By Rebecca L. Eisenberg (who expects a big fat link to her page!)
Men, why do you go on line?
You may tell yourself that you leap onto the internet to shoot the shit with successful futurists and CEOs, exchange backstabbing gossip with other industry members, keep up with the state of the marketplace, or conduct academic research.
But really you would be wrong.
The truth is, that you, oh geek of the male persuasion, leap onto the internet for one reason and one reason alone: to meet babes.
And you think you are doing real swell. You post compelling commentary about books by William Gibson in conferencing systems, contribute to cutting edge debates about encryption and freedom of expression with digerati superstars, and are politically and technologically ahead of your time.
You do things for geek women. You build their search engines for their home pages. You compile their applications. You give them accounts on your server. You tend to their domain. You name your computer after them.
But these women only want you for your Unix. They take you for granted, or, even worse, they laugh at you and try to make you show them your thing on CU-SeeMe. They dis you for the other girl geeks.
What could be the problem? You have a degree in astrophysics from Cal Tech, a well-paying job writing code for an Internet Start-Up in San Francisco, and a S uper Speedy computer. You're a great catch.
The problem is, oh geek male, that you have not yet learned the r00lz. And I am here to tell them to you. Read them carefully and study them, and you will find yourself actually meeting the geekgirl of your dreams, at a real flesh interface. I promise.
r00l number one: Be a creature unlike any other.
To most geek women, geek guys are mostly all the same ... something like that 3D cartoon character on The Site on MSNBC. You need to establish that you are not just any old geek guy. You are a r00lz geek guy.
This takes a little effort. But you can do it. Believe in yourself! You are worth it. You deserve love, affection and attention from geek women. You deserve to exchange GIFs with the CyberGirl of your dreams. You deserve to have someone to send flowers to; someone who will email you in the middle of the night just to say that she is using your code and thinking of you.
You are not just any old geek guy. You are a r00lz geek guy. And you must remember that at all times. Remember, being a creature like no others is just a state of mind! And if you have anything, you do have a mind. So use it.
R00l number two: Always look your best.
Be sure to choose your login carefully. Don't come off too strong with usernames like wolf, coyote, BigManOnCampus, or Stud; but also beware of announcing your nerdity: clarence, startrekfan, and coder simply will not get the attention of the Dot Matrix of your dreams.
Select a good domain name. Work addresses can score you points, particularly if they symbolize prestige (@wired.com), wealth (@kmpg.com), cyberpunkdom (@paranoia.com), or intellectual prowess (@mit.edu). Of course, the best of all worlds is to have your own domain, but be careful not to be too self absorbed in this area. John@Doe.com is nice, but firstname.lastname@example.org is better.
If you have a home page, keep it simple. Keep your graphics to a minimum and please, no broken links.
r00l number three: Never make the first move.
Geek women like to be in control. If they wanted men to take the lead, they would be off line going to singles events. They seek out the internet because it is a world they can conquer. If you try to take the lead, they will look down on you. If they want you, they will let you know. They will send you flattering email or respond to your letters quickly. If they don't want you, pursuing them will only waste your time. They may let you buy them dinner, but they will send you home quickly thereafter.
Remember, you are a creature unlike any other (r00l number one). You deserve a geek woman that loves you.
R00l number four: Only speak when spoken to.
Geek women often come on line to escape a world of male speech. With rare and notable exceptions they live in a f2f and old media world overwhelmed with men talking about politics, culture and business. They watch TV and are tired of Dan Rather; they read magazines and are tired of Jon Katz; they read books and are tired, frankly, of John Brockman. They don't really find the so-called "Digital Revolution" of the same old guys that revolutionary.
Ever wonder why many geek girls spend most of their time in all-women forums and organizations? Babes come on line to meet other babes. When they want to hear you speak, they will ask you a question.
Ever wonder why more geek women do not rate the free-speech-on-line campaign as their greatest organizing prinicple? Geek women almost crave censorship to leave them room to get a word in edgewise.
What your object of desire wants most is to have a chance to do the talking. So shut up, already! Pretend, if you have to, that you are really interested in what she has to say.
r00l number five: Work your body, as well as your mind.
