Teenagers interested in computer hacking in the broad sense of the term, where hacking focuses on the technical aspects of computer science and security is just a part of it, often face the same roadblock.
As this practice is generally not understood and the subject of a lot fantasies and misconceptions, they are often facing the same criticisms: they spend all their time playing on their computer, are anti-social, do not respect authority. In a few words, they are ruining their life.
However, the most difficult in such situations are not the criticisms by themselves, it is the sense of isolation that they produce. Forty years ago, one of such teenager raised up against this feeling and wrote, under the pen name The Mentor what now counts as one of the most heart-moving and inspirational text about the hacking culture: the Hacker’s Manifesto, also known as The Conscience of a Hacker.
Forty years later, the text still did not wear out. I, too, went through such feelings and found relief when discovering this text. I, too, now share it and am happy if it can help youngsters to build themselves their own lives. This even became one of my best closed-question answer on StackExchange!
For those who want more, Loyd Blankenship, alias The Mentor himself, made a public speech in the HOPE conference in 2002 and provided some interesting contextual information1.
People interested in this manifesto may also be interested in Ýmir Vigfússon’s Why I teach people how to hack.
Sadly the sound and image of this record are not of very good quality, feel free to tell me if you find a better link! ↩