For me, the notion of urbanizing technology really is part of a larger sort of effort that I’ve been working on for a very long time. … [T]echnologies that enable interactive domains deliver, give, their technical capacities through ecologies that are more than just the technical capacity itself.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that many of us here today like to see our work as a continuation of say the Tech Model Railroad Club or the Homebrew Computer Club, and certainly the terminology and the values of this conference, like open source for example, have their roots in that era. As a consequence it’s easy to interpret any criticism of the hacker ethic—which is what I’m about to do—as a kind of assault.
We all see the benefits of active safety systems in cars. But that same safety technology, if attacked, can actually allow you to immobilize a vehicle or even disable breaks while driving.
We have to be aware that when you create magic or occult things, when they go wrong they become horror. Because we create technologies to soothe our cultural and social anxieties, in a way. We create these things because we’re worried about security, we’re worried about climate change, we’re worried about threat of terrorism. Whatever it is. And these devices provide a kind of stopgap for helping us feel safe or protected or whatever.
Maybe what we ought to do is start advocating that hacking is a religion. We can expand, right? We can carry around our little circuit boards with lights and maybe extend to e-meters or something.
[T]otalizing perspectives which feed into mass-surveillance were framed ideologically in the Romantic period. Not only that, but strategies for resisting these totalizing narratives also emerged in the Romantic period in forms that exhibit suggestive correspondences with contemporary hacking.