Just thinking about my introduction to hacker culture in the 90s and the differences today. I began hoarding text files and massive dot-matrix print outs back then as soon as I was gifted the ability to do so. 2600 was probably my most used source of information after the BBSes.
I really love/d "forbidden knowledge" like the anarchist's cookbook, hack-faqs, phreaker's manuals, etc. I feel like people are extremely averse to reading material like that today, even amongst the same social circles online.
If I wrote an article about making really pure moonshine for Stacker News, for instance, I imagine it would not be received with the same accolades as it might have been on "The Black Market BBS" 30 years ago. (holy shit, I'm old)
I'll admit I enjoyed the little Adrenalin rush of doing something verboten, reading detailed instructions of some of the deadly thought experiments like hooking power lines up to phones lines, bomb making, drug manufacturing, lock-picking, and other criminal activities that I would never participate in. But aside from that, I think it's really important to exercise our natural right of free speech by discussing these difficult and dangerous topics.
Ignoring that these things exist puts a person at a disadvantage, especially when dealing with a malicious person that may be inclined to use this knowledge for malice. My initial attraction to hacker culture was it's uniform defiance of such intellectual prudence, and I think I'll be doing more in the future to encourage true free speech like this. I miss it so much. It needs a renaissance.
I grew up on Jolly Roger's Cookbook, Cult of the Dead Cow, IRC #hack, 3l33+ hax0rz, wardialing, VMBs, bridges, codelines, AT&T System 75s, k0dez kids, trashing, soldering guns & colored boxes, social engineering. In the 90s there was a 2600 meetup for phreaks and it had an underground vibe not unlike Stacker News or a Bitcoin meetup today.
Similar kind of people, different technology.
The ETF feels like the AOL of Bitcoin - brining it out of the underground and the normies masses to it.
reply
I went to a couple of those 2600 meetups in Boston, but the guys there were a lot more plugged in than I was. Just kinda felt like a poser. Haha. Loved the reading material, though.
The ETF feels like the AOL of Bitcoin - brining it out of the underground and the normies masses to it.
Lol. That's actually a little frightening.
reply
πŸ‘‹πŸ½
Moonshine recipe
reply
It's pretty easy:
5 gallon bucket of water 10 lbs sugar 1 packet of "turbo yeast"
Mix it all together in the bucket with an air lock, wait three days or until the air lock stops bubbling, and pour it in a still. In about and hour you've got something good on your hands.
reply
Some people seem to have an insatiable appetite for logic puzzles. They can't get enough of the challenge, the satisfaction of solving a difficult problem, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with it.
reply
You just described me pretty well
reply
That's really beautiful.
reply
it does feel like it all got commercialized. same thing happened to surfing and skateboarding culture. but, the spirit lives on, and the thing itself is more than it would have been and has touched more lives. That said, I feel you. The grungy surf town I grow up in has gotten a lot nicer over the years, and I miss the grunginess. even if it was less safe and not as β€œnice”.
reply
That's a perfect analog. Even being adjacent to that skater culture, I have a deep understanding of your analogy, although I never made the connection before, myself. Awesome.
reply
Multinational changed/changes everything throught gouvernement: -their will of getting richer and richer,
-the will to kill a culture (Skate/Surf/Music/Street Art....and so many more and so hacker culture) , -the wlll to keep their power in place, -the will to have a world that looks likes their image!!! -and so many more examples...... They want to show a fake image of the reality, it s a prostitution....
Remember what they (gouvernemet) did to Anarchism (anarchism is violent and Anarchist put bombs everywhere, they are dangerous...) Showing a wrong image of the reality...
So they implement: -more and more rules, -control, less freedom (we are loosing it: Snowden/Assange/Strike....), -confusion (too many false informations), -less education, -fear... to avoid people to think, to walk on the wild side.
But also, it is not what we call the evolution of the human race?
We may need to go through those steps to reborn as an phoenix :)
reply
Yes Agreed a Renaissance for sure. I Still get 2600 Issues Delivered, and love all the cDc stories Phreaking and the L0pht and L0pht heavy industries. (I'm Old too.)
