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

Phillip Rhodes motley.crue.fan at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 20:50:25 CET 2011

On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM, Justis Peters <justis.peters at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/28/2011 12:01 PM, Phillip Rhodes wrote:
> Many of us want our spaces to be intentionally inclusive and even
> accessible. By that, I don't just mean wheelchair access -- I mean lowering
> the intellectual barriers to entry.

There's "being accessible" and there's "Catering to the willfully
ignorant." I'm all about the
former, but I have zero use for the latter... although the line may be
fuzzy at times.

> This issue of what we call ourselves may not be about accessibility, but it
> is about approachability. If we take a reproach about our approachability
> and turn it into haughtiness, we are moving rapidly toward "inaccessible".

I don't mean to suggest any manner of haughtiness, but I do mean to say we
should not let other people define the words we use.  Oh, I suppose if the
"normal" meaning of the word drifts so substantially that there's no
other choice, then
that would be a different matter.  I don't believe the term "hacker"
has reached that
point however.

> Personally, I am happy with this approach:
> + we call ourselves a hackerspace by default
> + depending on who we're talking to or which media channels we are using,
> the terms "makerspace" or "community workshop" may be more approachable
> + always be willing to explain the terms "hackerspace" or "hacker" to anyone
> who seems curious or confused



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