Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What is a hacker?

Bruce Schneier has a great explanation of what is a hacker, why they are important, and why he doesn't buy into the "hackers good, crackers bad" meme.

A hacker is someone who thinks outside the box. It's someone who discards conventional wisdom, and does something else instead. It's someone who looks at the edge and wonders what's beyond. It's someone who sees a set of rules and wonders what happens if you don't follow them. A hacker is someone who experiments with the limitations of systems for intellectual curiosity.


Hackers are as old as curiosity, although the term itself is modern. Galileo was a hacker. Mme. Curie was one, too. Aristotle wasn't. (Aristotle had some theoretical proof that women had fewer teeth than men. A hacker would have simply counted his wife's teeth. A good hacker would have counted his wife's teeth without her knowing about it, while she was asleep. A good bad hacker might remove some of them, just to prove a point.)

1 comment:

Jase said...

A grey hat hacker might add an extra wisdom tooth as a proof of concept :)