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

Volatile Compound volatilecompound at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 06:57:59 CET 2011

On 11/28/11 9:37 PM, B F wrote:
> You miss the point entirely.

No, I don't believe that I do.  You do not like the connotations of the 
word 'hacker' as presented by two pages of Google results.  Fine. 
That's your personal beef, and the molehill you've chosen to make a 
mountain out of.  What you seem to be missing, however, is that the rest 
of us just don't care.

> Makerspaces (aka, "hackerspaces") are
> good things with tremendous potential for educating people.

So, by inference, hackerspaces are bad.  Mmmkay.

> By using the term "hacker" you drive people away without ever getting
> a chance at recruiting them.  All over a word.  Is that what you want?

Funny...  Our local hackerspace and the couple of other non-local ones 
I'm peripherally involved with seem to all be experiencing record 
attendances despite having the word 'hacker' in their names.

> Yes, maybe if you are all very persistent you can get the world to
> accept "hacker" as a neutral term, expunging its negative reputation.
> Good luck.  You'll need it.

Are there actually people who try to do this on the assumption that the 
term 'hacker' is somehow denigrating?  Just curious, because I've yet to 
meet them.

> In the meantime, some of use will persist in using other terms, like
> "maker" or "fixer", so as not to drive people away before they even
> get to meet us.

Call yourself whatever you want; who or what you identify with is nobody 
else's concern.  Leave the rest of us out of your personal crusade, 
though.  Thanks.

> I simply do not see a need for people to overcome their legitimate
> revulsion to what they understand "hacking" to be -- what it's defined
> to be in all forms of media they're exposed to, day in, day out --
> before they can be introduced to what these spaces are really about.

Okay, I'll play along.  What are these spaces "really about"?  I'd 
genuinely like to hear your definition of that.

> Rather than your expunging the reputation of "hackers", I would not be
> at all surprised if, in another few years, the public recognizes two
> different populations:  makers/makerspaces as "good" and
> hackers/hackerspaces as "evil".  They'll be wrong, perhaps, but the
> public is wrong about a lot of its opinions, and has always been so.
> That's not going to change.

So what you're saying is that you want to polarise public opinion around 
the "maker" community being good, while the "hacker" community is 
presented as bad.  Got it.

You're really not doing terribly well at the whole thinking-it-through 
game, but I'll give you marks for at least attempting to troll.

- skroo.

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