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In Defense of the Fanboy 117

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the alt-dot-nerd-dot-obsessive dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ran across a great article over at TV Squad regarding obsessive internet fanboys. It's funny and pretty dead on about how we all benefit from the monomania of the typical fanboy." Where would my own useless mental database of knowledge about Green Lantern and Mobile Suit Gundam be without fanboys? Probably out on a date, but for now, thank a fanboy!
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In Defense of the Fanboy

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  • Ummm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Golias (176380) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @09:51AM (#17268082)
    Where would my own useless mental database of knowledge about Green Lantern and Mobile Suit Gundam be without fanboys?

    I think you can stop talking about them in the third person.
    • by mordors9 (665662)
      SHHHH! He thinks the voices in his head are real people. Don't trigger a violent episode.
    • by nametaken (610866)
      Worst. Summary. Ever.

      We're discussing it over on alt.nerd.obsessive

    • If Descarte had had broadband, the line would have been: I think obsessively about complex fringe elements of pop-culture, therefore I am a fanboy.
  • Some things are awesome and deserve fanboys. But some of those fanboys are way off...
    • by bedonnant (958404)
      indeed. us rigtheous fanboys are belittled by them. The true fanboy retains some moderation in fanboyism. Isn't that what fanboys are all about?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BakaHoushi (786009)
        I believe fanboyism is fine, like most things, in moderation.

        I'm an obsessive gamer. And Otaku. And... well, okay, I'm a lot of varieties of nerd/geek. And I do spend a lot more time involved in these activities than most people would consider "normal," but I keep boundaries.

        As much as I love some particular items that have come from the Japanese culture, I have no intentions of moving to Japan, learning the language (it'd be sweet to order things that won't come to America/get it early, but it's an extreme
        • by cp.tar (871488)

          I have no intentions of moving to Japan, learning the language (it'd be sweet to order things that won't come to America/get it early, but it's an extremely complicated and, in my opinion, somewhat archaic language. English may be complicated grammatically, but we still only use 26 characters, most of which are identical to Romance/Germanic languages. And, as a multi-lingual friend has said to me, other than our grammar, English's biggest problem, if anything, is that it's overly simple in structure.)

          The o

          • I believe in this case it was a matter of poor wording. What I simply meant was that the language is far too complicated in a modern world. I've heard something to the effect of the Japanese language (in terms of writing) being so complicated that normally someone can't become literate until about the age of 9.

            Ironically, the Japanese, IIRC, have one of the highest literacy rates in the world. However, that may be due to the culture of the country, and the priorities of the people in general (I.E. education
            • by Cyberax (705495)
              Have you ever tried to ask non-native English speaker about the complexity of English?

              English is analytical language and it is very alien to people speaking synthetic (Arabic, Russian, Japanese) or agglutinating languages (Turkish).

              I still don't get when I should use articles because my native language (Russian) lacks them comletely.
            • by cp.tar (871488)

              I've heard something to the effect of the Japanese language (in terms of writing) being so complicated that normally someone can't become literate until about the age of 9.

              Well, at least not writing Kanji... it takes a little while to learn a few thousand symbols, just as it would take a child speaking any western language to learn how to correctly spell a few thousand words and phrases. Check the Slashdot audience, you'll see many people still have many problems - and I'm talking about native speakers her

              • Well, that pretty much proved me wrong on just about every account.

                As for the most spoken language/the language of business...

                I've heard Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.
                I've heard French is, too.

