How to Become a Hacker - part 2
1- Think creatively. Now that you've got the basic skills in place, you can start thinking artistically. Hackers are like artists, philosophers, and engineers all rolled up into one. They believe in freedom and mutual responsibility. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved. Hackers take a special delight in solving problems, sharpening their skills, and exercising their intelligence.
Hackers have a diversity of interests culturally and intellectually, outside of hacking. Work as intensely as you play, and play as intensely as you work. For true hackers, the boundaries between "play," "work," "science," and "art" all tend to disappear, or to merge into a high-level creative playfulness.
Read science fiction. Go to science fiction conventions, which is a great way to meet hackers and proto-hackers. Consider training in a martial art. The kind of mental discipline required for martial arts seems to be similar in important ways to what hackers do. The most hacker-ly martial arts are those which emphasize mental discipline, relaxed awareness, and control, rather than raw strength, athleticism, or physical toughness. Tai Chi is a good martial art for hackers
2- Learn to love solving problems. No problem should ever have to be solved twice. Think of it as a community in which the time of everyone is hackers is precious. Hackers believe sharing information is a moral responsibility. When you solve problems, make the information public to help everyone solve the same issue.
You don't have to believe that you're obligated to give all your creative product away, though the hackers that do are the ones that get most respect from other hackers. It's consistent with hacker values to sell enough of it to keep you in food and rent and computers.
Read older pieces, such as the "Jargon File" or "Hacker Manifesto" by The Mentor. They may be out of date in terms of technical issues, but the attitude and spirit are just as timely.
3- Learn to recognize and fight authority. The enemy of the hacker is boredom, drudgery, and authoritarian figures who use censorship and secrecy to strangle the freedom of information. Monotonous work keeps the hacker from hacking.
Embracing hacking as a way of life is to reject so-called "normal" concepts of work and property, choosing instead to fight for equality and common knowledge.
4- Be competent. So, anyone who spends time on Reddit can write up a ridiculous cyberpunk user name and pose as a hacker. But the Internet is a great equalizer, and values competence over ego and posture. Spend time working on your craft and not your image and you'll more quickly gain respect than modeling yourself on the superficial things we think of "hacking" in popular culture.