[hackerspaces] Out with the "hackers"... In with the "makers" and the "fixers"

Petr Baudis pasky at ucw.cz
Sun Nov 27 17:31:02 CET 2011


On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 11:05:20AM -0500, B F wrote:
> I have no problem with language, but that seems not the case with the
> general public.  "Hacker" has become a bad word.  This was driven home
> to me a couple night ago, over dinner with a group, in which a
> programmer who worked for a major computer company (in the
> communications field) responded to my talk about a "hackerspace" by
> commenting that she might have trouble professionally if associated
> with such a group!

  I can offer different experience, it seems that the concept got first
interesting to a few people by the "mystery" of the hacker term (not for
immediate desire to break into computers or such, though ;-). And in a
public radio interview, the moderator spent two minutes explaining what
does "hacker" (not) mean (for us), ain't that great?

> Like it or not, the American public "knows" that ...

  Why would American public matter particularly?

  (Please note that this is an international movement and international
mailing list. If you have some US-specific concerns, please mark them
clearly so, possibly explaining why they are US-specific if that is not

> Therefore, we should chuck the term "hacker" in all its forms, and
> switch completely to "makerspaces" or even "fixerspaces".  Or, more
> simply, "shops" or "labs", with relevant adjectives to further
> describe them.

  Feel free to pick a name for your hackerspace that fits your community
the best. Plenty of spaces call themselves "makerspaces". But why would
others in different communities, environments and cultures care?

				Petr "Pasky" Baudis
	The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will
	last at least until we've finished building it.

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