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  • Defcon Member Survey

    Hello all,

    I am an academic at the University of Washington in Seattle and past Defcon speaker (2005). I am conducting research on the computer hacker/security community and on the Defcon community in particular, and I am looking for potential research participants. I am very interested in the way that DefCon operates, how it has grown, and how it attracts new members. Anybody who has been to Defcon or who participates on these forums is eligible for this study.

    If any of you would be interested in being interviewed as part of my research, please let me know. I live in Seattle and I will be travelling to the Bay Area from April 14-17 for a short visit. If you live in either of these places it might be possible to meet or an interview, which typically lasts about an hour and a half.

    For those that are interested but who live outside of my limited travel budget, I have created a short survey which can be completed online. If you are interested in participating in this research, please read more about it here and continue on to the survey if you would like to participate.

    Again, if anybody is located in the Seattle or Bay Area and would be willing to share your perspective in an interview setting, I would be grateful for your time. Please inquire in this thread or via my contact information.

    Thanks!



    Kris Erickson

  • #2
    Re: Defcon Member Survey

    Kris is a regular attendee at the DC206 meetings and is a personal friend of mine. So I figured I'd toss that out before the inevitable 'who are you' and 'whats your angle' questions get asked. I'm happy to vouch for him as a good guy, even if he's Canadian.

    :)

    I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Defcon Member Survey

      Though I didn't answer any of the questions, it was nice to see a free-form survey that allows blank entries on the rest of the pages, and only after the survey would be completed, be given an opportunity to "really" submit the survey answer.

      Seeing the questions in such surveys helps people understand the focus of the research.

      In this case, it looks like the questions are designed to try to profile something about hackers or at least Defcon attendees.

      A problem with such surveys comes with the definition of the group label. I've often thought that surveys should include an open, free-form space for people to define the label they choose to apply to themselves.

      Maybe when I become a hacker, I'll start answering surveys. :-)
      Last edited by TheCotMan; April 5, 2007, 16:31.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Defcon Member Survey

        Thanks for the feedback. I realize that using the term "hacker" is fraught with issues because of the various permutations that the word has gone through. I should be more clear that my research is focused on Defcon participants more than simply on people who consider themselves "hackers".

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Defcon Member Survey

          That's interesting your survey uses an MD5 hash for confirmation code!

          It would be nice if survey had optional contact information section.
          "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Defcon Member Survey

            What's a hacker? - Don't run off and flame this post just yet, everyone has a different opinion on what this (a hacker) is.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Defcon Member Survey

              Originally posted by Scape_Goat View Post
              What's a hacker? - Don't run off and flame this post just yet, everyone has a different opinion on what this (a hacker) is.
              i suggest you check out thread #8342 (i forget how to make forum links direct to other threads, for the benefit of you weirdo-non-ssl types) particularly CotMan's post for more information on that topic.

              and, your politely-worded request aside, that is the sort of question that is likely to get some people riled up. it's not that outlandish a response, either, to such an inquiry.

              imagine a totally different community... like, hip-hop musicians and enthusiasts. that is a title that has been totally misunderstood and misapplied for ages, by everyone from record store owners to the mainstream media. the actual hip hop community has been relatively self-defined and independent of all this madness. they never (i would assume) cease to get bothered and irritated when every incorrect news story comes out and consequently a new generation of b-boys and gangster-girls trots along and say, "whee! i'm new here... hip hop is my thing" while at almost the same time a handful of other people remark, "you're not hip hop... you're just posers." then this results in a bunch of silly arguments and debates among newbies who don't know the scene and old heads who have grown tired of defining the scene... all in the end to no effect when you consider that radio DJs and concerned parents will continue to throw the label "hip hop" everywhere no matter whether they have any basis to do so.

              i'm not saying that you're wrong to ask such a question outright... but please just be mindful of how it may be slightly wishful thinking to couch your inquiry with a request to not be flamed. i'd say that's about as wise as some suburban kid walking up to some homeys on a street corner at night and saying "now don't throw me a beatdown... but could you inform this wealthy cracker as to what constitutes hip hop and why?" (of course, it was pretty funny when Borat asked a group of bangers down in the ATL about how to dress and talk street)
              Last edited by Deviant Ollam; April 9, 2007, 13:40.
              "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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Defcon Member Survey

                (of course, it was pretty funny when Borat asked a group of bangers down in the ATL about how to dress and talk street)
                It was in fact hilarious........that aside, I just find it hard to accept labels in general. A computer is a computer, okay that's a label but it's un-questionable. I realize asking my post not to be flamed with such a question stated is like the pot calling the kettle black. But anywho I'm off to bigger and better things now. Thanks for the great in-depth response.

