Hi ^-^! My name is Blanche. I am a junior and a neurobiology major. I recently completed an introductory python programming course and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am fascinated and very curious about the role of computers, internet, and tech in society and am looking forward to delving deeper in this course.
I was introduced to hacker culture through visits to hackerspaces in California (Noisebridge and Hacker Dojo) and here in Austin (ATX Hackerspace). Though each had its own vibe, a culture of open access and information, creativity, resourcefulness, and cooperation pervaded all– I found it very inspiring and inclusive. There was hacking of all forms, from software and web dev to 3D printing. At Noisebridge, I was particularly struck by some of the members ‘biohacks’. Jars of homemade kombucha and pickled produce shared shelf space with strange domes of various fungi (some bio luminescent!). I had the pleasure to meet Noisebridge’s hacker-mycologist. He enthusiastically explained his project, even preparing a slide for observation. Microscopy hobbyist frequently met at the space- a loft was devoted to their DIY and restored microscopes that was open to use for all. Everyone was so open to share his or her knowledge and the enthusiasm was contagious– this is what has struck me most when I have encountered hacker culture. The hacker ethic of sharing of information also extends to the leaks of hackers like Chelsea Manning of Ed Snowden. An open, transparent society seems to be a goal for many hackers. Much as the media and government try to paint recent whistleblowers as enemies of the state, I feel the hacks of these brave individuals will truly better our society.