Hacker “hacking means using technology to create new things”

They are eager to experiment, enthusiastic about technology and firmly convinced that they can create art and beauty with computers. Four members of the hacker scene tell us how they got into hacking and what defines a hacker for them.

Gero Nagel, 23, Berlin, studies cultural studies

Gero Nagel, 23, Berlin, studies cultural studies

Gero Nagel, 23, Berlin, studies cultural studies | Photo: Andreas Kiener I’m not necessarily the most nerdy person. I studied computer science once and I also program, but I’m more interested in the subcultural aspect of being a hacker. This is a way of life. Being a hacker is not defined by being able to do incredible tricks or ten different programming languages, but by understanding a system enough to be able to change it yourself. This can be a computer system, but also a social system.

Hackers could be described as a mixture of computer scientists, engineers and teachers. You can work alone for a long time, but it’s also important to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge. Imparting knowledge, that’s the teacher aspect of it. Institutions like the C-Base in Berlin or the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) have the advantage that there are many people with similar interests. Besides technical things I also deal with so-called "soft" topics. With questions about how our society works. Why is it still normal that the woman takes care of the children and the household and the man does not?? That is nonsense! Family roles can also be hacked by deliberately reversing them. This can go as far as cross-dressing. Mixing up men’s and women’s fashion also leads to questioning society’s gender roles.

Katharin Tai, 20, Le Havre, studies European and Asian politics

Katharin Tai, 20, Le Havre, studies European and Asian politics

Katharin Tai, 20, Le Havre, studies European and Asian politics | Photo: private I started to get interested in net politics when I did a voluntary service in China in 2011/12. Internet access is very limited there. Facebook and Twitter are blocked. Whether a news site is available depends on the country the medium comes from and on the China coverage of that medium. Proxies to bypass the blocks are banned, but are used anyway, especially by foreigners. Through a friend I came into contact with the CCC at that time. In order to better understand the net political debates, I have started to look into the technical background as well. I’ve been using the Internet since I was ten. For me it is a matter of course, I never had to deal with its basic functioning. The older generation, the people who have not yet grown up with the Internet, automatically had to deal more with technology. Back then, the Internet was not yet so omnipresent. For my generation, dialing up with a modem is a bit like hacking.

Sebastian Gotte, 20, Berlin, studies physics

Sebastian Gotte, 20, Berlin, studies physics

Sebastian Gotte, 20, Berlin, studies physics | Photo: Andreas Kiener I come from the countryside. I was the only one doing something with computers somehow. When I started working with electronics, I was about nine years old. That became more and more, until I started to build my own EEG in high school, an electroencephalograph, with which you can record brain waves. It was quite eye-opening for me to come to Berlin after graduating from high school and meet the hacker scene here. All these people are not only doing something with computers, but also really weird things! What is commonly called mincing, after all, has nothing to do with real mincers. Hacking means using technology to create new things. Hackers use things in a way that is not intended in the instruction manual. Sometimes they even create art with technology.

I like to deal with hardware, with electronics. I make the software that runs on the microprocessors, but also the colorful app interfaces. Once I had a project with 100 control relays produced in the GDR, i.e. electrically operated switches. They can’t really do much more than clack loudly. From this we have made signal lamps shining in all colors. My technical interest will inevitably also become my profession. The way a hacker works is not very compatible with slow bureaucracy. I want to implement my concepts directly, that wouldn’t work in a big company.

Fiona Krakenburger, 23, Berlin, studies European ethnology

Fiona Krakenburger, 23, Berlin, studies European ethnology

Fiona Krakenburger, 23, Berlin, studies European Ethnology | Photo: LinusNeumann I can’t define what hackers are. I can only tell you about the observations in my circle of friends and a little bit from research. I think being a hacker makes you think about things differently. One sees challenges in problems and tries to find solutions. It all started when, after a beer or two in a chat room, I decided to learn assembler – that is, machine-oriented programming. Whether I am a hacker, I can not say so clearly. Hacker, that is above all an attribution from the outside. "You’re a hacker if you’re called a hacker by other hackers," which is a tongue-in-cheek saying that describes it.

I have many friends in the hacker scene and some know me through my blog. The scene in Berlin is very manageable, but not clearly demarcated. It’s such a mixture of programmers, bloggers and Twitter people. You get to know each other through events. This can be anything between private and public. You meet at conferences or go for a beer with someone. I’m not a good programmer, I’m less interested in writing great programs than in understanding them. At least it allows me to dispel the prejudice that I, as a woman, am not interested in it.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: