I’m going to stake a claim on the word though, and state that the true hacker spirit does not reside at Google, guided by profit targets. The hacker impulse should not just be about redesigning products, or creating ‘solutions’. A hack stripped of anti-conventional intent is not a hack at all. It’s just a piece of business innovation.
The un-gentrified spirit of hacking should be a commons accessible to all. This spirit can be seen in the marginal cracks all around us. It’s in the emergent forms of peer production and DIY culture, in maker-spaces and urban farms. We see it in the expansion of ‘open’ scenes, from open hardware to open biotech, and in the intrigue around 3D printers as a way to extend open-source designs into the realm of manufacture. In a world with increasingly large and unaccountable economic institutions, we need these everyday forms of resistance. Hacking, in my world, is a route to escaping the shackles of the profit-fetish, not a route to profit.
Go home, yuppies.