What is a hacker and why is it important to us?

i’m a big fan of Mitch Altman, and i’m a big fan of puppets interviewing people.  but these are not the only reasons i think you should watch this video that i found via the make blog.  i believe hacking (as described by Mitch is part of the life blood of environmental endeavors.

you don’t even have to come near computers to be a hacker.  i see that particular hacker mixture of curiosity, desire to tinker and willingness to experiment in people that practice permaculture or are looking for better ways to live, eat, and provide shelter and enjoyment  for themselves.  friends Kelly and Erik come to mind, their blog rootsimple is like a repository of homesteading hacks.  if i were to redefine permaculture i would call it sustainability and self reliance through hacking.

although the term has been associated with criminal activities, it is being actively reappropriated to mean things like willingness to share and curiosity about the world and critical thinking and craftsmanship.   when hacking meets community you get hackerspaces (also referred to as “makerspaces”): physical spaces were people get together to share knowledge, tools, food, ideas.

so although this connection between hacking, community and environmental and social movements is not new (if you dig deeper there is a lot of shared roots), it is not necessarily self evident. i think we’ll be seeing more and more connections:  the veggie community hippie will start looking a lot like the tech savvy geek, and that is good.

geek hug!

 

One thought on “What is a hacker and why is it important to us?

  1. Thank you for sharing our episode! So cool to find an ecologically-sensitive project on my home turf (I’m from Pasadena originally) through hacker stuff, of all things. You made a really good argument for the connection between the movements, which has always seemed clear to me but can be hard to explain to others sometimes. Yay! I don’t know if you’ve been to hackerspaces.org, but that’s a good place to keep track of local hackerspaces which may be springing up in your area — good for collaborations!

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