Talk:Hacker (term)

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MIT[edit]

What significate point is gained by talking so specifically about MIT in the contemporary use section. Alot of it looks like cruft.

Contemporary - of the present time; modern:

"Contemporary use" should be renamed "MIT's use of the word hacker in the past with various funnies." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 159.117.1.11 (talk) 03:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Until now I have had nothing to do with the editing of this page, though I find it terrible, I feel like the MIT references, though poorly worded, are appropriate. MrJosiahT (talk) 01:57, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Gordian Knot Cut[edit]

I have archived the talk page, so that hopefully we can get some real work done here. Andrew81446, your endlessly tangled discussions about globalization on this page are now over. If you try to continue to disrupt our work here, either under your logged in account or by one of the sockpuppets you have used, I will move your comments off of this talk page. If you want to continue raising this issue, you must follow the dispute resolution procedure, such as a requests for comment, a request for mediation, or a request for arbitration.

Kind regards, Nandesuka (talk) 12:39, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I see no evidence of sock-puppetry, but rather an individual forgetting to log in: be careful of accusations like that unless you have clear evidence. I also think you jumped the gun a little bit, Nandesuka, on the implementation of this. Although I supported the measure, I think waiting for a week or until Andrew81446 had a chance to respond would have been the better thing to do. leontes (talk) 13:19, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
In this edit, Andrew81446 pretends to be a new user unfamiliar with Wikipedia, who stumbled across this article while "researching hackers on the internet". Note that he asked for a friend to "help" him comment. That same IP address was involved in this conversation with admin OrangeMarlin, which began here, seeking support on the issue here. Both the topic and style indicate that this is unquestionably Andrew81446. You can ask for a checkuser, if you like, but they will tell you that we shouldn't bother asking for checkusers for sockpuppets that are self-evident or blantant, like this one is.
I have been more than patient with Andrew, but with that sockpuppet edit he moved from "just" inconvenient and disruptive to inconvenient, disruptive, and deceptive. If I wasn't involved as an editor of this article, I'd block him myself, just for that edit. If Andrew wants to participate as an editor on this page, he should apologize for trying to deceive his fellow editors, first. Nandesuka (talk) 13:32, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Citations needed[edit]

The paragraph that begins: "Academic hackers usually work openly and..." reads like original research to me, as does the paragraph that appears much later beginning "Computer security hackers are the opposite...". Anyone want to volunteer to rewrite these to hew more closely to our content policies (notably, by sourcing them?) Nandesuka (talk) 13:00, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I took this from an edit of esr [1]. In my experience, the edits he does repeat his various publications; unfortunately he did not give the exact source. But you usually find it quickly if you check the relevant passages in The Art Of Unix Programming, The Jargon File and A Brief History of Hackerdom. In this specific case, you find it at [2]; "Crackers tend to gather in small, tight-knit, very secretive groups that have little overlap with the huge, open poly-culture this lexicon describes; [...] An easy way for outsiders to spot the difference is that crackers use grandiose screen names that conceal their identities. Hackers never do this; they only rarely use noms de guerre at all, and when they do it is for display rather than concealment." --rtc (talk) 14:36, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I think we can cite esr as having said that. I'll rewrite the paragraph to make it clear we're sourcing to esr, and add a citation. Thanks! Nandesuka (talk) 17:59, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Admin incident noticeboard[edit]

I have flagged this and related articles for attention following the recent outbreak of edit-warring and incivility. Colonel Warden (talk) 12:54, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Indented line Greetings sir, I'm new to editing and always trying to learn- how did you do that?
Indented line MrJosiahT (talk) 01:59, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Definition of Hacker[edit]

Apart from in the culture of programmers, and even then only in an archaic way, I have never heard anyone refer to someone as a hacker unless they meant in the subversive sense. Does the definition need changing to reflect this? Mike0001 (talk) 16:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

(I'm assuming you're not a sockpuppet of Andrew81446.) That meaning does exist. Just google for 'hacker'. The LAME package has a file called HACKING which does not refer to the security sense. And the article already clearly points out that Nowadays, mainstream usage mostly refers to computer criminals very near the beginning, before the TOC. --Army1987 (talk) 23:19, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
No, I am not Andrew81446. I know the term used to be used in this sense, but I guess most of the articles high on google are just following the Hacker's Dictionary definition? Notable, the paid links on the RHS in Google refer to the subversive kind. Mike0001 (talk) 09:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it's indisputable that this article can be improved. The best way to do this is to attack it in small pieces. You're welcome to help participate. Perhaps a good first step is to figure out the lede here, and work forward from there. Nandesuka (talk) 23:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, what is a lede? Mike0001 (talk) 08:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
The people in this debate have taken to basically being blatantly rude to anybody whose actually sees what I have been saying all along. Do you think you seven people represent the opinions of the entire English-speaking world apart from me? Your arrogance is sickening. Either bring a "checkuser" or drop the sock puppet allegations. But sitting there making accusations without having the courage or the backbone to follow is nothing short of pathetic whining.
User:Mike0001, don't mind the crowd here - as they'll be hell bent on telling you that you're actually lying about the fact that in your country and your culture you've never heard the word "hacker" used in a non-subversive way. Your observations were welcome.
Andrew81446 (talk) 09:18, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
To Mike: A lede or lead section is the introduction of an article, that is the paragraphs before the table of contents and the first header. See WP:LEAD. --Army1987 (talk) 10:39, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Mike0001 -- I have heard and read the use of the term "hacker" for several decades. The original usage was a compliment, not a criminal accusation. I've been called one, too, in that sense, and have been dismayed at the corruption of the term by the press. A hack is a neat, clean, usually unexpected thing that always works, as opposed to a kludge, which is neither neat nor clean, usually uninventive and brute force, and barely works. htom (talk) 20:04, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

If you want a positive definition in contemporary usage, try http://www.paulgraham.com/gba.html 85.70.215.172 (talk) 08:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd like to note that many people (in my experience) outside the computer programming community regard guessing someone's password, discovering it by non-technical means or using it without permission as instances of hacking. Others (including myself) disagree. Cholo71796 (talk) 02:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

