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How do I tell if I am already a hacker? Ask yourself the following three questions: Do you speak code, fluently? Do you identify with the goals and values of the hacker community?
Has a well-established member of the hacker community ever called you a hacker? If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, you are already a hacker.
No two alone are sufficient. The first test is about skills. You probably pass it if you have the minimum technical skills described earlier in this document. You blow right through it if you have had a substantial amount of code accepted by an open-source development project.
The second test is about attitude. If the five principles of the hacker mindset seemed obvious to you, more like a description of the way you already live than anything novel, you are already halfway to passing it. Here is an incomplete but indicative list of some of those projects: Does it matter to you that Linux improve and spread?
Are you passionate about software freedom? Do you act on the belief that computers can be instruments of empowerment that make the world a richer and more humane place?
But a note of caution is in order here. The hacker community has some specific, primarily defensive political interests — two of them are defending free-speech rights and fending off "intellectual-property" power grabs that would make open source illegal.
Some of those long-term projects are civil-liberties organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the outward attitude properly includes support of them. In the far past, hackers were a much less cohesive and self-aware group than they are today.
But the importance of the social-network aspect has increased over the last thirty years as the Internet has made connections with the core of the hacker subculture easier to develop and maintain. One easy behavioral index of the change is that, in this century, we have our own T-shirts.
Sociologists, who study networks like those of the hacker culture under the general rubric of "invisible colleges", have noted that one characteristic of such networks is that they have gatekeepers — core members with the social authority to endorse new members into the network.
Because the "invisible college" that is hacker culture is a loose and informal one, the role of gatekeeper is informal too. But one thing that all hackers understand in their bones is that not every hacker is a gatekeeper. Gatekeepers have to have a certain degree of seniority and accomplishment before they can bestow the title.
How much is hard to quantify, but every hacker knows it when they see it. Will you teach me how to hack? Even if I did, hacking is an attitude and skill you basically have to teach yourself.Can't decide whom to Pay to Write Essay?
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The effort takes motivation. Successful athletes get their motivation from a kind of physical delight in making their bodies perform, in pushing themselves past their own physical limits.