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    This sounds like it aligns closely with the mission of the Lobsters community. I’ve emailed to explore options for collaboration. I’ve had to timebox my Lobsters coding to my Wed + Thu morning code and coffee time and it would be great if this foundation could fund some time from me or junior devs trying to build up their resumes.

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      I’m overall loving what’s in there. I’d definitely support it. It seems like a more realistic thing of hackers supporting other hackers instead of hoping society will change to. Great stuff.

      “The Foundation will help to create environments where hackers are welcomed, supported, nurtured and celebrated. Creating a safer, more supportive and accepting world for hacker will help to reduce depression and suicide among hackers, and enable hackers to live fuller and happier lives.”

      I still think someone should bring up one point when stuff like above is mentioned. The corporate media and Hollywood, the most powerful influencers, have totally redefined the label “hacker” to be criminality to a point where it’s probably beyond salvage. If anyone uses it, the laypeople hearing it will immediately have a negative mindset that creates a harder conversation for that person. Its constant association with evil by media makes me think of it as the geek N-word or something in terms of average person’s negative usage or reactions, hackers arguing about why they identify with positive version of it, and media fueling fires for ratings and profit. Although I got good at explaining real meaning, I’ve found that there was no real effect among the hundreds of laypeople I tried that on. There’s not enough of us doing it to counter media’s reach. Being uncommon and marginalized group means that will remain true a long while.

      This is a marketing problem more than anything. A brand was trashed but people keep using and defending it. Marketing practice (and results!) say we need new brands so we start fresh in the minds of the audience to get broader support. I’ve been using the words thinker, inventer, technologist, and recently maker. Three already have positive connotations which correspond with what people will be doing on software and hardware side. Lay people might be happy to invest in locations, equipment, and support for (those words) among the nation’s youth. Ive found that maker generates confusion (“What’s that?”) that lets me explain the concept with positive examples from makerspaces. So, it’s weaker initially and requires a little work but that can be as simple as linking to a story. So, there’s some options.

      I say we keep the hacker term among ourselves while garnering mainstream support with the kind of words they understand and would back. I’ve already been doing it with positive results. I see others doing it, too, even though many wouldn’t call themselves hackers. They’re just folks recruiting youth to let them do group projects, dream big, and so on. Happens in many fields. It’s a proven model. If we use it, though, we might not call them hackerspaces given that name leaking out to external supporters could cause conflicts or damagen. We’d have to use makerspaces, invention/technology centers, and so on… which again is already happening in many places. Hacker stays internal. Alternatively, we take those little conflicts using them to educate people on the term with positive examples risking losing support or funding on principle. If so, I argue we don’t explain the term: use examples of people who built amazing things that countered the status quo using their inquisitive attitude and deep understanding. A number of them showing up in the media overtime coming out of these (words here)-spaces might positively define the hacker spirit in the new terms and/or slowly undue damage to original term.

      It would also help if we kept collectively pushing the media for distinction between positive and criminal hackers. Showing more of the inventive ones plus their disdain for the damaging ones. Least there’s hackers on the cop shows saving peoples’ asses. That’s… something… I don’t think they understand good hacking, though. I see hints of it with characters that use tech or deep knowledge to bypass limitations of an obstacle or tool. Maybe hackers can keep coming up with ideas like that for major shows forwarding them to the producers. Trickle examples into stories with wide audiences. Similarly, keep forwarding inventive folks to local and national media outlets so they highlight them slipping in words like maker or hacker. Need a positive pushback against what media is already doing preferably in a way that they co-opt it into their own, standard practice due to positive ratings. In the end, they’ll be taking credit for their show elements with us rolling our eyes at least being grateful that we’re a bit safer and more appreciated for our efforts.

      Just some thoughts I have after years of fighting this battle with the general public looking at what worked and didn’t. We need to do more of what works. It’s more about perception and influences than facts or tech. Our methods must be likewise. Just the way it is.

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        I am not enthusiastic about the word “hacker”. I like some versions of the idea, but I don’t think the word is redeemable, the mainstream is too big and the term is too entrenched there.

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          In at least this respect I think that the lobste.rs community does not align with the No Starch Press Foundation.

          The word hacker is used 40 times in that announcement and clearly references an intention to protect people who otherwise might be prosecuted by peers and mentors.

          A hacker likes to push boundaries, pick locks (for fun), and find ways to control hardware and make it do things that it wasn’t intended to do.

          That implies a certain rule-breaking attitude that is more political (and includes wearing the divisive label) then the somewhat broader lobste.rs community.

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            Fair point. We’ve got a few people who live that ethos and love the word, but it’s definitely not universal.

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            Appreciate the link. I also like the Chicago vs Bay Area write-up. Glad you’re putting this stuff out there.

            I think we also have a bigger, recurring problem where technical people think they’ll solve all their problems with technical arguments or technology itself. Most of these are people problems, esp with word “hacker.” They gotta learn it takes completely different skills to win political and media battles. Some know and do it but they’re rare. I about want to joke they’ll be better off accomplishing OP mission if they hit Barnacles instead reading everything under tags marketing, business, and pricing. That kind of stuff, online or actual books, focused on non-profit goals with lots of practice. Then, they’ll get some stuff done.

            Past few years gave me the hard realization that most of us wanting to change things were building the wrong skills. Gotta fix that in near future.

            EDIT: Speaking of your linked article, another one just showed up on HN about Ghost that I thought was a good example of some of your points. Worth a Barnacles submission. :)