As part of my ethnographic perspective, I am trying to see what’s the fuss about hacking. Why do people alter devices? Why do films and books feature dystopias where a hacker is usually a hero?
Think of “1984”. Winston tried to hack the Big Brother system, it’s a story about this man who wanted things differently, as well as an outcast collective of people who wanted to break free.
What about “Brave new world”? Bernard and his unorthodox beliefs – according to the World State order – are characterised as “misfits”.
Films: Johnny Mnemonic; Tron; Hackers; The Matrix; all of them featuring hackers who are trying to break a system in order to reconstitute the truth
This is the link between anthropology and hacking: the search of truth; question everything. Anti-authoritarian people.
Lately I read “Ready Player One” by Ernie Cline. I must admit, I devoured the book. It’s definitely one of my most favourite of all time – and well, yes, it’s about a hacker. Here’s the official website, it’s definitely work reading it if you’re into retro games, hacker culture, dystopian literature.
I’ve been using hacked material for years. Linux are so powerful and stable. Do the job, can do more if you want to.
Lately I hacked my Barnes and Noble Nook color, putting a 32GB micro SD card with CM7 which transformed it into a powerful Android tablet.
I extended my skills by rooting my HTC phone, again with CM7 (one of the best OS I’ve used!).
And you know what? That feeling of distress before you see the screen load up certainly does it for me. And of course, the pleasure of a good hack – a geeky pleasure. We’re talking about geek aesthetics.
I’m just throwing ideas out there. Feel free to propose more readings/films etc.