Why the "Hacker Logo" is stupid

October 30, 2003 6:41 PM

The Hacker Emblem is a black-and-white rendition of the ‘glider’ from Conway's Life, with black circles in a 3x3 board Well, I first saw it on Slashdot, but it's been popping up elsewhere. Eric 'ESR' Raymonds wants hackers to have their own emblem.

  1. It's dull. It's just a bunch of black blobs on a tic-tac-toe board. Who would want to identify with that?
  2. It's a static representation of something that only has meaning when it is animated.
  3. It's ambiguous. "Why have you got that picture of the checquers board again?"
  4. It's from ESR. If Thinkgeek came out with an “Eric Raymonds Does Not Speak for Me!” t-shirt, I'd buy it immediately.
  5. It captures nothing about what it means to be a hacker. Worse, its drab nature captures every misconception we'd rather get away from. It's the logo equivalent of "You sit in front of a screen all day typing? And you enjoy it?"
  6. Notably, it even fails to capture the one thing that every widely-adopted hacker-created logo has in common: an amused disrespect for the concept of the logo. (Think of Tux the Penguin, the BSD Daemon, SSH blowfish...)
  7. It's an attempt to impose culture from above. If one claims to be an historian, one should observe and record history, not be so presumptious as to try to write one's own role in it.

Previously: Kata 19 and Optimisation

Next: Knights of the Old Republic