Keanu in the matrix: the first half of the film he was confused and the second half he was asleep. How perfect!

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

This is sheer crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776670)

The jet set myth was driven by advertising. Advertisers loved the proto-product placement they could get by showing ``news'' shots of Prince Rainier with champagne, followed by a Moet ad. Therefore, the jet set became newsworthy (it sold products).

The article specifically mentions that wealth and power don't matter to someone who is a net-setter. So who's going to care about wide exposure for them? You can't sell anything but computers if you are depicting people in dimly lit rooms banging on keyboards. If you're not doing that, perhaps people will remember that many worthy coders smell like goats and behave worse. Would you buy laundry soap from someone who has just spent 36 hr banging on a network?

Re:The Net-Set more pleasant to know? (2)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776673)

Well most geeks respect and understand the IE/Netscape argument (current working versions, not future products or company visions.)
But if you try to argue the superiority of any of their products you deserve to be laughed at, just as I deserve to be lauged at when I state with pride that "I'm muscular, I'm cute, and damnit people like me." (as they are all lies and intended as a joke)

No! No! (1)

PD (9577) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776680)

What the guy means is that in our parent's generation the important guy in town was the doctor, and everyone respected him because he had a lot of earning power.

Now that geeks make a lot of money too suddenly we will all find ourself awash in babes.

That's how I interpret the article.

The Litmus Test (2)

blanco (17303) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776681)

Does knowing how TCP/IP works get you a date? Not yet, at least not with the women down at TGI Friday's.

A priesthood? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776682)

I guess we'll have to start praying to the Great and Ancient God Tcp'ip. Do we get robes?

Hopefully that won't happen... (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776683)

As much as we'd all like to be the JFK, Jr. and Princess Di's of the world, you have to remember that any person, put in a position of power over others, will become corrupted. There are no exceptions to this rule.

I'd hope that we'd move towards a more egalitarian society where everybody's contributions are valued.


Michael Chisari

Just a odd idea (1)

BlackHat (67036) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776684)

It is going to be hard to UpScale Market this like they did with JetSet.

Some how the sight of a some mushroom tanned Hacker crawling out from under their desk, pushing coffee cups, roaches and listings to get to the keyboard is not going to make me buy a 8000$ watch.


Great Internet Mystery (1)

noeld (43600) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776686)

>...because they fathom the great Internet mystery.

But it cost lots of money to be a member of the jet set.

It would seem to me that most people who can get someone to get them online can quickly figure out as much of the Internet Mystery as they want... i.e. how to send internet greeting cards.

So without a barrier to entry, and with the clueless media along to describe what is and what is not cool for the new net elite, I would think that it will quickly degenerate to a circus with only clowns in the center ring.

Check out the Lance Armstrong Foundation []

Re:highschool? (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776688)

When I was in high school I was a nerd and a jock. I was the only football player in AP Calc. I would crack skulls in the classroom and integrate by parts on the field.


Funny thing (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776690)

happened to me when I went on a blind date (didn't work out at all). Anyway, there we were chatting about this and that. Got to the question, Well, what do you do for a living. When I said sysadmin, she kinda blinked and said nothing. Then I went on to explain that I do the companies web site and maintain its servers and mostly surf the web for new developments, etc - even mentioned /. heh.

She took a sip of here soda and said - you surf the internet for work!!!???

She just didn't get it at all. BTW, she's not a dummy - a registered nurse, has traveled overseas, has kids, etc. At first, this made me feel strange, but hey! I'm 'leet. That's why she didn't get it!:) (I'm kidding)

Nah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776691)

I'd still rather be travelling, drinking, partying and loving....

Re:one word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776692)

Oh god! Let's hope that the future "geek elite" can at least learn how to spell before they take over the world.

Re:highschool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776693)

>so in highschool the nerds will pack hunt & beat up the jocks? that would be a change.


Spamproofed addys fsck up other innocent domains. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776694) writes:

There should only be one '.' in my email address.

Great, now gets crap meant for you. Why should their mail admins have to suffer so you can get less spam? Instead of fscking over, use your real address:

Ok! (DING! DING! DING! DING!) Calling all email harvesters! Come and get it!


Re:... out of the mouths of babes ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776695)

The jetset are nothing more than amoral sluts.
Now, if the new wealthy intellectuals would only study more than the physical realm and if they would use their newly found cash to support a household (in other words, one geek stay home and educate the children while the other geek works) then perhaps this strange little planet would have a chance in C21.

There is only so much filth and degradation that a human being can take before psychosis sets in. When that happens, well, you get a bunch of poliClinton types abusing your offspring and booking those jet flights to Whoreville, Nevada.

So, you see, all those soldiers fighting all those wars were really just killing to defend their right to sell their mothers and daughters into sexual slavery.

This iz Amerikkka, ain't it?!

