Subject: Re: Difference between LISP and C++ From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 31 Oct 2002 23:40:47 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * "Geoffrey Summerhayes" <sumNOSPAMrnot@hotmail.com> | Agreed, but it was "hacker" I was referring to, not "hack". The point is that there is no foundation for the coinage at MIT, but the use of "hack" to mean basically "do well", meant that "hacker" was simply someone who did something. Only computer hackers became "famous", but music hackers also exist. The question "what are you hacking?" is only slang for "what are you doing?". | I was aware of the use of "hack" as a noun in journalism, but the term | "hacker", AFAIK, first appeared to a general audience in articles on | "phone phreaking". This is not correct, either. The history of "hacker" is quite different from what people believe -- for the journalists, it has a longer story than they think, and for the hackers, the meaning to other parts of society has never been particularly positive to begin with. | I'm guilty of overstating the case, surely. You seem overly defensive to me, and when I point out that all of the American dictionaries I own have a positive entry for "hacker" you only dismiss it. I find this disturbing. | As time progresses, I expect what I said to become more correct. But it has become less and less correct so far, so I have to ask for the observations you use for this more emphatic rejection of what you actually find in today's dictionaries. | Current usage of "hacker" tends to the more derogatory meaning. If you look for the derogatory meaning, of course you will find it. But to make "tends to" a valid conclusion, you have to be more objective and willing to look for data that contradicts your initial assumption. | I suspect, like "villain", the benign version will slowly fade into | obscurity. And what beningn meaning does "villain" have? -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.