                Also your link is dead....
                Last edited by Scape_Goat; April 9, 2007, 13:04. Reason: Forgot something.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Defcon Member Survey

                  My god Deviant Ollam! That is quite possibly the best anology I have heard to describe hacker culture situation!

                  +2 Kudos
                  "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Defcon Member Survey

                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                    ... thread #8342 (i forget how to make forum links direct to other threads, for the benefit of you weirdo-non-ssl types)
                    For links to threads:
                    [ thread=THREADID ] linkname [ /thread ]
                    For posts:
                    [ post=POSTID ] linkname [ /post ]
                    For forum:
                    [ forum=FORUMID ] linkname [/forum]

                    (Remove whitepaces embedded in [] for proper function.)

                    Links provided as URL ur using the [ URL=FULLURL ] linkname [ /url] default to target="_new" while use of the above thread=, post= or forum= treat links as on-site links which don't spawn new windows/tabs.

                    Example:
                    Check out this thread.
                    Or
                    Check out this post

                    The problems with these:
                    https://forum.defcon.org/showpost.ph...1&postcount=10
                    is that not everyone has the same postcount-to-display-per-page and this can lead to an offset speficication that is invalid for other users.

                    Originally posted by Scape_Goat View Post
                    It was in fact hilarious........that aside, I just find it hard to accept labels in general. A computer is a computer, okay that's a label but it's un-questionable. I realize asking my post not to be flamed with such a question stated is like the pot calling the kettle black. But anywho I'm off to bigger and better things now. Thanks for the great in-depth response.
                    Actually, even the label, "computer," is not unquestionable.
                    For example, using the most basic view, a computer is, "that which computes." So, people can be computers if they can compute.
                    Some might say, "gee that is dumb. Obviously a person is not a computer," but history shows otherwise. Look at job offers around the early 1900 and you will see job offers for people as "computers" which really meant they did math-- usually using adding machines, or similar mechanical devices to total sums.

                    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/computer
                    See alternate definition #2:
                    "2) a person who computes; computist."
                    "2) One who computes.."
                    "2) an expert at calculation (or at operating calculating machines) [syn: calculator]"

                    Which could cause us to digress into, "what is a calculator?"
                    "One that calculates..." (some other day. :-)

                    Also your link is dead....
                    Here you go: this post.
                    It is not perfect. If I defined it over again, I would probably add the keyword "innovative," or the phrase, "not previously known," or, "not previously demonstrated by someone else," so as to weed out "Script-Kiddies" if they should use someone else's tool to claim application of the label to themselves.
                    Maybe, I'll edit and add this in italics with a note of the modification now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Defcon Member Survey

                      Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. I am sorry for bumping this thread, but I am still looking for interview respondents who might be willing to talk to me in person (In Seattle/Portland) or over the phone.

                      My goal is to speak to at least 25-30 people from the wider DefCon community, which I think would give a reasonable sample of opinions (although still far from statistically significant).


                      So, if you fit the description and have a few spare minutes to shat, please get in touch via my contact information above or by PM. Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Defcon Member Survey

                        Originally posted by Punkisnotdedd View Post
                        Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. I am sorry for bumping this thread, but I am still looking for interview respondents who might be willing to talk to me in person (In Seattle/Portland) or over the phone.
                        In this case, it is totally fine. You didn't bump it up aggressively, nor did you leave meaningless, or wasted content. The topic is still here, and you have a follow-up with your "bump."

                        My goal is to speak to at least 25-30 people from the wider DefCon community, which I think would give a reasonable sample of opinions (although still far from statistically significant).

                        So, if you fit the description and have a few spare minutes to shat, please get in touch via my contact information above or by PM. Thanks!
                        Good luck. I hear there are a number of Defcon people in the areas you mention.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Defcon Member Survey

                          I am grateful to a number of folks who stepped forward and agreed to talk to me over the telephone.

                          This is a final call to anyone who might be interested in speaking to me about my research, because I figure that there might be more people floating around on the boards now that Defcon is almost upon us.

                          Thanks!

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