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No Security: HOPE X Is (Not So) Decadent and Depraved -- Day 3

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Day 3 of my filming diary at HOPE X. You can read Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

10:45am- arrived at HOPE X for day 3. I ingested 2 cups of coffee, 1 Lexapro, 2 levocetirizine, 1 vicodin and one apple. Certain enthusiasms seem to have waned at the conference. Perhaps everyone flew too close to the sun last night.

1:54pm- I love this lockpicking village that has set up camp at the tables next to ours. John just filmed a bit of it. I don't know if we will use it but it's certainly cool. The next HOPE we want to preview this film we are making. These guys will love it. The Vicodin fades and my interest in doing interviews recedes. There are so many interesting people around, but none whom fit the profile of the film, which is chronicling the history of computer hacking. We got most of those people during the first two days. We met the guys from MARCH (Mid Atlantic Retro Computer Hobbyists) who were set up in the same room as us at HOPE. They had a U shape table of computers, which I haven't seen in person since the 1980's. We will be paying them a visit soon to do some filming.

2:31pm- I've been stalking Mitch Altman for about two days. He expressed interest in being interviewed for the film but he's been so busy giving hardware hacking workshops. I really like his attitude. He's so open- so open to the world as far as I can tell. I may take a trip to his Hackerspace: Noisebridge next time the boys and I hit the Bay Area, which is where I believe he's based. He created a few things in recent years such as TV B-Gone (which is a keychain remote that can turn off any public TV- awesome) and these Trip Glasses, which were given away at the conference. I'm looking forward to trying them with some marijuana.

2:51pm- it may be me, but there seems to be a bit of an excitement hangover after the Snowden/ Ellsberg event. I would agree those two are heroes in a world that badly needs them.

5:03pm- I finally had some time to walk around and hit some of the booths. Not being a hardcore tech-head I had a hard time understanding some of the hacks. I had nice conversation with representatives from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and some of the other outfits like The Daily Dot.

5:30pm- we are going to pack it in for the day. We got lots of footage. I've personally can use some time to sleep and some time to process this experience. I understand why it was so big I was only really able to understand a fraction of it. I commend Eric Corley from taking 2600 The Hacker Quarterly in the 80's into a vital phenomenon in defining hacking not just as a subculture, but also as culturally intrinsic to our evolution as human beings.

I had a great epiphany on the train last week which was that I'm beginning to see hacking not merely as cracking codes, or as Richard Stallman says "playful cleverness", but as man's will to deconstruct things in order to rebuild them into something better. While watching the lockpicking village it may not be apparent, but their end game is to try to make locks better, it's not merely a problem solving adventure for them. What I'm talking about is deeper in man's nature. The body has to tear its own muscles to become stronger. The body needs to break food down to extract nutrients. That's what hacking is. Computer hacking, "playful cleverness", and otherwise is man's ability to transcend his current condition.

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