[thelist] complete: hacking contest

Chris Marsh chris at ecleanuk.com
Thu Jul 3 11:17:36 CDT 2003

> > do every day. So am I a hacker? Is a hacker just a coder/programmer 
> > who likes challenges? Or a particularly adept programmer?
> I listed a few of the things that I do: programming open 
> source applications, write documentation for open source 
> projects/applications (not necessarily my own). I would say 

I must say that up until this post I more or less agreed with you.
However... None of the above makes you anything close to a hacker.

> the major difference between a coder/programmer and a hacker 

The difference between a coder and a hacker is the difference between a
rock and a chemical formula. The former is an object, the latter a

> is not necessarily the skill, but rather their interest in 
> giving back to the community that has helped them to learn 

Again, this has nothing to do with being a hacker. "Hacking" code is
taking someone else's standard(ish) code and pulling it apart and
changing it so that it does something non-standard(ish). Hacking per se
has nothing to do with code, it is simply a mindset; and not a
community-oriented mindset at that. Hackers will often band together
into neo-social groups, but the motivation for these groups is not to
help each other out at all. Hackers are necessarily social outcasts to
one extent or another due to the fact that their thought processes
differ so substantially from the norm. Socially they delight in
insulting one another's intelligence and indulging in constant
one-upmanship. This is fun, and probably the intellectual equivalent of
wrestling. Some hackers have more social skills than others, but Evolt
is not by a long shot a "hacking community". It is technical forum that
*just maybe* has a couple of genuine hackers subscribed.

> what they know. I would say that Hackers are socially 
> responsible towards their community; I would also say that 

Hackers most often HATE their community. There is no social
responsibility, because there is no general inclusion in society for
those with contentious ideas. They despise the placidity of the
individuals that make up their community, and they loathe the political
decisions made by those placed in positions of power by the sheeple.
This is because they have totally logical thought processes and do not
subscribe to rumour, gossip, "generally accepted" facts or anything else
that they are not capable of verifying or proving to an acceptable
degree. The general population will believe anything that you tell them,
and form the majority in a vote. This tends to annoy...

> Crackers belong to a community but it is based on a different ethic.

Script kiddies are idiots. They are the joyriders of the internet.
Crackers are hackers with no ethics.

> In terms of the coffee maker example: I would not say that 
> you are a hacker if you wire your coffee maker into your 
> alarm clock; however, if you then publish something (e.g. to 

Where does this rule come from that you are only a hacker if you
publish, but not for profit? Where do you stand on They Whose Names Must
Not Be Spoken (JV & CM)? Both have published for free and for profit. Do
they slip in and out of hackerdom depending on their weekly income? The
latter sucks arse (TGTMHH) in terms of expressing anything of any actual
use, but one would guess that she is trying to be helpful. How does this
tie in with being a hacker?

> the web) on how this was done with no intention of profitting 
> financially (i.e. not in a book) THEN you are a hacker. The 
> difference? One is solving a problem for yourself; the second 
> is solving a problem and then realizing that others may have 
> a use for your solution.

Hacking is hacking. End of. Anyone who is genuinely interested in
learning something about hackers (NOT how to hack) join the Defcon
mailing list. Those with gossamer-spun skins need not apply.

> http://www.hackerethic.org/book.html 
> 	the Preface and Chapter 1 are online
> http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/h/hacker_ethic.html
> 	this one also talks about ethical cracking: breaking into a
system to
> 	determine its weak points and then *fixing* the weak points (or
> 	least reporting them to someone who can fix them)


Chris Marsh

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