In technical circles, I've noted a marked difference between "hacker" and "cracker." Hacker has generally devolved (in my experience) to script kiddies and the like who use others' exploits. Crackers generally try to find the exploits in the first place or use less scripted tools. A "white hat" penetration specialist would likely be called a cracker in technical circles and a hacker elsewhere (but never a script kiddie). Cracker seems to have a better connotation there. In non-technical circles, a cracker seems to refer to a food item. A hacker encompasses all good and bad hackers, crackers, and script kiddies, and may connotate good (but usually does not. This is just my unreferenced observation. --Nouniquenames (talk) 04:56, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Just because the popular media and people that don't care much for the language they use, incorrectly using the term hacker, does not mean that we have to simply parrot their ignorance. The definition of a hacker is clear: [Levy] and [Stallman]. It does not mean cracker. If we make that clear here, the usage will be normalised and become correct and we will not add to the ignorance and confusion "out there". For example, if the word "mechanic" had been used instead of car-thief, by ignorant people, would Wikipedia adopt that meaning? I think not. We should therefore simply put a note into the lead, say "The use of the word 'hacker' for someone that acts maliciously, is incorrect, and 'cracker' should be used to denote that meaning instead". I suggest we change the lead to reflect this. Lifeboy (talk) 18:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation[edit]

We have at least three articles which divide the ordinary topic of Hacker: Hacker (hobbyist), Hacker (computer security) and Hacker (academia). We also have a disambiguation page called Hacker (disambiguation). Given the controversy, it seems to me that this article (Hacker) should become the disambiguation page and that the current disambiguation page should be made a redirect to it.

Such a restructure would conform with the following guideline and might resolve the current warring.

Primary topic

When there is a well known primary meaning for a term or phrase, much more used than any other (this may be indicated by a majority of links in existing articles or by consensus of the editors of those articles that it will be significantly more commonly searched for and read than other meanings), then that topic may be used for the title of the main article, with a disambiguation link at the top. If there's a disambiguation page, it should link back to the primary topic.

If there is extended discussion about which article truly is the primary topic, that may be a sign that there is in fact no primary topic, and that the disambiguation page should be located at the plain title with no "(disambiguation)".

Colonel Warden (talk) 10:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's not a bad idea. The disambiguation page has been improved since the last time I had seen it. If this is done, the Overlaps and differences section of this article should be incorporated into Hacker definition controversy, and if in sections 2 to 5 there is information not present in the respective main articles, that should be added to them, too. (But before taking this step, we'd better hear other people's opinion. I'm adding relevant templates.) --Army1987 (talk) 10:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I just did a Google News search to check current usage. This item from a national UK newspaper is high on the list of hits and indicates that the term definitely means different things to different people in different contexts - in this case it is golfing. The disambiguation page covers this briefly and so seems to be the way to go. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Admittedly, I find the article Hacker definition controversy very questionable, because it is original research. Is there such a controversy at all, or is it merely a confusion of different meanings of a word? Do we have a source that explicitly talks about the controversy, instead of merely sources that are allegedly to be interpreted as taking the one or the other side in the conflict? Sure, there are sources by Raymond and Stallman where they voice their opinion that they would like to call themselves hackers without being misunderstood, and that this misunderstanding is pushed by the press. But I do not see that this already makes a controversy. That is why I like the status quo to a certain degree: In this article, we can describe the overlaps and differences without saying that this constitutes a controversy that may not be there in the end. I think we already discussed the currently proposed solution some time ago (in fact, I proposed a quite similar one back then). So I'm not opposed to it; but if it is done, it needs to be done right. At least we should consider renaming the article from "Hacker definition controversy" to "Overlaps and differences among the hacker subcultures" or something like that. --rtc (talk) 14:34, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could move this article to Hacker (computing) or something like that, and make Hacker a disambiguation... What do you all think? --Army1987 (talk) 19:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
That's not quite a very elegant solution, but go ahead. --rtc (talk) 20:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd rather wait for other opinions before doing that... Army1987 (talk) 23:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
This article should be enough to walk away with an overview of all takes on the term 'Hacker', and link to further information if desired. It may be viewed as a one-stop-shop existing between the technical disambiguation page and specific articles on academic, security, and hardware, white hat, grey hat, black hat, Media hacker, Wetware hacker, Reality hacker, etc. Ideally it would contain a brief history of the shared origins, and overview discussion of the various ways the 'hacker' idea has been notable over the years. In this discussion, specific main articles would be linked with additional information. If anything, we can merge some of the sub-articles and continue creating this one into a polished presentation tying them all together. For me, this comes down to my interpretation that all these subjects are related enough that they may be introduced and discussed together in one article -- perhaps incorrect. If consensus shows that these subjects should not be introduced in one overview article, then we should indeed eliminate this article entirely (not move it to Hacker (computer)), and let the disambiguation page replace it. here 01:10, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The one-stop shop idea has merit if the article is called Hacker (computing) but not for the completely generic term Hacker which is also used in golfing, cab-driving, masonry, etc. We must beware of systemic bias in only seeing the computer usage. Colonel Warden (talk) 08:10, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to move this article to Hacker (computing) tomorrow unless someone comes up with a better idea meanwhile. --Army1987 (talk) 10:50, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I see no need for a move. The unrelated and less-used golf, cab-driving, and masonry definitions have nothing to do with this discussion, and are properly disambiguated. You won't find a struggle at Circle about not covering Circle, Alaska and Circle (band) -- or requests to be renamed Circle (geometry)). If it must be done lets follow Hack (technology) and use (technology) to include in scope related articles such as Wetware hacker not directly related to computing. Regardless of any move, the central problems remain the same -- improving this article to provide a one-stop shop for ideas relating to Hack and Hacker ? Thus, any move seems harmless, but beside the point. Again, this is based on my view that all the articles on academic, security, and hardware, white hat, grey hat, black hat, Media hacker, Wetware hacker, Reality hacker, etc. are related more to each other than they are to a golf hack, and deserve something more than a disambiguation page tying them together. here 08:17, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

