Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lose Weight the Hacker Way
Boing Boing included a link to an extraordinary diet book written by self confessed hacker John Walker.

From a cultural studies perspective, I find this fascinating for what it reveals about the hacker ethos as much as for any weight loss tips it contains. Its gets right to the heart of that systems mindset as well as the hacker desire to control events - "Once you possess the power to circumvent limitations, to control things most people consider immutable, you're liberated from the tyranny of events. You're no longer an observer; you're in command. You've become a hacker"

Walker offers this succinct definition of the Hacker, which is the antithesis of a popular conception of a computer criminal...

The word ``hacker'' and the culture it connotes is too rich to sacrifice on the altar of the evening news. Bob Bickford, computer and video guru, defined the true essence of the hacker as ``Any person who derives joy from discovering ways to circumvent limitations.''

There is also a lot of humour to be found too....

"People who thrive on unscrewing the inscrutable--figuring out how complicated systems work and controlling them--sometimes fail to apply those very techniques to maintaining their own health. How strange to on the one hand excel at your life's work and on the other, XL in girth."

Fascinating stuff, here's the link

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