longish too on idea of hacking Show more
I don't consider myself a hacker (maybe an acolyte net-diver) but I get the ethos behind hacking. I also see how it extends beyond the technological, and realized I've experienced it without realizing.
Like how I've had to deal with the death of a family member and things like their bank account. (Please get a will so if/when you go your loved ones aren't dealing with this.) Usually to deal with estates you get a probate lawyer. But if the estate isn't large enough it's not worth any lawyers time.
Luckily, knew a paralegal that does probate stuff, told me what forms to do what to submit where, and they told this with no expectation of getting something back, they just knew it be tough because no lawyer would take this (I did pay for the meals or drinks whenever we met, I insisted.)
And this whole time the clerks with the probate court were eyeing me suspiciously, asking are you sure I'm not working with a lawyer, said nope.
Another instance, the city I'm in, a rather large suburb, decided all sidewalks should be made more "walkable" within a year. Walkability is great, right? Well, you wonder when they make this declaration but you have to pay for your own side walk. (Funny, sidewalks are public property when it comes to their ability to make pronouncements about it, but private property when it comes to who pays for it.)
As soon as this was declared, the more affluent neighborhoods had workers take grinders to concrete blocks that stuck up, no need to replace these now. But people like me still had a guy in a yellow vest come by with a tablet and take pics and mark if we have to replace our sidewalk.
No transparency, totally subjective as to how they determined who has to replace their sidewalks. And it wasn't consistent. I noted when a pristine block had a spray painted X saying it should be removed, while another pile of crumbling concrete jutting up at angles was considered more walkable and not marked to be removed.
But gods bless the kids on my block that took a power washer to the Xs on our street. Right idea, but they were already entered in a database with that tablet.
So we had to replace our sidewalks. But don't worry, the city would take of it all, they'll just bill you. So not only were we forced to replace sidewalks, but the city lined up a sweetheart deal for some construction company to do MILES of sidewalk. Think, tens of thousands of houses paying thousands of dollars. That's millions for that company.
I got a neighbor that often makes trouble for the city when it pulls this kind of crap, makes petitions, gets on news. We have beers on porches and get mad.
Meanwhile, me and other neighbors decide we'll not be party to someone in government enriching their friend. So I got one of my buddies that does concrete to do it. But man did the city give me crap when I pulled permits for this. Are you having a contractor do the work? Why aren't they pulling the permits? Why aren't you just letting the city handle it?
Long toot short, you see hacking when you're up against a system, one that's often adversarial, but you still get around it by technically playing by all the rules. It's just that system doesn't expect nor like when you do that. And you don't have to go it alone, others will gladly share knowledge and help with no expectations other than it's an injustice that needs fighting. Or it's just fun to mess with systems.