So do I. Now, this page ties together meanings related to computing (feel free to add stuff about wetware hackers etc. to it), while hacker (disambiguation) is the dab. page. I was just proposing to rename them, not to change content. Renaming this page to Hacker (computing) (or Hacker (technology), for that matter) would address some people's concerns that it discusses meanings seldom used by non-IT-related people. (The status quo is a good alternative IMO, as mass isn't called mass (physics) for example, but my proposed move wouldn't hurt.) --Army1987 (talk) 13:04, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


The entire of Wikipedia's Naming policy and Disambiguation policy is built on the fact that all article titles have exactly the same meaning no matter which country the article is read. This is a fundamental failure of these policies as this obviously does not apply to titles that are in themselves words in common usage across the entire English-speaking world. Turning Hacker into a disambiguation page will not effectively solve this problem as the computing world is not made up of phrases and terminology that map identically across all regions, and so the problem still remains of what you're going to call the disambiguated pages.

Instead of speculating on what people will understand when accessing the article from other regions, title the articles from the stance that you are sure is correct, or listen to people from other regions in the world. In the first instance, change all of the opening paragraphs of all related articles (academia, "Black Hat", "White Hat", "Open Sources", "Hobbyist", "Cracker", "Phreaker", etc.) so that they specifically emphasise the fact the terminology is United States specific because at the current time this is all you can verify. Then, as other people from other parts of the world read the article, they can remove the disambiguation as they see fit.

Andrew81446 (talk) 11:23, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

HackerHacker (computing) — see above —Army1987 (talk) 11:03, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.

Discussion[edit]

Of course. And the dab note on the top of subpages could read like This article is about computer security hackers. For other uses, see Hacker. For other types of computer hackers, see Hacker (computing). The main potential problem of this will be the amount of work to change all the links to here to point to the right place, but WP:DPL exists for a reason, right? --Army1987 (talk) 20:14, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I say that you have a good idea. I work in the films area and know that there is a film with the same but plural name, Hackers (film). - LA @ 00:18, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
All of this is beside the point. Go ahead and add the notes on sub-articles referring back to this one straight away, and get on improving this one to receive the traffic and fairly overview the subject. There is zero functional difference between the status quo and your proposed move. If it must be done, I'd recommend (technology) for the modifier. See further comments above. here 08:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference. If you Google Hacker currently then the page with the title Hacker is the top hit and Hacker (computer security) is the second. This change will put the disambiguation content at the top which seems fair. Colonel Warden (talk) 11:19, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
That's irrelevant. If the move is done, I'm going to issue a WP:DPL entry, and many wikilinks to Hacker will be modified to point somewhere else, so that the PageRank will change in a few months. --Army1987 (talk) 13:08, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.

This goes for the content as well. Single word titles that happen to be words in common usage (as opposed to technical terms, proper names, etc.) automatically reach out to all people who understand that word, regardless of the actual meaning they attach to that word which, in most cases, is region-specific. Language may have changed in the United States but the rest of the world sees no reason to change and, while that is still the case, the single word "hacker" favours "general audience" over "specialists" by the fact that it is a single word that is understood everywhere in the English-speaking world. Thus, an article under such a title must primarily document the widest, most general meaning that the title has.

I see one very simple solution. Take all dictionaries across the English-speaking world and then compare all the different regional definitions of "hacker". All definitions that are found to be common to all regions should be chosen as ones to be documented in the bulk of the article. This then guarantees that, no matter which region you access the article from, it is always documenting the subject according to the meaning understood in that region. Then, within the article, regional variations can be briefly described and linked to on separate pages (which already exist).

This process would then be applied recursively to specific articles. For example, if the phrase "Hobbyist Hacker" is found not to exist outside of the United States, then the article about "Hobbyist Hacker" must indicate that this is the case through the addition of a United States disambiguation in the title or opening paragraph. Of course, when the rest of the world decides it is ready to adopt the phrase "Hobbyist Hacker", the disambiguation can be removed.

This particular proposal preserves the mandate that Wikipedia is not trying to define a new meaning for a word in a different country, as the bulk of the article content would be derived from the common meaning(s) that are documented as having the same understood meaning in all parts of the English-speaking world.

