Shout out to all hackerkind

I am so grateful for all the private messages I get from hackers all over the world who are kind enough to share their ideas with me and their love for our craft.  I appreciate these rare moments, getting to bond with them, who, like me, are for the most part, solitary creatures.

To the non-hacker we are God-like beings who wield powers they feel they will never understand. We do things with computers that most people never thought possible. Sometimes this uncertainty and misunderstanding leads to them demonizing us. In the MSM, on social media and even in face to face conversations. We are the invisible phantoms they fear.

Many of them aren’t even aware that there is such a thing as a “good” hacker as I know from personal experience because whenever I am asked what it is I do and I tell them, they start to laugh. Like this is a joke. Like, I, am a joke. Although I assure you, I’m not.

Then when I tell them this is a lifestyle, they give me strange looks and they start to liken it to bizarre subcultures they’ve heard about that have nothing to do with hacking. Because the word “lifestyle” tends to evoke stereotypical imagery in the heads of those who are ignorant.

But this is a way of life. It is my way of life. And it is yours, my fellow hackers.

This is the path we have chosen and we are necessary. They need us even if they don’t think they do. I know this because like many of you, I’ve made a career out of being able to fix computers and they can barely turn them on. So, I can’t be all that bad.

I spend a lot of time mentoring other hackers who are new to the game and are unsure. It is to them that I speak now.

I do not know everything and neither will you. None of us, even the ones who make the news and are famous, know everything.

Because as great as we are at hacking computers and networks, at the end of the day we are NOT computers ourselves and can store vast quantities of data and reference them in milliseconds when asked.

We are human.

When a computer fails at a task, it tends to spit out a lot of garbage and errors and gets very confused.

When we fail, we pick ourselves up and try again. Like The Mentor said way back in 86, our crime is that of curiosity. We can’t help ourselves!

A computer can only try again provided it has the instructions to do so.

The joy of what we do is in the discovery and the disappointments, as I say. I get frustrated just as much as the rest of you. There are days where I can root a system very quickly and many others where I go blank and don’t know how to proceed. It may take me longer than I think is necessary. I get down and out too.

But you cannot let this consume you and you must not let these feelings best you.

You are better than this.

Please trust me when I say, that you GOT THIS.

It may take you a day longer than you think but you’ll find your way.

And if you need someone to talk to or some friendly encouragement, come talk to me.