"Hacker" vs "Cracker" et al.

Richard Vickery richard.vickeryrv at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 22:21:07 UTC 2013

On Mar 15, 2013 2:36 PM, "McCrina, Nathan" <nm177320 at gordonstate.edu> wrote:
> ________________________________________
> From: users-bounces at lists.fedoraproject.org [
users-bounces at lists.fedoraproject.org] On Behalf Of Richard Vickery [
richard.vickeryrv at gmail.com]
> Sent: Friday, March 15, 2013 4:30 PM
> To: Community support for Fedora users
> Subject: Re: Has my fedora 18 installation been hacked?
> On Mar 15, 2013 9:39 AM, "Greg Woods" <woods at ucar.edu<mailto:
woods at ucar.edu>> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Fri, 2013-03-15 at 08:25 -0700, Richard Vickery wrote:
> >> >
> >> >  It is not really my intent to be rude, but each of us "hack" out own
> >> > systems and the kernel all the time.
> >>
> >> Unfortunately, this battle over the word "hack" and "hacker" has
> >> been fought and lost. The media, and just about everyone other than
> >> hard-core geeks, uses the word "hack" to mean breaking into systems.
> >Not in my circles; I refuse to let people alternate the term.
> >> Heck, that's why we co-opted the word "geek", which not that long ago
> >> was a very insulting term, and is now used as a term for people worthy
> >> of respect, similar to how "hacker" was used in the old days.
> >>
> >> I suppose it is confusing that the meanings of these words have
> >> but unfortunately the real meaning of a word is going to be defined by
> >> how it is most commonly used.
> >So change it!!! Don't let them beat you into the ground; correct them!
> IMO, "hack" has sort of a violent sound to it, which makes me feel it is
more appropriate for a forceful entry type of context, and I am not
surprised that most people assume that this is what it should mean.
Furthermore. where I am from "cracker" is a more or less insulting racial
term so it just leads to awkwardness when I try to loftily throw it into a
conversation. I do know the history of the term "hacker" but I have zero
problems with the way it is used in the media.

Does this mean that you just let them adulterate the term?
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