If you've happened across Jon Katz's columns on "Geek Force" in recent editions of HotWired, you're likely to have read pronouncements like the following: "The idea of geek pride [is] stirring, ascending. The rise of the geeks has an epic feeling." As Katz describes them, geeks are nerds plus modems; they have the nerd's affinity for technology plus a wired sociability nerds lack. In the Information Age geekdom is ascendant, and the Internet the medium and the meeting place of choice. But Katz focuses exclusively on the social and political ramifications of geekdom. Readers interested in the possible neurological underpinnings of Geek Force on the rise might stop in at the Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical.
The ISNT is a parody of the many institutes and journals devoted to the study of autism. The site gives geeks space to emerge from the neurological closet and declare themselves to be high-functioning autistic (HFA) as opposed to neurologically typical (NT). Until recently, NTs have had the privilege of believing that their form of wiring was the standard for the human brain. ISNT wants to make it clear that this will no longer be held to be self-evident. Muskie, the site's Webmaster and herself a high-functioning autistic, declares: "Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity."