From Hippies to Hackers

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They’ve set up tents in the Netherlands for a weekend of sandal and tie-dyed counterculture misanthropic antidisestablishmentarianism over vegetarian meals and free ice cream while discussing the “politics of psychedelic research.” Hippies, you say? Nope. Hackers.

It’s the Woodstock of the tech world, a three-day open-air event in Liempde, Netherlands, near the grasses of Amsterdam, of course, where hackers from all over the globe meet to, well, hack it out.

The “What The Hack” convention descends from cyberspace every four years to discuss computer security, cryptography, biometrics, and hackers’ marred reputation as anarchists. It’s a social thing, too.

About 3000 geeks showed for the opening on Thursday, setting up tents and perusing the wares and offerings of the next three days.

Scheduled events include seminars on repressive technology monitoring, anonymous communication with the US Defense Dept., “Fun and Mayhem with Radio Frequency Identification,” and “Smile! You’ve Just Been Digitally Identified.”

Even hackers tire of the digital age from time to time, which is why there is a “chill out” area where no gadgetry is allowed-only activities one can produce with his own internal circuitry is allowed (not that one, I know what your thinking, and though this is hippy and Woodstocky, you should be ashamed of yourself).

Not that everyone in Liempde is glad to them. The stigma that comes with being a hacker precedes every one of them. Words like “anarchistic,” and “criminal” have replaced words like “long-haired” and “tree-hugger.”

The local mayor initially tried to prevent their questionable soiree. The mayor had a change of heart after meeting with organizers (assumedly no hacking threats were made).

From Hippies to Hackers
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