Andrew81446 (talk) 11:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose "Hacker (computing)" does nothing to clear the ambiguity, as the main competing/overlapping meanings are all in the realm of computing anyway. I don't see the benefit of the suggested approach. And Andrew81446, why don't you tell us what you really think? —Pengo 22:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Approve. I apologise for the longish response here. There are two proposals here with a single and joint explanation.
Pengo, I am telling you what I really think. I am a fair and impartial person and I have never advocated completely removing all references to any of the predominantly specialist, US-understood phrases that are in use within the IT/Academic communities. I have, from the start, advocated balance and neutrality. English Wikipedia articles should document, not define a topic, no matter where in the world the article is accessed from. If one accesses it from the United States, it should feel like it is documenting the United States. If one accesses it from the United Kingdom, or Canada, or Australia, then it should feel like it is documenting each respective country that the person is from.
People in this discussion (including yourself, I believe), are absolutely against disambiguating phrases to make them US specific. For example: "In the United States, a Phreaker is a person who hacks into telephone exchanges in order to receive free calls.". What's actually wrong with this phrase? There is nothing wrong with this phrase, especially when US and non-US people alike lookup the word "phreaking" in an Oxford Dictionary of Current Language for a non US country and find this entry:
phreaking
noun informal, chiefly N. Amer. the action of hacking into telecommunications systems, especially to obtain free calls.
You notice the most important part: chiefly N(orth) Amer(ican). To US readers it states something that they may already know, whilst to non-US readers it matches what goes on in the country where the article is being accessed from. You see, Oxford University Press know how to write proper dictionary and encyclopaedic content as they document what is going on in the world but they disambiguate appropriately so as not to mislead or misinform. I have been advocating this style of writing from the start which is why the phrase "In the United States, a Phreaker is a person who hacks into telephone exchanges in order to receive free calls." is a neutral, balanced phrase. If Oxford University Press's worldwide reputation for accuracy, neutrality, and reliability is built on such a style then there is absolutely no harm in copying that style here.
If disambiguation of US-specific phrases is absolutely unacceptable to other people in this debate then the only other way to fix the problem is to do as I first proposed; that is, to build the bulk of the article's content based on word meanings that are absolutely common to all countries. That way, no disambiguation would be necessary on any phrase. You understand what I'm getting at? You ask what I wanted. Well, there are two options that both are acceptable to me:
1) Keep the current article, removing the debate (titled "Overlaps and Differences") and performing the disambiguation on all phrases that cannot be verified as common to all English-speaking countries. This will leave the article open for non-US people to add to the article what is going on in their part of the world and so restore balance to the article.
2) Rename the current article and write a replacement article based on my proposal above about common understood definitions. The current article once renamed need not remove the debate but must contain the appropriate disambiguation either in the title (not useful in my opinion) or in the content itself (most useful) to make sure people know what their reading.
Incidentally, like it or not, the article I proposed implements point (2). It contains the appropriate disambiguation where necessary but, above all, it is not a specialist article, in line with Wikipedia naming policy of favouring the general over the specific, and favouring readers over editors. That new article was an example of an alternative way to write the article such that it had the same meaning to all people no matter where the article was accessed from. Even to United States citizens, it purely documents (and cites as sources) what they would have ordinarily read in a newspaper or seen on television in their own country at the time (albeit breifly) and so does not lie or state any opinions. It could be improved, and it will need to be updated as advances occur, but it is a starting point.
What is unacceptable, however, is having no article at all and having just a disambiguation page. That basically constitutes ownership of the page by United States readers as they are defining the fact that in their country there is a debate going on when readers in every other country have no such debate, and want to read about what they've just seen on the television or in a journal in their own countries.
Andrew81446 (talk) 03:05, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
A dismabiguation page is an article and is the standard Wikipedia way of dealing with homonyms - multiple topics with the same natural title. The current Hacker article is certainly misleading and poorly sourced and so needs some bold editing. I may have a go at this myself soon since Army1987 doesn't seem to be following through. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:26, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sorry, I couldn't access to the Internet this week. Now I'm not longer that sure, given Pengo's and Kirrus' objections. But they sound more like "that would be not better" than "that would be worse". So, I think I'm going to move the page anyway. To Andrew: when/if the disambiguation is/were moved here, it will/would state clearly which meaning is the one commonly used by the media, and which ones originated in the US. And if you say you can verify that the meaning of hacker as in free software hacker is still significantly more widespread in the US than elsewhere, could you add a relevant citation to the article, where the placeholder is in the last-but-one paragraph of the lead? Army1987 (talk) 15:56, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
The fact that it is not documented in all areas of the world to the extent that it is documented in the United States is verification enough. People do not go around making statements saying "we do not do such and such, we do not agree with x or y" for all things that do not concern them. Such lists are infinite. People only document what they have knowledge about or what concerns them. Wikipedia No Original Research policy is explicit on sources, stating in the first paragraph "care should be taken not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources, or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intent of the source, such as using material out of context." If a source A verifies that event E1 happens in region X, and source B verifies that event E2 happens in region Y, the sources state exactly that. A lack of a source in region X saying that "E2 didn't happen" does not constitute that "E2 happened in region X". That is taking the content (and context) of source B beyond its verifiability. This is the point that the policy explicitly makes and I have independently made the same argument at many stages during this discussion.
The United States doesn't concern itself with what goes on in the United Kingdom (for example) and so (rightly) there are no sources that say "In the United States, this (United Kingdom-specific thing) didn't happen". Such sources would be nice, but they do not exist as such a set of sources is infinitely large. Therefore, we must adhere strictly to the sources that do exist and not go beyond the interpretation, contextually and linguistically, that the sources state. In the first instance, as "hacker" is not just a title, it is a word of common language in all English-speaking countries, stick to the scope set down by the dictionary definitions and work within that. The dictionaries are the most solid and reliable sources in existence and so present the safest zone within which to work.
Andrew81446 (talk) 13:05, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Most dictionaries include the computer enthusiast meaning that you don't care for and that includes the UK ones. I already quoted the OED to you. I since looked at my copy of Chambers and that says much the same too. The main problem in this article is not the global English issue which seems to be non-existant but the POV-pushing, jargon-file spin which is over-inflated and not supported by good sources. We're in the process of hacking that back but we will not be eliminating the enthusiast meaning altogether. Colonel Warden (talk) 17:53, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
To Andrew: If we are to state that there are no white ravens, we need a source which says so; the lack of sources saying otherwise isn't enough. --Army1987 (talk) 12:20, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
People appear to really have nothing better to do than to put words in my mouth. I have never advocated removing any meaning completely from the article. NEVER. Such claims had better come with links to my previous statements on this message boards otherwise I will be bouncing this article back to arbitration in a flash.
