Old definitions of the word “geek” include, “An unfashionable or socially inept person.” If you go back to the linguistic origins of “geek” you’ll find it was equated with freak, fool and a German word, “gickeleshut” which was a kind of hat worn by circus clown types. How times have changed? By now we’ve come to link geeks with brilliance, genius and a high level of focus that has turned the world of business and technology upside down. But now the Bravo Television Network is set to turn this last set of assumptions on its head with a “reality” television offering called, “Start ups: Silicon Valley.” The Bravo promotional footage shows Silicon Valley geeks involved in round after round of hard drinking, hard partying, rock climbing and line dancing. Yes, line dancing. And you can forget any references to unfashionable geeks, these folks are model quality attractive, wearing tank tops and bikinis, showing off their assets.
When a character in the Bravo show describes Silicon Valley as a “hotbed of innovation,” it just might cause an observer to ponder the choice of the word, “hotbed.” But it turns out, not all geeks are thrilled that the “secrets” of Silicon Valley are coming to Bravo TV. Tech watchers are said to be downright infuriated. Others are offended, saying that the show “trivializes the important work being done.” Angry emails and Tweets have been blasted at the show’s co-creator, Randi Zuckerberg. And you’ve heard that name before, haven’t you? Well, she’s the sister. Not to be unhinged by such criticism, Randi Zuckerberg says she embraces the haters and the lovers because haters ultimately care. And lest anyone think she is misrepresenting Silicon Valley, Randi Zuckerberg wants to assure us that she has been to geek parties and they can be wild and crazy affairs. Who would have guessed that geeks just want to have fun?