                Honestly, I don't know what language is "most important." I suspect a great deal of politics may be involved in deciding such things. So, I'll just leave without anymore boneheaded predictions.
        • by joeljkp (254783)
          Let's not forget that our entire legal system is based on dueling fanboys (fanpersons?).
        • by tehcyder (746570)
          as a multi-lingual friend has said to me, other than our grammar, English's biggest problem, if anything, is that it's overly simple in structure.
          English grammar is pretty easy as there's hardly anything to it, it's the vocabulary that's normally seen as the problem by people learning it.
  • by thomasdz (178114) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @10:18AM (#17268248)
    My obsession with PDP-11 computers (well, actually, all things DEC) and Valerie Bertinelli is OK now?
    So I can actually speak in public about my pilgrimages to Maynard Massachusetts, 31736 Broadbeach Road, Malibu, and 3361 Coldwater Canyon, Beverly Hills California?
    ummm...not that I know those addresses by heart or anything... :-)

    TDz.
    1) hmmmm...I wonder...should I hit the "Post Anonymously" button?
    2) yes, my wife does know about my obsessions
    3) how many Slashdotters can guess my age from this post?
    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @10:23AM (#17268278)
      I was going to moderate your comment but I couldn't find the "+1 creepy" option.
      • by thomasdz (178114)

        I was going to moderate your comment but I couldn't find the "+1 creepy" option.

        Valerie?? Is that you?!? How have you been since the breakup with Eddie?!!?!?

    • You were born around 1963.

      Where do I claim my prize?

      BTW, I heard a rumour that Van Halen is getting back together, with DLR as the front man.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you are a true DEC and PDP-11 Fanboy. then you will know what the following means

      1) F342 - Odd Address or other Trap 4

      2) The PDP-11/70 Front panel bootstap sequence.

        If you don't know these then you can't honestly call youself a DEC Fanboy can you?

       
    • Thanks - cuz I can't remember the bootstrap loader address for our 11/35 running RT-11SJ off dual RK05j DecPacks - can you hook a brother up?

    • by Cylix (55374)
      3 DEC
    • Who's Valerie BertAndErnie?
  • Being a fanboy of Dark Angel [jessicaalbafanatics.com] is nothing to be ashamed of!
    • yeah it is. that show had such promise and proceeded to suck at unprecedented levels.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And here we have an example of a fanboy vs whiner "debate".
  • Well. (Score:3, Funny)

    by ari wins (1016630) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @10:36AM (#17268350)
    I'd imagine that the /. fanboi's are going to tear TFA apart.

    Of course, I haven't read it, so I could be wrong.
    • Wrong.

      A true /. fanboy wouldn't even RTFA.

      A TRUE /. fanboy just bashes what he ASSUMES the article said.
      • by ari wins (1016630)
        /me steps off soapbox and places you firmly on it.

        Read it again, I think I went just barely over your head.
        • Sorry. I didn't actually read your original post, duh. Really great /. fanboys don't even read posts before they respond to them. (I'm on break right now, though)
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        A TRUE /. fanboy just bashes what he ASSUMES the article said.

            No, jackass. A true /. fanboy bashes a post like yours without even reading it. Moron.

        It's a joke - laugh ;)
  • Male obsessions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It is typical of the male to concentrate on things that most females (as in the guy's wife in tfa) don't understand. I think it's something like the same kind of attention my cat pays to a mouse hole. Maybe it comes from the same place, ie. the ability to stalk prey. Men are hunters, women are gatherers. They're different skill sets and different personality traits are rewarded. Most of our technological progress probably comes from the fact that males are willing to concentrate on things that are just
    • by ettlz (639203) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @10:49AM (#17268398) Journal
      It is typical of the male to concentrate on things that most females don't understand.
      Um... boobs?
    • Re:Male obsessions (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:01AM (#17268476) Journal
      Most of our technological progress probably comes from the fact that males are willing to concentrate on things that are just stupid to the average female.

      Since I can readily think of several things females are willing to concentrate on, and which are at the same time supid or downright incomprehensible to the average male, I do wonder what comes from that? Any kind of progress?

      Whatever, really... Fanboyism is pretty much a generic trait of human personality, from what I've had a chance to witness... whereever you're given a choice and you choose one option, you're more likely to defend it than change your mind.
      And if you do change your mind at some point, your fanboyism quotient rises.
      That's why ex-smokers are even more intolerant to smokers than me, and that says something. And, of course, the most zealous fanatics are the converts.

