What’s a hacker?

13 Jun
2013-06-13

Hello World!

My name is Christian Iversen, and I’m a computer scientist, entrepreneur and all kinds of geeky.

On this blog, I’m going to post about things that interest me, which means that the content is going to be technical, and oriented towards all kinds of science. But above all, it should always be interesting. If I fail at that, kindly let me know 🙂

So in this first post I want to talk to you about the word “hacker”. Everybody knows what a hacker is, right? The kind of person who breaks into computer systems, wreaking havoc and ruining lives. Well, actually not.

You see, there are 2 distinct, completely different meanings of the word “hacker”. To my knowledge, it’s not entirely well known how how this happened, but we might as well accept it as a fact.

The one version of “hacker”, the kind you’re probably familiar with, is someone who breaks into computer systems illegally.

The other version of “hacker”, the kind my blog is about, is someone who enjoys exploring, improving, modifying and playing with things. It could be physical or immaterial things, but the end result is the same. In the words of Richard Stallman, the father of Free Software:

 Hacking entails some form of excellence, for example exploring the limits of what is possible, thereby doing something exciting and meaningful

Being a Hacker is a very positive thing. Everyone should aspire to be a Hacker. Every famous programmer is a hacker – but not the bad kind. Hence, the title of my blog.

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1 reply
  1. Anders Eiler says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Steve Wozniak is one of the greatest hackers of our time. Not exactly the kind of “hacker” you think about when you’re scared of Chinese hackers stealing your industry secrets. I guess there are as many types of hackers as there are cheese 🙂

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