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

Pete Prodoehl raster at gmail.com
Mon Jan 27 23:05:22 CET 2014

I often wonder what the original purpose of computers was...


On 1/27/14, 1:14 PM, Ben Brown wrote:
> I'd submit that a computer hacker is often defined as a person that 
> makes a program or process do something outside of it's original 
> intended purpose. Perhaps a food hacker is a person who can make 
> sustenance from materials that aren't intended to be used as such.
> That person is certainly not me. If I were to consider myself a food 
> hacker, it's because I'm not very good at cutting vegetables or 
> trimming meat. Perhaps that means I'm just a food butcherer.
> Ben
> On 1/27/2014 1:17 AM, Kevin Mitnick 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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