      • No kidding, but I guess the term itself is male-oriented. Most women, however, are avid shoe-fanpersons.
        • by cp.tar (871488)
          I guess the term itself is male-oriented.

          Whether the rabid feminists like it or not, the male gender is still the generic one in... well, all Indo-European languages I can think of right now.

          Political corectness is violence against mind and against language. So all politically correct persons can kiss my... what? donkey?

  • by realinvalidname (529939) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @10:44AM (#17268380) Homepage
    So who would win in a fight: Hal Jordan or Char Aznable?


    •     Neither one. How could you even suggest such a thing - Obliously it's the new Green lantern, a marine, grew up in the ghetto, and can kick Superman's butt......

    • Where have YOU been? Hal hasn't been a GL for some time. In fact, last I checked, he was the new Spectre, replacing Jim Corrigan.

      (sigh) I miss the old GL corps...and the Guardians...
      • by Cylix (55374)
        Hal is a GL....

        He was magically transformed from the Spectre back to Hal...

        Yes, it really was just a poof and I'm not really sure why...

        Perhaps a true fan boy can enlighten us...

        The GL Corps are back, guardians are back, and pretty much the whole slew is back...

        Even Kyle is back as ION again...

        Yeah, I never did stop reading Green Lantern and I suppose I mostly kept it as a service to the local comic shop.
        • DC rebooted its universe again last February or thereabouts. It was the 20th anniv. of their Crisis of Infinite Worlds, and somehow they found some loose ends. Thus, "poof." (Glad to hear Kyle Raner wasn't simply killed...)
          Disclaimer: I am not a true fanboy of DC. But I followed the DC universe for several months, maybe a year, until right before the reboot. This included reading the DC website.
    • by alexhard (778254)

      So who would win in a fight: Hal Jordan or Char Aznable?
      Chuck Norris
    • Hal Jordan, of course. After all, even without his ring some of his most important...err...attributes are still present. [superdickery.com]
  • I agree! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public@mMONETac.com minus painter> on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:05AM (#17268494)
    Great article!

    Fanboys are a national treasure. Their diligence to spending hours/days/years nurturing and cataloging their obsession provide a useful function for the rest of us. Like a beaver spending its life building and maintaining a dam, or an oyster taking a piece of dirt and slowly making a pearl, we benefit from the years of their hard work for the few short moments when we care.

    I'm sure we all go through periods when we run across something cool and it keeps our interest for a few weeks. We develop an interest and we're grateful to find the web site of some guy who has obsessed about our new subject for most of his life. We satisfy our desire for learning about whatever the subject du jour is, and then we go about our lives. I for one appreciate the effort they put into their obsession.

    For example, over the years, I've developed or rekindled an interest in random topics: the show "The Prisoner" [netreach.net] (from the 1960s), Magic the Gathering [wikipedia.org] (which I hadn't played for 10 years), the musician Donovan [donovan.ie], and other oddball things. I thought it was cool that one quick search on the Web revealed information that probably took all of someone's free time for several years (reading biographies, attending fan conventions, and talking to other hardcore fans):

    1. I know that from the opening sequence from the Prisoner describes both the desire to get secrets from the spy named Number 6 but was also a pun for conformity: "What do you want?" Was he saying "Information" or "In formation"? Neat.

    2. I know that the rules for "banding" were changed three times for MTG. Nifty.

    3. I know that Donovan sang on the song "Billion Dollar Babies" by Alice Cooper. And Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin may or may not have played guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man", but John Paul Jones (the bassist from Led Zeppelin) did play bass on the song. Neato.

    Could I have lived my life having never learned this info? Sure. Am I glad to learn this trivia? Yes. With fanboys, I can do both! Fanboys are like the Cliff Notes for millions of subjects, albeit disproportionately on Hobbits, lightsabers, or even Billy Joel [theonion.com].

