Chapter 2-2 


Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution
 
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Still, even in the days of the TX-0, the planks of the platform
were in place.  The Hacker Ethic: 

ACCESS TO COMPUTERS--AND ANYTHING WHICH MIGHT TEACH YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS--SHOULD BE UNLIMITED AND TOTAL.  ALWAYS YIELD TO THE HANDS-ON IMPERATIVE! 

Hackers believe that essential lessons can be learned about the
systems--about the world--from taking things apart, seeing how
they work, and using this knowledge to create new and even more
interesting things.  They resent any person, physical barrier, or
law that tries to keep them from doing this. 

This is especially true when a hacker wants to fix something that
(from his point of view) is broken or needs improvement.
Imperfect systems infuriate hackers, whose primal instinct is to
debug them.  This is one reason why hackers generally hate
driving cars--the system of randomly programmed red lights and
oddly laid out one-way streets causes delays which are so
goddamned UNNECESSARY that the impulse is to rearrange signs,
open up traffic-light control boxes . . .redesign the entire
system. 

In a perfect hacker world, anyone pissed off enough to open up a
control box near a traffic light and take it apart to make it
work better should be perfectly welcome to make the attempt.
Rules which prevent you from taking matters like that into your
own hands are too ridiculous to even consider abiding by.  This
attitude helped the Model Railroad Club start, on an extremely
informal basis, something called the Midnight Requisitioning
Committee.  When TMRC needed a set of diodes, or some extra
relays, to build some new feature into The System, a few S&P
people would wait until dark and find their way into the places
where those things were kept.  None of the hackers, who were as a
rule scrupulously honest in other matters, seemed to equate this
with "stealing."  A willful blindness.