Hack THIS!

Do you use square containers in the microwave? Don’t do that. You see, the corners attract more energy and it tends to leave the food in the corners overcooked. I learned this while researching a new feature I’m planning for B100.FM. But I HATE the term “hacks” being used for everything. Why and where did that start happening? What is the simpler, user-friendly way to say “here’s an interesting little fact, presented in a friendly manner, that could make your life easier?” But in much fewer words. I can’t start my project until someone suggests a usable title. PLUS–now I have to know where this silly ‘hack’ term came from. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

MapHappy suggests we can all consider this definition of a hack: “a usually creative solution to a computer hardware or programming problem or limitation,” OR if you take a what some might consider a small leap, “a writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work.”

A while back, in an article for GQ, Howie Kahn wrote, “Tech writer Danny O’Brien used the term life hack (back in 2003) to describe how programmers were creating shortcuts to make their daily lives more efficient. What started as geek-speak went viral soon after with the launch of YouTube, which gave anyone with any hack a platform to make the idiotic into an infomercial. But while it’s one thing to find solutions to actual problems, it’s another to act like an innovator because you’re able to open canned tuna without a can opener (this video, by Crazy­RussianHacker, has nearly 26 million views). In its current state, life-hacking is mostly about rigging ever-more-mundane objects for amusement. The term is devalued. “It’s a scary thing. We have an environment today in which people use unverified sources of data with great abandon,” says the retired astronaut Ken Mattingly. “It’s easy to confuse hype with good ideas.” If you don’t recognize the name, Mattingly, portrayed in the movie Apollo 13 by Gary Sinise, played a major role in what could be (but luckily isn’t) called one of history’s great hacks. Left behind on terra firma, he helped jury-rig equipment to return the crippled spacecraft to Earth after an oxygen tank exploded, severely limiting the power, navigation, and air-filtration systems. Mattingly preaches “constant preparation” (instead of “hacking”.)

Meanwhile, the extreme geeky ZDNet over explained in a story using an actual case of re-wording by numerous publications, that, “Not all disclosures of data are the same. A hack may lead to a breach, but a leak isn’t a hack, nor does a breach always lead to a leak.” Uh huh, that’s taken completely out of context but actually, it makes sense if you want to read the article here.

Finally, TamTams says, “Yes, I am aware that language changes and molds according to the times. I still find it unreasonably stupid to say that you’re “hacking” Disneyland by standing in a good spot to see fireworks.” Now, please share your ideas for my B100.FM future feature, in the comments?

1 response to Hack THIS!

  1. There is also a “re-packaging” of already present material. Then, the re-packager pummels you with images to appear to be the Originator.
    This “business” does nothing more than “group” someone else’s work! They manipulate Data … and, this kind of Business – is becoming “Standard”, .. just like “Hack” and “Viral”, etc.
    Yes, Language “evolves” – but when new words restate the obvious – making the Original words, Thoughts or Ideas more – complicated – it makes Living more Complicated, .. unnecessarily ..
    I am a HUGE Fan of “Keep it” Simple, Uncomplicated and Original Thinking – and of course – Bobby’s B-100 Dot -FM ..

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