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

Will Bradley bradley.will at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 20:28:56 CET 2011

Here's the definition I use. http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html

The term is risking dilution (a local group has a hacknight which is more
of a programmer meetup than anything) but I think creative reuse,
elegant/minimal code, and intrusion are all solidly in the Hack category.

One of HeatSync's posters features the word hack prominently. I like the
bumper sticker idea.
On Nov 29, 2011 12:24 PM, "Mars brown" <itcamefrommars at gmail.com> wrote:

> OK.. maybe Im trolling... but whatever.
> How far does the term hacking go in new definitions?
> Here's a copy paste from a forum post a couple of years ago that I posted.
> ~ begin paste ~
> *Why I cringe everytime I hear the word HACK now
> *
> thought yall might get a chuckle / cringe outa this abuse
> http://www.parenthacks.com/
> now hacking is the same as crafting and tips and tricks for stupid ideas.
> there's an article on this site for band-aid hack....
> it's using leaves in the woods for band-aids.
> it's called covering the wound - and suppose they got lucky and didn't
> pick poison ivy!
> oh garsh... some great hacks too
> like:
> Contain small-parts toy play with a tray, cookie sheet or roasting pan
> - uh....could we modify this for electronics components? a tray is a
> genius idear.
> or
> Makeshift "peek-a-boo" nets you a few wiggle-free seconds to change a
> diaper
> - it's put a napkin on the kids face distraction hack
> or
> "Bumless" diaper lets diaper rash air out while containing the pee
> " So, when I knew it would be a while before he was going to go #2 again I
> got a diaper and cut the bum out of it. This way, he could air out a bit
> but would be covered up front in case he had to pee."
> If it were old school BOINGBOING magazine(not about babies... fringe stuff
> reporting for the younger gens)... it'd be make your baby a cyborg with a
> new CMOS behavior chip...
> (I actually do remember an issue where someone surgically removed a tumor
> from their cat... it was set up as a how to - we tried it on a mouse with a
> tumor the size of it's normal body but the anesthesia was to difficult to
> administer - he was dying anyhow and went the most peaceful way that way...
> zzzz...)
> I want CYBORG BABIES dammit!
> how dissappointing this site is.
> ~end paste ~
> I really was very disappointed... I want cyborg babies.  Oh hurry up you
> crazy singularity!
> Cheers! - mars
> On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM, Mars brown <itcamefrommars at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Well... how about making some "HACKING IS NOT A CRIME" stickers like the
>> skateboarding stickers we used in the 80's.
>> Kinda the same delima... skaters were ruffians and hooligans in the
>> public eye.
>> Actually - if this is such a issue that is cared about so much - why
>> don't we all (especially the more established and attention worthy spaces)
>> make it part of their mission to clear up the name?
>> Great promotional material there... I can easily see the local news media
>> covering some interviews since it uses such a hot keyword like "HACKER"
>> oooh aaah -  especially since it's a news worthy twist on the word -
>> educating - relating - and general having non-malicious fun tinkering with
>> computers/electronics/stuff.... and all in a creative and exciting way!
>> Honestly - it blew me away when I first discovered the new use of the
>> word -
>> in the 80's - a hacker was a (general public eye) socially disgruntled
>> malicious individual with elements of sociopathy and the power to express
>> it all in a culture very new to dependencies on digital things.  Relatively
>> little media coverage was present... and if you were not a hacker
>> (negative) - you were a computer geek.
>> in the 90's was the first time I ever heard of different colored hats....
>> white / black / grey... but still it was referencing only
>> security/countersecurity of networks and data and such (mostly...
>> disclaiming to prevent petty arguements)
>> If you wanted to find any software or tools for hacking - they weren't
>> called makerbot cupcakes, beagle data analyzers, arduino/processing,
>> hammers and modified toys...
>> NOPE - we used software called SATAN, Cain and Abel, Back Orifice...
>> and had global organizations to publish sensitive data that the FBI
>> subscribes to - and that was the scene...
