=  F.U.C.K. - Fucked Up College Kids - Born Jan. 24th, 1993 - F.U.C.K.  =

                              The Scene

        Ok. Background so you understand my rant of the day. 'The Scene'
is a term used by BBSers and refers to either the collective body that
BBSs, or the group of people that are into hacking/phreaking related
topics that BBS. 'The 303 Scene' would refer to H/P BBSs (and users)
in the Denver area. Sometimes, when a hacker from one area code talks
to another from a different, they will ask 'Whats the scene like there?'

        My problem. Almost everywhere you go, the scene sucks in a big
way. If you are on BBSs, you will no doubt read posts about the fact
that a paticular scene sucks, and a lot of people will piss and moan about
it, and try to think of ways for it to get better. I have come to the
conclusion that no matter where you live, it isn't going to get better.

        'The Scene' (all of them) has been on a downward spiral over the
past 5 or so years.  More and more of the good hackers have gone on to do
other things. A surprising amount have moved on to computer/phone security
positions in big companies, or do consulting of some kind. As the older
(older being relative) hackers moved on, new and younger kids stepped in
wanting to learn about hacking and phreaking. In just over a year, the
level of hacking knowledge has gone from serious in depth conversations
to trivial talk about the most basic of phreaking boxes.

        'The Scene' is full of different groups that band together for
several reasons. Security in numbers (within reason), pooling of information
or resources, and a bond of friendship. Just like the gangs on the streets,
egos are getting in the way of things and causing rivalry between groups.
So instead of having groups working with each other, trading information,
and new hacks, they are at war attempting to get each others info and show
who is better. A lot of people ask what good it will do to get someone's
"info". This usually refers to getting their real name/address/phone numbers
and sometimes more (credit, relatives, etc). With this information you can
one of several things in revenge.

        Why is the scene dying? Because of us, the hackers and phreakers.
The feds are still out there, looking to bust hackers any way they can.
Their success comes more from the hackers mistake's than anything. Not just
mistakes like not diverting, or not covering your tracks, but even worse.
The fundamental lack of respect we show each other, and the way we war
among ourselves is the biggest advantage they have (and need). While we
waste our time flaming each other on BBSs, getting info through borrowed
or stolen CNA codes, the feds use that time to build bigger cases against 
us. When they do catch one of us, they rely on the hatred and mistrust
between us to help them out. They pursuade one person to narc out another,
in return for promises of leniancy and other court favors that never come

        Why change? Why start caring about others out there? Think of what
would be possible if hackers were united? You would have a large body
of motivated people that are very intelligent, and capable of making change
in the world. All this legislation that is being forced upon us to censor
what we say, limit our online abilities, and stop us from what we do best,
could be defeated without hesitation each and every time. Instead of using
your unix scripting knowledge to spam someone on 1000 usenet groups, use 
it to warn everyone on those groups about legislation that will hinder
online freedom. Instead of using CNA and other personal information sources
to get each other's info, use it to get politician's info, and make them
become the public servants they are. Share information on systems and
networking so that if one person leaves the scene, another is there to 
pass on that information and make use of it.

        That alone defines a good hacker in my eyes. Ability to pass along
information so that it stays with the generation behind them. I do not
advocate giving up ALL of your info, codes, and everything else. I do
encourage you to pass along HOW to get that information, and HOW to get
into systems. Make it a challenge, and bring back the excitement of being
in someone else's system. Break into a system just for the excitement of
being there. Want a challenge after that? Mail the sysadmin from an account
you created telling them of their security hole. Wait a few weeks and
try to get in again. Some hackers will not agree with me on that, but hacking
isn't just about personal rewards. Its about exploring, finding out what
else is out there, and how it affects you.

        For the newcomers. If you ask a question and get harrassed a little,
bear with it. The older hackers don't want to pass on information to someone
who has no patience, no sense of humor, and won't use the information 
correctly. If no one answers your questions, look around. Why won't they?
As a visible hacker, they have to worry about being logged by any cops or
feds on the board, being harassed by any telco employees that may read 
the message, or narcs in the area. If you just come out of nowhere and start
asking questions, paranoia kicks in for the older hackers. Patience is
a key element to learning.

        For the older hackers. You have to pass your legacy on to someone
else. There is no reason for you to leave with all the information you have
and remove it from the scene totally. If all else fails, write some text
files about new stuff you have discovered. If new people ask questions,
give them answers, or at least point them in the direction of obtaining
that answer on their own. If you notice one or two newcomers with potential,
take time to help them out and teach them some of the tricks. Be patient
with them, and remember back to when you were learning. It takes time.

        What happens if enough of the older hackers leave the scene? Then
you are left with a legacy of wannabe hackers arguing on who has the 
correct redbox plans, or who has the right motorola cable pinouts. What
does that say about the previous generation? It says we were too caught
up in our own gain to care about the scene as a whole. Fix it, before it
is too late.


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