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Message from luke.fernandez@gmail.com

I have always been uncomfortable with the term "techie" because it's a diminutive and because it tacitly conflates technicians with treckies. While I don't think most people share my point of view (Diana Oblinger used the term in a 2007 Educause article titled "The Myth about Techies" and it's appeared also in later Educause articles), it seems like the word is evolving into a real slur at least in some contexts. Or so Geoff Nunberg (a linguist at Harvard) observes in "Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers:" "I still use it ['techie']as an amiable label for the nerdy guy who comes to my office and rolls his eyes when I ask why my computer won't talk to the printer down the hall. But these days a lot of people use the word as a disparagement that implies entitlement and self-absorption. "Techie" used to suggest a computer whiz with no social skills, now it suggests one with no social conscience." http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263088398/hackers-... Time perhaps to rally the shock troops of the academy (aka the PC police)? ;-) Cheers, Luke lfernandez.org ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.

Comments

Ha, very funny.

I've always associated the word "techie" negatively, not for the same reasons you offer Luke, but as a term for a "wanna-be" or "poser." That is, one who tries to impress those less knowledgeable of their technical skills or experience. A "techie" is always the first with the newest gadget even though he/she has no use for it; goes to all of the popular conferences; is first to adopt the latest technology trends; of course wears a retro/obscure tech-reference t-shirt under their suit coat, etc. Indeed this definition carried an additional appeal for me, as those who most cherished the term--either seeking to be labeled as such of even self-describing themselves as a techie--confirmed my definition. "Oh yeah, I'm a real techie--I waited in line at the Mac store all night so I would be first to own the iPhone 4S with Siri."

I think this actually highlights the difference between the term hacker. Which Eric Raymond offers, "has to do with technical adeptness and a delight in solving problems and overcoming limits" (http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html) So hacker and techie are, to me, opposites. While "hacker" has traditionally carried a negative connotation, applied to those who break into systems or create malware (which is actually a "cracker"), today we are seeing a shift, with the term again applied to those who choose to reassemble existing objects to create new tools/services: hack-a-thon, hacker/maker, etc.

I also think futurologist Alvin Toffler's term "prosumer" works here as well. Hackers are prosumers, techies are consumers of hackers work.

Thanks again Luke--you always give me a chuckle.
Patrick



On 01/24/2014 12:26 PM, Luke Fernandez wrote:
I have always been uncomfortable with the term "techie" because it's a diminutive and because it tacitly conflates technicians with treckies. While I don't think most people share my point of view (Diana Oblinger used the term in a 2007 Educause article titled "The Myth about Techies" and it's appeared also in later Educause articles), it seems like the word is evolving into a real slur at least in some contexts. Or so Geoff Nunberg (a linguist at Harvard) observes in "Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers:" "I still use it ['techie']as an amiable label for the nerdy guy who comes to my office and rolls his eyes when I ask why my computer won't talk to the printer down the hall. But these days a lot of people use the word as a disparagement that implies entitlement and self-absorption. "Techie" used to suggest a computer whiz with no social skills, now it suggests one with no social conscience." http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263088398/hackers-techies-what-to-call-san-franciscos-newcomers Time perhaps to rally the shock troops of the academy (aka the PC police)? ;-) Cheers, Luke lfernandez.org ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.


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********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.

Very interesting - I’m teaching an online course this semester “IT Team Leadership” - aka “Leading Geeks”. I think of the terms “geeks” and “techies” in a much more positive sense - they are indeed “different”, and “leading” them requires highly specialized motivational skills. Anybody interested - I’m using Paul Glen’s “Leading Geeks” (a bit dated, but still on target, IMHO) along with Dan Pink’s “Drive” and “The Flip Manifesto” as well as Jarie Borlander’s “Frustration Free Technical Management”. Frank Monaco @ProfessorMonaco
Frank et al-

I suspect the connotation depends heavily on context (as well as current events).   Ditto for the flip-side:  Luddite.   For quite a while, Luddite had been used in a fairly benign way --- someone who was a bit techno-challenged.  Lately, I've seen it used with more of its original (19th century, British, anti-industrial revolution meaning) with a deprecating thrust.  Rising sensitivity to privacy issues, digital overload, failed websites, breach of 110 million personal records... who knows?  But maybe there's a symbiotic "techie" vs "Luddite" balance that tips in one direction or the other depending on what's happening in the national news....