I will state again for the record: The predominantly-US understanding of the meanings of hacker are not currently recognised in other parts of the world to the extent that they are in the US and so neutrality and balance demand that content devoted to, or even implying, such meanings in a global article should not be physically taking up more than 80% of the entire space available. That is the material fact.
Army1987: We're not here to state that there are no white ravens. However, you are here stating that the word Hacker currently has the same meaning outside of the United States as inside. You are stating it because in this general article you not respecting the culture or use of language of countries other than the US by deliberately refusing to state that the "Open Source Hacker" (for example) is used almost exclusively in the US. You require sources to backup such extraordinary claims. Find the sources otherwise I'm going back to arbitration. The Full Oxford English Dictionary, the most authorative word on English Language outside of the US in the world, has no trace of such usage since 1984. You find me a source that says otherwise that documented fact will be going in the article. Chambers' may be a good dictionary but it is not as reputable, nor as complete as the Full Oxford English Dictionary. So, you find me a source more reputable than the full OED and I will stand corrected.
Andrew81446 (talk) 01:54, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Andrew, do not begin disrupting this page again. You will be unhappy with the results if you do. As regards the specifics of what the OED says, all I can say is that either you haven't actually looked at the full OED, or you cannot read:
3. a. A person with an enthusiasm for programming or using computers as an end in itself. colloq. (orig. U.S.).
  b. A person who uses his skill with computers to try to gain unauthorized access to computer files or networks. colloq.
(emphasis added on the orig, which the OED uses to indicate that this meaning is no longer confined to the US. Nandesuka (talk) 02:08, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Do you actually own a copy of the OED? I assume you've shelled out the $5000-$6000 annual subscription for the online version, or maybe the $300-$400 for the digital version of the work. Please don't quote books at me that you have no idea how to use. I, however, own several Oxford Dictionaries and the "orig." keyword means Origin not "originally". Therefore it does not indicate current usage. That is why the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Current Usage does not mention the (3a) entry at all because it is obsolete outside of the US.
Ok, look, now you're just making things up. From the OED's "combined abbreviations list":
orig.      origin(al)(ly)
So one of us has read the relevant parts of the OED, and one of us is just making things up. Hint: I'm the one who has read the relevant part of the OED. Nandesuka (talk) 03:53, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Please stop arguing about language in areas that you don't even live in. It shows a gross disrespect for people who actually come from those regions.
So does lying, but that doesn't seem to be stopping you. Nandesuka (talk) 03:53, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Andrew81446 (talk) 03:47, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think that moving it into a disambiguation page will help - I agree with pengo that the different uses of the word are all in the realms of computing. Kirrus (talk) 12:17, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I would oppose but it appears that it is too late. Before, when I first became involved in cleaning up this article, I was excited about writing a clear and organized piece on the history of hackers; that was until I found out that they had pretty much become a war ground for people to assert what they believe hackers should be defined as. Rather than go into an edit war, I left it at that. But now we have four schizophrenically redundant articles which pretty much go over the same thing in what ever way is decided to construe the meaning of "hacker", no matter the heaping contradictions. This is the kind of topic which needs a singular clear and concise holistic approach, one definition for the singular hacker identity, identifying its many colors, and not the rabid and disorganized POV pushing edits of certain individuals. I have never met a hacker who claims to be a hobbyist, "academia" or whatever nonsense. Hacker (hobbyist), (computer security), and (academia/Free and Open Source Software) should all be merged into one article: Hacker (computing). -- Kerowren (talk contribs count) 22:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I very much agree with you. We are moving in that direction now so please stick around and help establish the consensus for such a merge. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:26, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The claim that there is "one singular hacker identity" is POV, too, and described as such: "Nevertheless, members of the academic subculture have a tendency to look down on and disassociate from these overlaps. They commonly refer disparagingly to people in the computer security subculture as crackers, and refuse to accept any definition of hacker that encompasses such activities (see the Hacker definition controversy). The computer security hacking subculture on the other hand tends not to distinguish between the two subcultures as harshly, instead acknowledging that they have much in common including many members, political and social goals, and a love of learning about technology." I am ready to accept Hacker definition controversy being merged into this article; and I do not strictly oppose any of the articles Hacker (hobbyist), (computer security), and (academia/Free and Open Source Software) being merged into this article, either (as long as the article doesn't get too long); but I do oppose a purely holistic approach. The article must describe the different subcultures as such and separately, and then discuss the overlaps, as it currently does. The other approach had been tried before, i.e. describing one alleged hacker identity and several appearances of it in practice (programmer, hardware modifier, computer security specialist) etc. This approach failed miserably, and it lead to original research, POV and for some time no editor at all was left who took care of the article. Not even the vandalism was taken care of anymore. The article was left in this state as useless wreckage. --rtc (talk) 06:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Kerowren, you are indeed correct in my opinion. As a historical perspective, would you mind reading this and telling everybody what you think? It is not a definitive work but was designed to serve as a fairly robust foundation for the kind of overhaul you were talking about. Thanks.
    Andrew81446 (talk) 02:39, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I think that the scopes of Hacker (computing) and Hacker definition controversy overlap so much that they need to be merged. Apart from that, the very topic of the hacker definition controversy article seems quite original research. Only few sources are given, and those sources that are there don't actually describe a controversy, but are presented as sides in the controversy. That is, the old problem of sources that don't actually hold the claim, but used as "evidence" to "prove" the claim for which they are referenced. --rtc (talk) 07:04, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose
    There is no "definition controversy" outside of the United States. Outside of the United States everybody is happy with the currently documented meanings in the dictionaries.
    Of course, I might be wrong, in which please find a source that says so. Otherwise, such a merger cannot take place.
    A better solution for merging the articles would be to disambiguate the page by stating in it's title that the controversy applies to the United States only. That would be an acceptable solution at this time.
    Actually, it would be better that the "Overlaps and Differences" section should be removed entirely from the current article (as it is a discussion about hackers and is not documenting hackers) and merged into the Hacker definition controversy article as you originally suggested.
    Andrew81446 (talk) 02:31, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support In so far as there is a controversy about the usage of the word, the matter is best covered in Hacker (computing) which will otherwise tend to repeat the same material. The main usage of the word controversy in this area seems to be whether intrusion into someone's system is like the common law concept of trespass (which requires the victim to prove damages) or whether it is more like the criminal offence of breaking and entering. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:12, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. If there's a sourced controversy, we're free to discuss it in the Hacker (computing) article. The topic doesn't warrant a separate article on its own. Nandesuka (talk) 11:31, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - If there's really a controversy, it should be covered in this article. Enigma msg! 14:42, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Everything should be covered in one place. -- Kerowren (talk contribs count) 14:46, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguations inserted in the Disambiguation page[edit]

