That is NOT hacking!

Dear world:

Hacker inside
Hacker inside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You keep using the words, “hack”, “hacking”, and “hacker” in, frankly, bat-poo crazy ways. And I’ve just about had it.

I went to a “sales hacker” conference last week. Do you know how many code snippets I saw in an entire day of presentations? ONE. There were like 22 different talks, and exactly one had code up.

That would have been okay, except that the other sales “hacks” were, uh, doing sales in non-stupid ways. No tricks, nothing sneaky or clever – just being not dumb as rocks.

Dude, if I knew that so-called hacking was just being not dumb, I would have called myself a hacker YEARS ago.

Okay, so I’m a bit biased.  I graduated from MIT, where hacking is an honored tradition. And I suppose it has to do with not being stupid, but it mostly has to do with being wicked clever and playing great jokes:

The word hack at MIT usually refers to a clever, benign, and “ethical” prank or practical joke, which is both challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the MIT community (and sometimes even the rest of the world!). Note that this has nothing to do with computer (or phone) hacking (which we call “cracking”).

Well, fine, then. I want things to be clever. Or at least have to do with computer hacking if we want to depart from the MIT definition.

But, no. has a list of “hacks” that have NOTHING TO DO WITH HACKING. I, frankly, call these things DOING MY JOB. And you call yourselves hackers, people? Have you no shame?

I recognize that this battle has already ended. I need to give up my fight. I need to stop getting excited about something called a hack. With this rant, I hereby surrender.

This is the way that hacking ends: Not with a bang, but with a whimper.