Travelling home on the train, late at night, extremely tired and slightly drunk, I had a surreal conversation with a 13 year old kid about hacking. During the space afterwards, I wrote this:
Let’s see. Let’s try and see through this fog of tiredness to the core of my ambitions.
Talking to that whippersnapper was stirring. He was naive and arrogant but he had a spark. He believed he could do things. Granted, most of the things he wanted involved ripping people off and making money, but he had boundless ambition.
I had freedom to define myself in that moment, to present whoever I wanted to be. And what I invented was a hacker. I mean, he projected it onto me - he saw a hacker and so I became one, but it suited me. I was a vigilante, hacking in the face of the state and the powers that be. Ducking, diving, jabbing, with the knowledge and the power to take on the world.
And now, with the jolt of reality, it’s still only just out my reach. That world of infinite hackery, where everything is as you make it, where what you can do is limited only by your own ambition and confidence, is only just beyond the horizon. Reality tries to dampen the spirit, to say “be realistic”, but these things really are possible, if I can just keep hold of the dream.
So what is the dream?
This is what I need, to keep focus, to truly see and understand my core, my make-up. To feel the dream. And I can see its shape, its shadow, hear its breath. It’s not frightening, though it looms large, and I’m nervous of it. It’s benevolent and chaotic. It’s fiercely intelligent, but delicate, made purely of connections and feelings. It sits at the intersection of humanity, waiting for its moment.
I don’t and cannot own it. Perhaps I belong to it more than it belongs to me. It is the pure form of human endeavor, it represents all our potential. So why do I percieve it as dark? Its darkness isn’t necessarily evil, more indifferent to morality.
This is not a place for morality but a place for invention. A place to see what can happen in the absence of fear. When humanity lets go its petty competition, its isolated selfishness, its self-loathing and instead decides to see what can be achieved by working as one mind, that is when the dream takes shape.
And so I am confronted by the huge gulf between Humanity and Myself. Most of the time I cannot see the organism, I cannot feel the shared goal, I can only feel myself. So I find myself back at the drawing board, back in the loneliness of cold individualist logic. And I have no choice but to accept it, to live with it, until the next moment.