PEDANTRY: Hackers/Crackers

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 20:22:10 -0500

"O'Regan, Emlyn" wrote:
> If ever there was a noble job for the hackers of the world, hacking uploaded
> corporate execs is it.

I beg your pardon. "Hacker" is an ancient and honorable term referring to computer programmers supreme in their art. The vast majority of the losers altering people's Web pages are "kiddie crackers" armed with shell scripts.

Of course, I will admit that some crackers are hackers as well... the very, very few creative and intelligent people who, for some reason or other, focus their talents on finding wholly new ways to illegally break into systems. (One way to tell who these people are: They know how to spell. No real hacker, cracker or not, is going to be anything less than a fanatic precisionist.)

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way