March 15, 2009

Obsessing: A Way of Life

Category: Hackers — Biella @ 4:17 am

When I teach my course on computer hackers, one of the first things that students learn is that many hackers are “obsessed”–a viewpoint promulgated by academics and media types alike. I tend to agree with the assessment but turn it on its head a little by pointing out that many professionals (doctors, lawyers, investment bankers and my own profession, which, attracts and houses nerds and geeks alike) are equally obsessed. It is just that the “professional” work is legitimized via all sorts of norms, expectations, and practices, unlike hacking, which is often treated in quite exceptional terms.

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