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The term hacker didn't originate at MIT rail road club, it's as ancient as press, or mass publications, and the same argument still exists. How do we tie the common definition and word use by reference of documents to show the absolutely obvious and easily understood process as confirmation of the proper definition?

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    $\begingroup$ Nice question. However, is this related to teaching. If so, can you tie it in? $\endgroup$ May 21, 2023 at 8:34

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The etymology of the word harkens back to the term "Hack" which means the prolific writer or "Hack Writer", usually for cheap hire churning out material to be published at a low rate of payment or return. Which in turn comes from the term "Hackney" or hackney horse for hire.

"Hack" also refers to "a rack for feeding cattle" Webster's Dictionary of "Hack" 1828 is the other side of the coin in the print publishing game of widespread consumption of written content. It’s an obvious prolific or at least long-suffering attempt term, and words do not usually appear out of nothingness. It was looked at as a hire-a-writer for cheap, back in the 1990s when even the most elite programmers might make twice the minimum wage. (I know I was there, a ComSec officer that was part of the tech transfer that created the internet. I wrote the first social app for law enforcement and the very first web login and user management, as well as forums such as this one. Those existed before in what were called BBS (Bulletin Board Service of individual computers with direct dial-in modems, but of the web, I’m the progenitor.

The basic context of the word hack is easily attributable to computer programming from a text line, to tenaciously keep at an initially unrewarding and terrifically difficult task. Its initially positive connotation became derogatory by those railing against those with authority over computers and the now commercially worldwide accessible Internet which was built by "hackers".

Hack, besides referring to the numerous poorly paid writers of the paper press age, hired by publishers to turn out content, also refers to a “rack to feed cattle from” Websters 1928 (along with nearly 5 dozen definitions), but essentially someone who keeps at something, often beyond the norm, social or peer pressures, or even showing a profit, or someone hired to churn out code. I.E. hard working programmers.

Somehow… through some antagonism of those trying to break or rail against the growing dominance of computers, and those who are their masters, the term was confused with Crackers, those trying to break the “coders” or “hackers” work. “Cracking the code” is as old as encryption or secret messages, notable in computers the famous Alan Turing was a Cracker who broke the NAZI Enigma machine.

They are in no way synonyms. It’s Hacker vs Cracker, Cracker vs Hacker, Farmer/Builder vs Maruader kind of thing. Hackers can exist without Crackers.. but Crackers are a subgroup dependent on what Hackers build… encryption vs cracking basically. Hack means to keep at something, tenaciously. Computer programming is several times over applicable as requiring a “Hack” or called “Hacker” in that way they are the same word, the ancillary meanings are at best poetic license, the workhorse on which the site, bank, store, program, communication, or social media depends on.

Before SAAS became popular, there was one computer guy per office of publications, the those that drift towards them.

There are several coding playlists from BEAD.LLC youtube links.

To find a Cracker is much like looking for any type of crime, to find groups with kiddie scripts or credit card numbers, easy to hack, harder to use without being caught as everything on the internet is trackable, it’s usually only used to harass/cause damage. Such as someone passing out stolen numbers and someone sending a rose to everyone in a women's dorm. A package purchased goes to someone’s door, which is why those who have them sell them instead of using them, it takes a series of fools, probably easy to find. The dark web has them, torrents, for instance, and some people selling email addresses to spammers, simply annoying, even being a low-paid writing hack pays better.

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    $\begingroup$ A nice post, but got a bit ranty and hard to follow toward the end. It could do with a proof read. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2023 at 8:33

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