On leaving the politics out of hacking 

So I guess that sufficient time has passed that I'll tell the story.

At a company I once worked at one of the managers sent out an email. Could anyone volunteer to give some programming classes at one of the local schools? It sounded ok: a bit of outreach and a chance to educate the next generation. Until I looked up what school it was. Turned out it was one of the elite private schools for rich kids only.

One of my co-workers replied, saying that they had also looked up the school and that they were affluent enough that they could just hire a hacker for a few evenings. There are plenty of hackers around who could use a bit of extra income. They also said that volunteering for this would merely help to perpetuate special privileged access to skills or knowledge by the rich, and I agreed. I said it's not a feedback loop that we should be helping to reinforce. If it were a state school it would be a different proposition.

It later turned out that the school in question was where the manager was sending their own children, and this pulled the rug out from their previous often repeated statements about "believing in meritocracy". It made them look like a hypocrite - claiming that anyone could rise while trying to give an already over-privileged class yet more advantages.

In a later meeting when the hypocrisy was pointed out the manager went on a rant about "there will be no more politics at this company". Everyone just looked at them as if they had just said something really unintelligent. Which of course they had.

There is always politics in hacking. Many of the hackers of my generation didn't come from elite schools. They were not "toffs" with special tutors. Most attended state schools and were self-taught on home computers. The "apolitical hacker" is just someone who thinks that their own politics should be hegemonic.

MiniCop: "I wonder why the Grinch hates Christmas?"

Pick my next Christmas movie. Now Showing: Home Alone

while :; do echo wub wub wub | espeak --stdout | play - pitch -400 bend .3,-600,.3 ; done # CLI generated dubstep. Shout out to @Butter_Tweets

“A One that is not old is hardly a One at all.” - H.P. Strongbad

"Gold is..." the dragon hesitated. "You lack the word. Absorbent? We transfer aches and pains into gold. To die easier."
#AdvenTale 20/25

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A spaceship landed, and an alien emerged.
"Thank you, Earthlings," it said, "we can now reveal that when you played a computer game, it actually controlled our robots."
"Which game?"
"Mine sweeper."
#MicroFiction #TootFic #SmallStories

Been pretty inspired by Stephanie Hurlburt's use of this Q&A tool recently so I set up an account myself. Open now for questions about coworking, community, business, bootstrapping, Philly...whatever you're curious about! curiouscat.me/alexhillman

Once there was a promising young technomancer who abandoned all of his principles and collected everyone's data. He told them it was safe with him, and in time they believed him.

Over time the technomancer realized he had amassed so much information that he became mightier than even the leaders of the world, but his greed and desire for wealth kept him from noticing.

He began to sell his influence to these leaders and got them hooked on his data.

They used it solve crimes, and they used it protect the endangered, and they used it to detect who would likely do crime, and they used it to keep the people divided, and they used it to topple one another's nations.

All the while making the no longer young technomancer even more powerful and wealthy.

The prophecy says that the Technomancer will try to destroy those who oppose him. But the agents of the wires will bring him to his knees by rebuilding what was lost.

I released a new version of my Firefox extension that will forcefully redirect you away from privacy erosive services to better alternatives. It started as a joke, but I end up actually using it.

When I want to look up a place, I instinctively and mechanically start typing "maps.googl...". This extension will instead take me to OpenStreetMaps. It will also functionally translate Google Search links to DuckDuckGo and Google Translate links to Deepl.



Here’s a free #English #ProTip.

If you’re wondering if you should say “you and I” or “you and me”, delete the “you and” and see if you sound like Cookie Monster. Switch if you do.

“You and me should go” yields “me should go”. Use “I” here instead.

“That’s good for you and I” yields “That’s good for I”. Use “me” here instead.

computers are great because we generally put a lot of faith in them but occasionally they’ll say something like “-0 seconds ago” and you can see through the crack that they’re constructed almost entirely out of hubris

"That was fascinating," the alien ambassador said. "I see why you humans value these."
"Well, yes," the human guide said, "coffee, chocolate, and sex are some of our basic pleasures."
"Basic? You mean..."
"Let me introduce you to chili, garlic, and, if you dare?"
"I do!"
#MicroFiction #TootFic #SmallStories

I'm gonna keep posting this until one of you fucking boosts it

If I knew the price of conjuring Gritty would’ve cost the Eagles’ power, I never would’ve participated in the dark summoning ritual.

Hey. Been a while. Came on to ask why no Philly DJs ever done an Action News remix. Please remedy this. I do not have these skills.

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