Ethics, Morals, and Hackers, oh my!?! - Page 2
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Thread: Ethics, Morals, and Hackers, oh my!?!

  1. #11
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    I'm reading all these previous posts and I'm thinking uhhh... a lot of generalasition about hackers here, but the reality is that most hackers are attracted to Exploration, and having fun which I think is one of the best ways to learn, discover and perhaps invent a new thing, like for example ..someone had to hack the earth in order to find OIL ..Correct?

    The point I'm making here is that if we try to focus our energy, minds, and efforts towards building something instead of destroying it or building it over constantly, then the trust comes in, therefore enabling us to establish (as I'd like to future call it) a Network of Trused Hackers which allows us to separate the bad eggs from the good ones.

    Cheers,

    B.B

  2. #12
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    Hi Broomiebar,

    OK...let's forget the term hacker even exists for the moment...that way there's no chance of generalization...

    Does anyone on the net have the right to access Broomiebar's computer without his consent?

    Is Broomiebar's computer private property or is it public property?

    Do other people on the net have the right to use, access, alter, remove, manipulate Broomiebar's computer and data without his consent or even his knowledge?

    Is the data stored on Broomiebar's computer private property or public property?

    I await your responses...and I'll bet Broomiebar does too.

    Eg

  3. #13
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    Originally posted here by Broomiebar
    I'm reading all these previous posts and I'm thinking uhhh... a lot of generalasition about hackers here, but the reality is that most hackers are attracted to Exploration, and having fun which I think is one of the best ways to learn, discover and perhaps invent a new thing, like for example ..someone had to hack the earth in order to find OIL ..Correct?
    Ok, STOP. That is exactly what I am talking about. Did you even read the actual post? "Generalizations" is the point. One man's hacker is anothers cracker. What do you mean by hacker? "Hacker" isn't a word that can be used anymore without an automatic misinterpretation assumed to occur. You are talking about the classical sense of the word hacker which has, unfortunately, died a terrible demise thanks to popular media. Wish it back to life all you want, it wont do you any good.

    We are NOT making generalizations about 'hacker', we are using the word in more of it's mainstream believed definition. And you can dislike that and pout and stomp your fist all you want, but wishing something wasn't so doesn't get you jack in the real world. This word has been used by too many people in too many ways for it to ever be clear again.

    You could tell my grandmother that you played with a couple of boobs and she would laugh and wonder why you were wasting time with a few morons who aren't worth much. But if she understood that you had meant you were fondling bare breasts, she would be mortified, offended, and furious that you would discuss such smut with her.

    So you see, you can claim people 'hacked the earth for oil' and that our generalizations about 'hackers' are wrong. But you are still in the minority, those who are blind to the greater impact of this symbol. You can't just say "well in my world, that color you see up in the sky during the day? that's now orange, not blue!" and expect everyone to know WTF you're talking about. You can certainly change the rules in your own world...but you should be intelligent and insightful enough to recognize that there will be others who, through no fault of their own, will still say "blue" and get confused, upset, and offended at your "orange skies".



    The point I'm making here is that if we try to focus our energy, minds, and efforts towards building something instead of destroying it or building it over constantly, then the trust comes in, therefore enabling us to establish (as I'd like to future call it) a Network of Trused Hackers which allows us to separate the bad eggs from the good ones.
    What does trust have to do with focusing your efforts...oh I can't even answer this. Network of Trusted Hakcers? Hello, here's a quarter, buy yourself a token to get back on the reality bus. Are we all going to stand around and sing Kumbyah whilst new inductees are welcomed to the fold with a sacred reading of the GPL and a blessing from ESR?

    The problem is when you use the words "Hacker" and "Trusted"; we begin to have communication gaps. Go ask the Internet Crimes Taskforce lead agent at the FBI what he thinks of the phrase Network of Trusted Hackers. It's a perception problem. It's not even a problem with the perceptions other people may have; many of us can easily admit others have perception problems, no sweat. It's recognizing that your perception and their perception may not be on track, and putting aside your personal beliefs, hopes, and masturbatory pipe dreams of a trusted-network-of-hand-holding-dope-sharing-touchy-feely-helpy-helpertons, to make the effort to communicate in a manner that will be received AS YOU INTEND IT TO BE.

    Isn't it a little arrogant to communicate with symbols that you must admit (grudgingly, deep down inside, even though you don't WANT to) could be EASILY misunderstood, and making no effort to clear up the miscommunication? Instead, many of us assume we're on the moral high ground, and if the other party wants to be a better person then it is up to them to somehow osmotically understand the message without any effort on our part?

