@bink 13d
I generally agree, but some of those claims were true. It wasn't entirely immaturity. I was part of the group at the 2600 meeting near the Pentagon that got raided by Secret Service dressed up like mall security. They conducted some busts a few weeks later based on things illegally confiscated from that raid.



@sambull 13d
The FBI did monitor #2600 irc.. it wasn't to learn our skills. But they most definitely ran a bot logging it - they showed me irc logs, asked questions about specific other people I was hanging out with in the SF scene at the time and warned my dad I was in with the bad hacker crowd. This was after a Red hat 6.2 box I built was owned by some php vuln and the person I did it was taking credit cards via email on that same box. He basically pointed at me and said I must be in some l33t hax0r gang stealing his customer credit cards info.
@aestetix 13d
It sounds to me like part of your growing up was realizing that the people you looked up to were human, and it shattered some illusions you had.

In truth, pretty much every social "scene" has a small core of dedicated people surrounded by a much larger social clique. This becomes more and more true as it grows in size. There will always be the "talkers" who are good at communicating but have "marginal skills," but I'd argue everyone has different strengths. For example, there are some absolutely excellent hackers who are terrible writers, and other people who write quite well about hacking, but cannot hack themselves. We need both types.

While quite a lot of the worry about government monitoring might actually be paranoia, I'll simply note that Snowden's relevations showed that a lot of the fears were justified. Perhaps there are tradeoffs in privacy that you are willing to make, which others refuse to make.

@EvanAnderson 13d
I was on the periphery of the 90s "scene" and this rings true to me. One year at DefCon I ended up (somehow) tagging along w/ (some of?) the Cult of the Dead Cow crew and friends to a dinner. I had a decidedly "Wow, I'm sitting at the cool kids table..." kind of feeling.

Age and location had a lot to do with it, too. I was in rural Ohio versus in Boston, Chicago, NYC, etc. I also did community college versus moving away. There were fewer opportunities for face-to-face hacker interactions when you might be the only person in your county into that kind of stuff.

I still lean on my telephony knowledge from back then. It's amazing how much of it is still relevant even in the world of VoIP.

@myself248 13d
> many people who were revered had marginal skills.

Yeah, socially organizing and motivating people doesn't rank very high on technical achievement, but it's often the difference between groups you've heard of and groups you haven't.

And guess who inspires more young people to go learn?

@[deleted] 13d