Marty
=================================
Martin Ringle, Chief Information Officer   
Reed College, Portland, OR 97202          
503-777-7254   email:   cio@reed.edu                          
=================================





From a lurker: if you haven't read _Quiet_ by Susan Cain, I recommend it. Most techies/geeks (I include myself) are probably introverts. This book gives extaverts a look into the personality of an introvert (and vice versa). It also affirms that it's OK to be an introvert; that we play an important role in society, and in advancing science and technology. Cheers! Mike -- J. Michael Yohe Executive Director of Electronic Information Services, Retired Valparaiso University E-mail: Mike Yohe@valpo.edu Postal Address, Phone: Send e-mail request for information -- On Sat, 25 Jan 2014, Martin Ringle wrote: > Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 09:49:36 -0800 > From: Martin Ringle > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > > To: CIO@listserv.educause.edu > Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? > > Frank et al- > > I suspect the connotation depends heavily on context (as well as current events). Ditto for the flip-side: Luddite. For quite a while, Luddite had been used in a fairly benign way --- someone who was a bit techno-challenged. Lately, I've seen it used with more of its original (19th century, British, anti-industrial revolution meaning) with a deprecating thrust. Rising sensitivity to privacy issues, digital overload, failed websites, breach of 110 million personal records... who knows? But maybe there's a symbiotic "techie" vs "Luddite" balance that tips in one direction or the other depending on what's happening in the national news.... > > Marty > ================================= > Martin Ringle, Chief Information Officer > Reed College, Portland, OR 97202 > 503-777-7254 email: cio@reed.edu > ================================= > > > > > >
From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? Yours in introversion and early adoption, John PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) John D. Lawson, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Western Washington University
John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not move north!!! :-) Best, Rob Dr. Robert Paterson Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY Main College number: 516-323-3000 Direct number: 516-323-4850 -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? Yours in introversion and early adoption, John PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) John D. Lawson, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Western Washington University
It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves. “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples. (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.) Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest. It is a time honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it. Techies Unite! Tracy On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson wrote: > John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not move north!!! :-) Best, Rob > > Dr. Robert Paterson > Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research > Molloy College > Rockville Centre, NY > Main College number: 516-323-3000 > Direct number: 516-323-4850 > > -----Original Message----- > From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson > Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM > To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU > Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? > > From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? > > Yours in introversion and early adoption, > > John > > PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) > > John D. Lawson, Ph.D. > Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Western Washington University > > > > >
Well said Tracy. Along this thought, to many the "Good Old Boy" system is still about trust, honesty and where a hand shake is bonding. John M. Bax (baxj@mst.edu) Director of Information Technology Office: 573.341.6999 Mobile: 573.201.5260 This e-mail and any attachments are intended only for those to which it is addressed and may contain information which is privileged, confidential and prohibited from disclosure or unauthorized use under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, or copying of this e-mail or the information contained in this e-mail is strictly prohibited by the sender. If you have received this transmission in error, please return the material received to the sender and delete all copies from your system. -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tracy Beth Mitrano Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 8:20 AM To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves. “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples. (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.) Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest. It is a time honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it. Techies Unite! Tracy On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson wrote: > John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not > move north!!! :-) Best, Rob > > Dr. Robert Paterson > Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research Molloy > College Rockville Centre, NY > Main College number: 516-323-3000 > Direct number: 516-323-4850 > > -----Original Message----- > From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson > Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM > To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU > Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? > > From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? > > Yours in introversion and early adoption, > > John > > PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) > > John D. Lawson, Ph.D. > Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer > Western Washington University > > > > >
I see the term techie as more positive, someone proficient in or excited about technology. Then again, I don't view trekkies with a negative connotation either. Or nerds. Now, Beliebers are another story ;) The NPR piece is interesting. With so many true slurs in this world, little descriptors like hackers and techies don't bother me much. In fact, I quite enjoy living in this tech world that is so mysterious to others. Give it another decade. I think we'll all miss the mystery as end-users become as tech-savvy as the rest of us. Paige Francis, CIO Fairfield University Follow me: Twitter | Linked In Fairfield University Technology News: http://fairfieldutech.tumblr.com CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The contents of this email message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged info rmation and may be legally protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or their agent, or if this message has been addressed to you in error, please immediately alert the sender by reply email and then delete this message and any attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, copying, or storage of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited.
I heard that even "Christian" was originally a slur that was later embraced. Kevin -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tracy Beth Mitrano Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 8:20 AM To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves. “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples. (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.) Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest. It is a time honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it. Techies Unite! Tracy On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson wrote: > John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not > move north!!! :-) Best, Rob > > Dr. Robert Paterson > Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research Molloy > College Rockville Centre, NY > Main College number: 516-323-3000 > Direct number: 516-323-4850 > > -----Original Message----- > From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson > Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM > To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU > Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? > > From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? > > Yours in introversion and early adoption, > > John > > PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) > > John D. Lawson, Ph.D. > Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer > Western Washington University > > > > >
Methodists! Oh yeah. Let's make fun of John Wesley and his Holy Club.

