Joseph Reagle, Northeastern University
To an ordinary person, this might seem like a confession of lifelong criminality.
Yes, hackers often have a technical affinity.
And they do like to understand and explore systems.
But for most, a hack means a clever improvement or fix.
Life hacking is the application of geeky, hackish ways of thinking: enthusiastic and systematic
a sort of clever shortcut, or way to get something done, or systematic way to get something done in your life, whether that’s on your computer (it’s often on your computer) or just doing your laundry or folding your socks (TrapaniDaoud 2010).
life hacking is a colonizing discourse. (Thomas 2015, “Life Hacking”, p. 22)
Systematic thinkers improved at playing the game Sudoku because they “used past experience to discover rules, which they then applied to enhance their performance in subsequent tasks” (SagivEtal 2013, p. 414).
(Experience had no effect on intuitive performance, nor was style alone significant.)
A sample of new computer-systems students showed “higher than average tendencies towards analytical cognitive styles”: 43.34 (CS) > 41.64 (other) (MooreOMaidinMcelligott 2002, p. 54).
A sample of ShmooCon 2008 hackers preferred rational thinking styles over intuitive approaches, complex problems over simple ones, and demonstrated “high confidence in their ability to reach optimal decisions through a rational deliberation process” (Bachmann 2010, p. 652).
In a 1993 Wired article, Steve Silberman characterized autism as the “geek syndrome” (Silberman 1993).
Field reports will often read, “got to HB8 blond school girl to go back to my place” as an indication of the level of her physical beauty. (Lin 2010)
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