"Hacker" vs "Cracker" et al.

Andrew Haley aph at redhat.com
Mon Mar 25 09:42:12 UTC 2013


On 03/15/2013 09:09 PM, McCrina, Nathan 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 already
>> 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.

Indeed, and we have to accept that the meaning of words is context-
dependent.  For example, the word "narcotic" is used in very different
ways in pharmacology and law-enforcement circles.  The
pharmacologists would no doubt point out that their usage of the word
is technically and etymologically correct, and the law-enforcement
professionals would claim popular usage.  That usually happens when a
word with a meaning in technical circles gains popular usage.  I'm
sure we can think of many similar examples.

users at fedoraproject is halfway between and an "insider" and an
"outsider" group, so the different groups have to try to communicate
despite not having a common understanding of what words mean.

Andrew.


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