Should geeks be hot?

Written by Paper. Posted in Drive, Innovation

Should geeks be hot?

Published on October 27, 2014 with No Comments

If you love your Android, your Blackberry or your iPhone, you can thank the engineers. If you love 3D, High Def and digital cinema in general, it’s the engineers. If you love cloud computing, virtual reality and social media – well, go ahead, thank an engineer. They’re the ones who make smart phones smarter and digital technology possible. They may not be the ones who put the social in social media but they’re the ones who make it happen. Yet it turns out engineering isn’t cool and young people are avoiding it like the plague – except, thanks in part to engineering, young people aren’t that familiar with plagues. In any case, engineers are a retiring breed mostly from the Baby Boomer generation. So along comes the magazine headline, “Boeing Enlists Hollywood to Make Engineering Cool.”
Boeing being a top U.S. defense contractor and also the people behind all those awesome jets has a vested interest in recruiting the next generation of science and technology experts. They are already seeing shortages of expertise as the old geeks head toward retirement. Boeing heads are among those who believe Hollywood isn’t helping their cause. While ten percent of characters in movies and television are scientists, 70 percent of those either kill or are being killed, or are portrayed in some sort of negative light. Just last month top engineering executives met with their top entertainment counterparts to forge a new understanding between the creative and the technical processes. So in the future we can probably expect Hollywood to eschew the whole mad scientist and deranged geek characters in favor of hot geeks with six pack abs. Is James Bond a geek or does he just benefit from geek friends?

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