There are five main principals of a hacker’s mind that every hacker should think about when they are hacking. If you are looking to begin hacking, you should think of these too.
1. The world is full of fascinating problems that are just waiting to be solved: As a hacker you can have a lot of fun (as long as you are doing it legally). But, it does take a lot of effort to be a hacker. And that effort takes a lot of motivation. As a hacker, your motivation is going to come from you solving problems, exercising your intelligence, and even sharpening your skills with each successful hack. If you are not this way naturally, you will become this way as you learn the ways of being a hacker. If you do not, your energy is going to be sapped by many different distractions such as money and even social approval. You also need to be able to develop some kind of faith in your own ability to learn. This believe is going to let you know that you can learn how to hack anything you need to, but you do not know everything. If you are able to tackle a problem and learn how to solve just one piece of it, you have learned something and are ready to go on and learn the next thing. This is you having the faith in yourself to be able to learn how to solve a puzzle one piece at a time.
2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice: your creative brain is both valuable and a limited resource (because you’re the only one of you). Just as they didn’t waste any time on re-inventing the wheel, you shouldn’t have to go back and solve a problem when there are many other interesting new problems that are out there to be solved. In order to behave like a hacker, you need to believe that your time is precious. Think that it is your moral duty to share any information that you have from solving problems as well as solving any problem before you just give the solution away. This will help other hackers to be able to solve new problems that arise instead of having to solve ones that you may have answers to. Remember, just because a problem has been solved does not mean that you shouldn’t try and go back and find a new solution that might make solving that issue easier. This is never just one right solution to any given problem. Often times we learn a lot from the problem that we didn’t know before by studying the first solution to the problem. It is okay for you to believe that you can do better than the person who came up with the first solution. It is not okay however, to use artificial technical, legal, or even institutional barriers in order to prevent a good solution from being re-used therefore causing other people to have to re-invent the wheel. You also do not need to feel obligated to hand over any of your creative product. You might want to remember that hackers are the ones that are going to give you the most respect as a hacker. It is perfectly okay for you to use your hacking skills in order to support your family or to get rich as long as you do not forget where your loyalties are to the art form of hacking as well as your fellow hackers who are the ones who are going to help you on your way up.
3. Boredom and drudgery are evil: being that hackers are naturally creative; you should never get bored or have to drudge at work that is repetitive. This will cause you to not be able to solve new problems, which is the whole reason you’re doing what you’re doing! Therefore, boredom and drudgery are not just unpleasant, but they are actually evil to a hacker. In order to behave like a hacker, you’re going to need to believe this enough to make sure that you do not fall into boredom. You also need to be able to spot when you have hit a wall so that you can find a way to get yourself off of it. You need to do this not only for yourself, but others as well. Just like most things, there is an expectation to this rule. As a hacker, you will do things that are going to be repetitive or even boring to a normal observer. These are done as a mind-clearing exercises or for you to be able to acquire a skill that you have no experience in, or even to sharpen your skill in a certain area. This type of “boredom” is perfectly okay because it is by choice. You should never be forced into a situation that is going to cause you to be bored and stifle your creativity.
4. Freedom is good: as a hacker, you are most likely anti-authoritarian. (This does not have to be to the point that you do not respect any authority, however, for some hackers it does go this far). When someone gives you an order that will spot you from solving a problem that you are fascinated by, it will generally cause you to fight harder to solve the problem. As most authority minds think, they will find some sort of reason as to why it is stupid that you are attempting to solve this problem. Therefore, it is important that you try and fight this type of mindset so that you do not become smothered. Remember that this does not mean that you are fighting all authority. As a hacker, you need to be able to accept some sort of authority so that you are able to get things that you want. This does not mean that you have to allow the authority to smother you and stop you from hacking. To behave like a hacker, you need to develop an instinctive hostility to any censorship, use of force or deception, censorship or anything that is used to compel responsible adults. You need to be willing to act on that belief alone.
5. Attitude is no substitute for competence: if you are going to be a hacker, you need to have some of these attitudes. However, copping an attitude alone is not going to make you a hacker any more than standing in a garage is going to make you a car. To become a hacker, it is going to take practice, dedication, hard work, and intelligence from you.
Because of this, you are going to need to learn to distrust any attitude given to you and respect the competence of every kind. Hackers are not going to let some hacker want to be waste their time, however they will worship competence. Especially when that competence at hacking, but competence at anything is actually valued. Competence is demanding skills that very few can master is especially good and competence at demanding skills that involve mental craft, concentration, and acuteness is the best. If you are able to revere competence, you will then enjoy developing it in yourself. Hard work and dedication will become an intense play rather than drudgery. This attitude is vital to you becoming a hacker.