Oh, by the way, in Egypt women used to pack their snatch with animal dung to act as a barrier type contraceptive. Their men eventually got confused because no matter which hole they picked they ended up in shit. Later, this spread up north to Greece where they went buck wild and started tagging everything in site. Homo-Patheticus.

Jesus is NOT a liberal.

Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776696)

Thou art, methinks.

Re:More proof that men earn wealth; women marry it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776697)

>It's not fair.

Oh come on now, don't tell me women don't like this system. They happily abuse it for their own ends. I've known women who openly say they don't need to go to college. They'll just marry into a higher incom bracket than their intelligence merits. And they usually do. Now, let's look at Johnny Carson's previous wives which you mentioned. Isn't it wierd how none ever remarried? And it's not because they're aged and unattractive. They know that their alimony payments (sizable from Carson) will stop the moment they say "I do" so don talk about how the system is unfair to women. If anything it's unfair to men. Courts support the view of women as powerless victims. How many men get alimony and child support? How many men get custody of their kids? This is not an impartial system we live within.

Then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776698)

... don't call yourself a geek.

If you think it's possible to spend too much time on a computer, you're not a geek.

Go do some extreme sporting or get a yacht, or something.

Re:How fantastically dumb (1)

Error 404 (50896) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776700)

The very first utopian, Plato, did the same thing in his Republic. "There will be a perfect society... ruled by philosphers!"

Um, no.

Assuming Socrates wasn't a fictional character, Plato only wrote down the Republic. And Socrates mentions that, unfortunately, there will be no place for people such as himself in the ideal society. He didn't cast himself as the Philosopher-King, but as the asker of annoying questions. The kind of person a proper Philosopher-King would exile or kill before too much damage was done.

Fear my wrath, please, fear my wrath?

So you think it's going to be a meritocracy? (1)

twit (60210) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776701)

Quite frankly, bollocks. Perhaps you'll have to be good with code to gain admission to the club, but once you get into the club it's personality all the way. That's the nature of any social grouping. Why would geeks be any different? (Did you think that ESR got his high profile through his stunning good looks?)

That said, it's not like social status by birth is any better. Of course, most geeks tend to come from the middle, upper middle, or upper class, the ones that can afford to go to college (which is both an expense and foregone income), often for prolonged periods of time.

Re:Something for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776704)

root. god. whats the difference ?

Re:The Litmus Test (1)

nosilA (8112) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776706)

It most certainly does. At least, it can help. The problem is most geeks are shy. I'm certainly more attracted to someone who knows UNIX than otherwise, but I'm not normal. I'm a geek too. Lets take a friend of mine from high school:

Blonde, Thin, Really great personality if not a tad bubbly, Pretty Intelligent, but an english major type. They met over the internet, but she's an AOL IM type... the typical woman.

She is now married to a linux devloper who is pretty cute, but not the most attractive guy in the world.

Why? He has a great future ahead of him. He wasn't too shy to pursue her, at least over the internet, and he could demonstrate a gentle intelligence. Not this "I'm better than you are" attitude that gets portrayed on /. a lot, but a willing-to-help type of intelligence. And he has an english accent, but that's just icing.

Moral of the story: captialize on the mysticism that the women on AOL have about computers. Stun them with your 'leet skillz, and you too can marry a beautiful woman.

nosilA (who does have a geek boyfriend and is quite happy)

Microsoft, Oracle, IBM,... (1)

N1KO (13435) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776712)

Some of the largest companies and richest people in the world are already computer related. And for those asking about highschool, many many people in my school takes the programming classes because thay get to play StarCraft and Quake 2 tournaments. Its almost as popular as phys ed.

Re:revolution (1)

psaltes (9811) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776713)

I think he meant that we'd be the ones revolting, and sending all the jocks and non-geeks and people we dont like to the guillotine (or whatever). Or he didnt realize thats what he meant. Or something. I'd build a priesthole anyways though, just because they're kind of cool.

keep in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776714)

these are the same people who published that woman's rantings the other day, she of "closing 300 websites stopped almost all episode 1 VCD trading on the internet" fame

Something for everyone (1)

BooRadley (3956) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776715)

Looks like this article's thrust is not so much to point out where the powerbase of the future is as much as to congratulate its readership for being able to click and drool its way through websites.

The idea of using your technical savvy as a means of achieving social status is kinda laughable. In the words of a really cool sysadmin I know, "True power seeks no status." Of course he's nuts, but what else is new? :)

On Being Used (1)

sleight (22003) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776716)

Get used to it. Whether or not we geeks become the social elite, we're already among the wealthiest people in this country. The average American salary is ~$35k last I heard. How many coders do you know who make that little? Being a misfit myself, I know there's that little part of me crying out to be accepted (although it does sound genuinely pathetic to admit) and I always fear that said acceptance may come from a woman who is more impressed with my wallet than me (yes, I randomly bring relationships into this as, being a geek, I experience them entirely too infrequently).

Re:The Litmus Test (1)

Patton (70344) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776717)

Ah but if you tell them you know how to install a male connection into a female port does that help any?

