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The Spirit of a Hacker

Essay By: Leon Barlone
True confessions



This is an essay that I wrote which explains the difference between what a hacker is to the world, and what we really are amongst ourselves.

Keep in mind that I do not condone the criminal actions of "crackers" as we call them. But, because I am considered a criminal when I call myself a hacker, I feel that you will throw us all into the same group no matter what. As such, this is something that only those within our very small and misunderstood group will understand. I expect that the rest of you will judge and dismiss. Enjoy it all the same.


Submitted:Dec 7, 2012    Reads: 19    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


I am a hacker, the ghost in the machine. I am a creature, condemned by society, whose life is judged by those who cannot understand what I am: "I am a delinquent. I am a fraud. I am a geek. I am a dropout. I am a criminal. I am miserable. I am a failure. I am a disappointment. I am chained to my desk. I am just an individual."

But I am not alone.

I am a genius, intelligent and learned in things that the average mind chooses not to learn. People are afraid of what they cannot understand, what is different, what is foreign, what is strange. They will not accept me. They will not understand me. They will not trust me. They will not tolerate me. They will not recognize me. They will not help me. They will not hear me. They will not forgive me.

But I am not alone.

I am skilled. My computer is not my addiction, it is my passion. Just as a builder requires his tools, so I require mine. I am not motivated by hate. I am not driven by anger. I am not a killer. I am not a thief. I am not a junkie. I am not worthless. I am not a waste. I am not anti-social. I am not lazy. I am not a cancer. And I am not the only one.

We are not alone.

We are hackers. This is our creed. We do not break into computers because we are greedy or spiteful. We want to know: "Can it be done? Can we prove you wrong? Can we outsmart you?" We share the same spirit. Regardless of the hats we wear, we respect each other. Even if we have never met, we know each other. Whether we work together, or compete against each other, we are equals. Because, we are all we have. We understand each other. We are not biased against one another. We are motivated by curiosity. We hunger for knowledge. We thirst for understanding. We yearn to learn more. If you are not one of us, then you will simply never know. When you hear us say "I am a hacker" you will judge us. We will not care. When we tell you, "I am a genius." You will laugh at us. We will only smile back. When we prove that we are skilled, you will fear us. We understand. You will ignore, reprimand, harass, scorn, dismiss, distrust, arrest, charge, imprison, execute, and hate us. It does not matter. There will be others to take our place, trust us, help us, free us, fight for us, believe in what we did, know why we did it. They will cry our names out in the streets, in the chatrooms, on the internet with pride and say,

"You are not alone."

We are hackers. We will not be forgotten, we will not be ignored, we will not be rehabilitated, and we will not lay down and die. We cannot be shaken, we cannot be divided, we cannot be enlightened, and we cannot be stopped. We are powerful, we are intelligent, we are wise, we are charismatic, we are curious, we are motivated, we are clever, we are perceptive, we are gifted, we are passionate, we are free.

And we are not alone.

Leon Barlone





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