Self Exploration (day 43) – Hacking

Hacking: to make things work with the resources available.

I think hacking has been given a bad reputation. I’m curious what you think about when you hear that word?

What I think about when I think of hacking is making things work as I want them to. Hacking is maximizing the tools I have available to me, and inventing the ones I don’t have.

Give me some duct tape, an empty pen, three twigs no thicker then my finger, a pocket knife, and a flathead screwdriver and I’ll fix all your problems.

I really feel that if more of us were intrigued by the unique effort hacking required, the consumption levels of this world would drastically fall. Imagine a world of people that got that bubbly excited feeling deep down inside when they had to figure out a way to fix their car, the same feeling we get when we’re going in to buy a new car, or a new phone… Think of all the technology that would be fixed instead of thrown out when it glitched.

Imagine being eager to fix that chair that just broke. Here, let me fix that for you, I have a hammer, some wood glue, an old desk leg, some sandpaper, and a flathead screwdriver.

Or imagine this: a community hacking effort, where a small space is dedicated to a supplies shack that holds things people don’t need anymore to take parts from or disassembled things used for raw material. And this community of hackers shares with each other, shares their talents and their time to hack together because just the thought of hacking excites them, the exact project irrelevant. Respectfully sharing tools, because the hacker understands the necessity and power of tools.

Imagine how many life altering hacks we could come up with if instead of watching TV or sports or video games we hacked.

I know many of us already practice hacking too. Wearing the same shoes for walking city streets and bicycling is hacking, or looking in the fridge and planning dinner based on the contents is hacking. Ever written on the back of a piece of paper? That’s hacking. Or opened a bottle with something other then a bottle opener? Hacking again.

I firmly believe hacking comes from awareness: an awareness of the problem, desired solution, time frame, resources, waste, space, location, time of day, inventory of what is available, and tools.

What did you hack today?

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