[hackerspaces] thoughts regarding recent discussions (food)

James B james.broyles8 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 02:20:13 CET 2014

I am not certain about the intent of how the mailing lists are organized.
It seems reasonable to propose the notion that the finer details of the
foodhacker vs cook discussion debate would serve best in Theory. This
observation is only due to nominal experience with sites like Stack
Exchange, where library science seems to at least try to wrangle some sense
and logic from the wild. I may be way off. I will appreciate any help
orienting myself here.

Theory: Hackerspaces Theory and Metadiscussion List -

Equality: Brainstorming about hacker equality -

The mailing list's page: http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/

Since I am definitely not trying to moderate these lists, I think it is
reasonable to throw my ~2 satoshi in here to follow suit. If the
conversations do move and I have more to type, I'll just follow where the
conversations go.

A lighter perspective on foodhacking vs cooking is that at one time, the
word ammunition meant something entirely different. Or rather, something
entirely more vague. Ammunition has not always been used even in the
broader category of munitions, but to describe any of a troops' supplies.
This included clothing, rations, and an assortment of things decidedly not
ammunition by today's modern standards. This appears to be the reverse of
the different paths that the word "hack" is trying to take in our modern
society, where segments of society are trying to broaden the scope of what
hacking can mean or be said to describe.

Personally, I would like to see discussion that doesn't focus so much on
whether or not to call something hacking, but more about which environments
are most conducive to hacking (in a purist sense), which activities seem to
have symbiotic beneficial relationships with hacking (again, in a purist
sense), and things that better identify activities, projects, tools, space,
electrical/ventilation requirements, etc that many hackerspaces could use
to decide what to focus and what not to focus on.

Most hackers (purist sense, and by purist I do not mean cracker) I know can
have a variety of interests in addition to computer hacking. What's more
important (to me) is that without the necessity of furthering any one
person's or group's interests, all people and groups are steadily gaining
greater, cheaper, and more versatile access to changing the world around
them at a rate never before seen in history and in the form of open
sourcery and common creativity. Call it all one thing that linguistically
replaces a previous word, invent a new word, I don't really care so much. I
think it is particularly folly to hold on to words, though. Doctors,
educators, et al have to critically and objectively stay in fashion with
The Trendy Academia as they continue and further their careers. It behooves
any practitioner (professional or otherwise) or tinkerer to stay in the
loop about their chosen fields and interests as they evolve. While hacking
may or may not have evolved into a different word, I don't see a point of
being so venemous and vehement about clinging onto it. We are after all
talking about the Modern Industrial Dictionary Complex. Now, because of our
modern society, someday "twerking" will be OED as Oxford catches up.

Oh, wait.

On a related note, library science has been struggling to professionalize,
and has had to redefine and adapt to hard hits caused by things like
eBooks. There's an awkward struggle to get to Library 3.0 when Library 2.0
still needs a lot of work and some elements still aren't even Library 1.0.
But now there are robots and lasers starting to pop up in/near libraries. I
remember thinking it was cool that I could get to any local BBS from
various libraries I haunted back in pre-K baud rate days. It seems
functional to have .*spaces pop up at libraries. Maybe one day most
libraries will staff referential engineers and 3D printer teachers. There
were heated mailing list debates in various iterations about when the
modern library standardized DVDs as patron resources but to be redundant
that's now a standard in many library networks and associations.
Referential library science itself is being turned on its gord. Please be
wary of steadfastly clinging to referential materials too hard about
anything right now. Heck, tomorrow, Japan might be drawn different on a
globe or in an Atlas. If the general populace just starts using hacking to
describe a variety of things, that's just what happens. That simply becomes
part of the etymology of a word and the anthropology of a cultural language
evolving. There's no sense in fighting it, at least not by trolling an
obscure mailing list.

Is the problem that some people observe that too many things are vaguely
defined as hacking, or is it that some people do not like cooking in the
same place as their computing? I'm not being smarmy, I'm trying to figure
out what the actual problem is. It's hard to do when there's more elaborate
satiric/sardonic conversation than actual explanation of clear problems and
potential solutions.

If there are rampant problems that occur when you try to combine
code-tinkering with other types of tinkering, we should probably focus on
those instead of word semantics and identify what does and doesn't work (as
well as why, if there are viable solutions, etc).

If there is no rampant problem that occurs (in general) when you have, for
instance, bio-tinkering in the same place as code-tinkering, then it
appears we are left solely with meta discussion about linguistics.

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