Question is How ?
reply
I forgot about the L0pht! I need to dig through some .txt this weekend. :)
reply
I've read some of the Books "Cult of the Dead cow " Joseph Menn and the recent "Space Rouge " Both similar both Good reads.
reply
I remember those times - BBSes and blue boxes (even though the latter didn't work in my country). I remember dialing into a new BBS in town when I was 17. The admin started a chat with me and told me he had an XXX section. I said "I can't browse that, I'm 17", to which he replied "It's up to you, man."
Everything becomes more regulated and controlled when the masses start using it and it no longer flies under the radar. Deadly thought experiments can still be discussed, but in the deeper parts of the web and certainly not on Facebook. But yeah, with the easier access to information we have now it's less exciting.
reply
Memories....Phrack, 2600 meetups, and the Off the Hook weekly WNYC radio program, BBSes like Stronghold East and Metalshop. Blue boxing, red boxing. Alliance teleconferencing with LoD and MoD. Have I said too much or not enough?
reply
Off The Hook was the first "podcast" I ever heard. My parents wouldn't pay for internet access at the time, so I had to go through a BBS that offered users free internet. It was called "Genesis" (located somewhere in Massachusetts) and it was just a Unix command line to access the BBS's offerings, like ftp. Good times.
reply
One day our tech could become as impenetrable as life and the universe to our ancestors. To stop that from happening we who understand what's at stake must keep exploring. It's vital to break open every black box we find. Governments and corporations work methodically to increase their control, so we must be persistent in our quest to explore and understand. Then we must share not only what we learn but how we learn it. If we ever let up, it's all over.
Here, here for the renaissance!
reply
I think that a natural lack of curiosity in some of these things isn't necessarily a bad thing. If your interest is Shakespearean drama, you might not care for collections of non-text based data, but I agree it could be a disadvantage. Interest in how things work is sorely lacking. Maybe people need to learn to reject the notions of consumerism and mindless collectivism as step one?
reply
Interest in how things work is sorely lacking
That's the underlying point, I think. I was really just reminiscing about a bygone era.
reply
5 sats \ 1 reply \ @xz 27 Jan
It was a good read. Just wanted to say so. Wasn't implying you should lead a renaissance!
reply
Haha. Of course. I'm not suited for the job. ;)
reply
'I may not always agree with what you say but I'll always defend your right to say it' ... that's my philosophy πŸ‘Š
reply
I find the idea of "forbidden knowledge" really childish. Are you 12 reading a detective novel where the protagonist unearths mysterious secrets? Come on.
It's the internet age. Aside from classified information and very niche topics nothing is forbidden. You can look up how to make moonshine or grow illegal drugs (cannabis, magic mushrooms, opium poppies...) or cnc/cat files for ghost guns on the internet in 5 minutes to 1 hour tops.
reply
I find the idea of "forbidden knowledge" really childish. Are you 12 reading a detective novel where the protagonist unearths mysterious secrets? Come on.
This is an insulting and remedial interpretation of what this post was about.
It's the internet age. Aside from classified information and very niche topics nothing is forbidden. You can look up how to make moonshine or grow illegal drugs (cannabis, magic mushrooms, opium poppies...) or cnc/cat files for ghost guns on the internet in 5 minutes to 1 hour tops.
Correct. And obvious. So you should have realized that's not what this post is about.
reply
I'm sure he meant 30years ago.. things were A lot harder to find then.
reply
things were A lot harder to find then.
Especially technical documentation. No public docs or training on any of the dominant operating systems back then. All proprietary and expensive and private. My biggest thrill came when my company bought a Unix system to replace our mainframe. I could actually buy books in a bookstore to learn the operating system.
One day our tech could become as impenetrable as life and the universe to our ancestors.
Back then the tech "became penetrable". The old impenetrable tech was at a great disadvantage when this happened. The old companies had to change their ways or die out. I don't think tech can ever become more impenetrable (artificially controlled) than it was back then.
reply
Correct.
reply
I am starting a podcast project free of all the major and also partisan social media and blew it tube. I'm using other video sites that don't censor, and I have zero interest in whether the podcasting systems censor me or whatever. I want to find three or four other people to start a podcast network. The varying podcasts in the network share the same feed; this results in many more downloads for everyone and revenue is possible. if you can see the future in this, please let's make the network. free speech is not hate speech. censorship is hate. there is a future in this, let's go.
reply