[hackerspaces] Let's end the unnecessary joining of the words "food" and "hacking"

j. grenzfurthner/monochrom (das ende der nahrungskette) jg at monochrom.at
Mon Jan 27 10:40:12 CET 2014

Language purists.

On 27.01.2014, at 07:17, Kevin Mitnick <kevin.mitnick at outlook.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I am going to open this e-mail thread up with the following definition from the Oxford dictionary:
> "[...] gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer [...] a piece of computer code providing a quick or inelegant solution to a particular problem"
> Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/hack?q=hacking
> I then go and look up the definition of "food hacking" and the best I can find is this description from Reddit:
> "Food hacks is a place to share quick and simple tips on making food that has more flavor, more nutritional value, or both"
> Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/FoodHacks
> Let's look at this real closely here:
> - Where does "food hacking" come into play where we're getting unauthorized access to something?
> - Where does "food hacking" provide a quick or inelegant solution to a particular problem?
> - How does the Reddit definition of "food hacking" fit into these previous questions?
> - Why do people who are playing with their food want to be a part of the hacking scene? What should we call it?
> To address the first question, I am not seeing how "unauthorized access" is occurring here. When we go and buy a head of lettuce or a box of cereal, likely we've paid for it or if we haven't, it wasn't stolen from some other hungry person. All we're doing when we're playing with our food is making it, baking it, cooking it, and or eating it.
> Does "food hacking" provide an inelegant solution to a particular problem? Not really. When you make food you're making it, not hacking it. Perhaps "hacking" could apply if you're inelegantly taking apart a steak or some sort of fruit or vegetable, but at no point are you providing a solution to a problem. Is the invention of modern fast food a "food hack" by that standard? Or is the gradual adoption of automated convenience stores that provide you with whatever without any human intervention other than your own a "food hack"? It does allow for a quick solution to getting your food.
> If we look at how Reddit defines a "food hack", we see that we're making food with more flavor or better nutritional value. If I go buy some Hamburger Helper and add avocado to it or add whey protein to chocolate milk, is that "hacking"? What if I make some Betty Crocker cake and add whey to that instead? Is that a "food hack"? Because of the vagueness that the Reddit definition provides and the definition of what "hacking" is, why don't we call it baking, cooking, or mixing? Do we call chefs or my dad cooking on the barbecue with his "secret sauce" a food hacker?
> I get the impression that people who call themselves "food hackers" call themselves that because they want to be considered a part of the "hacker movement". Why don't those of you who identify with this moniker just call yourself a "cook", "chef", "baker", "maker", or whatever instead? Why don't you instead call the food "food" or if you really want it to be associated with the hacker scene, "food for hackers"? Is that hard? You're not a hacker and you dilute the term for those of us who are hackers.
> Food for thought. Do not take offense to this if you find it hits too close to home. 
> Kevin Mitnick
> (May or may not be the Kevin you think I am)
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