A book about hacking is a book about everything.
First, the meaning of hacker.
The word “hacker” emerged in an engineering context and became popular
at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), among other places, as a
way to talk about any ingenious, creative, or unconventional use of a machine
doing novel things, usually unintended or unforeseen by its inventors. A hacker
was someone involved in a technical feat of legerdemain; a person who saw
doors where others saw walls or built bridges that looked to the uninitiated like
planks on which one walked into shark-filled seas.
The mythology of hacking was permeated with the spirit of Coyote, the
Trickster. Hackers see clearly into the arbitrariness of structures that others
accept as the last word.They see contexts as contents, which is why when they
apply themselves to altering the context, the change in explicit content seems
magical.They generally are not builders in the sense that creating a functional
machine that will work in a benign environment is not their primary passion.
Instead, they love to take things apart and see how machines can be defeated.
Their very presuppositions constitute the threat environment that make borders
and boundaries porous.
In their own minds and imaginations, they are free beings who live in a
world without walls. Sometimes they see themselves as the last free beings, and
anyone and anything organizational as a challenge and opportunity. Beating The
Man at his own game is an adrenalin rush of the first order.