I’ve written before on the hacker culture as a invisible college defined partly by a network of trust, gatekeepers, and certification authorities. Jay Maynard ask the next question: What are the non-technical things every hacker should know?
Jay wrote in email:
> It just struck me that this might be an interesting subject for > exploration. It's pretty obvious that any hacker out there worthy of > the name would know Monty Python and the Holy Grail backwards and > forwards. The same goes for Airplane!, Blazing Saddles and Young > Frankenstein, TRON and now TRON: Legacy, and such written works as > TNHD and Bored of the Rings and CATB (whether on paper or on the Web > isn't important), not to mention pretty much the entire Weird Al > Yankovic corpus (but especially It's All About the Pentiums and White > and Nerdy). > > But it goes beyond that. How many hackers wouldn't immediately place a > soft voice saying "I want to boot some head too" and get a chuckle out > of the thought? Or hear a comment about world domination and think of > a white mouse with a big head and a dumb sidekick? > > Just what would you say is basic cultural literacy for a hacker? Not > in the sense so much that a hacker would need to be familiar with the > works in order to be a hacker, but rather that someone with the hacker > mindset would be drawn to them innately?
Good question, and I can add a few things. If you are a hacker or proto-hacker:
* You should know at least a few of Tom Lehrer’s ditties as well as Weird Al’s. Huge style points if you can sing The Elements a la Daniel Radcliffe.
* If you are mystified by the phrase “Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!”, you need to fix that bug immediately.
* You should have romped through the logic puzzles in one or more of Raymond Smullyan’s books.
* You need to know who the dread god Finagle and his mad prophet Murphy are, and be able to recite dozens of corollaries of Murphy’s Law off the top of your head. And what “on the gripping hand” means and who actually has one.
* Terry Pratchett. If you need that name or his relevance to the hacker posture of mind explained to you, I pity you deeply.
Thread open for more suggestions.