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Defcon and the Hacker Culture

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  • Defcon and the Hacker Culture

    Just figured I would put this random insight here (a bit long, get some runts!):

    Every hacker has their own computer revolution experience. That is, they see a computer/system/something related and they just do not stop playing with it. It happens in a different way, at least I think, to each person and once it does happen, for some if not most, an entire lifestyle is built around this revolution of understanding. For me it took the revolution of windowing systems to really hit home along with just the right timing. In the end it was the combination of the incredible information I could access from a video enabled encyclopedia and how much power that represented. On demand, instant access, to information on a mac with one of those new CDROM thingies.

    While my experiences over the past years have varied it seemed that one thing was happening. I was becoming frustrated. From the political/general policy that was developing around computer usage to the leaders of the technological revolution out for more profit than human advancement. I was seeing idea after idea being added to some grind wheel that just created giant piles of bullshit. Ideas generated from the pain and sweat of the general hacker culture being wasted. Sometimes just obvious forward moving innovations, other times, brilliant ideas that came from consistent dedication and thinking of others.

    I was also losing faith in the internet in general. One reason being the fact that the quality of 99.99% of any online communication that I was taking part of was crap. So much invalid information everywhere so many distracting topics. Like the general population had turned into a bunch of trolls or anyone that could hold an intelligent conversation had left for something better and I missed that boat. Where had all the good hackers gone? I think a good place to start the search is at Defcon.

    In every interaction I have had with a computer system I have always known one thing. That technology and information is meant to break the bonds of slavery by providing method and innovation. More and more projects, it seems as time goes on, start out as a something almost free thinking and eventually turn info a zombified lie which only purpose is to lure in customers or control a group in someway. This is bad. Not because all companies that make money are evil (though Google may prove me wrong eventually) but because we are taking knowledge out of the hands of the people who truly deserve it. So instead of obtaining freedom for the individual we are setting up impassable blockades keeping the individual subdued.

    We as hackers have the responsibility of unlocking the future for humanity and its youth. Technology will lead us to freedoms we can not possibly imagine, even now. Creating ignorance is a power wielded by irresponsible leaders. Leaders that lead us into pitfalls without regard but for the circle that they belong. I am of the opinion that this type of power is representative of our cultures earliest times. Times when one individual ruled the group instead of the individual leading themselves and creating something of overall magnificence. True genius.

    Defcon reminded me to remember this and I wanted to share. From the attitude of the attendees and leaders, to the the presentations, to the contests and events held, everything has a hint of rebellion and genius. The Kids segment even made a great impression upon myself. For I know that when I was a child at times individuals lied to me to protect me in someway. Rather they should have been unveiling the truth of the world to me because the truth in itself is beautiful. In my opinion this is what the Kids segment is all about. Showing them the real world and giving them advantage and insight.

    The Defcon machine is a difficult thing to understand for my first time attending but as I walked through the hallways I learned more and more about myself and the people around me. I find people with similar goals and attitudes. People that could help me further everything. I have always been searching for the right group of people to enhance the progress of my own endeavors. I know now that I have at least I have found a place to start. I also know that being my first Defcon that no matter what direction I traveled in I would always miss something as misdirection and puzzle is designed into Defcon. Like a mystery that I could not find enough clues to solve. Information was all around me and the groups of people protecting it would not yield the secrets that I desired. I must try harder next time. A challenge within a challenge perhaps.

    I know that this will not be my last Defcon. I would like to thank all that helped create and build Defcon 19 and my experiences while I was there. It was another eye opening experience that allowed me to see everything in one place and from a new perspective.

  • #2
    Re: Defcon and the Hacker Culture

    It's very cool that you had such a great time at DEFCON and that you will return. I know that many of us had pretty significant wow moments in our life when we first discovered this community.

    I personally think mouse's statements in "Hackers are People, Too" were some of the most poignant...

    I've always been outside the norm... So, for me, this is my normal environment. I'm home here and i'm more comfortable here among these people. Until i found the con scene, i didn't realize i had a family.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor