The origin of the modern neckbeard (hacker)

Henry David Thoreau (1816-1862)

Henry David Thoreau (1816-1862)

Henry David Thoreau (1816-1862) was probably the first content creator to sport a vigorous neckbeard.

As Louisa May Alcott noted: “Most assuredly it deflected amorous advances and preserve the man’s virtue in perpetuity.”

Discovering the contraceptive advantages of the neckbeard was not the only way in which Thoreau was ahead of his time.

He was highly respected among in the Agile communities of his time for his ground-breaking theories in keeping things simple. Most notably he popularized the phrase:

“simplify. simplify. simplify.”

Thoreau an avid DevOps/Lean enthusiast, continuously improved the phrase to:


RMS why Neckbeard is GNU

RMS why Neckbeard is GNU

Meanwhile the prowess and density of the modern neckbeard has become an accepted standard measuring-unit of an individual’s social standing within the hacker community.

It is currently still debated whether learning exotic programming languages will contribute to better (voluminous) growth of the neckbeard. But especially Lisp/Scheme and Haskell have recently been claimed to tremendously accelerate facial hair growth, and therefore regained popularity among the novice developer.

EDIT-1: thanks to BigData, analysts have confirmed a long held suspicion that the curly  brackets  “{” are excessively used in LISP because they closely resemble a moustache. This may also explain why software engineers who harbour a natural fear of beards (pogonophobia) usually stay clear of LISP (and Emacs) and tend to stick to Java (and Eclipse).

EDIT-2: Is Obama’s “learn to code” initiative in reality a conspiracy to bring back LISP, the neckbeards and end pogonophobia once and for all? Is there such a thing as a “War on the Hair Removal Industry”?

Joachim Bauernberger

Passionate about Open Source, GNU/Linux and Security since 1996. I write about future technology and how to make R&D faster. Expatriate, Entrepreneur, Adventurer and Foodie, currently living near Nice, France.