The Steven Levy reading and Wednesday’s discussion in class gave me a much more realistic understanding of what the term “hacking” really means. The reading emphasized the innovative nature of hackers and really described how a hacker’s mind works. I used to think of hackers as people who just gained access to accounts and information and exploited them or used them for personal gain, but this article allowed me to think of hackers as problem solvers. It talked about different moral and social aspects of computer hacking that I had never considered, and it taught me about the hacker’s views on the freedom of information, computer company bureaucracy, and technology competitiveness. This reading really made me realize that hackers constantly challenge themselves and find easier ways to do many different tasks.
Our classroom discussion also opened my eyes to different views of hacking. Hearing about everyone’s experience with hacking and feelings about hacking was interesting and informative. I also enjoyed learning about white hats, grey hats and black hats and the different roles that they play in the computer world. Before last week, I held a very negative stigma about hacking, but the reading and classroom discussions allowed me to see hacking as more of a problem solving challenge than a malicious crime.