I’ve known some hackers, boyo — an lemme tell ya’, you ain’t got the chops
The view from your high rise apartment paints a dreamy picture. The rain gently patters upon your window and displays a beautiful illumination from the busy street lights below. You sigh as you reach for your freshly ground cup of fair-trade Mountain Dew, and bring the warm mug to your lips.
Both hands tremble as the creamy liquid greets your tongue. While everyone else has class or work, you have been afforded the privilege of a self-made education — absorbing the vast amounts of free information available on the INTERNET to become a sort of wizard. A digital warlock. A technomancer and tech romancer.
I’m a hacker.
You tell your friends and anyone who will listen. I hack growth. I hack processes. I hack MARKETING. 9 to 5? You scoff. You don’t have time for such menial things. Meetings every day, feel good blog pieces to publish — you’ve got to prove you can hack it. Can you hack it? You can.
In the back of your mind, you remember the stories of the great hackers of distant times. Your grandfather used to tell them to you before the state mandated bedtimes. The stories have become a fading memory, the details long lost to an era of exaggeration. You pull out your Hacker News certified Apple device. Hacker News is where all the best marketers post what you should buy and believe if you’re a real hacker. The subtle glow eases the weariness and fatigue of likes, favorites and +1’s.
Richard Stallman — the name sounds familiar. You think you may have read an article about how he refuses to use emojis or something stupid like that. Emojis are great, honestly. Why use words when you can express something with images. The Egyptians did it. We’re progressing towards a brighter future — one of ideograms and common sense.
They’re always interjecting. Always. It’s hard to get anything done as a hacker today. There’s not enough time. Frontend is the new backend. Growth requires a seed.
Your dad used to take you to play games at the old arcade. Stallman! It rings a bell now! He was the villain. He tried to destroy everything you loved. Your Apple space ship. Stallman would interject, he would try to encourage you to think with FREEDOM in mind. Sinistallman.
It is hard to write a simple definition of something as varied as hacking, but I think what these activities have in common is playfulness, cleverness, and exploration. Thus, hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness. Activities that display playful cleverness have “hack value”.
Whatever that means. There’s a great Apple Live Event coming up in an hour and you need to pick up some tissues.