When I say I’d be thrilled if my kids grew up with some degree of hacker ethic, I don’t mean I want them breaking into credit card files, downloading password lists or making every traffic light in Tacoma flash “POOPYPANTS” in Morse code.
I want them to see the instruction manual as a starting point, as training wheels, as the prosaic preface to the poetry of “Now what else can we do with this?”
I want them to see a gleaming new gadget (or a bashed-up older one), and look for the retaining screws… and a matching screwdriver.
I want them to see two utterly disparate machines, systems or ideas, and start dreaming up ways they could mesh.
I want them to be able to quell the inner voice that says “That’ll never work,” and seek a path around, over, under or through.
And one of the things that makes me happiest is that I see that in them already, every day. Not just with technology, but with words, ideas, relationships, images and much more.
Which probably isn’t a great surprise, if you’ve met their mother.