Inline with historical evidence and language sources, I have applied several small disambiguations to the Disambiguation page and the main article. I have reported it here so that everybody has a chance to see the changes and discuss them.

Andrew81446 (talk) 02:27, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Your edits to the Hacker pages in general have been extremely disruptive. Please stop. I've seen your arguments and your repeated reverts, and all I can do is suggest that you focus your efforts on other articles. This is not productive. Enigma msg! 03:59, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

"Cracker" never really cought up[edit]

It just sounds like food. --Leladax (talk) 12:29, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

This Article Is Attempting to Define, Not Document[edit]

This entire article has turned into a debate and does not:

1) Report on what is going on in the world.

2) Is Propaganda for a debate when there is no debate going on outside of the United States.

3) Does not cover the entire subject matter from the beginning of "hackers" to the present day.

As the Consensus system is failing to fix this article I am going to call a moderator in to see if this situation can be rectified.

Your edits to the Hacker pages in general have been extremely
disruptive. Please stop. I've seen your arguments and your repeated
reverts, and all I can do is suggest that you focus your efforts on
other articles. This is not productive.

I will not be told where to edit, what to edit or what to say. What is not productive is people who are bordering on the verge of being racist in blatantly ignoring what is going on in the rest of the world. This is a world resource and if you don't like the harsh reality that the world is made up of more than one language or culture, even within the English-speaking world, then perhaps you all should take your ignorance and agendas elsewhere.

Andrew81446 (talk) 08:49, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree that reporting is an important aspect of an article, but when there are clear and original definitions available (as I quoted higher up), then they have to form part of the article and a very prominent and relevant part of it. If there seems to be confusion (in the US and elsewhere), then list the various perceptions together with the formal definitions. Lifeboy (talk) 13:29, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

WP:DENY --rtc (talk) 20:47, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I was just going to reply "I see." :) Enigma message 21:46, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Cracker definition?[edit]

The opening statement refers to: "free software hackers consider the computer intrusion related usage incorrect, and refer to security breakers as “crackers”." It is my understanding that DRM breakers and other proprietary software breakers were refered to as crackers due to the fact that they "crack" the software's code to remove certain barriers. Sephiroth storm (talk) 13:24, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

These are in fact two different valid meanings of the word cracker. It has at least three different meanings in a computer context: 1. Hacker (computer security), 2. Password cracker and 3. Software cracker. The statement you quote refers to meaning 1, while you refer to meaning 3. --rtc (talk) 17:56, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Hackers were supposed to be people that tried to find insecurities for their own learning or to inform the parties that were vulnerable. A Cracker on the other hand was someone that purposely tried to circumvent systems for bad behaviour. For example trying to steal from a bank. (Cracker) V. trying to find out how long it would take to break the banks' defences in order to advocate for ways to make it more secure (Hacker).

Distributed.net is a perfect example of a "Hacker" community. Their goal was to help quantify how long it would take to 'crack' the highest legal level of Internet Cryptography for the expressed purpose of advocating to then Bill Clinton to allow the Internet to use above 56-bit Keys. Like at least 128-bit keys. CaribDigita (talk) 03:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Oldest meaning[edit]

The "the oldest meaning of the word hacker in the computer context" does not follow from the source, which admits itself the quote is "not precisely in a computing context". They try to disguise this by claiming telephony and computing are the same thing, but it's rather obviously a shim. Superm401 - Talk 15:40, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

And to me, it sounds like the so-called before hackers and the quotation marks around hacking act like scare quotes. But the consensus here is that this is the oldest meaning, and I'm too tired to argue otherwise. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 15:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps that claim should then be removed from the introduction completely, moved further down to the controversy section and described as a point of view. So we can write something like that "It is commonly assumed that ...." and "This view has been challenged by Fred Shapiro, who holds that ..." --rtc (talk) 19:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Related books[edit]

I removed the book

because it seems not to be primarily about hackers (it merely has an appendix titled "'Ethical Hacking' and Art".) --rtc (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.65.16.207 (talk) 15:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

lead[edit]

Please, let's not start that discussion again. It's clear that the article should mention the security related use first, since that's evidently the most relevant (which is, contrary to the edit comment in [3] definitely not "Somewhat of a matter of opinon"). That it is also the oldest use (see article) is just a fact that needs no further discussion, since the lead has to describe most relevant things first, not those that came first chronologically. BTW, WP:CCC, WP:SILENCE; are not justifications for making or protecting changes against consensus on a controversial issue. --rtc (talk) 09:52, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Words "I hack around with moms" spam?[edit]

Regarding the words "I hack around with moms" in first sentence under heading Controversy and ambiguity I cannot find a solid definition of these words anywhere in Wikipedia or on the web.

Suggesting is is probably either spam or inappropriate colloquialism. This text may have a valid and proper meaning that I am unaware of - I'm a new member and unsure if it should be removed William (Dthdealer) (talk) 11:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Less input from social niches[edit]

I agree with an earlier message that this article is trying to define terms, rather than properly reporting them. In wider society, the only meaning of the term "hacker" is a shady character who breaks into code that isn't meant to be seen by them. The implication of the person being an innocent and adept programmer is only used amongst programmers themselves and therefore shouldn't be presented here as the main meaning. Maybe 'hacker' hasn't always had its negative connotation, but just as the word 'gay' has changed its meaning in society, so has 'hacker'. Society in general accepts the shady, criminal connotaion to the word, so a few cliques holding on to outdated meanings of the word should not be writing their interpretations as gospel inside an encyclopaedia. Also, 'script kiddies' is a slang term, but is presented here like a serious phrase. Maybe in the world of programming elitists, this is different from a hacker, but in wider society, there is only a trivial point of difference between the maker of the hacks and the user of the hacks.Owen214 (talk) 10:54, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: pages moved per request. - GTBacchus(talk) 20:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)



