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

Serendipity Seraph sseraph at me.com
Sun Nov 27 23:03:15 CET 2011

On Nov 27, 2011, at 8:05 AM, 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!

Pardon my saying so but this is the statement of a mindless dweeb or rather paranoid individual.  I don't see why it is at all in our interest to cater to such.

> This movement is shooting itself in the foot by continuing to use the
> terms "hack", "hacking", "hacker", and "hackerspace".  Like it or not,
> the American public "knows" that hackers are evil people who steal
> identities and money, infiltrate corporate, government, and military
> computers and steal their secrets, etc., etc.

The American public doesn't know squat.  I utterly refuse to kowtow to ignorance.  Allowing the likes of the DRM folks and sundry clueless commentators to steal our identity and roots is just not acceptable.  

>  The media has told them
> that and they believe it.  Even intelligent people believe it.  That
> "hacker" could mean something benevolent as well, does not occur to
> them.

Then tell them differently and do not let the media run your life and decisions.  I don't want to be associated with a group that would bow to media generated bullshit.  

> As I was repairing the pan in my automatic bread-making machine this
> morning -- mostly involving replacing a broken C-clip -- it occurred
> to me that fixing things is as American as apple pie.  As a movement,
> we need to ally ourselves with that tradition.  Likewise, making
> things is All-American. (I'm being a bit facetious, here, but if we
> have less than 30 seconds to get a message across, we have to use buzz
> words).
> 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.

No.  Not acceptable.  I am a hacker, not a "fixer" or a "maker" accept by description of the results of some of what I do.   Being a "hacker" is a badge of honor and I refuse to act as if it is something dishonorable.

- s

More information about the Discuss mailing list