I lay here lifeless in this cocoon
Shedding my skin cuz I’m ready to
I wanna break out; I’ve found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this world I’m suffocating

Skillet, Rebirthing

Greetings and welcome to the first installment of The Restricted. I’m starting this little project for several reasons, but the most important one is to give me (and hopefully soon a few others) a place to put my own (often long) bitter diatribes and commentaries on society in an organized manor.

I’m calling this the “rebirth” of The Restricted for one reason, I feel like it’s a continuation and expansion of project that few others and I started quite a while ago. The original idea was to have a weekly/monthly hacker based pod cast, but inevitably it soon grew to encompass so much more than that, and eventually became too large a task for us to handle; killing it before it even really got off the ground. By scaling back the production, and shifting from a weekly video based pod cast, to a simple weekly blog post or postings I hope to be able to concentrate more on the content and less on what would have been the production. Hopefully this will also have the added effect of making such a project much more manageable for one person to do and still leave room for expansion if others would like to get involved.

First and foremost: this is a project/labor of love, I’m not getting paid for this and for anybody interested in getting involved… I don’t have the means to pay you either. This may or may not change, depending on the success, but I wouldn’t count on it.

So without further a due, I give you the original “mission statement” that guided us though our original endeavor:

The Hacker Manifesto
By
The Mentor
Written January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today; it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested After Bank Tampering”…

Damn kids. They’re all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s techno brain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world…

Mine is a world that begins with school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. What a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… or feels threatened by me… or thinks I’m a smart ass… or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetence’s is sought… a board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear form them again… I know you all…

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… After all, we’re all alike.

The origin of this document may have been geared towards the hacker and computer communities of the time, but just as The Restricted has grown to encompass so much more than it was intended to, so have this. I’ve always felt that it was the perfect light to guide our ship by; I find it amazing that a document written twenty years ago can still have so much relevance in our lives today. This small statement, this bitter rant, this attempt by one single individual to explain what motivates him and the forces that molded him has, rather you like it or not, been able to capture the mentality of an entire sub-culture, so much so that it has become indoctrinated into our entire way of life.

While seemingly hacker/tech oriented, a friend of mine upon first read summed it up perfectly by saying “This is the most punk thin that I’ve ever read”, and that’s what I want to give you… the most punk thing that you’ve ever read!

Just like The Hacker’s Manifesto, punk has also evolved to encompass more that it was intended. By definition, punk is the anit-establishment mentality, and as members of the “technology generation” we are the embodiment of “anti-establishment”, taking away the old mold of how things work and rebuilding them to suite our own needs. The perfect example of this is Eric Alterman’s recent article in The New Yorker, Out of Print: The Death and Life of the American Newspaper, or even Trent Reznor’s recent experiment in music distribution with The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust… the old business models just don’t work!

As we cruse along in this “strange new world” where we are constantly killing the old business models that everyone has become so accustomed to, I invite you to come along and view it from one average American’s perspective, rather it be for good or bad we will find out together… Enjoy!

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