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Our thoughts on the label ”hacker”, as used in “hackerspace”...

There are ethical hackers and non-ethical hackers, just like there are ethical and non-ethical people in almost every field. Unfortunately, the media only uses “hacker” in the negative context. This wikipedia article explains the origins of the term “hacker”, and we encourage you to read it. However we can save you a click – we like this simple definition (also found in the wikipedia article) – “A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and stretching their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.”

While everyone has their own definition of "Hacker", here are some thoughts on what it means to be a "Hacker"...

To Be A Hacker Is To:

  • think analytically about things you're usually not supposed to
  • be able to sit down and reason a problem with innumerable technical details, while maintaining hope and inspiration
  • break into things for the sake of breaking into them
  • break into things not for the sake of not breaking into them
  • take control of technology, strive to Ubermensch
  • sleep odd hours
  • lack the capacity for boredom
  • be weary of normal people
  • dye your hair funny colors
  • consider money part of a system you can optimize, instead of trying to optimize systems to make money (aka 'business as usual')
  • make bad technical jokes
  • accept that 'hacker' means very little, overrun by media hype and script kiddies, but aspire to the ideals anyway
  • do consulting/contract work
  • not work at all (ie a job)
  • save helpless animals from experimentation labs
  • fight in the war in iraq
  • call tech support to ask where the any key is
  • encrypt your most sensitive documents with ROT*13
  • converge on the essence of being through dance
  • learn calculus
  • care more about showing off Cool Things than begging for a raise
  • get a raise anyway
  • realize the necessity of hackerspaces
  • start a hackerspace
  • drink too much caffeine
  • size things up
  • read xkcd
  • always overstate, and understate your expertise
  • not actually care that much about microsoft
  • control the weather
  • probably have some sort of surmountable neurological disorder
  • listen to di.fm
  • listen to kmfdm
  • listen to <insert nerdcore artist here>
  • listen to idle network traffic piped to /dev/dsp (eek! but how will i listen to my Miley Cyrus videos on youtube if PulseAudio can't monopolize access to /dev/dsp??!?!lolaolaol)
  • sincerely appreciate novelty
  • sincerely appreciate good design
  • sincerely question legal identity
  • try things beyond your skill level
  • acquire free technology wherever you can
  • do things in your spare time
  • have people ask you why you do things in your spare time
  • enjoy working
  • eat, sleep, and breath computers
  • be a part*time student, full*time, employee, and overtime geek
  • have people ask you why you have so many computers or why you "need" so many computers
  • have people tell you that you don't enjoy life because you sit in front of a computer all day
  • do without thinking
  • do things that make people say, "How did you DO that?".
  • add to this document
  • be dissatisfied with non-systemic answers