A student from the class of 2011 writes, "Hacking demonstrates an MIT student's ingenuity and ability to think outside of the box. The entire student body can enjoy and take pride in the hacks done by the motivated few."

Another student from the class of 2011 writes, "Hacks represent the creativity and inginuity of MIT students. They require extra effort above and beyond classes and are unique to MIT culture."
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  • A true classic

    Jonathan Hunt

    10 Nov 09 at 5:54 pm

  • MIT hacks are known for being generally harmless. The worst reaction to one I recall is when then-Provost Jerome Wiesner, well known advocate and defender of academic freedom, pulled down and crumped up the “Behind these serene walls, lies a factory of Genocide” and “why is this man smiling?” (blue outline of HoJo, then-MIT president Howard W. Johnson, RIP 2009) “perhaps he thinks people have forgotten about MIRV, MTI, etc” posters.

    I knew the Undergraduate Association controlled the bulletin boards that Wiesner removed those posters from. He said “do you want your posters back.” I said, “they’re not my posters” Should have taken them, they are very rare.
    Wiesner also literally patted me on the head before talking this matter over.
    I rather strongly “suggested” he never do that again.

    “Jerry the Faust” so named by my rooommate “Robin”, perhaps among others, was actually quite whimsical at times. He was the one, during the November [1969] Actions, a Boston area -wide protest against MIT’s military and anti-progressive soico-politial “research” etc, put out a “press release” stating that everyone involved, including the MIT administration, were “playing the same game, and, whereas, that game is B*** S***, the day after November 2 will be November 5. November 3 and 4 have been cancelled.”
    (I also called Course XVII the Department of Political Engineering.”

    Wiesner himself said to me that it wasn’t an issue of whether to sell your soul [he being unaware, I think, of his Faustian designation] but of deciding what to sell your soul to. Wiesner recommended physics, because it would allow one to move toward math or toward engineering.

    Anatole Jarmolych ?sp ’69, purchased souls including that of Baker MOF Pete Lindner ’71,. for as little as 5 cents. So goes “MIT agnosticism.”

    Wells Eddleman '71

    24 May 10 at 3:12 pm

  • Someone pointed out that I failed to mention the writing hacks that were all too common. Although accused of being both the Scarlet and the Purple Pimpernel, I am neither and never was. Feirtag knows.
    However, along with an oceanographer, an aero astro star to whom I owe the knowledge of what a US B-43 looks like, and a guy who memorized pi to 300 or so places and fought his girlfriend with knives, I was partly responsible for the CCCC hacks published in Thursday.
    And of course I was signed off on “Introducing MIT” which Feirtag ’72, Bob Fourer, and I had modified to include rather more truth than the MIT propgandists, er, publicists, had probably intended.
    And I did write both the “War Stars” trilogy, featuring Wiesner in full armor as “N. Vader” (illustrations not by me), and “Jesus Christ, Supertool, ” in which J.H. Christ, 33, and undergrad majoring in everything, and his advisor Prof. Ponderus Pilovit, are betrayed by Simonides.

    Wells Eddleman '71

    24 May 10 at 3:23 pm