Monday, August 09, 2004

WTF *is* RH?

Just posted to the Reality Hackers tribe...

In starting this group, I've been kind of forced to assess just what is meant by "reality hacking." The problem is, of course, that as everything is real, the scope could be rather large and diverse, without having any real focus and so becoming a non-entity.

But what I don't want to do is necessarily define what reality hacking *is*. My approach so far is that it alludes to an attitude, to be identified in certain people, and that all manner of thoughts and activity emerges from such an attitude.

At best, I can narrow the attitude down to: "a yearning to understand and to experiment with the world". Any more than this, and I start getting into difficulties :)

I hope, in a way, that people with such an attitude will inherently realise it - in themselves, and in others. Just as there are great computer hackers around, but a definition of the term itself remains wholesomely elusive.

So, off the top of my head, here's a list of concepts that I may consider as falling under this theme...

- anything academic that attempts to explain how the world works, although I find the closer to ourselves this research is, the closer it could be considered to "reality". Thus psychology and philosophy may be of more "interest" than chemistry and maths.

- anything that sets out to discover what can be achieved physically - ranging from tasks such as juggling et al, to martial arts, etc. These things take much practice, and a certain way of looking at the world in order to make progress.

- anything that sets out to discover what can be achieved mentally - this includes attempts and actions to break from the channels of normal behaviour initiated by society. Drugs are an obvious example, but I also take into account things like meditation, puzzles and beer.

- anything that challenges existing, accepted means. This may overlap with criminal means in places, but the extent to which these are "hacking" depends on the situation, and intent. Again, no definition forthcoming on this...

Whether that narrows the field down is somewhat dubious, but it's a start. I'd definitely be interested to find out what other people think...

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