    In a distant, gruding respect, I have to agree with MySupermanEgo, although for different reasons. It's similar in some ways to using racial slurs, slang, and obscenity; context and delivery has EVERYTHING to do with whether it is offensive or not.

    You need a license to carry a gun most places; maybe we should require a license to shoot your mouth off, too. God knows, I'd be first in line (and probably first rejected).
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  4. #14
    Senior Member Maestr0's Avatar
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    "It's recognizing that your perception and their perception may not be on track, and putting aside your personal beliefs, hopes, and masturbatory pipe dreams of a trusted-network-of-hand-holding-dope-sharing-touchy-feely-helpy-helpertons"

    LMAO

    -Maestr0
    \"If computers are to become smart enough to design their own successors, initiating a process that will lead to God-like omniscience after a number of ever swifter passages from one generation of computers to the next, someone is going to have to write the software that gets the process going, and humans have given absolutely no evidence of being able to write such software.\" -Jaron Lanier

  5. #15
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Are we all going to stand around and sing Kumbyah whilst new inductees are welcomed to the fold with a sacred reading of the GPL and a blessing from ESR?
    Uh, that sounds like a good starting point.
    The net exists on different levels, like the tcp/ip stack. You can talk
    technical, like NICs and cat5 and CPUs, or, at the other end of
    the stack, it is a community, a virtual space, a shared experience.

    Ceremony binds people to their community. In a religious ceremony, members
    agree to their chosen set of "explanations of reality", and the ethical standards
    that go with them. It is obvious that there are multiple "virtual communities"
    even in the physical world. The invention of the automobile made it possible for people
    to form circles of aquaintainces that transcended their immediate village.

    If you live in a major city, you probably do not socialize with the people in your own apartment
    building, but with a chosen set of friends. On the internet we choose communities
    according to our own idiosyncratic criteria. So, "ethical" hackers form a virtual network.
    My guess is that "unethical" people find it harder to form a community,
    because, like real world criminals, they tend to "doublecross" one another,
    but I guess they find places to "hang out".

    Obviously, technical certs have nothing to do with ethics, otherwise, we wouldn't
    have priests molesting little boys.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  6. #16
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    Originally posted here by rcgreen
    Uh, that sounds like a good starting point.
    The net exists on different levels, like the tcp/ip stack. You can talk
    technical, like NICs and cat5 and CPUs, or, at the other end of
    the stack, it is a community, a virtual space, a shared experience.

    Ceremony binds people to their community. In a religious ceremony, members
    agree to their chosen set of "explanations of reality", and the ethical standards
    that go with them.
    <<snip>>
    Obviously, technical certs have nothing to do with ethics, otherwise, we wouldn't
    have priests molesting little boys.
    Nor would we have spouse abusing cocaine snorters directing the war on terror and drugs (from the oval office).

    But back to my point...I bet it does sound good. It makes some people all warm and fuzzy inside, ready to reach for their guitars and ABBA t-shirts. But the reality is, no one can agree on a standard, particularly within the more 'hacker inclined' groups (positive connotation on hacker)...the open source community. Don't tell me they can agree. DO. NOT. Look at all the different iterations of open- free- community-contributed- source licenses, the number of linux distros, the alternate kernels...

    I am not attacking this movement...I'm using it as an example; I love my open source tools, but I laugh at the "community" because many of them have no idea how absurd they appear at times. Yes, a ritual and secret handshake and all of that sounds nice. A world where personal responsiblity is the primary driving factor of human bahavior sounds very nice indeed as well. Good luck seeing it in our lifetime.

    But we have to begin with meeting the OTHER person half way, communication wise. Of those different levels of the internet, we must recognize that a SIGNIFICANT portion of its participants fall well outside the realm of people who would agree with your statement. Most of them would fall into the group probably labeled L-user AOL members. Sure, they are becoming more technically savvy, but look at the newbie flaming that goes on even here at AO. The internet is no longer the haven for the technical elite; big business knows it, mom and pop business knows it, the governments of the world know it, and ain't nothin' you wish upon is gonna change it back.

    I'm sure I'm guilty of labeling and miscommunicating myself...the key is I make an effort to RECOGNIZE this short coming in myself and to grow beyond it...if I can. If I call My Superhero Ego a hacker, he may get offended, your grandma may think he is devil-spawn (the jury is still out on this point), and Broomiebar may think he is hot-**** and want to swap public keys with him. Maybe I was referring to the way he chops wood. hack hack hack Or maybe it's his style of composition I'm discussing.

