Hackerdom@GEC Trichur!

Published on: 2008-8-29

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Hackerdom@GEC Trichur!


Hackerdom aims at creating a community of both Users and Developers in the Free and Open Source World. We focus on creating public awareness of what Freedom and Sharing actually signifies. Hackerdom beckons hackers of the world to invite masses to participate, use and eventually hack with the freedom that Free Thought, Licensing and Sharing provides. Check out: Hackerdom.in This year, the event is going to assume much greater significance for the Free Software community. A lot of people in Kerala have been doing grassroots level work with Free Software for a few years - many of them have been working in isolation - but there are signs that a "network" is building up; this is going to make things a lot more *exciting*! A meeting was held at GEC Thrissur today to do a bit of planning for the event. We were discussing how to get people into the "hacker mindset". Much of the fault, as expected, lies with the utterly stupid and unimaginative horror called "education" which we inflict on our kids. Let's look at the way our science "text books" teach stuff - for example, they tell us that a great European scientist invented the telescope, some other great men invented the microscope, computer, printing press ... and what not. Then comes descriptions of how these things work, which seem to be tailor-made to function as "answers" which you can mug up easily and can fetch you 5 marks in the "exam". What does the student actually "learn"? That there are a set of "great men" in the world whose job is to invent stuff - and that they (students) are all stupid worms who can only stare in amazement at the work of these supermen! The seeds of the great user-developer divide have been sown at a tender age... we do not let the kids realize that there is a potential inventor hidden in each one of them - that they too can do great things .... that there is no elite "club" of "great men/women". Free Software can play a great role in introducing people to the hacker mindset - by showing them how they too can be *creators* of technology, rather than mere consumers. With the help of the amazing knowledge of a community of world-class programmers captured in billions of lines of code, tens of thousands of pages of free content published by enlightened researchers and backyard tinkerers and the open sharing of knowledge over newsgroups and mailing lists, a student in a small town in Kerala has as much potential to become the next RMS (or Linus or Larry Wall or Guido ... or maybe, even the next Don Knuth) as any in an elite university in the Europe or US. Take away this culture of openness and sharing, and the disadvantaged all over the world shall slide into ever greater depths of backwardness.


Mon Sep 1 06:47:51 2008

That's an excellent point you conveyed. Wishing success to Hackerdom@GEC Thrissur. Nice to see the college taking appropriate steps in this direction.

Thomas Francis

Fri Oct 24 19:41:31 2008

I am not much of a software techie.. But i am at ease using Opensuse11. We at CET too have lot of linux only guys :) though we are not that organised. Wishing all success to hackerdom!..