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October 27, 2006 / yolynne

Interesting Stuff to Read

Hmm.. this news is quite intriguing..

Microsoft’s Charles Simonyi to be 1st Nerd in Space

“The BBC are reporting that Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi, a 58-year old Microsoft billionaire software engineer is set to become the first ‘nerd in space’ on board the Soyuz TMA-10 when the spacecraft launches on Thursday 09th March 2007. Charles oversaw the development of Multiplan, Word, and Excel among many other achievements. He has launched a website detailing the 3 goals he wishes to achieve on the trip: advance civilian spaceflight, assist space station research, and involve kids in space sciences. Jó szerencse pölö Charles!”

… and so are the comments

1. I thought Mark Shuttleworth claimed that title (the Ubuntu guy)?

2. Many scientists have been in space. Some of them probably consider themselves ‘nerds’. Maybe I’m out of the loop with modern lingo, but ‘nerd’ doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with computers.

3. Wouldn’t he qualify as first geek in space? I mean, the Russians didn’t send a painter up did they?

4. He’s a Microsoft engineer. Obviously his delusions of grandeur are not limited to work.
Nor are unfounded claims of originality.

5. yeah, cos everyone that’s gone to space so far has been a football jock right?

6. Exactly, he is as much the first nerd in space as IE7 is the first tabbed browser….

7. Gone where no Windows has gone before… along with the anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall and sun block.

8. I am sure, in nearly half a century of manned space flight there were many cosmonauts/astronauts that are nerdier than some rich Microsoft guy.

9. I’ve often thought, whoever came up with this convention for naming variables ought to be shut in a Russian spacecraft and sent far, far away.

10. First “nerd in space”? Simonyi isn’t even the first nerd in space this year! Cripes, Anousheh Ansari has barely been back on the ground a month.

I don’t know  if some of you will agree with the definitions below…
From the Jargon File entry for “geek”:

“A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance. Geeks usually have a strong case of neophilia. Most geeks are adept with computers and treat hacker as a term of respect, but not all are hackers themselves – and some who are in fact hackers normally call themselves geeks anyway, because they (quite properly) regard `hacker’ as a label that should be bestowed by others rather than self-assumed.”

From the Jargon File entry for “nerd”:

“Pejorative applied to anyone with an above-average IQ and few gifts at small talk and ordinary social rituals.”


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