Hacker (computing)Hacker — It's the primary topic. Pnm (talk) 01:08, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Nominator's rationale: This article is a summary of the various computer-related usages of "hacker." The dab page Hacker calls it "a contentious term used for several types of person." That makes this the primary topic. There are other uses of "hacker", but they can easily be discussed in this summary-level article. The current title title is especially confusing because you expect hacker (computing) to be disambiguated, but this one isn't. It was a the result of a 2008 discussion. Since then, hacker definition controversy was merged in (substantially what this article has become). This is the reverse move. --Pnm (talk) 01:11, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Support, seems a clear primary meaning (or at least, set of meanings), no other meaning of "hacker" is remotely as well known as this one (these ones).--Kotniski (talk) 16:30, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Hacker/ culture portrayals in media request?[edit]

obviously the matrix comes to mind.

so does serial experiments lain — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexpmuller (talkcontribs) 23:11, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Merge with Hack (term)[edit]

The encyclopedic information about the term "hacker" is the same as the encyclopedic information about the term "hack". For this reason, Hack (term) should be merged here. Neelix (talk) 02:01, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

This page needs to be re-written.[edit]

I am new to editing and likely to make mistakes in even my intentions...but it appears to me this page needs to be re-written, or at least re-organized. I know some of this already exists, but there needs to be Hacker (security), Hacker (hobbyist), and Hacker (criminal) sections. Since all three of these categories derive from the Hacker persona I think it would be preferable that they exist on the same page, rather than different pages. Redirects might include Computer Criminal. Personally I'm up for re-organizing this page, is that alright? Anyone with extensive knowledge on the topic want to help?

As I said I'm knew to editing so I'm not sure if there needs to be a vote for this or whatnot, but I'll probably flag the page with multiple issues, since there is a lack of citation, organization, or even reputable facts.

Thanks. MrJosiahT (talk) 02:04, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

The article is organized already quite the way you propose. Except that Hacker (criminal) is taken care of (properly I think) as a subtype of Hacker (security), and that you missed the the computer programmer type of hacker. --rtc (talk) 21:58, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


A very large merge just took place at Hacker (innovation). Anyone who can, please help with the cleanup. MrJosiahT (talk) 23:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Huh? That's a redlink... --Cybercobra (talk) 06:38, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
He meant hacking (innovation). A. di M.plédréachtaí 16:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Right thanks. I've fixed it above. MrJosiahT (talk) 03:19, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Merge[edit]

{{Merge to |Hacking (innovation) |discuss=Talk:Hacking (innovation)#Merge discussion |date=July 2011}}

MrJosiahT (talk) 17:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Hacker[edit]

Who is a hacker in general, i mean a hacker definition that can be suitable for all hackers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.201.51.17 (talk) 13:30, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Hacker or cracker[edit]

In this article is stated that there's a controversy about the true meaning of the term hacker (related to computer security). Some people think that the term cracker should be related only to "black hats", but in this page is taken for granted that someone who accesses a computer system by exploiting vulnerabilities is a cracker regardless of his purposes. According to this definition, even computer security experts should be called crackers. It's confusing. I think it would be more fair to let the users read about the controversy in that page; wouldn't it? --62.10.69.237 (talk) 17:45, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Edsger Dijkstra[edit]

Edsger Dijkstra was a hacker? Please be serious. Dijkstra was in about every way the antithesis of a hacker. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:3924:5490:84AE:2DA4:2307:598 (talk) 05:49, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

You get the definition of "cracker" totally wrong.[edit]

Hello,

To whom it may concern (I hope it DOES!)...

You get the definition of "cracker" totally wrong. In the computer scene, the term "cracker" has been exclusively used, since the early 80s, to describe people who are removing copy protection from commercial products. This has been especially true for the home computer scene around machines like Commodore 64, Amiga, etc.etc. and it is also still true for the IBM PC-scene. "Cracker" later was mislabeled as synonymous for "malicious hacker", associated with break-ins into computer networks and systems. Some unknown journalist redefined the terms, but the redefined term has never been used in the computer scene subculture like that. Whoever journalist started to redefine the terms definitely was never involved in the computer scene at all.

So, according to the computer scene, "cracking" exclusively means "removing copy protection". Nothing else. You can ask anyone in the computer scene who was really deeply involved and he will agree. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.109.198.161 (talk) 08:58, 24 October 2013 (UTC)



I Hack. Therefore, I am. Shall we now UNITE under the pirate flag of clarity my Keylogging Komrades?[edit]

Hi Guys & Girls & Hackers & Aspiring Hackers,

I've never been to this page before but jeez is it ever poorly written.


Word Nest of Cables

There are a lot of ideas in here (all important) that are jumbled up like a warm rat's nest[1] of unmarked cables. Just imagine you are a noob slightly unfamiliar with the term 'hacker' and you type it into your chrome omnibar (does IE10 have one of those?) to find a description of infighting between subcultures who are disjointed but related but different but "differentiate from the morally ambiguous" (do you mean "differentiated"? well that isn't even grammatically correct) and so on and MIT and they all "conform to the definition of an umbrella phenomenon: creative consumers." What the heck is a "creative consumer" and what does it have to do with hacking computers? The creative consumers link is dead and redirects to consumers.


Friends of TCP/IP Unite

Friends, your beloved page on hacking has been (ironically) hacked by a poor grasp of the English language.

I would be honoured to help this page but it will take a fair bit of work so I want to know that editors who watchlist it like unrepentant hawks will not undo my edits out of spite and vitriol.


Verbs versus Adjectives

Can someone let me know if I've totally offended authors proud of their craftsmanship and should not waste my time helping or if I am clear to make some critical changes. Let's start with sending into exile the perpetually perplexing statement about creative consumers and replace "differentiate" which is a transitive verb with a comparison adjective like "distinct" or "distinguishable" or "separate."

I mean no offence but let's make this better. Why not, eh?


The Richard Worley Jolly Roger.
The Pirate Flag, aka 'Jolly Roger'.

[2]

Lichstein is missing in action...

