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Word Count: 510
Recently the word hacker has fallen into disrepute coming to signify in the popular media the perpetrators of various forms of computer-aided crime But most of the people who call themselves hackers who have proudly borne that title since the 1950s are not criminals--in fact many are among the intellectual and entrepreneurial elite of their generations The word hacker and the culture it connotes is too rich to sacrifice on the altar of the evening news Bob Bickford computer and video guru defined the true essence of the hacker as Any person who derives joy from discovering ways to circumvent limitations Indeed Well what better limitations to circumvent than ones youve endured all your life For the last few years Ive spent a weekend every Fall attending the Hackers Conference a gathering of computer folk who exult in seeing limitations transcended through creativity A commemorative T shirt is designed for each conference so when you fill out your application you have to say what size you wear Hackers being hackers its inevitable that somebody will enter these data into a computer and analyse them The statistics are remarkable Were talking megayards here one wonders what the numbers would be if T-shirts came in Extra-Extra-Large Jumbo Gigantic Colossal Planetary and Incipient Gravitational Collapse sizes as well as the usual S M L and XL People who thrive on unscrewing the inscrutable--figuring out how complicated systems work and controlling them--sometimes fail to apply those very techniques to maintaining their own health How strange to on the one hand excel at your lifes work and on the other XL in girth But not that strange really Ive been there For decades I believed controlling my weight was impossible too painful to contemplate or incompatible with the way I chose to live my life Id convinced myself that the only people who were physically fit were lawyers and other parasitic dweebs who not forced to earn an honest living
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