by rupe

What is the Hacker's Manifesto?

The Hacker's Manifesto was written by The Mentor. I found it early in high school. I haven't found a document before or since that I feel describes me better. It is presented below.

The Mentor wrote it shortly after his arrest. It appeared in Phrack, Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3, on January 8, 1986

The Hacker's Manifesto by: The Mentor aka Loyd Blankenship Copyright (C) 1986 Loyd Blankenship

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 technobrain, 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'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me. "Damn underachiever. They're all alike." I'm in junior high or high 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. Wait 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 incompetencies 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 from 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. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... 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.

Found this email on I recently received this letter from The Mentor:
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 08:47:05 -0600
From: Loyd Blankenship <>
Subject: Manifesto

Cool web site. I appreciate you putting up a copy of Conscience of a
Hacker. Please add an email link to me ( and the
line "Copyright 1986 by Loyd Blankenship" if it isn't too much trouble.


Doing likewise on this FQA, since I think that's what he'd want.


Read more of   The Yak's Frequently Questioned Answers   (mod.2010-02-10)

438.   What is an anarchosexual? What is Anarchosexuality?   [jake/2006-08-22]
435.   What is a lezzie lad or dyke dude? (lezzielad and dykedudes unite!)   [jake/2006-06-19]
432.   Who are the Steve Police?   [jake/2006-05-21]
417.   What is the slashdot amnesia phenomenon?   [jake/2004-10-29]
413.   How can I solve Cisco Catalyst 3550 series issues where a port seems to have died?   [jake/2004-08-23]
393.   What does a pedestrian crossing light mean?   [overcode/2003-11-08]
383.   How do I translate to and from Japanese?   [novalis/2003-09-25]
382.   What is the best combination Sushi Bar / Internet Cafe in Berlin?   [jake/2003-09-25]
376.   What are three very useful online dictionaries?   [jake/2003-09-22]
330.   what is a terrible feeling to have when you are hung over?   [jake/2002-10-11]
289.   How do I install a CPAN module in Perl?   [rupe/2001-11-21]
273.   Where do I find a free comma delimited file with all USA zipcodes, including longitude and latitude?   [les/2001-09-06]
163.   What is the easiest way to pause execution of a program in java, without threads?   [jesse/2001-01-13]
83.   What's the best way to send mail as stdin to a program, using sendmail?   [rupe/2000-04-28]
69.   What is the origin of The Yak?   [strick/2000-02-28]
34.   What are some good World Wide Web facts I can impress my friends with?   [simon/2000-01-28]
27.   What is Bleech made from   [vonguard/2000-01-23] ( rupe/2001-05-30 )
24.   Why is the ocean blue?   [simon/2000-01-20]