Starting with the opening paragraph lets tighten it up (shorter in length), more clarity, less wrong bad grammar uses words and let's also nail down the etymological story line. Has anyone heard of Harry Lichstein? Well according to the research by logophile Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Dictionary Of Quotation, it was indeed Harry Lichstein who coined the term in 1963.[3]

Also as of right now (December 7, 2013) neither of the first two sentences defines the word. That is kinda an epic failure. Let's not spend the first 10 pages of a book apologizing for not knowing how to write a book. I know there is ambiguity with the meaning and sub-clans of the un-1337 h@x0r community debate who has semiotic ownership but let's keep that flame war in its place (relevant but not toxic to formalism of defining words).


Speaker Phreaker

Personally I do agree with distinguishing the quasi-contiguous uses of the term. And it does get murky because there are different ways to do this (blackhat vs greyhat vs whitehat) or (DIY hobbyists vs software programmers vs computer network engineers) or (1970's "phreakers" vs crackers vs h@x0rs vs script kiddies) or (security vs insecurity) or (criminal hacking vs hacktivism vs state-level cyber warfare). So maybe we need to get technical here.


Culture! What Culture?

Let's drop the idea that a hacker is defined as a hacker because of the "sub-culture" to which they belong. This is not 1995 and Jonny has pink hair and rides a skateboard (and oh yah also might own a computer with a modem).[4] Some hackers are not very social so the whole membership in a cultural group is missing the larger picture. Hacking is a verb. It is a thing you do with a computer and an urge (or paid incentive or political agenda) to tinker.[5]


Mark's Wall is in Utter Peril these days

Think of hacking before computers were around. It meant to "cut with heavy blows" often with a tool. This is the same core idea. Technology is built by humans who have a keen sense of how things work. Other humans with a similar mechanical sense then take those pieces apart either to, (1) learn how the pieces work, (2) put them back together to improve overall functionality, (3) vandalize and destroy, (4) harness the pieces for their own annexed purposes, (4) bring down unlawful dictators, (5) steal money from defenseless grandmothers, (6) write on Zuckerberg's wall.[6]


H Group Black Ops

canyouhack (dot) me kinda says it all in the source. Best viewed with chrome developer tools or beautifiers. For example, the answer = the 4nswer = the (2*2)nswer = b451c l337 translator of what you are trying to join.   SKYchild  05:27, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


Let's get Technical, Teknikal.

Therefore, the technical definition of a hacker is someone who hacks. And "hacking" itself is the act of deconstructing technology for one of the above purposes (among others). More specifically (in common parlance) hacking is taking apart computer pieces, protocols and programs in order to either improve their security (whitehat), learn how they work (DIY) or unlawfully penetrate a network remotely without authorization (blackhat) or toggle between those roles (greyhat).


Please RSVP before you hack my honeynets bc I critiqued your grammar. Truce. Hug it out.

Anyway, I'll give people time to respond. But I will also and gladly make myself entirely available to Team-Hacker (term)-Page. Mad love for the Snoop Dog and mad love for my badBIOS-bredren. Let's make this better. Your loyal servant of clarity,   SKYchild  07:24, 7 December 2013 (UTC)


Window of rebuttal is closing...

It has been a month and this ridiculous sentence is still in the opening section, "Each of these hacker community/culture examples conform to the definition of an umbrella phenomenon: creative consumers." So I am taking it out. If you object or know what the heck a creative consumer is in the context of hacking please comment here. Other poorly written pieces of this article be warned, I am coming for you next.   SKYchild  20:15, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

References

Hacker (term) should have nothing to do with computing.[edit]

The article starts off with hackers interested in computing only, yet the title suggests that this article is about "hacker" in general, where a general way to capture the word is crucial, history and various definition/cultures are expected. A few things to look at, we have hacker (hobbyist) refers to various hack in general. The verb "hack" has nothing to do with computer. RMS is very out-spoken and represents hackers from the very early days, his definition is just "playful cleverness" and he also clarifies by himself that his definition of hacker does not limit to computing either. ERS's essay is one way to see hacker, as a short-form of "computer hacker", I argue that even ERS does not deny the general definition(literal meaning) of hacker. So, hacker (programming subculture) should be settled, that they just use the word "hacker" more often, "hacker" technically denotes "computer hacker" or "software hacker" but who cares. The only conflicting point of view of my arguments happen to be the group of ppl who cannot speak for themselves, namely, the media and speculators. They often refer hacker to hacker (computer security), but the media itself does not represent hacker, hacker is hacker, not what the other says it is. Therefore, I suggest that the lead section must be rewritten to cover "hacker" in its general form. --14.198.220.253 (talk) 00:13, 1 January 2014 (UTC)


response

I am not 100% sure what you are saying here but I think the simplified conclusion is that this page Hacker (term) should cover hacking in general (in all its forms)and not focus exclusively on computer hacking. Is that a correct reading of your comment?

I think we need to keep in mind here that there is no ultimate (more technical) definition of the word hacker. It is a term that has a muddied history, lots of confusion about its meaning in different domains and no precise description that sets clear boundaries for usage.

As such we hear a lot of usage today that is metaphorical in spirit by importing the verb of hacking (computers) into other domains like cuisine, education, health-care, sports, etc. For example, there is a great TEDx lecture[1] by at 10 year (Logan LaPlante) where he coins the term "hackschooling" to replace the old model of structured, public school programs. This is importing the computer hacking metaphor to other fields and so I do agree with your point (if I am reading you correctly) that we should generalize this article to cover non-computer uses since based on the disambiguation page Hacker we need one of these definitions to cover all uses / be the most general.

Am I understanding you correctly?  SKYchild  20:50, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

References

Redundancy[edit]

Article is redundant with existence of Hacker (computer security), Hacker (hobbyist), Hacker (programmer subculture). 67.252.103.23 (talk) 14:16, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

In some ways, maybe, but what do you propose we do about it? Merge one into another, merge all into one? --— Rhododendrites talk |  17:40, 28 September 2014 (UTC)