Hacking, like jazz music, is an indigenous American form %u2013 a gift to the world from the people who brought you rock and roll, personal computers and aerosol cheese. Hackers are engineers, problem solvers. They're impatient with what came in the box, they just won't read the manual and they think your retarded efforts to keep them out of your corporate network or your gated community or your DRM system are an impediment to the proper movement of knowledge.
Hackers are freedom lovers (usually, but not always, libertarians), rational (usually atheist, often militantly so), individualist (they hate collectivism but love motivated cooperation), analytical (they're the enemies of received wisdom), obsessive (often autistic) and oh so clever. They will %u2013 it seems inevitable to me %u2013 pretty soon be ruling the planet (at least the parts of it not ruled by their polar opposites, the fundamentalists). They're approaching the right age (40-ish) %u2013 although, of course, every generation knows its hackers, back to the dawn of time. Who do you think figured out you could heat clay to make waterproof vessels or extract iron from red dirt or control a loom with a punched card?
(Via Pat Kane: .)