Father Antonio Spadero wrote an article for the Civilta Cattolica that lauds the spirit of hacking. Hackers were vilified in the media during the 1990s. Because of that treatment the word hacker took on a different meaning as it spread into the common vernacular. This popular usage made hacker synonymous with computer criminal. Today, this is changing, and this article stands by the original, correct, and untarnished meaning of the word.
Note here, neither I nor Fr. Spadero are using the term to mean computer crime or internet vandalism or whatever else the plebian media are deciding to use the word hacker for today. I stand by the original definition of hacker and hacking. I even like the neologism, hacktivist.
I must link to this as well, just in case one person hasn’t read The Mentor’s famous manifesto. It brings a nostalgic tear to my eye just scanning through it again. There’s a scene in Hackers where two cops read through this manifesto, which is why it’s such a famous piece.
Hacker philosophy is playful but committed, encourages creativity and sharing, and opposes models of control, competition and private property, Spadaro observed approvingly.
The Jesuit priest, a literary critic and technology expert, also cited Tom Pittman, a member of California’s Homebrew Computer Club, as an example of someone seeking a creative fusion of Christianity and technology.
“I as a Christian thought I could feel something of the satisfaction that God must have felt when He created the world,” Pittman wrote of his work. Christian hackers, Spadaro said, viewed their work as “a form of participation in the ‘work’ of God in creation.”– TechWorld
Most importantly, this opens a lot of important theological questions. Is St. Peter’s book at the Pearly Gates now an iPad? Can Angels speak Perl? When Jesus returns, is he going to use Linux? I just hope this means I can to hack my way into Heaven.