It's the nineties, boys! Women want you for a lot more than just your intelligence, wealth, power and social status these days. They also want you for your body. Geek girls are busy all day working on their own wealth, power and social status; they seek out a mate who will fulfill them physically as well as intellectually and emotionally. You are male and have no excuse to be overweight. Exercise on a daily basis. Running and other aerobic exercise (but do not get caught dead doing aerobics the chicks!) is good for stamina; weights, rock-climbing and lifting of heavy computer equipment is good for strength. If you want them to stop by your pad, you better give them something to look forward to while there.
r00l number six: Appreciate the meaning and purpose of "Girls Night Out"
Do not bust into their Women on the Web meetings, their MediaChicks happy hours, or their CodeGrrls movie nights. Know your place. It is not there. Don't worry about what women do in their time together. They are not talking about you.
Don't -- absolutely do not -- post anything on their posting boards. No matter what you say there, you will come off as being desperate for a mate. There is no avoiding this.
Geek girls do not like desperation. They like independent-minded confident geek boys who do not panic when geek girls log off to compile their software and reboot; who understand if they are off-line for an hour or two to have dinner and drinks with another geek guy who recognizes their wit, charm, intelligence and desirability. Play it cool and give them their space. They'll appreciate it later.
r00l number seven: Do not spam her with email.
Geek women are very busy. They are busy seeking out clients, selling articles, updating their home pages, writing software, organizing demonstrations, and running their servers. They do not have time to read your countless emails where you send them your opinion on the new X Files episode. They do not want to be bothered with your endless questions about their personal lives.
If you send mail to a geek woman, keep it short and to the point. She will appreciate URLs pointing to ftp servers with software updates, industry news and gossip, and links to articles written about topics and by writers who interest her. If you do not hear back immediately, don't keep sending more mail. Never ask if she received your email. She did.
If you still do not hear back after a week, send a second informative email. She might have space on her busy palette for you then.
r00l number eight: Ask her for advice on technological issues.
Very often, geek women are treated as if their opinion does not matter, and if their accomplishments and achievements have not been impressive. Asking a geek girl for advice or constructive criticism will let her know that you respect her intellect and ability. That will make her take you more seriously. She already knows she is smart, and you have demonstrated your intelligence by recognizing that quality in her.
r00l number nine: Do not bore her with Star Trek and Star Wars.
She's seen all the movies and watched all the tv shows. She does not care about the action figures. She's been there, done that. Move on.
r00l number ten: Flatter her wisely and justly.
Geek women view the internet as hostile terrain. When they try to interact with their primarily male netizen cohorts, they are overwhelmed with pickup lines and s exual propositions. They quickly learn to dismiss the men who behave this way. Although you may think you are flattering geek women with this routine, you are not. Geek women are strong and powerful and they need to be treated as the powerful intellects they truly are. When she wants to be talked dirty to, she will let you know. If you blow it by flattering her unwisely, you will never reach that stage.
What do geek women like? They like independent-minded men who think for themselves and who tell them they are brilliant. This is not a contradiction in terms. They more likely than not are brilliant.
Geek girls rarely receive genuine flattery, and much less so of the wise variety. They are forced to spend a lot of time establishing their credibility. If you want to flatter a geek woman, pick a particular achievement of hers -- a software program she wrote, a web page she designed, a company she manages, or a specific comment she made in a published article or on a forum board -- and praise her about that. General praise comes off as dishonest. It often is. R00lz geek boys always do their homework before doling out flattery of any sort.
r00l number eleven: Never never never agree to meet her on CU-SeeMe.
Real geek women are NEVER going to show you their tits. Try to arrange a conversation on webphone instead. Try, as hard as you can, to get her beeper number. But use it discriminately, of course. Remember, you are a r00lz geek and thus not so easy to get. Well, you pretend to be not so easy to get.
r00l number twelve: Don't be funny.
Don't even try. You are not funny.
r00l number thirteen: Be humble. Know your limitations.
In many ways, geek women are more biologically suited for computers than are geek men. They are naturally superior typists. They have skinnier fingers and are more flexible around a keyboard. They are trained to be on the lookout for dangerous activity on the city streets, and thus have more highly developed reflexes. They have been socialized their entire lives to be expressive, and grew up writing notes to each other in school, so they are far superior writers. Never call yourself a writer, even if she calls herself one. She will see through your bluff.
r00l number fourteen: Keep up on current events, politics, literature, and technical advances.