>> Even our local 2600 - which was mostly white with a couple of shades of
>> grey - our big y2k conference (not about y2k) had tshirts printed of some
>> picture of pompei type of catastrophe with the words underneath "That whole
>> Y2K thing?  That was us."
>> That was the embracing of the whole counterculture aspect even though
>> none of us were malicious.. (or if we ever where we kinda grew up)
>> Basically the word hacker means something to the public eye... who even
>> coined the term?  Was it a news reporter in the tone of keying a label
>> first?  like naming the serial killer?
>> That's what a hacker is to some people... the name of a serial killer.
>> OH WELL...
>> It means something else now to alot of us and I think it's great...
>> It distinguishes a hackerspace from a makerspace to me in that I know if
>> I go to a meeting - I'll be assured it's more digital and electro dohickery.
>> A makerspace is fantastic too.. but it's not as specific - and whereas
>> sometimes I'm into macrame - it's nice to have a place that's pretty much
>> 100% technocyberdelichyperactivity with similarly interested people...
>> But the term hacking and hacker was the single and only verbage that USED
>> to be related to the whole scene... and that was a counterculture scene.
>> Hackerspaces are not counterculture at all.... but it uses the single
>> word that defined a Techno Counterculture individual.
>> It's maybe a shame that the media didn't grab onto Cyberpunk - but if
>> they did - wouldn't we call ourselves cyberpunks?  (rhetoric... not queue
>> for arguement)
>> I think part of the reason the term hacker appeals is the old world
>> image.... the midnight hacker.... but aren't we really more of midnight
>> engineers?
>> That btw was the name of a magazine in the 90's i used to read that was
>> ALL about what gos on in hackerspaces.  It didn't mention HACK though...
>> that was 2600 - the HACKER quarterly.  Good magazine (midnight
>> engineer)... i remember the article regarding removing black epoxy on IC's
>> that were meant to close source the use of a simple  CMOS chip in some
>> product.
>> So we're stuck with HACKER in the name hackerspace... it has some
>> historical connotations...
>> Let's make lemonade and use it to attract people from being afraid of
>> electronics... or rather magic for most of the public...
>> It seems like we could use some public redefining of "hacker" as a
>> vehicle to educate and incubate interest in what we all are aparently
>> pretty passionate about!
>> BTW - what did happen to the evolution of the term hacker in the
>> 2000's... all i remember was everyone wardriving, packetsniffing, and
>> oldskoolers makiing fun of 31337 krypt skiddies while working for the man
>> for 6 figure salaries.  Oh the H4X0R... it was H4X1N6 then....
>> Anyhow... sorry for the long comment... hope it doesn't just help fuel
>> wheel spinning. and bickering... let's think positive after accepting any
>> negative and become active to change if it matters to ya!
>> On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Rubin Abdi <rubin at starset.net> wrote:
>>> I try my best to not have my vocabulary refined and dictated by
>>> mainstream media. One of the general goals of Noisebridge is to educate,
>>> part of that is to reclaim the term hacker as our own.
>>> While visiting Pumping Station: One about a year or so ago, a discussion
>>> got thrown around regarding doing exactly what you're proposing. Some
>>> members felt the catch phrase "Chicago's Hacker Space" (or was it "Your
>>> Chicago's Hacker Space" don't remember) was spreading the wrong message.
>>> Anyhow the discussion went in circles for that night and no one really
>>> won (where I see this thread going). I see now they're catch phrase is
>>> "Make. Hack. Craft." which I think is great and works for both crowds.
>>> Additionally to people "making" and "creating" stuff at Noisebridge, we
>>> also totally hack things in the conventional sense.
>>> If I gave up and let mainstream media and the general public direct me
>>> in what words to use when describing who I am because I didn't want to
>>> spend the time to educate them, I would have a white armband on with
>>> CAMEL JOCKEY RAPIST HACKER". I would throw STEAM PUNK in there (there's
>>> a true story behind that) but that might seem a bit ironic for the wrong
>>> reasons. :)
>>> --
>>> Rubin
>>> rubin at starset.net
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Discuss mailing list
>>> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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