“Hackers don’t take realities of the world for granted; they seek to break and rebuild what they don’t like. They seek to outsmart the world.”
– Sarah Lacy
Wherever there is a problem someone’s working on a hack.
Most commonly we look at hacking as trying to “break the system” or find loopholes.
Just look at everything from the beginning of mankind. Someone sat down and said: “Man, there’s gotta be a simpler/better/more efficient way of doing this.”
They approached it from every possible angle until they finally had the breakthrough. Either consciously or unconciously.
We’re hacking life each and every single day. Trying to improve and build on what’s come before. Why? To enhance our likelyhood of survival both as individuals and as a species.
Fire is a hack. To provide warmth, light, cook food and generate energy.
The wheel is a hack. For transportation, flattening and crushing.
The computer is a hack. To store information, create and test ideas and calculate data.
The internet is a hack. For sharing information, ideas, connecting with people and much more.
The perfect example is video games. We’re given a set of rules, we play by them for a while. Then we get “bored”.
And that’s when things start to get really interesting.
I’ll give you an example.
I probably wasn’t the first one to figure this out, I think, but I was the most vocal about it existing.
So, I started playing Championship Manager (soccer for those in the U.S) way back when. I played as the manager of a lower league team called “Brighton & Hove Albion”. I was what the CM-community called a “Lower League Manager” a.k.a “LLaMa”.
I was always looking for the highest quality players for the cheapest possible price. My main thing was buying up players in their mid-30’s who had the right attributes but didn’t cost millions.
There was a feature in the game where you could set up friendly matches with other teams during the regular season.
I noticed that if you sent your team to play a team abroad you’d actually get more money. The further away, the more you’d get paid.
“Hmm, what if I send the Reserves and U21 teams to China, Japan, Australia etc?”
Well, £15K-£30K for a match wasn’t bad. Especially for a team that only had about £200k to start with. I arranged as many matches as I could.
At the end of the season I had a surplus of almost £2.000.000. The next season was a breeze.
I went on the forums and told people what I’d discovered. Some were upset and said: “But that’s not how you play the game!” while others said “This. Is. Awesome!”. A couple of editions later they’d made it unlikely for clubs to accept friendlies like that.
The point is this. Look at life as a game with a certain set of rules in place. How can we overcome those limits?
The most awesome hack so far for humanity?
Not only have we managed to hurl people across vast distances in a flying tin can. We’ve actually sent people outside of our planet’s eco system and they’ve survived. They’ve frickin’ survived!
Now, we’re hacking our way onto other planets in the hopes of making them habitable. That’s insane.
Unless we do something incredibly stupid, are wiped out by some virus, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances occur we’re going to attempt to populate the universe.
“But Zac, we’ve got a limited life span. It’s not feasible for us to…”
I know! That’s where we’re at right this minute. Technological and scientific solutions aren’t in place yet.
But don’t you think that we’re hacking that shit as well? Of course we are. We can’t help doing it.
Go back just 100 years.
Who in their right mind would’ve believed that 50 years later we’d actually be sending shit into space? Those people were either writing some kick-ass books or locked up in the asylum.
We don’t know what’s coming down the pike. You know how many people said: “The internet is a fad”, “Rock n’ Roll is the devil”, “There’s no need for the phone”?
We’ve actually stared the future in the face countless times and said: “Well, we’re having none of that!”.
There were probably plenty of people around who said that the wheel was stupid as hell. Ever wonder what happened to those peeps?
Let me know in the comments and on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!
David Christian – The History Of Our World In 18 Minutes