    RCGreen in your parting shot at the clergy, you make my point! There is no litmus test for many of the symbols and ideas we use. Yet we act like there is a standard we all must function at to be "ethical" or "skilled" or a "hacker".

    Ok, I'm winding down on this track. Unless someone fires a good shot across my bow (please, do so if you think you can...I love an animated discussion!) this may be the closing of this tirade of mine.

    I leave you with a few thoughts...

    - I prefer the word Hacker in its classical sense, as I put it. In the sense that Eric S. Raymond uses it, that many of us use it.
    - I recognize that most people do not realize what we are talking about with the "classical sense", and I further realize that waging a one-man-war against dis-information will get me nowhere, and make me look like a fool to many of these folks whom I would be trying to enlighten.
    - If you choose to wage said war yourself, feel free. But don't be aghast when TheSpecialist and others heap derision and ridicule upon you.
    - If you really want to make changes in the beliefs of other people, be prepared to have changes made to your OWN beliefs in the process.
    - EVERY PERSON HAS THEIR PRICE! How revered is my personal and professional integrity, when my childrens welfare is on the line? My daughters well being, or your corporate passcodes... hmm, lemme think about that. So for 'ethical' do we need to start measuring people in how pliable their morals are? How high is their price?


    When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.--Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Writer & Author
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  7. #17
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    Let me just comment on a couple of points before winding things down,
    1st I'm not an advocate on entering a system that dosen't belong to you, and I'm glad Egaladeist made that point reall clear.

    2nd and I quote from Zencoder " take a quarter and buy a token on the reality bus" END OF QUOTE.
    I'm still LMAO every time I read this, and you're maybe right that I do, because as I came across it... A hacker is someone who is enthusiastic about computers and programming,
    But with different perceptions, your level of ethics and whether you're breaking any laws... Then ofcourse, you will always get different answers when you ask the question:
    which type of hacker you are?

    Cheers,
    B.B

  8. #18
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    $0.02: I don't associate "Hacker", "Security Expert", or any other label with myself. To paraphrase a character from one of my favorite TV shows (Babylon 5) "I'm alive, everything else is negotiable."
    \"The future stretches out before us, uncharted. Find the open road and look back with a sense of wonder. How pregnant this moment in time. How mysterious the path ahead. Now, step forward.\"
    Phillip Toshio Sudo, Zen Computer
    Have faith, but lock your door.

  9. #19
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Discussions of what it means to be a hacker brings a Deja Vu moment for me.
    When I was in high school, the thing I and my friends wanted to be was a
    "hippie", a dude with long hair and a beard, talking mystical stuff and
    getting high.

    The hippie phenomenon came with its own ethical debate, similar to today.
    Were you aspiring to be a peace-loving soul who brought good vibes
    with you everywhere you went, or were you a junkie who stole peoples'
    car radios to buy dope?

    A hacker aspires to attain a kind of "high" when he accomplishes some feat
    on his computer. Maybe it's compiling your first program, or installing
    an alternative OS. Maybe it's getting unauthorized access and stealing something.
    In the end, our ethical position reveals more of our inner self than
    the outer trappings of our personality does.

    There's no magic in technology. As more non-tech users flood the net,
    we will see that we're back in Kansas after all, Toto.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  10. #20
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    Saying/Throwing Hacker around really has to be taken contextually. If you say it on antionline, it may be taken any number of ways. Slashdot readers will take it another. So will your local news channel. Most people who run around saying "I'm a hacker" or whatever just want to be specified in a certain group or clique or whatever. A little different than saying "I'm a philosopher" or "I'm a cook" but not THAT different.

    Sure you may call yourself a philosopher, but the proof is in the pudding. Just because you read 1 or 2 books from Emerson doesn't mean you have a doctorate in philosophy. Just because you know how to fix mom's computer doesn't mean you are a Security Expert or hacker or whatever you want to say. Call yourself whatever the hell you want, it's your actions and abilities that dictate who you are, not a silly word.

    Hacker anymore has such a broad spectrum of meaning, but a vast majority of the masses is going to interpret the word in one specific way, and don't be offended when they DO take it a certain way. You're the one cornering yourself into a cliche.
    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool - Good Ole Bill Shakespeare

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