I think a more interesting theme is our need to categorize people. 

Fun thread......

Bill Betlej
Mary Baldwin College


On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Shalla, Kevin <kshalla@uic.edu> wrote:
I heard that even "Christian" was originally a slur that was later embraced.

Kevin

-----Original Message-----
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Tracy Beth Mitrano
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 8:20 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur?

It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves.  “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples.  (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.)

Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest.  It is a time  honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it.

Techies Unite!

Tracy




On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson <rpaterson@MOLLOY.EDU> wrote:

> John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not
> move north!!! :-)  Best, Rob
>
> Dr. Robert Paterson
> Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research Molloy
> College Rockville Centre, NY
> Main College number:   516-323-3000
> Direct number:  516-323-4850
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
> [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson
> Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM
> To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
> Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur?
>
> From another lurkerŠ  It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹.  Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use?
>
> Yours in introversion and early adoption,
>
> John
>
> PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹  :)
>
> John D. Lawson, Ph.D.
> Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
> Western Washington University
>
>
>
>
>
Message from luke.fernandez@gmail.com

Definitely worth dwelling on that history and it can shed light on how the term techie is perceived when we utter it ourselves. If we are ourselves techies then we are less likely to draw offense than if we're not part of the group. But are CIOs and managers techies? Some might self-identify as such. But the technologists they manage might not see them that way. And therein lies one of the dangers in using the term. The significance of the utterance also has different meanings depending on the relationship one has vis a vis self ascribed techies. So if one is being oppressed by techies (as some people feel they are in San Francisco) the term "techies" takes on mocking qualities that are similar to those that are implied by "yuppies." But if it's uttered by someone who manages technologists (and who is not themselves seen as a technologist) it has the potential to take on much more objectionable and condescending significance. The PC Police. On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 7:20 AM, Tracy Beth Mitrano wrote: > It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves. “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples. (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.) > > Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest. It is a time honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it. > > Techies Unite! > > Tracy > > > > > On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson wrote: > >> John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not move north!!! :-) Best, Rob >> >> Dr. Robert Paterson >> Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research >> Molloy College >> Rockville Centre, NY >> Main College number: 516-323-3000 >> Direct number: 516-323-4850 >> >> -----Original Message----- >> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson >> Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM >> To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU >> Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur? >> >> From another lurkerŠ It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹. Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use? >> >> Yours in introversion and early adoption, >> >> John >> >> PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹ :) >> >> John D. Lawson, Ph.D. >> Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Western Washington University >> >> >> >> >>
I suppose we get ourselves into trouble any time we use a label to identify a group. It is different when the individuals self-identify as members of a group and choose their own label. We've seen techie as a friendly way to quickly identify those with tech skills, usually to those outside. For example, it is easy to explain that 'she's one of the techies" to those outside the department.  I've watched the term hacker change definitions over time, and I think the positive view has been driven by those in the community who want to embrace that label as a mark of technical creativity and adeptness. 

