[Noisebridge-discuss] [etymology] [Jargon file] Gained in translation?

Whimzy 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.
> --S

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 
unwizardly language.

The responses to this thread have been highly illuminating, though I 
doubt not some of the elder hackers are rolling their eyes at such 
junior-level trivia.....

The Whimsical Wizard of ZiP
*ZiP: Zine in Progress

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