Mesh Update #6 – Hack Inspirations

I love it when a random piece of information on the Internet gets your juices flowing, don’t you? One of the inspirations for Mesh is the time-honored practice of ‘hacks’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

First things first: a hack isn’t what you think it is. In fact, a hack has nothing to do with breaking into computer systems. Rather, they are creative pranks done by students. Hacks can be deviously clever, or ridiculously simple. Their worth is judged on a hack-by-hack basis.

Curious about hacks? Say no more. Wired has a great write-up of hacks that have taken place over the past sixy years, and MIT has their own archive of hacks both past and present. I’ve been a fan of these hacks for years for a very simple reason – they’re fun, they’re interesting, and they showcase an undersung aspect of geek culture.

What do I mean? Simple. Our social media-driven world is obsessed with attention. It’s not enough to do something interesting, you must also get as many likes / upvotes / retweets as possible. Hacks, by definition, are uncredited. You usually never know how the hack artists are. Their ingenuity is only matched by their anonymity. Hackers, in this context, are proud to give back to the culture that gave them so much. It’s fun, it’s geeky, and it’s admirable.

Mesh is going to celebrate hacks.