[Noisebridge-discuss] [etymology] [Jargon file] Gained in translation?
whimwiz at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 05:31:40 UTC 2012
On 2/4/2012 7:55 AM, Shannon Lee wrote:
> In the early part of the 20th century, there was a tradition at MIT of
> unofficial exploration: the steam tunnels, the rooftops, everywhere
> people were not supposed to go, undergrads went. It's likely that
> this tradition was inherited from Oxford, where a similar tradition
> pre-dates the MIT one.
> At both Oxford and MIT, clubs were formed and manuals clandestinely
> printed on popular routes and places. At MIT, the various clubs
> called themselves "hacking" clubs, from the image of the explorer
> hacking his way through untamed jungle with his machete, and the
> tradition of unauthorized exploration was called "hacking."
> When MIT got its first computers, they were big and expensive and
> access to them was tightly controlled. Several hacking clubs
> continued their tradition of unauthorized exploration... of the computers.
> At least, that's how I heard it.
Is that from the hallowed Jargon File? We've read it, of course -
countless times, yes of course - but we are old now, and our memory not
so keen. Reciting lengthy spells is a bitch and a half. Pardon the
The responses to this thread have been highly illuminating, though I
doubt not some of the elder hackers are rolling their eyes at such
The Whimsical Wizard of ZiP
*ZiP: Zine in Progress
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