By RANDY PERSUAD
When someone says the word “hacker,” what crosses your mind?
A mid-fifty’s introvert behind a computer in a dark room, sheltered from the outside world? A common misconception of a hacker is such.
Hackers come in all shapes, sizes and from various professions. Hackers are usually divided into three groups, which consist of white hat, grey hat and black hat hackers.
White hats are the people private companies, the military or large companies hire to test their systems. A white hat would be paid to breach a system to identify any flaws.
A grey hat is similar in that they could work for companies or the military. However, they work for the highest payer, regardless of the payer’s intentions.
Lastly, we have the black hats. They work strictly for profit, personal gain and/or chaos.
However, all three types of hackers share a common mindset: How do I work my way around this blockade? How does this blockade work?
Many students are familiar with the term “life-hacks.” If not, a quick Google search would show simple, ingenious applications of small, common household items, which can be used in alternative ways.
A hacker has that same mind-set. Hackers use the tools that they already possess to find more efficient or alternative ways to achieve their goals.
The person to your left or right could be a hacker. In fact, anyone, even you, could technically be a hacker. No, I am not talking about getting into the Pentagon’s top-secret files or changing your grades here at Piedmont College.
I am talking about using the part of the brain that is activated when one ponders how and why something works.
The term “paradigm” is used to describe a commonly accepted point of view. At one point in time, it was believed that the planets in our solar system, including the sun, orbited around the Earth. Of course, we now know that this is untrue.
However, this idea was once a paradigm, and everyone once believed that the Earth was the center of our solar system.
A hacker-minded person is someone who challenges these paradigms and puts them to the test.
These kinds of innovative minds are what allow the United States to solve problems and create new technology to better the entire human race.
You, the person reading this, come from a unique background with unique knowledge and your own unique way of thinking.
As you work towards obtaining your degree here at Piedmont, don’t be afraid to question why a concept is understood the way it is and look beyond the paradigms of society.
Don’t be afraid to be innovative. Don’t be afraid to think like a hacker.