Who Are the Best Geek Role Models for Your Kids (Other Than You)?

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Every kid needs role models. When they’re really little they emulate their parents, but as they grow older they tend to look to other people. Since you’re a geek (I assume), your role models growing up were probably geeky. So if you want your geeklets to grow up to be geeks like you, they’ll need geeky role models, too.

When I was growing up, my biggest role model was, believe it or not, Mr. Spock. I was a huge fan of the original Star Trek series, and I loved his dedication to logic. It took me a while to realize that ignoring emotions in favor of logic wasn’t always the best way to act around other people, but the fascination with logic stuck with me. That’s probably the chief reason I became a computer TysonTyson programmer.

So I’ve been giving some thought to whom I’d like to see my kids pick as their role models. I know I don’t get to choose, of course, but I can influence their choices by what I let them watch on TV, encourage them to read, and such. I’ve so far come up with only two people I like a lot as ideas: President Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson. President Obama has been pretty definitively established as a geek, and, whatever your politics, I think you’ll agree that he has a great many estimable qualities. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an excellent astrophysicist, an excellent speaker, and a very funny guy. He is also pretty obviously geeky, as anyone who’s seen his various appearances on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report can testify.

I have some other ideas, but none I like as much as those two, so I’ll keep them to myself for now. But I’d like to hear what our readers think: Who do you think are the best geek role models for your kids, apart from you yourself? Please leave your answers in a comment.

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