HOPE 2020 (2020): "Hackers and the Gnostic Tradition" (Download)
Thursday, July 30, 2020: 2200. Hackers and hacker culture are usually portrayed as being novel, with even the earliest proposed dates for "hackers" as a cultural group only going back to the 1960s or so. This talk will examine hacker culture in light of earlier cultural movements for whom knowledge and information were morally significant (as opposed to just good in a utilitarian sense) and show that moral, aesthetic, and sociological beliefs that are thought to be unique to the hacker culture, in fact existed in these earlier precursors. This talk will examine gnostics, alchemists, and various occult traditions and tie them together into a cultural lineage from which hackers still draw today.