    I'm not mocking them, of course. I think it's funny because we're all obsessed about something or another -- they're called hobbies. For example, I probably seem to be a fanboy about some topics (I'll let the bored Slashdot reader sift through my previous posts to figure those out).

    Anyway, here's to you, fanboys! Keep up the good work!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A fanboy fanboy !
    • Here is a still living example of fanboys helping fanboys [ipdb.org] -- a FAQ for the Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball game. One of the greatest pins I have ever played, and complicated to say the least, this machine was in arcades a dozen years ago. I benefited from and ended up contributing to this detailed "How To" page many many moons ago, yet it is still accessible to Tibetan farmers young and old. Amazing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Das Modell (969371)
      I've always defined fanboy differently. To me, "fanboy" means a person, usually a teenager, who is aggressively and blindly obsessed with something to the point of going batshit crazy if somebody criticizes it. Usually their obsession is a movie, video game or band. They deflect criticism with flames and amazing leaps of logic (like "yeah, the game crashes every five minutes, but that only makes it more challenging and weeds out the noobs who aren't hardcore enough"). If the fanboy's target of obsession has
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        Usually their obsession is a movie, video game or band.
        Except on slashdot, where it will be a particular Operating System.
    • 46.3 (+3.4 -2.6) your Apple fanboy level
      18.8 (+0.9 -1.5) your telecoms fanboy level
      13.3 (+0.7 -0.6) your Futurama fanboy level
      12.4 (+0.7 -0.8) your games fanboy level
      06.3 (&#177;0.3) your evil Star Wars versions fanboy level
      -9.9 (-0.6 +0.5) your Microsoft fanboy level

      Disclaimer: mod scores were not used in calculations.

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:05AM (#17268496) Homepage Journal
    Attention all planets of the Solar Federation!!
    Attention all planets of the Solar Federation!!!
    We have assumed control.
    We have assumed control.
    We have assumed control.
  • by Guaranteed (998819)
    It is a great method of birth control
  • Tell 'em, Steve-Dave!

    -Peter
  • ... Clearly fangirls have better things to do.
    • by Lavene (1025400)

      ... Clearly fangirls have better things to do.
      Yes we have. Since we are the new hyperintelligent pandimensional beings from Magrathea we are studying you from a position where you think you controll us...
      We have long since given up finding the ultimate answer though.
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        hyperintelligent pandimensional beings from Magrathea

              But - but... you don't look like mice...
      • I for one welcome our hyperintelligent pandimensional beings from Magrathea overlords..... Sorry i had to.
    • Yep. I, for one, decorate the walls with posters of Paul McCartney from when he was young and beautiful. Or for that matter, from when he was middle-aged and beautiful.;)
      If I'm really feeling daring, I buy his albums: darn the recording industry, full speed ahead! Trust me, there are a lot of McCartney albums even if you don't count Beatles releases. Some of them are hard to find now, I warn you...
  • Whatever your bag, the internet has the ability to promote it beyond whatever was possible prior to having such a simple medium of information exchange.

    The best part is you aren't judged for your expression beyond the content of that expression. The worst part is the empowerment by way of obscure unity provided to the "fan boy" who reads without question of credibility. It's a problem when righteousness ensues a night of staying up till 6am washing down caffeine pills with ballz soda.

    Media hasn't changed f
  • I was just reading that same artical last night. :D
  • by 32771 (906153) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @12:52PM (#17269202) Journal
    For some reason I mostly meet serious engineers and family people but it once happened that
    I went to a conference in California with some of my colleagues. There we were sitting in a hotel lounge fuzzing around with our laptops trying to get WLAN to work. Some girl sat nearby and said out of the blue that she didn't have any problems with her MAC to get trough their 'firewall' and that only pc people like us usually have problems with it.

    I was taken aback, speechless, well I probably mumbled something. I have a MAC myself and was maybe a MAC fanboy as long as they used PowerPCs as CPUs, yet I didn't say anything.

