Personally I almost never use the word “Hacker”. Why’s that? Well, I don’t like how people use it nowadays. Newspapers, magazines, TV, even Internet use to name “hacker” to every person who breaks into a bank account, steals information, gets into an e-mail account, corrupts a program and, in general, any kind of criminal acts related to computing.
Personally I think being a “hacker” involves much more than that. People with some computing knowledge know that when you find a real hacker you will not want to loose the contact. Being a real hacker involves to know a lot of useful things about almost everything. You can ask them something about literature and they will know about the topic, you can ask them about politics and they will know, about administration, psychology and, really, almost every topic you can think of.
How do they obtain the information ? Well, it’s a simple question but the answer can be very complex.
Reading (also real books obviously), blogging, watching, listening and with almost every activity they do. After that the information is analyzed, is associated, linked and stored very very carefully for being able to find it in the future, when ? when they need it and just when they need it. Real hackers will never tell you all the stuff they know, will never presume their knowledge, even they will not tell you if you are wrong until you ask for their opinion. You must never underestimate a hacker, that is a terrible mistake and you must know that the way they think is extremely fast. Maybe you’re thinking that you will surprise them but trust me, they already thought in that situation.
All that information can only be acquired sacrificing part of their life. Usually the social part.
They know the power they have and they know exactly the things they can do. Even so… they know that they will never know everything.