Geek women do not want to talk to you about Star Trek or the X Files. They do not care about your new record score in Tetris or Super Mario Brothers. They get very bored listening to you complain about your work hours. They work harder than you do, anyway, and have little tolerance for your whining. Tell these matters to your therapist, not to the geek girl you are pursuing.
Instead, learn about things that she is interested in. Tell her about the latest development in cryptology. Let her know about Laura Lemay's new book.
Most of all, let her know that you are aware of happenings in the off-line world. If it is around election time, do not let her know that you are not voting. Be familiar with the names of the candidates and the numbers of the Propositions to be voted on. You do not need to have an opinion on the above. Whatever she says, agree with it. Let her know that she is right.
Read the books she has read. If you have not read anything by Ursula LeGuin, go to your local library and do not leave until you have read her entire body of work. If the object of your desire is a feminist, be sure to read Alice Walker and Susan Faludi. If you do not know anything about feminist writers, ask your librarian. He or she will help you out. Geek women hate guys who do not take time to read books by female writers. She will interpret that as a sign that you do not think that women have anything interesting to say. In many instances, she will be correct. If you must do so, then pretend. It is worth it to be loved.
r00l number fifteen: Work hard, and produce results.
Geek girls do not like laziness. They like industrious men who are smart and who achieve things. Productivity in real life often means to them productivity in bed. Laziness in real life, well, you get the picture. A geek woman will be more impressed if you write a new piece of software than if you get promoted by your company. They like do-ers, not order-arounders, of whom they are very skeptical.
If you are behind on your coding, practice, practice practice! Rent star trek reruns and Star Wars films to watch as background to make coding fun.
When you have a project near completion, ask her for her opinion on it. That will let her know that you respect the breadth of her knowledge and her ability to scrutinize for errors. When she criticizes, thank her politely. She is probably right, and if there is anything that will turn off a geek girl, it is overdefensiveness on the part of a geek guy. That will make you look insecure, and insecure geek guys are not a creature unlike any other (r00l one).
r00l number sixteen: Grin and bear it.
If you have studied the r00lz hard enough and are lucky enough to have won the fancy of a geek woman, you still must follow the r00lz on all occassions. This involves learning the proper care and maintenance of a geek woman.
Geekgirls tend to be moody by nature. All that time behind the computer can upset her fingers and make her irritable. Plus, she has to battle the patriarchy all day! That cannot be easy. Have some compassion and try your best to empathize with her. Give her hand massages and foot massages. Cook her nice dinners. Offer to take her to her favorite restaurant.
Also remember that geek women often are paid less money than geek men for the same work. Be a feminist and help redistribute the wealth. Pay her way on all occasions. Explain your reasoning, and she will understand and let you.
Remember: geek women are a special breed, worth fighting for. And you are a creature unlike any other (r00l one)! You deserve her love.
r00l number seventeen. Don't listen to other geek guys for advice.
They are not meeting geek girls. If they tell you they are, they are lying. They are not gettin g laid. They are just as miserable as you are. They will tell you that the r00lz are stupid and deceptive. They will tell you that you are not being honest and sincere.
But the thing to remember is that the r00lz are honest and sincere! You are a creature unlike no other. You deserve a geek girl. And a geek woman deserves all of the coding and technical support you have to offer. You deserve to be appreciated. The r00lz is just a method of getting noticed, so then you will have a chance to shine in all your Geek Guy Glory.
r00l number eighteen: Study the r00lz.
If you do not study the r00lz, you are apt to forget them. Take them to heart. They never fail.
I have seen many geek guys who believed that they were hopelessly socially inept become confident and attractive after learning the r00lz. They have actual social lives, and even almost date people. They seem a lot closer to talking on the phone with geek girls than they were before learning the r00lz.
Remember, guys, the r00lz are in your best interest. They may be hard at first. You may have to turn off your computer to keep yourself from emailing a geek girl. But it will be worth it. Remember, you are a creature unlike any other, and you deserve love. With proper attendance to the r00lz, you will find the geek girl of your dreams, and even get to sit down and talk to her in an actual real time flesh meeting. The r00lz work, and they can work for you, too.
(Coming next: r00lz seminars, only 300 dollars a pop! Cheaper than a jaz drive!)