I am a self declared, unabashed geek and have been since my earliest years when I was an early reader. To put some very concrete oomph behind that self description, I would offer the following story. My father was a very bright man, a poor kid from East Texas, small place called El Mina, paradoxically enough as he put himself through college and became a mining engineer. That little township is but a memory, has not existed for decades and is now in the midst of a Georgia Pacific commercial tree farm. He was I suppose a geek in his own right and recognized the computer revolution in the early 1950’s. His idea of book to read to me at night for entertainment was none other than the early computer scientist, Norbert Wiener’s book originally published in 1948 [though he and I read the 1961 paperback edition] of Cybernetics, Second Edition: or Control and Communication…That was followed by books on cyber math, math systems based on base 8, etc. I was fascinated by all this and learned to keep my mouth shut about my exploding interests in this arena since if I mentioned in my primary grade school classes, classmates would haze and harass me and teachers except in parochial Catholic schools would peer at me as if I were an alien from outer space and hush me up abruptly and to stop distracting the class. I suppose most precocious geek types go through these kinds of experiences when one realizes you are so different that there will always be a chasm between you and most of your friends for years. This was only relieved when I hit more advanced grades and schools at an accelerated pace and found like minded geeks.
Well it gladdens my heart to read the now very current article in PC World, entitled, “EVE Online” players are solving real-world science problems” Meet Project Discovery by Hayden Dingman. Mr. Attila Szantner the co-founder of Massively Multiplier Online Science (MMOS, at mmos.ch) [I had never heard of him either, but with that first name….] was quoted as saying, “This is going to be the next big revolution in citizen science.”