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What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

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  • ch0l0man
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    renderman's post got me thinking that the Little Rascals would have to be some of the first hackers on film. They put together some of the craziest gizmos out of average every day items.

    Leave a comment:


  • YenTheFirst
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    disclaimer: I'm not sure I actually qualify as a hacker myself, seeing as everything at defcon tends to go way over my head.

    1) I think the vacuum cleaner questions are along the right track. As an anecdote - a friend and I once took apart a vacuum cleaner, and attempted to use the pump, along with some plywood, an unneeded camping tent, and duct tape to build a hovercraft. it didn't work.

    2) I think another necessary (but not sufficient) quality is the reaction to failure. When some people fail, they don't try try again, they ask for help, or give up. Some people keep trying harder. Some people try something different. I think a 'healthy' response to failure is what drives hacker-ish creativity.

    Leave a comment:


  • valkyrie
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by Mouseling
    I think this is a great thread. I've asked this question a lot since I got into grad school, because I've been associating with some *very* bright, creative, inventive computer scientists, many of whom are well known in their particular fields, but who are almost entirely *not* hackers. (you'd know what I mean when you met them. definitely not hackers)
    I think I understand what you mean...

    I was really surprised to find out how little crossover there is between the two worlds, especially, because I see what a hacker does and what a research scientist does as the same thing (see my talk at shmoocon).
    Many of the professors, whom I admire, and I thought would love to participate in the hacker community, look upon hackers with bemusement, and in some cases seem a little afraid of us. Students the same.
    I agree with you that what research scientists do and what hackers do is very similiar. Perhaps the difference has a bit to do with approach. My observations (as limited as they may be) is that scientists are continually schooled in a "framework" from which to resolve their hypotheses, while those who are hackers don't necessarily respect (I use the word in it's purest form) the necessity of strict framework to resolve their hypotheses. Simply? Perhaps one asks the question "Why?" And the other asks the question, "Why not?" There are other distinctions I have noted that I won't go into here.

    That said, there are a few people who I'm trying to introduce to our community, because they are born hackers and just don't know how well they'd fit in.
    Bring them on! :-D

    I don't know what makes a hacker, but I seem to be able to recognize a kindred spirit when I see it.
    We exude something that others just don't have -- aura? pheromones? alcohol laced breath?

    -mouse
    I believe that as water seeks it's own level thus perhaps it is with hackers. It doesn't seem so important to me personally to understand the mechanics. just as you, I recognize a kindred spirit when I stumble across one. And will often buy them a drink. Perhaps that is from which comes the alcohol laced breath you mention. :-D

    Regards,

    valkyrie
    __________________________________________________ _
    sapere aude

    Leave a comment:


  • LosT
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    I don't think that anyone said that curiosity was the end all.

    And careful how you describe that attribute- sounds like you just described Microsoft's "embrace and extend" tactic ;)

    I would argue that simple tech support people often DO NOT understand, they regurgitate. Big difference.

    Understanding and extending requires creativity.

    1057

    Originally posted by uomu View Post
    While being curious about how something works is a great quality for a hacker it's not the end all. Beyond simple curiosity I feel that you need to have the actual drive do bend what can be done, create something new, improve some system. If you just understand something then great, you can get a job in tech support, but you really need to build from what is available and make it your own, something better.

    Leave a comment:


  • uomu
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    While being curious about how something works is a great quality for a hacker it's not the end all. Beyond simple curiosity I feel that you need to have the actual drive do bend what can be done, create something new, improve some system. If you just understand something then great, you can get a job in tech support, but you really need to build from what is available and make it your own, something better.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by mouseling View Post
    I don't know what makes a hacker, but I seem to be able to recognize a kindred spirit when I see it.
    We exude something that others just don't have -- aura? pheromones? alcohol laced breath?
    Could a catalyst for change from inquisitive, curious, interested in a technology to "hacker" be a lack of worry at how other people might judge, or be opinionated about your actions? (This was mentioned above) Could it be that a kind of indifference to external judgments allows a curious person to explore non-standard, and un-contemporary solutions even at the risk of being criticized? (Also mentioned above.)

    Maybe there is a sense of challenge when the person that might become a hacker hears, "you can't do that; it is impossible!" ?

    Maybe it is a combination of the above, or none of these.

    So, with all your thoughts on this topic, as well as everyone else that has pondered this question, what difference exist between those that learn skills and those that exploit skills to create "new", innovated, non-standard solutions often described as, hacks?
    Last edited by TheCotMan; February 28, 2009, 16:25.

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by mouseling View Post
    We exude something that others just don't have -- aura? pheromones? alcohol laced breath?

    -mouse
    Go to Toorcon this year, you'll see what Hackers exude, since it's camping with no showers.

    Leave a comment:


  • mouseling
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    I think this is a great thread. I've asked this question a lot since I got into grad school, because I've been associating with some *very* bright, creative, inventive computer scientists, many of whom are well known in their particular fields, but who are almost entirely *not* hackers. (you'd know what I mean when you met them. definitely not hackers)
    I was really surprised to find out how little crossover there is between the two worlds, especially, because I see what a hacker does and what a research scientist does as the same thing (see my talk at shmoocon).
    Many of the professors, whom I admire, and I thought would love to participate in the hacker community, look upon hackers with bemusement, and in some cases seem a little afraid of us. Students the same. That said, there are a few people who I'm trying to introduce to our community, because they are born hackers and just don't know how well they'd fit in.

    I don't know what makes a hacker, but I seem to be able to recognize a kindred spirit when I see it.
    We exude something that others just don't have -- aura? pheromones? alcohol laced breath?

    -mouse

    Leave a comment:


  • mouseling
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by LosT View Post
    I own the entire cast of Buffy in doll form...

    Just sayin...
    You also now own a "Captain Sabertooth" doll. Just sayin...

    -mouse

    Leave a comment:


  • astcell
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Here is the "tree falls in the forest" argument":

    Are you still a hacker if no feds know your name?

    Leave a comment:


  • LosT
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by xor View Post
    You own more than one Intel Bunny Person Doll. I own 3. So I guess that means if you are a hacker you play with dolls.

    xor
    I own the entire cast of Buffy in doll form...

    Just sayin...

    Leave a comment:


  • xor
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    You own more than one Intel Bunny Person Doll. I own 3. So I guess that means if you are a hacker you play with dolls.

    xor

    Leave a comment:


  • telemonster
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    So, your answer is: indifference to labels
    Yep, pretty much.

    You will find the term "hacker" means different things to different people. Whoever is trying to define it will be sure to include themselves in their definition. There are hacker "generations" and each generation is different.

    Greybeards will claim that true hackers HAD to be there at MIT back in the day. They will claim the true hackers cut their teeth on a PDP-8 or PDP-11.

    Then came the original phone phreaks, the microcomputer revolution.

    Then came the bulletin boards, the warez scene, art scene, phreaking kicked up a notch, HPAV.

    Then came the internet-only, web-ified people.

    I'm sure there are more in-between. At some point true crime crept into the young middle class white kid's playground.

    To meet the definition to all people would be a real challenge.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Originally posted by telemonster View Post
    Black clothes, black hair, shitty attitude, cyber-bully, socially awkward, poor IRL communications, and rollerblades!

    *kidding*

    Who cares about labels. Do what you do, have fun!
    So, your answer is: indifference to labels

    Leave a comment:


  • telemonster
    replied
    Re: What attributes are required to be eventually be labeled a hacker?

    Black clothes, black hair, shitty attitude, cyber-bully, socially awkward, poor IRL communications, and rollerblades!

    *kidding*

    Who cares about labels. Do what you do, have fun!

    Leave a comment:

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