When I hear the word hacking, I imagine someone chopping or hoeing into something roughly. Or, I think about a software nerd breaking through internet firewalls to steal data or implant a virus (not the human kind, but potentially even more devastating).
However, recently I have noticed this term being used in other contexts. A quick google search directs me to pages for forums dedicated to such things as “hacking medicine” and “consciousness hacking”.
My twitter feed is full of articles such as “6 tech hacks to help attorneys achieve work/life balance” (yes, really!) and “5 Psychological Hacks For The Right Mobile Notifications”. There is even an online company called the “The Travel Hacking Cartel”, and there is a discussion about whether “hacking climate change” through geoengineering, a direct intervention in the natural environments of the planet to counter global warming effects, is a viable option (fingers crossed!).
So, in this new context what does hacking mean? The American English Oxford Dictionary does provide an alternative definition of hacking - to “hack something” means “to work together informally and often quickly with other people to create a program using different technologies”. This covers some of the activities I have listed above which are purportedly “hacking”.
However, it appears that “hacking” now is not limited to finding a solution using technology? Or is it?
Mashable extends the definition to the creation of non-technological fixes - “a "hack" may refer to a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem, or to what may be perceived to be a clumsy or inelegant (but usually relatively quick) solution to a problem, such as a "kludge".” According to Google, a “kludge” is “an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose” - who knew?!
What are your thoughts? What are you “hacking” at work? At home? In your daily life? Can you use hacking in a sentence to describe what it is you do?
ContractRoom, for example, is hacking such dysfunctional processes as document “cut & paste” and “redlining” in contract management.
ContractRoom, home of #HappyContracting – making the world more agreeable one happy contract at a time. “Negotiate less, Agree More”!