[thelist] hackers (was complete: hacking contest)

Dean Mah dmah at shaw.ca
Thu Jul 3 14:43:51 CDT 2003

On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 05:17:36PM +0100, Chris Marsh wrote:

> 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.

If you want to look at the origins of hacking, read Steven Levy's book
"Hackers" which has nothing to do with the movie of the same name.


Levy formalized the "hacker ethic" and shows the evolution of the
hacker from model train hardware hacking through the game programming
hackers of the 80s.

But like all things the concept has evolved and it's too bad that Levy
hasn't written a follow up and followed it through the 90s where the
popularized of the Internet and the Web, Open Source, and hacktivism
has taken place as well as the rise of the malicious hacker.

Personally, I don't think that hackers need to be anti-social or gurus
verging on the edge of madness.  Hacking and the hacker ethic to me is
about being curious about things.  Figuring out how things work.  The
desire to tear apart or break things so that they can be built better.
Finding unintended uses for things.  That to me is the core.  Around
that their are many and varied personalities like in any group of
people; from RMS to the Woz.  But my view is based on the old ideal
and listening to "Off the Hook" too much.  :)


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