What is a Hacker?

Here’s a quote from Bruce Schneier‘s Beyond Fear.

“A hacker is someone who thinks outside the box. It’s someone who discards conventional wisdom, and does something else instead. It’s someone who looks at the edge and wonders what’s beyond. It’s someone who sees a set of rules and wonders what happens if you don’t follow them. A hacker is someone who experiments with the limitations of systems for intellectual curiosity.”

And that, in a nutshell, is me.

5 replies on “What is a Hacker?”

So getting into shit is now known as intellectual curiosity. How about using some of that intellect and not get caught

Sometimes rules are there for a reason, and sometimes they are meant to be kept for the common good. Breaking the rules doesn’t mean you’re an intellectual, it means you’re a menace.

Marius, I don’t think you get the gist of what Bruce and I are saying. Either that, or you’re twisting words to suit your notions.

Your use of the word “sometimes” is very fitting – what about the other times when the rules are no longer relevant or when the rules are just plain wrong? There are bad rules too – as rules are simply a human construct which makes them completely fallible.

It’s also not necessarily about breaking the rules so much as thinking about breaking the rules and the effects that that sort of action will have. And sometimes you test your theory, but preferably in a protected environment of course.

There is also an invisible rule that is coupled to this idea – the one about doing no harm to others. (In fact, this rule is pretty much coupled to life as a whole for me). If you’re not harming anyone or anything, you’re definitely not a menace.

And no, my intellectual capacity is not defined by the rules I can break – that’s just silly.

That’s cool Sean. Its just I get irritated by this idea that the establishment is always bad, and that counter-culture is always good. Being anti- is not always good. Having said that counter-culture is not always a bad thing. Much white opposition to apartheid had its roots in the counter-culture movement, and most opposition to Vietnam and the growing conservatism of America in the 1960s was rooted in counter-culture. However, the status quo isn’t always wrong.

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