    There she was:
    1. female
    2. geeky
    3. audacious
    4. MAC fangirl (maybe convertible to a PowerPC fangirl?)

    She might have been the last crazy woman out there for me and I didn't say anything.

    Damn!

       
    • by MsGeek (162936)
      Media Access Control fangirl or Macintosh fangirl? The world waits for your reply.
      • by 32771 (906153)
        See my reply to the guy who wanted to remove one of my testicles. I must admit he has a point, not about my testicles but about the propper spelling of Mac. I'm ashamed, I've neglected my Mac lately and dealt with too much network stuff.
  • The article makes a reference to a literal avalanche of pornography. but provides no link or further information about it. I would like to see this literal avalanche of pornography. If anyone is aware of any historical record of this literal avalanche, please post more information so that we may track down this unusual literal occurrence.
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      It's the huge pile of unsorted porn CDs in a friend's back room. If you're not careful where you step, the damned things will indeed literally avalanche all over you!
    • by jayblackcomedy (1040750) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @04:44PM (#17271210) Homepage
      when i wrote that line i debated whether or not people would nitpick the use of the word "literal." i decided to use it since i was writing a semi-comedic piece and i thought that the ironic use of the word there might be funny. my fear was that people might not realize i was using the word ironically and would call me out on it. it's probably weak writing on my part that didn't make the comedic overtones of that paragraph more obvious.

      i've been reading more and more screeds against people using the word "literally" in situations when they actually mean "figuratively." i think what's happened is that people started using the word "literally" as a way to ironically create hyperbole (i'm so hungry, i could literally eat a million pounds of pizza). it became a popular way to create hyperbole but since it's devilishly difficult to communicate irony through text a lot of uninformed readers began to infer that "literally" actually meant "figuratively." the result of this is that there are now approximately eleven million blogs out there using the word "literally" incorrectly (and unironically).

      (this is probably as good as time as ever to say that my own little grammar nitpick is when people use the word "ironic" to mean "coincidental." it drives me crazy. but it's likely that in a generation or two the words will be synonymous. today's mistakes are tomorrow's rules, as they say...)

      all this being said, i'm enough of a geek to be honored that something i wrote has been nitpicked on slashdot.

      now, if you'll excuse me, i literally have a million things to do today...

      all the best,

      --jayblack

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        now, if you'll excuse me, i literally have a million things to do today...
        I'd find out where the fucking shift key on my keyboard was first.
      • I just thought it was amusing imagery. Maybe a stack of pornography the size of a mountain coming tumbling down crushing skiers and cabin dwellers. (I'm not sure why anyone would ski on pornography)
  • Beware when you use the term fanboy.

    One sense refers to the focused and deep-delving geeks/nerds which are the radiant source of geek chic.

    Another sense refers to unreasonable and often belligerent adherence to favored ideas.

    Earnest exploration and revelry: awesome.

    Sectarianism, jingoism, groupthink, witch hunting, xenophobia, and shoddy reasoning catalyzed by wishful thinking and cognitive dissonance: not so much.
  • The guy needs to do a little fanboy search of his own and find out what Web 2.0 means...

    And, as he even said... Wiki [wikipedia.org] will work fine too!

  • I keep a fanboy chained to my server for when I need him. I think I'll feed him this week, out of appreciation for this article.
  • Am I the only person that has noticed a significant rise of the use of the "fanboy/fanboi" word in 2006? I cringe at every post where I see someone using this word and I feel like I am surrounded by kids (mostly on digg). It's plain stupid. No one uses this word in real life, do they? I can never imagine myself using this word in public. Me: Hello, sir.. thanks for coming to assist me. Best Buy CSR: Oh, no problem Me: I want the PS3, could you get one for me? BBCSR: Sure. Wait one sec, BBCSR: Her
  • by Haxx (314221)

      The typical Fanboy usually has some level of OCD and that needs to be addressed.

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