Hacktivism

Hacktivism

Hacking for honor.
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I have been cheating on my Duolingo language app with something a little more adventurous, maybe even a little dangerous, and I like it. Becoming fluent in another language has always been a goal in my life, much like most people. I have chosen to master Spanish, and I still plan to, but lately, I have ventured into another language, 01100011 01101111 01100100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00001010 (that’s binary language for coding). I never considered myself to be any sort of computer geek, and I am far from achieving internet troll status. However, I do have something to accomplish with this new endeavor, I like to challenge the rules.

Authority and I have not always been friends. My first word was “no,” and I regularly got in trouble for being the kid that asked way too many questions in Sunday school. Questioning laws and social norms is as natural to me as breathing, and I identify unbelievable value in learning to code. Gaining the ability to become expertly versed in with symbols and targets along with truly understanding the makings of the internet (other than www.) is an opportunity to venture lands that have the potential to be truly ours, with lessened surveillance and more information made public. This is not my announcement that I will start to hack everything in sight, there is more to it. I believe that coding is a rare language of freedom.

The 1980s is seen as the dawn of a new kind of hacker era, and although some hackers sought to gain access to information for thievery, a lot of people decided to join together for a different purpose. While the 414's, KILOBAUD, and Legion of Doom were more well known for high level hacks that cost corporations a lot of money, coder crowd forming was also represented by the makers of Chaos Computer Club, a group that emphasized free speech and transparent governments. Now, Anonymous, the hacker group wearing a big, white mask, is one of the most famous hacker groups as they develop an international movement mostly comprised of smaller hacker bands. The enormous team of anarchists and activists regularly call out corrupt politicians and cultural figure heads while shedding much needed light to important intelligence that should be of public knowledge.

The sheer mass of people already involved with big league breaches have inspired momentum to coalesce in mass and in direction; action in order to elicit reaction to monumental extortion. It is easy to feel benched when considering pathways to make societal change, considering the money it takes to be a politician, privilege it takes to get your voice heard, and the level of commitment required to focus one’s “life’s work” on just one of the many world problems that exist. This is a way that people can interrupt politics as usual, and there is plenty of evidence to ensure that good can be done with this reclaimed wisdom.

To be warned, coding, computing, and hacking definitely still requires skill and time as I have come to discover; let this not scare you off. Starting your hacking journey can be pursued with places like CodeAcademy, by giving you a simple introductory lessons in understanding language. Be sure to watch a few youtube tutorials on beginner level hacking, penetration testing, wifi hacking, and web testing, and finding out system weaknesses. If your dabble into the world of hackers inspires you, leave behind any ideas that hacking is only in the hands of NSA guards or LulzSec himself and keep going! Hacking Tutorial and EvilZone Hacking Forums are good places to learn insider tips and further your lexicon of Lisp, or hacker lingo, once at least intermediate level hacking has commenced.

Internet allows for communication to bounce all over the world in a matter of seconds, and the invention has allowed for revolutionizing societal changes. In a concurrent fashion, this technological advance of the wireless world has given us drone strikes, unwanted governmental surveillance, and things like the black market. Hackers see these threats, and they counteract with illumination and, sometimes, intervention. They can bring light to the unjust, and much like any movement, their power grows in numbers. I would argue that it is in our human nature to “break into” something supposedly untouchable, breaching barriers that bring alternate and sometimes “elite” pathways to a reachable platform for every person, and I consider hacking, in this sense, an honorable trade.

Cover Image Credit: PS4 Daily

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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