On Hacking

  • "The hacking community developed at MIT and some other universities in the 1960s and 1970s. Hacking included a wide range of activities, from writing software, to practical jokes, to exploring the roofs and tunnels of the MIT campus. Other activities, performed far from MIT and far from computers, also fit hackers' idea of what hacking means: for instance, I think the controversial 1950s 'musical piece' by John Cage, 4'33", is more of a hack than a musical composition. The palindromic three-part piece written by Guillaume de Machaut in the 1300s, 'Ma Fin Est Mon Commencement,' was also a good hack, even better because it also sounds good as music."