Or you can try the ever famous 'computer guys like me all have big joysticks to play with'

Better yet you can break out the jokes about how the girls are so pretty they can turn a floppy drive into a hard drive.

Our industry is just too easy to make those kind of jokes.

Re:A priesthood? (3)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776718)

clothing optional for telecommuters

Re:The Litmus Test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776719)

You need to find better women.

My girlfriend cream's her panties when I tell her about my day at work.

Then again, she is a mathematician.

Re:Funny thing (1)

mpburton (70667) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776720)

Ah - perhaps there is a danger here, though.
Just as gays are seen as having lots of money
(throwback to the hatred of jews perhaps?) this
idea that geeks are becoming social elites could
be continuing a trend of "reasons to hate geeks,"
along with we make lots of money and have all the
power to destroy the banks, bla, bla...

Just saying, it might not be sucha good thing...

Michael P. Burton
Network Engineer, PSU.

Re:Hopefully that won't happen... (1)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776721)

you have to remember that any person, put in a position of power over others, will become corrupted. There are no exceptions to this rule.

I guess we should fire Linus and Alan.

I'd hope that we'd move towards a more egalitarian society where everybody's contributions are valued... matter how worthless and braindead those contributions are. (ala Microsoft programming model)

"I already have all the latest software."

Re:I don't think so ... (1)

Loki77 (24029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776732)

It's good to see that we have people in the world who are so readily able to define who is and isn't a geek. Get over yourself.
Oh, though I guess in the traditional sense, he/she is right in some way. You know, geeks used to bite heads off of chickens, and linux doesn't really have much to do with that.. well.. at least not where I came from :)

Interesting Story (not really.) (2)

iago (4917) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776733)

Hey, last time I went into a bar wearing a linux shirt, thousands upon thousands of women came up to me and asked me if I wanted a dance. I had to fend them all off with a stick.

Shortly after that, I took the dollar bill off my nose and left "The Jiggly Room" only to go to a TGI Fridays. The woman there didn't seem to appreciate my penguin laden attire.

The moral is, I think it all depends on where you hang your hat.

Keep your stick on the ice,
Don =D

Meritocracy? (2)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776734)

"Merit" can only be calculated in a context. I may have high merit as a programmer, but low merit as an administrator, for example.

What this means is that a "meritocracy" has to be sure to calculate merit on the relevant characteristics. Those characteristics are unlikely to be solely technical for anything but the most trivial of social groupings.

Therefore: FascDot's Law--As technology advances, the more technologically literate will become more powerful (politically, socially, etc), all else being equal.

Corollary #1: If Joe Random is technologically literate but not powerful, "all else" must not equal--i.e. he doesn't know the first thing about history, psychology, economics, politics, etc, etc , etc.

A good argument for 4 year degrees for computer nerds, no?
Put Hemos through English 101!

Not quite. (1)

Simeon2000 (13536) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776735)

We'd all like to think that would happen... but can you really see a pack of US... typically(maybe stereotypically) twinkie-eating, Dew slurping, computer-chair-rear "hackers" beating up some muscular, fit jock? Maybe we should stick to (stereotypically, again) putting F's on their report cards through the school computers instead.
----- if ($anyone_cares) {print "Just Another Perl Newbie"}

"Come here often?" "Wanna see my 'sub-net'?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1776736)

The possibilities for new pick-up lines are endless.

"Why yes, I DO have my own domain registered."

"Baby, my keyrate is over 10KKeys/second. I'm a GOD on"

"Sweetheart, I read /. BEFORE it was cool."

Somehow, I don't think the Seattle chicks are in any danger from me in the near future.

Now, maybe in Boston or somewhere where the ability to correctly sub-net a class C in less than 5 secons is APPRECIATED......

Re:No! No! (2)

El Volio (40489) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776737)

That explains why my new wife, who is incredibly attractive, married me, who is NOT.


Look out (2)

Syslevel (69599) | more than 15 years ago | (#1776738)

I find it frightening, in a way. Whenever anything becomes trendy, rich kids with attitude push all the regular people outta the way and party. I'm not in any way pretending the net should or could be egalitarian, but watch for the poseurs to come outta the woodwork when it becomes trendy. (hasn't it already? Color bitmaps on shrinkwrapped Linux boxes at Best Buy??)

We're already seeing people (myself included) backing the heck outta 'the linux scene' for similar reasons. I hope the various BSD communities can bear the load when a lot of people with practical reasons for running a free Unix bail outta the linux party room looking for a quiet place to get some work done.

Meritocracy? Surely you jest. When the room fills up with newbies new things become more important like apperances, etc.

I remember when a similar social phenomenon happened in "The Punk Scene." (where, granted, there was no meritocracy unless there is merit in self-destructive nihilism) All kinds of new people with expensive punk costumes started dominating the dance floor at the club one night. Then I noticed cameras were filming them. I bailed outta there. Haven't wanted to go back much.
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