Knowing that labels can change meaning and intent over time, or maybe by region or age, it is probably wise to avoid the use.  Just a mouthful to say 'an employee in the information technology department'. 

Theresa



On Monday, January 27, 2014, Luke Fernandez <luke.fernandez@gmail.com> wrote:
Definitely worth dwelling on that history and it can shed light on how
the term techie is perceived when we utter it ourselves.

If we are ourselves techies then we are less likely to draw offense
than if we're not part of the group.  But are CIOs and managers
techies?  Some might self-identify as such.  But the technologists
they manage might not see them that way.  And therein lies one of the
dangers in using the term.

The significance of the utterance also has different meanings
depending on the relationship one has vis a vis self ascribed techies.
 So if one is being oppressed by techies (as some people feel they are
in San Francisco) the term "techies" takes on mocking qualities that
are similar to those that are implied by "yuppies."  But if it's
uttered by someone who manages technologists (and who is not
themselves seen as a technologist) it has the potential to take on
much more objectionable and condescending significance.

The PC Police.

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 7:20 AM, Tracy Beth Mitrano <tbm3@cornell.edu> wrote:
> It may be worth knowing, from history, that many a “name” of groups derive originally from less flattering terms proffered by opponents and have become adopted by the groups themselves.  “Puritans” and “Mormons” are good examples.  (Excuse the religious bent, apropos of Bob writing from one of my subject colleges, I was an American religious historian in my earlier life, and Molloy was one of the 13 Catholic women’s colleges I studied in New York State.)
>
> Contemporarily, my sons walk around quoting lyrics from hip hop artists that include terms I would sooner die than utter, so that effect has a broader cultural reach than my nice Catholic schools might suggest.  It is a time  honored tradition for oppressed groups to take on term so as to remove the sting from it.
>
> Techies Unite!
>
> Tracy
>
>
>
>
> On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:39 AM, Robert Paterson <rpaterson@MOLLOY.EDU> wrote:
>
>> John Lawson, You just want to make sure they stay ESFnewcomers and not move north!!! :-)  Best, Rob
>>
>> Dr. Robert Paterson
>> Vice President – Information Technology, Planning and Research
>> Molloy College
>> Rockville Centre, NY
>> Main College number:   516-323-3000
>> Direct number:  516-323-4850
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of John Lawson
>> Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 2:06 PM
>> To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
>> Subject: Re: [CIO] "techies" as a slur?
>>
>> From another lurkerŠ  It is interesting to me how the comments, especially by Marty, ring true to John Naisbitt¹s ŒMegatrends¹ and ŒHigh Tech High Touch¹ and what is needed for people to a Œbalance¹ between tech and touch. If a person is low tech (read, luddite) then even a small increase in their use of Œtech¹ needs a large increase of Œtouch¹ to remain in balance. Opposite for the techie, even a large increase in Œtech¹ requires very little increase of Œtouch¹.  Can the result be that Œtechies¹ can move toward Œhackers¹ because their Œbalance¹ requires such little Œtouch¹ (read 'social conscience¹) that they more easily nefarious use?
>>
>> Yours in introversion and early adoption,
>>
>> John
>>
>> PS. I suggest calling San Francisco¹s newcomers: Œnewcomers¹  :)
>>
>> John D. Lawson, Ph.D.
>> Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Western Washington University
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

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EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

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Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

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2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


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Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.