The Ultimate Hack
Note: I wrote this post a long while ago, not planning to post it since I thought it rather ranty at the time, however in light of The Art Of Manliness's recent guest post, it seems I was on the same page as Kyle Eschenroeder. Be sure to check it out.
. . . To stop falling for the hacking scandal. Hack is a buzz-word that is synonymous with words like "hints, tips and tricks", which always seem to be so empty and dissatisfying. We should stop looking for these things and instead educate ourselves, look for clues, experiment, observe and collect evidence, drawing our own conclusions.
Upon searching for the definition of hack and hackers, nowhere did I(yet) find a term related to the optimising of certain system to which it pertains, "Biohacking" for example. However, I did find:
- To gain access to (a computer file or network) illegally or without authorization. This sense of the term is the one that is most commonly heard in the media.
- Slang - To cut or mutilate as if by hacking
- A short dry cough
- To cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows(this is what you're doing to your brain whenever you read "hacks")
- A cheap, mediocre, or second-rate practitioner, especially in the fields of journalism and literature: a charlatan or incompetent, a person who engages in an activity without talent or skill.
- To jury-rig or improvise something inelegant but effective, usually as a temporary solution to a problem.
- The best one I found was - "a clever solution to a tricky problem, to hack is to mod or change something in an extrodinary way."
but this still isn't accurate enough because most of these so called "hacks" do not involve changing something dramatically, but instead usually involve us returning to classic, time-tested methods that had been pushed aside where the only dramatic change is the return to normal functioning once freed from the shackles of 'modern' ways in an ever increasing distracted, unproductive, impatient way and seldom are the problems tricky.
So next time you read an article with "HACK" in the title, ask yourself:
- Are these just randm tips?
- Has why these MIGHT work been explained sufficiently?
- Is the problem really that tricky?
- Is the solution really that clever?
Be prepared to discover that you have again been suckered.