Friday, September 30, 2011

Geek is Chic!

[geek] - noun Slang

1. a computer expert or enthusiast.
2. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, such as biting off the head of a live chicken.

The term "geek" was not meant to be a term of endearment.  It was used in conjunction with individuals that existed a few steps outside of society's norm.  They participated in activities that were generally misunderstood, such as Dungeons and Dragons, tinkering with the old IBM computers, and programming out MUDs (Multiple User Dungeons) in DOS.  But, most disturbingly, they were teased, bullied, and pushed around for being different.  This societal position is slowly changing with the creation of Apple, Xbox live, and Facebook.  What was once obscure has become mainstream.  And, the people who develop and support technology are being watched with growing interest.  It is chic to be geek!

In 1962, one of the first geeks/nerds got noticed by the public at large.  It was Peter Parker, AKA Spiderman.  Paul Kupperberg, the original writer for Spiderman, said that Spidey's powers were "not too original".  However, it was the character driven storyline that truly set the comic apart from its peers.  As a high school student, Peter Parker was pushed around.  But, he restrained himself.  Guided by his uncle's moral values, Spiderman defeated super powered foes, time and time again.  Now, Spiderman is often seen as Marvel's flagship comic.  This was the first time that a geek or nerd truly made the spotlight.

In 1984, a movie came out that changed everything.  It was called "Revenge of the Nerds".  This movie embraced a culture of geeks and nerds fully.  The characters were awkward, intelligent, unique, and were tortured by their peers for being different.  But, that was their charm and the community they were based off of truly identified with them.  The most extraordinary thing was that the movie managed to make these characters look cool, but on their own terms.  What they did, how they did it, and why they did it made sense in the social context.  Their portrayal showed them as human beings, not just the smart and quiet guys in the corner of the lunch room.  When this movie came out, it was one of the first steps that closed the cultural divides and showed geeks as people, just like everyone else.

Race forward to the present, Apple has taken the world by storm!  Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and
Ronald Wayne created Apple in 1976.  And, there was no way they could predict the explosive popularity of their products.  Apple has a reputation for making user friendly products, usable even by the layman.  Some of their most popular items include the iPhone, Mac book, and iPod.  Steve Jobs is regularly seen in today's media.  To say owning an iPhone is popular right now would be a sever understatement.  It currently holds 19.4% of the world market share for smart phones (according to  Everyone from the geeks at school, too soccer moms with their minivans, and even older generations are picking up iPhones, calling their friends.  There is no doubt, technology is in right now.

As the world looks towards the future, the advancement of technology is crucial.  Many new discoveries in the technology world have been developed to power the latest video games, most notably, the speed of the CPU (Central processing unit).  The reason behind this is that video games make money and players are always asking for games that demand more powerful hardware.  In 2007, a game called Crisis came out.  It was lauded as the most hardware intensive game to come out yet and spurred an increase of activity to match the hardware requirements to play the game on maximum settings (the most stimulating visuals possible).  At that time, a computer's prowess was judged by gamers solely by what settings it could run crisis at and what frame rate the player got when playing the game.

  • Frame rate: The rate at which individual pictures (frames) in a sequence are displayed in a video conference. Frame rate is measured in frames per second (fps).

As an example: the movie theaters show film at 27 frames per a second.  The human eye cannot visibly detect more than 60 frames per a second.  If a person is viewing a video screen, it is healthy to view it at the highest frame rate possible.

The race to build the best computer possible was driven by Crisis.  And, it fueled the development of new technology to match the demand.  This in turn was felt in other areas of advancement, even as high as space shuttle development, requiring complex computer equipment to operate properly.

What was once an obscure hobby, held by a few, is now interests held by many.  Technology is a positive force in society that is advancing the world.  And, it is the people that grow up dedicating their time to these pursuits that are behind the most amazing technological feats of the day.  There can be no doubt; it is chic to be geek!


If you liked reading this blog, check Herrick Erickson-Brigl out on Twitter, or friend him on facebook if you like.  Also, to your right you will find the first three chapters of his book, "A Scholar's Journey: The Divine Tempest", listed under the "Pages" section.   It is available on Amazon and there is a link to the right.


Currently listening to "What it's like" by Everlast

If you have any private comments, concerns, or suggestions for Herrick.  You can contact him at

article, awesome, book, Fantasy, geek, technology, video 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Character ideas

I'm almost to the end of book 2 and I've been working through some new character ideas in my head.  Normally my posts are pretty structured, but this is going to be more stream of consciousness writing.

To start, I can't go into specifics just yet, since it would be some major spoilers for book 2, but safe to say at the beginning of book 3, Penndarius and Soren are separated and a few new characters are introduced to act as interim/new protectors of our favorite scholar.

Fei Kong "The Wind Demon":  Fei Kong is the new leader of the Mortalitas Assassins, since the death of their previous leader, Dayvion Mortalitas.  This marks the first time that a person, outside of the Mortalitas family has led the group to appoint a new leader.  But, the group was split in two.

The first group wants to continue with their old ways.  But, Fei has other plans.

Fei remembers a time when the asasassins did good, helping the common folk and removing corruption, instead of helping it and he wants to bring the assassins back to those roots.  Fei is not like his brethren who skulk around in the shadows.  He is flashy, radical, dangerous, and honest.

Fei fights with wind!  More on this later.

Oog, just Oog, no last name, just Oog, MY NAME IS OOG!!!!!:  Oog hales from a small village of death cult barbarians.  They worship the art of death, but not killing others, but to seek the perfect death.

These barbarians are not suicidal.  Instead, they look for the prefect way to die, where their death can mean the most.  If that means staying alive and helping others, until they die of old age, so be it.  But, if that means dieing in glorious battle?  Then, that will be so.

Most characters that I write are young and new to life, at least for the main fighters.  Oog however, is in his sixtys.  he is a very healthy sixty year old, but he is in his later years.  None the less, Oog is physically one of the strongest characters in the series.  He does not speak much, but when he does, his words have impact.

Jericho the crazy guy: You know that guy that rants and raves about government conspiracies, UFO landings, the end is nigh, and stuff like that?  Jericho is that guy, only he is more right than wrong.

Of course, Jericho is still crazy.  Where would the fun be if his character was completely sane?  Actually, he comes off as a raving lunatic with insane theories that seem completely off the charts.  But, no matter how wild the consiracies or mysteries may be, some of them are true.

The other thing, Jericho is actually a rather powerful magus, though I don't know what his abilities entail just yet.

That is all for now.  More later.

If you liked reading this blog, check Herrick Erickson-Brigl out on Twitter, or friend him on facebook if you like.  Also, to your right you will find the first three chapters of his book, "A Scholar's Journey: The Divine Tempest", listed under the "Pages" section.  It is currently available in ebook format and the hard copy is coming soon.


Currently listening to "Touched" By Vast

If you have any private comments, concerns, or suggestions for Herrick.  You can contact him at