And which ‘hacking hat’ do you wear?
I am not any of these. I am what you call a constructive or creative hacker. We do not wear hats. When we see flaws in an existing system we do not talk with the system; we make new systems. This is why I am not a cyber-security hacker; I have basic cyber-security knowledge, but it was never my interest.
A creative hacker includes anyone who immerses herself or himself in a system, and is able to see its potential, like the 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace. When Ada Lovelace first encountered the “differential engine” that was built by Charles Babbage, she saw in it something that nobody else saw. She said, “We can make art, we can make poems, we can make music out of this machine,” – the machine was originally designed just to calculate tax or a mathematical formula, it was the first computer ever designed.
We creative hackers, when we see a machine we don’t think, “Okay, Charles Babbage designed this machine, how can I evade my tax, or how can I make it so other people are not able to evade their tax,” which is what the cyber-security people spend their lives thinking about. We say, this machine was originally designed to calculate tax, but maybe we can use it to make music, to make art. This is the proud tradition of hackers that I belong to.
In terms of anarchism, the Internet really was built in an anarchistic fashion. As I described with the Occupy movement: every individual is not under the command of another individual. We joined people in the streets, and everyone decides what is best for the people around them. We swarmed over the situation, stayed open in our communication, and formed a system that was better than anything that could be designed.
Anarchism is basically localizing the design to each and every situation. When the design is localized and shared in this way, this is what anarchists call “syndicating” between different practitioners. It is our belief this will result in a much more harmonious relationship between people, compared to people who are commanding others and those who obey the demands of others. That was the early debate between anarchists and the Marxists; whether we need someone to command other people who are not aware, not capable or not awake yet.
It is my belief that everybody is as awake as anybody else, just in different ways. We need this attitude to work with others without commanding others. So, I am still an anarchist.