Surprisingly on TV tonight as I type (mental note: sort out timestamps for blog) a show CyberShack is showing TechEd 2006 with sports, celebs and cheerleaders. It asks is geek the new cool - naturally I'm interested as I'm sat here being a bit of a geek. I even recently bought some of my project team some Microsoft Geek T shirts. Friends tease me that I'm a big geek. However this year I missed out on TechEd but it blows me away how conferences have come along. When I went to conferences 14 years ago the highlight of a big event was the change in ATM format or even as recently as 5 years ago the change to some obscure framework. It never dawned on me that at some point mainstream "cool" TV programs would be looking at these types of conferences as an event to attend.
The question is that is it materialism (gadget accumulation) or is it a greater awareness of the capabilities of computer science. Forest Gump would probably say it's both things happening at the same time.